Wednesday, 28 November 2007

who is loyal to the Anglican Communion?

Chris Sugden of Anglican Mainstream gave an address ‘An International Overview’ [of the Anglican Communion] at the Anglican Network in Canada conference, Burlington, Ontario, 23 November 2007.

You can read his remarks in full here (PDF file). He makes the following assumption:

There are currently three groups of people in the current debate.

Some think that the approach of The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada is the way ahead for the Anglican Communion. These would include the Archbishops of Wales and Scotland, and since they are welcoming Gene Robinson to visit, the Primates of Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia and Melanesia.

Some do not agree with The Episcopal Church in its teachings on doctrine and ethics. Bishop Jonathan Gledhill of Lichfield said he believed that 95% of the Anglican Communion would hold this view.

Of the second group, some no longer trust the Archbishop of Canterbury to deal adequately with the problem. Others still trust that the Archbishop of Canterbury is willing to address the problem as one charged with contending for the faith once delivered to the saints…

See also his earlier article in Evangelicals Now (September 2007) Not schism but revolution which you can read here.

Graham Kings of Fulcrum has commented on these remarks, you can read his comments in full here (comment timed at 11.49 on 28 November), but the key point made is this:

… It seems clear from the rest of the address that Chris Sugden aligns himself (and Anglican Mainstream as a whole?) with the second group, which presumably also would include CANA, AMiA, Anglican Communion Network and Common Cause.

Fulcrum, the Anglican Communion Institute and Covenant would be part of group three.

This ‘no longer trusting in the Archbishop of Canterbury’ matches Chris Sugden’s earlier article, ‘Not Schism but Revolution’, in Evangelicals Now (September 2007), where he stated, after a quotation from Bishop Bob Duncan:

In other words, since the Archbishop of Canterbury has not provided for the safe oversight of the orthodox in the United States, he has forfeited his role as the one who gathers the Communion.

The irony of this, is that the Presiding Bishop of the Southern Cone, Greg Venables, has been at pains to point out that he consulted with the Archbishop of Canterbury in September concerning the current events. At least he continues, it seems, to treat the Archbishop of Canterbury as one ‘who gathers the Communion’.

The consequential question resulting from Chris Sugden’s view concerning the Archbishop of Canterbury is: ‘Then who does gather the Communion?’ His view leaves a vacuum. It also means that the Primates’ Meeting can’t be gathered, since Canterbury presides at those meetings. It also means the Lambeth Conference can’t meet. Of the Four Instruments of Communion, that leaves only the Anglican Consultative Council and that is not seen as respresentative by him.

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Does this mean we have a form of Anglican sedevacantism to look forward to? Maybe an anti-archbishop or two, replete with archiepiscopal courts in exile, along the lines of Palmar de Troya, perhaps? What fun!

Posted by: Fr Mark on Wednesday, 28 November 2007 at 4:02pm GMT

Who is loyal to the AC?

- people who respect agreed AC positions;
- people who do not make unilateral decisions and ignore the AC on certain issues;
- people who do not "tear the fabric of the communion";
- people who do not have to cross their fingers at points of their ordination as they do not believe what they are saying they believe in order to get the house and job;
- people who do not ignore the requests of ALL the Primates of the AC (eg Dromantine or Tanzania);
- maybe even those people who do believe in the bible and the 39 articles??

Loyal Anlgicans certainly would not ignore all the Primates of the AC, deliberately take actions they know will split the AC hopelessly and then call for unity and hope the AC does not have sufficient organisation or needs US money so badly that it will have to accept any fait accompli..... that would not be loyal behaviour in many people's eyes

Posted by: NP on Wednesday, 28 November 2007 at 4:10pm GMT

The three groups in the debate are, more accurately, (1) those who agree with a liberal teaching on human sexuality (2) those who disagree but do not think it justifies breaking communion and (3) those who will break communion on the issue.

The results of the recent consultation with the Primates and the ACC show that those, like Sugden, in group (3) are as much a minority as those in group (1). Even on group (1), he grossly understates the numbers by saying that "95%" fall outside it. It's worth remembering that at the 1998 Lambeth Conference, one third of bishops voted against the resolution declaring homosexual practice "incompatible with scripture" - (190 against 389 in favour).

Posted by: badman on Wednesday, 28 November 2007 at 4:28pm GMT

Well, from where I sit as a global citizen and believer, Dr. Sugden's much vaunted revolution is NOT a purer, clearer, more obedient return to authoritative origins of our faith - but a masterful new conservative spin job.

He uses his claims of greater faithfulness, mainly as a plausible cover story for the real realignment efforts that are going on - which in USA at least rather amount to deeply cynical and puritannically-condemning Home Invasion against everybody who is not already just his sort of conservative Anglican believer.

On top of that bare cover story, Sugden then piles the second cover story - that orthodoxy is under assault.

But who is assaulting whom?

(A clever trick maybe, to claim that any resistance - especially principled Anglican resistance - or, gasp, principled queer citizen resistance - to his own holier than thou condemnation and special conservative piety comprises an assault on him? This is a variation on the famous gay panic defense: He looked at me funny, your honor, so I had to punch him out in case he might be having thoughts about having thoughts about having sex with me.)

What is this so-called orthodoxy that is under assault?

And what sort of assault, if any, is happening?

Is any course correction of our hugely received negativities towards queer folks (or other outsiders) really nothing but an assault on Dr. Sugden?

Could it not at all be possible that the cultural space to believe flat earth notions about queer citizens is shrinking and dissolving before our very amazed global citizen eyes, because (1)we know some new and rather well tested facts about them, and because (2) we also know them more often, face to face, in our neighborhoods, at school, and/or in our modern professional work teams?

Sugden skates over these questions because he probably already knows his own conservative answers.

We should, too, presuppose those spin doctored answers.

Instead of wrestling with the questions, and weighing the surprisingly shifted data which nobody including queer folks themselves in certain past eras much expected, Dr. Sugden much prefers to define these changes away. He seems to want to redefine them - into being about something else - anything else? yes, let's call conscientious modern change, sin? or apostasy? - besides common sense everyday citizenship ethics, empirical and hermeneutic best practices across any number of important intellectual endeavors including our religious ones, and fie fie upon it, historic Anglican leeway for believers who differ.

That is a real time intellectual assault - upon just these treasures we used to hold graciously in common as Anglican believers. Alas. Lord have mercy.

Posted by: drdanfee on Wednesday, 28 November 2007 at 4:32pm GMT

"but a masterful new conservative spin job." drdanfee

I agree with the rest of what you put, but not that. His linking of the poor and "orthodoxy" over sexuality is his own exploitation of the poor, and it is a load of rubbish. The local church I attend received feedback of direct giving and its real results of benefit to the poor abroad, and it is far from Chris Sugden's diatribe. It is spin, but it is obvious in its creative coupling and trying to gain some sort of moral authority.

Having a loose communion does not prevent any of the social and welfare support, practical schemes, particularly as it would involve effective, direct, bilateral projects.

The only interest in the piece by Chris Sugden really is whether this service of Holy Communion at St Peter’s Eaton Square, London, presided by the Archbishop of Canterbury, will go ahead tomorrow. It was supposed to but perhaps again he's backed off given the blowtorches that some like to hold, switch on and direct. I hope for once he carries out his appointment and intention - the trust involved in him presiding, as stated.

If Chris Sugden so confident about the percentages he repeats I suggests he carries on and organises the alternative for the Lambeth absentees.

Posted by: Pluralist on Wednesday, 28 November 2007 at 5:11pm GMT

Remember that Sugden was one of the three begetters - the other two being Akinola and the schismatic Minns - of the resolution railroaded through the Dar es Salaam meeting. This is simply another of the smokescreens behind which they are promoting and advancing the intended putsch.

Posted by: Lapinbizarre on Wednesday, 28 November 2007 at 5:21pm GMT

Having read Graham Kings' piece I've commented that it takes us back to Bishop Harvey. We left Bishop Harvey at a point where, because he was a retired bishop, he did not have to be disinvited from Lambeth 2008 and I was for one wrong about the Archbishop at last having to get off the fence.

Well we now have an argument that the Archbishop has forfeited his role gathering the communion because he won't insist on and support international oversight.

Graham Kings says that Venables consulted the Archbishop over Harvey, and so the Archbishop can still be gathering the Communion.

Hang on - that puts the predicament back again. If that is true, then the new full time bishop working for the Southern Cone against the Anglican Church in Canada ought then to be invited to Lambeth 2008. If he is then it is inconsistent with excluding Martyn Minns (and others). In a situation where the Archbishop has criticised TEC for choosing its bishops before sorting out its theology, he said that Minns and the like were "illicit". So, presumably, in a situation where he has told Archbishop Fred Hiltz that Canada is doing it right, Harvey is very much "illicit" and cannot be invited to Lambeth 2008.

It rather clears up Graham Kings' argument as a non-starter then. Unless it's "chaos out of order" (if I heard Vince Cable right about another situation) and every bishop and his dog are invited no matter what they are doing, for some non-binding get-together, then the Archbishop is not "gathering" the communion on this basis, no matter what chats Venables may have had.

Just let Chris Sugden get on with it; he may be somewhat weaker in his hand than he makes out.

Posted by: Pluralist on Wednesday, 28 November 2007 at 5:36pm GMT

Is this an indication that some of them are thinking they might not get invited to Lambeth and are doing an end run, so to speak, by claiming the ABpofC doesn't have the right to invite them anyway? It sounds pretty childish, but, given the way the Networdk or whatever they're calling themselves this week, have behaved in the past couple of weeks, I'm not surprised.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Wednesday, 28 November 2007 at 5:39pm GMT

I find myself humming, "Mr. Sugden, bring me a dream." I think that's what he offers - that's *all* he offers, both in this presentation and elsewhere.

There are several things I find worth challenging here. The first has already been raised: we do not know what 95% of Anglicans would say, because that's not how we've sought the information. There are many who argue that most would indeed by among those who "disagree [with actions in the Episcopal Church] but do not think it justifies breaking communion."

Mr. Sugden speaks of "elites" in contrast to serving the poor. However, the division he so clearly supports has cut off resources "elites" are manifestly prepared to give, and give without strings, from the poor they might serve - unless, that is, the bare maintainance of relationship, without agreement, is too strong a "string" to bear. We want to "bring our proceeds and lay them at the apostles' feet, that distribution might be made to each as any has need" (per Acts 4:34-35) - not to buy favors, but simply because the need is there to serve. Decisions by Uganda and Kenya to turn away American resources are in their way principled; but they can hardly be said to serve "the poor."

Finally, Mr. Sugden pays lip service to "the light of what God was showing to be true through human discovery;" and then proceeds to discard it as meaningful in current discussions. He rejects any possibility that this might be part of "the real diversity of the Anglican Communion."

As many others do, Mr. Sugden projects on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church in Canada this belief that we think our decisions are necessarily "the way ahead for the Anglican Communion." That is because, of course, he believe strongly *his* positions are "the way ahead," to the exclusion of all others. However, we only think they might be "the way ahead" in our own place and cultural context. This is important, in light of Lambeth's embrace of the Chicago Quadrilateral, in which the fourth principle is "The Historic Episcopate, *locally adapted* in the methods of its administration *to the varying needs of the nations and peoples* called to God into the Unity of His Church."

Posted by: Marshall Scott on Wednesday, 28 November 2007 at 7:02pm GMT

Who is loyal to the AC?
- people who sincerely differ in discernment and conscience, allowing others the basic respect to work out their own Anglican understandings of salvation with awe, trembling, and worship?

- or people who constantly weaponize any and all Anglican believer differences, because in their view they alone read the scriptures correctly?

- People who tear the fabric of the worldwide communion by asserting that there is only one possible right and true Anglican understanding of everything important? And who may go on to conduct unilateral new conservative Anglican realignment campaigns, based on all manner of bad mouthing anybody who differs with them?

- Or people who think common worship trumps even pointed differences in our understandings, because nothing and nobody is God incarnate except Jesus?

- Since when did constant repetitions of new conservative false witness against others get to be the uncritically pledged sole Anglican gold standard, worldwide?

- People who pledge at priestly ordination – or Episcopal consecrations? – to be pastors and servants to a suffering world while secretly plotting inwardly to threaten and pressure everybody via their own pat religious formulas and special new conservative understandings?

- People who take the scriptures seriously, along with taking historical documents from church life and culture seriously – showing this seriousness by careful recourse to every known modern best practice of empirical hypothesis testing and/or scholarly critical inquiry?

- Or people who fall strictly in line with conservative presuppositional hermeneutics which denies that it can even be scrutinized as a hermeneutic method?

Anglicans who seek to conform others to their own special new conservative views and presuppositions – more or less simply about everything important under the sun – are using their particular views to destroy three of our great Anglican heritages - of peace-making among differently-minded believers and of peace-making between church and world, of our historic considered Anglican leeway for hermeneutic and conscientious differences, and of our customary and diligent Anglican attention to varieties of ways of doing ethics and theology in light of the changing modern empirical sciences.

You shall not bear false witness against neighbors, saith the Commandment of YHWH.

But oh who cares? If you are a new conservative Anglican believer, you are simply so right that your witness cannot be false even if it is?

Posted by: drdanfee on Wednesday, 28 November 2007 at 7:08pm GMT

Some of the conservatives are so very Anglican that I hear there is a plan afoot to excommunicate the spirit of Richard Hooker, ban all three-legged stools from church properties and rewrite the Nicean Creed, inserting a clause banning all Biblical exagesis of any sort.

Tell me, please tell me-- that that is just a stupid joke, please!

I could cry. The world needs all the God-lovers out there it can get. This fighting is such a waste, the only one really laughing must be the devil.

Posted by: Thrice Broad on Wednesday, 28 November 2007 at 9:09pm GMT

Chris Sugden (bless his heart!! ) divides us into three, Andrew Goddard (cheeky and cheerful!!) says we are four ....

Is the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement alone in believing we are all ONE?

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Wednesday, 28 November 2007 at 9:46pm GMT

Thrice Broad,
There's no need to rewrite the Nicean Creed. The handful of evangelical churches I attended this year simply don't use it and make up their own anyway. It's full of the Lamb slain for us. No word of the Holy Spirit, none of... pretty much everything I believe in!

Martin
Me too!! Very very much so. Whether they like it or not.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Wednesday, 28 November 2007 at 10:39pm GMT

I reiterate my response to "Primates responses to New Orleans"

So the primates are still where they were at Dar Es Salaam where Archbishops Aspinal & Gomez said that the split was roughly 1/3 supportive of TEC, 1/3 opposed but not seeing it as a Communion breaker & 1/3 who saw it as breaking the Communion (& would accept nothing but repentance & a change of course which everyone knows is not asked for by the Windsor Report & would never happen anyway).

So the question is what that middle 1/3 decides to do (not what TEC does or what the African primates do).

Erika -- once upon a time the "movement conservatives" could terrify most persons with a same sex orientation into staying in the closet & they really seem to think that they can do so again. I believe that they are mistaken.
Posted by: Prior Aelred on Sunday, 25 November 2007 at 1:18pm GMT

Posted by: Prior Aelred on Thursday, 29 November 2007 at 12:10am GMT

THEY DON'T SAY THE CREED???

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Thursday, 29 November 2007 at 6:15am GMT

drdanfee - eloquent as ever but even you are not eloquent enough to pretend subversion and loyalty are the same thing.

Marshall Scott - I love the way some want to count Primates and claim there is a minority for not condoning behaviour "incompatible with scripture"!!
So, why has the liberal ABC given us TWR and Tanzania, the covenant and now the green light for ++Venables to take whole dioceses out of TECUSA???? Does he care so much for a minority with which he disagrees??

Following decades of "inclusive" teaching including fewer year by year in the west, counting Primates can be misleading.

I think you will find that the Primates of 35-45m Anglicans find Dr Sugden's views quite sensible and do not want the AC to condone any sin....

I don't think the ABC wants Lambeth 08 to be a jamboree of a 5-10m strong liberal church which, on its own projections, will be nearly extinct in a hundred years.....

Posted by: NP on Thursday, 29 November 2007 at 8:56am GMT

This just smells of lobbyists trying to simplify the positions and then demand that players put themselves into simple categories so they can then achieve yes/no votes based on stated allegiances.

It is nothing more than political machinations and shame on any Anglicans who allow Anglicanism to become defined as three simple camps who have no blurred boundaries and who vote and operate just like mainstream politics.

The best thing that could happen to Anglicanism is for Anglicans of all ilks, from conservative to liberal, evangelical to catholic to renounce the degeneration of church communities into political lobbying organisations.

Even better, if they were to denounce "Christian" bishops and dioceses that think it is okay to turn into weapons information that makes parishioners vulnerable that was shared in confidence with the bible study groups or local leaders/ministers when they were still naive and thought they had come to a house of God.

In Australia, we have Privacy laws that protect people from the sharing and abuse of personal information by the private sector and government organisations, would that such laws covered such unscrupulous and unethical souls who have the gall to purport that they represent the compassionate God of truth and justice.

Posted by: Cheryl Va. Clough on Thursday, 29 November 2007 at 9:13am GMT

for those who want to raise "boundary crossing" as a loyalty issue.... it is obvious that boundaries were never supposed to protect those who "tear the fabric" of the church through their false teaching...... Bishop Harvey (of the Southern Cone and Anglican Communion) puts it well:
“There is no reference in the Bible to a diocese, border, or boundary. I have heard ‘Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel’. We have lawyers and doctors and engineers without borders. We are launching bishops without borders.”

Posted by: NP on Thursday, 29 November 2007 at 9:15am GMT

"THEY DON'T SAY THE CREED???"

Not one that you would recognise.
I think we might still have an order of service somewhere with a very strange version on it. I see if I can dig it out and copy it here.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Thursday, 29 November 2007 at 10:19am GMT

"I have heard ‘Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel’. We have lawyers and doctors and engineers without borders. We are launching bishops without borders.”

Just don't claim that this innovation has anything to do with the 39 Articles!
It may be valid in your eyes, but Anglican it isn't.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Thursday, 29 November 2007 at 10:22am GMT

The Church of Ireland has offered an alternative Covenant, drawn up by current and former ACC members and those involved in ecumenical dialogue. The full submission can be found here - http://www.ireland.anglican.org/cmsfiles/pdf/Information/Submissions/ac_resp1107.pdf

The alternative Covenant reads:

1. Preamble
We, the Churches of the Anglican Communion, under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, solemnly covenant together in these articles, in order to proclaim more effectively through our communion in our different contexts the grace of God revealed in the Gospel, to offer God’s love in responding to the needs of the world, to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, and to grow together in our commitment to communion in the full stature of Christ.

2. Each member Church affirms

i. that it is part of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church, worshipping the one God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit;

ii. that it professes the faith which is uniquely revealed in the Holy Scriptures as containing all things necessary for salvation and as being the rule and ultimate standard of faith, and which is set forth in the catholic creeds;

iii. that it holds and duly administers the two sacraments ordained by Christ himself - Baptism and the Supper of the Lord - ministered with the unfailing use of Christ’s Words of Institution, and of the elements ordained by Him;

iv. that it participates in the apostolic mission of the whole people of God;

v. that its mission is shared with other Churches and traditions not party to this covenant;

vi. that, led by the Holy Spirit, it has borne witness to Christian truth in its historic formularies, the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, and the Ordering of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons;

vii. the historic episcopate, locally adapted in the methods of its administration to the varying needs of the nations and peoples called of God into the unity of his Church and the central role of bishops as custodians of the faith, leaders in mission, and as a visible sign of unity.

(continues next post)

Posted by: MJ on Thursday, 29 November 2007 at 10:23am GMT

(continued)

3. Each Church commits itself

i. To answering God’s call to share in his healing and reconciling mission for our blessed but broken, hurting and fallen world, and, with mutual accountability, to share its God-given spiritual and material resources in this task.

ii. In matters of common concern, to have regard to the common good of the Communion in the exercise of its autonomy, and to support the work of the Communion with the spiritual and material resources available to it.

iii. To spend time with openness and patience in matters of theological debate and enquiry, listening to and studying with one another, in order to discern the will of God.

iv. To ensure that biblical texts are handled faithfully, believing that scriptural revelation must continue to illuminate, challenge and transform all cultures, structures and ways of thinking.

v. To seek with other members, through the shared councils of the Communion, a common mind about matters of concern, consistent with the Scriptures, common standards of faith and the canon law of the Churches.

vi. To acknowledge a moral authority in the current Instruments of Communion, while recognizing that they have no juridical, legislative or executive authority in the respective provinces.

vii. To seek guidance from the Instruments of Communion where there are matters in serious dispute among Churches that cannot be resolved by mutual admonition and counsel.

viii. To take heed of the Instruments of Communion in matters which may threaten the unity of the Communion and the effectiveness of our mission.

ix. To acknowledge that in the most extreme circumstances, where member churches choose not to fulfill the substance of the covenant, such churches will have relinquished for themselves the force and meaning of the covenant’s purpose.

4. Declaration
With joy and with firm resolve, we declare our Churches to be partners in this Anglican Covenant, releasing ourselves for fruitful service and binding ourselves more closely in the truth and love of Christ, to whom with the Father and the Holy Spirit be glory for ever. Amen.

Posted by: MJ on Thursday, 29 November 2007 at 10:23am GMT

Erika - do you really want to try and argue that the 39 articles are a defence to be used by false teachers to stop faithful Anglicans preaching in a diocese??

If you were right, the Anglican church could never have started...

Posted by: NP on Thursday, 29 November 2007 at 10:54am GMT

re "They don't say the Creed?"

On this side of the pond, I remember one public occasion - either a major clergy retreat or annual council - when Bishop Lee rather pointedly said he had given altar books to a couple of the church plants sponsored by the newly Africanized Minns and others. He (Lee) added that he expected them to be used. The implication, of course,was that the plants were not - oh - what's the term? Book of Common Prayer Compliant?

I've never understood how you could claim to be More Anglican Than Thou and not use the BCP.

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Thursday, 29 November 2007 at 11:36am GMT

Lord NP, what's with the 39 Articles all of a sudden? Re your "Anglican church could never have started" claim to Erika, the Articles in something approaching their present form were drafted in 1563, four years after the effective establishment of the modern Anglican Church by the Acts of Uniformity and Supremacy. Go do the Maths.

The recent conservative evangelical attempt to use the Articles to define the Church's "protestant" nature (which of course answers my "what's with" question above) has never been a uniform interpretation within the C of E. In 1643, Archbishop Bramhall of Armagh wrote that "Some of them are the very same thing that are contained in the Creed; some others of them are practical truths, which come not within the proper list of points or articles to be believed; lastly, some of them are pious opinions or inferior truths, which are proposed by the Church of England to all her sons, as not to be opposed; not as essentials of Faith necessary to be believed by all Christians 'necessitate medii', under pain of damnation".

Back to a question that I posted yesterday NP - do you believe in the Divine Right of Kings, which is set out in Article XXXVII?

Posted by: Lapinbizarre on Thursday, 29 November 2007 at 1:11pm GMT

"Bishop Harvey"

You know, NP, when it comes to obedience to Anglican positions, you might find a lot of people in this diocese who agree with you. In citing +Harvey, you would find few. I can't emphasize enough, this used to be his diocese, he used to be respected here, but his behaviour is being judged negatively indeed. Think about it: the people who knew him best, who made him their bishop, indeed, his old parishioners (and I attend his old parish, NP) have lost repsect for him because of the way he is behaving. You are not citing a good example of Christian behaviour when you cite him. I only have what I read about people like Duncan and Iker. I know Harvey. He used to be my priest, and is the man who changed my mind on OOW, as I have said before. That you can so blithely see in him a man of good Christianity shows that you side with people solely on the basis of whether or not they agree with you. Well, Jesus told us to judge teachers by their fruits, and those who know him best can tell you that Don Harvey is not bearing much of the fruits of the Gospel. Cite Duncan and Iker all you like, but when you cite +Harvey, you are showing your true colours to me, at least. Remember, this: the "false teaching" you think goes on in liberal parishes is rare here. There is no movement for gay inclusion. Even now, the issue of OOW can cause dissension, it was recently an issue in our parish. You truly don't know what you're talking about on this one.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Thursday, 29 November 2007 at 1:54pm GMT

Rabbit.... I am a loyal subject of HMQ.... so no issue with that article or obeying the laws of her government.

My point to Erika was that the articles cannot be sensibly used to protect false teachers..... the Anglican church could not have started if church authority were put above scripture...

Posted by: NP on Thursday, 29 November 2007 at 2:05pm GMT

"THEY DON'T SAY THE CREED???"

There's no need for a creed when Christianity has been reduced to "DON'T BE A HOMO!!!"

"I've never understood how you could claim to be More Anglican Than Thou and not use the BCP."

Throughout this thing I have marveled again and again at how the *least* Anglican are the ones most determined to take over Anglicanism.

Posted by: JPM on Thursday, 29 November 2007 at 2:21pm GMT

I think those who have left heterodox bishops in TECUSA and Canada are loyal to the Anglican Communion....and the roots of Anglicanism.

http://www.kendallharmon.net/t19/index.php/t19/article/7996/#more
“Bishop Harvey declared the revolution in his Pastoral Charge to the newly launched Church: “There is no reference in the Bible to a diocese, border, or boundary. I have heard ‘Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel’. We have lawyers and doctors and engineers without borders. We are launching bishops without borders.”
Bishop Venables addressed the gathering by video and letter. “The division which has led to these moves is a severance resulting from a determined abandoning of the one true historic faith delivered to the saints.”
“Schism is a sinful parting over secondary issues. This separation is basic and fundamental and means that we are divided at the most essential point of the Christian faith. The sin here is not one of schism but of false teaching which is not at its root about human sexuality but about the very nature of truth itself.”
Dr James Packer, now 82, underlined that this was not schism, despite the protestations of his own (former) Bishop Ingham of New Westminster in the press.
Dr Packer said “Schism means unjustifiable dividing of organized church bodies, by the separating of one group within the structure from the rest of the membership. Schism is sin, for it is a needless and indefensible breach of visible unity. But withdrawal from a unitary set-up that has become unorthodox and distorts the gospel in a major way and will not put its house in order as for instance when the English church withdrew from the Church of Rome in the sixteenth century, should be called not schism but realignment, doubly so when the withdrawal leads to links with a set-up that is faithful to the truth, as in the sixteenth century the Church of England entered into fellowship with the Lutheran and Reformed churches of Europe, and as now we propose gratefully to accept the offer of full fellowship with the Province of the Southern Cone. Any who call such a move schism should be told that they do not know what schism is.”
‘The present project is precisely not to abandon Anglicanism but to realign within it, so as to be able to maintain it in its fullness and authenticity’”

Posted by: NP on Thursday, 29 November 2007 at 3:13pm GMT

"Schism is sin, for it is a needless and indefensible breach of visible unity. But withdrawal from a unitary set-up that ...... should be called not schism but realignment"

Would the good Dr. Packer care to give one instance in the history of the Church when schism wasn't about one side considering that the other "has become unorthodox and distorts the gospel"? What a pathetic attempt at self justification! Schism is sin, but this isn't schism, so we're not sinning! My God, he's got degrees and everything. Surely he's read Church history.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Thursday, 29 November 2007 at 4:09pm GMT

NP is as selective with the 39 Articles as he is with Lambeth 1998 1.0, the Windsor Report and with scripture. He accepts the bits he likes and ignores the bits he doesn't.

I don't have an issue with that per se. I do have an issue with his blatant hypocrisy when he condemns anyone who disagrees with his narrow rigidity and accuses them of doing exactly what he consistently does himself.

Posted by: Malcolm+ on Thursday, 29 November 2007 at 5:00pm GMT

Humour, sorry.

Someone thought of the 39 articles and they were so inspiring that a group of them thought "We'd better start a church with these so they can become enshrined in history!" The 39 articles were so inspiring that all sorts of Christians converted to Anglicanism and the Roman Catholic Church and Judaism ceased to exist.

Talk about putting the cart before the horse! Not only was the cart put before the horse, the wheels were taken off and it loaded to the max before the poor thing was meant to push it.

Unshackle the horse and let the foolish merchant push his own wheel-less chariot.

What would Jesus do with such synagogues? Where souls are peddling their wares in Jerusalem's temple in the hope of gathering a large enough tithing communion to will enable them to take on the world and teach that this world is to be destroyed so they can be glorified in their heaven? I think Jesus would go wading through overthrowing tables, cracking a whip to scatter the greedy and corrupt, and smashing idols into the ground. At least that's what he did last time.

Posted by: Cheryl Va. Clough on Thursday, 29 November 2007 at 7:41pm GMT

Meanwhile, back at the ranch -
"A Very Blessed Advent to everybody" - and I mean everybody, including Graham Norton!!

Posted by: Cardinal Wardrobe on Thursday, 29 November 2007 at 7:46pm GMT

Dr Packer said “Schism is sin, for it is a needless and indefensible breach of visible unity.

But withdrawal … that has become unorthodox … distorts the gospel in a major way … will not put its house in order …. when the English church withdrew from the Church of Rome … should be called not schism … realignment … links with a set-up … faithful to the truth, as … the Church of England … fellowship with the Lutheran and Reformed churches of Europe … with the Province of the Southern Cone.

Any who call such a move schism should be told that they do not know what schism is.”

Would be interesting to see Dr Packer pin this up with some actual examples… ;=)

Or go to a book to learn…

Now, in reality Schism is the Organisation,
Heresy the Teaching. Simple as that.

Not necessarily any n e w teaching, BTW but more ofthen (and generally) expanding secondary or marginal teachings into (new) primary or “core” (horrible word) ones.

Such as when the 2nd Millennium Gnosticist/Neo Platonist Academic teachings on Sperm (sacred), Continentia (for the lay) and Abstinences (drink, food, water, comfort, luxuries) for the ordained are turned around, circa 1966, into late Modern Essentialist symmetric/opposite categories (catamita; “passive” gay man – sodomita; “active” gay man) about sexual Orientation as Identity.

Late Modern anti Modern Social Politics from Rome and Colorado supplanting the Creeds.

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Friday, 30 November 2007 at 8:38am GMT

Have you noticed how Sugden et al operate on two levels. They talk about the thirty nine articles and the reformed nature of Anglicanism...then they down play this when they make common cause with Anglo-Catholic dissidents, who teach doctrines they abominate.

They also talk about Biblical morality and the desire to save marriage , but carefully steer away from divorce and contraception isn't even on the Radar.

They make the rules of orthodoxy up as they go along....and the bar can be lowered at anytine, as long as it is not for the gays.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Sunday, 2 December 2007 at 4:24pm GMT

Doctor Jim Packer's whole ministry has been one of denouncing baptismal regeneration, the real presence, sacerdotalism and the "errors" of Rome as well as liberalism.

For 25 years he tolerated the liberalism of the Anglican Church of Canada...with its women bishops and liberal views on divorce and abortion.

He is now fleeing to the Biblically orthodox Southern Cone, who hold to the thirty nine articles of religion and Biblical Anglicanism.

All is well.....

But wait a minute ......Southern Cone are accepting dioceses like Fort Worth that repudiate all that he loves in the thirty nine articles for full blown rank Anglo-Catholicism...prayers for the dead, intercession of the saints, Masses and worship of the eucharistic elementsetc

Doctor Packer has written extensively how Anglo-Catholicism is in reality an abberation introduced to Anglicanism by nineteenth century ritualists.

So what is heresy..what is orthodoxy?

Clearly the dictium is...turn a blind eye to heresy when it suits you!!!!

Nice one Jim

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Sunday, 2 December 2007 at 10:43pm GMT

"So what is heresy..what is orthodoxy?"

Orthodoxy is what orthodoxy has always been: that which is believed by those who agree with the person using the word 'orthodox' at that particular time. I find it uproariously funny that people who do not believe in baptismal regeneration or the Real Presence can actually use the word 'orthodox' and still expect to be taken seriously.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Tuesday, 11 December 2007 at 8:30pm GMT
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