Daily Archives: January 10, 2016
The teaching of the Holy Scriptures and the faithful traditions of the Church stand in the way of this new egalitarianism, and are widely attacked. Those refusing to subscribe to the emerging equalities agenda by adopting the LGBT value system, are increasingly ostracized and punished.
It began with Christian bakers who were targeted for refusing to bake cakes celebrating gay weddings. It developed into the sacking of people who held public office, ranging from the chief executives of Internet companies who had dared to support traditional marriage like Brendan Eich, to the sacked Harvard Urologist Dr Paul Church, who refused to endorse the new political correctness. Increasingly anyone holding public office does so as a hostage to the new uncompromising ideology.
The Church is having to decide whether or not accommodates itself to this new celebration of the gods of equality with the developing cultural fascism that is emerging to enforce it, or whether it remains faithful to Scripture and Christian experience (otherwise called, tradition.)
The Episcopal Church in the United States decided early on that it would accommodate.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, who spent his first 18 months travelling to every Anglican province to visit each primate, is desperately hoping to avoid an open split. However, he has decided that the internecine feuding must stop. He will propose to fellow church leaders a looser structure for the communion. Instead of all 38 churches keeping full ties of doctrine and worship with each other, they will become more independent, keeping ties only to Canterbury as the hub of an Anglican federation. As one source in Lambeth Palace said a few months ago, “It’s not really a question of divorce; more of sleeping in separate bedrooms.”
This may not work. Lambeth Palace is already fearful that some conservative churches, especially those making up Gafcon (the Global Anglican Future Conference), will refuse any compromise and focus on the divisive issue of gay clergy, insisting that all primates reject gay bishops in any province of the communion. They might then set up a rival organisation and denounce as “sinful” the more liberal churches. Freed from fraternal constraints, future relations might be marked by the extreme language and biblical polemics both sides have hurled at each other, adding to the bitterness and mutual antipathy of recent years. The chances of what the archbishop calls “good disagreement” look slim.
The first row will be what to do about the Anglicans in the US. The Episcopal Church set off the latest round of infighting with the consecration as bishop of Gene Robinson, an openly gay priest, in 2003. This caused a furious reaction with dozens of clergy and some 200,000 parishioners walking out. They set up the conservative Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) and chose Bishop Foley Beach as their new primate, with 120,000 members and 31 dioceses. Being America, the schism has led to lawsuits across the country over the control of individual parishes and ownership of churches and their assets.
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The Archbishop of Canterbury is facing the prospect of a decisive split in the worldwide Anglican church over issues such as homosexuality at what is being billed as make-or-break summit of leading clerics next week.
The Most Rev Justin Welby has invited archbishops and bishops from around to what is intended to be a week-long primates’ meeting in Canterbury to discuss a plan he hopes will avert a permanent schism between liberals and conservatives branches of the 80 million-strong church.
But there are fears the event could break up amid angry recriminations within days, with the leaders of the church in Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria and other countries walking out.
That could herald the beginning of a permanent estrangement between different wings of the worldwide and marking the effective end of the Anglican Communion in its current form.
The media caricature of episcopal Eloi and Morlocks suits this ”˜orthodox’ vs ”˜progressive’ spat: it’s either homophobes vs reformists, or traditionalists vs heretics. Theological nuance and ecclesial viae mediae get lost in the fray. If you’re looking for prayerful reflection and profound consultation on the Apostolic Faith, you won’t find it on the BBC or in the pages of the Guardian, Telegraph, Daily Mail or Independent.. because that is not the drama the media want the Primates’ Meeting to be, not least because it is no drama at all. Stories of good disagreement just don’t sell copy.
If a bishop or group of bishops do walk out of this Primates’ Meeting, they are doing nothing but walking out of a meeting. It doesn’t mean they are walking out of the Worldwide Anglican Communion or abandoning the Anglican Consultative Council, because it isn’t at all clear on what legal basis they may do so, not least because the Communion and Council have no structural-theological foundation and no one is under any obligation to do anything except consult. The Christian family are all those who are washed by the blood and share in the baptism of Christ. Walking out of a meeting neither un-washes nor de-baptises; we remain eternally Christian and provisionally Anglican, awaiting the consummation of Christ, the great reconciler. We are one family whatever the magnitude of rightness or wrongness of any doctrinal issue, regardless of whoever throws the biggest hissy fit or mounts the most militant media campaign.
It is tediously boring and disappointingly undramatic to say so, but the most likely outcome of the Primates’ Meeting 2016 will be that the differences which obtained at the outset will remain at the end. There will be no agreed statement and no authoritative declaration on marriage and sexuality, principally because Justin Welby did not convene this gathering to formulate such, but instead to work through the question of how the Anglican family might live together through profound disagreement. In reality, of course, the Communion has been impaired since the 1990s, but it is still the Communion and all provinces are in communion with it. Some consider themselves to be in full communion with each other; others in partial communion. In some cases, the bilateral bonds of communion are broken entirely, but they remain in communion with the Communion, despite that Communion being broken by uncommunicative communicants.
Lord Jesus Christ, who didst humble thyself to take the baptism of sinful men, and wast forthwith declared to be the Son of God: Grant that we who have been baptized into thee may rejoice to be the sons of God, and servants of all; for thy name’s sake, who with the Father and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest ever one God, world without end.
Jan 6: Feast of the Baptism of Jesus in the Martyrology of Ã“engus; also the date in the Julian calendar pic.twitter.com/62xxx4BAEP
— Peritia (@PeritiaEditors) January 6, 2016
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. He destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace which he lavished upon us. For he has made known to us in all wisdom and insight the mystery of his will, according to his purpose which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fulness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.