As one who has written extensively about the Anglican Covenant, I present these recommendations to the bishops of the Global South, beginning with those assembled in Uganda in August 2010. One thing I have learned in the Anglican world: theologians may propose, but bishops will dispose. The burden now falls on the episcopal leaders of the Global South to ponder these proposals and take action.** Failure to do so, I fear, will have tragic results. In the short term, it may encourage individual Provinces to neglect international affairs and simply mind their own shops. “To your tents, O Israel!” may become the byword of the Global South churches. To take a pass on the opportunity to be part of a worldwide Gospel-centred church would sell short the providential moment in which we find ourselves. Even more ominous, the atomization of Global South Anglicanism would leave the door open for the powers that currently rule the Communion to augment their subversive and divisive activities around the globe. Remember, these powers were soundly defeated at Lambeth 1998, and yet twelve years later they continue to defy biblical and traditional teaching and to hold the balance of power in the official Communion organs.
I ask the bishops of the Global South to address the future of the Anglican Communion Covenant urgently. At a critical point in Israel’s history, Joshua summoned the leaders of the nation to reaffirm its commitment to the Covenant and the God of the Covenant, and he challenged them: “Choose this day whom you will serve,” whether the gods of the pagan nations or the Lord, God of Israel. “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord,” he concluded (Joshua 24:15). The Anglican Communion is facing just such a crisis of two religions within one body, one a new paganism, the other the faith once for all delivered to the saints. To adopt a revised Anglican Covenant is to decide to serve the Lord and to stand firm for the God of Scripture and the God of the Anglican martyrs – those who died in the fires of Oxford and Namugongo. So I urge you, brothers: “Be strong and of good courage!” Do not turn aside from your duty to defend the word of God and His holy church (Joshua 1:7).
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