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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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A Global Anglican Future Conference is planned for June 2008. The aim of the Conference is to discuss the future of mission and relationships within the churches of Anglican Communion. Those who wish to retain biblical standards especially in the area of sexual ethics have spent much time and effort in negotiations on these issues in the last five years. They want to move on together with the gospel of Christ’s Lordship, a gospel which challenges us and changes lives. Israel is planned as a venue because it symbolises the biblical roots of our faith as Anglicans. I want those in the fellowship of our Diocese to know what this is about and why I am involved.
In 1998, the Lambeth Conference made it clear that the leaders of the overwhelming majority of Anglicans world-wide maintained the biblical view of sexual ethics – that sexual relationships are reserved for marriage between a man and a woman. Five years later, however, actions were taken in Anglican Churches both in Canada and the United States of America which officially transgressed these boundaries in defiance of the Bible’s authority.
There was an immediate adverse result for those who wanted to maintain orthodoxy within these churches. They courageously protested against these actions, and as far as possible withdrew their fellowship from those who they perceived had broken God’s law. In doing so, they wished the world to know that they remained as genuine Anglicans. They had made no change in their basic beliefs and they understood themselves still to be in fellowship with the mainstream of the Anglican Church elsewhere in the world.
The American actions also impacted churches all around the world. In particular the churches of the Global South had to own the name ‘Anglican’ while living in societies where the actions of the Americans was condemned by all, especially Muslims. The action of some North Americans severely hurt the witness of these churches. It also hindered the good effect that membership of the Anglican Communion has for those who live in a situation where Christians are in a minority.
Since 2003, patient attempts have been made to call the offending North Americans back to biblical standards. Many American Anglicans are now more aware of the distress which their actions have caused others, and regret this impact. At the same time, however, others have condemned attempts by Global South Bishops to provide ministry for the orthodox Christians who still wish to be Anglican, but cannot continue to do so in the fellowship of the American churches. Individuals, parishes and even dioceses have left the original church, becoming associated with other dioceses in other parts of the world, and with new bishops being appointed from overseas to care for the disaffected.
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