Thinking Anglicans

a petition from Rwanda

Updated Monday and again Thursday and Friday

Monday Concerning the document below: there was an article in Christianity Today in November 2005, that discussed an earlier version in some detail, Anglicans ‘Severely Wounded’ (hat tip AG).

Thursday And there is now an interview with Bishop Rodgers, about this document in the Christian Post here.

Friday The Church Times carries a news report also: Root out tares from Anglican wheat, says Rwandan bishop.

Rwanda is where the Global South primates will be meeting later this month. The Province of Rwanda also sponsors the Anglican Mission in America.

The Rt. Rev. John K. Rucyahana is bishop of Shyira diocese, in Rwanda. He has recently published a large document which can be found at the website of The Society for the Propagation of Reformed Evangelical Anglican Doctrine (SPREAD). This body has an HQ address in Illinois, and its chairman is The Rt Rev John H. Rodgers,Jr. He is a former dean of TESM and a retired bishop of AMiA.

The document, which is in PDF format, can be downloaded here (650K). The covering letter includes this:

…This document is not written to compel or demand any action. Rather, we seek to clarify the state of the Anglican Communion and advise what actions we may need to take to defend the Anglican faith and promote the Gospel. We want to “know the times” and “understand what we should do” (1 Chronicles 12:32) as faithful followers of Jesus in the Anglican Church.

I hope this record will help us to be aware and alert as we engage in covenants with others in the Communion, so that we know fully who and what we are covenanting with.

This document is meant to help assess the level of contagiousness of the apostasy, heresy, and denial of the Bible which may be imported into our churches from the wider Communion. I am thankful to the Society for the Propagation of Reformed Evangelical Anglican Doctrine for their research and work on this document.

The petition is 44 pages long but starts out this way:

PETITION TO THE THIRD GLOBAL ANGLICAN SOUTH TO SOUTH LEADERSHIP TEAM AND PRIMATES ADVISORY GROUP

TO: The Leadership Team under the presidency of the Most. Rev. Peter Akinola and the Primates Advisory Group elected at the Third Global Anglican South to South Encounter held in Egypt on October 25-30, 2005.

The petitioner, The Society for the Propagation of Reformed Evangelical Anglican Doctrine, is a society dedicated to the spread of faithful, Biblical theology, as found in the historic Anglican Formularies and such other information as will support the same, to all people and all churches, particularly to those who are members of the Anglican Communion. The petitioner wishes to thank the Primates of the Global South for their orthodox leadership, and to share with your Graces the results of some of our research and analytical thought so that we may be equipped for whatever action the Lord graciously calls us to undertake…

The document argues at great length (emphasis and words in square brackets added) that:

…II. What the Global South upholds is true and historic Anglicanism. At one time the whole Anglican Communion was united in the Anglican faith, which is defined by the Articles of Religion and the doctrinal tenets contained in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer and Ordinal, and which holds as a central tenet that the Church is subordinate to the sovereign authority of Scripture.

III. The controversy over whether the Church should approve of same gender sexual relations shows that the Anglican Communion is no longer united in the Anglican faith, but is divided over whether the Church is subordinate to the sovereign authority of Scripture.

IV. Our research and reflection indicates that the churches and bishops of the Anglican Communion are divided into three groups concerning whether the Church should approve of same gender sexual relations and whether the Church is subordinate to the sovereign authority of Scripture.

V. The view of the authority of Scripture held by the revisionist [Rowan Williams] and traditionalist/pragmatist [George Carey] groups is irreconcilably contrary to the view thereof held by the Anglican [Peter Akinola] group.

VI. The revisionist and traditionalist/pragmatist groups can go together in the Anglican Communion because they share the fundamental belief that the Church is not subordinate to the sovereign authority of Scripture.

VII. Since the members of the Anglican group believe that the Church is subordinate to the sovereign authority of Scripture, they cannot go together with the members of either the revisionist group or the traditionalist/pragmatist group.

VIII. Scripture gives clear direction on how faithful Anglicans should deal with the revisionist and traditionalist/pragmatist groups, who are essentially false teachers in the Biblical sense.

IX. The ability of the Anglican churches to carry the faith will be weakened and finally destroyed if they wait too long to carry out the Biblical instruction on how to deal with false teachers…

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Cheryl CloughDavid Rowett (= mynsterpreost)laurence hoyw robertsDavis d'AmblySimon Sarmiento Recent comment authors
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C Smith
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C Smith

A find/replace needs to be done on this document to change Anglican as used in it to Neo-Puritan. These people aren’t Anglicans they’re Roundheads.

New Here
Guest
New Here

Wow! Even George Carey is not pure enough for these people.

I have long believed that the various purist factions would someday declare war on one another, but I didn’t think it would happen this quickly.

Todd Bates (Anglican Scotist)
Guest

First, the drafters seem unable to appreciate the perichoretic relationship between Scripture and the church. Neither could have existed without the other, and neither is simply superior to the other. The primacy of Scripture in the church does not detach Scripture from the church — it remains uniquely the church’s book, depending on its being within the community of the New Covenant for its esse as Scripture. If they had appreciated this, they wculd not have drawn artificial distinctions between revisionist/pragmatic/ersatz Anglican. Rather, they would have found common ground for understanding the authority of Scripture on which all sides could… Read more »

John Henry
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John Henry

Nor would Pope Benedict XVI pass the litmus test of a Peter Akinola. Professor Joseph Ratzinger, with assist from Dr. Walter Kasper (now Cardinal Kasper and chief Ecumenical Officer of the Vatican) developed, instead of a christological foundation of the Church, a pneumatological justification. That is, it is not so much the activity of the historical Jesus, but the activity of the Holy Spirit that is the foundation of the Church. Walter Kasper proposes that the Church be understood as the sacrament of the Spirit in contrast to the previous emphasis upon the Church as the sacrament of Christ (Karl… Read more »

Richard III
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Richard III

While I freely admit that I am not very well schooled in what Anglican theology or method is, I feel reasonably sure that the claim ++PJA is the living embodiment of ‘classic anglicanism’ as put forth by Richard Hooker is a bit of a stretch. As I understand it Anglicans are supposed to be a group of folks who may have sharp differences of opinion about thier theological viewpoints and can still worship together at the same table. These people are about as neo-puritan as it gets – what hubris. Isn’t spiritual pride supposed to be a sin?

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

I’m sure ex+Carey is not happy to be labeled not pure enough. I wonder how ++Rowan feels about being labeled ‘revisionist?’ He seems to have been back-peddling so very very hard, that it must really smart to be given the same label that the conservatives have for +Gene and TEC and +Katharine Jefferts and ++Frank and all us queeahs.

I have neither the time nor the patience to read this whole document. Is there any saving grace in it?

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

If this is not a high handed Sola Scriptura sort of exclusivism, I am guilty of misreading it. Who knew? AMiA has been the real, true complete Anglicanism for ever so long. The vivid colors of the underlying thrusts for realignment are starting to show in technicholor. Along with the chameleon blending and subverting and such that has long described certain streams of thought and, importantly, USA funding. Who knew? All along it was AMiA folks who were going to save us from ourselves – but what force will they necessarily employ, against inquiry and good conscience and equality of… Read more »

Marshall Scott
Guest

I’ve skimmed the headings and lead paragraphs of the document. It is clear. It calls for decisive action. It calls for Akinola to lead the biblicists to walk apart. “Please don’t wait for Lambeth. Lead us apart today!” Well, will they do it? More to the point, will Peter Akinola do it? I’m sure it’s crossed his mind. After all, at the Hope and a Future Conference last year he called on Network parishes to make a decision, letting go of property and pensions in the process. How many would follow him? Certainly, Rwanda and AMiA, but that’s no surprise.… Read more »

ruidh
Guest

I guess we’ve become so inured to accusations of apostacy on the part of TEC. But it is an epithet which strikes me as a claim that is so far from the reality I see around me every week. How can such a statment be so readily believed around the world when it stands in such dramatic contradiction to my personal experience? It really must come down to certain forces in the world not being at all interested in reality, but instead in this self-constructed existence where Scripture dosn’t speak in metaphor, but in literal, clear statements. It must be… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
Guest

I came across this piece on the internet today from People’s Daily Online http://english.people.com.cn/200609/02/eng20060902_299016.html There was a meeting in Zimbabwe where European religious leaders gave an account of the brutalities and wrongdoings perpetrated in Africa during colonialsim and asking for forgiveness. One person at the event commented that colonialism was largely responsible for Africa’s underdevelopment. There has also been some fantastic done on theology and the bible were used to justify and placate the slaves in the US and the blacks under apartheid. I find it a complete anachronism that South African religious leaders would be fighting for a theological… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Guest

It is interesting to read this “petition” alongside Michael Poon’s essay which Simon reported on earlier. Michael Poon and the Primates of the Global South have evidently seen more material urging this type of action and taking this approach to the Church and its relationship to Scripture. Along with others here, I cannot see how anyone holding such views as this could accept Poon’s suggested compromise. It seems that even if the Williams/O’Donovan axis is accepted by the majority of GS Primates then there are those who will be compelled to see this as a betrayal and “go it alone”.… Read more »

Andy
Guest
Andy

Martin Reynolds wrote: “The common hatred of homosexual practice is not going to be enough to hold these people together.”

Maybe not, but they are more likely to hold together than those who don’t hate the sin.

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest
Leonardo Ricardo

“Maybe not, but they are more likely to hold together than those who don’t hate the sin.” Andy I don’t think so. Who says? What could be worse than having a ongoing fellowship with a gang of self-righteous sinners who continously point fingers at other human beings? Hostile puritan folk/Anglican zealots who aggressively exclude other Christians at all levels of Church life without even knowing IF they sin or NOT! These grimsters incorporate broad/selective Scriptural belief strokes of discrimination and play judge, jury and hangman to ALL! Sound appealing? Nope, not to the emotionally well balanced and sane. Denial of… Read more »

Prior Aelred
Guest

GOSH!

Archbishop Jensen was talking about the possibility of a realignment in Anglicanism apart from Canterbury but including Nigeria & Sydney & other Evangelical areas while Lord Carey was still ABC (i.e., long before anyone outside of New Hampshire had even heard of Gene Robinson). This all certainly makes it appear that these plans have moving steadily along regardless of any actions by the Americans or Canterbury. It appears that there has been a lot of wasted effort (but maybe not, if we have learned something along the way).

Spirit of Vatican II
Guest

I notice Abp Rowan Williams says that the Bible puts a clearer barrier against homosexuality than against divorce. But it has been argued that the Bible does not talk of homosexuality at all nor in any way address the issues of monogamous gay relationships. The perichoresis between Scripture and Church, between our growing understanding and the essential thrust of Scripture (as opposed to outdated obiter dicta) needs to be taken into account in a fully mature biblical hermeneutics. Fundamentalism, of the type illustrated again and again by certain African bishops, is the worst betrayal of Scripture.

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

I would love to hand out cucumbers to these folks with too much time on their hands and overactive imaginations ! Playtime… Perhaps that would bring a smile to their faces ?! They could m a k e sandwiches –or whatever. Gives SPREAD a whole new meaning.

Nick Finke
Guest
Nick Finke

I know that it’s a little off the point, but my misspent youth as a classicist always distracts me somewhat at this place in the discussion. I have always wondered what people like this think that the early Christians did before they had scriptures that they could be “subordinate” to, i.e., that told them how to think and what to do. By “early” I’m talking anytime between 40 and 90 A.D. Their understanding of matters such as methods of publication, extent of literacy and cost of papyrus seems to be that of the early modern era at best. When I… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Guest

I am sorry my post produced a “tit for tat” riposte from Andy, this sort of remark tends to turn these comment sections into private slanging matches between participants. It’s all very unhelpful.
I am not quite sure what he means, perhaps he is saying that those who do not see homosexual acts as a communion breaking issue are no more united than those who do. I suspect that the next several months will test his thesis.

J. C. Fisher
Guest
J. C. Fisher

Au contraire, Andy: the *LOVE of Christ* is a “tie that binds” eversomuch more than does *Hatred of the Cursed Other*!

Reformed? Yes—if the Calvinists will have them.

Anglican? Not so much…

Lord have mercy!

Marshall Scott
Guest

I have reflected on this on my own blog http://episcopalhospitalchaplain.blogspot.com/2006/09/will-you-walk-away-page-2.html, not so much of content as of intent. I have shared the thought here at Thinking Anglicans that the effort to continue to talk, to continue to seek reconciliation, is worthwhile for its own sake; but that it also might have another result. If we continue to be the last people at the table talking about reconciliation, how can we be the people who broke the Communion. Yes, things started in America and Canada, but those who might walk away have the choice of leaving; or of staying, hoping to… Read more »

New Here
Guest
New Here

>>>I notice Abp Rowan Williams says that the Bible puts a clearer barrier against homosexuality than against divorce. Hmmm…Mark 10 seems pretty clear on this issue: >>>He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.” But it’s certainly true that the “reasserters” can “reappraise” with the best of them when it comes to finding loopholes that benefit them. Thus we have the grotesque irony of a twice-married U.S. priest, Canon David Roseberry of Christ Church Plano, leading the Network’s campaign to “defend… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
Guest

New Here Jeremiah 8:8-12 is quite good, I like the part where God says he is going to hand over the wives and fields to other men because all the prophets and priests are greedy and deceitful. On having a common enemy binding people together, there is an Asian proverb “may your village be blessed by somebody everybody hates”. The point being that when confronted with a common enemy, other differences seem unimportant. A bit like having a seriously ill partner, whether or not they put out the garbage last night is irrelevant if they are on a life support… Read more »

Andy
Guest
Andy

Leonardo wrote: “What could be worse than having a ongoing fellowship with a gang of self-righteous sinners who continously point fingers at other human beings?”

That would be a truly horrible church. More dangerous however, would be a church that preached as virtuous that which is sinful.

Andy
Guest
Andy

J. C. Fisher wrote “Au contraire, Andy: the *LOVE of Christ* is a “tie that binds” eversomuch more than does *Hatred of the Cursed Other*!”

I John 5:3: “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.”

Nick Finke
Guest
Nick Finke

This document reminds me in a fashion of the way that some Roman Catholics used be taught to argue (I was one at the time, I am not throwing stones at others). Its heavy reliance on syllogistic logic, e.g., “I obey the Bible when it says X, but you say Y, therefore you do not obey Scripture”, betrays a mindset that, by preference and regardless of the true state of affairs, sees everything in black and white. The use of this kind of chop logic indicates to me that those who use it are working from conclusions to premises rather… Read more »

T Ricketts
Guest
T Ricketts

Ah, why should ++Rowan monopolize the center? Perhaps ++Peter is statesman too, holding off extremists to preserve the AC.

But maybe the American political scene has made me too cynical about these things.

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

“I have shared the thought here at Thinking Anglicans that the effort to continue to talk, to continue to seek reconciliation, is worthwhile for its own sake; but that it also might have another result. If we continue to be the last people at the table talking about reconciliation, how can we be the people who broke the Communion?” The thing is, that staying at the table also seems to mean postponing full inclusion for glbt people, so as to show ‘good faith’ to the other side. But the history of the last several years clearly shows that they will… Read more »

New Here
Guest
New Here

Cheryl, that’s why I am convinced that the neopuritans, if they ever do strike out on their own, will end up fighting among themselves over women’s ordination, divorce, ritualism, the prayerbook, etc. Spending some time at T19 (a habit I gave up for the sake of my sanity) revealed some interesting and very deep faultlines running through that group. Once the shared enemy is out of the way, the real fireworks will begin.

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

The sad truth may be that fear, ignorance, hatred, and disgust can sometimes get us a really, really, really long way – so surely we can expect that various groups will continue to be targeted. The front runner candidates are presently – Queer Folks, Three-Stool Anglicans, Liberal or progressive folks, … and this list will grow and evolve – Darwin, anyone? – as alliances form and shift and the circumstances and funding streams change, too. I cannot avoid noting the obvious – these believers fear, hate, and are disgusted by modernity (which usually gets bagged as about from the Enlightment… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

>>>He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”

Correctly: >>>He said to them, “Whoever apolúsä sends away his wife and marries another is disloyal to her; and if she apolúsasa sends away her husband (and) marries another, is disloyal.” (Mark 11.11-12)

Not quite the same thing.

Andy
Guest
Andy

Göran Koch-Swahne wrote: “Correctly: >>>He said to them, “Whoever apolúsä sends away his wife and marries another is disloyal to her; and if she apolúsasa sends away her husband (and) marries another, is disloyal.” (Mark 11.11-12) Not quite the same thing.” The word you translate is “disloyal” is μοιχαται. Primary meaning according to my BDAG is “be caused to commit adultery, be and adulterer/adulteress, commit adultery”. On what basis do you translate μοιχαται as “disloyal”? the απολυσασα is obviously divorce in the context. v4 talks about the βιβλιον αποστασιου being used to απολυσαι the wife, where αποστασιου is “notice of… Read more »

laurence hoyw roberts
Guest
laurence hoyw roberts

Cynthia Gilliat 5th September. Thanks for this Cynthia. You have hit the nail on the head–spot on ! ‘Justice delayed is indeed justice denied.’ It isn’t about mediating between two points of view here. On the one hand, there is one ‘point of view’ –those who would atttack lgbt people. And on the other, there is a group of people whom the first ‘group’ wish to attack and malign verbally, physically if possible — and in some places and times it is, as we know, all too well, possible. When someone stands up to them, as has happened in ECUSA,… Read more »

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest
Leonardo Ricardo

“That would be a truly horrible church. More dangerous however, would be a church that preached as virtuous that which is sinful.” Andy My brother Andy, Apparently you and a cluster of puritancial “deciders” THINK you are alone in preaching virtue and who/what is sinful yet you remain clueless as to how, when and where I/we SIN on a INDIVIDUAL basis…unless, of course, you get me/others on the RACK again to confess to your liking/hating and then get US to sign a perverted “loyalty oath” that forces me/us to lie and/or agree fully with your feardriven insanity and ongoing culture… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Please confine comments here to the subject, i.e. the petition document. Thank you.

Davis d'Ambly
Guest
Davis d'Ambly

The petition document represents a church, which after a lifetime as an Anglican, is completely foreign to me. This seems to be the Puritan version of Anglicanism which I had thought had gone off to Salem, Massachusetts.

laurence hoyw roberts
Guest
laurence hoyw roberts

Having read (some of) this statement. It makes me wonderwhere these guys are coming from and what is there spirituality ? (In their terms, I s’pose ‘Do they know God?’ or is it too untidy for them ? Have the author and supporters of SPREAD ever pulled, had an orgsm, climbed or seen a mountain, or the ocean or the skies ? Enjoyed a good meal–or a good……… anything ?! On their ‘Jesus-as-God’ paradigm, I just can’t believe that He’d go to all that trouble in order to bring middle class morality to the earth and a fear of genital… Read more »

David Rowett (= mynsterpreost)
Guest
David Rowett (= mynsterpreost)

I am intrigued by the fact that this document identifies the majority of primates and churches with the ‘non-Anglican’ grouping (ie revisionist & pragmatist), complaining at the low turn out to support the Akinolanism agenda. I always thought that one of the arguments of the puritans was that they represented the faithful majority, yet this thing seems to say the opposite.

I suppose any stick is good enough….

Cheryl Clough
Guest

There are so many good comments that if acknowledged each poster it would take too much space. But drdanfee’s thinking has been paralleling my own, namely that there is no end to their rejection of the unworthy. They actually do reject Darwin and a lot of other science. They also reject working on fixing this world because God is meant to be giving them a better one, and if anyone is suffering it is because they didn’t repent – or it is another unrepetant person’s fault. (If you can’t think of an obvious target – you can always go for… Read more »