Kevin Miller’s third complaint about MM&B is that they have abandoned what he calls “the Great Tradition” in favour of making the message of the Gospel palatable to current culture.

I have experienced in my lifetime a shift in the way we do church. Liturgies have changed; we use different translations of the Bible than we used in my childhood; we embrace a wider variety of musical instruments in worship; we allow lay people to administer the cup at communion, and to read Scripture in our services. When I was a child, these would have all been viewed as radical innovations, but are now mostly embraced as a worthwhile enhancement of our corporate worship.

Whether I have sold my soul in an attempt to find “the innovative way to do mission” over “the Great Tradition”, perhaps only Mr. Miller feels qualified to assess.

It is hard to know which “Great Tradition” Miller is referring to. As a self-declared “Anglican” I imagine Mr. Miller is not referring to the “Great Traditions” of celibate priesthood, adherence to the Pope, veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or transubstantiation in the Eucharist. And, as an “Anglican” in Illinois who apparently puts himself under the jurisdiction of Archbishops in Rwanda and South East Asia, he is obviously not referring to the “Great Tradition” of geographical episcopal jurisdiction. What “Great Tradition” has ever connected a parish in Wheaton, IL with the Archbishop of Canterbury through a Bishop in Africa?

the Anglican Archbishops of Rwanda and South East Asia, responding to the growing crisis of faith and leadership within the Episcopal Church, consecrated “missionary bishops” to go back in the United States as the Anglican Mission in America (AMiA).Church of the Resurrection formally joined this movement in June of 2000. As such, we rejoined the worldwide Anglican Communion, under the direct oversight of Bishop Alexander “Sandy” Greene.

Perhaps Mr. Miller feels at liberty to pick and choose the traditions he finds comfortable and convenient. But then it is odd he would not extend such a liberty to other Christians who believe they are faithfully following Jesus and embodying their faith in their context in ways that are congruent with the Spirit as they understand it to be expressed in their context.

If Mr. Miller is serious about his challenge to the church, it is hard to know what could be keeping him from rushing back to Rome. Miller asks:

Are we willing to grow in our love for Holy Church? To accept her teachings, her worship, her cultural rejection? Will we embrace not just the Head but the Body, and love not just the Groom but the Bride?

Apparently Mr. Miller was not able to grow in his love for the Episcopal Church. But then perhaps some communities are simply beyond being loveable. Although, part of the “Great Tradition” I try to follow suggests that I should,

put up with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. (Romans 15:1)

The “Great Tradition” I try to follow suggests that we should practice,

humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love. (Ephesians 4:1,2)

It is relatively easy to practice gentleness and to bear those with whom I find myself to be in agreement. It is those who challenge me towards whom I need to practice humility, gentleness and patience. Those I find difficult to get along with are the very ones God has given me as the means of forming me as a follower of the “Great Tradition” of Jesus who,

though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave. (Philippians 2:6,7)

I am not sure if this is the “Great Tradition” Mr. Miller is calling me to follow. If this Jesus-pattern is in fact the model, Mr. Miller holds out, there is room to hope that he may find himself moving to a more gracious assessment of his brothers MM&B.