Archive for November, 2007
We, the Churches of the Anglican Communion, under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, solemnly covenant together in these articles, in order to proclaim more effectively through our communion in our different contexts the grace of God revealed in the Gospel, to offer God’s love in responding to the needs of the world, to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, and to grow together in our commitment to communion in the full stature of Christ.
2. Each member Church affirms
1. that it is part of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church, worshipping the one God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit;
2. that it professes the faith which is uniquely revealed in the Holy Scriptures as containing all things necessary for salvation and as being the rule and ultimate standard of faith, and which is set forth in the catholic creeds;
3. that it holds and duly administers the two sacraments ordained by Christ himself – Baptism and the Supper of the Lord – ministered with the unfailing use of Christ’s Words of Institution, and of the elements ordained by Him;
4. that it participates in the apostolic mission of the whole people of God;
5. that its mission is shared with other Churches and traditions not party to this covenant;
6. that, led by the Holy Spirit, it has borne witness to Christian truth in its historic formularies, the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, and the Ordering of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons;
7. the historic episcopate, locally adapted in the methods of its administration to the varying needs of the nations and peoples called of God into the unity of his Church and the central role of bishops as custodians of the faith, leaders in mission, and as a visible sign of unity.
3. Each Church commits itself
1. To answering God’s call to share in his healing and reconciling mission for our blessed but broken, hurting and fallen world, and, with mutual accountability, to share its God-given spiritual and material resources in this task.
2. In matters of common concern, to have regard to the common good of the Communion in the exercise of its autonomy, and to support the work of the Communion with the spiritual and material resources available to it.
3. To spend time with openness and patience in matters of theological debate and enquiry, listening to and studying with one another, in order to discern the will of God.
4. To ensure that biblical texts are handled faithfully, believing that scriptural revelation must continue to illuminate, challenge and transform all cultures, structures and ways of thinking.
5. To seek with other members, through the shared councils of the Communion, a common mind about matters of concern, consistent with the Scriptures, common standards of faith and the canon law of the Churches.
6. To acknowledge a moral authority in the current Instruments of Communion, while recognizing that they have no juridical, legislative or executive authority in the respective provinces.
7. To seek guidance from the Instruments of Communion where there are matters in serious dispute among Churches that cannot be resolved by mutual admonition and counsel.
8. To take heed of the Instruments of Communion in matters which may threaten the unity of the Communion and the effectiveness of our mission.
9. To acknowledge that in the most extreme circumstances, where member churches choose not to fulfill the substance of the covenant, such churches will have relinquished for themselves the force and meaning of the covenant’s purpose.
With joy and with firm resolve, we declare our Churches to be partners in this Anglican Covenant, releasing ourselves for fruitful service and binding ourselves more closely in the truth and love of Christ, to whom with the Father and the Holy Spirit be glory for ever. Amen.
Well, when do we know when a province has relinquished for itself the force and meaning of the convenant? Hasn’t TEC already done so out of the box?
Read it all, and it is in line with what I’ve said about it.
he Primates have returned a vote of no confidence in the Episcopal Church. Lambeth Palace reports that a majority of primates have rejected the conclusions of the ACC/Primates Joint Standing Committtee (JSC), and have told the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams the Episcopal Church has failed, in whole or in part, to honor the recommendations of the Windsor Report and the Primates’ Dar es Salaam communiqué.
The majority rejection of the JSC report comes as a blow to Dr. Williams’ hopes to avert a showdown between the liberal and conservative wings of the Communion. It also marks an unprecedented repudiation of the competence and judgment of the central apparatus of the Anglican Consultative Council.
Following the publication of the positive assessment by the JSC of the actions of the New Orleans meeting of the US House of Bishops, Dr. Williams wrote to the primates asking “How far is your Province able to accept the JSC Report assessment that the Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops have responded positively to the requests of the Windsor Report and those made by the Primates in their Communiqué at the end of their meeting in Dar es Salaam?”
Of the 38 primates, including the Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu, Lambeth Palace reported it had received 26 responses, and no reply from 12. Of the 26, 12 stated they could accept the JSC’s findings, 12 stated they rejected the JSC’s findings, while three offered a mixed verdict, and one said it was continuing to review the matter.
Of those who had not responded, three were from Africa, three from the Indian subcontinent, two from Central and South America, and four from other areas. However, based on past statements from the African and South Asian provinces, the majority reporting a mixed or negative response will be increased to roughly a two third’s margin once their views are communicated to London.
First, Anglicanism is biblical. Anglicanism says to the world: “Show us anything in Scripture that should be taught and that we are not teaching, and we will teach it. Show us anything we are teaching that is contrary to Scripture, and we will stop teaching it.” The Bible, straightforwardly interpreted as revelation from God through human writers, is the Anglican rule of faith.
Second, Anglicanism is creedal, embracing and building on the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, which highlight the Trinity, the incarnation, Christ’s saving ministry and the reality of salvation itself. The 39 Articles dot i’s and cross t’s and fill gaps in the Creeds, clarifying in particular the doctrines of faith, of grace, of justification and of the sacraments.
Third, Anglicanism is liturgical, in continuity with the church of patristic and pre- Reformation days. Through Archbishop Cranmer we inherited a superlative Reformed Prayer Book, in which the thematic sequence, sin – grace – faith runs through the set services, so that it is a truly evangelical book, and should be appreciated as such.
Fourth, Anglicanism is pastoral, centred upon the making of disciples both domestically and through outreach. Bishops are ordained to give pastoral leadership, caring for both clergy and congregations, and their jurisdiction is to be exercised for the furtherance of pastoral goals.
Fifth, Anglicanism is missional in the sense of being committed to transformation through the gospel – transformation of individuals through teaching and nurture, transformation of congregations through preaching a renewal, transformation of culture through the wisdom and values of the gospel. The transformational purposes of the Reformers and Puritans, the eighteenth-century revival and later revivals, and the latter-day renewal movements, have permanently shaped authentic Anglicanism in a missional way.
Sixth, Anglicanism is not hierarchical nor maintenance-motivated, though it has sometimes appeared to be both; but in fact it is service-oriented. Dioceses exist to resource and help parishes, and provinces exist to coordinate both diocesan and local church ministry; Anglicanism is service-oriented at every level, and it is in loving practical service, shaped by the divine Word and empowered by the divine Spirit, that Anglican unity is finally expressed.
Lambeth Conferences, Primates’ meetings, the Anglican Consultative Council, and other national and international gatherings at leadership level, can only be called instruments of unity in a significant sense as they seek to further Anglicanism’s service in the gospel to a lost humanity. For the fundamental unity is unity in truth and in mission based on truth; nothing can ever change that.
Such, then, is Anglicanism; and if I may speak personally for a moment, one reason why siren songs urging me to abandon Anglicanism strike no chord in my heart is that I value his heritage so highly, and am so sure that if I walked away from it under any circumstances I should lose far more than I gained. The present project, however, is precisely not to abandon
Anglicanism but to realign within it, so as to be able to maintain it in its fullness and authenticity – and that, to me, is a horse of a very different colour. In this I recognize the calling of God.
For what should we think of global Anglicanism today? It has often been said during the past few years that the Anglican Communion is like a torn net, due to denials by some of things that the rest believe to be integral to the gospel and affirmation, mainly by the same people, of behaviour that the rest believe the gospel absolutely rules out. In certain cases communion with a small “c” – that is, full and free welcome and interchange of clergy and communicants at the Lord’s Table – has been suspended. How, we ask, has this come about? In brief, it is the bitter fruit of liberal theology, which has become increasingly dominant in seminaries and among leaders in what we may call the Anglican Old West – that is, North America in the lead, with Britain and Australasia coming along behind.
This has been the story over the past two generations, since Anglo-Catholic leadership began to flag. Let me explain. Liberal theology as such knows nothing about a God who uses written language to tell us things, or about the reality of sin in the human system, which makes redemption necessary and new birth urgent. Liberal theology posits, rather, a natural religiosity in man (reverance, that is, for a higher power) and a natural capacity for goodwill towards others, and sees Christianity as a force for cherishing and developing these qualities. They are to be fanned into flame and kept burning in the church, which in each generation must articulate itself by concessive dialogue with the cultural pressures, processes and prejudices that surround it. In other words, the church must ever play catch-up to the culture, taking on board whatever is the “in thing” at the moment; otherwise, so it is thought, Christianity will lose all relevance to life. The intrinsic goodness of each “in thing” is taken for granted. In following this agenda the church will inevitably leave the Bible behind at point after point, but since on this view the Bible is the word of fallible men rather than of the infallible God, leaving it behind is no great loss.
Well now; with liberal leaders thinking and teaching in these terms, a collision with conservatives – that is, with upholders of the historic biblical and Anglican faith – was bound to come. It came over gay unions, which liberals wish to bless as a form of holiness, a quasimarriage.
As part of its current agenda of affirming minority rights (that is the “in thing” these days), western culture has for the past generation accepted gay partnerships as a feature of normal life. Despite the pronouncement of the 1998 Lambeth Conference in favour of the old paths, New Westminster diocese began in 2002 to bless gay couples, and others followed suit.
The Windsor Report called for a moratorium on this, which was not forthcoming. The St. Michael’s report said that the issue, though theological, was not against Anglican core doctrine so was not a matter over which to divide the church. On a side wind and by a stopgap motion, the General Synod of 2004 declared gay unions to be marked by “integrity and sanctity”. The 2007 General Synod affirmed the St. Michael’s position. So here we are now, the Anglican Network in Canada, accepting the invitation to realign in order to uphold historic Anglican standards, not only regarding gay unions but across the board, as those standards were formulated in our church’s foundation documents and reformulated in the Montreal Declaration of 1994.
So, who are we today, and where do we stand at this moment in relation to all that is happening in the storm-tossed Anglican Communion? In light of what I have said so far, I put it to you that there are four things we can and must now say. They are as follows.
To start with, we are a community of conscience, – committed to the Anglican convictions – those defined, I mean, in our foundation documents and expressed in our Prayer Book. The historic Anglican conviction about the authority of the Bible matches that which Luther expressed at the Diet of Worms: “My conscience is captive to the Word of God. To go against conscience is neither right nor safe” – that is, it imperils the soul. As for the historic Anglican conviction about homosexual behaviour, it contains three points:
First, it violates the order of creation. God made the two sexes to mate and procreate, with pleasure and bonding; but homosexual intercourse, apart from being, at least among men, awkward and unhealthy, is barren.
Second, it defies the gospel call to repent of it and abstain from it, as from sin. This call is most clearly perhaps expressed in 1Cor. 6: 9-11, where the power of the Holy Spirit to keep believers clear of this and other lapses is celebrated.
Third, the heart of true pastoral care for homosexual persons is helping them in friendship not to yield to their besetting temptation. We are to love the sinner, though we do not love the sin.
We must hold to these positions, whatever the culture around us may say and do. So a biblically educated conscience requires.
Second, we are a community of church people, committed to the Anglican Communion.
We rejoice to know that the more than 90% of worshipping Anglicans worldwide outside the Old West are solidly loyal to the Christian heritage as Anglicanism has received it, and we see our realignment as among other things, an enhancing of our solidarity with them. As I said earlier, what we are doing is precisely not leaving Anglicanism behind.
Third, we are a community of consecration, committed to the Anglican calling of worship and mission, doxology and discipling. Right from the start church planting will be central to our vision of what we are being called to do.
Fourth, I think we may soberly say of ourselves that we are a community of courage, heading out into unknown waters but committed to the Anglican confidence that God is faithful to those who are faithful to him.
Why is it that anyone who reads the Bible and believes that we break God’s law to have sex outside of marriage, has their own experiences with persons who have turned away from same-gender sexual activity to live either celibate or heterosexual lifestyles and those who have done the exact opposite and have concluded that yes, people can control what they do with their bodies sexually, and therefore sides with the vast majority of Christians throughout the world who think sexual activity should only be had in the confines of marriage a rabid fundamentalist, evangelical, homophobic mysognist?
Seems like this used to be just a regular old Christian person. Seems like it still is.
A majority of the Primates have found TEC’s response to the Dar es Salaam Communique to be unacceptable, but many Primates and a majority of the Anglican Consultative Council members didn’t even respond at all.
+Rowan, of course, is not telling us what he thinks about all this – at this point.
We also have a report at the Living Church that Bishop Lyons of Bolivia (through what is likely third party hearsay – +Rowan talked to +Venables, +Venables told +Lyons, +Lyons told the Diocesan Convention in Fort Worth) that Ft. Worth’s potential move to the Southern Cone received a positive response from +Rowan. However, considering that +Rowan didn’t invite +Cavalcanti, a Brazilian Bishop who moved to the Southern Cone jurisdiction, one wonders how positive this response was.
I don’t mean to be a naysayer here, but, with the exception of the Primates’ evaluation of the House of Bishops having a majority who realize that you can tell when the TEC House of Bishops is lying whenever their lips are moving, I don’t see there being much good news here.
For years, my family had my grandmother’s dried up baked turkey. The breast meat folk liked it, but the dark meat folk didn’t – too dry. Then, my Dad started smoking turkeys. The dark meat folks were most pleased – juicy, flavorful; the breast folks, not so much – not done enough. We still have smoked turkey, but last year I started frying a turkey, which is a much more reliable way of cooking a turkey so it is actually done, but not overdone. It is also the quickest way to cook Turkey – 3 minutes per pound, once the oil is at 350 degrees.
This webpage has a pretty good description and instructions.
However, if you want truly fantastic fried turkey, you can do what I do. Inject that bad boy. I personally use Cajun Injector Creole Butter marinade (which works good for turkey cooked any way – smoked, baked, whatever) but I am going to mix it with the Spicy Butter flavor this year. Then, you coat that bird inside and out with Cajun Injector Cajun Shake, Tony’s (with no salt), or something along those lines which consists of red, black, and white pepper, paprika, and other spices.
It will be the best bird you ever had. All of the white meat and dark meat fans will celebrate. Why? Because in frying turkeys, the breast is kept closest to the heat. This is the big difference. The breast gets done and is still juicy, that dark meat gets done and is still juicy.
If you happen to be in town (Alexandria) for Thanksgiving, Red River Dance Theatre Company will be putting on the Nutcracker Ballet Saturday night (7 p.m.) and Sunday afternoon (2 p.m.) at Peabody High School’s auditorium. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, $8 for children, and $36 for a family pack of four tickets (2 adults and 2 kids or 1 adult and 3 kids).
I am playing Drosselmeyer this year. ‘Nuff said.
You know good and well there would be no negotiation no matter what conservatives who are leaving did. Virginia had negotiations…and those were undone by our Presiding Bishop, according to her own testimony in the trial this week.
The reason the Dioceses are following their own constitutions in amending their constitutions is because of state law and canon law. If it was canon law alone, well, see my response to ****** below regarding the amount of deference liberals traditionally have given our canons.
I realize I’ve told you this before, but the Dennis Canon trust will work in some jurisdictions and not in others. The reason why is that the trust, without the actual assent in the real property records, remains open to legal question. Without the express assent of the settlor of the trust (ie. the parish, the non-profit corporation that holds title to the property, or what have you depending on the myriad of configurations we have out there, which is anything but uniform across the church), there will always be legal questions that can be raised about whether the trust is complete.
As a conservative in a conservative Diocese that is not in ACN, who has been on this listerv for three years, I feel that I have been “characterized as on the other side of
truth, counterfeit Christians deserving of public rebuke, agents of the devil,” by you and others on this listerv and throughout the liberal wing of the church. While I have some sympathy for poor liberals stuck in conservative Dioceses, my inclination is simply to say, tough noogies, that’s life, get over it. Why in the world should liberals be given quarter in one of the few conservative Dioceses since conservatives have been given none in the national church or in liberal Dioceses?
Considering that the liberal wing of our church has now become one of canonical fundamentalism as it suits the purposes of today, when in the case of the Philadelphia 11 or the numerous times bishops have knowingly ordained people who were involved in sexual relationships outside of heterosexual marriage, canons were discarded also to suit the purposes of that day, it is safe to say that canons are disregarded or raised up as sacrosanct depending on when it serves a particular side’s purposes. Why didn’t the Philadelphia 11 wait a few months until after the next GC? Because their cause was “just” and expediency triumphed over process. If conservatives are violating canons, they are simply borrowing from the liberal play book. So, frankly, when a liberal cries canon foul, I think it is a big “so what.”
Regarding what I will call security concerns: Last month, a depressed and possibly mentally unbalanced man walked into a law office and short his former divorce attorney, a secretary, and a mail man. I reviewed the docket on the man’s case, and no adverse action had been taken against him in a family law matter, but a hearing was set. The attorney who was killed was a Christian man and had one him no wrong. The sad part is, in today’s world, these things happen. I recently attended an Inn of Court meeting where a criminal psychologist talked to us lawyers about identifying folks who would do something like come in a law office and start blowing people away. However, the psychologist also admitted that the murder in the law office in October, well, he wouldn’t have picked up on the impending danger if he had met with him. The guy had family support, was a deacon in a small baptist church, married, retired with a pension.
I think Brother ********* has a better understanding of the situation than most on the list. I would also state that, before the Alexandria Police Department moved their headquarters to across the street from our downtown church, we routinely hired Sheriff’s deputies to provide security on Wednesday nights and during other evening activities at our church. The deputies were armed with only guns, not even tasers.
In today’s world, we just don’t know what might happen. I will say this – I could see how our current disputes in the Episcopal Church could lead someone over the edge and have them shoot somebody. The mere fact that someone’s ex-wife MIGHT get a percentage of a pension led to the murder of a postman. For no good reason at all.
Now, I am not trying to inspire fear here. What I am saying is be fools for Christ…but don’t be stupid – especially when it comes to security nowadays.
However, the repeated blathering on about guns and Stand Firm is just plain silly. I don’t think anyone saying that about the folks over at that site advocate gun violence have ever met them or talked with them face to face, with the exception of one person who does have posting rights over there in addition to his own blog. Wonder who thought could be. Could it be…
Lay, Western Louisiana