1. Judge not.
The Covenant gives a facility for the Provinces to ask ‘questions’ if they perceive that another Province has done something ‘controversial’. There is an opportunity for the least tolerant to try to incur ‘relational consequences’ on others.
The Covenant offers an opportunity for the ‘in’ group to have ‘enhanced’ relationships, whilst those who have offended get to be in the second tier. My guess is that Jesus would be in the second tier.
3. Wheat and Tares
It seems that God lets wheat and tares grow up together so that pulling up one doesn’t damage the other. It is a shame if the Anglican Church can’t take the same approach.
4. Gamaliel Principle
It is hard to know what is of the Spirit and what isn’t. The Gamaliel principle is normally a good one, that if it isn’t of God it will fail.
5. Love your enemies
It seems that we need an Anglican Covenant because some of the Primates can’t bear to be in the same room as others – and because they disagree on theology. Is this really an example of loving one’s neighbour and do we want to institutionalise this behaviour?
6. Jesus would have been in trouble.
It seems that there is a view that the majority should be able to drown minority positions in the church, preventing changes that are inappropriate. However, Jesus’ view was in the minority, as were the views of the prophets and indeed it all started with a single minority view – that of Abraham.