So just for fun, I read the speech, and thought I'd share the best bits with you. The full text can be found at +Rowan Cantuar's site here. And I won't defend the "cultural captives" thing, because that's a Missiology 101 issue that would make sense if read in the context of the speech. I'll get to that later.
We are part of a body whose failures are our common failures. It is always a temptation to say ‘We are the true church, they have abandoned us’ and yet even as we make necessary disjunctions and separations, there is a point at which we must remember in our prayer, this is our suffering; this is our loss, we are together in sin as well as in grace.I've probably spoken before about the salutary effects of excommunication, and my advocacy of same as a responsible and necessary pastoral practice. It comes from really meaning business about the salvation of another, and willing to take drastic measures for their restoration. Here are some examples of offense I would think worthy of excommunication:
- harrassment and harmful behavior towards brothers and sisters in the community
- hate crimes
- being Jerry Falwell
- gossip and talebearing
- parents who throw out a daughter upon learning of her abortion
We must be prepared to affirm by our lives that our companions' pain and joy is our own, and that we are indeed our brother's keeper. I am his, and he is mine. If my sister grieves, I grieve, and if my brother stumbles, I take a skinned knee as well.
If that isn't the case, don't bother getting all up in somebody's face to tell them what they should and should not do, and what is and is not holy.
Excommunication and Redemption