The Bloomin’ Church of England

Isaiah (not technically an Anglican)

If you haven’t noticed lately, the Church of England is apparently in dire straits. I was going to write an exhaustive and comprehensive breakdown of the various different factions fighting for supremacy among the Anglican communion, but it would take a piece of paper with five sides existing in seven dimensions to explain. Rumours currently circulating are that any moment we’re going to start using colour coded communion cups so that it’s easy to work out who has blessed which wine, with a series of raises dashes indicating under which bishop the cup was blessed. In short, in the eyes of the world, the Church of England is screwed.

However, Jesus himself did promise that his Church would prevail in it’s mission, and despite how bad the Anglican church is at the moment, it’s still His church. I don’t think we’ve quite got to the stage where God says

And I will forsake the remnant of my heritage and give them into the hand of their enemies, and they shall become a prey and a spoil to all their enemies, because they have done what is evil in my sight and have provoked me to anger, since the day their fathers came out of Egypt, even to this day. (2 Kings 22:14-15)[1]

and throws us into exile. Still, I’m not sure we’re too far off.

Which makes it all the more peculiar that the mostly Baptist raised, institution hating, credobaptist that I am finds myself committed to the Church of England. For some reason, I love the stupid thing. I don’t know why, but that’s just the way it is sometimes. And seeing as it’s in such a bad state the kinds means the wife and I are stuck with it for the rest of our lives. Brilliant. Practically this means a few things. First, I’m going to get confirmed (barring any last minute hitches) in November. Confirmation is a complete balderdash of an event that makes little sense in either paedo or credobaptist theology. It’s brilliant if you stand up and confess Christ publicly, but that doesn’t mean you need a confirmation ceremony. The only reason I’m getting confirmed is because if you want to do anything in the Church of England (like sit on a synod) you have to be confirmed. Ridiculous, but there we are.

Second, this hammers another nail into the coffin of me ever growing up and going into proper ministry, as those people who are currently unable to have children have occasionally asked me about. Being a credobaptist, and generally someone opposed to the formal divide between laity and clergy I couldn’t in good conscience get put forward to be an Anglican minister. Still, as I was pretty much committed to being a youth worker till I died anyway, it doesn’t make that much of a difference.

The bonus of all this though is I get to act smugly superior to all my other Christian brothers and sisters I meet from here on in. Baptists, Methodists, you might be people who Christ died to bring to Himself, but in my eyes you’re all new whippersnappers who need teaching a lesson (don’t get me started on those free churches). Now I’ve just got to try and work out from which communion cup am I going to drink.

1 If you want some sombering reading, flick through the latter parts of 2 Kings in light of the state of the C of E. Hilarity it ain’t.