Stand Firm is an very fine and usually well-written blog that has become a sort of flagship cybervoice for conservative Anglicans who have not only given up on the Episcopal Church, but who are in the process of giving up on Canterbury-based Anglicanism itself. (As I understand the terrain, to give up on Canterbury is to give up on Anglicanism, but they would disagree.) Their relatively small stable of writers are stoutly Evangelical, and two of them, at least, are distinctly Calvinist.
While I am an evangelical only in a generic way (I believe in proclaiming Good News) and not in the party sense, and even though I prefer to keep Monsieur Calvin at a very safe distance, I have, in the past, considered myself a friend of Stand Firm. I am, with them, on the "orthodox" side of the Great Divide. I say the creeds without crossing my fingers. I fully agree with Lambeth I.10. I voted against the confirmation of Gene Robinson's election in 2003, as well as the resolution that affirmed the blessing of same-sex unions as "within the bounds of our common life." I voted for B-033 in 2006 because I believed (and still believe) it to be a bona fide moratorium on the consecration of partnered gay bishops, as was requested by the Windsor Report. In the taxonomy of TitusOneNine, another fine conservative Anglican blog of a similar but distinctive stripe, I have what I believe are impeccable "reasserter" credentials.
But, for whatever it may be worth, the folks at Stand Firm no longer consider me their friend. This is no great tragedy, in the larger scheme of things, and I don't lose any sleep over it. But their reason for giving me the cold shoulder is, to say the least, interesting. It is because of the company I keep. Another (truly the most excellent) blog to which I am a contributor is Covenant. While the majority of Covenant's writers are as "orthodox" as I am, a handful are not, in that, on the merits of the issue itself, they are able to embrace, or are open to embracing, a positive moral assessment of homosexual behavior in the context of a lifelong committed relationship analogous to traditional marriage. But they are all gravely concerned about the way the behavior of the Episcopal Church over this question has damaged the Anglican Communion, and are committed to the norms of the Windsor Report and to the process of developing a robust Anglican Covenant.
While I do not myself stand in precisely the same place as these friends, I have no qualms--no qualms whatsoever--about affirming their Christian fidelity and the integrity of their discipleship. They are my co-laborers in the work of the gospel. I have no reason to doubt that they and I have all been clothed with the same Christ in the waters of baptism, and if that be true, I cannot allow a disagreement such as the one between us to prevent me from sharing with them the Sign of Peace and dining with them on the Body and Blood of the One whose members we are by virtue or our trip to the font.
For this I am labeled a collaborationist--yea, verily, Vichy.
All this time I just thought I was behaving like a Christian.
I love the people at Stand Firm. I share a whole lot of the same angst that stokes the fire in their bellies. I've got no problem being friends with them, and I will continue to look at the site regularly. But if they feel compelled to pin a label on me because of who I hang with, then...so be it. I'll wear it proudly. I do it because I love Jesus, and don't see how I could love Jesus and do anything else.