Saturday, June 23, 2018

GAFCON and (or "versus"?) LAMBETH reflections

The GAFCON III Conference is over and below I give a link to the Final Communique and make some comments.

But before getting to that, a couple of posts on the question of whether the Anglican Communion/conferences is about GAFCON or Lambeth [which is bishops only] or is there room for both?

On the Lambeth Conference, whether it was or is or could be a "synod", or otherwise lead?
Also Archbishop Moon Hing - a man I have met and admire tremendously - speaks up on the value of the Lambeth Conference.

And Kenyan Archbishop Sapit makes some subtle but important distinctions and commitments. I like what he says!

On GAFCON and the Anglican Communion New Service: fake news? fun and (stealth) games? (Though I note that ACNS has not yet linked to the Final Communique, 2 pm Saturday 23 June, as I write.)

GAFCON III Final Communique: Letter to the Churches.

Eternity (Australia) has a news report here.

Via Twitter I made the following three comments last night:




We who were not at GAFCON must reflect deeply on what it means to be in mission as Anglicans, to evangelise as Anglicans, to envision a renewed Anglican Communion. How might we work with GAFCON, in what ways has GAFCON made working with GAFCON difficult, if not impossible (e.g. for TEC, SEC, even ACANZP)? Surely no one reading here thinks belonging to some kind of remnant Communion is a good thing? How do we form and inform ourselves with mainstream Anglicanism in the 21st century?

Nevertheless, a caveat: what does GAFCON working within the Communion ("we are not leaving") and against the Communion (disinvite these provinces, welcome ACNA, exclusion not inclusion, either/or rather than both/and) mean? Are we at a late 18th century moment when one form of Anglicanism (= Methodism) and another form (established Church of England) parted ways? Or are we at a Catholic renewal moment when (say) the Franciscans work mightily for renewal within the Catholic church?


It is all very well for GAFCON to say it is not leaving the Communion and that it is working for its renewal but that staying effectively asks others to leave unless they repent. What if they want to stay also? There is no sense from GAFCON of an inclusive Anglicanism, of a willingness to live with profound disagreement, of an openness to the actual state of global Anglicanism which is that more than one view of homosexuality exists among us. GAFCON is absolutely assured that there is only the GAFCON view, that that is the genuine Anglican view, and there is no place for dissent from this view. There is an unfortunate totalitarianism in this approach to difference which seeks to exclude those holding different views. (I use the word "totalitarian" advisedly. As I have followed GAFCON this past week I have been struck by the strength of the party line on homosexuality and the lack of any sense of critique and debate about it. It is quite extraordinary in this day and age of theological enquiry that no sign has emerged from GAFCON of a responsible critical consideration of matters here, including an ecclesiology which seeks to exclude on the basis of difference of view).


Following on from the comment above, the Communique offers no sense of how same sex couples might exist in the renewed Communion unless repentance occurs and I can only assume this means the break up of such relationships. Nor is there any sense that "pastoral care" for homosexuals means listening to their experience. The sense rather is that homsexuals will be told what is good for them. Perhaps that is right and proper but that is out of step with what many Anglicans around the world, not only in the West, think and feel about these matters.

In the end, where will this all end? I am not sure. I am not going to make a prediction. I am hopeful! I am glad about staying and not leaving: that creates shared space for conversation, that keeps alive possible futures which are not as divisive as the present, that offers time to reflect.

In the meantime, the organisers of Lambeth 2020 will have their work cut out: to ensure maximal attendance possible and to ensure that the event does not become a pale shadow of the colourful, energetic reality of GAFCON III. (Spoiler alert: ACNA bishops, don't bother packing your bags on the basis that TEC and SEC will not be invited).

Your thoughts?


92 comments:

Father Ron Smith said...

My thoughts, Peter, on the recent GAFCON Leaders' Communique centre around this comment from the final document, concerning our Church in Aotearoa;

" At Gafcon 2018, we heard many testimonies of faithful Anglicans who have been persecuted by those holding office in their respective provinces, merely because they would not surrender to, nor be compromised by, the false gospel that these leaders profess and promote. We also recognise the Gafcon Primates' willingness to assist faithful Anglicans in New Zealand where the Anglican Church has recently agreed to allow bishops to authorise the blessing of same sex unions."

I don't know what you think about this Peter. However, it seems to me that the clergy and lay representatives at Gafcon have now been promised some substantive action "To assist" the delegates (together with their immediate fellowship) who, because of their representative presence at Gafcon, are now deemed to be the only "faithful Anglicans" in the New Zealand Church.

I, for one, am incensed at this insulting implication, having been an Anglican since my Baptism into the Church of England nearly 89 years ago.

My question here is; what right have a few New Zealanders in Jerusalem at this time to consent to the classification of the majority of members of ACANZP as, by implication, 'Unfaithful Anglicans'?

I do hope that you, and anyone else purporting to be in leadership, loyal to our Church and its constitution, would register a protest to these people on their return from the Jerusalem conference. What makes such people think they are more faithful as Anglicans than those of us who just want to get on with the work of the Gospel in outreach to everyone - some of us for many more years than some of them?

This talk of 'persecution': - in the context of ACANZP - seems more than a little provocative - even suggestive of a 'persecution complex'. Who has been persecuted here in New Zealand? And by whom, I wonder? If anyone, it might be more realistic to suggest the community that is being persecuted is that of LGBT people by Church and State in Gafcon countries - to the point of harassment and imprisonment. This is hardly worthy of being described as 'faithful Anglicanism'
'

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron
We can be sure that the Kiwis at the conference will have been involved in the drafting of the statement, at least around the wording re our church.

- the statement carefully distinguishes between the "persecuting" churches (likely meaning TEC, ACCan) and ACANZP;

- the statement does not list ACANZP among the churches which should not be invited to Lambeth;

Lots of Anglicans in our church or shortly to leave it think that GS and those following its decision have been "unfaithful" to Scripture and tradition; thus there re faithful Anglicans and unfaithful Anglicans.

The language may incense you. It does not incense me. I simply continue to serve our Lord and leave the judgement of the faithful to Him.

Father Ron Smith said...

Well, then, Peter, if this is really your considered opinion - that you believe the Gafcon statement as being representative of our people at the Jerusalem Conference; then one can onlu understand that their comments accords with you own viewpoint - I think that anyone thinking on this as they do ought never to aspire to any important leadership role in ACANZP - certainly not our as our next diocesan bishop. (my view!) To continue in leadership one ought, surely, to be 'in sync.' with the constitution and polity iof the Church itself in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

At this point, I am ready to farewell those in our Church (ACANZP) who cannot, in all conscience, continue to serve in its ministry - whether clergy or lay.There is little benefit to either party in continuing the agony of theiur perceived persecution.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron
I didn't say Kiwis at GAFCON were representative of our church (as in representative of the majority) but I did say there are lots of Anglicans who think the way of those at GAFCON.
In a discussion today a group of us came up with something like 2000/5000 regular Sunday worshippers in our Diocese are deeply sympathetic to GAFCON (to one degree or another); but perhaps up to 1000/2000 will actually leave.
I recommend any aspirant to the office of the Bishop of Christchurch is in touch with reality.
I recommend that being in touch with our local reality to you also.

Father Ron Smith said...

Between 2,000 and 5,000 people 'sympathetic to Gafcon', Peter? This estimate hardly accords with the precision of your mathematics vocation, Perhaps you and your friends in this group need to do a little more discriminate surveying of exactly WHO might leave the diocese. Then we might be able to discern who might stay loyal to ACANZP in its Inclusive Church Mission. Ah, Well you'll know what to preach about in your ministry to the people you are shepherding in your locum tenens job on Sunday.

Peter Carrell said...

No Ron.
Please read what I write.
2000/5000 is 2000 of 5000, not between 2000 and 5000.
By all means refute my figures but in doing so you will need to run the ruler over 60 ministry units, thinking about who has the most in them, who the medium size congregations, etc, which are the conservative parishes etc.
What I am saying, beyond the precise numbers, is that a significant portion of the Diocese is more sympathetic to GAFCON than one might think and that means we are a Diocese of a range of opinions, viewpoints and beliefs.
Our challenge is both to generously farewell those who choose to leave AND kindly work with those who do not.

Unknown said...

Thanks for posting on this, Peter. As one of the NZ delegates at Gafcon, you can indeed be sure that the Kiwis at the conference were involved in the drafting of the statement. In fact my ammendment via the NZ delegation made it in as the final sentence of the document.

"We invite all faithful Anglicans to join us in this great enterprise of proclaiming Christ faithfully to the nations."

(Actually I used the word "task" rather than "great enterprise", but hey, I'm claiming it!)

So Peter, I do not see this as a divisive renewal (as per your second tweet), but rather an invitation to all Anglicans (whether in TEC, ACANZP or anywhere else) to reconsider what it means to be faithful to Christ and the scriptures and to join us.

You are invited.

Peter Carrell said...

Thanks "Unknown" and to be frank I cannot work out which of the 58 Kiwis there you are :)

Malcolm+ said...

As you note, the GAFCON folk are not and have never been in compliance with Lambeth 1998 1-10. Their demand that the rest of us conform to the clauses of 1-10 that they happen to like has neither credibility nor integrity while they refuse to conform to the rest of it.

Now, since I hold the historically accurate view that Lambeth resolutions have no juridical authority, I am free to dissent from whichever clauses of 1-10 I wish.

But since the GAFCONites adhere to the revisionist view that such resolutions are binding, strikes me they have a problem.

TrevDev said...

1) In defence of Fr Ron's misreading of "2000/5000" - I read it the same way as him, too. Easy to see my mistake in hindsight, but I was perplexed at first reading.

2) How refreshing is the clarity and trenchancy of the GAFCON Final Communiqué, even though I don't agree with it all! What a contrast with many of the amorphous statements produced by the Anglican Church of Or. I want the church to stay together as one, but if division should occur, the GAFCON incisiveness would sorely tempt me to that side, though I do know that I would resist the temptation.

3) Where GAFCON troubles me is in it's assumption that anyone who believes that there is a place in Christ's Church for the blessing of faithful same-sex relationships is refusing to heed the teaching of Scripture, and GAFCON's adamance that their own understanding can't possibly be wrong. I am an uncalled, non-professional theologian and freely acknowledge that I do not have the office from which to call the Church to a different view. Nevertheless, I think I may - just may - have read the Scriptures, the whole counsel of God, with more alert eyes than they have in respect of this question and have come to a different answer.

4) A phrase in the Communiqué's third paragraph possibly uncovers an implicit GAFCON assumption that is open to challenge. The Communiqué says, "[the gospel]...[calls us] to repentance, faith and submission to his Lordship. It involves the restoration and reaffirmation of God’s original creative purposes."

Prima facie, I agree with those words, and I certainly believe that God's design was for sexual union to occur only within the bounds of heterosexual marriage relationships. However, I suspect that GAFCON interprets the words to mean that every believer is bound to reorder their life right now so that it totally accords with that original, perfect design. If so, I think that GAFCON is overlooking that the kingdom is both "now" and "not yet", and that pastoral sensitivity to the scars we bear from our birth into a fallen world, and knowledge of God's grace and patience in his work in us, should lead us to trust that relationships that deviate from the pre-Fall ideal may nevertheless attract the blessing of God. The only proviso is that those in such relationships should not promote them as a new normal that supplants the original design.

Father Ron Smith said...

Dear 'Unknown', what are you afraid of? Why must you veil your identity in this way? Normally the host does not approve of anonymity and often says so - but not in your case. One does wonder Why?

Father Ron Smith said...

Dear Malcolm. Your comment (from Canada) is spot on, but it won't be liked by the Gafconites. They have, indeed, failed to fulfil the intent of the warning at Lambeth 1998 against 'Border- Crossing'. This 'sin' against the rest of us in the Communion is still continuing - even to this very day. We may be next!

Peter Carrell said...

Thanks Malcolm, Ron, Trevor.

Ron: I am the moderator of this blog and not you and I get to both make and implement the rules!
On anonymity: generally I give people a chance to make a second comment non-anonymous. In this particular case I am also allowing that the Unknown is on her or his way back from Jerusalem and thus, perhaps in an airport cafe, in a bit of a rush re computing time. It is good to have someone actually at the event commenting and I appreciate that. Please do not read motivations into people's comments or into my moderation which are speculations on your part.

Unknown said...

Hi all, Matt "Unknown" Watts here. I didn't intend anonymity, I'm just working off my tablet and thought I was logged in to the site but clearly I had not done so.
The draft text of the communique went to each of the are groups for comment on Thursday lunchtime. My wording was supported by the NZ delegation and then incorporated as the final sentence of the document (apart from the ephesians quote of course!)
Matt Watts, Christchurch.

Glen Young said...


Hi Peter,

"England swings like pendulum do,
Bobbies on bicyclers,two by two;
Westminster Abbey and the towers of Big Ben,
the rosy-red nose of little children." Roger Miller.

Miller sums up the Church's predicament perfectly. The pendulum has swung from legalism to liberalism; and sadly,all that has resulted, is that these are the two forms of worship which are on offer, to those who wish to remain Anglican. Neither of these two approaches to the Gospel, appear, to truly encourage the Holy Spirit to bring His "life giving GRACE" to the people. GAFCON finds too much SIN and the Progressives,not enough.The former finds TRUTH without GRACE and the latter,GRACE without TRUTH. Neither presents the CHRIST who said:"I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me,though he were dead shall live." John 11/25.

So, perhaps when the pendulum swings down the central point,we shall find a Gospel based ministry and pastoral care that confronts us with the Reality of God's Will for us,that allows us to be convicted without being accused, and shows us a Savior whose "life,death and resurrection' is our life.

Because of the flawed processes by which the Anglican Communion worldwide has approached the task of presenting the Gospel to the modern age,it has missed the opportunity to be the voice in the wilderness, calling us to the Promised Land.It has failed to present LIFE in THE KINGDOM as being of such value, that the VANITIES of the world, pale into insignificance in comparison.




Tim Chesterton said...

'...Following on from the comment above, the Communique offers no sense of how same sex couples might exist in the renewed Communion unless repentance occurs and I can only assume this means the break up of such relationships'.

Which, in many families, including my own, would mean a huge amount of pain - including the pain of young children.

I'm also annoyed at the arrogant assumption that 'we' are the ones who are submitting to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. We all have our blind spots about this. As for me, I take his words as my rule and so I do my best to follow the way of non-violence and love of enemies. I find it impossible to see how a follower of Jesus could put on the uniform of their country and kill another follower of Jesus who happens to be wearing the uniform of a different country. To me that is a clear example of a person setting aside loyalty to Jesus and putting national loyalties first. This was the interpretation or the vast majority of the Christian writers of the first three centuries too. But I doubt if the GAFCON 'revisionists' will agree with me...!

Glenda said...

Peter, I like your analogy above of the Franciscan model. A community who brought their own rule and expansive vision while remaining within the RC communion. A community that exists to this day and has provided the present pope. If Gafcon folk were to follow this model who knows where this might lead!

Father Ron Smith said...

Fair comment, Tim - and from someone of a similar background to my own - the rural Domesday Book village of Walsgrave-sur-Sowa in England. Though of a different 'churchmanship" - Tim being a doughty 'Evangelical and I, sometimes militant Liberal Anglo-Catholic - we are both keen to acknowledge the Lordship of Jesus Christ in our lives and ministry in the Anglican Communion; I, now in N.Z. and Tim in Canada. We both have experience of the 'brokenness' of the human condition in our immediate family and have learned - through painful discovery - to live with that fact.

We each have a definitive reason for acknowledging Christ's overcoming grace ta work in our family situations - each of which has some element of sexual difference that is not of the 'binary' norm, but each have learned, through personal experience of living with this reality, that God loves us all and supports us in our brokenness. God does bruise a broken reed! We both speak and minister from the reality of a situation we know - not from ignorance!

Neither of us is out to in any way degrade the biblically-mandated modal of heterosexual marriage and its associated procreative genius. However, we have both learned that there are other distinct realities in the inherent mAkeup of human being and their relationships, those of same-sex attracted people who have no other way of living our their innate sexuality being as part of that reality. Having been involved in their creation, we believe that God cannot but love such people. We believe that God wants their best thriving - in faithfulness to God and to one another. (Forgive me Tim for assuming that we are of one mind in this).

Peter Carrell said...

Dear Ron,
Only "sometimes" militant?
:)

Peter Carrell said...

Dear Glenda

If only your sage advice were to be followed!

John Sandeman said...

Dear Peter
a couple of brief responses - I hope I am not too cryptic!
1) Gafcon " does not seem to understand that Anglicanism works by hanging together" according to your post. I think it is natural for each of us to reflect our personal experiences when attempting to describe Anglicanism. But I tnink it is fair to say that within varying "Anglicanisms" there have been instances where it works by occupying a relatively narrow ecclesiastical territory, and this is true of many whole provinces today. So it is arguable that Nigeria, or TEC are narrower expressions of Anglicanism than your diocese for example. So for some people Anglicanism is a distinctively mixed expression of Christianity but in other places it is not.
2) "Nor is there any sense that "pastoral care" for homosexuals means listening to their experience." This is possibly a little harsh an interpretation of the Gafcon statement. But is there any responsible pastoral care that is not based on listening to peoples experience. Now you can argue that in some instances Gafcon member provinces do not do this well. But in talking of "pastoral care" the Gafcon statement is surely to be taken to include "listening".

Peter Carrell said...

Hi John
I do not think you are too cryptic.
(1) I recognise your point re narrow ecclesiastical territory but I do not see how when (e.g.) Sydney (part of Australia's whole Anglican church); C of E participants; NZ participants; Kenyan participants; etc are involved and influential in GAFCON it is necessarily destined to inhabit such a narrow ecclesiastical territory especially when it makes a claim to be working for the renewal of the whole Communion. It is la-la land to expect that its request re disinvitations to Lambeth will be heeded; and it is la-la land precisely because it offers no sense that Lambeth stands for a much wider ecclesiastical territory.
(2) Was one homosexual person's experience listened to on stage at GAFCON other than those who specifically subscribe to GAFCON's specific adherence to "celibacy or sin"? And by "listen" I do not mean "listen and then discount" or "listen and then tell the person how they should live" but "listen with an open mind, willing to concede that perhaps the lived reality of homosexuality in the life of the church would alter my views, at least the rhetoric I propose about homosexuality being the reason for walking apart from other Anglicans." Do you think GAFCON 2018 considered for one moment how threatening it is to GLBT Anglicans to be pressuring Anglican churches such as ACANZP to join in a line on homosexuality which is experienced as hostile? Does GAFCON 2018 have any idea that a significant proportion of non-Christian NZers find the churches' teaching on homosexuality a barrier to hearing the gospel? (I think that may be similar in Oz.) Was there discussion of how a toning down of the heat on homosexuality might aid the reception of the gospel?

If I have been harsh then I hope to be put right. But the harshness of GAFCON 2018 might be also examined and reflected on?

Glen Young said...

Hi Peter,

Your response to John illustrates why the ACANZP can not initiate a clear and articulate best practice Pastoral Care and a cohesive approach to presenting the Gospel to this 'wanting world".

In questioning as to whether GAFCON heard from any Gays and delved into their issues, has it crossed your mind that they are coming from a diametrically opposed world view, which sees that topic in a very different light to you.Simply, they have based their beliefs on one set of assumptions and those who favor same sex blessings have based their beliefs on another.

Could there be a toning down of Matt.19/21, so that wealth is not an barrier to the wealthy hearing the Gospel.

Liturgy said...

I tautoko Malcolm and Tim’s points.

Any living of the pure Christian life consistent with GAFCON’s presuppositions would include pacifism, not giving or receiving at interest (hence no use of banks), no communion for those who married after divorce, no women clergy, no contraception, probably some slavery, and possibly celibacy for clergy.

You can’t say you can’t pick and choose and then pick and choose.

Blessings

Bosco

Glenda said...

Further to my comment above, Pope Francis is of course a member of the Jesuit order, but the analogy still stands.
However this situation will keep bringing forth 'interesting' developments, one of which is coming from what might be called 'conservative' Anglo-Catholics within the Anglican Communion.
See letters below the following article from an Australian source, in which Anglo-Catholics from Scottish and Australian contexts query the "evangelical" language being espoused strongly by Gafcon material, and wonder if there is a place for them.
https://www.eternitynews.com.au/world/we-are-not-leaving-we-are-staying-say-anglican-conservatives/
This brings to mind books from the heyday of the charismatic era which pointed out strong similarities between Charismatic, evangelical and (conservative) Anglo-Catholics. I think a main one was by Michael Harper. Interesting times!

Peter Carrell said...

Thank you Bosco, Glen, Glenda

Glen: my point is that GAFCON makes much of Lambeth 1998 but falls short of strict adherence to it.

Glenda: indeed! Michael Harper, incidentally, was led by the Spirit from evangelicalism through the Charismatic Movement to membership of an Eastern Orthodox church.

Tim Chesterton said...

Ron: '(Forgive me Tim for assuming that we are of one mind in this)'

Ron, we are probably 90% of one mind on this. And those who know us will know that that doesn't often happen!

Anonymous said...

Bosco makes some very silly comments, talking as if the Reformation had never happened and Anglicanism had never come into existence. He needs to read the great English Reformers, like Jewel, Cranmer and others to understand what Reformed Catholicism means. Or talk to some of the great Anglican theologians at Gafcon, like Ashley Null and Stephen Noll, who are excellent scholars on Cranmer and New Testament ethics.
Anyway, Anglicanism is now realigning in the world. If thousands of evangelical Anglicans in New Zealand leave, as may happen now, then the liberals can get on with their goal of same sex marriage (as they have in Canada, Brazil, Scotland etc), instead of this nonsense about "blessings" which was only ever a stalking horse for same sex marriage. And evangelicals can focus on church expansion without wasting energies on this incessant debate. ACNA is far happier now, while Tec is living out the logic of its post-modern liberalism.
William

Peter Carrell said...

Dear William
Tell us more about ACNA's happiness now that it is debating the ordination of women?
Do not refer to another commenter's comments as "silly" - I won't published such a comment again.
I would also appreciate further explanation from you re "Anglicanism is realigning in the world." If it is realigning does that mean that GAFCON is lying when it says it is working for the renewal of the Anglican Communion?

Father Ron Smith said...

Thanks, Glenda, for your link to the Gafcon site featuring an article by John Sandeman who contributes on this thread on ADU.

From that link, I gather than J.S. really believes that Gafcon's intention is to "rebuild the Anglican Communion from within".

If this really were the case Gafcon would have:

(a) Invited ACNS (Anglican Church News Service) reporters to Gafcon2018
(b) Complied with the request expressed at Lambeth 1998 to not continue with the piratical invasion of other Provinces of the A.C.C. with their own appointed rival 'bishops'.
(c) they would not be bad-mouthing the Archbishop of Canterbury
(d) they would not be boycotting Meetings of the ACC and its Primates.

One cannot but ask if, when the above 4 items remain unobserved by Gafcon; whether they are sincere in their statement of remaining with the A.C.C?

It seems to me from this evidence alone that Gafcon has schismatic, rather than eirenic, intentions for the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Anonymous said...


"Any living of the pure Christian life consistent with GAFCON’s presuppositions would include pacifism [Complete Nonsense: Anglicanism has always affirmed a nation's duty of Self-Defense- we are *not* Anabaptists], not giving or receiving at interest (hence no use of banks) [Complete Nonsense: that is Medieval Catholicism, not the thinking of Calvin and the other Reformers who provided the background to Cranmer's thought], no communion for those who married after divorce [that would depend on the nature of their subsequent marriage], no women clergy [yes, possibly - although women deacons are accepted on NT grounds], no contraception [Wrong again - we are not Thomistic Catholics in our understanding of sexual intercourse], probably some slavery [ why just *some* slavery? You're talking to Nazis, y'know!], and possibly celibacy for clergy [yes, of course, because Reformed Christians follow medieval Catholicism, don't we?].

You can’t say you can’t pick and choose and then pick and choose."

The host is right: these remarks aren't silly, they're wrongheaded, very ignorant of Anglican history and misconstrue completely what Reformed Catholicism ( = classical Anglicanism) is. The first rule of fair debate is to *listen* to your opponents and seek to *understand* what they are saying and how they arrive at their views. To distort what they are saying is to act in a Cathy Newmanesque way. If you *really* want to understand our thinking instead of taking cheap shots at straw men, read the leading theologians behind the Gafcon statement, Ashley Null and Stephen Noll. But you'll have to be as informed as them to do battle.
Yes, an Anglican realignment is underway and it's long overdue. The British Empire passed away years ago. And as night follows day, same-sex marriage will indeed be on the agenda of the NZ Church within a couple years, and it will follow Brazil, Scotland, Canada etc. Those who don't want that trajectory foisted upon them will be gone. What's not to like?
William

Peter Carrell said...

Hi William
I note you have not told us about ACNA debating the ordination of women.

Bosco's point was not whether GAFCON is faithful to the English Reformation and distanced from Medieval Catholicism. Bosco's point, it is mine also, is that when a movement claims to be "Bible based" or "Bible believing" or "biblical" the question arises, what does this mean?

The first Christians were obviously Bible based and they were pacifists. Something changed and Christianity embraced militarism. For centuries Christians followed the Bible and refused to support usury. Something changed and modern banking was birthed in Christian Europe. If GAFCON is not pacifist and is not against usury, what is the basis of those decisions? Clearly it is not a "simple" reading of the Bible but instead it is a "theological reading" of the Bible. That raises the question how the theology is arrived at, what the authorities are for changes that theology makes to the reading of the Bible and so forth. GAFCON makes attempts to answer these in the Jerusalem Declaration but how good are those attempts and how well are they observed? There is, for instance, in that statement an upholding of the BCP (no doubt with much concurrence from Ashley Null and co) but I then ask what role does the BCP play in local GAFCON aligned or aligning churches in NZ? As best I can tell, none at all in the largest services. So, what then is the theological authority behind use of liturgies which owe little to BCP and much to something else?

The point then, is not to run GAFCON down re its poorly thought through theology but simply to plea that it might be kinder as a movement on other Anglicans who read the Bible differently.

Incidentally, on contraception, I presume you are aware that the Lambeth Conference was against contraception before it was for it. Which Conference does GAFCON look back to as authoritative on the matter: 1920 or 1930?

John Sandeman said...

Ron,
We all have our views of what is normative within Anglicanism. For a large part that simply reflects what we are used to. You might be used to a broad range of traditions existing in one diocese. others have had a different experience. That is possibly why a comment that Gafcon aims to "rebuild the Anglican Communion from within" is controversial depends on what you have experienced of Anglican life.
It is however not controversial to state that it is what significant persons within Gafcon believe they are doing. After all rebuilding something usually means the existing structure need renovation or replacemnt. You rebuild something when you think a structure is worn out.
Seen in that light I am afraid your tests as to Gafcon's intent simply reflect that your experience of or hopes for Anglicanism are different from theirs. I think we all knew that before I typed a single letter of this response!

Anonymous said...

Peter, I'm sure Bosco can ask these questions by himself without assistance if he wants to, but answering them each requires an essay, not a blog post. Those who seek will find them easily enough on the internet. Your own outlook is clear:
"The point then, is not to run GAFCON down re its poorly thought through theology but simply to plea that it might be kinder as a movement on other Anglicans who read the Bible differently" - where of course you *do* run it down by dismissing it as having "poorly thought through theology" (you say), along with a plea really just to go on as before. But in the end you can't persist with two contradictory doctrines of marriage - which you have in NZ. It's incoherent. Bosco is on record as criticizing NZ Anglican practise on divorce and remarriage. I think he's right - a much tighter discipline should have been exercized from the beginning. I have long thought the prime candidate for "poorly thought through theology" is the Anglican Church in New Zealand, which goes out of its way to censor references to the Fatherhood of God in its Prayer Book and in other regards is a very long way from Cranmerian thinking, and on 'same sex blessings' plays an essentially political game, not a theological role.
I'm not a member of ACNA so I don't speak for them, but the WO issue could certainly unsettle them if they don't handle it sagaciously. I'm a realist - I don't think any ecclesiastical settlement in the world is perfect but some are a lot better and a lot more biblical than others. For those who insist that 'The Bible is really unclear on this question' or 'We no longer know for sure what this means', I really hsve nothing to say except: 'Well, off you go and follow your light - until another one comes along' (such is the nature of progressivism: by definition you can't stand still, new ideas MUST replace old ones); while internally I think: 'Actually, I suspect you *do* know what the Bible says on this question - but you reject it as wrong morally and factually.' I have lurked on 'Thinking Anglicans' and studied liberal theology long enough to understand what liberals think the Bible actually is: a time-conditioned compendium of truth and error whose errors must be patiently excised by the patient exercize of 'Sachkritik', as we called it years ago. (And traditionally this meant pitting Jesus against Paul, whom liberals call 'the second founder of Christianity' - someone with a significantly different message from Jesus, whatever that was. Yes, it's all there in Harnack and Ritschl and Barth didn't really kill them off for ever.)
I would wager this is exactly how the majority of the theological liberals (including some of your contributors) think of the Bible: not the inspired Word of God Written (as Article XIX calls it - one of your contributors regularly dismisses the Thirty Nine Articles as 'artifacts') but a human document, a mixture of truth and error (like all human documents) describing very imperfectly the human encounter with the divine. And I understand that outlook perfectly well. It's there in TEC (think of Jefferts Schori and her infamous sermon on Paul and the 'Pythian' slave girl) and it's prevalent in NZ as well. But it isn't historic Reformed Anglicanism. It's a new religion.
William

Peter Carrell said...

Hi William
Thanks for responding re ACNA!
I will rewrite one bit of above re GAFCON: yes, I am not impressed with the theological depth of GAFCON - they have not found their John Stott yet, but, irrespective of that, I think GAFCON offers a theological interpretation of the Bible and not a simple Bible; thus, GAFCON could be kinder in its judgement of other Anglicans: not Bible-less Anglicans but theologically different Anglicans. (And let's leave ++KJS out of this; I don't think she is a fair representation of the best of liberal Anglicanism!)

If GAFCON is indeed standing for a theologically coherent reinstatement of the English Reformation in the 21st century and that reinstatement views with disfavour theologically less coherent versions of being Anglican (including the NZPB) then that is GAFCON's right to offer a different version of global Anglicanism; and in the long run it may be judged by history to be successful.

However that still leaves me with questions! Here are a couple:
1. Since I have heard an espousal of a new Anglican church here in AotNZ to be an Anglican church adhering to the constitution of ACANZP as at 1 May 2018, and since that constitution embeds NZPB in its understanding of doctrine, are you saying that the local GAFCON-Anglican church here will be theologically incoherent?
2. Is it coherent for GAFCON to propose both that it is about the renewal of the Communion and that it wants the exclusion of some provinces from Communion meetings such as Lambeth? Wouldn't it be more coherent to simply leave the Communion and get on with the business of being a new global Anglican entity, with strict criteria for membership which would exclude e.g. TEC, SEC?

Anonymous said...

Hello, Peter. I've always held John Stott in very high regard, but as a preacher and a strategist and a leader of great integrity, not as a constructive theologian (that wasn't his vocation or background). As for Schori, she was consistent in her thinking and from what I've heard from George Conger, I don't know that Michael Curry really differs from her in that respect. Where they differ is in temperament and modus operandi: Schori was determined to drive out, defrock and litigate against traditionalists in TEC (the same thing happened in Canada against David Short, Jim Packer and others who were 'deposed' and lost their church buildings), while Curry isn't so bull-headed.
As for your two questions:
1. New beginnings are always incoherent. If a new church does arise, it will have a lot to sort out, including a theologically inadequate prayer book.
2. GAFCON arose because Rowan Williams failed to discipline Tec - and the Tec revisionist doctrine on marriage spread to Canada, Scotland, Brazil and to New Zealand (in a dishonest way, in my judgment). You know the dreary old story of Dar es-Salaam, Dromantine, Windsor etc etc - huge expense and nothing achieved after years. A complete waste of time and money - and you want to continue with this? It's like that 'Father Ted' episode where Dougal gets stuck on a milk float, but without the laughs. I doubt Welby (who almost certainly wants to recognise same-sex marriage but cannot say so openly) will back down over Lambeth, so the chasm will grow probably grow wider. NZ has its own interesting dynamics. I suspect the situation in Christchurch diocese reflects the fact that you have churches without buildings (thanks to the earthquake)as well as no bishop - because Victoria Mathews returned to Canada in an attempt to become bishop of Toronto. The theologically pretentious might call this a 'kairotic' moment - or maybe that should be 'chaotic'?
William

Father Ron Smith said...

Lambeth offers Hope for all who look to Christ for Redemption.

Sadly, Gafcon only offers hope for the sinless!

Father Ron Smith said...

Peter, I appreciate your response here to William's thingy on 'coherence' :

"2. Is it coherent for GAFCON to propose both that it is about the renewal of the Communion and that it wants the exclusion of some provinces from Communion meetings such as Lambeth? Wouldn't it be more coherent to simply leave the Communion and get on with the business of being a new global Anglican entity, with strict criteria for membership which would exclude e.g. TEC, SEC?"

Far from being coherent, Gafcon's stated intention to 'renew the Anglican Communion from within' is nothing more than ephemeral. How can one 'renew from within' an entity from which it is proposing to exit:? Just doesn't make any sense. In the same vein, how can FCANZ represent Anglicanism in Aoteroa/New Zealand - an entity which it semms to have already left? It doesn't make sense.

Make no mistake, most Anglicans in New Zealand just have no idea at all about the existence of FCANZ. Not are they likely to be either interested or influenced in any way by its aggressive tactics. Most, whose interest is in the worship of God and supporting one another in their daily lives, will just carry on as usual, vaguely wondering what all the fuss is about. Meanwhile, the City Missions, Parish Visiting, Bible Studies, home care groups, hospital visitors, etc., will still be looking after the needs of our communities.

Christ IS risen, Alleluia! He IS risen indeed! Alleluia, Alleluia!

Glen Young said...

Hi Ron,

Your blog @12:56 PM, appears to give a very incoherent view of in coherency.Is it really coherent for the ACANZP to say Her Doctrine,[as defined in Her Constitution] allows for both the permittance and the condemnation of same sex blessings at the same time. Surely,in terms of logic,something either is or is not,it can't be both at the same time.Nothing in this whole issue is COHERENT.
GAFCON does not stand alone in being incoherent.Your blogs do not seem to wreak of the LOVE, which they consistently espouse;when it comes to Sola Scriptualists and GAFCON. Perhaps, if we followed the words of G.Washington,when he was asked how he would deal with the Southern States; he replied:"I shall welcome them back,as though they have never been away";
both sides might find some basis for unity.Is it not ironical, that this issue came about because the LBGT did not feel welcome in the Church; and now the Orthodox are being condemned for feeling that they are not welcome.

John Sandeman said...

"How can one 'renew from within' an entity from which it is proposing to exit:? Just doesn't make any sense."
If you view this through a NZ lens only I can at least partly understand your puzzlement, Ron. But renewing something does not necessarily mean keeping all its constituent parts. Renewing a building may include tearing down part of it. Renewing a football league may mean relegating some clubs and promoting others. Renewing a television lineup may mean dropping some programmes and adding others.
It's early days for NZ but the Gafcon team would like to see ACNA instead of TEC in the Communion. So the fact of ACNA leaving the communion, as part of a plan to renew the communion can be seen as a staged plan. A home renovator might say "Let's remove the furniture from the house so we can bring it back when we have repainted."

Peter Carrell said...

Dear John
So if I want to renew my family, which has one or two objectionable offspring in it, I could ask the offending children to leave and bring in that cute kid from next door who is always well-behaved as a replacement?

Wouldn't doing that mean I had changed the family into another family, rather than renewed it?

Anonymous said...

"So if I want to renew my family, which has one or two objectionable offspring in it, I could ask the offending children to leave and bring in that cute kid from next door who is always well-behaved as a replacement?

Wouldn't doing that mean I had changed the family into another family, rather than renewed it?"

Bad logic. If you want to renew your family in which some are behaving terribly, tearing the fabric even, you don't pretend there isn't a problem and just go along as before, even big them up ('Michael Curry, would you like to preach in our big gig in Windsor?'). You discipline the offenders, put them on the naughty step, send them to their room, exclude them for a season - or even make them leave home for a while until they mend their ways. And yes, a healthy family can always adopt a child. Read Romans 11.11-32 for how God deals with His disobedient family.
But Welby has done none of this - instead he has sneered at Gafcon as a 'ginger group' and ignored them this time. Williams and Welby and their refusal to deal with Tec, Canada, Scotland, Brazil - and now NZ - are the reason that Gafcon exists.

William

John Sandeman said...

Analogies always break down don’t they. Sometimes families experience a situation where a social worker removes a child. Sometimes they get it wrong and restoration is recommended by the children’s court or equivalent. Sometimes the seperation is found to be in the best interests of the child. Or rarely but sometimes in the best interest of a vulnerable parent.
Locally I can see that having people leave is hard for you to see as renewal. And there is real anguish for you and the stayers. From the perspective of the conservative provinces it looks different. That’s Anglicanism. There’s more than one sort.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi John and William
Analogies breakdown (like houses, families and Communions!).
I think it would be more accurate for GAFCON to say it is involved in an attempt to reengineer the Communion rather than renew it. What GAFCON wants is the Communion changed: new members, excluded members, and a new way of corporate discipline. None of these are beyond the Anglican pale - there are different Anglicanisms; Anglican churches have history re exclusions (here in NZ we have some "interesting" history in our dealings with Maori; - but together they represent something which I cannot agree is accurately described as "renewal."

As for our local situation, I am not hearing language around "renewal" of our church; our language is focused on the fact of a single Anglicanism not being able to hold all Anglicans together at this time, and on our sadness that this is so. I think we are hoping the 'other' will flourish under God but whether that will be one day understood in the language of "renewal" is difficult to forecast.

Father Ron Smithhttp:// said...

William is sadly humorous in his comment about the one who misbehaves in The Family. The family is centred around Pater Familias - in this case, our Primus inter pares - from whom a wilful, disobedient child has strayed, with the desire to overtake the 'centre of gravity' (Lambeth). Gafcon will have to live with the future it has willed for itself. The movement of Gafcon was away from the centre. It is trying desperately to find a new centre - around Nigeria or Sydney. FCANZ is only a small spoke from the wheel iof this eccentric partnership. Ex-Anglican sects do not normally have a great record of stability. The 'Tail' rarely gets around to wagging 'The Dog' - as witness the plurfality of breakaway churches after the historic Reformation. Only God remains!

Peter Carrell said...

Dear Ron,
It is quite true that some breakaway Anglican churches did not last long etc.
But it is also true that other Anglican churches have an impressive history of longevity - the Free Church of England, for instance.
Besides, it is not as though the mothership of Anglicanism, the CofE has been that stable through the centuries - losing Dissenters, Methodists, Plymouth Brethren, to say nothing of the John Newman's and others breaking off to Rome!

Whatever else is going on with GAFCON internationally, it has been going for a while now, and it has some seriously good leadership and administration.

Whether local Anglican congregations seeking to disaffiliate will last the distance is their challenge to meet and not ours to pronounce premature conclusions upon!

Anonymous said...

"The family is centred around Pater Familias - in this case, our Primus inter pares"

Well, I had no idea the Archbishop of Canterbury - if that is who is referred to here - is a Pope (papa = father) who appoints the bishops of Buganda and Melanesia, and the other far-flung outposts of Her Majesty the Queen Empress. Still, it ill behoves an Anglican to chide others for leaving when his own denomination began by rejecting the actual Pope. 'Do as I say not as I do' - is that the motto of the finger-pointing schismatic? But fear not, there is still time to come home to Rome! As for 'the center of gravity', it's been obvious for decades now that the great majority of churchgoing Anglicans live in sub-Saharan Africa. How many in NZ? 40,000? Some statistics would help but apparently nobody has the technology. The British Empire ended a long, long time ago but some haven't received the message yet.
William

Liturgy said...

Fascinatingly, we may be watching the development of a creation myth: how a new denomination came to be. William’s ahistorical approach has just enough truth in it to sound credible and spread amongst those with some scant historical recollections.

Actually, the Bishop of Rome’s appointment of bishops is not universal even in the communion for which he is Pater Familias, Primus inter pares, Pope, father. The Bishop of Rome’s right to appoint bishops only began in a small way relatively recently with a concordat between Napoleon and Pope Pius VII. His right to appoint in certain geographical areas grew when he could appoint in Italy from 1871. The 1917 Code of Canon Law was optimistic in exaggerating the Pope’s actual powers; it did help further the trend. William’s thinking that a Primus inter pares means the right to appoint the bishops would become a common Western misunderstanding.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, of course, does not even appoint bishops in his own province.

Blessings

Bosco

Father Ron Smith said...

Thanks, Bosco. Your comment is spot on.

What William appears not to understand is that the Anglican Communion is bound together by koinonia - not papal authority - as is true with every other Church which forms part of the universal Body of Christ.

That being so, what I have questioned here is: which part of the body of Christ (Church) will the FCANZ departees belong to. If not ACANZP, then one can only imagine it could be GAFCON - now led by an ACNA (schismatic) Archbishop Foley. As ACNA has no relationship with the Lambeth Fathers/Mothers, then our FCANZ departees with not be part of the official Anglican Communion - no matter how large or small New Zealand may be on the world stage. And that is sad, but not unexpected.

Anonymous said...

Hello, Bosco - it might be helpful to talk to me before assuming you know what I think. I was brought up a Catholic and know a thing or two about its history and doctrine. I am perfectly aware of the oldcustom in Europe of kings nominating bishops - but the pallium always came from Rome. All bishops in the REC need the Pope's assent- that is why all the bishops of Chile recently offered their resignation to him.
My point, in any case, is that the idea that the archbishop of Canterbury being a kind of Anglican pope - or patriarch if you like - only goes back to 1867. Episcopal churches existed long before that in the other nations of the British Isles and indeed the Scottish Episcopal Church ordained bishops for America when England refused. "Border crossing" has a long history! 😊 The British Empire is gone and with that, the assumption that England's ecclesiastical leader is everyone else's- an assumption never held in Scotland or America.
William

Father Ron Smith said...

At St.Michael's 9am Mass this morning, we prayed for both parties in this sad, but predictable, dispute. The Church Universal represents the Body of Christ - a much larger body than any national cultural or denominational entity and, as such, we are bound together in the Person and Being of Jesus Christ in Baptism and Holy Common-Union.

Jesu, Mercy; Mary, Pray.

(Diana and I are off to Palm Cove, Cairns for the month of July. Blessings on all who dwell in Aotearoa/New Zealand and Polynesia)

Liturgy said...

I'm sorry, William, I have no idea who you are, where you live, or what your denominational allegiance is, or your role within that. If you have introduced yourself and those things here - I'm sorry, I missed that. I do not catch every discussion here.

I thought you were bringing up an approach to appointing bishops that has had a relatively brief history. Now you bring up the giving of the pallium - this is not presented to many bishops, so I am finding your comments difficult to follow.

Peter, Ron, and I are priests in the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. We vow and sign up to our Church's teaching that "this Church is part of and belongs to the Anglican Communion, which is a fellowship of duly constituted Dioceses, Provinces or Regional Churches IN COMMUNION WITH THE SEE OF CANTERBURY, sharing with one another their life and mission in the spirit of mutual responsibility and interdependence."

I hope that helps make sense of some of this thread.

Blessings

Bosco

Anonymous said...

Yes, I understand all that. My point all along has been that the Archbishop of Canterbury has never been a pope or patriarch over Anglican churches, with powers to appoint - or veto - bishops in other provinces. Episcopalianism outside England has existed since at least the 16th century, being tied initially to the role of the English (then British) monarch as Supreme Governor. The American Episcopal Church took its episcopal orders from Scotland, not England, after the American Revolution. And as Tec and many others have reminded us, Lambeth Council resolutions have no binding juridical power. They made this clear over their decision to ignore 110.1 in 1998 and to proceed with ordaining Gene Robinson, despite many, many requests (from the ABC and others) not to. This is as different as you can imagine from the RCC, where bishops must be approved by Rome and the Magisterium, expressed in Papal encyclicals and councils like Vatican II, direct the teaching, liturgy and orders of that church.
What may be merging now is a return to an older vision of Reformed Catholicism, in which the two principles were the "historic orders" and the Book of Common Prayer as the standard of belief and practice. I don't see any end to "communion with the See of Canterbury" where this is understood as recognition of orders and sacraments, but certainly not as "deference to the will of the Archbishop of Canterbury". The American, Canadian, Brazilian and now NZ Anglican churches have indicated they have on intention of doing so with regard to the doctrine of marriage or to the morality of homosexual relations, and they can hardly expect others to show a deference that they don't have. Of course, this is an endemic problem in liberal Protestantism, but it's an inevitable outcome of denying the authority of the Bible as this has been historically understood and affirmed in the Thirty Nine Articles as the Word of God Written. As I've said before here, the truth is that liberals in Anglicanism don't actually believe this. They think the Bible is a farrago of good and bad stuff - some of it the Word of God, some of it human misperceptions, prejudice and ignorance - and the theological task is to sift the wheat from the chaff. That, in one sentence, is what the whole debate of the past forty years on homosexuality has been about, but few liberal clergy will be as open about their beliefs (and non-beliefs) as say, Bishop Richard Holloway of Scotland and NZ's own Lloyd Geering have been.

William

MichaelA said...

"Lambeth offers Hope for all who look to Christ for Redemption.
Sadly, Gafcon only offers hope for the sinless!"

That comment from Fr Ron has to stand as one of the most ignorant I have ever read on this blog. Or perhaps it is a deliberately misrepresentation.

I am sorry, but there is no way to sugar-coat it.

The essence of biblical Christianity, which Gafcon espouses, is precisely hope for all who look to Christ for redemption.

By contrast, what Fr Ron means by "Lambeth" could very well be classified as what Christ meant in Matt 23:13 - those who will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven themselves and seek to prevent others from doing so.

MichaelA said...

“But since the GAFCONites adhere to the revisionist view that such resolutions are binding, strikes me they have a problem.”

Dear Malcolm+, where did you get that idea? I cannot think of any statement by Gafcon anywhere that suggests that such resolutions are binding. Over to you.

In the meantime, you might note that many Anglicans give a lot of attention to Lambeth 1.10 for two reasons:
(a) It was moved from the floor of Lambeth 1998, against the wishes of the Archbishop of Canterbury and his staff, yet passed overwhelmingly
(b) Since then, many think that Lambeth as an institution has done its best to downplay the Resolution and avoid giving it any effect.

In other words, that resolution has become a touchstone for the now-widespread belief in the Communion that the Lambeth hierarchy is out-of-step with the majority of the Communion.

“As you note, the GAFCON folk are not and have never been in compliance with Lambeth 1998 1-10.”

So far, I have not any justification for that assertion.

MichaelA said...

Bosco wrote:

“Any living of the pure Christian life consistent with GAFCON’s presuppositions would include pacifism”

Why would it? The teaching of Christ and his Apostles is clear in many places that Christians can be in the military, and never forbids it. As for the early church, despite much pacifistic writing by some early Church Fathers, it is clear that many Christians were in the military – that was the whole point of Diocletian’s large-scale purges of Christians from the army in 303. Many historians agree that the rigorist, pacifist stance of selected authors has been overly emphasized at the expense of archaeological, epigraphic and literary evidence showing Christian participation in the military from earliest times.

“not giving or receiving at interest (hence no use of banks)”

Where do you get this idea?

“no communion for those who married after divorce”,

Again, where do you get this idea? Not from Christ, who taught that divorce may legitimately occur where there has been adultery.

“no women clergy”

I agree with you that Gafcon provinces should not have women as priests or bishops. In this respect, some are not consistent with scripture.

“no contraception”

Where do you get this idea?

“probably some slavery”

Where does the Bible require slavery? It accepts that Christians may have no power to change such a system, which is a different matter.

“and possibly celibacy for clergy”

Where do you get this idea?

If you are going to criticize Gafcon for hypocrisy, you should do more than just assert. And perhaps consider Matt 7:1-5.

Liturgy said...

MichaelA, I haven’t time to help you with all your questions – noting, at least, that you share judgment (Matt 7:1-5) of GAFCON in its inconsistency with the Bible and tradition when they ordain women. One might note your punchline of Matt 7:1-5 applies to the whole foundation of the GAFCON movement.

Meanwhile, to start your own research, not charging and receiving interest is found in many biblical texts (Ex 22:25; Lev 25:35,37; Dt 23:19 can start your reading). Saint Anselm of Canterbury is a typical Christian equating such banking with theft.

As for allowing communion for those who married after divorce – I don’t know where you are, or where you’ve been, or how old you are, Michael, but doing so is a very new allowance within Anglicanism. Furthermore, your exegesis, Michael, that Christ taught that divorce may legitimately occur where there has been adultery is highly questionable. Jesus called marriage after divorce adultery (μοιχάω moichaō). He did not use this word “adultery” (μοιχάω moichaō) as the exception to his teaching! Furthermore, whatever Jesus was referring to might have allowed separation from bed and board (this is mentioned by St Paul, St Augustine, and St Jerome). It is not licence to marry another. Even if you are arguing that adultery (and adultery alone) would allow remarriage by the innocent partner, to suggest that Jesus, in this text, would allow you to divorce if you commit adultery first, is patently absurd.

That’s all I have time for.

Blessings

Bosco

Anonymous said...

MichaelA - yes, I also took Bosco to task for these comments as complete non sequiturs and misrepresentations of what Gafcon stands for (a reassertion of classical Anglicanism as presented in the Book of Common Prayer) but he never responded. It's an easy task to mow down a field of straw men but it contributes nothing to understanding what the other is really saying, which surely must count among our first duties (bearing true witness about your neighbor).
Anglican evangelical thought (and not all Gafcon supporters are evangelical - there is a sizeable Anglican Catholic element) has its sturdy teachers of the past generation (Stott, Packer, Green et al), and to these Noll, Null, Jensen, Nazir-Ali, Melvin Tinker and numerous others add some heft. Part of the maturing of Gafcon will include developing its own theological education, a process well underway. Some "westerners" would be surprised to discover how many PhDs there are, for example, in the Nigerian Church.

William

Anonymous said...

The Bishops of the Anglican Communion in 10 Easy Lessons

Overview. It was not founded or invented as the expression of a confession or ideal; it was discovered or recognised as a development of the episcopate created by the Holy Spirit.

(01) These canons date from the C4--

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3801.htm

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf07.ix.ix.vi.html

(02) Anglicans have not believed that the Church of England was a new church in the C16-17. The main body of them will not be persuaded to define their identity solely by the views of any single party of the Reformation period.

(03) For a snapshot of the English episcopate under the Stuarts, read Brad Littlejohn--

https://calvinistinternational.com/2013/07/17/rethinking-stuart-anglicanism/

(04) In the C16-17, bishops in the Church of England held a range of views on the nature of episcopacy. There cannot be a return to a past unanimity that never existed.

(05) In light of the facts discovered since, not all views on the episcopate have continued to make as much sense as they did in the C16-17. And more ecumenical understanding of a few views has rehabilitated them in ways that could not have been foreseen by any party in the Reformation period. Reasonable Christians, especially Anglicans, base their understanding of the episcopate on all that is known today.

Anonymous said...

(06) Even C16-17 Anglicans, especially those Littlefield identifies as Ceremonialists and Laudians, saw the episcopate as a common institution shared by all provinces of the Church that was undivided until 1054, and were even then aware (as were Martin Luther and Thomas Cranmer) of affinities between the Protestant and Orthodox critiques of papal practice. There cannot be a return to a merely confessional view of the episcopate that never existed, and especially not to one that ignores the organic continuity from the undivided Church to the Church of England.

(07) In three respects, reasonable C21 Christians have been unable to distinguish the authority of scripture from that of the episcopate:

(a) The conciliar recognition of the canon of scripture (eg canons of Laodicea, Hippo, Carthage; Apostolic Canons, #85) was not a process discernibly different from the simultaneous recognition of the apostolic and Nicene creeds, and the norms of episcopal governance. How can one consistently and without begging the question argue that the canon of scripture is from the Holy Spirit but that the creeds and canonical episcopacy are not?

(b) The ecumenical creeds are necessary both to the faithful interpretation of the scriptures, and to the discernment of faithful candidates for holy orders. That is, because reasonable exegeses and persons may not be faithful, creeds are necessary to distinguish those which are from those which are not.

(c) In practice, only a perpetual college within the Church seems able to discern the bounds of the faithful interpretation of scripture. To be sure, bishops who have ceded that authority to academics are poor exemplars of the ideal, but that very exception proves the rule.

(08) The Archbishop of Canterbury is a primate of the sort described in Canon 35 of the Apostolic Canons linked above: "35. The bishops of every country ought to know who is the chief among them, and to esteem him as their head, and not to do any great thing without his consent; but every one to manage only the affairs that belong to his own parish, and the places subject to it. But let him not do anything without the consent of all; for it is by this means there will be unanimity, and God will be glorified by Christ, in the Holy Spirit." Already in the C4 both primacy and consensus (not majority rule) were recognised.

(09) A fortiori, the ABC is the patriarch of the primates of episcopates descended from his own (cf the relationship between the Patriarch of Moscow and the Metropolitan of Washington).

(10) A conference convened by the ABC (eg Primates Meeting or Lambeth Conference) recognising the bounds of the faithful interpretation of the scriptures with respect to a given matter is doing what the fathers of the Church recognised in such canons as Nicea #4 and Apostolic Canons #35.

BW

Anonymous said...

Bosco writes: "Meanwhile, to start your own research, not charging and receiving interest is found in many biblical texts (Ex 22:25; Lev 25:35,37; Dt 23:19 can start your reading). Saint Anselm of Canterbury is a typical Christian equating such banking with theft."

Looking up 'interest' in a concordance is quite easy; actual research involves interpreting the texts as well historical investigation of how the medieval church understood them, as well as its theory of 'usura' and the nature of money as something essentially 'sterile' (derived from Aristotle), so that interest (Gk. 'tokos', lit. 'offspring') was seen as unnatural. Calvin and other writers on economics (yes, Calvin dabbled in economic theory) refuted this idea, and showed that money is not 'sterile' but a resource that can be used and made to grow through investment, and interest is actually compensation for the use denied the owner during the period of the loan. Calvin and others also observed that nowhere does the Bible condemn interest-taking as inherently evil; all texts condemning it refer to charging interest to poor fellow Israelites, but loaning to non-Israelites at interest is perfectly acceptable: Deuteronomy 23.20. If it were not, how could our Lord have referred approvingly to banking with interest in Luke 19.23? The OT tests condemn exploiting weak members of one's own community. Prof. Jay Richard (Catholic University of America), 'Money, Greed and God', can start your reading, Bosco, but you can find a quick entrée to his work in crisismagagazine.com. The central point is that juridically-minded medieval writers took the dominical words 'lend, expecting nothing in return' (Luke 6.34) as a prohibition on interest (which they buttressed by appeal to Aristotle's theory that money is "sterile"), instead of the way most commentators today would take those words, as a strong exhortation to generosity to your enemies. If the medieval church had had Calvin's good sense in this matter, Jews would never have been corralled into becoming hated money-lenders to Christians (since the medieval church figured that paying interest to Jews was acceptable and not inherently sinful), and the economic stagnation of the Middle Ages might have ended much earlier.

William

Anonymous said...

Bosco writes: "As for allowing communion for those who married after divorce – I don’t know where you are, or where you’ve been, or how old you are, Michael, but doing so is a very new allowance within Anglicanism."
That may well be so - but practices vary across the globe. Back in the early 70s, NZ Anglicanism was ordaining men who had been divorced and remarried or who were married to divorcees long before this became legal in the Church of England and now the C of E has divorced and remarried bishops, so I suspect "allowing communion for those who married after divorce" goes back quite a long way.
It was also the case that long ago, clergymen whose marriages broke down were expected to leave the ministry, but I don't think this happened with Bob Lowe.

William

Father Ron Smith said...

Referring to just one of William'as humourouscomments earler on this thread that: "ACNA is far happier now" (since the Jerusalem Conference). Well of course it is. It has just secured for itself the papal role of CHAIR of Gafcon - more influential even than former Sydney Archbishop Peter Jensen who, incidentally, will be replaced is his current role as 'GeneraL Secretary' of Gafcon.

This was as very facile move on the part of the Gafcon Fathers of the Jerusalem Statement of Faith (the Gafcon Primates' Council)- to grandstand the role of their surrogate church in North America (ACNA) as the legitimate leader of their whole organisation, and having greater influence among their FOCA followers outside of the African Continent and the Global South.

This giving up of THE Leadership role to an ACNA Archbishop takes the pressure off the aging prelates of the Gafcon Movedment in the Global South (including Southern Cone's Archbishop Venables and Sydney's Archbishop Davies - thus turning the apparent Gafcon axis away from the Global South to the Global North - when it will be expected to 'take off' - like the proverbial spacecraft.

However, this apparent movement of Gafcon power from Africa to North America, based - as it likely is - on the notion that more Western Christians will become involved in Gafcon's power struggle for the soul of Anglicansism, just may not work - except in the hearts and minds of the FOCA people who are so obsessed with personal piety, rather than the great Mission of the Inclusive Gospel of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Liturgy said...

Thanks, BW, and Amen!
Blessings
Bosco

Anonymous said...

Bosco writes: "Furthermore, your exegesis, Michael, that Christ taught that divorce may legitimately occur where there has been adultery is highly questionable."
- "questionable" is not the same as "wrong", and the Orthodox Churches have always understood there was a limited right of remarriage after divorce, depending on circumstances and repentance.
"He did not use this word “adultery” (μοιχάω moichaō) as the exception to his teaching!"
- Well, the word is there in the text! I don't have John Nolland's NIGNTC on Matthew so I don't know what he has to say on this (I think he has some interesting ideas on that crux interpretum, Matt 5.32b), but there is no doubt that Jesus condemns divorce very strongly, unlike many of his contemporaries. Was Jesus establishing a 'law' or using rabbinical hyperbole? He himself was put on oath in Matt 26.63 (contra Matt 5.34?!), and I don't know of any Christians who think they really should cut off their right hand or pluck out their right eye.
"Furthermore, whatever Jesus was referring to might have allowed separation from bed and board (this is mentioned by St Paul, St Augustine, and St Jerome). It is not licence to marry another."
- I note the "whatever" and "might have". Two weak terms don't allow a strong conclusion.
"Even if you are arguing that adultery (and adultery alone) would allow remarriage by the innocent partner, to suggest that Jesus, in this text, would allow you to divorce if you commit adultery first, is patently absurd."
Of course it is, and I very much doubt (but he can speak for himself) that he is suggesting that. But who knows what bizarre ideas will take root in a church that has lost its first love? Gene Robinson was the 'white knight' of the revisionist movement in the Episcopal Church. He divorced his wife of many years because of sexual feelings, and later he "divorced" his "husband". Was that second act a sin of disobedience to Christ? Well, what would Jesus say?

William

Anonymous said...

BW writes:
"(c) In practice, only a perpetual college within the Church seems able to discern the bounds of the faithful interpretation of scripture. To be sure, bishops who have ceded that authority to academics are poor exemplars of the ideal, but that very exception proves the rule."
- 'the exception that proves the rule' means almost the opposite of what people think it does. It means: "the rule to severe test" - i.e., puts it into question.

"(08) The Archbishop of Canterbury is a primate of the sort described in Canon 35 of the Apostolic Canons linked above: "35. The bishops of every country ought to know who is the chief among them, and to esteem him as their head, and not to do any great thing without his consent; but every one to manage only the affairs that belong to his own parish, and the places subject to it. But let him not do anything without the consent of all; for it is by this means there will be unanimity, and God will be glorified by Christ, in the Holy Spirit." Already in the C4 both primacy and consensus (not majority rule) were recognised."
- Then who, pray tell, are the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster and the Metropolitan Bishop of Thyatira? How many Primates can you have in one country? Appealing to fourth century canons as if they had legal force after 1054 and the Reformation is nonsense - but one that the critics of so-called 'border crossing' suddenly discovered a few years ago. Shall the RC and Orthodox bishops in England now be formally deposed and their estate forfeit to the Crown? Appealing to these canons is quite ludicrous.

"(09) A fortiori, the ABC is the patriarch of the primates of episcopates descended from his own (cf the relationship between the Patriarch of Moscow and the Metropolitan of Washington)."
- a fortiori? ex nihilo, more likely. The Archbishop of Canterbury is NOT a patriarch and no episcopacies "descended" from his own - a very strange idea in Anglicanism, or even Orthodoxy. In any case, Tec's episcopal orders "descended" from Scotland.
William

Peter Carrell said...

Dear William
You are proving a point here!
That at different times and different places Christians have read the same Scriptures differently. My point (I think it is Bosco's as well) is that GAFCON displays in its final communique an incredible naivety about what "biblical" means. It cannot be used without further qualification if it is to have the meaning intended, otherwise we have no useful way to know whether (e.g.) GAFCON reads the Bible on interest according to the pre or post Calvin way.

I am reading Bowman on bishops differently to you. I read him as making a point that bishops do not come from nowhere (or straight off the text of the Bible): there is an historic development of episcopacy which is rooted in the ancient canons of the church, the same canons which give us the Scriptures, inspired by the same Holy Spirit. That the development got disrupted (the split of 1054; the unwillingness of the then ABC to preside over the natural development of the CofE episcopacy into America; three "apostolic" missions to Britain (represented by Canterbury, Westminster, Thyatira)) does not mean that we then play fast and loose with where 21st bishops comes from, least of all if we are Anglican. We cannot put the disruption back in the bottle but we can be respectful of Anglican episcopacy and maintain communion with the ABC.

I cannot imagine a bona fide Russian Orthodoxy which denied communion with the Patriarch of Moscow, or Roman Catholicism out of communion with the Bishop of Rome. Can you?

Anonymous said...

As background to your own OP, Peter, my 8:13 and 8:24 are enlightening ignorance with common knowledge, not feeding any dull troll or making any oblique point. However, the 5000 in your diocese might look carefully at 07 as they review their affiliation with ACANZP and select a new bishop for Christchurch.

By the special providence of God, the Church of England and those who came to see themselves as Anglicans have maintained the NT understanding that valid tradition (paradosis) is from the Holy Spirit. In that way, they (also Lutherans, but that is another matter) are sharply distinct from the main body of Reformed* who gradually embraced some opposing ideas-- the Holy Spirit speaks only in the scriptures and only when these are construed as human laws are; tradition is always merely human, and hence never authoritative; to enforce the former and suppress the latter, churches can be and should be started from scratch. Yet however inspiring it may still be to zealots, these Reformed principles have proven to be incoherent. Hence 07 is true, and by default, the more conservative Anglican position has better stood the test of time.

Anonymous said...

Those who saw the carnage of the English Civil War were painfully aware of this distinction, but if the dissenting 2000 of your 5000 have always heard Anglicanism described as "Reformed," they may be startled to hear of it. They might well ask themselves what has drawn them to Anglican churches in the first place. If they have patience only for careful juridical exegesis from scripture, do not want human tradition themselves, and will not pray with those who do, then they prefer Reformed to Anglican churches, and there are presumably some on the blessed isles that can give them what they wish. (It would be gracious for ACANZP to give them that option.) On the other hand, if they encounter the Holy Spirit in the means of grace as ACANZP has received them from the undivided Church, then they may find that their own experience better supports the Anglican idea. So far as I can see, such traditionalists have no perfect option for affiliation, but may make the community option of M29 work.

On the other hand, the conforming 3000 of your 5000 have a serious problem of their own. Although the modern Reformed theology undercuts mere Anglicanism at many points, it is obviously the only theology that is widely known down under. Reformed theology is jarringly inadequate to actual Anglican life in God, but it is the only theology your frail ship has for ballast. On most days, even the reverend and dear Fathers Ron and Bosco sound much more to me like, say, Reformed-leaning graduates of Nashotah House (TEC) than like, say again, more Thomist products of the Community of the Resurrection, Mirfield (CoE), and yet they are both at war with the Reformed style of exegesis down there. The Reformed paradigm no longer commands the respect of your bishops and people, but churches need theological competence, and like any other ordered thought, theology cannot be done in no paradigm at all. My guess-- from very far away-- is that this explains why A Way Forward was such a flaky report.

This is the crisis of authority that Bryden was going on about, and it is having grave consequences. If everyone could swallow seven impossible things before breakfast, GAFCON could revive the Reformed paradigm, but everyone can't, and even if they could and did, the result would distort faith and life. I see a consolidation of post-Barthian ecumenical theology (eg Bryden's William Abraham's Canonical Theism) to be both better rooted in the tradition and more applicable today, but it seems to have no constituency down under. The question is: what are the 4000 or so of you going to do?

To sort that out in Christchurch, you need a bishop who plays the role implied in 07.

* My long-suffering Reformed friends know that by "the main body" I mean the confessional Reformed after the Synod of Dort, and not those figures more or less marginal to them-- the School of Saumur, the Mercersburg Theology, the House of Torrance, Karl Barth, the Federal Vision, N. T. Wright, the outsiders championed by Oliver Crisp, etc.

BW

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Bowman
Fascinating diagnosis from afar!
I do not think we have a common theological paradigm undergirding what is happening here (whether we think about the heartbeat of St John's College or the bishops as a "college" (currently publicly disagreeing over euthanasia) or the way we have approached "A Way Forward.") Nor, even amongst those identifying themselves as evangelical Anglicans is there a common evangelical Anglican paradigm, noting that leaving/staying within our church is (arguably) becoming an outward sign of the invisible theology of grace being followed.
On the specific matter of SSB/SSM, I think there are indeed signs of Reformed-thinking amongst both supporters and opponents - or, at least, signs of a Protestant-more-than-Catholic mindset on this matter.
But perhaps a question du jour for us Down Under is whether we could ever have a (say) Abrahamic [!!] Canonical Theism emerge from the disparateness of our church - a church which is structurally set up to be suspicious of dominating theological paradigms because these are mostly the product of the Western world rather than emerging theologies of indigenous churches in the South Pacific!

Anonymous said...

What is happening to Anglicanism in New Zealand is not too difficult to explain. For years it followed an easy going pragmatism without much historical or philosophical depth - like most of the country generally. As the rest of the country became more socially liberal the Anglicans played catch up. But how far can you play this game in one of the most secular societies in the world? More than half of New Zealanders say they are 'non-religious', including Maori who were once a pretty religious people. The dominant strain in NZ Anglicanism has been a soft liberalism, big on issues like justice and social inclusion, with a strong feminist strain as well. But most NZers don't see any need for religion - and when the philosophy of "selfism" prevails, abortion, sexual freedom, drug taking and suicide are "rights" and God is a threat to personal autonomy.
William

Bryden Black said...

Peter; mostly theologies ex Pacific are either Mormon or JW - as I've seen it ...!

Bryden Black said...

Dear Bowman; I have it on good authority that Billy Ab is due on these Fair Isles Sept 2019. Needless to say, the invitation did NOT come from ACANZ&P ...!

Bryden Black said...

That about nails it William!

Peter Carrell said...

Dear Bryden
ACANZP does not issue invitations to theologians to visit (unless they are the ABC)!
My remark about indigenous theologies has nothing to do with Mormon or JW theologies. I am referring to Atuatanga, Moana theology, the role of concepts such as manaakitanga, whanaungatanga.
In fact it is precisely from manaakitanga and whanaungatanga that we get the commitment of the Diocese of Polynesia to remain in the church with which it disagrees!
There is much more to Pacific indigenous theologies than your remark gives credit for.

Anonymous said...

"I do not think we have a common theological paradigm undergirding what is happening here..."

Thus far, Peter, we agree.

"Nor, even amongst those identifying themselves as evangelical Anglicans is there a common evangelical Anglican paradigm..."

Thank you for this information.

"On the specific matter of SSB/SSM, I think that there are indeed signs of Reformed-thinking amongst both supporters and opponents - or, at least, signs of a Protestant-more-than-Catholic mindset on this matter."

Yes. Which is only to say that the plays being run come from the Reformed playbook, not that all on either side would agree to play for the Reformed against the Thomists, the Lutherans, etc.

"...a church which is structurally set up to be suspicious of dominating theological paradigms because these are mostly the product of the Western world rather than emerging theologies of indigenous churches in the South Pacific!"

Is anything more a product of the Western world than suspicion of dominating theological paradigms?

"could [we] ever have a (say) Abrahamic [!!] Canonical Theism emerge from the disparateness of our church..."

Is your church really more disparate than the Church in late antiquity?

BW

Anonymous said...

Welcome back, Bryden! Please have your good authority upload WA's remarks to YouTube :-)

"ACANZP does not issue invitations to theologians to visit..."

But, Peter, why ever not? And note that, whilst the ancient canons do sternly forbid border crossings, they also permit a small province to borrow bishops from elsewhere at its own initiative for help with deliberation.

"...a church which is structurally set up to be suspicious of dominating theological paradigms because these are mostly the product of the Western world rather than emerging theologies of indigenous churches in the South Pacific!... I am referring to Atuatanga, Moana theology, the role of concepts such as manaakitanga, whanaungatanga."

Πιστεύω εἰς τò πνεῦμα τò ἅγιον, ἁγίαν καθολικὴν ἐκκλησίαν, ἁγίων κοινωνίαν...

Peter, can you derive the rationale for such suspicion from scripture? Hypothetically, a doctor of the universal Church could come from an indigenous one in the South Pacific, but I cannot see how suspicion of the former on the part of the latter could help this.

BW

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Bowman
1. We may not be more disparate, true. We may be more pragmatic and we may be less interested across the whole of our church in theological work.

2. Suspicion of power interests in academia is a Western derived suspicion but it is allied with the suspicion of power interests which naturally arises in people who have been screwed over by colonialists intent on colonising new lands with old world culture and economic aspirations, or, more simply, when your lands have been taken, you are suspicious of landowners. Within ACANZP we are being asked to accept that indigenous concepts of hospitality (manaakitanga) and extended family (whanaungatanga) contribute to theological discourse as much as Augustine, Aquinas and Barth: that is, we are being asked to talk about God in ways which connect with God's people within their cultures rather than talk about God in ways which presume only those with degrees in the great Western theologians may engage in the discourse. In that sense, we are, perhaps, like Antioch valiantly fighting the presumption that Alexandria is always correct; or like the Eastern Orthodox resisting the notion that the greatest mind of the first centuries after the NT era is Augustine.

Anonymous said...


"Within ACANZP we are being asked to accept that indigenous concepts of hospitality (manaakitanga) and extended family (whanaungatanga) contribute to theological discourse as much as..."

Well, Peter, there is talk about God, and there is talk about talk about God. For the former, we use every metaphor that will do the work, and so of course we should gratefully accept any good new ones that indigenous churches offer.

But that all too human *as much as* seems to want to disable the latter-- the talk about talk about God-- as a challenge to the equality of constituencies. Again, once the theologians of an indigenous church learn how their peers in the past dozen or so civilisations have talked about talk about God, where is the inequality?

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/northamptonseminar/2018/06/30/attack-on-the-archbishop/

BW

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Bowman
I am not making any claims about the fairness of our church nor about whether one route for discourse is better than another ... I am very keen on Western European theology myself! However, to understand our church, how decisions are made, what drivers are at work among us, I must be familiar with indigenous theologies in our midst. I am more likely to gain a hearing at (say) General Synod if I talk manaakitanga than "theology of grace as Barth so profoundly taught us."

The trick - I suggest - is to find manaakitanga in Barth and Barth in manaakitanga and speak a common gospel language across our multi cultures!

Bryden Black said...

"My remark about indigenous theologies has nothing to do with Mormon or JW theologies. I am referring to Atuatanga, Moana theology, the role of concepts such as manaakitanga, whanaungatanga." Peter C

Well; where to begin? I have to say that as we both know any PhD is a worthy labour of love - for the most part! But I'm not sure I'd put Turi on the same or similar level as say either Jaroslav Pelikan or Robert Louis Wilken generally, or say Peter Brown, Michel Barnes or Lewis Ayres on Augustine in particular. Nor am I indifferent to so-called indigenous theologies: my diocese of origin is after all in Central Africa! Yet that's just the point: while each might be somewhat precious about their own ethnic engagement with the Gospel of Jesus, any Catholic Faith learns its weaving lessons better when addressing how others might have done it before!! And both Tikanga Maori and Pasifika (pace either Turi or Abp Winston re "moana") have from my observations/conversations to date a wee way to go yet. Perhaps tho it's time to have another chat with + Gabriel now that he's back into the fray!

As 1 Cor 8 continues to offer both theological resource (the Christianized Shema) and godly practice - atuatanga in spades therefore - I'll rest content thus far. And so hopefully not be as so beguiled by indigenous spiritualities as many a 20th C western materialist or 21st C western Gnostic seem to be ... James Cameron? Joseph Campbell?

As for Mormons etc. Why are the sensibilities of the Islands so receptive to their missionary activities? My mentioning them and JWs was not flippant but on account of brute observations...

Bryden Black said...

Thanks for your welcome Bowman; only passing through! Will ask about YouTube etc in due course. It'll be wonderful to see him again and chew the fat/cud! He surely is one of God's present gifts to the Church Catholic.

Father Ron Smith said...

"ACNZP does not invite foreign theologians to visit" ?

That may, indeed, be correct. But that didn't prevent FCANZ from inviting foreign 'Spekaers' to their conferences - like members of ACNA and other foreingers like Peter Jensen. Thoughthese people may not be NZ accredited 'theologians' they cartainly have proved to be 'foreign' to the eirenic ecclesiology of ACANZP.

In these matters, it seems our former Bishop (V.M.) was neither consulted nor asked to approve of such foreign visitations. Gone are the days when ACANZP was careful about who was invited into parishes to offer their theological 'wisdom' on an accredited basis. This more recent situation does speak of a culture of endemic ecclesiastical piracy - in keeping with the illicit border-crossings of the GAFCON surrogate parents of FCANZ.

Father Ron Smith said...

Dear Bryden, I find it very interesting to read of your summation of the content and value of South Pacific Theology and theologians to be amazingly Western-centric. How would it compare, for instance with your own indigenous theology in your part of the African Contentint where you were raised. From what I can see, for instance, of Nigerian, Ugandan, Rwandan and other GACON theolologies, they certainly do seem to be rather backward in acknowledging more modern learnings about gender and sexuality. Maybe that is the reason for your own reluctance in accepting ACANZP's determination to update its attitude towards such a minority group as LGBTI people in our Church.

When I was living in Fiji in the late sixties, the University of the South Pacific, then in formation, had attracted a few luminary theologians who, already, were well versed in the need to update moral teaching about gender and sexuality. The reluctance of Tikanga Pasifika to voter infavour of S/S Blessings in ACANZP was partly because of the fact that the Fiji Government was still in Victorian mode about S/S relationships - with no prospect of changing its colonial outlook on these matters - which would have inhibited any positive action on the part of Tikanga Pasifika to voter positively for S/S/Blessing for their part of the Church - Hoeever, this did not prevent them from withholding a negative vote on the issue.

Liturgy said...

Yes, the here-termed “revisionists” did, relatively recently in NZ as William indicates, alter the two-millennia Western approach to communion of those married after divorce, and the allowance (without changing church doctrine, but agreeing by canon not to discipline those who contravened it) of the majority heterosexuals to safely sidestep “for life” has become the template for a similar approach for the minority homosexuals.

MichaelA was right to underscore the importance of Matt 7:1-5. It needs to be heard by GAFCONites and undergirds the pastoral approach of mercy in my previous paragraph.

Thankfully, we have amongst our commenters here one who must be log-and-speck free in his eye and so can name and shame others alive and dead, local and internationally, on whom to pass judgement.

Ps. Some might find the following more palatable: https://www.fulcrum-anglican.org.uk/articles/fulcrum-response-to-gafcon-2018/

Blessings

Bosco

Peter Carrell said...

Dear Ron
I think we have moved on from the days when bishops controlled who spoke or did not speak in their dioceses - speaking generally of open events such as conferences. (It would still be a courtesy to check with one's local diocesan about inviting an "unlicensed" preacher from outside the Diocese to preach in a Sunday parish or chapel pulpit.

My point is simply that "ACANZP" as a whole church does not generally issue invitations to theologians (or decide to exclude theologians). Various bodies in our church may or may not invite visiting speakers (e.g. St John's College, the Anglican Missions Board organising a conference, a group appointed by the GS Standing Committee to run a theological hui). When I heard William Abraham (mentioned above) it was at a conference organised by AFFIRM - a creditable, reputable organisation within the life of our church, though not subject to control by a bishop(s) or synodical body.

FCANZ is welcome to invite whom it wants to speak at a conference in NZ. If it invites a bishop then, of course, it is a common courtesy for there to be communication with the Diocesan about that invitation being extended. I do not want to be part of an anti-GAFCON ACANZP even if GAFCON says some things about ACANZP which challenge us.

Bryden Black said...

Dear Ron, One important reason for my bowing out of ADU was/is the frequent material misrepresentation of my own comments/situation. Again: how could one compare the sheer weight of e.g. a Turi to a Lewis - via a due reading of respective cultural sensitivities. Please read both gentlemen and then comment. That's the first; and the second is this, again: I schooled in your land of origin. Period/full stop/ over and out. It's just plain tedious to have to constantly address such falsehoods.

Peter Carrell said...

Dear Ron and other commenters

I have learned more about invitations to overseas speakers which Fr Ron Smith mentioned above and the following are the facts, and refute Ron's claims: this is what I have been told:

FCANZ has never invited Peter Jensen to NZ (although we would be delighted to do so).

However it is the picture Ron is painting about ignoring episcopal leadership and cross-boundary stuff which is simply wrong. FCANZ has always communicated about any overseas speakers it has invited to the bishops of the diocese or dioceses involved.

More than that, FCANZ has always received a very affirmative and generous response from them about who and what they are speaking on. Bishop Ross and Bishop Victoria, in particular have been very good in this area. The things Father Ron has said about the Bishop of Christchurch are patently untrue. She was spoken to in person about Vaughan Roberts and David Short in 2016, and and about Bishop Julian Dobbs and Bishop Richard Condie in 2018. She was in full knowledge of these invitations and expressed no concerns whatsoever.

Peter Carrell said...

Dear Ron
Further to above: I now need to warn you that I will not publish comments by you that make assertions about fellow Anglicans which are not supported by verifiable evidence (e.g. a link to an article backing your assertions). I do not have time to be sorting out true assertions from false speculations.

Father Ron Smith said...

I apologise, Peter. for conflating FCANZ - the latest Gafcon affiliate - with the Christchurch organisation 'LATIMER', which I understand invited former Archbishop Peter Jensen to address them. Presumably, according to your information provided above, Bishop V.M. was approached and gave her tacit permission for his visit.

Peter Carrell said...

Thanks Ron

Sam Anderson said...

As one of the 58 I have been out of touch with this blog for a while, and only just caught up on this thread. 91 posts later...it's too late to comment on most things

I must say, however, that William's contributions are outstanding and very much appreciated. I haven't read you on here before and wish you had contributed earlier in the year when much was being written about Motion 29.

I read Bosco as obliquely inquiring as to your location and position, if any, within the Anglican church. I would love to know the answer to the same questions, although understand if anonymity is required.

Thanks again,
Sam