Lambeth 2020 Descends into Confusion

“When the boundary markers of biblical and apostolic faith are set aside, confusion enters the Church.  …

The Archbishop of Canterbury has changed the long-established convention that spouses are invited to Lambeth Conferences and contradicted the blanket statement he made in a recent video when he affirmed “of course, bishops’ spouses will be invited as well as bishops”.

The reason for this change in policy follows from another, which was to include for the first time at Lambeth 2020 same-sex partnered bishops in contrast to the policy of his predecessor, Archbishop Rowan Williams, who did not invite Bishop Gene Robinson and his same-sex partner to Lambeth 2008…”

– The latest from GAFCON on the latest Lambeth confusion.

Screenshot above from this video produced to promote the Lambeth Conference (cued to the statement about bishops’ spouses):

Stephen Noll and Lambeth 2020 — Anglican Unscripted 489

On the latest Anglican Unscripted, Kevin Kallsen speaks with Dr. Stephen Noll about Lambeth 2020 and the current state of play.

(Dr. Noll also writes at Contending Anglican.)

Same-sex spouses of Bishops will not be invited to Lambeth – but the Bishops in those same-sex marriages will

“I need to clarify a misunderstanding that has arisen. Invitations have been sent to every active bishop. That is how it should be – we are recognising that all those consecrated into the office of bishop should be able to attend.

But the invitation process has also needed to take account of the Anglican Communion’s position on marriage which is that it is the lifelong union of a man and a woman. That is the position as set out in Resolution I.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference. Given this, it would be inappropriate for same-sex spouses to be invited to the conference. The Archbishop of Canterbury has had a series of private conversations by phone or by exchanges of letter with the few individuals to whom this applies. …”

– ‘Secretary General of the Anglican Communion’, Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon speaks of “the global excitement about the Lambeth Conference”. (Link added.)

Pictured:

Bishop of Toronto Kevin Robertson (left) who is in a same-sex ‘marriage’, is being invited to the 2020 Lambeth Conference, as is Bishop Susan Bell of the Diocese of Niagara (centre), who officiated at the marriage ceremony in St. James’ Cathedral, Toronto.

Mohan Sharma (right), as spouse of Bishop Robertson, has not been invited. (Thanks to Anglican Samizdat.)

The Apostle Paul and Lambeth 2020: “Have nothing to do with them”

“The faithful bishops who attend Lambeth will probably be shepherded by Anglican Communion Office ‘minders’ to various huddles and gatherings apart from their fellow Biblically faithful bishops. In past conferences, their comments have been mysteriously omitted from official reports leaving no opportunity for dissent.

They were also shepherded to a ‘photo-op’ with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the other bishops. If you are a Biblically faithful bishop present at Lambeth 2020, your smiling presence in the conference photograph will be taken as your unconditional public approval of what is expected to be the reversal of Resolution 1.10 (1998), the Biblical standard among Anglicans on the clarity and authority of the Bible as it speaks to matters of human sexuality, marriage, Holy Orders and leadership standards within the Church.

Dear Bishops, what else can you expect on the agenda of the Lambeth 2020 Conference of Bishops?

The Anglican Communion Office Strategic Plan and the Redefinition of Anglican Identity 

Please note that there is no reference or even acknowledgement of the Scriptures, the Creeds or the Anglican formularies (The Thirty-Nine Articles, The Book of Common Prayer 1662 and its Ordinal) as providing the authoritative limits within which such Anglican diversity is practiced. 

The Strategic Plan goes on to hint at what and whom may be driving the redefinition of Anglican identity when it concedes that, ‘Provincial Contributions [to the ACO] have been dominated by two Provinces providing 67% of the total [income]’ and identified ‘Risk 403,’ ‘Concentration of income from small number of provinces with vulnerability to loss of support from a significant Province.’

Does anyone want to hazard a guess who that ‘significant Province’ is and the support they may be threatening to withdraw if things don’t go their way?

This week, the Archbishop of Canterbury wrote to the primates suggesting a season of repentance and prayer across the Communion to coincide with Lent 2020, and in preparation for Lambeth 2020.

May I offer a suggestion? …”

You really ought to take the time read the full post (and last week’s) by Canon Phil Ashey of The American Anglican Council.

Key Anglican reading this weekend

Here are two articles worth reading this weekend:

Two weeks ago, Dr. Stephen Noll published “TAKING SWEET COUNSEL TOGETHER”: Lambeth Edition.

“On 28 December 2018 [the Feast of the Holy Innocents], the Anglican Diocese of Toronto announced, with attached photo (Bishop Robertson [left], Bishop Susan Bell [center] and Mr. Sharma [right]):

‘The Diocese of Toronto congratulates Bishop Kevin Robertson and Mr. Mohan Sharma, who were married today at St. James Cathedral in the presence of their two children, their families and many friends, including Archbishop Colin Johnson and Bishop Andrew Asbil. …

(Bishop Kevin and Mohan, who have been a couple since 2009, had their relationship blessed in 2016 according to the Pastoral Guidelines of the Diocese of Toronto and are now married under the marriage provision of the same guidelines.)

We wish them much joy in their marriage.’ [END]

This event could be a deal-breaker for the upcoming Lambeth Conference in 2020. And should be! Here’s why. …”

And the American Anglican Council’s Canon Phil Ashey writes “The Apostle Paul and Lambeth 2020”, where he quotes from Dr. Noll, but adds his own observations –

“I believe that there may yet be some Biblically faithful Bishops in the Anglican Communion who intend to go to the Lambeth Conference of Bishops in 2020 to object to false teaching and make a witness to the truth of the Gospel. I have listened to Bishops – especially those newly consecrated who have not attended these Communion wide meetings – who sincerely believe that they can make a difference by taking a stand at these gatherings which are organized and directed by Canterbury, with ‘minders’ from the Anglican Communion Office already assigned to these faithful bishops who intend to come, and with generous funding by The Episcopal Church and others who promote the very teaching contrary to the Gospel that we see pictured above.

Based on what I have observed at such official Communion wide meetings, there’s more I could say. …”

Related:

From the Anglican Communion News Service, 7th February 2019 – New Anglican Communion bishops receive induction in Canterbury, Lambeth and the ACO. (Bishop Kevin Robertson at left in this photo from ACNS.)

A Crisis in Koinonia: Biblical Perspectives for Anglicans – Canon David Short (published here 2004).

Keep Up or Die?: A Church that Won’t Hold a Heresy Trial isn’t Really a Church – Dr. Albert Mohler (on the United Church of Canada).

GAFCON Chairman’s February 2019 Pastoral Letter

“My dear people of God,

Later this month I shall be travelling to Dubai for Gafcon 2019 to share fellowship with faithful brothers and sisters, many of whom will be coming from contexts where restrictions are imposed on Christian witness and faithful discipleship can be costly in many ways.

But I know that despite these hardships, our time together will be joyful because the gospel of God, the good news of our salvation and eternal life in Jesus Christ, will be at the centre of all that we do. …”

Read the full letter here.

Related:

Toronto Bishop Kevin Robertson invited to CanterburyAnglican Samizdat.

“On February 7th 2019, Justin Welby welcomed [Bishop Kevin Robertson] and 29 other bishops to Lambeth Palace.”

And a note in an e-mail from the GAFCON Secretariat: “Please remember Archbishop Okoh and his family in your prayers as they mourn the loss of his younger brother John to cancer.”

Aberdeen congregation votes to leave Scottish Episcopal Church

“A congregation in the north-east Scottish coastal city of Aberdeen is preparing to leave the Scottish Episcopal Church. Members of Westhill Community Church voted last night (Thursday) by 83 per cent to 13 per cent to leave the Anglican Communion’s province in Scotland following what they say is the ‘continued liberal trajectory’ of the Church.

Speaking to the Anglican Communion News Service, the Rector of Westhill, Canon Ian Ferguson, said: ‘We have been on a journey for many years – when I say “we” I mean a group of evangelical Episcopal rectors – in talking to bishops about the trajectory the Scottish Episcopal Church has set itself on going. This culminated in a number of decisions that the SEC took which some of us found that we could not accept. …”

– Report from the Anglican Communion News Service.

And from the Westhill newsletter for 20 Jnauary 2019:

“The result of the vote on Thursday 17th January asking whether you agree with the leaders and vestry that Westhill Community Church should leave the Scottish Episcopal Church was 87% Yes and 13% No, with 2 spoiled papers.

There will be no immediate changes. We as a Church need to take time to catch our breath and pray about the way forward.

Thanks to everyone who assisted with the process including everyone who came out on such a cold night to vote and everyone who stayed to pray together.

With every blessing, on behalf of the Leaders and Vestry.”

Anglican Unscripted episode 477

This morning David Ould spoke with Kevin Kallsen of Anglican TV about the controversy involving Dr. John Shepherd and the Anglican Centre in Rome.

They discuss the significance of Dr. Shepherd’s statement – released yesterday – affirming that he believes in the Resurrection. (See also davidould.net’s response to the statement.)

‘WA Anglicans rally behind former church head over resurrection furore’

“The Anglican Archbishop of Perth, Kay Goldsworthy, described Dr Shepherd as an outstanding member of the WA church community and said she was surprised people had been making ‘statements of concern’ about a sermon from 11 years ago.

‘If that happened to every preacher in the Church we would all be in trouble, frankly,’ she said. ‘There is a statement that people have picked out, whoever the people are, and have sort of wanted to make some example of. …”

– Story from The West Australian.

Could it be that Dr. Shepherd’s words were ill-considered lines picked out from among many things he taught as the Dean of the Anglican Cathedral in Perth?

See this official Perth Cathedral Easter message, recorded by Dean Shepherd for Easter 2008. Courtesy David Ould.

Related:

Good News that is also True News – Bishop Paul Barnett.

Gospel Truth (book) – Bishop Paul Barnett.

Is the New Testament History? (book) – Bishop Paul Barnett.

A Short Book About Jesus the Man from Heaven (book) – Bishop Paul Barnett.

Archbishop of Canterbury urged to act over Vatican envoy who questioned resurrection

“A row has erupted within the Church of England as senior Anglicans are calling on the Archbishop of Canterbury to force his ambassador to the Vatican to resign because he does not believe Jesus rose from the dead.

It has emerged that Dr John Shepherd, an Australian cleric appointed last week as the new representative to Rome, had delivered a sermon in which he said Christians should be ‘set free’ from the traditional view of the resurrection. …

Reverend Dr Lee Gatiss, director of the church’s biggest evangelical group, said the situation was ‘utterly bizarre and absolutely inappropriate’ and Dr Shepherd should resign. …“

– Read the story from The Telegraph.

(Photo: Pope Francis and Archbishop Welby.)

Business ‘as usual’ for the Anglican Communion

These two stories illustrate the march of theological liberalism through the Anglican Communion:

One shows it doesn’t matter if you don’t believe the clear words of Scripture – and the other shows it does matter if you do believe the clear words of Scripture:

Anglican Ambassador to Rome denies the Resurrection of Christ – Archbishop Cranmer.

“The Anglican Centre in Rome is the Embassy of the Worldwide Anglican Communion to the Roman Catholic Church. Its Director is effectively the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Ambassador to the Vatican; Justin Welby’s personal representative to the Holy See, tasked with pursuing peace and justice in the world and the promotion of Christian unity. …

The Interim Director is the Very Rev’d Dr John Shepherd, formerly Dean of St George’s Cathedral, Perth, Australia (and Chaplain of Christ Church, Oxford, 1980-1988). The Governing Body of the Anglican Centre in Rome no doubt carried out all the necessary due diligence to ensure Dr Shepherd’s impeccable record of sexual behaviour and moral probity. What a pity they didn’t delve into his theological orthodoxy.

He denies the physical resurrection of Jesus.

The Rev’d David Ould dug out the relevant sermon…”

US bishop faces “partial restriction on ministry” over same-sex marriage stance – Anglican Communion News Service.

The Bishop of Albany, William Love, has had a partial restriction placed on his ministry over his refusal to permit same sex marriages in his diocese. …

In November, Bishop William sent an eight-page letter to the Churches in his diocese, in the north of the US State of New York, saying that the resolution was “in direct conflict and contradiction to God’s intent for the sacrament of marriage as revealed through Holy Scripture.”

Today, the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, Michael Curry, announced that had placed a partial restriction on Bishop William’s ministry pending a preliminary investigation. …

he is “forbidden from participating in any manner in the Church’s disciplinary process in the Diocese of Albany in any matter regarding any member of the clergy that involves the issue of same-sex marriage” and he cannot “participate in any other matter that has or may have the effect of penalising in any way any member of the clergy or laity or worshipping congregation of his Diocese for their participation in the arrangements for or participation in a same-sex marriage in his Diocese or elsewhere.”

And some people wonder why GAFCON is needed.

See also:

Photo of Dr John Shepherd (left) via the Anglican Centre in Rome.

Why I Walked: Sometimes loving a denomination requires you to fight

“In June 2002, the synod of the Anglican Diocese of New Westminster authorized its bishop to produce a service for blessing same-sex unions, to be used in any parish of the diocese that requests it.

A number of synod members walked out to protest the decision. They declared themselves out of communion with the bishop and the synod, and they appealed to the Archbishop of Canterbury and other Anglican primates and bishops for help.

J. I. Packer, an executive editor of Christianity Today, was one of those who walked out. Many people have asked him why.”

In 2003, Christianity Today publishing this article by J I Packer.

In 2017, with permission, it was republished by GAFCON. Well worth reading.

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