I beg your forgiveness right at the start, for this post can best be described as an off-the-cuff rant. I was just reading an article that reported the apparent befuddlement (good word, huh) of a clergyman in the Anglican Church in Canada regarding why so many young people are seeking spiritual fulfillment outside of his Church. Well....not to put too fine a point on it....IT'S BECAUSE THEY AREN'T FINDING IT IN THE ANGLICAN CHURCH IN CANADA! For that matter, I dare say that a lot of people are not finding in it in ECUSA or the CofE either.
For the past 60+ years at least, Western Anglicanism has done everything it can to take the mystery and mysticism out of the Faith. We have poo pooed Christ's miracles. We have sought to deconstruct Holy Scripture in an effort to quantify and qualify every word and action in a fit of almost unimaginable hubris. We have met in special seminars to an attempt to identify the "historical Jesus" and in the process rejected most of the Gospels. We have bishops who have spent their lives spreading heresies and denouncing Christ's bodily resurrection, His very nature as the Son of God and the very existence of Heaven and Hell.
Mostly what we have done is abandon the Truth. "Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also; henceforth you know him and have seen him.'" John 14: 6 Western Anglicanism has become so polite and so politically correct that this simple assertion of Truth is nearly impossible. The leadership of ECUSA routinely articulates a pluriform, universalist model which only confuses and alienates. If the plan is to make the Church so non-judgemental and so open that everyone will come and join, then I proclaim that plan to be false and a recipe for disaster.
People today, in fact in any age, want to hear the Church speak boldly and with authority about God. People, I believe, don't want to hear their priest offering platitudes from the pulpit, they want to hear the Truth. We find the Truth in Holy Scripture. We find the Truth represented in 2,000 years of tradition and history. We do not find the Truth in whimsical forays of post-modernism, or in attempts to make the Church more suitable to the culture. We must do exactly the opposite. The Church must re-make the culture.
Western Anglicanism must return to the chief cornerstone: Jesus Christ. Western Anglicanism must embrace a core doctrine of faith that resides in Holy Scripture and in the traditions of the Church. We must not be afraid to speak the Truth, because that is how we will reach the nations of the world, and how Christ will change society, again.