Thinking Anglicans

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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Fr Mark
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Fr Mark

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!

NP
Guest
NP

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… Read more »

badman
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badman

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… Read more »

drdanfee
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drdanfee

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… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

“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… Read more »

Lapinbizarre
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Lapinbizarre

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.

Pluralist
Guest

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… Read more »

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

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.

Marshall Scott
Guest

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,… Read more »

drdanfee
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drdanfee

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… Read more »

Thrice Broad
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Thrice Broad

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.

Martin Reynolds
Guest

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?

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

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.

Prior Aelred
Guest

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… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

THEY DON’T SAY THE CREED???

NP
Guest
NP

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… Read more »

Cheryl Va. Clough
Guest

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… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

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.”

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

“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.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

“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.

MJ
Guest
MJ

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… Read more »

MJ
Guest
MJ

(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… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

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…

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

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.

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

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… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“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… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

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…

JPM
Guest
JPM

“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.

NP
Guest
NP

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… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“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.

Malcolm+
Guest
Malcolm+

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.

Cheryl Va. Clough
Guest

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… Read more »

Cardinal Wardrobe
Guest
Cardinal Wardrobe

Meanwhile, back at the ranch –
“A Very Blessed Advent to everybody” – and I mean everybody, including Graham Norton!!

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

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… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
Guest
Robert Ian Williams

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.

Robert Ian Williams
Guest
Robert Ian Williams

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… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“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.