A.S Haley on the Dublin Primates Meeting—A Descent into Irrelevance

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The documents posted at the close of the recent Primates' Meeting in Dublin tell the story. The takeover of the Instruments of Communion by ECUSA, aided and abetted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, is now complete. Anything of substance was carefully avoided at Lambeth 2008; the proposed Covenant itself was derailed at ACC-14 in Jamaica, and then carefully defanged by the newly reorganized Standing Committee; and now the Primates' Meeting has let itself descend into irrelevance -- with the primates of the churches having most of the Anglican Communion's membership absenting themselves, and refusing to prop up the pretense of normalcy any longer....

There is not a word in any of the statements released from Dublin today about the commitment that ECUSA's House of Bishops was supposed to make, and which bishops such as +Bruno, +Shaw and the Presiding Bishop herself have so deliberately flouted ever since -- along with the General Convention of the whole Church. It is abundantly clear, based on the statements from Dublin, that the Primates who gathered there are not going to follow through with their commitments at Dromantine and Dar es Salaam. So ECUSA has prevailed, and will have its way.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: CommentaryArchbishop of Canterbury Anglican PrimatesPartial Primates Meeting in Dublin 2011Episcopal Church (TEC)Global South Churches & Primates

28 Comments
Posted February 1, 2011 at 7:06 am

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1. BlueOntario wrote:

500 pound gorilla? What? Where?

February 1, 10:02 am | [comment link]
2. Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) wrote:

And the rump Canterbury Communion, consisting primarily of demographically moribund churches (no longer) full of over-fed, over-educated white people, continues down its path of irrelevancy.

God continues to shift stewardship of His Church from weak and rebellious Anglo-American hands to faithful and repentant southern hands and Asian hands. We’ve seen nothing like it since the fall of Constantinople in 1453.

February 1, 10:08 am | [comment link]
3. Larry Morse wrote:

The whole point is that no one is surprised. The results are precisely what we all expected. Well, what then? Who is going to do what and for what reason as a result of this parody of Anglicanism? Is the answer nobody and nothing? Again? Larry

February 1, 10:31 am | [comment link]
4. Dan Ennis wrote:

Really, #2?  Constantinople?  The “Anglican Communion” was an ad-hoc arrangement all along, adding “instruments” over the years as the need arose.  This is a rather ho-hum schism if you ask me—two groups that distrust and disrespect each other decide they no loner share any “bonds of affection.”  Both sides will carry on, no massacres in the streets…

I rarely agree with Haley, but the “irrelevance” point ought to be amplified.  What does it matter anymore, all this meeting and resolving and boycotting?  I think we all know where we stand.

February 1, 11:40 am | [comment link]
5. cseitz wrote:

#4—is the point that the claim of the Anglican Communion to represent a genuine theological Communion of faith and practice was always just a pretense? Such that its ceasing is not of concern? ‘Where we all stand’ = unrecognisibility. Perhaps the lesson in this is that progressives like this kind of ‘stand’ and conservatives feel something precious is being squandered, so that every one can do what is right in their own eyes (except within TEC internally, of course, where efforts to constrain through hierarchy proceed apace). One can see the PB returning to a ticker-tape parade and returning to the plans to make sure all comply.

February 1, 11:49 am | [comment link]
6. Dan Ennis wrote:

#5, I accept the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral as the basis of my faith.  I prefer the Book of Common Prayer as a way or organizing worship.  Do I need the Primates’ Meeting, and the AAC, and all that to certify my membership in “a genuine theological communion?”  My “genuine theological communion” starts in my parish, extends to a lesser extent to my diocese, and peters out the further I get from home.  If there continues to exist an international confederation of churches with historical ties of the Church of England, hooray.  If it is decided on a global level to no longer “suffer as a busy body in other men’s matters” that would be all right too. 

As a mere pew-sitter (and no theologian, as my posts on T-19 attest) I think this “schism” alarms insiders and hardcore controversialists, but holding TAC together through some sort of scotch-taped job (like the covenant) won’t arrest the general decline of mainstream protestantism in North American, and breaking it apart would hardly register in the lives of the rank and file. 

I guess I’m curious to know what you think is so precious about all this?  The Anglican Communion seems to generate acrimony and condemnation; its original consultative role has morphed into a landscape of debate.  What would be lost of we stopped having these periodic screaming matches?  What is so precious?

February 1, 12:20 pm | [comment link]
7. Br. Michael wrote:

Actually the only thing left for TEC to do is to produce a new Prayer Book to formalize what they have done and make their working theology match their formal theology.  However, they still get some mileage out of claiming that what they are doing in practice is still not the official theology and doctrine of TEC.  It still allows them plausible deniability.

February 1, 12:23 pm | [comment link]
8. Bookworm(God keep Snarkster) wrote:

“...so that every one can do what is right in their own eyes (except within TEC internally, of course, where efforts to constrain through hierarchy proceed apace)”.

And the hypocrisy of this is, of course, beside the point.  But, double standards and falsehoods don’t count when you’re in pursuit of such a PROPHETIC agenda…

Sarcasm/nausea on…DUH

February 1, 12:33 pm | [comment link]
9. Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) wrote:

Dan—actually I was not referring only to Anglicanism. Look at what’s happening on the Roman side in Africa and China. Look what’s happening with the Adventists and Nazarenes in South America, and the Baptists in China.

In my youth Uganda was a missionary field. It is now a missionary force. I suspect, as well, that one of the great faith stories of the 21st century will be the re-emergence of China as a great Christian country for the first time in a millennium.

I’ve said before, but believe it bears repetition, that whilst the first Reformation rejected multiple ADDITIONS to scripture, the second Reformation, in which we are now entrained, is about rejection socially inconvenient SUBTRACTIONS from the Word of God.

We shall not live to see the full dénouement of this Second Reformation, but the transfer of stewardship from northern and western ‘subtractors’ to southern and eastern faithful seems to be a significant element of the entire reformational dynamic.

February 1, 12:37 pm | [comment link]
10. cseitz wrote:

Off the top of my head. Precious—1. the theological character of Anglicanism and the Anglican Way (the centrality of Holy Scripture and worship as the means of confession); 2. The witness of Christian Mission, and the spread of the Gospel, enabled by Missionary Societies; 3. Systems of support for the poorer and less affluent, including theological education; 4. Coherent theological mission such that ecumenical life can find its purpose and extension, ‘that we all may be one’; 5. Holy Scripture as presented to the church in lectionary and worship, ‘sufficient for all things unto salvation’ and unconstrained by Confessions or Magisterium; 6. the Global Communion as Sign of Christ’s Great Commission in reality.

Now why are these under threat and why has acrimony arisen? Because TEC has sought to go its own way and claim the warrant of the Holy Spirit both.

February 1, 12:39 pm | [comment link]
11. Militaris Artifex wrote:

10. Professor Seitz,

I write the following as a person raised in the LCMS to the age of about 20, became Episcopalian at about 25, and was received at Pentecost Sunday last, at age 64, into the full communion of the Catholic Church. And I would add that the following observation is not written to be contentious, but offered in humility as a lesson it took me the better part of 60 years to learn.

Of the points you raise, I can state that the majority of what you wrote can be said of what I have experienced since beginning my journey across the Tiber in the Fall of 2008. The only modifications required would be as italicized in the following identcially numbered points:

1. The centrality of Holy Scripture and liturgical worship as the means of confessing Christ as my Lord;

2. The witness of Christian Mission, and the spread of the Gospel, enabled by lay, religous and priestly apostolates (which are operationally equivalent to Missionary Societies);

3. Systems of support for the poorer and less affluent, including theological education through apostolates, parishes, dioceses and the national conferences of Bishops;

4. Coherent theological mission such that ecumenical life can find its purpose and extension, ‘that we all may be one’;

5. Holy Scripture (plus that Sacred Tradition handed down from the apostles) as presented to the church in lectionary and worship, ‘sufficient for all things unto salvation,’ (summarized by the Creeds and explicated for the faithful by the Magisterium);

6. the Global Communion and the Eucharist as Sign(s) of Christ’s Great Commission in reality.

I would humbly suggest that what the Latin Church and her ~22 sister Rites offer is not that far removed from what the Anglican Church once offered, which should not surprise us. I would also humbly suggest that what Bl. John Henry Cardinal Newman wrote was not terribly wide of the mark, even if you replace his “infallible” with the less contentious “final” in the following [emphases mine]:

The most obvious answer, then, to the question, why we yield to the authority of the Church in the questions and developments of faith, is, that some authority there must be if there is a revelation given, and other authority there is none but she. A revelation is not given if there be no authority to decide what it is that is given. . . . If Christianity is both social and dogmatic, and intended for all ages, it must humanly speaking have an infallible expounder. Else you will secure unity of form at the loss of unity of doctrine, or unity of doctrine at the loss of unity of form; you will have to choose between a comprehension of opinions and a resolution into parties, between latitudinarian and sectarian error. ... Germany and Geneva began with persecution and have ended in scepticism. The doctrine of infallibility is a less violent hypothesis than this sacrifice either of faith or of charity. It secures the object, while it gives definiteness and force to the matter, of Revelation.*

And I would also humbly suggest that the current fractures are, in some significant part, a result of precisely what his comment suggests.

Pax et bonum,
Keith Töpfer
___________________
* — from Newman’s Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine.

———————-
“The common belief that whisky improves with age is true. The older I get, the more I like it.”[Ronnie Corbett]
“Si vis pacem, para bellum.”[classical adage, believed based on a quotation from Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus]
—[i[]If you can keep your head while all those around you are losing theirs, you obviously don’t understand the gravity of the situation!”—[author unknown]

February 1, 2:07 pm | [comment link]
12. cseitz wrote:

Keith: As a Priest, theological educator, Professor, surely you are not encouraging me to leave my post, are you? If anglicanism has had these things are central (absent two-source authority notions, unknown in the Fathers; absent Roman See as central, missing in the Fathers), then a dark period requires hard work—as in previous periods when darkness fell. grace and peace, and blessing on you in your own new post!

February 1, 2:20 pm | [comment link]
13. Militaris Artifex wrote:

Professor Seitz,

Such was not, and is not, my intent. Even though you and I are not well acquainted, people with whom I am fairly well acquainted, and whose opinons I trust implicitly, hold you, and your personal integrity, in very high regard. As a consequence thereof, I do likewise. So I would expect that you would follow where our Lord and your conscience lead you.

All of the points you listed in your reply to Dan Ennis prompted me to write my comment. I simply wished to point out, to Dan and others more than to you, the degree to which, until very recently, Rome and Canterbury held a very similar understanding of what following Christ entailed. And I am reasonably confident that is was not Rome that has altered its teaching. The current unpleasantness within parts of Anglicanism is an indicator, IMHO, of just how far TEC, ACoC and others within the Anglican Communion have moved away from the understanding of Christianity which was very largely shared with the Catholic Church (I omit the Orthodox Churches only because I have no personal experience of them), and to second your conclusion about the source of the current acrimony—TEC’s willfulness and hubris.

However, I do also think that the degree of acrimony which now exists, results in significant part from a failure of leadership within the AC. It may be that +Cantuar has no explicit juridical authority, but if no one has any, the results for a continued Anglican Communion look irretrievably tragic, absent a miracle.

I continue to pray that God will bless you and your family, as well as your priesthood and ministry.

Pax et bonum,
Keith Töpfer

———————-
“The common belief that whisky improves with age is true. The older I get, the more I like it.”[Ronnie Corbett]
“Si vis pacem, para bellum.”[classical adage, believed based on a quotation from Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus]
—[i[]If you can keep your head while all those around you are losing theirs, you obviously don’t understand the gravity of the situation!”—[author unknown]

February 1, 3:00 pm | [comment link]
14. cseitz wrote:

Dear Keith—we agree on everything you have stated, so clearly and honestly. The leadership from Canterbury has been abysmal and one wonders what the future will be. But God has ways to restore his Church. I teach a course on the Psalms in the History of Interpretation. Many people don’t know how tremendously insightful are the paraphrases of Erasmus—at times, as well, he sounds just like Luther! Have a look at his treatment of Psalm 3 and the sufferings of David and Our David, as he calls him, that is, Christ, as well as His limbs, the church. And he sees the suffering of the church as perenniel and a filling out of her vocation. But the Head suffered and was vindicated and so will the limbs, who look to the Head. I take comfort in that. yrs in Christ.

February 1, 3:18 pm | [comment link]
15. BlueOntario wrote:

What is so precious?

I’m reluctant to use the term, because of the negative baggage that it can carry, but Anglicanism - and by extention, the Anglican Communion, is like a “mother church” to most of Christianity in the English-speaking world. What is happening touches many, presently and in the future.

February 1, 3:51 pm | [comment link]
16. Old Guy wrote:

What a great dialog, what an exciting time to be a Christian.

I speak only as a lay person. 

I loved being Episcopalian growing up, but left the TEC in my 20’s.  The national church has always been askew from the membership.  And I think #6 clearly states Episcopalian doctrine for the last several decades:

My “genuine theological communion” starts in my parish, extends to a lesser extent to my diocese, and peters out the further I get from home.

And, respectfully, suggest that what we have now is the fruit of that doctrine.  Based on what I know of Anglican doctrine (found in the BCP) and the Bible, I am repeatedly amazes at the open and clearly statements of theology by the Presiding Bishop.  The fact that I disagree with it is irrelevant—I left the TEC close to 30 years ago.  But I wonder:  is there anything that she could say regarding theology which could cost her her job.  Is there anything regarding theology which any TEC leaders could say which would cost them their job?

February 1, 5:25 pm | [comment link]
17. Old Guy wrote:

Continuation.
I am excited about the reaction to the TEC, because I see a chance to become a practicing Anglican again.  Hurrah!  I think I have always been an Orthodox Anglican or Evangelical Anglican or whatever we call ourselves, all along. 

I think a lot of the vitality in Protestant Christianity, in America at least, has come from non-denominational churches (which I have been a member of).  The problem, for me, of such an approach to faith is that it puts so much pressure and and so emphasis on the individual pastor.  I like the connectivity that “Anglicanism” has to offer, both in terms of people now living that share a faith and in terms of people who have gone before that also share that faith.  For some Protestants, there is an historical gap from 100 AD to 1500 AD.  Maybe Anglicanism is an effort to keep that history and tradition, but give a Biblical scrub (to test it).

I certainly appreciate #11’s choice to be Catholic.  Hard not to have a lot of respect for the church and its almost unique voice against modern secularism.  Given how much fire the Pope draws from his secular opponents, he must be on to something really good. 

Nonetheless, I remain a Protestant because I believe that responsibility for the faith falls on the individual.  The only mediator between God and man are Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  I think if there is going to be any rebirth in Anglicanism it will mean that “mere pew sitters” will expect something of their church—local, disocese, national and global—when it comes to matters of faith.  What that is may take us a while to find out (in God’s good grace).

Is the Apostle’s Creed a good place to start?  I think I can fully say, “I believe” to that.  (Not so sure about the Nicene Creed.)  But if the Apostle’s Creed has any authority, I think the Episcopal Church does not follow it, if what their Preisding Bishop says reflects their beliefs.  And if what she says does not reflect their beliefs, what is she doing? 

However, I am not an Episcopalian, so it is probably none of my business.

February 1, 5:43 pm | [comment link]
18. Pageantmaster [Katie bought Welby] wrote:

#11 Keith
You quote from Newman:

If Christianity is both social and dogmatic, and intended for all ages, it must humanly speaking have an infallible expounder.

You do know that both the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches have such an infallible human expounder?  His name is Jesus Christ and He gave us His Word.  He leads us and reveals through his Word, his will for us as individuals and as Church.

In this I do not believe you will find any difference between the Anglican and your church, and although you will find differences in doctrine which as we say “is not necessary to be believed for salvation”, yet in the essentials and in the greater number of things which unite rather than divide us we are ad idem.

#14 Professor Seitz

The leadership from Canterbury has been abysmal and one wonders what the future will be.

I think a line has been crossed this week, and it may take some time to see what the effect of that will be, but I do not think it will be good for Canterbury.  A time for quiet reflection.

But God has ways to restore his Church.

Amen as both the Old and New Testaments show us.

Some days I sit and think. Other days I just sit!!

February 1, 5:50 pm | [comment link]
19. MichaelA wrote:

1. Instead of citing scripture, Martial Artist at #11 cites John Henry Newman to us:

“A revelation is not given if there be no authority to decide what it is that is given. . . .”

Ah, there we have it – Newman said it, therefore it must be so! Pardon me for asking, but did Christ or his apostles give any support to such a notion? (I am really, really, really sorry to bring up the teaching of men who left this earth 2,000 years ago – it must seem so terribly old fashioned and irrelevant in comparison to the good *modern* teaching from JHN!)

2. Martial Artist wrote at #13,

However, I do also think that the degree of acrimony which now exists, results in significant part from a failure of leadership within the AC. It may be that +Cantuar has no explicit juridical authority, but if no one has any, the results for a continued Anglican Communion look irretrievably tragic, absent a miracle.

ABC has exactly the same authority as his predecessors had. That fact alone tells us that this has little to do with any structural problem with the Anglican Communion, and everything to do with this ABC’s personal apostasy.

It does, however, warn us against the consequences of putting too much ecclesiastical power in the hands of any one fallible human being.

As for “results for a continued Anglican Communion look irretrievably tragic”, where did you get that idea? The vast majority of Anglicans are faithful and orthodox. And it is precisely because we are Anglicans with Anglican polity that the liberals’ capture of some of the hierarchy will not succeed in subverting the AC. It is still around now, it is stronger than ever before (despite the bleatings from fools like ABC and KJS), and it shows every indication of still being here in centuries’ time (unless our Lord returns sooner).

February 1, 8:53 pm | [comment link]
20. John A. wrote:

I agree generally with the points that make the AC precious that are mentioned in posts #10 and #11 but it feels to me as though more is at stake.  I would suggest the following alternate perspective on the value of the AC:

1) As with all denominations our primary value is in being submitted to our Lord Jesus Christ.
2) Believing in the authority of scripture for communicating the will of Jesus.  (I would add something about the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in interpreting scripture but that is such a point of abuse at the moment.)
3) Provided that points 1 and 2 are met what differentiates us from other denominations is not our unique theology or liturgy but having a network rather than a hierarchy of regional churches.

I believe that the potential of this network of churches has not yet been realized and we need to do far more in building relationships between congregations and regional churches.  I think this will become critical as the church faces various challenges throughout the world.

It is not the uniqueness of our theology or liturgy that are special.  What should make them special is that they are based on the lordship of Christ and we no longer have to waste time arguing about them!

February 1, 11:21 pm | [comment link]
21. Larry Morse wrote:

All very interesting, but no one (unless I have missed it) explains what to DO - except talk. What course will remove and relieve Anglicanism from the burden of the ABC and the TECnophiles? This simply must be answered.  Larry

February 2, 10:13 am | [comment link]
22. phil swain wrote:

God gave us an authoritative Church so that we would have a concrete presence in which to fully give ourselves.  Everything else is inadequate to the human need to lose one’s self in order to gain one’s self.  As Guardini said, “when one wants to deal directly with God, one says “God”, but means himself.”

February 2, 6:15 pm | [comment link]
23. MichaelA wrote:

Larry Morse at #21, 

Your question already has been answered.

However, if you deride “talking” you are going to be disappointed – throughout history, the main role of church leaders has been to talk, i.e. to fearlessly proclaim the truth. Mostly, they do little more than that (and that is often enough to get them persecuted). The vast majority of Anglicans are orthodox, and their leaders have fearlessly proclaimed the truth for several years now. The challenge for you and me is, will we follow their lead or just sit and wring our hands uselessly?

The orthodox primates and bishops have made it very clear that they do not intend to “remove and relieve Anglicanism from the burden of the ABC” in the sense of cutting all ties with him. If this was going to happen anywhere, it would have occurred at the Jerusalem conference (Gafcon) in 2008 – instead, those present made it clear that they intended to continue to work within the Anglican Communion.

However, they have already made it clear that they will take action to warn and discipline erring members, and that includes ABC and the Communion leadership. You can expect this to continue. The most recent example of a warning was the failure of primates representing two thirds of the Communion to attend the primates meeting in Dublin. Examples of discipline include the establishment of ACNA in 2008 as a parallel province-in-the-making to TEC and ACiC, and provincial declarations of “impaired communion” with TEC.

Note that the experience of the past ten years teaches us that the orthodox primates move slowly and deliberately, but inexorably. Take the foundation of ACNA for example – this was not a precipitate action, but followed some years of public and private warnings to TEC.

So what should you do? Be a faithful Anglican. Find a parish which is faithful and be part of its daily life. For those of us who live in orthodox provinces or dioceses (e.g. ACNA, my own diocese of Sydney or most of the Global South), this is not difficult to do. But even within TEC or CofE, there are still plenty of faithful parishes around. If necessary, be prepared to travel.

And, support the primates. There can be little doubt that they are going to take further action, since ABC has not heeded the warning at Dublin. It is likely that an alternate primates meeting will be established and become a permanent fixture.

The possibility of the primates openly endorsing an alternative structure in England also has increased, although that is a very overt step, given that CofE has not gone nearly so far down the road to ruin as TEC. I would expect the orthodox leaders to hand out more warnings before that happened.

February 2, 7:28 pm | [comment link]
24. MichaelA wrote:

Martial Artist cited JH Newman to us. Phil Swain now cites Guardini. Such recent authority!

However, I am not interested in what some 20th century priest says. I am interested to know what Christ and His Apostles taught. They might be boring or old-fashioned (2,000 years out-of-date, in fact) but THEY are the foundation of my faith, not the teachings of 19th and 20th century priests.

So my challenge to Phil Swain is the same as to Martial Artist - where is your authority for the proposition that God gave us an “authoritative church”?

February 2, 7:33 pm | [comment link]
25. Militaris Artifex wrote:

24. MichaelA,

1. On the question of “an ‘authoritative church’”:

First,

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18 [KJV])

Second,

I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. (John 16:12-13 [KJV])

My understanding of this is that Peter was appointed to be the head of the apostles following Jesus’ Ascension, and further, that the assurance of being led “into all truth” was given to the apostles as a group (a council?). This may not be the entirety of the evidence for an “authoritative church” but it is at the core of the doctrine.

2. On the recommendation to Larry Morse, at your comment [23], most particularly with regard to what he should do, you wrote [emphasis mine]:

Find a parish which is faithful and be part of its daily life. … even within TEC or CofE, there are still plenty of faithful parishes around.

This needs a caveat which you neglected to mention, at least when applied to TEC, to wit, one must be prepared to recognize that some small portion of anything donated that is needed by the parish, whether funds or any item provieded in the budget, will end up contributing to the diocesan budget and thence to the national offices of TEC, where a portion will be expended in direct, knowing and willing support of abortions. And this will not occur by accident, or through ignorance, but deliberately—TEC is a formal member of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. This may be a very small sum from any one individual, but I don’t think God looks at the size of one’s participation in sin, but rather whether the individual has made sufficient effort to inform his or her conscience and whether they knew, or had reason to know, what their actions were accomplishing.

So, Larry, if you are fully prepared to knowingly support abortions, even at some tiny level, feel free to follow MichaelA’s somewhat indiscriminate advice concerning TEC (I won’t presume to apply this to the CofE, as I have no knowledge of whether they have adopted a similar position).

Pax et bonum,
Keith Töpfer

———————-
“The common belief that whisky improves with age is true. The older I get, the more I like it.”[Ronnie Corbett]
“Si vis pacem, para bellum.”[classical adage, believed based on a quotation from Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus]
—[i[]If you can keep your head while all those around you are losing theirs, you obviously don’t understand the gravity of the situation!”—[author unknown]

February 3, 12:15 pm | [comment link]
26. MichaelA wrote:

Keith Potter,

1. In Matthew 16:18, Jesus does not teach anything about Peter being head of the apostles, whether after the ascension or at any other time. Indeed, His language shows the opposite - by virtue of his true confession, Peter was called a “stone” (petros), but Jesus described Himself as the “huge rock” (petra) on which the church was built. By contrast, a few verses later, when Peter espouses false doctrine, Jesus describes him as “Satan”.

Peter can be a “stone” then he can be “Satan” but regardless, none of this gives him authority over the other apostles.

This is only reinforced if one reads through the rest of the New Testament: Neither Peter himself nor the other disciples viewed Peter as head of the apostles. He does seem to have constituted one of three more senior apostles (Peter, John and James the brother of the Lord) but if anyone could be described as “head”, it was James. Yet the reality was that none of the apostles claimed or was accorded headship over the others.

You wrote:

“the assurance of being led “into all truth” was given to the apostles as a group”

Indeed it was, and the Apostles were chosen directly by God to exercise His authority in the church:

“In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets.” [Ephesians 3:4-5]

And in turn, God’s Apostles and Prophets, as the mediators of his revelation, form the foundation of the Church, under Christ:

“Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” [Ephesians 2:19-22]

But this authority was not extended to anyone else in the church. No pope, bishop, pentecostal prophet or anyone else today can exercise the authority that the Apostles were given. We all live under their teaching and we are all built on their foundation.

2. My advice to Larry Morse was not “indiscriminate”. I suggest that you spend some time learning about what faithful parishes in TEC do, before laying out more accusations against them!

February 6, 9:11 am | [comment link]
27. Militaris Artifex wrote:

MichaelA,

First, as to [emphasis mine]:

Indeed, His language shows the opposite - by virtue of his true confession, Peter was called a “stone” (petros), but Jesus described Himself as the “huge rock” (petra) on which the church was built.”

After 20+ years as a Missouri Synod Lutheran and 39+ as an Episcopalian, I can only charitably characterize your interpretation as novel, having never before encountered so much as a whiff of it. I know not whence you derive it. If it is your personal understanding, then I would refer you to the earlier quotation from Newman which you declined substantively to address.

Second, noting the length of time that I was in TEC, and having explicitly explored the possibility of sequestering my tithe (and I use tithe literally) from 815 in 2007, only to be informed that our Bishop allowed no such provision, but that “I shouldn’t worry about it” because the quantity of funds devoted to abortion support was inconsequential, and also being aware that very few TEC bishops made such provisions for members of their flock, I think it may be you who need to learn about what “faithful parishes in TEC do” as well as determining just how many TEC bishops permit any such leeway. I don’t accept the applicability of consequentialist arguments on matthers of fundamental morality.

My recollection is that you are in neither TEC nor the USA, forgive me if I am misremembering. Faithful TEC parishes are becoming rather scarce on the ground in this country. I think at this point I will cease to engage with you as I am beginning to realize that at least one of us is talking past the other. From my perspective, to continue would fail as you aren’t about to learn to dance and it would thus only serve to irritate you.

Pax et bonum,
Keith Töpfer

———————-
“The common belief that whisky improves with age is true. The older I get, the more I like it.”[Ronnie Corbett]
“Si vis pacem, para bellum.”[classical adage, believed based on a quotation from Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus]
—[i[]If you can keep your head while all those around you are losing theirs, you obviously don’t understand the gravity of the situation!”—[author unknown]

February 6, 1:02 pm | [comment link]
28. MichaelA wrote:

Martial Artist wrote:

After 20+ years as a Missouri Synod Lutheran and 39+ as an Episcopalian, I can only charitably characterize your interpretation as novel, having never before encountered so much as a whiff of it.

Respectfully, that says more about the circles you moved in, than about me. Its hardly a new point.

“If it is your personal understanding, then I would refer you to the earlier quotation from Newman which you declined substantively to address.”

True, because the quotation from Newman doesn’t say anything that requires discussion. And yes it is my personal understanding, just as everything you write or think is based on your personal understanding (I hope).

When the scriptures contain no support for the doctrines you espouse, then a vague reference to “personal understanding” doesn’t add anything to the debate. This is not a difficult area and the point I made is easy enough to follow – read the New Testament.

“Faithful TEC parishes are becoming rather scarce on the ground in this country.”

Thank you for finally admitting that some exist, rather than your earlier sweeping denial that any exist. My point stands, if Larry Morse can find a faithful congregation within TEC then he can belong to it, with my blessing (if the fact or otherwise of my blessing interests him!) If he can’t, then there are also faithful Anglican congregations outside of TEC to choose from.

“I think at this point I will cease to engage with you as I am beginning to realize that at least one of us is talking past the other.”

Suit yourself.

February 6, 7:43 pm | [comment link]


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