Bishop Christopher Epting Blogs on Yesterday at Lambeth 2008

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The suggested ”Pastoral Forum” is more problematic. It’s to be chaired by the Archbishop of Canterbury and serve as an advisory group to the various Provinces when there are internal disputes and difficulties which affect the whole Communion. Such schemes have been tried (or at least floated) in recent years and have always failed. I’m not sure why this one will have any greater chance of success.

I believe we should ask everyone to do the best they can to honor the spirit of the Windsor Report while the Covenant process continues and ‘cut each other some slack’ until that time. All of us are working hard to maintain Communion while responding faithfully and fairly to our local contexts. That’s what Anglicanism is supposed to do and be, it seems to me.

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s decision to have this a “non-legislative” Conference was a very wise one. If we were “voting” on such matters this week, we would leave here as divided and wounded as we were in 1998. As it is, we will discuss all the ‘hard issues,’ give our input, and leave the matter for cooler heads to digest and deal with through the “Covenant Design Group” and the “Windsor Continuation Group.”

As always, any final decision will have to come through our separate Provincial structures (in our case, General Convention) for a vote by all the people of God, not just bishops and Primates! Thank God for a Communion which is “episcopally-led” but finally “synodically-governed!”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsLambeth 2008Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessingsWindsor Report / Process

20 Comments
Posted July 29, 2008 at 7:30 am

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1. Katherine wrote:

Thank God for a Communion which is “episcopally-led” but finally “synodically-governed!”

The results of “synodically-governed” in TEC, the CofE and the Communion are turning out catastrophic.

July 29, 7:37 am | [comment link]
2. Katherine wrote:

Why is Epting participating in Lambeth?  He is not a bishop with jurisdiction as far as I know.

July 29, 7:45 am | [comment link]
3. francis wrote:

Solutions floated but untried.  We will leave here as we came in, divided, with no end in sight.  Thank goodness.

July 29, 7:54 am | [comment link]
4. Jeremy Bonner wrote:

Fair enough Bishop Epting, but APO was envisaged as the way for TEC to be “cut some slack,” and that ended up on the cutting floor. Why not ask your colleagues, however belatedly, to implement the Dar-es-Salaam scheme?

Catholic and Reformed

http://catholicandreformed.blogspot.com

July 29, 8:04 am | [comment link]
5. robroy wrote:

The suggested ”Pastoral Forum” is more problematic. It’s to be chaired by the Archbishop of Canterbury and serve as an advisory group to the various Provinces when there are internal disputes and difficulties which affect the whole Communion. Such schemes have been tried (or at least floated) in recent years and have always failed. I’m not sure why this one will have any greater chance of success.

I agree with him on this. It will be as successful as the Panel of Reference. (Perhaps we can call it the “Forum of Reference”.) In fact, it seems that Rowan could waffle on the TEO/ACoC (they are mostly in compliance, dontcha’ know) and condemn the border crossers.

Non serviri, sed servire.

July 29, 8:27 am | [comment link]
6. Barrdu wrote:

“As it is, we will discuss all the ‘hard issues,’ give our input, and leave the matter for cooler heads to digest and deal with…”

I guess this group of “cooler heads” must necessarily exclude the primates meeting.  Rather, a group hand picked by ABC would be more appropriate as it would more clearly appear “advisory” as opposed to authoritative.

July 29, 8:44 am | [comment link]
7. archangelica wrote:

TEC is not going to backdown or stop their support of full inclusion. It seems obvious to me that GC will authorize same sex blessings and God will continue to call women and glbt Christians to ordained ministry and to religious life.
Therefore, let us (not meaning most people on this site) take our bold stance, which so many believe to be God honoring and just, and accept our lumps. If our cause is sanctioned and supported by God we may suffer in all kinds of ways (this is pretty much guaranteed as ideas have consequences) but we will not be destroyed or undone. We may be very small but God said to feed His sheep not to count them.
If what we are doing is not of God and is a lie of the devil, then all our plans and hopes will be undone and the gates of hell will prevail against us. If this be the case, may we have the grace to see the error of our ways, repent and be reconciled to those opposed to us.
Let us test the spirits and “quality check” the fruit.
It may be that we hold the light in the darkness though and that those opposed to us may one day see that their are supporting a stance akin to the endorsement of slavery which divided the Church before and from which it repented and recovered.
God is in control and I am willing to trust the process. So draw up the seperation papers and serve us. What happens after that is up to God. We are where we are and it is what it is. God save us.

http://www.cjcleveland.com

July 29, 8:46 am | [comment link]
8. Sarah1 wrote:

Archangelica, I wholeheartedly agree with you.

July 29, 9:11 am | [comment link]
9. Katherine wrote:

archangelica, although I do not agree with your point of view on church matters, I wholeheartedly agree on what should be done.  The two views are irreconcilable, and an honest parting would be the best thing for both sides.  Let dioceses and parishes decide which group they wish to follow, divide assets accordingly, and say “go in peace” to each other.  What God wills, he will bless.

July 29, 9:13 am | [comment link]
10. young joe from old oc wrote:

“If we were “voting” on such matters this week, we would leave here as divided and wounded as we were in 1998.” (from the posting above)

I don’t know that you would find a better one sentence example of life in the bubble that is American progressivist religion. It has only been ten years and yet, the common memory of neofeminist, post-modern episcopal progressivism has already reimaged the history of Lambeth 1998 to conform to its particular frame of reference.  Just to help Bishop Epting get a little clarity on how the rest of the Anglican world sees that conference, I will provide just a couple of important details:

On August 6 [1998], the bishops at Lambeth answered the question by passing a strong, clear statement on human sexuality by a majority of 526 to 70, with 45 abstaining. By this act, they restated the historic teaching of the Christian Church and reaffirmed the foundation of that teaching in the revealed will of God in Holy Scripture.

Now, I don’t think there is any question that if the US House of Representatives voted in favor of legislation that, let’s say, strengthened the US government’s regulatory apparatus for fighting global warming by such a majority (88%), the good Bishop and those who share his vision would be declaring that the country is so unified behind this policy that the vote has changed the political landscape for years to come.  In fact, I’m sure that many of our progressivist friends would call for the date of the vote to be enshrined as national Global Pride Day. 

Another fact or two from Lambeth 1998:

There were five substantive resolutions on the floor at Lambeth in addition to Resolution 1.10, all of them from the Third World churches and all of them reaffirming the historic teaching of the Church, including the commendation of the 1997 Statement at Kuala Lumpur . Some bishops wanted to pass them all, but by way of compromise they accepted this clause as making clear the harmony among the resolutions. Conversely, there is no minority resolution that differs from the normative teaching found in all these resolutions. Thus while individual bishops voted against the resolution, the official position of the Anglican Communion is a clear and unequivocal reaffirmation of the biblical teaching. (from Dr. Stephen Noll)

This failure of episcopal progressivists to accept the common mind of the Communion, of the corporate body of God’s faithful who go by the name Anglican, and so deeply disrespect it for the sake of the social and political agenda of a very self-centered minority, is what should be the first item on the list of issues to be examined at Lambeth.  As this agenda has been elevated, a deformed and weak christ figure has also emerged as the core of the new episcopoprogressivist theology.  If the Holy Spirit were truly setting the priorities for Lambeth, the Pastoral Forum would have already happened, repentance demanded and penance prescribed, and nothing else would happen with TEC’s involvement.

July 29, 9:24 am | [comment link]
11. driver8 wrote:

Of course the TEC activists (within and without the HOB) want to separate. Then ask oneself why they are not doing so. Why do they keep on putting themselves through the mangle (as they see it).

The lawsuits. It’s like a divorce in which both parties want to claim the family home and so no one will leave the house until the judge has decided. TEC will surely do everything it can to remain within the Communion until the big civil suits are done.

July 29, 9:30 am | [comment link]
12. evan miller wrote:

Archangelica,
We disagree on the presenting issue, but you and I have agreed on other matters (churchmanship, for instance) and I appreciate the integrity of your #7.

July 29, 9:33 am | [comment link]
13. drummie wrote:

TEC has blatantly told everyone they will not back down, change or anything else that they don’t want to.  That is not Christianity, that is self centered idolatry.  It is time for thh other provinces to break communion with TEC or for GAFCON to form a new communion.  TEC can not be trusted, so turn our backs and go forward with God’s work, leaving the heretics alone.

July 29, 9:49 am | [comment link]
14. austin wrote:

#7 It’s all very well for archangelica to take the pose of the soon-to-be-martyr.  But, in fact, her party holds all the cards in the USA and has done a pretty good job of exterminating the opposition.  I don’t see how international censure will have much effect in changing this situation, nor will it make the lives of reappraisers less comfortable.  There is something slightly pschotic about wanting to be the victim while actually being the tyrant.

July 29, 10:55 am | [comment link]
15. archangelica wrote:

#14 Austin
“My party” has done a deplorable job in it’s treatment of the opposition and I am ashamed of that and do not support the exclusion of reasserters in any way. They have been treated shabbily and I hate it.
I do not claim to be a victim, please don’t make such a claim for me. There is plenty of suffering in regards to the tearing assunder of TEC to go around many times over and more to come for all of us.

http://www.cjcleveland.com

July 29, 11:33 am | [comment link]
16. Jeremy Bonner wrote:

Good for you archangelica (#15). There are certain elements of “my party” whose pronouncements frequently depress me.

http://catholicandreformed.blogspot.com

July 29, 11:42 am | [comment link]
17. Eastern Anglican wrote:

So the bishops’ voting would leave us fractured and wounded, but a synod voting leaves us whole?
Just a questions.

July 29, 1:48 pm | [comment link]
18. Eastern Anglican wrote:

‘scuse me.  Previous should read “Just a question.”
Although, on further thought could someone please help me find out who it was that said, “Democracy is of the devil”?

July 29, 1:50 pm | [comment link]
19. TomRightmyer wrote:

Thank you, archangelica, for your admission of bad treatment. Such has been present on all sides.  We all need to talk whatever steps we can to encourage healing of our unhappy divisions.

July 29, 2:06 pm | [comment link]
20. Larry Morse wrote:

Question: Do you like Epting?
  I don’t know. How do you Ept?
  And now we know how.  LM

July 29, 2:10 pm | [comment link]


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