Church Times Leader: A new Church in the United States

Whether it is viewed with sympathy or suspicion, there is no doubt that the new Anglican Church in North America changes the Anglican map. To be more accurate, it lays a new map (a relief map, perhaps?) on top of the old one, so that in his otherwise factual article the new Archbishop, the Most Revd Bob Duncan, can say artlessly that the charge of boundary-crossing, condemned by the Windsor report, “is most effectively and completely addressed by general acceptance of the new province”. Although territorial confusion matters less where a church is defined more by congregational membership than place of abode, the parish ideal is none the less strong.

When a new state declares independence, the international community decides whether or not to recognise it by measuring it against a set of standards. In this instance, does the new Church have integrity? On the subject of territorial dis­tinctiveness, as we have seen, the jury is still out. Is it Christian? Undoubtedly: it is as faithful a realisation of Christ’s will as any Church manages to be. Is it Anglican? Yes and no: its worship is, but its formation without any reference to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Anglican Consultative Council, or the Primates’ Meeting suggests otherwise.

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Proposed Formation of a new North American Province, Common Cause Partnership

7 comments on “Church Times Leader: A new Church in the United States

  1. New Reformation Advocate says:

    This seems to be an unsigned editorial, but regardless of who wrote it, there is no doubt that it represents a very common assessment of the formation of the new ACNA as being more of a divisive move than a unifying one. Well, that is the natural response at first glance, but time will tell. Personally, I think Cynthia Brust was right at the Wheaton press conference on December 3rd. My hope and prayer is that the coming together of 9 different Prayer Book jurisdictions (+2 other groups like the AAC that aren’t jurisdictional in nature) will eventually be seen as the decisive turning point, the reversing of the trend toward Anglican fragmentation over the last four decades, or longer. Or perhaps GAFCON in Jerusalem last summer will be seen as that great and momentous turning point, the turning of the tide.

    What GAFCON/FCA represents as a movement is a genuinely new movement in worldwide Anglicanism that seeks to recognize the FACT (albeit the disputed and controversial fact) that “Doctrine trumps polity, not vice versa.” Any church unity that isn’t grounded in the authentic gospel and that isn’t faithful to the biblical witness is a merely superficial and false unity. And such a pretend unity is of no value at all in my eyes.

    I firmly believe that (+)+Bob Duncan the Lion-Hearted was right on target with his visionary remarks in Jordan on the eve of GAFCON. The old “Reformation” or Elizabethan Settlement is obsolete and will inevitably be replaced, even in England itself. A new, revolutionary “Global, Post-Colonial Settlement” is arising and will gradually supplant it. And it will happen with or without the approval of the current four “Instruments of Communion” that have in fact FAILED us in this crisis, and will themselves be either transformed, supplemented, or replaced.

    The old wineskins of Anglican polity lasted for some 450 years or so, but the Lord is raising up new wineskins for the 21st century and third millenium that will carry the new wine of the eternal and true gospel forward into the scary new world that is emerging in our time. Some will naturally lament this. But I find it a cause for great rejoicing.

    David Handy+

  2. Cennydd says:

    Anglican are we? To be sure! REALLY Anglican? Well, regardless of what anyone else may think, yes……we believe that we are! How “Anglican” does our new province have to be in order to be accepted by the Anglican Communion? How much more Anglican would we have to become?

  3. Irenaeus says:

    Another sterile fussbudget derides the Anglican Church in North America.

    [i] Nothing about it in the correspondence. Nothing in the minutes. We have not been notified of any such thing. All irregular.[/i]
    —Gumpas, Governor of the Lone Islands, in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

  4. New Reformation Advocate says:

    Irenaeus (#3),

    What a wonderfully apt allusion! Marvelous.

    Actually, the Voyage of the Dawn Treader is my favorite of the seven Narnia books, so thanks for reminding me of that part of it. Would that the usurpers of TEC were as easily cast out of office as that scoundrel, Gumpas!

    David Handy+

  5. rob k says:

    NRA – I guess that in some measure the Elizabethan Settlement is obsolete. If so, one thing we should face up to is that a certain amount of Reformed/Calvinist ideas from the continent were imposed on the Church of England by ideologues backed by the power of the state, especially under young King Edward. Elizabeth perhaps did as well as she could, since she had to accept this as a “fact on the ground”, whether she liked it or not.

  6. Juandeveras says:

    The “yet another structure which overwhelms the unity of all Christians” is not Robert Duncan’s group but that of Katherine the Hyphenated.

  7. Cennydd says:

    We are not “Robert Duncan’s group.” We are the Anglican Church of North America, and we belong to no one but Christ Himself. Katherine’s group, however, is another matter entirely.