FCA General Secretary responds to the Global South to South Encounter
One reason why it fails to create a strong reaction is that it simply confirms the obvious. The crisis moment has now passed. Many of the Global South provinces have given up on the official North American Anglicans (TEC and the Canadian Church) and regard themselves as being out of communion with them. They renew the call for repentance but can see that, failing something like the Great Awakening, it will not occur. The positive side to this is that they are committed to achieving self-sufficiency so that they will cease to rely on the Western churches for aid. That is something the Global South has been working on for some time, with success.
In my judgment, the assembly was unresponsive to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s video greetings. I don’t think that what he said was obscure. It just seemed to be from another age, another world. His plea for patience misjudged the situation by several years and his talk of the Anglican covenant was not where the actual conference was at. He seemed to suggest that the consecration of a partnered lesbian Bishop will create a crisis. In fact the crisis itself has passed. We are now on the further side of the critical moment; the decisions have all been made; we are already living with the consequences. And it was in working out the consequences that the communiqué may eventually be seen to be historic.
The Global South Encounter could not in itself recognize the authenticity of churches. But the communiqué goes as far as is possible to recognizing the authenticity of the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA) and declaring this body to be the true heirs of the Anglican tradition on that continent. This is precisely what the GAFCON/FCA Primates Council did in 2009, and it really means that the leadership of the vast majority of the Anglican Communion regards itself as being in communion with ACNA and out of fellowship with the other North Americans. This was symbolized by the part played by Archbishop Bob Duncan at the conference, especially when he presided at Holy Communion. Furthermore the welcome accorded to the two bishops from the Communion Partners demonstrated the Global South commitment to Biblical standards as a test of fellowship.
In the meantime, of course, there are those, notably in the West, who want to play by the old institutional rules. They would argue that ACNA cannot be part of the Anglican Communion because it has not passed the tests of admission via the Anglican Consultative Council. This is so artificial as to be risible....
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal
Archbishop of Canterbury
Anglican Church of Australia
Global South Churches & Primates
Global South to South Encounter 4 in Singapore April 2010
Posted April 28, 2010 at 12:27 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]
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1. AnglicanFirst wrote:
” Very gently but firmly the group let me into a secret. It was all very well to have a covenant, but what if the people have different ideas as to what a covenant may mean? What if you were in covenanting with westerners, whose word could not be relied on? Of what use is a covenant then? Look at the state of marriage in the west. Consider the western capacity to use slippery words. What would a covenant be worth?”
Listen up ECUSA leadership!
These people have ‘got your number.’
And the statement,
April 28, 2:46 pm | [comment link]
“Consider the western capacity to use slippery words.”
seems to be a very nice way of saying “liars.”
2. MarkP wrote:
“Look at the state of marriage in the west. “
You lot in ACNA (etc) have this problem sorted out, I presume, not be of the west?
April 28, 3:29 pm | [comment link]
3. MarkP wrote:
“You lot in ACNA (etc) have this problem sorted out, I presume, not be of the west?”
Sorry for the obnoxious tone of this comment—I’d withdraw it if I knew how. But it did seem to me that the previous poster wasn’t giving full weight to the original statement’s indictment of the west as a whole, not just TEC. (And, as I’ve said before, I think a lot of people—including many of the most vocally “orthodox” groups—are inconsistent in explaining away Jesus’ own words on divorce while enforcing the words of others on homosexuality).
April 28, 3:37 pm | [comment link]
4. the roman wrote:
”(And, as I’ve said before, I think a lot of people—including many of the most vocally “orthodox” groups—are inconsistent in explaining away Jesus’ own words on divorce while enforcing the words of others on homosexuality).”
I don’t know any Christians who believe we should ask God to bless divorce or otherwise celebrate divorce as intrinsic. But then my worldview has been limited.
April 28, 4:10 pm | [comment link]
5. John A. wrote:
Sorry for the obnoxious tone of this comment—I’d withdraw it if I knew how.
You know how to modify the tone of your comments. You are expressing your frustration.
But it did seem to me that the previous poster wasn’t giving full weight to the original statement’s indictment of the west as a whole, not just TEC.
It is possible that some people in the GS are frustrated with westerners as a whole but the inclusion of Bishop Duncan suggests that we are not written off entirely. We live in a culture that does not value truth and our GS brothers and sisters are right in asking us to demonstrate that we do value the truth and that we live up to our commitments.
(And, as I’ve said before, I think a lot of people—including many of the most vocally “orthodox” groups—are inconsistent in explaining away Jesus’ own words on divorce while enforcing the words of others on homosexuality).
April 28, 4:14 pm | [comment link]
The church does need to take divorce more seriously but I am not sure what your point is. The sins of divorce and homosexual acts do have the same status. Neither sin disqualifies someone from membership in the body of Christ and either sin may make someone ineligible for some leadership positions depending on whether the person has achieved an adequate level of control in that area of their lives. The “orthodox” groups may still need to resolve appropriate discipline issues but the divide with the TEC is more foundational. The TEC does not agree with the concept of sin as a whole, the need for repentance and our need for a redeemer.
6. MarkP wrote:
“I don’t know any Christians who believe we should ask God to bless
divorce or otherwise celebrate divorce as intrinsic.”
Well and good, but “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and whoever marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.”
Divorces may not be blessed but remarriage is. But it’s blessing a homosexual relationship that’s a communion-breaker.
April 28, 4:20 pm | [comment link]
7. MarkP wrote:
I’d withdraw it if I knew how.
“You know how to modify the tone of your comments. You are expressing your frustration.”
My point was I don’t know how to remove a comment once it’s posted (though I’ve seen comments marked as “withdrawn” so I assume there’s a way to do it). My apology was for expressing my frustration.
April 28, 4:22 pm | [comment link]
8. DonGander wrote:
It seems that no matter who reports from the encounter the same things are said. It speaks quite well of the unity that must have been present.
April 28, 5:40 pm | [comment link]
9. mannainthewilderness wrote:
Mark P, many of the Global South provinces have been as shocked at TEC’s willingness to ordain divorced/remarried clergy as they have at its willingness to ordain non-celibate GLBT’s. Some clergy, you will remember, had some difficulty finding new bishops when they left TEC for precisely this reason.
April 28, 6:09 pm | [comment link]
10. Already Gone wrote:
Have to agree with Mark P on this one (sort of). Acceptance of remarriage after divorce severely undercuts the credibility of those who oppose gay marriage on Scriptural grounds. One of the reasons my wife and I left an evangelical Episcopal church to become Catholics is that most evangelicals, both as individuals and as denominations, including the ACNA, permit remarriage after divorce in all circumstances, not simply the narrow exceptions cited by Christ and St. Paul. The amount of twisting of the plain meaning of Scripture cited by Mark P to arrive at this position, and the “pastorial” reasons given for doing so, appeared to us to be at least on the same order as what liberals do regarding gay marriage. In the end, regardless of whether it is true or not, American evangelicals justifiably appear, to the wider world, to be quietly approving of a change in traditional Christian teaching to match changes in American culture when it effects them but not so when it doesn’t.
April 28, 9:13 pm | [comment link]
11. palagious wrote:
Non-sequiter arguments. The Church’s silence of divorce and co-hibitation are far from endorsements of such behavior and as such are not justification for acceptance of SSB. Just as the lack of condemnation of failure to recognize not keeping the Sabbath Day holy.
April 28, 10:50 pm | [comment link]
12. MarkP wrote:
“are not justification for acceptance of SSB.”
Just want to say that I did not intend this as justification for acceptance of SSB. But I do think that followers of Jesus should be particularly sensitive to places where they are treating insiders (people like us) more leniently than outsiders (not like us). Most of us have more and closer relationships with remarried people than with LGBT people, and it’s natural to want to be generous with people we know (because we know them to be people of good faith).
But Jesus was pretty stern with people who used the law to further marginalize outsiders (Corban, for example, or the treatment of tax collectors). Whenever somebody proclaims that they disassociate themselves from anything TEC does that’s out of line with the plain sense meaning of Scripture (I think the diocese of South Carolina did this last year, for example) I thinks it’s fair to ask, “why here and not there?” And I think you have to recognize that others are asking it even if you’re not.
April 29, 8:58 am | [comment link]
13. New Reformation Advocate wrote:
#9 & 10,
I think the ACNA is trying to face the problem squarely. It’s true that we have a lot of repenting to do, because even those of us who were theological conservatives (when we were) in TEC now realize that we often took too lax and lenient a stance toward the painful issue of divorce and remarriage. Too often, we let the world squeeze us into its permissive mold.
FWIW, ++Duncan has publicly declared that he will NEVER approve a 3rd marriage. Period. No exceptions. And the ACNA does restrict the office of bishop to men who’ve never been divorced (among other things, of course).
That policy kept the former dean of the SE regional convocation of the old ACN, my friend Jim McCaslin+, from being considered when the Anglican churches in northern FL and southern GA recently elected a bishop (Neil Lebhar won). The fact that Jim has had a strong 2nd marriage (to Ginny) that has lasted over 20 years now didn’t matter. He was disqualified, since he failed to meet the requirement in 1 Tim. 3 that a bishop be “the husband of one wife.”
Yes, we have a long way to go, but at least we’re finally heading the right direction.
April 29, 3:31 pm | [comment link]
14. Cennydd wrote:
Thank you, David+. I agree.
April 30, 12:14 am | [comment link]