Daily Archives: July 30, 2022

Phil Ashey on the Latest Developments at the 2022 Partial Lambeth Gathering–Two Faces, Two Communions

Archbishop Badi clearly stated: “The Communion is not well, and it needs surgery.” Their request to present their own resolution, along with the refusal to take Communion with unrepentant and false teachers, is the beginning of surgery, finally necessary for such a time as this. It is a last attempt to call the Church to repentance from teachings and practices contrary to the Bible, its clarity, and its authority. The Global South bishops share an understanding that the most important issue today is the need to reach the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, a whole Gospel for a whole person. This whole Gospel mission rests on the clarity and authority of the Bible for all Anglicans everywhere. The significance of reaffirming Lambeth 1.10 (1998) is nothing less than the reaffirmation of the authority of Scripture as the basis for everything in the Communion: faith, order, and mission.

The Lambeth Calls confusion, the elephant in the room of missing bishops, the broken Communion: these are the symptoms of a house divided, of two faces of Anglicanism, two Communions. In one Communion is loyalty to the idea of a messy family complete with infighting and divisions that must be expected, tolerated, and even welcomed. In the other is a vision for a family that strives to “be of one mind,” while doing the hard work of truly disagreeing, discussing, and above all praying for repentance and transformation. This family is a communion of churches held together on the basis of faithfulness to the one Father in Heaven, His Word, and all that He reveals about creation, humanity, and the freedom found in Jesus Christ alone.

Read it all.

Posted in - Anglican: Analysis

John Stott on William Wilberforce’s Great Example of Perseverance on Wilberforce’s Feast Day

It was in 1787 that he first decided to put down a motion in the House of Commons about the slave trade. This nefarious traffic had been going on for three centuries, and the West Indian slave-owners were determined to oppose abolition to the end. Besides, Wilberforce was not a very prepossessing man. He was little and somewhat ugly, with poor eyesight and an upturned nose. When Boswell heard him speak, he pronounced him ‘a perfect shrimp’, but then had to concede that ‘presently the shrimp swelled into a whale.’ In 1789 Wilberforce said of the slave trade: “So enormous so dreadful, so irremediable did its wickedness appear that my own mind was completely made up for the abolition…. let the consequences be what they would, I from this time determined that I would never rest till I had effected its abolition.

So abolition bills (which related to the trade) and Foreign Trade Bills (which would prohibit the involvement of British ships in it) were debated in the commons in 1789, 1791, 1792,194, 1796 (by which time Abolition had become ‘the grand object of my parliamentary existence’), 1798 and 1799. Yet they all failed. The Foreign Slave Bill was not passed until 1806 and the Abolition of the Slave Trade Bill until 1807. This part of the campaign had taken eighteen years.

Next, soon after the conclusion of the Napoleonic wars, Wilberforce began to direct his energies to the abolition of slavery itself and the emancipation of the slaves. In 1823 the Anti-Slavery Society was formed. Twice that year and twice the following year, Wilberforce pleaded the slaves’ cause in the House of Commons. But in 1825 ill-health compelled him to resign as a member of parliament and to continue his campaign from outside. In 1831 he sent a message to the Anti-Slavery Society, in which he said, “Our motto must continue to be PERSEVERANCE. And ultimately I trust the Almighty will crown our efforts with success.” He did. In July 1833 the Abolition of Slavery Bill was passed in both Houses of Parliament, even though it included the undertaking to pay 20 million pounds in compensation to the slave-owners. ‘Thank God,’ wrote Wilberforce, that I have lived to witness a day in which England is willing to give 20 million pounds for the abolition of slavery.’ Three days later he died. He was buried in Westminster Abbey, in national recognition of his FORTY-FIVE YEARS of persevering struggle on behalf of African slaves.

— John R W Stott, Issues facing Christians Today (Basingstoke: Marshall, Morgan and Scott, 1984), p. 334

Posted in Church History, Race/Race Relations, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer for the Feast Day of William Wilberforce

Let thy continual mercy, O Lord, enkindle in thy Church the never-failing gift of love, that, following the example of thy servant William Wilberforce, we may have grace to defend the poor, and maintain the cause of those who have no helper; for the sake of him who gave his life for us, thy Son our Savior Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day from the Mozarabic Sacramentary

Grant us, O Lord, to pass this day in gladness and peace, without stumbling and without stain, that reaching the day’s end victorious over all temptation, we may again praise you, the eternal God, blessed over all things now and for ever. Amen.

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

For not from the east or from the west and not from the wilderness comes lifting up; but it is God who executes judgment, putting down one and lifting up another…

Psalm 75:6-7

Posted in Theology: Scripture