Monday, February 21, 2011

Improving the Jerusalem Declaration? (1)

With a conference and a house shift coming up this week, posts will be lite! So here is a plan: a little work on the Jerusalem Declaration (following on from yesterday's post). Today's work is to cite it and to embolden the parts I suggest pose no problems at all for most Anglicans most places. (Parts not emboldened might be disputed or doubted or denied, or require explanation (e.g. what is a 'plain' reading of Scripture?).

"In the name of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit:

We, the participants in the Global Anglican Future Conference, have met in the land of Jesus’ birth. We express our loyalty as disciples to the King of kings, the Lord Jesus. We joyfully embrace his command to proclaim the reality of his kingdom which he first announced in this land. The gospel of the kingdom is the good news of salvation, liberation and transformation for all. In light of the above, we agree to chart a way forward together that promotes and protects the biblical gospel and mission to the world, solemnly declaring the following tenets of orthodoxy which underpin our Anglican identity.

1.We rejoice in the gospel of God through which we have been saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. Because God first loved us, we love him and as believers bring forth fruits of love, ongoing repentance, lively hope and thanksgiving to God in all things.

2.We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God written and to contain all things necessary for salvation. The Bible is to be translated, read, preached, taught and obeyed in its plain and canonical sense, respectful of the church’s historic and consensual reading.

3.We uphold the four Ecumenical Councils and the three historic Creeds as expressing the rule of faith of the one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

4.We uphold the Thirty-nine Articles as containing the true doctrine of the Church agreeing with God’s Word and as authoritative for Anglicans today.

5.We gladly proclaim and submit to the unique and universal Lordship of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, humanity’s only Saviour from sin, judgement and hell, who lived the life we could not live and died the death that we deserve. By his atoning death and glorious resurrection, he secured the redemption of all who come to him in repentance and faith.

6.We rejoice in our Anglican sacramental and liturgical heritage as an expression of the gospel, and we uphold the 1662 Book of Common Prayer as a true and authoritative standard of worship and prayer, to be translated and locally adapted for each culture.

7.We recognise that God has called and gifted bishops, priests and deacons in historic succession to equip all the people of God for their ministry in the world. We uphold the classic Anglican Ordinal as an authoritative standard of clerical orders.

8.We acknowledge God’s creation of humankind as male and female and the unchangeable standard of Christian marriage between one man and one woman as the proper place for sexual intimacy and the basis of the family. We repent of our failures to maintain this standard and call for a renewed commitment to lifelong fidelity in marriage and abstinence for those who are not married.

9.We gladly accept the Great Commission of the risen Lord to make disciples of all nations, to seek those who do not know Christ and to baptise, teach and bring new believers to maturity.

10.We are mindful of our responsibility to be good stewards of God’s creation, to uphold and advocate justice in society, and to seek relief and empowerment of the poor and needy.

11.We are committed to the unity of all those who know and love Christ and to building authentic ecumenical relationships. We recognise the orders and jurisdiction of those Anglicans who uphold orthodox faith and practice, and we encourage them to join us in this declaration.

12.We celebrate the God-given diversity among us which enriches our global fellowship, and we acknowledge freedom in secondary matters. We pledge to work together to seek the mind of Christ on issues that divide us.

13.We reject the authority of those churches and leaders who have denied the orthodox faith in word or deed. We pray for them and call on them to repent and return to the Lord.

14.We rejoice at the prospect of Jesus’ coming again in glory, and while we await this final event of history, we praise him for the way he builds up his church through his Spirit by miraculously changing lives."

6 comments:

Charlie J. Ray said...

4.We uphold the Thirty-nine Articles as containing the true doctrine of the Church agreeing with God’s Word and as authoritative for Anglicans today.

Do you really believe that? If so, then a great majority of congregations in the Anglican Communion--including theologically "conservative" Anglo-Catholics--are outside the "true" Anglican faith.

Charlie

Father Ron Smith said...

Peter, I wonder why you're even bothering with the Jerusalem Statement. This has no part in the official Instruments of the Anglican Communion. I think you are only doing a wish-fulfilment exercise here. No-one else who is not part of the GAFCON/ACNA axis will be working on this. Why do you bother?

Are you looking for controversy within the rank and file of ACANZP?

Peter Carrell said...

Charlie: Please wait for me to comment on (4)!

Ron: I am in fellowship with a great many Anglicans around the world, as well as, of course, here in ACANZP. A significant number of those Anglicans are being represented on the internet by speakers who say (in sum): there is a future united global Anglican entity made possible by the brilliant Jerusalem Declaration. I do not think it is that brilliant, and I don't think it will help unity in its present form. So I am offering some thoughts on the matter.

My preferred route for Anglican unity around a confessional statement is via the Covenant.

No I am never looking to stir up controversy in ACANZP. But you will find in ACANZP those who think the JD is better than the Covenant.

Doug Chaplin said...

Peter, I offer a rather more negative and jaundiced view on this over on my blog

Hermano David | Brother Dah • veed said...

I do not think it is that brilliant, and I don't think it will help unity in its present form.

A statement in which we are in complete communion.

I find much of the JD to be just so much jargon. We may both say that we agree with a phrase of the JD, when in fact we finally unpack what a phrase actually means to the con evo perpetrators of the JD we do not agree on the phrase at all. One needs a progressive/conservative conservative/progressive dictionary in hand to translate the JD.

Anonymous said...

"Do you really believe that? If so, then a great majority of congregations in the Anglican Communion--including theologically "conservative" Anglo-Catholics--are outside the "true" Anglican faith."

Charlie, you may know that the ASA of the c. 6900 Tec 'congregations' is 66. I don't know how many Anglican 'congregations' there are in Africa, Asia or South America, but that is where the vast majority of Anglican churchgoers live. I doubt if most have heard of the 39 Articles, but that isn't the issue here.
Peter Hollister "Palaiologos"