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Anglican Bishops: ‘Unity’ Over Truth?

(Washington Stand) When he ran for president in 2004, then-Senator John Kerry famously said of a vote to fund the Iraq war, “I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it.”

Verbal gymnastics aside, Kerry’s embarrassing attempt to explain himself pales in comparison to the statements coming out of this week’s annual Lambeth Conference in Great Britain. The conference is a once-a-decade meeting of the world’s Anglican bishops, convened by Anglicanism’s leader, Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury. The incoherence emanating from this gathering of Anglican leaders is not isolated to a single offhand remark by an obscure churchman. As one British news headline put it, “Anglican church still tying itself in knots over same-sex marriage.”


In his statement, Welby concludes, “We are deeply divided. That will not end soon. We are called by Christ himself both to truth and unity.” This is true, but Welby should know that unity flows from a common commitment to the truth. When that commitment is forsaken, unity becomes an idol and an end unto itself. This is not the scriptural understanding of what oneness in Christ truly means.