As I wrote in Orthodoxy Today, it’s not just internal forces tearing the Anglican communion asunder — it’s outside forces too. While most see Pope Benedict’s recent establishment of “Ordinaries” to help facilitate Anglican’s move towards Rome as a slyly hostile move, the invitations “home” from the Orthodox have taken on a much more hospitable and friendly tone.
This is evidenced by the head of the worldwide Anglican communion, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, speaking in January at St. Vladimir’s seminary. This is another move made by serious Anglicans in aligning themselves with the Orthodox Church rather than the RCC. To be sure, Archbp. Williams has contributed a great deal to the “West” about Orthodoxy, but one wonders to what extent this has ceased being about politics and become one of fraternity.
So Rome is beckoning, and the Orthodox Church as well; who is offering the Calvinist-leaning Anglicans shelter from the storm? Do not expect such an invitation from the Reformed Episcopal Church, an organization that has very little of “Reformed” identity officially tied to it or its hierarchy. Just try to find Calvin or Luther on their website. Their concerns are of staying faithful to the teaching and practice of the Apostles, not of the Reformers. An REC friend of mine recently told me that Metropolitan JONAH’s address to the ACNA in Bedford this summer was welcomed heartily by the REC delegates. The same could not be said of the rest of the ACNA, many of whom took strong exception to his refusal to consider the ordination of women and his denouncement of Calvinism.
I’ve been predicting a dramatic restructuring of the Protestant denominations during the next two decades, and it looks like it is coming even sooner than that. Anglicanism is fractured, but many of the remnants will find home elsewhere. The Presbyterians, Baptists, and Methodists share the Anglican’s “diversity” in respect to liberal and conservative constituents; and soon, I think, they will share their fate.