Jude 3 Anglicanism upholds "the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints" by appealing to unchanging norms and doctrine. As Peter Carrell put it in his original posting: "In this movement there is complete conviction that our theology and ethics were more or less settled with the final writings of the New Testament at the close of the first century A.D. When proposals come forward which appear novel, such as endorsing faithful same sex partnerships through blessing or ordination, or softening the exclusivity of Jesus from 'the way' to 'a way' to God, this movement is unmoved. What has been delivered once for all does not permit such endorsement or such softening."
By contrast, John 16:13 Anglicanism embraces an understanding of progressive or continued revelation that opens Christian faith and practice to change and at times even substantive revision. Here's how Peter Carrell summarizes this approach: "In this movement there is complete conviction that our theology and ethics are not yet, perhaps never will be settled. Novel proposals tend to be welcomed rather than rejected; the Spirit guiding into all truth, after all, is to be expected to catalyse such possibilities."
It is difficult to imagine two approaches to Christian faith that could be more incompatible!
In a recent posting at the Anglican Curmudgeon, A. S. Haley offers thoughts on how this incompatibility breeds division that may be unbridgeable. And in ways that supplement Peter Carrell's observations about John 16:13 Anglicanism's commitment to ongoing revelation, Haley notes that the progressive majority in the Church of England, the Episcopal Church, and the Anglican Church of Canada increasingly justify revising faith and practice on the grounds of "civil rights." He writes:
There is clearly a division among faiths occurring, which is based on a similar division among cultures. The Anglican Communion, such as it was, was a brave attempt to bridge cultures under the banner of one faith, ultimately stemming from the Church of England. But with that Church now splintering over the issue of women in the episcopate, and the majority's treating the issue as one of straightforward "civil rights," can the admission of openly noncelibate gays and lesbians to the Church's episcopate be far behind? After all, that issue will be debated in the Church on that same ground of "civil rights," which the English Archbishops recently cited in Parliament to support the measure allowing same-sex civil marriages.
And there you have it. For America, Canada, Britain, and many other European countries, it all boils down to "equal civil rights" for all, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, and their country's churches feel bound to mirror, and thus to honor, in their own structures that which the legislatures (or judges, as in America) have decreed.
But for traditional Anglicans, including those in GAFCON, the Church is the keeper and guardian of the faith, and is not free to jettison Holy Scripture in an effort to accommodate the society in which it finds itself. For them, the concept of "civil rights" has no meaning in the context of the Church, where God's laws, and not man's, are paramount. No one has any "civil rights" before God, and consequently changes in Church doctrine and worship are not a simple matter of majority vote ...
More evidence that there may be little chance of bridging the Anglican divide comes with talk like this:
The Church of England knows it has a crisis on its hands. It thinks the crisis might be solved by gently persuading enough conservatives to overcome their convictions and vote yes for women bishops. I am convinced the problem is far deeper than that. I think we hold dramatically different understandings about the nature of God and they are irreconcilable. I believe in a God of love. They believe in a nasty, rule-bound, vindictive God who despite everything they say, hates gays. Until they overcome their prejudice, they will continue to drive the church towards a precipice. Until people, especially in Synod, have the courage and awareness to proclaim that God looks totally different from the conservative’s version of God, the majority of people in this country will treat us with disdain and many church members will continue to abandon the church.
This citation comes from post-General Synod reflections by the Rev. Colin Coward, director of Changing Attitude. Just as it is hard to imagine two approaches to the Christian faith that could be more diametrically opposed than Jude 3 Anglicanism and John 16:13 Anglicanism, so it is hard to conceive how it would be possible for people to stay in communion when they hold such beliefs about those they disagree with.
Peter Carrell's thoughts in response (this time from a more recent posting) hit the nail on the head:
If one part of an Anglican church or of the Communion is running round thinking another part is 'nasty' and links that to believing in a 'vindictive God' and not believing in a God of love, then there is little hope of reconciliation, of truly partaking of communion together in which one bread is broken as the body of the one Christ. Even fellowship over a cup of tea is going to be difficult.
Reconciliation and fellowship may not only be difficult, but also undesirable insofar as the other side is deemed not just morally deficient, but also morally vicious.