Thursday, March 18, 2010

What is sufficient action to distance themselves from those who have chosen to walk in the path of disobedience?

Archbishop Peter Jensen has responded to the Glasspool election confirmation (my italics):

"With the election of the Reverend Mary Glasspool, a partnered lesbian, as a Bishop in Los Angeles in The Episcopal Church, the Anglican Communion reaches another decisive moment. It is now absolutely clear to all that the national Church itself has formally committed itself to a pattern of life which is contrary to Scripture. The election of Bishop Robinson in 2003 was not an aberration to be corrected in due course. It was a true indication of the heart of the Church and the direction of its affairs.

There have been various responses to the actions of TEC over the years. Some have been dramatic and decisive, such as the creation of the Anglican Church of North America, an ecclesiastical body recognized by the GAFCON Primates as genuinely Anglican. For others, however, the counsels of patience have prevailed and they have sought a change of heart and waited patiently for it to occur. Those who have sought a middle course may be found both inside and outside the American Church.

This is a decisive moment for this ‘middle’ group. Their patience has been gentle and praiseworthy. But to wait longer would not be patience – it would be obstinacy or even an unworthy anxiety. Two things need to be made clear. First, that they are unambiguously opposed to a development which sanctifies sin and which is an abrogation of the word of the living God. Second, that they will take sufficient action to distance themselves from those who have chosen to walk in the path of disobedience."

Any comments on what constitutes "sufficient action"?

For a little humour go to the source of this statement, and look on the right hand side of the web page. There you will find a video entitled, "Leaving a church? Think twice."



Kurt said...

Most American Episcopalians wouldn’t know Peter Jensen if they tripped over him at coffee hour. His opinions carry zilch weight in TEC. The right-wing evangelicals can huff and puff all they want; they’ve already done what damage they can--and that damage seems pretty slight so far (e.g., the formation of the soon-to-be-splintering ACNA, stifled attempts to walk away with property, etc.)

Do you really think, Peter, that the Church in New Zealand is going to declare itself “out of communion” with TEC over this? Some evos may be upset, but progressive Christians in NZ and elsewhere will likely welcome the event.

Will the Anglican Communion split over this? I have news for some folks, the Anglican Communion already has split. Some Global South African and Asian countries have--to use a favorite phrase of some--walked away years ago. The fact that they claim a numerical “majority” is irrelevant. Majorities change over time, provinces can grow--and contract--and then grow again with a new generation of converts. Such factors are in God’s hands, not in the hands of evangelists, missionaries, and church planters.

This ordination and consecration of a well qualified woman (who incidentally happens to be a partnered lesbian), will hopefully put some spine in Global North progressives and moderates who have thus far cowered before our own “Anglican Taliban,” who reside in Sydney and elsewhere.

Kurt Hill
In warm, sunny Brooklyn, NY

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Kurt

We might be slightly at cross-purposes re the words in ++Peter's statement which I have italicised!

I understand them to be an appeal to people within TEC who are unhappy with the Glasspool election. ++Peter is urging them to "distance themselves" and I am wondering what that means.

My hunch, not unexpectedly, is that they imply transferring forthwith to ACNA. But my question re comments from readers is whether there are other ideas out there (cf. the path South Carolina is taking).

On ACANZP's response: I suspect we will have none!

Kurt said...

Well, Fr. Carrell, I think that most of those who are unhappy enough to “distance themselves” have already done so. In the case of Bishop Lawrence of South Carolina, the man is walking on very thin ice. Here is someone who promised the whole TEC one thing, and is beginning to “deliver” something else. Why he, and those who agree with him, simply didn’t do the honorable thing some time ago--resign from TEC and join ACNA--is something only they can answer.

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Anonymous said...

"Why he, and those who agree with him, simply didn’t do the honorable thing some time ago--resign from TEC and join ACNA--is something only they can answer."

It was to stop Schori, Beer & co. from taking over the church property in S.C. - which they are trying to do anyway by building up a "legal" case to depose him.
Face it, Kurt: Tec is dying, and S.C. is just about the only growing diocese in an aging, sclerotic organization which is NOT converting people and NOT having babies. Like European liberal Protestantism, you are in irreversible decline. There is no revival in apostate Tec, only lawyers gathering like vultures.
You have the money (still), but what doesn't end up in lawyers' pockets will only provide a genteel funeral for a dead church.
PECUSA recovered in the past, but it at least held to the orthodox faith. Tec doesn't. It has about as much attraction as Christian Science.

Kurt said...

As usual, Outis mistakes wish fulfillment for reality. The present membership decline of TEC is modest compared to other historical periods (e.g., the post-Revolutionary period), and Outis will likely live to see it bottom out and begin to reverse itself. No doubt we will all live to see ACNA split apart into several warring sects. In any event, the ascendancy of evangelicalism in the West is probably over; in America, in particular, right-wing politics has discredited evangelicalism with the Millennials.

Kurt Hill
In rainy Brooklyn, NY