Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Dark days for ACANZP ... a new denomination is being birthed?

[Rewritten from original posting]

Yesterday I was sent a link to an article (i.e. "statement") on the FCANZ website, here. Since then the linked article has been withdrawn and the link now takes you to an "About" page for the FCANZ site. I am keeping my post below as it was written, including citations from the article I saw, on the basis that what I read, even if now not an official FCANZ webpage, nevertheless reflects sentiments swirling about our church through these days. Nothing cited below is out of keeping with things being said or written in some of our parishes at this time in respect of this being a difficult period, there is deep disagreement with the decision of GSTHW 2018 re permission for same-sex blessings to take place and there are moves afoot to form a new network of churches.

[Remainder of original post]

This period is described as "dark days" and ACANZP is spoken of in these terms,

"our General Synod has abandoned the authority of Scripture and distorted the saving gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ."
I commend the statement for one piece of illumination: that a new denomination is going to be formed.

"Our goal is to ensure Bible-believing Anglicans work together, as part of a new denomination, wholeheartedly committed to reaching our nation for Christ."

It is helpful that this is out in the open.

Funnily enough, this is very close to what I myself think, slightly plagiarising:

My goal is to ensure Bible-believing Anglicans work together, with all denominations, wholeheartedly committed to reaching our nation for Christ.

Who are Bible-believing Anglicans? All of us Anglicans - I have never met an Anglican who doesn't believe the Bible, who does not read and hear the Bible Sunday by Sunday. We are (to pick up a phrase elsewhere in the statement) a "Bible-based Anglican church" (noting this post today).

I would like to remind readers that General Synod's decision means that every Anglican contemplating leaving ACANZP could stay, continue to believe, teach and practice what they have always believed, taught and practiced, including teaching that the authority of the Bible means this and not that.

The only reason for departure is not that ACANZP has abandoned the authority of Scripture etc but that it has dared to permit faithful Anglicans, on one matter, to teach, believe and (if their local bishop authorises) practice differently. This exercise of conscience, of interpreting Scripture differently is beyond FCANZ's pale.

Anglicans do not have to stay together and if the exercise of conscience and of interpreting Scripture differently is too much, if it means "dark days" have come, then there is not much to be done except to generously converse with each other about the process of separation.

I will do my best to contribute to that generous conversation but it is not easy when things are said about ACANZP which ... well, what can I say?!

LATER: Wise words from George Sumner about the global Anglican situation post GAFCON with specific reference to ACNA/TEC/ACCan.

28 comments:

Tim Chesterton said...

I defy these 'Bible-believing Anglicans' to demonstrate to me that they believe absolutely everything stated in the Bible.

Jonathan said...

It's encouraging to see the explicit committment of the new (or continuing, if those of us who remain are in fact the "new" ones) denomination to work with all denominations which presumably includes us who remain. While we may be separated we are not divorced; however I do wonder what God makes of the 12 more or less separated tribes of Christian fellowships in the town I'm in, all with particular distributions of gifts and gaps that could be made up by the strengths of another denomination... The strength of a rope is in its twined-ness.

Glenda said...

Re your post today Peter, I am wondering how Jays statement about 'a new denomination' fits with the Gafcon declaration of "we are not leaving"... My sense is that even if the present historically diverse Anglican communion welcomed the proposed new entity as somehow sitting alongside and in communion and still 'Anglican', the 'reformers' wouldn't accept that because they consider the present Anglican communion to which we all belong to be irreparably tainted by unfaithfulness to the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. So the question in my mind is how we can have 2 "denominations" both calling themselves Anglican.

Regarding your response to the General Synod comment as the precipitating factor for the 'not leaving' movement, I find it incredibly sad that the actions of a Council that has in effect become a series of pressure groups around this one issue can be judged by the 'reformers' as representative of the whole church in ANZ and Polynesia. The corollary is that those of us who "continue to believe, teach and practise" what we always have (to quote your reminder well worth making) are nevertheless regarded as among the "tainted" by association. I do wonder how the parable of the wheat and the tares might be interpreted and applied in this situation.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Glenda
1. Yes, it is an odd thing to find that the new denomination and ACANZP cannot remain together but the new denomination wants to be part of the same Communion as the ACANZP is a member. The "ecclesiology" of these things is heading into rocket science territory!

2. Yes, tares and wheat ...

Chris Spark said...

Hi Peter, I appreciate the desire for ongoing generous conversation in the midst of this, so in aid of that: I know we have talked about this, but it seems needed again for clarification, though I am not the board of FCA or anything like that, but as I see it:

- the authority of Scripture is precisely at issue with this because, despite much digging around, the picture of sexuality in the whole Scriptural sweep still seems best understood as marriage between a man or a woman or chaste singleness, both being excellent things. Our cultural changes have forced a re-examination of that Scriptural picture, rightly enough, but can't be allowed to dictate the reading of Scripture. The re-examination can't be said to have overturned the major understanding from the Scriptures that we have had through the centuries and throughout the world. I know you and I (and so many others!) have debated this before, including here to some extent, but that is the point regards abandoning of Scriptural authority. And this idea is not new - it was made clear well in advance that this would be the understanding a number of us have, as much as we might not like it in some ways, if this went through. But at that point, saying that that is how it seems to be is what we are left with - it's not said with malice (I have never heard Jay say anything with malice I don't think, and I doubt you have either) but it is the situation as a number of us see it, and indeed much of the Anglican world.
(And I should say the 'exercise of conscience' could be argued for absolutely anything, including Christ's divinity - certainly many have said that is hard to be sure of in the Scriptures - so the language of 'exercise of conscience' doesn't get us out of the difficulty when we are dealing with texts and biblical themes like we are dealing with in this case)

- there is a change of belief here, as you have previously agreed, and this perhaps engages one of Glenda's understandable concerns, because we do need to remember our canons have changed. That is, it is not primarily about the average member of an ACANZP parish, nor certainly about the average member of one who is more 'orthodox', nor certainly about those who may be in same sex relationships (or other sexual relationships outside of marriage/chaste singleness noted above, as I was when I started going to an Anglican church). Rather it is about our official statements and canons now reflecting what I have noted above as a departure from the Scriptures (and our trust in their goodness) in this area. It is also about the fact that these canons officially now say that both a) teaching these things are consonant with Scripture, and b) teaching they are not consonant with scripture, are both acceptable. This is a top level official; thing, and it is being aligned officially and directly with that (through submissions and direct denominational association) that is the difficulty for many of us.(and that belief that such an alignment is ok is the change of belief I am talking about in terms of your accepting of it - sorry to point that out, but I keep seeing the same statement that doesn't seem to acknowledge this change).
But let me say once again, the whole thing is awful and there is no joy in the fact that it is causing such difficulty, and, I think, misunderstanding.

There is more conversation to be had (more of it face to face would be better, but I recognise this was in response to an internet thing), and the more graciously and honestly we can have it, the better - although we must also remember there has been years of conversation already had - that is important to not forget - not to undermine future conversation, but to underlie and inform it.

God bless

Cameron said...

Hi Jonathan. I'm interested by your comment RE this being a seperation rather than a divorce. To my mind this looks a lot more like a dead marriage, and it appears the efforts of the marriage counselor (Working Group) and their recommendations have failed to stave off the dissolution. Marriages between partners I am told end all the time, the willingness of both parties to start a 'new' one, in the knowledge things are not as they were, nor will be, is one way divorces are avoided. In my opinion at least one party here has stated they are not of a mind to start a 'new' one within the existing, and want out due to irreconcilable difference. The press release by FCANZ symbolically seen as the filing for as much. Im not for being the other partner crying for what will never be again. What I am for is reconcilation, which in a crude way really is the crux of Missio Dei. But I think it severely understating how trying that reconciliation is going to be, in talking of these developments as anything other, or less than, terminal with respect of our hitherto recent relationship within ACANZP. 

Father Ron Smith said...

Dear Peter, thanks for continuing to strive for sanity in the current 'Dark Days' being experienced by FOCANZ on the return of its members from Gafcon. Here is one pericope from their new website statement that most non-FCANZ will probably want to take issue with:

"In the aftermath of Motion 30, authentic Anglicans are now found inside and outside the existing structures of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. FCANZ recognises both as authentically Anglican".

This seems to me a bit enigmatic to say the very least. How can a departing entity from the A.C.C. presume to grant 'recognition' to the Anglican Family of which it ceases to retain membership? If the departing entity claims to be authentically 'Anglican' why is it leaving the parent body? I suggest FCANZ needs to clarify its mindset on this. Is it a constitutional part of the worldwide Anglican Communion that still vested in an historical relationship to the See of Canterbury and its Archbishop, or is it not? That, I would assume should determine anyone's idea of whether both the original entity, or the departing entity has a prior claim to validity.

Simple husbanding (a Biblical charism) would tell us that a graft into the vine can never reject the host. Either it flowers with the vine or it perishes. Some might say that a grafting without a vine to grow into will never flourish.

I came across a lovely article by the Roman Catholic writer, Joy Cowley on the CATHNEWS webstte today about Love driving out fear. It's worth a read:

https://newsletter.ie/run/Url.aspx?m=MAYx91AQo%2FEci6stTUCnXw2YceBG2KXv2kZCvV8U4epzEI%2FsKhKTIo%2FsX4CCeC4YK9poz%2F4151k%3D_wzzz_htted7-HnM9CHNAdLLASA3tAQbnvaoy4Q9xVPPsZ%2FmlGd8vLK%2F6lF1dvr%2B5QQsxFhO14p9DhmRbExcOOcE%3D_wzzz_ewhe

Can we soon expect a foreign 'bishop' to appear at the head of FCANZ? This would be a real travesty and a really dark day for Aotearoa/New Zealand. If this should happen, perhaps they could allow themselves - like a particular Auckland Baptist congregation known as 'Biblical Baptists' - to be renamed: 'Biblical Anglicans', which appellation would be a reflection (as it is with that Baptist congregation) that they are the only Christians who read and live out the tenor of the Christian Bible.

Peter Carrell said...

Thanks Chris, Cameron, Ron for pertinent points.

Chris: I think it is fine to propose that the authority of Scripture is being overlooked but it is also fine to respond with argument that it is not. Is it not a strange ignoring of the authority of Scripture when what GS has decided is that the only relationship which can be blessed is a (permanent, exclusive) civil marriage or civil union? This is not exactly blessing orgies, consorting with prostitutes, having a mistress or other acts of infidelity. That is, for those who propose to bless, the intention is to bless relationships which conform to the general authority of the Bible re sexuality, that sex in God's creation is to be consensual and to be within a covenantal relationship. Yes, our church has agreed that there is to be an ability of some to teach that gender is not relevant to such blessed partnership and for others to teach that gender is relevant, and the former is a step too much for some who will only teach the latter. But there is an argument here that the church is not being derelict about the authority of the Bible.

Rather it is exhibiting a similar "both/and" approach to issues Anglicans cannot agree with: pacifism v militarism; approaches to divorce and remarriage; understandings of the eucharist.

A further point I would like to make is that this is not about GS as a kind of upper echelon executive making a decision for the church and imposing it upon the church. The decision made reflects a widespread range of views among laity and clergy. The decision is actually representative of the whole of our church.

But, I do get it, that nevertheless many Anglicans feel such a decision should not be made; that Anglicans in the pews thinking SSB is ok are Scriptural renegades dismissing the authority of Scripture; that one and only one view should prevail and if it cannot prevail then departure necessarily follows.

I wonder, though, why it is that it is only in the Chch Diocese that we are seeing so much antagonism to the GS decision? Why is it that in this Diocese and not in the other dioceses - with possibly one exception - we are seeing departure as a necessary consequence of the GS decision? Are conservative Anglicans in Chch a purer breed than their counterparts in other parts of NZ? I genuinely do not know why this is so!

Father Ron Smith said...

Peter, you ask why the Christchurch Diocese should be singled out by some of its members as being more Gafcon-like in their rejection of any idea of the blessings of S/S Unions. Can I respectfully suggest that it is not just the run of the mill Evangelical strain of Churchmanship, but rather the growing preponderance of Moore-College-trained Evangelical Clergy that have recently been brought into the diocese? I know for a fact that at least 2 of the leading clergy in FCANZ received their theological education at Moore College, Sydney - presumably because of its strict 'Sola Scriptura' ethos.

It should not be too surprising that Moore College is heavily involved in the propagation of S/S (Sola Scriptura, not Same-Sex) theology - one of its luminaries having been one of the leading proponents (now the General Secretary) of the GAFCON movement. This Sydney based influence has now been exported around the Anglican world and has now come to rest in our own local Diocese of Christchurch.

My main experience of Evangelical Clergy - apart from my residency at St.John's College, Auckland as a theolog. - was via the Charismatic Movement mainly in the 1960s, when all God's People came together in Eucharistic Celebration and awe-inspiring worship and teaching from Roman Catholics through to Baptists on the campus of Palmerston North University. Those were days of wonderful togetherness - not just for Anglicans but also for other Christan disciples - ALL of whom were totally dedicated to the Sacraments of Christ as we then encountered Him by the movement of the Holy Spirit. God's life-giving Spirit abounded in the many conversations and corporate acts of worship that were an inspiration for all of us to take back - with love - to our church communities.

Sadly, that togetherness has now been diminished by a new, over-zealous legalism from those who see LGBTI people as agents of the devil - instead of fellow human beings seeking to love as best they can in their particular circumstances. God as Loving Father seems to have been replaced by God the Wreaker of Vengeance.

What I perceive in this new movement is Human Judgement, rather than "The Great Love of God as revealed in The Son"

God help us all!

Glen Young said...


Hi Peter,

Some years ago I blogged on your site, regarding the ACANZ and Her Constitution 1857 and the DOCTRINE therein legally defined, in relation to same sex blessings; and that, the correct process which should be followed, was to determine the DOCTRINAL and legal validity of such before having any discussions re Church structures which would accommodate such.However the Church leadership decided to put the "cart before the horse" and brought the Ma Whea Commission and the Working Party into being.The imposition of "Top Down" ventures seldom work and it does not require a degree in Rocket science to realize that the the manner in which this has been done, was not going to be accepted by many parishioners.Even if such blessings are the Will of God, the amount of ill will generated is probably an indication that something is Spiritually out of tune, a crop sown in the wrong season; and God is working to restore the Church to His Will.

Instead of blithely marching on we should focus on the Great Love of God revealed to us in His Son; remembering that His Son was the pre-existent WORD who created all that is seen and unseen;and that God chastens us out of that LOVE.I perceive that at this time,God,in His love, is chastising His Churchand that we all need to become truly "CONFESSING and REPENTING ANGLICANS".Hebrews 12:1-29.



Jonathan said...

Hi Cameron, my view is that God sees the church (of say, Mosgiel or Dunedin or Waihola - all places where I have regular connections) as one church of Mosgiel rather than 12 churches even though we are divided by all sorts of matters. Separation may be a reality but I doubt God recognises this as divorce. We also have a body of folk associated with Affirm who will feel some affinity to both forms of Anglicana; and the determination "to do whatever it takes to shine the light of Jesus Chrsist throughout our nation" belongs to all Christians of all tribes.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Glen
I do not think there has been an imposition.
Rather there has been an expression - of two strongly held views in the pews of our church.
Unfortunately some Anglicans can only understand these two views in terms of "one is right, so the other must be wrong" and thus there is a reaction to the GS attempting to give expression to those two views.
But there could be a different reaction; one which is not so quick to jump to the conclusion that the opposite view to mine is necessarily wrong; that is, a reaction which shows some respect for the holders of the opposite view.
There could even be a Gamaliel approach which allows for the fullness of time to show us whether one or other view is right ... or even that both are right.
But such simple patience and grace appears not to be on offer at this time.
Which is a great pity because this is a very painful time for gay and lesbian Anglicans who worry that unwittingly they are being made the reason for the break up of our church.
If only we did know the love of Christ for his church we would love one another too much to leave each other.

Jonathan said...

Further reflection on separation versus divorce: we of Anglican Branch X can still pray for and intentionally associate with (to the extent that practical realities - i.e. time - permits) those of Anglican Branch Y that our witness to Jesus is clear despite our view that they are profoundly mistaken in their understanding of the Bibel's teaching on subject Z (and possibly other subjects too). We who belong to Jesus will be living together for a long time in eternity.

Father Ron Smith said...

I find your link to George Sumner's article, Peter, to be redolent of the feeling of many - maybe like yourself - who do not necessarily agree with the G.S. DEcision and yet stop short of schismatic severance from the local Church

As a member of the U.S. 'Covenant' Group, which has difficulty with the decision of TEC on the matter of Same-Sex Marriage, George says this:

"We represent a group of dioceses, including several in Latin America, which haven’t left, but dissent from some of our own church’s decisions. We are, demographically speaking, a sodality comparable in size to ACNA itself."

Now this is most interesting - George's comparison with the size of ACNA - which demonstrates that those who have left TEC for ACNA are NO MORE in number than those who, though acknowledging differences with their parent Church on certain matters; have yet decided no to enter in schismatic separation, but to remain part of the parent body of TEC, and thus with the traditional links with the worldwide Anglican Communion at Canterbury and the Lambeth Conference.

What FOCA is doing is the very opposite of this patient, fellow-suffering, humble, Christlike tolerance of other interpretations of the biblical texts as they relate to our world of today.

The nett result of FCANZ' separation from ACANZP will be to proliferate the number of sects that all claim to be followers of the Christ who calls us to proclaim the Good News of Redemption and Salvation to ALL who call upon the Name of Jesus. The only difference here is that FCANZ may not actually believe that Christ has ALREADY redeemed everyone who calls upon Christ to redeem them. Christ only has Sinners to preach the Gospel!

Unknown said...

Dear bible based scriptural Christians please read genesis 29 where Jacob has regular sex with both Leah and rachel. Would you accept this as a teaching on how married people should conduct themselves in c21? and if not why not? Also as to proponents of motion 29 transgressing the gospel of jesus christ please could you supply the scriptural reference where jesus teaches on homosexuality? Tilly

Glen Young said...


Hi Peter,

Call it what you may;the leadership of the ACANZP decided to bow to progressive lobbying and look for a method by which the Progressives and the Orthodox could live together in the same Church.This is what was stated in the Pew Sheet from St Matt's Auckland announcing the visit of the Ma Whea Commission. In all my years as Anglican parishioner, it was accepted that the Auckland Synod did not represent the majority view of our Parish.During the 80s and 90s, it appeared that a number of clergy were espousing a Geering type view of man. Seeing that same sex blessings are the issue confronting us is like a voyeur peeping through the keyhole of a glass door.
The real question that must be faced is that which David poses in Psalm 8:
"What is man that Thou art mindful of him?". We either accept God's answer and his Revelation or Darwin's explanation and seek justice for him in cultural Marxism.

Peter Carrell said...

Dear Glen
Possibly but if we are going to ask "real questions" we might also head to Romans 14 and 15 and ask whether God is testing his church in respect of how we handle difference today?

Anonymous said...

Peter, two thoughts--

"our General Synod has abandoned the authority of Scripture and distorted the saving gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ."

(1) Through a series of statements, secessionists there have struggled to frame an objection to Motion 29 that is plausible in the face of a charitable interpretation of the facts, and yet also strong enough to warrant unwarrantable schism. Not many doubt that something has changed, and yet the usual boo words-- apostasy, heresy, distorted gospel, abandoned scripture, etc-- are being stretched further than our credulity can go. It might help thinking Anglicans on both sides to understand this rage-talk as a not yet articulate protest against a new *syncretism*. That is, the change in ACANZP that is beyond reasonable dispute is not that the received dogma X of the undivided Church is being misrepresented as X', but rather that a second cultural religion Y about Relationships has been tacitly recognised alongside the received faith. That is not like renouncing God, denying the incarnation of the Son, preaching justification by works, or dropping books from the canon of scripture; it is like, say, allowing priests cast horoscopes, if they happen to believe in astrology.

Despite strong magisterial criticism of the philosophical implications of divination of future events, most Christians have openly consulted diviners of various sorts for nearly the whole history of the Church. The Fourth Council of the Lateran both defined the real Presence in the eucharist and also (unsuccessfully) prohibited the clergy from using altars for divination. Indeed, down to the C19, even evangelicals sometimes engaged in bibliomancy.

The problem-- and I think that it is a problem for both sides-- is that there has never been a time when orthodox Christians have been altogether free of some contentious association with heterodox thinking that does not deny the dogmatic deposit, but that can understandably seem, especially on a hostile interpretation, to be philosophically incompatible with it. How is a belief that *God's providence has permitted some persons to have an involuntarily disoriented sexuality* different from a belief that *powers in heaven subject to God shape the future of the believer*? And if councils of the past could oppose astrological determinism, then why cannot councils of the present oppose biological determinism?

(2) Will the seceding Anglicans have a synod of their own, or not? If so, then why will they not have the same basic authority problem that ACANZP does? If they will not, then if they have a better basis for common order, why do they not propose it as a way of conserving unity? Conversely, failure has consequences. If it finally does become clear that the GS could not ultimately conserve unity, then what replacement structure should the majority propose to all Kiwi Anglicans of good will?

BW

Peter Carrell said...

Thanks Bowman
Excellent point 2 - though right now I think those seceding are focused on the process of seceding more than the process of future corporate governance. One way forward could be to have tacit acceptance that certain subjects will simply never be discussed (so, I noted, GAFCON 2018 was an event where many things were said, but certain subjects were assumed to be common ground needing no discussion).

I find your (1) a helpful framing of the situation. Thank you.

Craig Liken said...

I'm not sure I can agree with Bowman's comments above - I believe plausible reasons for the disagreement with Motion 29 have been articulated and conservative evangelicals have had a pretty consistent line with this for the last several years (we are not saying new things) - Chris Spark has had a jolly good go at trying to articulate the issues in this very thread.

In summary (whether you agree with it or not) the view from the conservative side is that there are now two different gospels in the ACANZP, and that in Vaughan Robert's words (not mine) we have been trying to "reconcile the irreconcilable".

From a personal perspective I thought the exact same thing when Motion 30 came out about 4 years ago - I looked at the task given to the working group and I thought how on earth are they going to achieve that without recommending a parting of the ways.

Glen Young said...


Hi Craig,

I am with you on this one.The UNITY proposed in the Working Groups paper and accepted by G.S. is UNITY in name only.All it is saying that one group won't stand at the door and throw eggs at the opposing group.After all this time, G.S. has not come up with one valid theological or legal reason why there should be a Church with two INTEGRATES.

Father Ron Smith said...

Dear Peter, on the worldwide web I found today this exhilarating report from the NCR - Roman Catholic National News Review in the US - of an address by a Roman Catholic Bishop to the National Association of Catholic Priests on the Pastoral Ministry of Pope Francis, as being part of the post-Vatican II renewal of the Roman Catholic Church. The Bishop's emphasis is on the eirenic encouragement of the Pope to see Love and primary over Law. Here is the link with a very short video which is really worth watching:

http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=001sPfdIV5PSiHgLDx0wRE_qOfUHyHi5GTKVsAQU7bM6Qj1IDmkpcY_dRUld1-KenOClRV2VrAs0X9rzG-DTvgibmuDso8vHzUhRC_H6jMoAHvneliw8PYhi-1UU7D8fjaHf1BPPo4bJ6d5HqZedaefAKueH9tQydIe3-uWKyosgFr2guXg82CeUySrsRuOwfYXNeOqc2QGJx95pCpYrAd6y2FvsWwe6J49-qjONUot2Kl9ebAk_iP7NOQaZl7Nkw5okpMucKoOnDSam3Nul_b3ZUAUskiFlmvJktrNF9IXF3ewW5fo-j1R0Q==&c=bvaVdYBhUDP0On9JlGyT15rk9M8MT84yx0BMu66EJ-hZk0gtc2y3nQ==&ch=27L7N-brfP_6IHd-wzHQYVBMLs4BXRcSWiWSqxXCzAcvIMJfeFOooQ==

Agape.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Craig
What are the two different gospels which the GS decision has promulgated?

I ask this because all that GS has done is make it possible for those who believe one sin is not a sin (i.e. entering into a permanent same-sex partnership) to teach that and (if the local bishop gives permission) a priest can put that into practice via a blessing.

I am not aware of GS changing the need for recognition of sin in our lives, or the need for repentance, let alone the need for a Saviour who is followed as Lord.

Yes, it is always significant when a synod (or equivalent governing body or individual) says something is no longer a sin, but this has happened through church history: usury was once a sin but no longer; remarriage after divorce was once the sin of adultery but no longer; and there is Bowman's more nuanced point above, about the church believing different things at different times and by implication not incurring the charge of "two gospels."

What are the two gospels? What makes their difference so significant that schism is warranted?

(Not to be misunderstood: on a more general evaluation of what different Anglicans believe the gospel to be, within as broad a church as ACANZP, I am more than happy to share a conclusion that two or more gospels mix and mingle in our church, jostling for space and seeking to be heard, and thus and so it has been for a long time. But that is the point of making this observation: the simple fact of two or more gospels being present has not previously led to schism. Why now? What is there about homosexuality which drives this specific talk of "two gospels"? Exactly what did GS decide which makes "two gospels" a warrant for schism? The bite in this last question is that GS specifically makes room for adherents of different views on homosexuality to continue to teach those views ... thus intensely raising the question why one needs to leave when one does not need to change one's teaching?)

Anonymous said...

It can be tiresome reiterating points made many times already by numerous persons, but here's one last go.
1. No church has ever endorsed astrology and fortune telling, even as a 'local option.
2. Remarriage after divorce - under certain conditions- has always existed in the Eastern Church. Anglicanism derived from Western Catholicism, so it followed the western but not universal teaching.
3. The Church did not teach that usury was intrinsically evil, just not permitted among Christians. It always allowed Jews to lend money and charge interest. So did the Bible. Calvin attacked Aristotle's understanding of money and the Catholic church came to agree with Calvin.
If you want a church with partnered homosexuals among its leaders - vicar, deans, bishops- so be it. If you think such a church is morally better and more pleasing to God than one that prohibits such a thing, then go for it. Pecca fortiter! Be like the Church of Sweden if you will - utterly dead.
William

Father Ron Smith said...

I think I have a possible answer to your question here, Peter. The difference this time around is that we are dealing with a former 'shibboleth' - to do with any idea of sex that differs from the binary. With the word 'phobia' being used for the Church's treatment of same-sex relationship; there has never been such a word attached to any sort of committed or even casual, heterosexual relationship - which has been deemed 'normal'. There has never, for instance, been a 'phobia' about divorce. Fear IS the problem! The Church has been slow in catching up with the modern understanding of 'no-blame' being attached to a persion being intrinsically 'gay'.I know, because I've grown up with the situation. Now that even the Church acknowledges the authenticiy of committed homosexual partnerships, there has been ther inevitable backlash from the 'keepers of The Law' - even though the civil law has caught up on the reality.

Father Ron Smith said...

Dear Bowman, from here - in sunny Queeensland on holiday for the month of July - I have just re-read and appreciated your comment on 28 June referring to the future governance of those about to depart ACANZP because of doctrinal differences. You ask whether they will have their own Synod from which to form their very own governance. I think that - in consideration of FCABZ' beginnings, from the dissident Anglican Provinces of GAFCON - their only option (unless they becaome a NZ sect like 'Destiny Church, under self-irdained 'Bishop' Brian Tamaki) will be to submit to the faith pasrameters of the 'Jerusalem Statement' and the Gafcon Primates who will decide how THEY will govern the schismatic body in Aotearoia/New Zealand. It will not be up to locals. Having just split from ACANZP and its Lambeth-based Fraternity, FCANZ' only recourse will be to submit to the rule and authority of the GAFCON.

Effectively, the departees in A/NZ will have to accede to rule from their fellow sinners in the GAFCON group (We Are ALL Sinners) - as their alternative to being allied to us 'sinners' in ACANZP - the local Church of the ACC linked to Lambeth.

It could be that their new Headship comes under the leadership of GAFCON's new leader, 'Archbishop' Foley Beech of ACNA, in the United States - rather than from the formerly dispersed leadership of GAFCON in Sydney, Nigeria and Uganda. In the words of an old saying: "They may not know their ear from their elbow".

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron
I don't think it helps us to talk about us all being sinners whatever organisation we belong to. We are all sinners, true, but even when we are all sinners, we make choices about which organisations we belong to and which we do not. And those choices will include recognition of rules we like and rules we do not. As best I understand it, both you and I are neither Roman Catholics nor Presbyterians because we do not agree with all the rules of either body; and we remain in ACANZP because we accept the rules and are willing to abide by them.

Those departing from ACANZP are unhappy about rule changes. Whether they form up as a new network of churches and whether that new network of churches is GAFCON-oriented if not GAFCON-governed will depend on what the rules are going to be. I suggest we need to be patient and wait to see what develops, what is decided and where the chips of departure fall before worrying about what the future might actually turn out to be ... because, yes, sure, eventually there will be further disagreements for those departing and for those of us remaining.

Such is (ecclesial) life!

Father Ron said...

Dear Peter, you have made it quite clear, here, that personal integrity demands our allegiance to the Church authority for which we hold a licence. Presmably, this is also the reason for the departure froim our diocese of the clergy who have made the decision to resign their diocesan licences. That is prefectly understandable.

You and I are sufficiently in agreement with the authority of our Church (ACANZP), which allows for the existence of two opposing views of the Biblical teaching - or lack of such - on the modern understanding of the propriety of monogamous same-sex committed relationships (on which Jesus, signgifantly, himself said nothing).

What I cannot understand is the view of a particular priest who makes very serious accusations againsat you, personally, and against the Church - ACANZP - that is paying his stipend and whose authorty he has solemnly pledged to abide by; AND YET remains on our Church's Ministerial staff.

I can understand the integrity of those who cannot agree with the polity of our Church doing something about moving away from its jurisdiction. I cannot understand the hypocrisy of a priest who denigrates the Church in the way that he has done on your website, while yet retaining the office and stipend that this Church affords him. You cannot stay on board what you so fervently describe as a 'sinking ship'