An Open Letter to Kevin Kallsen of Anglican.TV
Greetings in Christ! Let me preface my exhortation by noting five things:1
- 1.For the record, Kevin and I are facebook friends. I sent him a congenial message beforehand letting him know this blog post was coming.Although I’ve never hidden my affinity for the ACNA, I’m presently aspiring to Holy Orders within the Anglican Mission.22.My hope is that the AM will reunify with ACNA this June, as Bishop Murphy alluded to.
- This week I attended the Anglican School of Ministry’s pre-conference liturgics workshop, then stayed for the entire Winter Conference.33.I think it appropriate to share publicy that I left the conference feeling somewhat underwhelmed. In my humble opinion, that which was necessary was not fully accomplished. Namely, a five-fold objective of 1) clarifying what the heck actually happened, 2) solemnly apologizing for accidental mistakes, 3) asking forgiveness, 4) offering a clear denunciation of an autonomous spirit, and 5) making an absolute commitment to pursuing ecclesiastical unity moving forward. I thought the overall spiritual pep rally feel was… untimely? That’s just my opinion, though.
- Though I support the AM’s vision of becoming a missionary society, I’m none too pleased with the recent developments in terms of how the leadership has actually gone about that restructuring.
- I’m thankful for your ministry at Anglican TV, hold no personal resentment toward you, and hope you will receive this letter as one brother in Christ encouraging, or perhaps even gently challenging, another.
- This post isn’t intended as a rebuke.
I share these things to acknowledge my presuppositions and commitments, identify my perspective, distance myself from the rampant ungodly behavior within the blogosphere, and, most importantly, to try to model a better way of conducting oneself in this medium.44.As Christians I believe in the rigorous pursuit of truth moored in love, humility, grace, compassion, and civility, and experienced in community. I hope you will sense this challenging yet irenic spirit characterizing this letter.
May I offer a suggestion? I can report as a firsthand witness that a number of Anglican Mission folks–clergy and laity alike–feel hurt by things you’ve written and said.55.The key word there being “feel.” As counselors often point out, whether or not there’s justification for those feelings is, in my estimate, largely immaterial. I would encourage you to write a blog post addressing them. Please don’t hear me as asking you to apologize. That’s not at all my intent. Rather, my suggestion is that you express three things. Let them know that you…
- Genuinely care for those persons within the AM who are hurting right now. Sometimes in dealing with all the macro-level church crap I think we loose sight of the tragic consequences on the micro-level.66.It seems to me that we’re all guilty of waxing poetically about canon law, ecclesiology, and the actions of bishops while forgetting the real people in the pews who are impacted. Lord, be merciful! Without being condescending or dividing them from their leadership to whom most remain committed, let them know that you genuinely love them, care for them, and are praying for them. Trust me, they really need to hear that from you.
- Don’t have an axe to grind against the AM, if in fact you don’t.77.I don’t think this is the case. During those trying times when tensions mount, confrontations grow, and emotions become raw, most people seem to have their loyalties galvanized.88.Personally, I’m not a “party man,” by which I mean that I don’t have a strong sense of loyalty to anyone or anything but Christ and His Kingdom. I don’t take personal offense at much, but I’ve become increasingly aware that this response is atypical. Consequently, even well-intentioned, factually accurate, responsible criticisms are received as a personal affront. Unfortunately, that’s precisely how a great many persons within the AM view your blog posts and Anglican Unscripted videos.
- Are committed to unity and reconciliation within the Body of Christ. Let me shoot straight with you. I’m pretty darn sure this isn’t your intention, but on more than a rare occasion you (and George) come across like you revel not only in reporting these tragic news stories, but also in the commentary you offer on them.99. I think this largely is an inadvertent reflection of your easy-going, smiling nature. And by the way, kudos for doing a good job recently distinguishing between news and commentary, by the way. It hasn’t gone unnoticed. Seriously, sometimes it seems like you delight in the Church’s division. They need to know that isn’t the case.
Remember Paul’s exhortation in Romans 12: “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” For better or worse, you have assumed a place of preeminence within the Anglican world. People look to you for information.1010.Remember that Luke 12:48 teaches that to everyone who much is given and entrusted, much will be demanded and asked. The solemn task to which I encourage you is to not only love and support your brothers and sisters in Christ within the Anglican Mission, but to do everything in your ability to let them know that you stand beside them during these troubling times.
Grace & Peace,