How can you call yourself an Anglican? Why you're not even in the Episcopal Church!
Perhaps you've heard this line of reasoning before. Of all the attempts to de-Anglicanize members of traditional (non-Canterbury linked) Anglican Churches, it is the most painful to hear. This stance is rooted in the belief that churches bearing the name Anglican must be in communion with the See of Canterbury. If this is true (which I do not believe it to be), I would gladly give up the name "Anglican" and urge the adoption of some modification thereof as the "official" name if we were to be sued by the Church of England or the Episcopal Church. However, historically there have been Anglicans who have been forced from the "official" Church from one reason or another, usually for the sake of conscience. Was the schismatic Scottish Episcopal Church less Anglican because it was not recognized by Canterbury? These godly folk worshipped in house churches and barns rather than in the few "official" Anglican chapels in Scotland. If it was not Anglican, what did it bequeath to the American Episcopal Church with its Prayer Book and Episcopate? Were the Nonjuring bishops less Anglican because they followed their consciences and refused to swear an oath to new royalty when the King they had sworn themselves to was still alive (keeping in mind that they had been imprisoned and persecuted by this same King)? If an essential aspect of a "truly Anglican identity" is being in the good graces of Canterbury (as the Rev'd Dr. Toon seems to believe, although I'm not sure about this), then obviously I disagree, as I have demonstrated in practice for the last decade or so.
Here is my quandary to those who believe that being in communion with Canterbury is a part of the essence of Anglicanism: You are in a town (it could be anywhere in the English-speaking world) with an option between two parish churches bearing the name "Anglican". One is offering a 10:30 Eucharist that is advertised to focus on "the feminist Christ" or perhaps it offers the "Stations of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals" (in place of the Stations of the Cross--I did not make this up). This is the "official" Anglican parish. The second is a parish that is offering a Eucharist celebrated from the 1662 English or 1928 American Prayer Books; the advertisement for the parish says simply that--1662 Eucharist, Biblical preaching. This parish is part of a group that broke with the "official" Anglican Communion some time back (could have been last week, could have been 30 years ago, could have been more than a hundred years ago). Which do you think is truly preserving the Anglican Way in worship, ideals, and heritage? Which is more "essentially" Anglican?