FCANZ Response to the Blessing of Same Sex Relationships

Here’s a response from The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans New Zealand to today’s decision by the Anglican Church in NZ to allow the blessing of same-sex relationships:

“We believe the General Synod has acted in a way which leaves behind biblical authority, the apostolic tradition, and the doctrine and practice our church has always held. Upon the passing of the motion General Synod members Rev. Jay Behan (Chair of FCANZ) and Rev. Al Drye immediately resigned. …”

Full statement below –

FCANZ Response to Blessing of Same Sex Relationships

“It is with deep sadness that the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans New Zealand (FCANZ) receives the news that General Synod/Te Hinota Whanui has passed the Motion 29 Report allowing the blessing of same-sex relationships. While we are thankful for the gracious spirit in which the debate was held, we disagree with the final outcome. We believe the General Synod has acted in a way which leaves behind biblical authority, the apostolic tradition, and the doctrine and practice our church has always held. Upon the passing of the motion General Synod members Rev. Jay Behan (Chair of FCANZ) and Rev. Al Drye immediately resigned.

FCANZ believes that God loves all people, from all walks of life, calling each of us to repent and have faith in Jesus Christ. Sometimes speaking of this love involves saying difficult things that run counter to the culture of today. However we remain convinced that it is good for all humanity and the only place for the church to stand.

In light of the decision of the General Synod we are ready to support people and parishes that cannot remain within this changed Anglican structure. We will work together nationally and internationally to provide fellowship and support as we look towards new ways and structures of ministering the unchanging good news of Jesus.”

– Source: FCANZ. Photo: FCANZ Chairman, The Rev. Jay Behan.

Related: Yes to blessingsAnglican Taonga, 09 May 2018.

“The Anglican Church this morning has paved the way for the blessing of same gender relationships.

At 11:20 this morning, by majority vote, General Synod/Te Hinota Whanui passed Motion No 7 – which is the motion which accepts the report and recommendations of the Motion 29 small working group.

That acceptance is subject to the appointment of a select committee which will consider and report back to General Synod – before it finishes today – on a range of detail which the Synod must be sorted before the passage of the constitutional and canonical changes necessary to give the decision effect.

The decision, nonetheless, is clear – after almost 50 years of debate about human sexuality, the Anglican Church has created a pathway for the blessing of same-gender couples.

#

There was no further discussion this morning about the principles at stake.

That debate was held late yesterday afternoon – and the convenor of the Motion 29 Small Working Group, the Rev Katene Eruera, waived his right as mover of the motion to respond to yesterday’s discussion.

The better part of two hours, however, was spent in a discussion about the process of voting.

Last evening, Mr Tony Hill called for a caucus by tikanga to consider assent to the proposition.

This church’s canons have an in-built mechanism to allow any one tikanga to veto a proposal before the house.

The three tikanga caucused for some time, and decided among themselves as to whether they would assent to the motion being put to the vote.

Each of the three tikanga assented to the vote being taken – and then by voices, the motion was carried.

#

The Rev Al Drye from Christchurch then called for a show of hands, then for synod representatives to stand – and these visibly confirmed that the motion, by a big majority, had been passed.

By contrast to General Synod 2016, when the Way Forward report and its recommendations were shelved, the reaction to today’s decision was, after a brief burst of applause, quite muted.

Sadness, perhaps, though, that despite the best efforts of the Motion 29 working group, some have said they can no longer stay in the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.”

FCANZ response to Motion 29 Working Group Final Report

“This is the formal response to the Motion 29 Working Group Final Report and Recommendations. The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans New Zealand (FCANZ) is thankful for the opportunities the Working Group has provided the Province to offer feedback, and to some extent shape the final recommendations included within the report. …

The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans has engaged fully and in good faith throughout the Motion 29 Working Group process. But, we repeat, if General Synod adopts recommendations allowing authorized services which contradict our existing doctrine and practice, many Anglicans will have been abandoned by their denomination and will have no alternative but to seek other ways of remaining authentically Anglican. …”

– The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans New Zealand has released their response (PDF file) to Motion 29 Working Group Final Report.

FCANZ submission to Working Group

NZ SRTM derivedHere’s a media release from the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans New Zealand –

“we are unconvinced that a single structure can safeguard both theological convictions with integrity, and so have suggested that the best way forward for our Church is the creation of an extra-provincial diocese”

Media Release:

4 October 2016   

 The General Synod of our Church resolved in May to establish a Working Group to identify ‘possible structural arrangements within our Three-Tikanga Church to safeguard both theological convictions concerning the blessing of same gender relationships’. While the composition of this Working Group is yet to be named, suggestions of structural arrangements were to be in the hands of the Working Party by 1st October.  

The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans New Zealand was pleased to make a submission. Regretfully, we are unconvinced that a single structure can safeguard both theological convictions with integrity, and so have suggested that the best way forward for our Church is the creation of an extra-provincial diocese.  

Such a diocese will be distinct from the current ecclesiastical structures of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia, and will be authentically Anglican.  A number of extra-provincial dioceses exist globally, and are all recognised as being genuine expressions of Anglicanism.  The existence of two ecclesiastical structures within the same geographic location has occurred in Europe for a number of years and provides a model for a similar overlapping within these islands.  

Either theological conviction could make use of an extra-provincial diocese, and the FCANZ submission suggests that whoever adopts this structure retains their current assets and resources.  Most significantly, the formation of such a structure will ensure that both theological convictions can be held with integrity, and that no one will be required to teach doctrine, or submit to authority, which differs from their theological conviction on the issue of blessing same-gendered relationships.

See a copy of the submission here. [ends]”

(Note: the PDF file linked above may download to your Downloads folder, rather than open in your browser.)

FCANZ Opening Conference audio

jay-behanAudio files from the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans New Zealand’s opening conference have now been posted online.

In his closing address, FCANZ Chairman Jay Behan (pictured) reminds his hearers that human sexuality is not the gospel. However it is a gospel issue which must not be ignored.

Take the time to listen, and be urged to pray for our brothers and sisters in New Zealand as they seek godly wisdom for the days ahead.

(The General Synod of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia meets in Napier 06–13 May 2016.)

‘FCANZ recognises WHCC as authentically Anglican’

fca-nz-boardHere’s an update from The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans NZ, who have now posted the media release we previously reported.

While the update on the FCANZ website doesn’t add to the headline, here’s some background on West Hamilton Community Church (WHCC).

Fellowship with New Zealand Appeal

From The Archbishop of Sydney’s Anglican Aid:

“In May this year the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia decided to allow diocesan bishops to authorise the blessing of same-sex marriages and civil unions.

Following the decision of the General Synod a number of clergy and their congregations decided to leave the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, while still wishing to remain Anglicans. They felt that they could no longer stay in a Church, which had abandoned the teaching of Jesus and compromised the fundamental principles of their faith.

At the end of September, there were nine clergy and four congregations, representing approximately 1000 members who have or are planning to disaffiliate from the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, in addition to a parish in West Hamilton, which has already disaffiliated in anticipation of these developments. In taking this step, church leaders have forgone their income and possibly church property.

The Archbishop is encouraging Sydney Anglicans [watch video of his Presidential Address, 15 October 2018] to support these faithful brothers and sisters who wish to remain part of the Anglican family as they seek to establish an extra-provincial diocese. Gafcon Australia, with the support of Synod, has launched an appeal through Anglican Aid to assist them as they set up this new structure. Funds will be disbursed through the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans New Zealand.”

– Read the details, and donate, at Anglican Aid. (Links added above.)

For some background to what’s been happening in New Zealand: Related posts.

Gafcon UK offers support to FCA New Zealand after same sex blessings vote

A statement from Bishop Andy Lines, speaking on behalf of Gafcon UK:

“With this decision, another Anglican Province follows TEC, Canada and Scotland in believing it has the authority to redefine marriage…”

Full statement below:

“We are not surprised, but nevertheless deeply saddened and concerned by the decision by the General Synod of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa to accept Motion 29 and so pave the way for the blessing of same sex relationships.

We note that only those in civil marriages or lawfully recognised partnerships will be eligible for these blessings. This shows that while a short time ago many church leaders around the world were arguing for such blessings but drew the line at same-sex marriage (as in the Church of England’s Pilling Report), now that line appears to have been removed. With this decision, another Anglican Province follows TEC, Canada and Scotland in believing it has the authority to redefine marriage, and offer the Church’s blessing to relationships which the Bible and centuries of Christian tradition clearly teach that God warns against and cannot bless.

It is encouraging that despite the huge pressure to conform to Motion 29 and the secular humanist ideology behind it, many courageous New Zealand Anglicans not only voted against the Motion, but are already looking to the emergence of new Anglican structures, which remain faithful to the Scriptures in contrast to those who have departed from them.

We pray for Rev Jay Behan and others in Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans New Zealand, and rejoice in their close association with the majority of Anglicans worldwide who continue to preach the biblical gospel of repentance from sin and new life in Christ. Jay and other representatives from FCANZ will receive a warm welcome and full support from all at June’s Gafcon gathering, and ongoing solidarity from Gafcon UK as they plan for the future.”

– From GAFCON UK.

Remaining faithful to the gospel in New Zealand

“Since 2013 civil same-sex marriage has been legal in New Zealand, and as has been the case elsewhere in the Communion, the New Zealand Anglican Church is committed to the blessing of same-sex relationships.

The journey towards this has involved both formal decisions of Synods, and the independent actions of bishops and clergy. Individual bishops have ordained people in homosexual relationships to the priesthood, and in recent months the Bishop of the Diocese of Waiapu has installed as Dean a man civilly married to another man. …

Should the Provincial church … continue on its stated course of blessing same-sex marriages, many associated with FCANZ will be left with no alternative than to seek new ways of being Anglican.“

At the GAFCON website, Dave Clancey, Vicar of St. Saviour’s and St. Nicholas’ in Christchurch, brings us up to speed on thinking among members of The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans – New Zealand.

Stories you may have missed — 9th October 2016

global-south-primates-meeting-cairo-2016-group-photoHere are a few of last week’s key stories –

Statement from the Global South Primates and GAFCON Primates Council Concerning Same-sex Unions. An important statement coming out of the Global South meeting in Cairo.

Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans New Zealand submission to Working Group on same gender relationships.

Sydney mourns Dr. Bill Dumbrell.

Audio files from the 2016 ACL Synod Briefing. Get up to speed on what’s coming up at Sydney Synod this week.

Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans New Zealand launched with two conferences

NZ SRTM derived“Nearly 500 Anglicans from around New Zealand, including the Vicars of many larger churches, have met together this week at two conferences in Auckland and Christchurch to launch the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans NZ (FCANZ). FCANZ is a local expression of the Gafcon movement, and a message of support was read out at the conferences from Most Rev Dr Eliud Wabukala, Chair of the Gafcon Primates.

Video greetings were also received from Most Rev Foley Beach (Primate of ACNA) and the Rt Rev Richard Condie (Bishop of Tasmania and Chair of FCA Australia).

Rev Canon Vaughan Roberts (St Ebbe’s, Oxford) gave 4 talks on True Gospel, True Sex, True Love and True Unity, and was joined by Rev Canon David Short (Vancouver), Dr Peter Adam (Melbourne), Rev. Dr. Sarah Harris (Auckland) and others.

The formation of FCANZ has been in response to the passing of Motion 30 in 2014 and the subsequent release of the ‘A Way Forward’ Report, due to be presented to the General Synod of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia next month. The report proposes the blessing of same-sex civil marriages thereby rendering them as “rightly-ordered” relationships opening up the possibility for those in them to be accepted as candidates for ordination.

Rev Jay Behan, Chair of FCANZ, said ‘This week has been a hugely significant moment for orthodox Anglicans in New Zealand. FCANZ is committed to promoting faithfulness and providing fellowship, and orthodox Anglicans now know that through the FCANZ there is a place for all orthodox Anglicans in New Zealand, whether they are inside or outside the current Anglican structures.

We continue to pray that General Synod will pull back from making a decision which will tear the fabric of the communion, undermining the allegiance to General Synod for many Anglicans in New Zealand.’

– Media release from FCANZ, via Anglican Mainstream.

Links

SydneyAnglicans.net – The Diocese of Sydney

Mission 2020 – The Diocese of Sydney

Two Ways to Live – The choice we all face

Christianity.net.au – God makes sense

St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney

The Archbishop of Sydney’s Anglican Aid

Mothers’ Union Sydney

PhillipJensen.com – resources from Phillip Jensen, Dean of Sydney 2003–2014.

Two Ways Ministries

The Australian Church Record

The Briefing – now superseded by GoThereFor.com.

GAFCON

The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (Australia)

The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans New Zealand

GAFCON UK

Anglican Mission in England

ReNew

Church Society

Reform

Anglican Mainstream

Anglican Connection (North America)

Diocese of Armidale

Diocese of the Northern Territory

Diocese of North West Australia

Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church of South Africa (CESA)

Church of Nigeria – Anglican Communion

Church of Uganda

Anglican Church in North America

Global South Anglican

The Latimer Trust (UK)

The Latimer Fellowship (NZ)

EFAC Australia

Moore Theological College

Oak Hill College, London

George Whitefield College, Cape Town

Trinity Theological College, Perth

Nungalinya College, Darwin

Mary Andrews College, Sydney

The Proclamation Trust

Evangelism and New Churches – Sydney

Effective Ministry

Equal But Different

Better Gatherings – from the Liturgical Panel of the Diocese of Sydney

An English Prayer Book – from Church Society

English Standard Version of the Bible

Reformers’ Bookshop Sydney

Matthias Media

The Australian Fellowship of Evangelical Students

TitusONENine