peter jensenI was amused to read in a comment on the Anglican Mainstream website that Archbishop Jensen of Sydney had accused me of “putting loyalty to my diocese above loyalty to Christ”. I don’t know if he did say this or, if so, why he said it or what he meant by it – but it did make me smile. To be dissed by Archbishop Jensen would be seen by many as a badge of honour.

What is interesting here is that bishops are supposed to be loyal to their diocese (that is, their clergy, parishes, people, etc) as part of their expression of their loyalty to Christ. That is why I will defend my lot against silly attacks from people who don’t know what they are talking about. Yesterday I confirmed nearly 40 people (mostly adults) who have come to Christian faith and commitment – none of them in evangelical churches. Being a bishop is brilliant simply because you get to see where God is at work, apparently sometimes breaking his own rules.

I wonder how Archbishop Jensen regards clergy in his own diocese who disagree with him or decide that loyalty to Christ means being disloyal to his diocese and him? I suspect I know the answer. To disagree with (or be disloyal to) him would be the same as being disloyal to Christ. And I thought ‘infallibility’ – by Popes or any other Archbishop – was not a good thing…

In this context there have also been mutterings about Anglican Mainstream itself being a misnomer. Surely AM should call itself something like Anglican Conservatives? Or do we need a new grouping called Mainstream Anglicans to give a home to all those who feel disenfranchised by AM stealing the term?

That would surely help our mission in and to the world…

(In case of doubt, that last comment was ironic.)