However, having but one life to give for my Lord, I believe that the best way to serve Him, to heal my own sinful soul, and to spread His Gospel in the world, is as an Anglican. I believe we have the best way, combining all that is true from the riches of our Evangelical and Catholic (forgive the redundancy) heritage. I do not need to squint my eyes at Anglicanorum Coetibus, trying to see in it all the wonderful things that others imagine. Nor do I need to pretend that we are simply Western Orthodoxy. We have a good and healthy heritage as Anglicans; and while I hope that the Church will some day come together in a visible polity of unity that expresses the underlying truth we all adhere to, I do not delude myself into imagining that we need a blood transfusion from Rome or from Constantinople in order to survive.
When I come across other Continuing Anglican blogs, too often I see gloom and despair, usually cloaked by superficial but desperate appeals to "unity" so-called. I see Anglicanism itself disparaged by Anglicans who have bought the lie that their own patrimony is worthless, and that without intervention from someone else they will perish. Instead of concentrating on a positive message, that we have our own spiritual resources to build the Church and spread the Gospel to the four corners of the earth, they have become so demoralized that they react to our positive message on The Continuum as if it were somehow negative, as if we have no right to talk about evangelism and mission. Don't we know, they seem to think, that we are destined to die out? Frankly, the answer is, no we don't know that. In fact, we know the opposite.
The success I have seen here at St. Benedict's in Chapel Hill, North Carolina in less than ten months since my arrival, with more growth than anyone ever expected, is related to the grace God has given me to be a Yea Sayer. You can be a Yea Sayer too. To begin with, stop apologizing for being an Anglican, and instead be Anglican very openly. Follow the Book of Common Prayer, and do not apologize for doing so. Accept no substitute for telling the story the way your fathers handed it down to you. Stop falling for the old lie that they were heretics, and that what we have is somehow in spite of who we are, and who they were, rather than because of it. Preach the Gospel in the terms it has been given to you, terms of the Book of Common Prayer as it teaches the deepest and enduring truths of the Bible in powerful words that reach the human heart.
Who told you that we cannot evangelize and grow? Who fooled you into thinking that we need to be to rescued from the outside? Who convinced you that talk of evangelism and mission is futile, the idealism of those dreamers in the ACC, or those crazy writers at The Continuum blog? The truth is, we are growing, not just in one country (the U.S.), but all over the world. Our churches have people of all ages, with a lot of youth and children, people of different colors and from various cultures. We have, believe it or not, a future. We are building for that future even now, not hoping the Holy Father in Rome will save us from extinction, or the Ecumenical Patriarch; we love them as fellow Christians; but we are going ahead as Anglicans. Our growth and vitality has not come from burying the Book of Common Prayer in the sand, or by apologizing for our Anglican Fathers. Just the opposite; it has come from being very, very Anglican, which means, very Christian, very Catholic, very Evangelical (forgive the redundancy).
If this seems unreal to you, drop in down here some time, or visit our missions in Africa, our churches in Asia, or somewhere. We are the Yea Sayers; you can join us.