Heroes of the Akinolist/Winger Narrative
Is the Episcopal Church, properly speaking, defined by its relationship with the Anglican Communion? It sounds to me like assorted North American Akinolists have made this an article of confession. Of course, I do not think they really mean it, or have thought it through seriously. While they make the claim with less than jocular levity, it does seem to me so disasterous, symptomatic of a truly deplorable ignorance, that charity requires seeing their move as something other than a product of calm deliberation.
The Episcopal Church is defined by its relationship with Christ, period. Is the fact not basic? Even properly basic? There is a relationship R* from the Church to Christ that is both necessary and sufficient to constitute its members as part of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. That is not to say R* holds only between Episcopalians--or even wider group, Anglicans--and Christ. Salvation can be found outside the Anglican Communion. Nor am I necessarily suggesting that R* is only an abstract relation without implications for the lives of Episcopalians here below--I believe quite the contrary. But nothing more than R* is needed.
The very existence of an Anglican Communion is accidental to the existence of the Episcopal Church--in view of the history of ECUSA's formation, how could anyone think otherwise? The ugly Akinolist desire to unchurch faithful ECUSAns is evident here, but facts are stubborn things: the very same entity which became ECUSA existed without interruption here from before the Revolution, and for a time was not part of the Church of England. The apparent passionate proclivity of Akinolists from Duncan to the vestry of Christ Church in Savannah for denying facts and embracing contradiction smacks of postmodernism. I expect in response to be told in prolix obfuscation the equivalent of "the relevant facts do not fit our narrative; therefore, they are irrelevant."
Why the rush to replace Christ with creatures, God with man? Why, indeed, are the Akinolists so anxious to usurp the proper role of Christ in constituting the Christian Church? Is it true, to speak in metaphor, this international mob (following Augustine, without justice, there is no genuine society) has come together reversing Genesis 11 to build a great tower with which to storm heaven? "We set our trust in the AC" or "we set our trust in Akinola" is a far cry from "We set our trust in Christ"--the difference is decidedly not morally neutral.