Thinking Anglicans

Inclusive Church and GAFCON

Inclusive Church has issued a press release on GAFCON

GAFCON and the Anglican Communion
1st July 2008

The “Statement on the Global Anglican Future” released after the GAFCON conference in Jerusalem shows once again how deeply many people misunderstand the nature and spirit of Anglicanism. It misrepresents loyal, orthodox, traditional Anglicans across the world who are working and praying, in the spirit of the Gospel, to bring about the reign of God on earth.

continued below the fold

Anglicanism is is a dynamic, changing, growing and living faith which takes its authority from scripture, reason and tradition. It is unafraid to learn and receive anew the lessons of God’s unconditional love. The last century has taught us how we must make sure that there are no barriers to the welcome we offer to God’s house. Anglican Christians in the United States, Britain and across the world have applied those lessons and, in accordance with scripture, opened their doors to those previously shut out.

We welcome the response of the Archbishop of Canterbury to the GAFCON statement. The arbitrary creation of a “Primates’ Council” without legitimacy or authority cuts directly across the Anglican Instruments of Communion – the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lambeth Conference, the Anglican Consultative Council and the Primates Meeting. The Statement represents, in sum and despite its denials, a schismatic document which seeks to re-form Anglicanism in a way which is without justification historically and ecclesiologically.

We regret the stumbling blocks which are created by the insistence on a narrow understanding of scriptural authority, especially for members of Anglican Churches in provinces whose leaders support the ideas of GAFCON. And those who break away from the Anglican Communion will still have the challenge of celebrating the diversity in God’s universe, and acknowledging the divine gifts bestowed on people who may be marginalised in some provinces – especially women and lesbian and gay people.

We are reminded of Matthew 11.16 – To what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market places and calling to one another, “We played the flute for you and you did not dance; we wailed and you did not mourn.”

Above all we give thanks that the Spirit which leads us into all truth continues to inspire and refresh the Anglican Communion. We all have much to learn from each other, and we look forward to the Lambeth Conference. We pray that in humility and openness those who attend will grow in their understanding of the Gospel, of the Communion and of one another so that we can all be newly equipped to serve the God who calls each of us into God’s immeasurable love.

For further information visit www.inclusivechurch.net

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Treebeard
Treebeard
12 years ago

Good for IC.

But don’t we need to hear a lot more from Inclusive Church & from liberal, radical & progressive religionists ?

Or is it better to let the FOCas have all the rope they can use ?!

Also, although I don’t mange to live up to it myself, better to seek to speak and act with that Christ spirit of love and grace. Rather than point-scoring, bullying and power weilding…

oh i don’t know…

christopher+
christopher+
12 years ago

While I am as yet unsure whether one can speak of actual schism in this case – no formal separation occurred – there is a serious expression of disdain at/in GAFCON for the Anglican Communion’s structures and thus for a significant part of our shared history as a communion of autocephalous churches with a common heritage. Question: Is it schism if a group inside the Communion withdraws from such Instruments of Communion as the Lambeth Conference and creates its *own* new structures for relationship and decision-making, such as this purported primates’ council? Is this de facto schism? Or is it… Read more »

hal weiner
12 years ago

I haven’t got 400 words to say to the Primates Council or His Grace Rowan +. I have three. GET A LIFE. I chose to become a Christian because of a personal encounter with Christ. The guy I met would shake the dust off his feet at Peter Akinola. I became an Episcopalian because I love pomp and circumstance and at the Cathedral here in NYC every Sunday is a new Coronation of Elizabeth II or at least of God’s Son. But the time may be coming, when my enjoyment of ecclesiastical theatre is trumped by my distaste for the… Read more »

JCF
JCF
12 years ago

It’s darkest before the dawn, hal, and the wind HOWLS the loudest, just before the storm has passed (I was nearly killed in an awful storm last month, and can testify that’s literally true!).

Don’t leave us now, hal: as IC rightly says (quoting Our Lord) “We played the flute for you and you did not dance”. The party-poopers having FAILED to kill the joy, they will soon be moving on—and “a new Coronation of Elizabeth II or at least of God’s Son” (*LOL*) can continue with renewed enthusiasm. Maranatha! 😀

christopher+
christopher+
12 years ago

Greetings hal weiner, Fear not – and don’t let the constant political noise from parts south distract you from the glory of your encounter with the Risen Christ. Remember, too, that there is a difference between fence-sitting – which the Archbishop of Canterbury often feels called to do by virtue of his office, if not necessarily his theological convictions – and actually *supporting* the efforts of those who believe that only they – they alone among all others – understand the mind of God in Christ. Peace to you – and enjoy that marvelous, inclusive, active and loving cathedral community… Read more »

Prior Aelred
12 years ago

It seems to me that “schism” is not the right word for the Anglican Communion — it is not (contra the ABC) the “Anglican Church” — if one of the actual churches splits — it seems to me unclear as to the extent that this has occurred in North America with the interference from the Southern Cone & certain African provinces — but however the situation is to be described, it seems likely that this is the situation that will now be faced by “insufficiently orthodox” bishops in the C of E.

Tobias Haller
12 years ago

Christopher, That’s an important question. I get the sense, though, that this is more than a kind of Catholic Clerical Union approach, because actual separate episcopal oversight is desired. The CANA congregations could have continued to worship within TEC and had as little to do with their bishop as they liked, and I’m sure he would even have allowed visiting bishops to fill in (although, since he retrenched from his support of Gene Robinson, one might ask why the need for another person to perform confirmations). But they really want to have nothing to do with TEC or its Primate… Read more »

D C
D C
12 years ago

I read the IC article and am curious as to what the this is all about. As a non-Anglican, I look in and wonder what Anglican’s believe. As a gay man you will offer me acceptance, but can you offer me hope? The last Anglican vicar I heard speak here in the UK told me there were many ways to God and spiritual experiences (no matter where they were from) were all valid and from God. But what does that make of Jesus? Why be a Christian and not belong to another religion? From what I can see and depending… Read more »

JCF
JCF
12 years ago

Taste and see, D C. “Lex orandi, lex credendi”: come WORSHIP w/ your local Anglicans (or my Episcopal parish right here in smalltown Michigan), and find out about the Eternally JOYFUL HOPE we offer . . . Right Now! 🙂

Merseymike
Merseymike
12 years ago

Yes, but what do you mean by ‘standing up for what you believe’? Robert Mugabe does that. So does the taliban.

What matters is the content, and if you are a gay man, rather than a repressed self-hater, then you should be able to see that their statement of belief is something to regard with the utmost suspicion, given its content.

Pluralist
12 years ago

Why do you want someone to tell you what to believe? Perhaps if lacking something, the task is to find what is lacking – if possible. Rather have a religious community that offers a framework to ask questions and deal with some puzzles, and have support in a spiritual quest. The Christian tradition draws on the importance of mind and body, of turning again and ethical inversions from too much that is standard and disappointing. It also helps deal with betrayal and failure, sometimes by means to reflection and sometimes by quietness. Some of the arguments you mention I regard… Read more »

choirboyfromhell
choirboyfromhell
12 years ago

Hal:

And after all the exuberance on Sunday morning at the cathedral above Central Park, come on down Fifth Avenue for an evensong and have a good cry. And if not that, to another great parish “in the fields” over in Greenwich Village. The strong presence is there ready to hold you and affirm you for the way you were made in the eye of an all loving God.

Treebeard
Treebeard
12 years ago

I would echo Pluralist’s point. Which I find helpful and terse.

I feel similarly.

I seem to find that I believe more & more, in less & less.

Both the ‘more’ & the ‘less’ are important (in my quest).

christopher+
christopher+
12 years ago

DC, Don’t be confused by all the current bickering. Anglicans collectively believe in what is expressed in the Nicene Creed as the sufficient statement of the Christian faith. Anglicans also believe that some other things, like the sacraments instituted by Christ Himself, are essentials. The core of Anglican belief and practice is expressed in a helpfully clear way in a document called the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral. In effect, these are the four essentials required in the view of Anglicans for full communion with other Christian churches (and, it follows logically, with each other). These are, in other words, the essentials of… Read more »

RudigerVT
RudigerVT
12 years ago

“Hal,” as somebody inside the Anglican Communion, I’m here to tell you that what you’ve proposed reads like a pack of lies and a shoddy bit of concern trolling.

I’m constantly amazed by the improbable combinations: gay, non-Anglican, “concerned” about what one or more Vicars might say, yet unclear as to why. Not to mention rather carefully schooled in (and inclined toward) a rather particular set of ideas within Christianity. Oh really?

LPR

Merseymike
Merseymike
12 years ago

Rudiger – I think your comments referred to DC’s contribution, not Hal’s.

RudigerVT
RudigerVT
12 years ago

Indeed, you’re correct. That was what I meant.

LPR

choirboyfromhell
choirboyfromhell
12 years ago

RudigerVT: Good job at evangelizing a lost sheep. I suspect DC may never darken the doors of an enlightened Anglican Church, that is until the wolves get him. Failing to give anybody the benefit of the doubt shows how fearful us LGBT folk can be, and that’s not the way to be this day and age. Stand up, fight and lend your brother a protective hand….

DC: Remember, it takes a real (hu)man to admit that they don’t have all the answers. Ditto for a faith organization.

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