ARE THERE LIMITS TO ANGLICANISM?
Anglicanism has a major problem. It's an "ism" and, like all "isms" is only of use in a particular time and culture. The more useful the "ism" the more it can adapt and change to meet the world around it.
So, for my money, Protestantism, Evangelicalism, Traditionalism, Conservatism and Marxism are all inadequate "isms" which are unable to fully adapt when culture changes. Thus they split and fragment and individuals find they have to abandon them altogether to be honest with themselves.
Catholicism, Lutheranism, and Anglicanism have a certain genius which means they can evolve and adapt to meet the world in which they find themselves. Individuals can dissent but still be loyal and at home within that "ism".
Basically, if an "ism" presents itself as already having all the answers (whether political, religious or scientific) it is incapable of real change. "Isms" that are in the business of journeying towards a fuller understanding of the knowledge and wisdom they try to carry are the "isms" more able to change because development is in their "DNA".
In the end all"isms" only operate, at best, at an adult intellectual level in a world of paradox and incompleteness. "Isms" are 'rationalities' offering a handle on life. A tool, or hopefully, a box of tools, to negotiate life.
As we grow in our faith we use the tools it offers us to expand and deepen or lives and so, hopefully, reflect the great truths that make our lives meaningful.
Eventually, if we are faithful, and have enough years, we will come to place where the tools have done their job but no longer seem to be of any use.
This happens to Christians when they reach a place in their journey when it is no longer interesting to see life in terms of right and wrong, black and white, better or worse, winners and losers.
For if we truly follow the Way of Christ we will finally be brought to a broad plain where the horizon is indefinite, where sky and land merge, and we start to see so much further and the labels, pigeon holes, definitions, restrictions and prohibitions seem infantile and irrelevant.
We are captivated by the oneness of things and wonder why on earth we could never see it before. We are discovering what it really means to be in Christ. But we can't see until we have made that faithful journey. It turns out that there is no shortcut to this maturity.
We can know that this is where we're heading. That eventually we have to let go of all our "isms". But as we journey we use the tools we have to live through the place where we are, knowing that we will, in time, move on.
We need to know about the next thing: Adulthood is not maturity. Maturity, really growing up into Christ, is only really beginning when, having walked the journey through all the previous stages and states, we let go of them all and fall, liberated, into the contemplative life.
Now, whilst some people journey so fast they can get there by the time they're 20, other take somewhat longer!
Once the contemplative life is tasted, smelled, all the "isms" are seen for what they are. Human constructions that help or hinder our journey.
And we can simply let them go.
That so, it turns out, Anglicanism is just another "ism" after all. But a good one, a healthy one, an "ism" more likely to help than harm.