Saturday, June 14, 2014

Rules and Integrities

Recently I had to have a look at our canons for the sake of a liturgical paper I wrote for our POT group. Doing so reminded me of what is at stake as our church moves towards ... whatever it is moving towards.

Every licensed clergyperson makes the following declarations in order to be licensed to operate (from here):

"I believe in the faith, which is revealed in the Holy Scriptures and set forth in the Catholic Creeds, as this Church has received it and explained it in its Formularies and its authorised worship.

I assent to the Constitution of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.
I affirm my allegiance to the doctrine to which clause 1 of the Fundamental Provisions and clauses 1 and 2 of Part B of that Constitution bear witness.
In public prayer and administration of the sacraments I will use only the forms of service which are authorised or allowed by lawful authority.
I will uphold the covenant and partnership expressed in the Constitution between Te Pīhopatanga o Aotearoa as a whole and through its constituent parts, and the Dioceses in New Zealand together and severally and through their constituent parts, and the Diocese of Polynesia as a whole and through its constituent parts.
I will pay true and canonical obedience, in all things lawful and honest, to Te Pīhopa  o Aotearoa
     Te Pīhopa  ki te                                     [name of Hui Amorangi]
     The Bishop of                                                [name of Diocese]

and to the successors to that Pīhopa / Bishop, and will be obedient to the ecclesiastical laws and regulations in force in the said                                                                                     
[Pīhopatanga ]
                                                                         [Hui Amorangi area]
                                                                            [name of Diocese]
The foregoing declaration was made and subscribed by the abovenamed
on the    day of     in the year of our Lord           thousand hundred and" [from Title A of Ministers, Canon 2 of Pastors].

For failing to live up to such standards Title D concerning discipline in our church may be invoked.

Thus every licensed clergyperson in respect of possibilities that blessings of same sex partnerships might be caught into our doctrine by way of being accepted into our formularies (i.e. authorised forms of worship through which we express our doctrine) should be keenly keeping an eye on our process going forward.

The implications of the following words are considerable:

"I believe in the faith, which is revealed in the Holy Scriptures and set forth in the Catholic Creeds, as this Church has received it and explained it in its Formularies and its authorised worship.

I assent to the Constitution of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.
I affirm my allegiance to the doctrine to which clause 1 of the Fundamental Provisions and clauses 1 and 2 of Part B of that Constitution bear witness."

If one does not believe that same sex partnerships may be blessed (even if one accepts the possibility that colleagues might (somehow) be canonically permitted to do so) then basic integrity requires that such blessing included in our Formularies leads to refusal to make the declaration on the basis of the first clause cited immediately above. Motion 30 signals an intention on the part of General Synod to avoid such a scenario.

If one does believe that blessings of same sex partnerships should be included in the formularies of our church then I suggest that basic integrity requires that the declaration (as it stands) should not be signed because 'allegiance to the doctrine to which clause 1 of the Fundamental Provisions' is inconsistent with such inclusion. (Such inclusion would be counted as part of Part B of the constitution). Motion 30 gives a hint that General Synod understands that the Fundamental Provisions are a significant legal impediment to change.

In other words, the way ahead for us as a church, in the light of our constitution, could follow one of three lines for the maximum-under-the-circumstances retention of existing licensed clergy:

1. No change at all because it is conceded that our Fundamental Provisions prohibit change.

2. Some kind of permission to conduct blessings of same sex partnerships which is agreed to (somehow) be consistent with our Fundamental Provisions but which does not lead to such blessings being part of our Formularies and, thus, the present wording of the Declaration remains.

3. (Somehow) change to our Fundamental Provisions and associated changes which make it possible for clergy to be licensed within our church whether they do believe or do not believe that blessing of same sex relationships is consistent with our doctrine.

Can you think of a fourth or fifth way?

33 comments:

Michael Primrose said...

Hi Peter,

One is reminded of the case of the Nonjuring Clergy of the Church of England, at the beginning of the reign William III and Mary II, who were faced with the choice of remaining to true to a deeply held Principle of the Church of England, or having to prevaricate in order to preserve both their personal positions and their influence.

The “History of England” by Thomas Babington Macaulay is probably not as widely read as it used to be, but Chapter 14, which discusses the Nonjurors is worth reading, if only for the scintillating brilliance of its language. For those who do not possess a copy of the History in their library, the relevant Chapter can be found at

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/m/macaulay/thomas_babington/history-of-england/chapter14.html

Whilst the case of the Nonjuring Clergy is obviously not the same as that which perplexes today’s clergy of the ACANZP over same gender blessings or marriages, it is worthwhile to reflect on the attitude of the congregations to the split that occurred in the Church of England in the time of William and Mary

“In general, a schism, which divides a religious community, divides the laity as well as the clergy. The seceding pastors therefore carry with them a large part of their flocks, and are consequently assured of a maintenance. But the schism of 1689 scarcely extended beyond the clergy. The law required the rector to take the oaths, or to quit his living: but no oath, no acknowledgment of the title of the new King and Queen, was required from the parishioner as a qualification for attending divine service, or for receiving the Eucharist. Not one in fifty, therefore, of those laymen who disapproved of the Revolution thought himself bound to quit his pew in the old church, where the old liturgy was still read, and where the old vestments were still worn, and to follow the ejected priest to a conventicle, a conventicle, too, which was not protected by the Toleration Act. Thus the new sect was a sect of preachers without hearers; and such preachers could not make a livelihood by preaching.”

The question one therefore asks at the moment is

“What if we held a Schism and nobody bothered to come?”

Michael Primrose, Christchurch

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Michael
A schism which no one follows would be ... sad.
In this post I am less interested in whether there might be a schism and more interested in clergy and lay office holders being able to sign their declarations.
Those who feel they cannot sign may not lead a schism. They may just walk out of the tent, quietly saying they may be some time ...

Father Ron Smith said...

"If one does not believe..." - in any of the rules that comprise the required assent - prior to being ordained into the sacred ministry of ACANZP - then the obvious answer to your posed conundrum, Peter, is not to seek ordination. Simple as that!

Perhaps your future students need to get that under their belt BEFORE seeking ordination. This is a matter for the individual conscience to deal with.

Michael Primrose said...

Hi Peter,

Who knows, until the call for personal sacrifice is made, whether any of us have the fortitude to walk calmly into that bleak, chill night, following, not looking back, in the footsteps of Captain Oates.

With all due respect, I do not believe that the question of the blessing or marriage of same gender couples is of such overweening consequence, that any one will be required to willingly make the ultimate sacrifice. One might leave the Church over the question, but that is hardly as drastic a move as walking out of the tent into the night.

You say in a previous article that

“Would it be fair to say that 40% of members of our church are urgently concerned about where our present and future response to homosexuality is heading because it directly affects whether they feel their sons/daughters, nieces/nephews, best friends are welcome in our church and our church is not a church defined by negativity to gay and lesbian people? “

If the NCANZP Church was to adopt the line, as has been argued here, and elsewhere, that the blessing and/or marriage of same sex couples of the faith community, who were in celibate, monogamous and lifelong relationships, was completely against the Fundamental Provisions etc. of the Church, and no such blessing and/or marriage service could be carried out by a member of the ACANZP clergy, then might not a large number of our faith community, both clergy and lay members, decide that they no longer have a place in the Church and leave?

If the Service of Recognition was shown to be a mere flummery of good intentions, with no serious intent or substance to sustain it, or even that large numbers of the clergy and/or chapters and vestries were refusing to countenance, or conduct such Services of Recognition, would not a large part of the faith community think that this Church no longer has anything to say to them and leave.

You state that, in your opinion, 40% of the members of our Church are urgently concerned with this question. Can I ask what percentage you think, of Church members, are indifferent to the question and could not care really one way or another about it? Perhaps, more importantly, given the current subject under discussion, what, in your opinion, is the percentage of Church members, both lay and clergy, who are so actively against the recognition of same gender couples, that they would consider leaving the Church if the ACANZP decided to move towards such a recognition and would they consider themselves to be the only True Anglican Church in New Zealand?

A quantitative analysis of these figures would at least answer your question as to whether the ACANZP Church is a church that is defined by negativity to gay and lesbian people. An understanding of the relative percentages of “actively for”, “indifferent” and “actively against” in the church membership may enable the ACANZP Church to come to a final decision about this question.

Whilst Truth would the preferred option, I suspect that self-interested pragmatism may well finally win the day. Which combination of the “actively” groups and those “indifferent” is numerically the superior, given that there will also be a portion of the opposing “actively” group, who will decide to not walk out of the tent into the bleak chill night. The combination of groups with the greater numbers will win the final doctrinal decision, as has always been the case.

A Schism that no-one follows was certainly sad for the Nonjurors, although ultimately a vastly beneficial for the evolution of the Church of England. A Schism, where a large percentage of the people decide to walk away from the Church, is of course ultimately suicidal for the Church

One does of hope that a decision can be taken by the Church that everyone can feel happy with. In reality, however, how valid is that hope?

Anglican history is littered with examples with those who have walked away and who subsequently thrived, but we never heed the lessons of History.

Michael Primrose, Christchurch

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron
The Declarations are signed many times after ordination, e.g. at the taking up of a new licence. Sometimes even mid way through a parish appointment one might be licensed, say, to be a canon or an archdeacon.

If the church changes what it believes between making one declaration and making another I suggest it fair that clergy's consciences be given consideration by the church.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Michael
Oates went quietly, is my point. Not ultimate sacrifice.
I do not know anything like enough information to start hazarding numbers re those who are indifferent to change, those who might prefer no change but could tolerate it, and those who are against change to a point where departure would occur.

My one hazarded figure, 40% of Anglicans especially concerned that we get things right is not, of course, in itself a guide as to the best solution to get things right.

Your last question is our biggest challenge. My response is to say that at the beginning of the work of the working group I remain hopeful that most of us can be happy.

Father Ron Smith said...

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall inherit the earth".

It seems to me, Peter, that, as there was no mass movement of either lay or clerical persons after the Anglican accommodation of contraception, divorce and re-marriage in church - on grounds of pastoral care and human need - reasons for schism on the grounds of moral probity - with the acceptance of monogamous same-sex blessings - and even marriage - seems quite unlikely.Rainma

Glen Young said...

2ndHi Peter, Ron stated ,"that if one does not believe in any of the rules that comprise the required concent prior to ordinarion......" Surely this is not just a concern prior to ordination.As I have said previously on your site,anyone who is required to meet that criteria and does not hold and maintain the Full Doctrine of the Church; as definedin the First Fundamental Provision of the Constitution needs to consider 2nd Cor.10:6.The Ordination services state,"Our authority is in scripture and in the Church's continuing practice through the ages".Anyone who will not stand for that Doctrine ,in it's totality;I feel, has lost their integrity to stand at the Alter of Christ.

Father Ron Smith said...

Concerning Glen's remark; what he seems to not understand, is that doctrine about anything other than the nature of God's-Self (today being Trinity Sunday) may be liable to development - on the basis of pastoral accommodation.

Thus it may be that at any time, provisions may be considered pastorally expedient. Such new development has been part and parcel of our Church in the past - and may reasonably be expected to take place in the future. This is completely in accord with a dynamic, Spirit-led ecclesial community.

Clergy whose spiritual journey is closed to such development must never have properly understood the nature of the Church - which is ever open new understanding of the power of God's redeeming grace to raise up the lowly, the marginalised and despised of the world. It is part of our fallen human nature to covet security and the comfort of doctrinal certitude- a certitude that Jesus took great pains to shatter in his own faith community.

"My ways are not your ways, nor my thoughts, your thoughts".

"Come, Holy Spirit, re-kindle with your Church the fire of God's love". AMEN!

Michael Primrose said...

Hi Peter,

Father Ron Smith conjures, in horrifying contrast, a vision of a Church, which never has the possibility, nor even the potential, to evolve in its understanding of the nature of the message, with which it has been entrusted. A Church that exists in constant, unchanging, doctrinal certitude; idées en gelée.

What would it be like, to sit in some Carolinian stasis, where the Divine Right of Kings was preached to a contented congregation, whilst outside Reality was reaching for the stars and facing questions that were undreamt of in our philosophies?

The Church would be a theme park of antiquated attitudes and curious ceremonies, where tourists would come to gaze with amazement at the noble architecture of our buildings and to smile, somewhat condescendingly, at our old fashioned ways.

Fortunately, the Church does find an increase in its Wisdom with the Ages. What it thought as a child is not that which it speaks, thinks or reasons in its maturity.

Father Ron Smith offers a choice between a dynamic, living Church that can offer answers to today, or one, that is set in glass case, already ready and preserved for future display in some Museum of Beliefs.

We all face that choice, as difficult as it may well prove, choosing which sort of Church we would prefer to belong to.

Michael Primrose, Christchurch

Anonymous said...

Peter, I fear you are looking for a degree of perfection in human affairs that is not our to have. How could a complex human institution intellectually define itself with such perfection as to conform absolutely to the will of God? There will always the need for personal judgment about the allegiance we should give to an organisation. I say that having once resigned from a union on a point of principle. I guess if we judge something irreformable then we should go; but is that a judgment you would make about ANZCAP? Rhys

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Michael,
A lot depends on whether your analogy to the Nonjuror situation applies today. Or, perhaps, how it applies ... in general terms, yes, the church, any church looks pretty silly when it never changes relative to changing society. But in the specific terms of the present situation, the question I am mainly addressing is whether two opposing points of view can be held within the one body ecclesiastical.

The Nonjuror period is not analogous in those terms because the political reality was one king of one line, and no chance of the other line coming back into being. Two opposing views could not be held together then.

But, in our day, we seem to be able to hold together, say, monarchists and republicans. But that analogy is not that excellent either!

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Rhys,
I think I am asking whether our church can "intellectually define itself" so that a variety of positions on the will of God can be held together.

I don't think I am saying this is certain but I think it reasonable to have high hopes at the beginning of the working group's life.

I am hesitant to lay down a hostage to fortune by stating now under which circumstances I feel I could not continue to be a licensed clergyperson (because, in the end, the precise circumstances might turn out to be different, but people are liable to claim "But you said ..."). Nevertheless I think I could say that areas of significant concern for me personally (and, as I listen, for others) include:
- doctrine of marriage (will it be constrained towards a man and a woman only?)
- what our Formularies consist of
- what our Fundamentals consist of.

But you also use the word "irreformable" and that raises an interesting question of whether one stays with a church as an institution which reforms itself in a disagreeable direction. Can one imagine it reforming itself at a future point in an agreeable direction? If the answer is 'Yes' should one stay?

From that perspective I am always interested in the question whether our church - whatever decisions it is making - continues to provide a home for evangelicals who value the English Reformation, the theology of the BCP and the 39A, as well as the eucharistic prayer on p. 436 of NZPB. As I best understand Motion 30, at this point our church is saying it wishes to provide that home ...

Anonymous said...

Ron Smith remarks: "Concerning Glen's remark; what he seems to not understand, is that doctrine about anything other than the nature of God's-Self (today being Trinity Sunday) may be liable to development - on the basis of pastoral accommodation."

What a confused and historically uninformed comment to make, and of all days on Trinity Sunday!
Is Mr Smith not aware that most of the Church was Arian in the Fourth Century and much of it into the Fifth? Trinitarianism was a minority view that only supplanted Arianism slowly and with great difficulty.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Anonymous
Please give at least your first name otherwise future comments may not be published.

Michael Primrose said...

Hi Peter,

You state that

"The Nonjuror period is not analogous in those terms because the political reality was one king of one line, and no chance of the other line coming back into being. Two opposing views could not be held together then."

To simplify the history of the period somewhat, James II, the anointed king, was replaced by Parliament with William III and Mary II after the Glorious Revolution. For many years after 1688, there was always the constant threat of invasion by the Roman Catholic line of the House of Stuart, with the aid of Louis XIV of France and other Catholic Powers.

The Rebellion of 1745, when the Young Pretender, "Bonnie Prince Charlie", the grandson of James II, landed in Scotland and marched south, was the last formal Jacobite invasion. There had, however, been strong, and traitorous support for the exiled line, by both Jacobites and Nonjurors, against the established Government of the day, both throughout that period, and well beyond the Rebellion of 1745. The "King Over The Water" is still toasted today in many sentimental circles, though I doubt there are many Nonjurors left around.

It was quite possible for Juring and Nonjuring portions of the Church to co-exist within the Church in England for a considerable period of time. There were many, who preferring the comfort of their own establishments, were prepared to swear allegiance to the King, and Government in Possession, whilst still remaining loyal and more or less active for the King in Exile. The notorious Vicar of Bray belongs to this period.

“The Illustrious House of Hanover,
And Protestant Succession,
To these I lustily will swear,
Whilst they can keep possession:
For in my Faith, and Loyalty,
I never once will faulter,
But George, my lawful king shall be,
Except the Times shou'd alter.
And this is law, I will maintain
Unto my Dying Day, Sir.
That whatsoever King may reign,
I will be the Vicar of Bray, Sir!”

The case of the Nonjurors is, of course, not strictly analogous with case of the support for or against same gender marriage; no argument by analogy ever is. The case of the Nonjurors was raised to show what happens when a conservative wing of the Church of England decides, on a point of deeply held Principle, to separate itself from the main body of the Church. It illustrates, more importantly, that the vast majority of the lay portion of the Church did not follow those Nonjuring members of the clergy, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, who thought that retaining their principles was far more important than maintaining the unity of the Church.

What I wished to point out, by reference to a split in the Church of England, was that there were dangers associated with leaving the Church on a point of Principle, when very few of the community of faith may actually follow you. You retain your Principles intact, but lose your congregation and become irrelevant.

Rather than sad, I would think it would be extremely embarrassing to hold a Schism, and then discover that nobody came.

Michael Primrose, Christchurch

Peter Carrell said...

All understood, Michael.
And we may be a church (or set of churches) in which two opposing points of view are held for a period until one view predominates.

I quite agree that it would be embarrassing to have a schism to which no one came. Most schisms I am aware of have taken place because laity and clergy together have felt strongly that departure on a matter of principle was important.

Glen Young said...

Hi Primrose, you seem to be flowering out of season!
Your history lessons are interesting but please leave Bonnie Prince Charlie out of this one. My good old gaelic parents used to warn us as kids when we would not go to sleep, that the Campbells would come and get us.
However, none of this has got anything at all to do with the doctrine of the church here in New Zealand which is quite clearly defined in the first Fundamental Provision of the Constitution. And I ask Ron to quote me concrete examples of how the Church has ever redefined actions which the Word of God clearly states is not within His Will; as being acceptable.
Perhaps it is the liberal revionists who do not understand which the Church is. The second Recital of the Constitution states that the Church is One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic. The Church exists and has always existed for the purpose of proclaiming the proclamation of the Apostles. I query your remarks about doctrine which does not concern the nature of God as being open to developement. The 39 Articles would contradict that statement and in your Ordination Service the Presiding Bishop would have said, "Our authority is in Scripture and in the Church's continuing practices through the ages".
PLEASE tell me now the Word of God, spoken by the Eternally living Word can ever be out of touch with our present age?
Do you go concur with Bishop Jim White (Auckland) and the "Commission on Doctrinal and Theological questions" which he chaired - the report stated "(we are acutely aware in this part of the world that we need to forge theology that is not borne of the singular oppressive experience of patriarchal, white heterosexual men; we choose to priviledge the experience of the "other" - the outcaste and the stranger")?
Bishop Selwyn has made it quite clear that unlike the Anglican CHurch in England, the ACANZP was formed on the basis of a mutual and voluntary compact and anybody who does not like the doctrine of the fundamental provisions is free to move on".
I find it extremely offensive to be told about what I do and do not understand on this issue. If you wish to have an indepth conversation about the nature of same-sex desires; feel free to force this upon me. At this stage I have purposely stayed out of that debate. As we told one liberal vicar in Auckland, the only thing that was worse than his theology was his science and philosophy.
Primrose wishes to make postings about 16th century England, however, Ron our conversation on homosexuality would take you back into the teachings of Anaximander, the 2nd philosopher of the Milesian School.

Peter Carrell said...

Dear Commenters
Some robust comments have been made.
Could we now focus, if further comments are to be made, on the state of our constitution and the declarations flowing from it ... treating these matters as serious matters at the heart of the integrity of our church.
If you think change can be made ... perhaps now is the time to lay out some mechanism for changing Fundamental Provisions which say they cannot be changed!

Father Ron Smith said...

If I may, Peter, in respect of Glen's opinion that the 39 artifacts are any longer a defining doctrinal statement of modern Anglicanism; there being no requirement for our clergy to sign up specfically to their provenance; that ACANZP -or, at least, most of it - has moved beyond the restrictive ordinances of the 17th century Church of England.

As others here imply, Holy Church is not merely a mausoleum for dead Saints, but. also a working hospital for alive and kicking Sinners.

"New every morning is the love, our waking and uprising prove... NEW mercies, each returning day, hover around us when we pray. NEW perils past, NEW sins forgiven, NEW THOUGHTS OF GOD! NEW hopes of Heaven!

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit - One God, world without end. AMEN?

Glen Young said...

Hi Peter, It is our concern that the working party is just another ploy to drag the issue out,so that those who oppose Motion 30 will capitulate.At a meeting at St Michaels on Wed.4th June,we asked Bishop Ross:[1]What does "recognition",as per Motion 30 really mean?.He replied that "recognition"was a hard word to define.[2]Were the prayers which a vicar in North Auckland said Over a lesbian couple;prayers of affirmation or prayers of repentance?He replied that he did not know. But I thought that it could only occur at the request of the Vestry and with the permission of the Bishop.So,does he not know what he was giving permission for?.[3] How far can anyone, who is under submission to Gen.Synod go in making public statements before they breach Part C 14 of the Constitution?."No doctrines which are repugnant to the Doctrine and Sacraments of Christ as held and maintained by this Church shall be advocated or inculcated by nay person acknowledging the authority of Gen.Synod or with the use funds or property held under the authority of Gen.Synod".He replied,"I am not a lawyer".With the Commission on Doctrinal and Theological Questions wishing to rewrite the theology of the Church, we need to stand firm and not give them an inch.I have never heard any rational answer from them, as to how they can ever achieve their goal.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron,
Respectfully, you are missing the point.
Our constitution refers to the doctrine of Christ as explained in the BCP, Ordinal and the 39A.
Whether or not clergy sign up to adhering directly to the 39A, we all sign up to an understanding of the teaching of Christ which is represented through the 39A.
They cannot be dismissed. Nor should they be for they continue to offer brilliant insight into the gospel and continuing valid guidance on matters such as the sacraments, election and so forth.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Glen
The working party is not a 'ploy' and I object to you describing as such on the grounds that Motion 30 is a recognition of the force of arguments of conservatives at GS. Were it not for that recognition then (from what I have heard) we would be talking about being much further down the track called 'church approves blessings.'
It is in the interests of all who love our church to allow the working party to work on the basis that they have a genuine task to accomplish.

As for the situation in Auckland, it is not for me to comment directly on how the Bishop/bishops of Auckland are dealing with the application of the Motion in their diocese, but the general context in that diocese is different to (say) my own, for your synod has clearly indicated and by a strong margin that it is in favour of the blessings of same sex relationships.

carl jacobs said...

Peter

You are so very focused on the trivial and the irrelevant. You remind me of Muliukov and Kerensky arguing over the form of the Provisional government while the Bolsheviks are shooting people in the street. Revolutions aren't won by words on a page. Forget fixing your Constitution. Focus on the real problem.

The church hierarchy is going to lose control of these 'recognitions' almost immediately. The forces pushing change are going to use them to do what they want to do, and justify their actions in the name of the 'Justice imperative.' They are going to quickly morph these recognitions into de facto blessings and quasi-marriages, and dare the hierarchy to do something about it. A challenge the hierarchy will totally fail, btw. And then what will you do? Point to your constitution?

This is your problem. It doesn't matter what the formal teaching of your church is once the functional teaching has been changed. It doesn't matter what people once pledged allegiance to when there is no longer anyone to force them to maintain that allegiance. Fight all you like over the words. They haven't the power to compel.

But remember that as you fight over these words, others are establishing facts on the ground. Stalin took over the Soviet Union by staffing the bureaucracy with his underlings. Meanwhile Trotsky and Kamenev and Buhkarin debated the future of Socialism. It's not a mystery why the three Old Bolsheviks ended up dead.

carl

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Carl
We shall see. In our church with its strong minded and varying dioceses the extension of your analogy would be to say if Russia = diocese X in 1917 then, Y is Greece, Z is Serbia ... Different outcomes for different dioceses.

You make a good point about control of 'recognition'. Again, this will vary from diocese to diocese.

Father Ron Smith said...

"I quite understand why these Bolsheviks ended up dead" - carl jacobs.

The answer to this spectacular conclusion could be one of many. Because they stopped breathing?

carl jacobs said...

Yes, FRS, being shot in the back of the head will typically stop a man from breathing. (Or stabbed in the head with an ice pick, as the case may be.) You have absolutely no idea who those men were, do you. You haven't the first clue why I chose them as illustrations.

Do you know what an Old Bolshevik is?

carl

Glen Young said...

Carl,You make a valid point about how Stalin assumed power.It is obvious that the liberal revisionists are not missing any opportunity to get their collegues into places of power.

Father Ron Smith said...

"Do you know what an Old Bolshevik is?" - carl -

Could you be an example? 'Kicking against the (imagined) pricks?'

Glen Young said...

Now that we have had the great O.E.;going from the English Nonjurors to the Russian Bolsheviks, shall we return home to the question of the ACANZP.The split has already begun and St.Michaels is in crisis.The situation has shown the lack of any ordained leadership; from the Episcopal Office down.One is left with the feeling, that the orthodox voice is no longer of any concern to those who think that Christ's Church;is in fact theirs. Hello Episcopalian Church USA;here we come.

Father Ron Smith said...

I want, straight away, to distance the Church of St. Michael and All Angels, Christchurch, from the obvious 'crisis' of confidence that Glen speaks of here, at another ACANZP church with the same Patron Saint.

Saint Michael is well known for his valorous fighting against 'The Devil' - but not against false demons. We, in Christchurch, do not regard homosexuals as in any way 'agents of the devil'. Our Daily Mass celebration is, we find, a very good medicine against apostacy and heresy of any kind.

Jesus tells us that "Wherever I am, there will my servants be". He also said, "Be not afraid". The Gospel tells us that 'perfect love casts out fear. We are not afraid!

Glen Young said...

Hi ron,
It is pleasing to read that St.Michaels[Christchurch]is alive and well.
It would be helpfull,to a proper understand of the 'crisis'which the ACANZP faces,[either now or in 2016]; if you could see the differance between the a sin and the sinner.
I have never said, that I veiw homosexuals as in any way,'agents of the devil'.
I have stated quite clearly that the homosexual act is contary to Christ's teachingsand also other 'inspired revelation of God'.
Any person who experiences same-gender attraction enters the Body of Christ, on the same basis as any of us-[as sinners who are called to die to sin , and become alive in Christ.]
My objection is, to the modern revisionists, whose doctrine teaches that same-gender marriage can be included in 'Holy Matrimony'.
This stance will split the ACANZP as it has, the Epicopalian Church USA.
So,I ask you again Ron,lay out the Scriptural texts which support your stance.There are many authorities which differ with you on the 'developement of doctrine.The Doctrine of the ACANZP is well and truely defined in the Constitution and the Church of England Empowering Act 1928.The prohibitions on changing thast Doctrine covers far more than just the 'Nature and Character of God'.

Father Ron Smith said...

".The Doctrine of the ACANZP is well and truely (sic) defined in the Constitution and the Church of England Empowering Act 1928.The prohibitions on changing that Doctrine covers far more than just the 'Nature and Character of God'.

- Glen Young - June 29, 2014 -

So, are you saying Glen, that there have been no substantive changes in 'doctrine' since the adaptation by ACANZP of the 1928 Church of England Empowering Act?

The Constitution itself, I submit, has actually been changed in ways that have enable new developments in the application of Doctrine: Divorce and re-marriage; ordination of women; contraception - are only some of the changes of doctrine that have been assumed into the theological undergirding of our Church.

What has not changed is the basic credal Doctrine of God - as the Trinity of Persons!