Bishop Michael Curry offers the world ‘Christianity-lite’

“Yes, Bishop Curry, as St John wrote, God is love. But unlike you, St John defines Love and shows us that it is a longing and meeting of longing that travels the way of the cross, the way of renunciation.

But if you want to be popular, don’t invite the people to renunciation. And Bishop Curry didn’t. But Jesus did. …”

– At his blog, Gavin Ashenden echoes the thoughts of many who watched TEC Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s passionately-delivered sermon at the royal wedding.

And further reflections from Gavin Ashenden:

“The dear couple had no idea who was being asked to preach at their wedding. It was an idea that Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, had suggested to them. They were hardly in a position to know or refuse.

And at one level, the choice was brilliant. Michael Curry is a gifted preacher and black. What a great way of signalling the coming together of American and British culture, white and coloured.

But there was a hidden sting in the tail. There is a civil war raging at the moment in Anglicanism (and elsewhere) between progressive Christianity that takes its priorities from the zeitgeist, the present culture, and a faithful orthodox belief, that keeps faith with what Jesus taught in the Gospels.”

More from David Robertson at The Wee Flea:

“… for the moment let me simply say that this was at best a pick ‘n’ mix Christianity – a Gospel sermon without the Gospel – a Christian sermon without Christ. …

It is not ‘curmudgeonly’ nor ‘unloving’ to ask that preachers should preach the Christ of the Bible. Indeed it is unloving to feed the people anything other than the bread and meat of the Word.”

See Bishop Curry’s sermon – Text (Episcopal News Service) and Video (BBC).

Photo: Episcopal Church of the USA.

Yale Divinity School grad to deliver sermon at royal wedding

“As spectators around the world tune in on Saturday to watch the royal wedding of Prince Harry of Wales and American actress Meghan Markle, Yalies take note: Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry DIV ’78 will deliver the wedding’s sermon. …

Two and a half years ago, the Anglican Church … placed sanctions on the Episcopal Church that limited its ability participate in Anglican religious matters in retaliation for the Episcopal Church’s authorization of same-sex marriages in July 2015. …

Despite presiding over the decision to sanction Curry’s church, Welby tweeted on May 12 that Curry is a ‘brilliant pastor, stunning preacher and someone with a great gift for sharing the good news.’…”

– From Yale Daily News.

Related: Video – Presiding Bishop Michael, Archbishop Justin speak ahead of the Royal Wedding – Episcopal News Service.

Photo: Episcopal Church.

Rooted in a Glorious Past, Living the Reality of the Present and Looking Forward to the Future

“We want to be the brave ones who see an opportunity in the future, and we believe that we are living a new time with the gospel of eternity.

“The future has many names
For the weak, it is the unattainable
For fearful ones, the unknown
For the Brave, it is the opportunity

Victor Hugo

… All of us, without exception, experience a past, exist in a present and live in the expectation of a future. Likewise, the church also exists in this tripartite reality and this very clearly becomes imperative, because its master and Lord, according to the Holy Scriptures, has come, lived and will return. (John 1:11, 1 Corinthians 15, Mark 13:26).

In these days, perhaps more than ever, we have been led to reflect on this reality, especially at this time when we established a New Anglican Province in Brazil and, along with it, the formation of the Anglican Church in Brazil.

First of all, however, a brief explanation may be necessary …”

– Archbishop Miguel Uchoa, Primate of the newly formed Anglican Church in Brazil, explains how he and his Church have come to this point.

Read via Google automatic translation (which is good but not perfect), or the original post in Portuguese, on his website.

Archival photo featured on Archbishop Uchoa’s website: Miguel Uchoa (at right) with two dearly missed Christian leaders, Bishop Robinson Cavalcanti and John Stott.

GAFCON Installs Primate of Anglican Church in Brazil

On Saturday, 12 May 2018, Brazilians packed the Paróquia Anglicana do Espírito Santo (Anglican Church of the Holy Spirit) to celebrate the launch of the Anglican Church in Brazil and the installation of The Most Rev. Miguel Uchoa Cavalcanti as their first Archbishop and Primate.

In 2005, the Bishop of Recife, The Rt. Rev. Robinson Cavalcanti, and ninety percent of the clergy of the diocese were excommunicated by the liberal Episcopal Church of Brazil. Though they lost some of their buildings, the Diocese carried on with a robust program of social action, evangelism, church planting, and discipleship. From 2005 to 2009, the Diocese doubled in size. In succeeding years, despite the tragic murder of Bishop Robinson, the Diocese continued to grow, and their leaders worked with the Gafcon Primates to organize the election of a new Bishop. On December 8, 2012, The Rt. Rev. Miguel Uchoa was consecrated as Diocesan Bishop.

Over the next years, the regions of the Diocese of Recife developed into Dioceses. This has led to the formation of a new Biblically orthodox Province which has been recognized by the Gafcon Primates Council not only as part of Gafcon, but also as a Province of the Anglican Communion.  The Anglican Church in Brazil is the 41st Province of the Anglican Communion.

“We thank God for our relationship with the leaders and member Provinces of Gafcon,” said Archbishop Uchoa. “Through our struggles, Gafcon has been a wonderful support, helping us through the tragic death of our Bishop, and helping us organize first as a Diocese, then as additional Dioceses, and now as a Province. We are deeply grateful to be able to be a part of such a great movement that is committed to Biblical authority and historic Anglican teaching and practice.”

In numerous countries around the world, the institutional structures of the Anglican Communion have been unable to bring discipline when liberal Provinces have adopted unbiblical teaching and practices. Gafcon has encouraged those who remain Biblically faithful in areas where the Gospel has been compromised.

Many greetings were shared from all around the world, including a video from Archbishop Greg Venables, Primate of South America.

Speaking of the launch of the new Province, The Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, Primate of All Nigeria and Gafcon Chairman said:

“We commend your courage to stand and be counted for Jesus at a time when many are in a state of self- inflicted confusion. We are loyal Anglicans, loyal to the faith once for all delivered to the Saints. We’re ready to march forward with those who embrace, or refuse to redefine, the apostolic faith. We, as others, are redeemed sinners, but must not canonize sins in order to fill space in churches. Hearty congratulations. The eternal God is your refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms. (Dt33:27) 

The Most Rev. Stanley Ntagali, Primate of Uganda and Gafcon Vice-Chairman said:

On behalf of the Province of the Church of Uganda and on my own behalf, I wish to congratulate you upon your installation as the new Archbishop and Primate of the Anglican Church of Brazil. May God who has called you uphold, guide and bless you in your ministry in your Province. We welcome you to the Gafcon family.

The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach, Primate of North America said:

“With the Anglican Establishment not only tolerating, but now embracing revisionist theology and non-Biblical morality, it is quite refreshing to see Anglicans on fire with the Jesus of the Bible and taking seriously his commission to go make disciples!”

The Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer Anis, Bishop of the Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa and Chairman of the Global South said,

“On behalf of Primates of the Global South of the Anglican Communion, we offer our hearty congratulations to Your Grace on your election as the 1st Archbishop and Primate of the Anglican Church of Brazil. We very much look forward to working with you to advance the Kingdom of God. May the Lord bless you!”

– GAFCON press release.

Image via the Anglican Church in Brazil.

Who’s actually in charge of the Church?

GAFCON General Secretary, Peter Jensen, explains why the doctrine of the authority of Scripture is absolutely fundamental to the GAFCON movement.

On the road in Brazil: Canon Phil Ashey

The American Anglican Council’s Phil Ashey shares his observations from Recife in eastern Brazil.

For some background on the Anglican Church in Recife, and why they left the TEC-aligned Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil, see Canon Charles Raven’s brief interview with Bishop Miguel Uchoa:

The Story of the Diocese of Recife and Caminemos Juntos – video from GAFCON.

See also:

The New Birth of a Church The Anglican Church-Diocese of Recife – Bishop Miguel Uchoa.

And Caminemos Juntos church planting movement.

(Earlier stories on Recife here, and still earlier ones on our old website.)

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.

‘The time is short’ — GAFCON Chairman’s Letter — May 2018

“My dear people of God,

Next month we are expecting almost 2,000 delegates to gather in Jerusalem for our third Global Anglican Future Conference. I know that those working so hard to organise this great undertaking are very much aware that ‘the time is short’, but as the Apostle Paul reminds the Corinthian church, this should always be our perspective. …”

– GAFCON Chairman, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, has released his May 2018 Chairman’s Letter. He gives three consequences of knowing that the time is short.

Why GAFCON Ireland?

GAFCON recently published some sobering statistics about Ireland:

• 70 towns with a population of 5000+ with no evangelical witness of any sort.

• 30 towns with a population of 10,000+ with no evangelical witness of any sort.

• 6 towns with a population of 20,000+ with no evangelical witness of any sort.

Related: Dr Peter Jensen at the launch of GAFCON Ireland.

Speaking for the C of E on sexuality

“There was a bit of a furore last week, caused by the publication of a letter sent by William Nye, who is General Secretary to the General Synod and the Archbishops’ Council, to The Episcopal Church of the United States (TEC).

The letter had been written and sent last October, in response to a request from TEC for reactions to their plans to revise the liturgy of their Book of Common Prayer removing gender references in their marriage rites.

The publication of the letter provoked a strong reaction in a letter to the Church Times from 126 clergy and laity, as well as two further letters from Giles Goddard and Anthony Archer.

It is worth reading carefully what William Nye actually says, since it is not obvious from the responses that everyone has done so. …”

– Ian Paul does take a closer look at the letter.

Among other things, he also answers the claim, by critics of the letter, that the ‘majority of Anglicans’ want the Church’s doctrine changed. He says, “in order to make the numbers work, it turns out that you have to allow people to self-identify as Anglicans, rather than ascertain whether they actually participate in Anglican worship or are members of their local Anglican church.”

Give thanks for the last ten years of gospel ministry in Vancouver

Ten years ago this month, Michael Ingham, Bishop of the Canadian diocese of New Westminster, declared David Short (Rector of St. John’s Shaughnessy), his colleagues Dan Gifford and Dr. J I Packer, as well as eight others, to have abandoned the ministry.

A Diocese of New Westminster e-mail, dated May 16, 2008, put it this way –

“As you may have heard, with a group resignation from the Anglican Church of Canada, we now have some clerical vacancies in four of our parishes: St. John, Shaughnessy, St. Matthew, Abbotsford, St. Matthias and St. Luke, and Good Shepherd.

THOSE WHO ABANDONED MINISTRY:  Here is the list of the Clergy for whom Bishop Michael issued “Notice of Abandonment of the Exercise of the Ministry” (under Canon XIX): …”

Though regarded by that diocese as having ‘abandoned the ministry’, give thanks that they continue to serve the Lord Jesus, as ministers of the gospel, as before.

Today, the church which used to meet at St. John’s Shaughnessy is St. John’s Vancouver.

Remembering that history, please be encouraged to pray for the congregation of St. John’s, and others who stood, and still stand, for the authority of God in his Word.

Pray for the clear and faithful proclamation of the gospel in Vancouver, and across Canada.

Related:

Bishop Ingham sends ‘notice of presumption of abandonment’ to St. John’s Shaughnessy – February 23 2008.

Largest Anglican Church congregation in Canada leaves historic church home – September 9 2011.

“In what may be the greatest rupture in Christianity since the Reformation, disagreement over basic Christian beliefs has separated Anglican congregations around the world into two camps, usually labeled orthodox and liberal, with those holding to historic, Bible-based values and beliefs in the vast majority. The St. John’s Vancouver Anglican congregation has aligned itself with the mainstream global Anglican Church, rather than continue as part of the local, more liberal Diocese of New Westminster. The decision by this congregation and sister parishes resulted in frozen bank accounts and a court action to determine which party was conducting the ministry for which the buildings were intended.”

New Westminster considers plans for three ‘returned’ parishes – April 16 2012.

“Having won the court battle for the buildings of St. John’s Shaughnessy, St. Matthias and St. Luke, and St. Matthew’s Abbotsford, the Diocese of New Westminster must decide what to do with them…”

St. John’s Shaughnessy, ImpostersAnglican Samizdat, May 1 2018.

One of the current uses for the old building.

Read other posts from our archives concerning St. John’s Shaughnessy here.

Photo: Dan Gifford, David Short and J I Packer chat before the first Sunday service of St. John’s Vancouver in their new location, 25 September 2011.

Anglican Unscripted with Dr Stephen Noll on GAFCON as at April 2018

In the latest Anglican Unscripted (No. 389) from Anglican TV, Kevin Kallsen and Dr. Stephen Noll talk about Dr. Noll’s new book “The Global Anglican Communion“.

They also discuss recent news from the GAFCON meeting in Entebbe, Uganda.

Watch here.

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