Thinking Anglicans

Reform gets more publicity

Updated again Thursday evening

Reform, “a 1,700-strong evangelical network”, which was in the news earlier with this report, held an annual conference in central London this week. See announcement, and the detailed agenda (PDF file).

Media coverage of this:

The Times Conservative clergy told to leave care of bishop if he’s a liberal and later, Call to ignore ‘liberal’ CofE bishops and another version headlined Evangelicals told to defy bishops
Daily Telegraph Anglican Parishes To Ordain Own Clergy (Telegraph website temporarily unavailable, see copy here)
BBC Church makes threat over gay row

Update
The Church of England Newspaper also has coverage, headlined Reform warns of further actions: copy of it here.

And Religious Intelligence now also has More irregular action ‘highly likely’- Reform by Ed Beavan.

Second Update
The motions passed by the conference can be found at Anglican Mainstream, Motions from Reform Conference.

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Carl Peter KlapperFord ElmsNPmynsterpreost (= David Rowett)cryptogram Recent comment authors
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NP
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NP

Well done Rowan….we see yet more results of great leadership?!

Stephen Roberts
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Stephen Roberts

This is the payback for making a pigs ear of discipline post Coekin’s “ordination” and the refusal to enact appropriate discipline in Chelmsford with Rev. Mike Reith and Richard Wood in their open defiance of their diocesan – you can’t pick and choose your ordination bishop – obedience is part of your vows!

Leave if you like – we can’t stop you. Just leave the family (i.e. CofE) bricks, mortar and silver on the way out of the door.

Peter Head
Guest
Peter Head

Shock News! Reform tells like-minded evangelicals to ignore liberal bishops. Gasp. As if we ever really listened in the first place.

Giles Fraser
Guest
Giles Fraser

Hmm. The other week, in response to a story in the Sunday Telegraph by Jonathan Wynne-Jones that predicted all of this, the evangelical mafia were out in force saying how silly they thought his story was. eg. this posting from Bishop Pete: “Having recently been in dialogue with members of Reform on this subject, I am clear that Jonathan Wynne-Jones’ report is inaccurate in several respects. I would be surprised if they had either produced an ultimatum, or had suggested the use of foreign archbishops, at this stage. We’re not helped by the Press trying to up the ante. Posted… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

Stephen Roberts – do you really want stronger church discipline?

Do you want stronger church discipline with regard to Lambeth 1.10 or do you just want discipline for those who are not happy with bishops who do not stick to it (amongst other things)?

Matthew B
Guest
Matthew B

Indeed – the stupendous folly of letting Coekin off the hook was always going to encourage this. Archbishop Williams needs to take a very firm line on this indeed, or else we really will end up with disintegration of the C of E. Andrew Goddard over at Fulcrum sees some hope from the Coekin judgement, in that it makes absolutely clear that irregular ordinations are illegal under canon law, so long as due process is followed. Unfortunately, it seems as if this hypothesis may be tested sooner rather than later. http://www.fulcrum-anglican.org.uk/news/2006/20060609goddard.cfm?doc=113 Frankly, as Stephen comments, if a priest is willing… Read more »

Dirk C Reinken
Guest
Dirk C Reinken

I’m curious about this quote from the Telegraph article: “He claimed the pro-gay lobby in this country was likely to become more overt and persistent, citing the same-sex blessing reportedly conducted by the Anglican provost of Glasgow cathedral last month.” Isn’t this cathedral in the Scottish Episcopal Church? And, if so, why would actions in another province be used as justification for disobedience in the speaker’s own province? At the end of the day, it looks to this Yank like the disputes aren’t about homosexuality or evangelical vs. broad vs. high, but the unraveling of the Elizabethal Settlement. Absent good… Read more »

Dirk C Reinken
Guest
Dirk C Reinken

Oh, I wanted to add – In trying to figure out which was Glasglow Cathedral, I had fun comparing the websites of the Church of Scotland’s Glasgow Cathedral ( http://www.glasgowcathedral.org.uk/ ) with the Scottish Episcopal Church’s Glasgow Cathedral (http://www.cathedral.glasgow.anglican.org/ ) .

It’s nice to see such life at Glasgow Cathedral, and it reminds me what I like about being an Anglican. 🙂

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“refusing to ordain conservative evangelical clergy for their parishes” Are there actually any instances of this where the issue was not the ordinand? I mean, I see “conservative” parishes frequently setting simplistic litmus tests of “orthodoxy” for their bishops, locking the doors against him when he doesn’t comply, then claiming persecution when he justifiably disciplines them. I have to wonder if this is not the same thing, defiant “valiant defenders of the faith” standing up against the “heathen reassessors” only to have one of these “faithless apostates” then refuse to ordain them because of their bad behaviour and histrionic antics.… Read more »

poppy tupper
Guest
poppy tupper

strange – we had john richardson’s assurance that this was exactly not what rod thomas was saying.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“why would actions in another province be used as justification for disobedience in the speaker’s own province” It isn’t, of course, it’s just that they have gotten themselves worked up into such a lather over the prospect that a bunch of sick perverts might actually be able to defile the House of God and the Household of Faith that they no longer have any sense of scale. They can’t even hear arguments or discussion. NP’s a prime example, so are the leaders of the GS. They are so set on what they have allowed themselves to be convinced is a… Read more »

Stephen Roberts
Guest
Stephen Roberts

NP – “do you really want stronger church discipline?” Yes. “Do you want stronger church discipline with regard to Lambeth 1.10” Lambeth 1.10 is neither divine writ, nor canon law. If it were so, then yes I would want to see appropriate discipline exercised there too. Bishops are the leaders of the CofE, chosen by the Holy Spirit, the Church and the Crown – this entitles them to enforce clergy discipline within their diocese as they see fit within the confines of canon law. As part of the selection process, it is a bishop’s perrogative to ordain who they see… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

I think +Broadbent’s statement is true.

Reform is saying it is not planning to ask foreign bishops for help….. but will if it cannot find an English solution to its problems.

NP
Guest
NP

Stephen….well, if we were supposed to be obedient to whoever happens to be a bishop, regardless of their teaching and lives, we would all be in the RC church as Luther would have been wrong to defy his bishops, believing they were in error, according to you?

Alastair Cutting
Guest
Alastair Cutting

Is there a conference video this year…?

Stephen Roberts
Guest
Stephen Roberts

NP – “if we were supposed to be obedient to whoever happens to be a bishop, regardless of their teaching and lives, we would all be in the RC church” You have moved from the specific to the general. Clergy are supposed to be obedient to whoever happens to be their bishop (and his successors) – it’s part of their ordination vows. If that vow is worthless, what does it say about the candidate? If the role of bishops isn’t one of leadership and authority, if clergymen are able to be in open defiance of their bishop’s authority – what’s… Read more »

poppy tupper
Guest
poppy tupper

the video from this year’s conference is of rod thomas’s trousers which seem to be on fire.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“will if it cannot find an English solution to its problems.” So, we’ll get our own way regardless of how we get it? Right. How exactly is this different in kind from the “duplicity” you condemn in TEC? Your script: TEC does what it wants, doesn’t play by the rules, and ought to be kicked out of the Communion for that. In this instance, Reform will break the rules to get what it wants. This is OK, though, since you approve of their ends, and can mine the Bible for justification, ignoring the parts that say this is not the… Read more »

Charles William Allen
Guest
Charles William Allen

NP, I find it ironic that you commend Martin Luther for refusing to relinquish his interpretation of Scripture in favor of his Bishops’ majority interpretation. His way of interpreting Scripture seemed unprecedented, and it seemed likely to encourage immorality by ignoring “clear” teachings of Scripture like the book of James (or even the Sermon on the Mount). Many of us who are gay and Christian base our lives on interpretations of Scripture too. They may not be the majority’s, but they are genuine efforts to interpret Scripture faithfully in light of its central purpose–to present us with God’s unconditional welcome,… Read more »

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

The sooner the CofE are rid of Reform, the better. Their wish for a ‘pure’ church of conservative evangelicals is moonshine. They are like leeches without the medical benefits.

If they don’t approve of their bishop, then they should leave the Anglican church, which is episcopal, not congregationalist.

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

LOL, just love the passing mention of the (quote) Liberal Threat (unquote). Is that maybe like the Queer Threat? The Feminist Threat? The Threat of the Poor? The Unwashed? The Stranger Threat? Ah yes, the Threat of the Neighbor? This whole business of flat earth de facto belief and doctrinal systems being threatened – because they can be investigated openly as contributors to dubious prejudice and discrimination (and even some forms of systemic and physical violence?) – begs to be looked into, deeper, wider, more critically perhaps. Who are these folks who appear to think that they can somehow use… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

poppy tupper wrote: “strange – we had john richardson’s assurance that this was exactly not what rod thomas was saying.”

Ah, but the real question is: did we believe it?

Well, NP did, obviously.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Ford Elms wrote: “They are so set on what they have allowed themselves to be convinced is a life and death struggle for the Church that they will go far from the Gospel to defend it, all the while believing they are holy for that. That they are gallant defenders of the Gospel has so closed their eyes that when their bad behaviour is pointed out to them, they don’t see it, but rather believe they are being told that since they sin, others ought to be allowed to as well! I alternate between sadness, anger, and amusement at it,… Read more »

cryptogram
Guest
cryptogram

How do they arrive at their claimed total membership of 1700? It was 1200 a fortnight ago – is Reform growing that fast? Either that (of which I see no evidence in this rural backwater) or there’s some creative accounting going on. Something of the order of 400 people per diocese doesn’t fit with those dioceses I know – unless they are counting the entire ACM figure of the churches which identify themselves as supporters.

Hugh of Lincoln
Guest
Hugh of Lincoln

“the Church of England’s “increasingly liberal agenda”.” Cause for hope I guess… The Church is a conservative institution even if it moves in a liberal direction. How many years have we been talking about “splits” in the C of E, and yet to see any transpire? If Reform set up their own extra-provincial territory in England, let them walk…We let the Methodists do so. “Failure to do this will seal the division of the Communion” Haven´t “sources” at Lambeth Palace confirmed that most bishops have RSVP´d their invites, with the exception of Uganda. This threat to not attend if the… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
Guest
Robert Ian Williams

Reforms one bishop, Wallace Benn is also patron of the third province movement.

If he does not distance himself from this move…he will be the last de jure Reform bishop.
No chance of translation to a diocese.

Cheryl Va. Clough
Guest

Giles I think there are going to be a lot more souls like you and Pete who are going to be vindicated in the next period. Ford picked up on “…refusing to ordain conservative evangelical clergy for their parishes…” Sometimes God gives souls enough rope to act out their fantasies, then once they are in the net, the cords are pulled back tight again. Realising they have been caught in the act of desecrating God’s name, temple and holy ones; they start to panic about what is going to happen to them. At the moment their worst fears are that… Read more »

Stephen Roberts
Guest
Stephen Roberts

NP – “I think +Broadbent’s statement is true.” Really? I’m not sure he feels the same way (see the post at 4:05pm this afternoon on Fulcrum). http://www.fulcrum-anglican.org.uk/forum/thread.cfm?page=3&thread=4819&sort=creatasc Given the above Fulcrum post it appears that the bishop feels seriously misled. Is this really the same group that have the presumption to decide who are eligible to become bishops given their own mendacity? Perhaps +Broadbent isn’t suitable in Reform’s new world order? These people lie even to their natural allies – they have no honour. In your own words “two wrongs don’t make a right.” Let’s hear you defend the indefensible… Read more »

dave p
Guest

“I think +Broadbent’s statement is true.

Reform is saying it is not planning to ask foreign bishops for help….. but will if it cannot find an English solution to its problems.”

So it’s true, unless it isn’t?

The mental gyrations you make in order to see yourself as inerrant leave me in awe.

NP
Guest
NP

Stephen – pls read what I said and read what Reform has said……. they are not asking any overseas bishop for help at the moment, are they?

All they have said is that if they have to do so, they may…. i.e. they are not ruling it out.

As + Broadbent asks them on Fulcrum, they are still seeking an English solution…. are they not?

(by the way, I ain’t a member of Reform…. but they seem good eggs so maybe I should join)

Stephen Roberts
Guest
Stephen Roberts

NP – I have read what you wrote, and at this time (9.46am), it is literally true. The difficulty is, by the time this post appears, it very well may be false. “As the Church gets more fractured maybe bishops or retired bishops will be able to help out so we can find an ‘English solution’, but if not we may have to look overseas.” – Rod Thomas Rod’s position is an open threat. If we don’t get what we want (alternative oversight in England), we’re off (to alternative oversight overseas). This is no way to treat each other, and… Read more »

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

An English ‘solution’ would be so far away from RW’s catholic ecclesiology that I wouldn’t imagine it to be even on the radar.

I wonder how long all this can drag on before the inevitable split?

John B. Chilton
Guest

Isn’t there a “been” missing in the first sentence of the Daily Telegraph story?

“Dozens of conservative parishes will start ordaining their own clergy in an open revolt against their bishops if the Church of England continues its liberal drift, the Archbishop of Canterbury has warned.”

Reform has issued a warning to, not a warning from, the ABC.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“if they have to do so” The question is why would they have to do so? I keep hearing about the supposed hostility of “liberal” bishops, but when the incident is described, it always looks to me like a bishop justifiably disciplining a bunch of strife breeders who have created a situation where they can look persecuted. So, if I am wrong in my assessment, set me straight with examples. Otherwise explain why they would “have to” go outside England for a bishop. Is it just that they are afraid that if they associate with people whose Scriptural interpretation they… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

It seems to me to be the groundwork is laid for foreign bishops – the statements earlier from Anglican Mainstream about the “sin of nationalism” and the justification for international intervention. The other “English” method will really be no different anyway, still imposing from themselves another line of authority. Why not? Well, it is quite possible that some retired English bishops will consecrate new ones, but leave a problem as to whose Church they come under, and if there is no official acceptance of these within the Church of England (being a sort of English version of valid but illicit)… Read more »

Jerry Hannon
Guest
Jerry Hannon

The Reform group’s comments are nothing more than a bullying threat; either the rest of you will conform to Reform’s wishes, or Reform and its supporters will depart.

NP’s word games are becoming pathetic: “…they are not asking any overseas bishop for help at the moment, are they? All they have said is that if they have to do so, they may….”

So, I am not now assaulting you, but if don’t do what I say, then I will.

They are schismatics, plain and simple, and bullying schismatics at that.

bls
Guest

“Stephen….well, if we were supposed to be obedient to whoever happens to be a bishop, regardless of their teaching and lives, we would all be in the RC church as Luther would have been wrong to defy his bishops, believing they were in error, according to you?”

—————————————-

Now this is funny. Sometimes we are exhorted to obey, other times to disobey – I guess according to the personal beliefs of conservatives at the particular moment in time.

Interesting ecclesiology, that!

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

I think they underestimate those who would wish them good day and good riddance – even those who give a high place to unity here appear at the end of their tether.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

The Reform translation of former Luke 21:38ff, escised from the Alexandrian Sondertradition and later put in 3 different places in John by the Byzantine redaction (nowadays mostly John 7:53 to 8:11): “go now and leave your life of sin” also is highly irregular.

alias John 8:11b reads in Greek: Oudè egå se katakrínå. Poreúou, apò toû nûn mäkéti amártane.

Which means: Nor do I judge you. Go, from now on do not sin.

No “your life of sin” in sight.

cryptogram
Guest
cryptogram

Pluralist says “the ground is laid for foreign bishops”. Perhaps the strategy for the ABC is now to send an encyclical to the effect that any more border crossing will result in the offender being ipso facto out of communion with Canterbury. If this results in Reform turning once again to CESA, then they will put themselves out of communion. Call their bluff. Back in the late 50s, Eric Mascall published a lampoon on certain extreme anglo-catholics, which began “I am an ultra-catholic, no Anglo, I beseech you. / You’ll find no taint of heresy in anything I teach you…”… Read more »

Carl Peter Klapper
Guest

In all of this row, I have yet to see any inkling of “God is Love”. On the other hand, I have seen an awful lot of “Lust for earthly power”, or “Love of Mammon”, mostly through the use of a “knowledge of good and evil” applied to judging other people by the mechanism of “discipline”, so-called. How about this criteria for ordination and ordaining alike: humility and love. Or perhaps, with respect to this whole tiresome issue, a simpler phrase applies: Put a sock in it! CPK PS: I am anti-partisan in my politics, being more Madisonian than Madison.… Read more »

Stephen Roberts
Guest
Stephen Roberts

“How do they arrive at their claimed total membership of 1700? It was 1200 a fortnight ago”

Easy – faithfulness gets you more numbers – does it not NP?

http://asbojesus.wordpress.com/2007/10/13/161/

JCF
Guest
JCF

“All they have said is that if they have to do so, they may….”

Ala Mein Kampf, “If we have to get rid of the Jews, we will”?

[Yes, I know I just violated Godwin’s Law. But w/ NP’s logic, how can one fail to see the similarities? :-/]

David Keen
Guest
David Keen

Reform claim to want to ‘reform the Church of England from within’ but their actions will destroy the church of England. And if they want to reform the Church of England, they have a pretty poor grasp of how to do it. In the last 20 years a sea-change has happened in the CofE’s approach to one marginal interest group. There is now millions of pounds poured into this area each year, with an allocated sum per diocese. Guidelines for selection and training have changed and colleges have set up specialised courses. Parishes, Deaneries and dioceses are changing kind of… Read more »

Prior Aelred
Guest

Well, if the poor ol’ C of E is no longer good enough for “Reform”, they can join the exodus of earlier puritan groups (I believe it was Garrison Keillor who said that his ancestors came to America because the Church of England would not allow them to persecute others).

NP
Guest
NP

bls says “Now this is funny. Sometimes we are exhorted to obey, other times to disobey – I guess according to the personal beliefs of conservatives at the particular moment in time.”

No, bls…..perhaps you are trying to misunderstand but the exhortation is to obey the word of God.

Sometimes, sticking to the bible means going against church authoritie eg Luther and those Anglicans in the US who cannot accept bishops who by their life and/or teaching reject certain scriptures.

For many in the AC,not just +Duncan and ++Akinola, obeying God’s word is always more important than obeying a PB or an ABC…..

bls
Guest

“No, bls…..perhaps you are trying to misunderstand but the exhortation is to obey the word of God.” ———————— Which is exactly what we’re doing. We don’t believe that the “word of God” demands the ruination of peoples’ lives in favor of pointing to a few inaccurately-interpreted proof texts; we believe it demands something much deeper and better. Personally, I think the real issue at bottom here is not homosexuality but the weakness and (in this case and others) cruelty of sola scriptura Protestantism. I think we’re getting a chance to re-emphasize that revelation is ongoing – that God actually expects… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
Guest
Robert Ian Williams

Just imagine Reform and Forward in faith in a third province together!

One side believing in the sacrifice of the Mass, worshipping the consecrated bread and the other advocating lay presidency and the real absence, denouncing the FIF view as soul destroying Romanist heresy.

A complete fudge …as long as it is not pink

Cheryl Va. Clough
Guest

Hi Bls I agree “We don’t believe that the “word of God” demands the ruination of peoples’ lives.” In the Saturday articles Mullen states “capitalism reflects Christian teaching in that it accepts the doctrine of Original Sin…” drdanfee on another thread comments how some focus on the penal substitution model. They appear to be very Calvanistic in their thinking, there is a lot of loathing of humanity, some leaders purport that all humanity is hated by God and only some souls are saved when they find and worship the “pure” model of Jesus. Such thinkings refute Jesus’ life and modelling,… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

sorry bls, the positioon of the Church of England is that the word of God says certain behaviour is “incompatible with scripture”…..this was stated in TWR which the ABC has just mentioned in his letter to +Howe, indicating the being “compliant” with TWR matters in current AC debates…….you can assert you are following the word of God but that is hard to see if you try to justify behaviour which the CofE bihsops have said is “incompatible with scripture” And if the bishops of the AC were given another vote in 08, they would not overturn Lambeth 1.10 ….. otherwise… Read more »