Walking on Broken Glass

“This month, Chile became the newest province in the Anglican Communion, with national and international guests gathering in the capital, Santiago, for the celebrations presided over by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Among the attendees was the General Secretary of the Anglican Consultative Council, Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, who presented a gift which he claimed symbolized the Anglican Communion. The gift was a glass cruet for communion wine, and it was etched with the Compass Rose, a design set in the nave of Canterbury Cathedral at the time of the 1988 Lambeth Conference.

Dr Idowu Fearon explained:

“It is our practice to remind all newly enthroned Primates that this communion of churches is very precious, and as Primates they are responsible for keeping this precious family together. They have no right to break it, and that is why we give them something that is breakable. So that they make sure they don’t drop it.”

To those unfamiliar with the history of the Anglican Communion it must have been just a nice illustration, but to those who are familiar with that history it was quite a statement remarkable for the depth of self-deception it revealed. …”

Read the complete article by Charles Raven, at the GAFCON website.

Thanks, but no thanks: New Zealand Church leaders reject Sydney proposal

“A proposal by the Archbishop of Sydney for an overlapping Anglican diocese or province to cater for Anglicans in New Zealand opposed to the blessing of same-sex marriage has been rejected by the leaders of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia (ANZP).

In May, the ANZP General Synod passed a ‘compromise’ resolution on the blessing of same-sex civil marriages in a move that was designed to allow both theological conservatives and those campaigning for change to stay in the same church. But a number of Anglicans have responded to the vote by saying that they were seeking to leave the Church as a result of the decision. …”

– Report from The Anglican Communion News Service.

In their reply to Archbishop Glenn Davies (PDF file – via Anglican Taonga), Archbishop Donald Tamihere and Archbishop Philip Richardson, speak of the cultural and colonial background of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia:

“One of the key messages we hoped you would take to your home from our meeting at Hemi Tapu is the unique consequences of our history as Anglicans in Aotearoa New Zealand.

We are a Church made up of colonised and coloniser.

We have a difficult history. It is a shared history. We know the language, the face and the consequences of colonisation. For Ma?ori, disenfranchisement, alienation from whenua [Land], racism and poverty are consequences of this shared history. …

To be Anglican in this land requires that we, led by our Lord Jesus Christ, face into this shared history so that we can help shape a common future for all people based on peace and justice and righteousness. …

If those disaffiliating want to be committed to that fundamental consequence of being Anglican in Aotearoa New Zealand, then they must stay in these constitutional and Treaty-based relationships.

We cannot recognise a Church as Anglican which does not encapsulate this 200 years of relationship and history. ”

TEC Bishop directs his clergy not to use General Convention trial Marriage Rites

Bishop William H. Love, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany in eastern New York state, has directed his clergy not to use the trial same-sex marriage rites authorised by the recent TEC General Convention.

In doing so, he writes not only to Christian believers in his own diocese, and to the worldwide church –

“To the People of God in the Diocese of Albany and throughout the World,

I speak to you today both as your Brother in Christ, and as the Bishop, Chief Pastor and Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese of Albany. As Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Jesus commands us to love God first and foremost with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and secondly, to love one another (Mark 12: 28-31), remembering as Paul points out in (I Corinthians 12:13), we are all part of the One Body of Christ.

What impacts any one part or member of the Body, ultimately impacts the entire body, either directly or indirectly. That is true not only for individuals, but also for congregations, dioceses, provinces, the world wide Anglican Communion and the wider catholic or universal Church. Resolution B012 recently passed at the 79th General Convention of The Episcopal Church is one of those things that will impact all of us either directly or indirectly. …”

He goes on to explain why he is compelled to act as he does –

“On three separate occasions (my ordinations as deacon, priest, and bishop) I have solemnly declared ‘that I do believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God, and to Contain all things necessary to salvation’ (BCP 513). Upon my consecration as Bishop, I was given a Bible and was issued the following charge by the Presiding Bishop: Receive the Holy Scriptures. Feed the flock of Christ committed to your charge, guard and defend them in His truth, and be a faithful steward of his holy Word and Sacraments’ (BCP 521). I take this charge very seriously.

I share all of this with you in an effort to help you understand the charge and responsibilities that Christ has given to me as I attempt to carry out the ministry entrusted to me as the Bishop of Albany and deal with the various issues such as B012 confronting the Church, particularly as they pertain to this Diocese. By God’s grace and the guidance and empowerment of the Holy Spirit, I have tried throughout my 12 years as Bishop of Albany, to be faithful and obedient to the Great Commandment, to God’s Holy Word, and to my ordination vows and the responsibilities entrusted to me as outlined above.

With the passage of B012, the 79th General Convention of The Episcopal Church in effect is attempting to order me as a Bishop in God’s holy Church, to compromise ‘the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints’ (Jude 3 ESV), and to turn my back on the vows I have made to God and His People, in order to accommodate The Episcopal Church’s ‘new’ understanding of Christian marriage as no longer being ‘a solemn and public covenant between a man and a woman in the presence of God’ as proclaimed in the rubrics of the Book of Common Prayer (BCP 422), but now allowing for the marriage of same-sex couples. …”

– Do read Bishop Love’s full Pastoral Letter and Pastoral Directive (PDF file).

See also:

+Love’s Last StandThe Anglican Curmudgeon.

Albany Episcopal Bishop outlaws same-sex marriage in his churches – The Albany Times Union:

“Love’s eight-page statement that accompanied his new pastoral directive comes three weeks before a resolution goes into effect that will allow same-sex marriages to be performed in Episcopal churches nationwide. …

Some local Episcopalians strongly disagreed with the Bishop’s letter.

While the letter was being read at St. Andrew’s in Albany Sunday, some parishioners gathered on the church steps to ceremonially burn the letter …”

Photo: Diocese of Albany.

Ominous update:

Presiding Bishop’s statement on Bishop William Love’s November 10 Pastoral Letter and DirectiveEpiscopal Church.

“Along with other leaders in The Episcopal Church, I am assessing the implications of the statement and will make determinations about appropriate actions soon. …

In all matters, those of us who have taken vows to obey the doctrine, discipline, and worship of The Episcopal Church must act in ways that reflect and uphold the discernment and decisions of the General Convention of the Church.

I ask the prayers of all in the Church at this time, as we move forward.” (Emphasis added)

ACNA ‘won’t be invited to Lambeth 2020’ — Report

“Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby is telling people the ACNA will not be invited to Lambeth 2020,” according to this unconfirmed report from Anglican TV’s from Anglican Unscripted.

GAFCON Chairman’s Letter — October 2018

“My dear people of God,

Last week, the Standing Committee of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) issued a communiqué in which it affirmed the unanimous decision of the House of Bishops not to attend Lambeth 2020 unless the Archbishop of Canterbury reverses his policy of inviting those who have rejected biblical teaching and not inviting those who remain faithful but have been forced to leave their traditional spiritual homes. …”

– The Chairman of the GAFCON Primates Council, Archbishop Nicholas D. Okoh, has released his pastoral letter for October 2018. As well as addressing the bigger issues of the Anglican Communion, he also writes of the double tragedy in the church of South Sudan.

In Favour of Clarity

“The recent announcement by the Standing Committee of the Anglican Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) that the Bishops of the Province had voted unanimously not to attend the Lambeth Conference unless the conditions set forth in the Gafcon Letter of June 2018 are met, comes as no surprise.

Nonetheless it is an historic moment. …”

– Dr. Peter Jensen discusses the reasons for the brokenness of the Anglican Communion’s structures. Nevertheless, the Lord is doing wonderful things.

Related: Letter to the Churches – GAFCON 2018 Final Statement.

The Empire Strikes Back

“Readers of Jane Eyre will recall that the heroine was courted by two very different types of man.

On the one side was the dark and dubious Mr Rochester, a man with a mysterious past and an uncertain future. On the other was the pious and pure St John Rivers, whose path to the overseas mission field was clearly predestined.

As we know, Jane chose Mr Rochester, perhaps because she thought she could play a part in his redemption, but she remained in touch with St John and never lost her admiration for him, even if she could not see herself measuring up to his high standards. Nearly two centuries later, we can look back on that and ponder how the story unfolded after the novel ended. …“

– Church Society has posted this excerpt from Gerald Bray’s editorial in the current issue of Churchman. (Of course, they would be pleased if you subscribed!)

Peter Jensen to succeed Gerald Bray as Editor of Churchman

“After 35 years as the editor of Churchman, Professor Gerald Bray has decided to retire from the role at the end of 2018. We are very sorry to see Gerald hang up his boots, after sterling service over half a lifetime and nearly 140 entertaining, provocative, stimulating editorials. Over the decades he has established Churchman as the leading international journal for Anglican Evangelical theology, and we owe him a huge debt. …

We are delighted to announce that the new editor of Churchman, from January 2019, is Archbishop Peter Jensen.”

– Read the details at Church Society’s website.

Why the Welsh Bishops are calling evil good

“ ‘Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.’ (Isaiah 5:20)

These words were addressed by the prophet Isaiah to the people of Judah as part of his warning of forthcoming divine judgement. They warn that God will judge those who seek to justify sin by arguing that it is not really sinful at all because good is evil and evil is really good. They came to mind this week following the announcement this week that the Governing Body of the Church in Wales had voted to support a proposal from the Welsh bishops to explore ‘formal provision for those in same-gender relationships.’

In this post I shall explain why the words of Isaiah apply to the Welsh decision. …”

– At his blog, Reflections of an Anglican Theologian, Martin Davie considers this week’s announcement by the Bishops of the Church in Wales that “it is pastorally unsustainable and unjust for the Church to continue to make no formal provision for those in committed same-sex relationships”.

Photo: Archbishop of Wales, John Davies (courtesy The Church in Wales.)

Church in Wales to explore formal provision for same-sex couples

“The Bishops of the Church in Wales have been given the go-ahead to explore formal provision for same-sex couples in church. …

They voted with a clear majority in favour of the bishops looking at new approaches which could be brought back to the Governing Body for approval at a later date.

The private ballot followed a presentation to the meeting from the Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, Bishop Mark Strange…”

– Report from The Church in Wales. (Graphic: The Church in Wales.)

GAFCON Chairman’s Letter September 2018

GAFCON Primates Council Chairman Archbishop Nicholas Okoh turns to the situation in New Zealand in his latest pastoral letter:

“This realignment of the Anglican Communion will undoubtedly continue. Compromise leads to more compromise, but can there be a better way forward than the aggressive legalism practised in the Americas?

New Zealand will be a test. Following the decision in May by the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia (ACANZP) to allow for the blessing of same sex relationships, contrary to Resolution I.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference, a number of parishes in New Zealand have announced that they can no longer in conscience remain part of the Province, but Gafcon is proposing a fresh approach in order to minimise conflict.”

Read it all here.

The Church and the Bible (Part 2)

“What particularly threatens us as members of the Church of England is the very serious danger of the official acceptance by our Church of doctrines and practices which are additional and contrary to the Scriptural witness – and all in the supposed interest of larger and truer unity among Christians.

As each Lambeth Conference makes more obvious, there is the growing pressure of the Anglican Communion, and of a striving after a comprehensive ‘wholeness‘ whose governing principle is not uncompromising loyalty to the Scriptures, as the one supreme rule of faith and conduct, but the holding together in one family of churches which have come to believe and worship differently …”

– Alan Stibbs wasn’t writing yesterday, but in the January 1960 issue of The Australian Church Record.

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