Thinking Anglicans

Lambeth invitations: Rwanda not attending

The House of Bishops of the Province of the Episcopal Church of Rwanda has issued a Communiqué which can be read here:

COMMUNIQUE FROM THE HOUSE OF BISHOPS OF THE PROVINCE OF THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH OF RWANDA

In response to the invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Honourable Rowan Williams, inviting the bishops to the Lambeth Conference 2008, the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church of Rwanda, who met in Kigali on 19 June 2007, resolved not to attend the Lambeth Conference for the following reasons:

1. Our Primates represent the bishops, clergy and laity from their Provinces. Therefore what they decide as representatives cannot be taken lightly when it engages the faith of the churches they represent. The invitations to Lambeth 2008 have been issued in complete disregard of our conscientious commitment to the apostolic faith once delivered.

2. The manner in which the invitations to the bishops of Rwanda were issued is divisive as some of our bishops were not invited. The bishops that provide oversight to the Anglican Mission (AMiA) are not “Anglican Mission bishops,” but rather bishops of the Province of Rwanda given the responsibility to lead Rwanda’s missionary outreach to North America. We are a united body and will not participate in a conference which would divide our number.

3. The invitations to Lambeth 2008 not only contravene the Lambeth 1998 Resolution 1.10 but also the positions taken in the communiqués that have been agreed upon in previous Primates’ meetings and in the “Road To Lambeth” document prepared for and accepted by the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) bishops.

The following are issues of great concern:

a) This Lambeth 1998 Resolution has not been respected by the Episcopal Church of America (TEC), the Anglican Church of Canada, and other like-minded Provinces, which are now violating the resolution as well as holy orders by making the decision to ordain and to consecrate practicing homosexuals.

b) The leadership of Canterbury has ignored and constantly taken lightly the resolutions from the Primates’ meetings and the statement in the “Road to Lambeth” document prepared for, and accepted by, CAPA which agreed that the crisis of faith in the Anglican Communion needed to be resolved before Lambeth 2008.

c) From his actions and decision to invite TEC, a province which is violating holy orders, biblical teaching and the tradition of the church, and his decision not to invite the bishops of AMiA and CANA, the Archbishop of Canterbury has shown that he has now taken sides because the Primates have asked TEC for repentance in order to be in communion with them. In several meetings and in its response to “The Road to Lambeth”, TEC has continually rebelled against the position and counsel of the Primates.

d) In a letter sent to Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini on 18 June 2007, the Archbishop of Canterbury wrote, “You should know that I have not invited the bishops of AMiA and CANA. This is not a question of asking anyone to disassociate themselves at this stage from what have been described as the missionary initiatives of your Provinces…. I appreciate that you may not be happy with these decisions, but I feel that as we approach a critical juncture of the life of the Communion, I must act in accordance to the clear guidance of the instruments of the Communion….” We would like to know if there are instruments in the Communion more important than the Primates and Provinces themselves. The Archbishop of Canterbury also refers to the consecration of the AMiA and CANA bishops as irregular. We would like to know why their consecrations are considered irregular when the actions of TEC are not considered irregular. We feel that the words of the Archbishop are tantamount to a threat, and we cannot accept this.

Therefore, in view of the above, in good conscience, the bishops of the Province of the Episcopal Church of Rwanda have resolved not to attend the Lambeth Conference 2008 unless the previously stipulated requirement of repentance on the part of the TEC and other like-minded Provinces is met, and invitations are extended to our entire House of Bishops.

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Lapinbizarre
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Lapinbizarre

With its accusation that “the Archbishop of Canterbury has shown that he has now taken sides” it is clear that schism is now under way. The main question, which I assume will be answered shortly, is how may other provinces intend to take this same plunge.

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

ps At least, this should put paid to the “Anglican Covenant”.

Jerry Hannon
Guest
Jerry Hannon

That the bishops of the Church in Rwanda will not attend Lambeth is to be regretted, but this blatant attempt by Rwanda to redefine Anglicanism is to be deplored. Rwanda has said “our way or the highway,” and I am therefore very grateful to most of the provinces of the Anglican Communion who have thus far not given in, and who will increasingly — far beyond North America — not give in to such extortion. Anglicanism is a broad church, and its history is that of a tolerant church. Those, like Rwanda, who want a new Calvinist communion can depart… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

Bye bye. Good, and the essential point for the future is that the schismatics are walking. Let them now do what they have intended, which is to set up the geographical alternative centre. It always was the case of who would walk or be pushed first, and what was beginning to be clear was that for all these Lambeth resolutions and the rest of these meetings, that the agenda was going to be more discussions and no one (who did not want to go) being pushed. Now Rwanda has taken a decision to, in effect, walk, and they have to… Read more »

Prior Aelred
Guest

I have suggested for some time that the plan has always been for the “Global South” primates to “walk apart” — if they can get the CofE or Sydney to tag along, they’ll accept them, but it really doesn’t matter. The Windsor Report not only condemned their boundary crossings but also allowed that full inclusion of gays might occur & could be seen as being in the process of reception — the CMS progeny have always rejected that possibility. Also note the use of “repentance” which was never used in TWR. As Humpty Dumpty said to Alice, “Words mean what… Read more »

JCF
Guest
JCF

In response to (the bishops of) Rwanda, I feel an attack of Lerner&Lowe (w/ unauthorized alterations) coming on—

“No, my reverberating friends:
You are not the beginning and the end!

They’ll be spring every year without you,
[The Church of] England still will be here without you.
They’ll be leaves on the tree,
And a shore by the sea,
They’ll be [Lambeth] crumpets and tea
Without you!

[Sacred]Art and music will thrive
Without you.

Somehow [Anglican orthodoxy] WILL survive
Without you.

…and without much a-do,
We can all muddle through
Without you!!!”

Nevertheless—Lord have mercy! 🙁

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

When I was a teen, and made, as teens do, sweeping announcements about who was Wrong and who was Right, and who deserved my attention, my mother would infuriate me by chanting this, smiling smugly. It always deflated my balloon of ego. I suggest the ABC memorize it.

“We are the girls from the Institute.
We don’t smoke and we don’t chew,
and we don’t associate with them as do!”

Brant Wiley
Guest
Brant Wiley

KA-BOOM ! ! ! !

NP
Guest
NP

wishful thinking, Lapin….the covenant will be happening. Dr Goddard’s analysis on why some oppose it is spot on. Worry not, Rwanda, Nigeria and Sydney will all be at Lambeth….because the ABC will not see the growing, vibrant parts of the AC go for the sake of rebellious, small, shrinking TEC and Canada – look at TWR and the Tanzania Communique if you do not believe me. Even in CofE terms, he ain’t going to lose hundreds of thousands in Alpha for the sake of a few who refuse to uphold the teaching of the church despite their vows – and… Read more »

Malcolm+
Guest
Malcolm+

Kenya – out
Nigeria – out
Rwanda – out
Sydney – wavering

It appears that the so-called Global South may be committing the same tactical error that Canada and the US did after Dromantine.

Decisions are made by those who show up.

badman
Guest
badman

The decision speaks for itself, and is in line with the “I’m not playing” statements already made by Uganda and Nigeria. No doubt those now falling over each other to appoint their own special border crossing bishops (like Kenya, with e.g. Southern Cone bound to follow) will do the same: “I’m breaking your rules, you won’t let me, I’m not playing”. But the reasoning provided in this statement is very poor. 1. The invitations do not “disregard” Rwanda’s faith commitments. They expressly recognised that acceptance would not signify assent to the practices of other churches. 2. Since border crossing is… Read more »

Craig
Guest
Craig

NP said: ‘he [the ABofC] ain’t going to lose hundreds of thousands in Alpha ‘

As far as I know, Alpha is a course not a ‘sect’, ‘interest group’, ‘cult’ etc.

The Alpha course are run in a whole range of churches (ConsEv, liberal Methodist to RC): whilst the ‘official’ alpha apparatus has a definite theological agenda, the ‘thousands’ that participate up and down the country are far from being an ecclesiastically homogenous group…

I have, on occasion, considered the Alpha organisation to disply ‘sect like’ tendencies, but that’s usually in my least charitable moments.

Colin Coward
Guest

The one word that jumped out at me in the Communique is the ‘unless’ in the final paragraph. ‘…unless the previously stipulated requirement of repentance on the part of the TEC and other like-minded Provinces is met, and invitations are extended to our entire House of Bishops.’ As Prior Aelred notes, repentance was not the word used in TWR. The Rwandan bishops rephrase TWR to say what they want it to say. Not only that, the bishops extend ‘repentance’ to other like-minded Provinces. It’s up to those of us in England to show that we are a like-minded Province –… Read more »

Sinner
Guest
Sinner

Worry not, Rwanda, Nigeria and Sydney will all be at Lambeth….

On the contrary: what do the Global South have to gain by attending Lambeth – and what do the have to lose?

They have nothing to gain and everything to lose!

the real question is when – not if but when – the CovenenatCofE, Alpha and other Conservative Evangelical folks in the UK announce broken communion, call for boycotts of Lambeth, and find (or appoint) bishops to attend the alternative communion event that Sydney and Rwanda are attending!

JF
Guest
JF

Given the rather (ironically) catty nature of the communique (Handbags at dawn, anyone?), I thought more of Gloria Gaynor, rather than Lerner and Lowe.

First I was afraid, I was petrified,
thought that I could never live without you by my side.

etc.

L Roberts
Guest
L Roberts

They obviously like to get together with ‘like minded’ people !

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

Its clear enough that the Road to Lambeth is really the Road to Schism – their demands would mean the exclusion of just about everyone who doesn’t agree with them.

NP
Guest
NP

Colin – you talk as if Dromantune, TWR and Tanzania were all supportive of your agenda in the AC!

As you know from recent history, the ABC does respond to pressure from the GS – why do you think that is Colin?

Look at what has happened since TEC’s arrogant actions in 2003 – you have very little to support the assertion that the ABC or the AC is supportive of your agenda.

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

Cynthia – nice variation on your mother’s performance of “The Girls from the Institute” on the internet:

“At the end of the poem…after high kicking through “Which goes to show the price of sin”…my mom and my aunt would add the following:
Rooty Toot Toot,
Rooty Toot Toot,
We are the girls from the institute,
We don’t smoke,
We don’t chew,
We don’t go with the guys who do!

(Then with their hands held like an open book and in a sing-song looking angelic)
OUR CLASS WON THE BIBLE!”

This and more at:

http://www.poetrylibrary.org.uk/queries/lostquotes/?id=191

Colin Coward
Guest

NP, TWR is supportive of what I need the Anglican Communion to do to respect my place as an ordained gay Anglican Christian. #146. We remind all in the Communion that Lambeth Resolution 1.10 calls for an ongoing process of listening and discernment, and that Christians of good will need to be prepared to engage honsetly and frankly with each other on issues relating to human sexuality. One of the deepest realities that the Communion faces is continuing difference on the presenting issue of ministry by and to persons who openly engage in sexually active homosexual relationships. …it has to… Read more »

Jim Pratt
Guest
Jim Pratt

Where to begin? So much that can be commented on! I’m amused by how the statement talks of the “Road to Lambeth” as the work of some official body, even implying that it has been adopted or issued by the Primates. Second, it seems to exalt the Primates to curial status, and suggest that the ABC and the other instruments of unity are mere handmaids of the Primates (even more status to the Primates than the draft covenant gives them?) It’s a lot of bluster and righteous (or unrighteous?) indignation. Maybe they’ll calm down from their tantrum and come back… Read more »

Chris
Guest
Chris

But Colin, you’ve already stated your mind is made up! You’ve closed the debate for yourself. Last week you posted it is a sin in your church to call homosexuality immoral: “in my church, there is no place for believing that loving a person of the same gender is a sin. It is sinful, in my church, to be prejudiced in any way against a person who is lesbian or gay.” Here’s where I think the error is: addressing “[the AC’s] care for and attitude towards persons of homosexual orientation” does not mean we must go against the plain spoken… Read more »

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

“plain spoken word of God as revealed in the Scripture.”

Unpack this jargon for me, Chris.

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

Chris ; the Bible contains words written by people, inspired by their faith to do so. It is not ‘the plain spoken word of God’. You appear to take a somewhat Muslim view of the way to look at the Bible, treating it as some sort of fax from heaven, the direct words of God. No. Not the case.

Chris
Guest
Chris

“plain spoken word of God as revealed in the Scripture.” That’s hardly a radical or even fundamentalist belief. Three ideas behind that: 1) I believe in God and He directs me to the Scripture to learn about Him. God uses other sources for teaching as well, but Scripture carries a great deal of weight. 2) Scripture has perspicuity – it is plain meaning and areas that are unclear are made clear when compared to other parts of the Scripture. 3) There was a very important human role in the writing of Scripture that retains the style and type of literature,… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

Gosh. Never mind WWJD (today) but WWMD (today) (PBUH)? Emerging from a cave after deep spiritual contemplation: “I have received a fax!”

NP
Guest
NP

Merseymike – you describe Chris’ view of the bible as “muslim” but what is yours given you believe next to none of it?

Pluralist
Guest

Whether I would agree with point 1 or not, Chris, the problem comes with 2 because it is by no means obvious that what is unclear in one part of scripture is made clear in another – except of course by selective literalism (I don’t have a view that fundamentalists are literalists, I think they are selective literalists). The reason many evangelicals can’t decide about women’s ordination and wearing hats is because one part of scripture unclear is not made clear elsewhere. As for point 3, the human role is not interpretation, but in the actual writing of it so… Read more »

JCF
Guest
JCF

“Scripture has perspicuity – it is plain meaning and areas that are unclear are made clear when compared to other parts of the Scripture.”

That’s almost a *definition* of fundamentalism, Chris (at least partially so).

What’s your source? (It sure as heck ain’t Anglican! To say nothing of “not in the Bible”)

L Roberts
Guest
L Roberts

‘…there can even be churches who have a special mission to reach out to homosexuals…’

Please Chris don’t bother !

It’s an offer I can refuse !

Charlie
Guest
Charlie

JCF -it’s very easy to say something ‘sure as heck ain’t anglican.’ There are many very strong statements about the bible included in the foundation documents of anglicanism. Article 20 certainly encourages sensitive reading of one scripture against the other (as well as limiting church councils only to actions not contrary to God’s word written.) I think this supports Chris’s (2) and may go beyond his (3). The first book of homilies (commended in article 35) contains one on Scripture -http://www.anglicanlibrary.org/homilies/bk1hom01.htm It’s interesting how far this goes towards what would be called novel, non-anglican fundamentalism on these pages. I’m aware… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

Well, apparantly the In Depth group has decided to look at the 39 Articles in the next meeting(s), as something that exists but is hardly looked at (so it was being said), and although there are a range of views I hardly think this group will come to a conclusion other than one of heritage. Anglican worship takes a lot out of the glass cases of the museum, but some things really ought to stay under glass.

Chris
Guest
Chris

Charlie,

Thank you. Please remember around here the “broad church” only extends from left-of-center to far-left and that “traditional Anglicanism” is based on 1960’s era liberation theology with healthy doses of pluralism.

Malcolm+
Guest
Malcolm+

One English ordinand, when asked to assent to the articles, supposedly said that he acknowledged them much as he did the local gas works – he admitted their existence and was not, at present, involved in a plot for their overthrow.

The articles have never held confessional authority in Anglicanism.

But if one is going to start building a case around the articles, might I draw everyone’s attention to one which makes it clear that foreign prelates do not have the right to meddle in the affairs of other churches.

Chris
Guest
Chris

Perspicuity does not mean complete revelation nor does it mean taking words right of the page and “getting it” – that IS fundamentalism. I have to have an understanding of Cod and Christ before the plain meaning is obvious. Jesus and Paul show this process in their many references to the OT. As for the human role in writing AND interpretation – see John Stott’s idea of “double interpretation.” He argues that there is a very important role in interpretation by making the Scripture relevant to the modern world – think Paul in Athens. I can’t cite a “named Anglican”… Read more »

JCF
Guest
JCF

While I rarely agree w/ +Tom Dunelm in recent “Anglican Unpleasantness”, I would say that that quote you provided bolsters my case *AGAINST* idolatry of “the plain meaning of Scripture”, Chris.

What else IS biblical literalism, except “imposing my initial view on it from day one”?

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

“There can even be churches who have a special mission to reach out to homosexuals.”

This one, for example?

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-exgay28jun28,0,1590125.story

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

“I have to have an understanding of Cod “

Bless my sole!

Chris
Guest
Chris

JCF, that makes absolutely no sense to me. How can taking God at His word be idolatry? I believe in God. I believe God has given and preserved Scripture to help us understand Him. Therefore, the Scripture is trustworthy and understandable in what it says about God and us. There is no imposition of my view on Scripture when I accept what Scripture says. If that is idolatry then Christianity is a cruel joke. Instead, it is liberal criticism of Scripture that imposes ITS VIEW on Scripture. It presupposes that God CAN NOT work through humans to communicate across time… Read more »

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

Never come across the old culinary rule “ye cannot serve cod and salmon”, Mynsterp?

Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
Guest
Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)

Chris: “Instead, it is liberal criticism of Scripture that imposes ITS VIEW on Scripture. It presupposes that God CAN NOT work through humans to communicate across time and culture.”

Oh, dear, he’s been reading the Ladybird Book of Biblical Criticism again. Chris, try reading some PROPER works on biblical study rather than the outpourings of The Banner Of Truth Press.

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

“ye cannot serve cod and salmon”

I’ve obviously got lobster learn about the sayings of the Lord.

Jerry Hannon
Guest
Jerry Hannon

“ye cannot serve cod and salmon”

I’ve obviously got lobster learn about the sayings of the Lord. – mynsterpreost

I am becoming concerned about posters who are making light of this just for the halibut.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Jerry, Mynster, for Christ’s skate!!

Chris
Guest
Chris

Amazing – Simon censors posts that quote people from last week but allows supercilious comments on typos.

Way to go TA!!!

Charlie
Guest
Charlie

Malcolm, Thanks for responding. Sorry to be slow to reply, I’ve been taking a wedding away from home. You said: The articles have never held confessional authority in Anglicanism. Those more learned than me could probably have a long historical discussion backwards and forwards about that but I don’t think we need to for this thread. I only wanted to say that if a view is in the articles then we should be polite enough to admit it as ‘anglican.’ That’s different from saying it’s ‘true’, ‘helpful’ or deciding whether it should be allowed out from under glass in the… Read more »

Hugh of Lincoln
Guest
Hugh of Lincoln

Lighten up Chris. This isn’t the plaice for hard feelings 😉

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

Fishy to be sure, Chris. Don’t fret – Simon’s cutting posts both sides of the fence on this one.

Pluralist
Guest

All right, let’s move away from the fish shop and tackle this matter of scriptural perspicuity. It is founded upon a belief, a belief in perspicuity that must come first, that is instantly contradictory. A position of perspicuity has to be argued for. It should speak for itself. It sets itself up so that no one should have to revert to the Church for interpretation, yet scripture is multisourced, complex, multilayered, contradictory, written for different groups, and is not historically, biographically or in matters of nature reliable. The problem is that if you are going to claim perspicuity, then someone… Read more »

Chris
Guest
Chris

Pluralist said:
“The Bible sustains many interpretations according to what bias you want to place on it in the first place.”

Does this mean liberals have biases as well? And if liberals do have biases, how can they be anymore trustworthy than conservative theologies?