Palmetto Anglican
Sunday, August 29, 2004
 
The Twelfth Sunday after Trinity

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who art always more ready to hear than we are to pray, and art wont to give more than either we desire, or deserve; Pour down upon us the abundance of thy mercy; forgiving us those things whereof our conscience is afraid, and giving us those good things which we are not worthy to ask, but through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, thy Son, our Lord. Amen.
 
What God desires


=====================================================
T H E J O H N S T O T T D A I L Y T H O U G H T
=====================================================

August 28, 2004
Authentic Christianity
From the writings of Dr. John R. W. Stott

Politics and the State (cont'd.)

852. What God desires
God, because he is himself a righteous God, desires
righteousness in every community, not just in every
Christian community.

--From "The Message of the Sermon on the Mount" (The Bible
Speaks Today series: Leicester and Downers Grove: IVP,
1978), p. 171.

----------------------------------------------------
--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", p. 354, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004
 
Saint Bartholomew the Apostle

O ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who didst give to thine Apostle Bartholomew grace truly to believe and to preach thy Word; Grant, we beseech thee, unto thy Church, to love that Word which he believed, and both to preach and receive the same; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Sunday, August 15, 2004
 
The Tenth Sunday after Trinity

LET thy merciful ears, O Lord, be open to the prayers of thy humble servants; and that they may obtain their petitions make them to ask such things as shall please thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Saturday, August 14, 2004
 
LAY ADMINISTRATION – NO LEGISLATION FOR SYNOD


Diocesan News

(Submitted by David W. Virtue)

The Synod and Standing Committee of the Diocese of Sydney remain
convinced that administration of the Lord’s Supper by deacons and lay
persons is important both theologically and for the sake of mission.
However, no change in the present legal situation is proposed.

Standing Committee met last Monday night, and further considered the
matter of lay administration and the nature of its recommendation to our
synod in late October 2004. It received advice about attitudes to lay
administration around the Communion and also the legal situation. As a
result, we are not intending to promote any legislation in the form of
an ordinance, but the Standing Committee is asking synod to consider a
resolution, a copy of which follows. In summary, that resolution
addresses the following points:

1. That we believe there are good biblical, theological and practical
grounds for introducing lay administration, a matter which was stated by
the Appellate Tribunal in 1997 to be consistent with the Constitution of
the Anglican Church of Australia.

2. There are differing opinions as to the legal situation, but we
believe law should allow that which Holy Scripture allows. However, the
Archbishop has made it very clear that he is not prepared to sign an
ordinance unless he is convinced that it is legal to do so.

3. The synod is therefore being asked to resolve that until such time as
any necessary change in the law can be effected, or it can be determined
that no change in the law is needed, no disciplinary or other action
should be taken against any person in relation to deacons or lay persons
administering the Lord’s Supper.

4. The resolution therefore is not in the nature of an ordinance giving
permission, but rather a motion affirming the view that lay or diaconal
administration is a legitimate expression of Anglicanism.

Obviously, it will be synod itself in October 2004, which needs to
decide whether to pass the resolution, or not. It will be important for
synod to have the full facts before it, including the attitudes of
others in the Communion. On the other hand, a motion of our synod is
simply an expression of opinion of those present and voting, with no
legal or formal force. It does not bind the Archbishop or the Diocese of
Sydney, or alter the rights of any person.

News of the Standing Committee decision has been disseminated around the
world and it is likely that some misinformation may result in some
quarters. The text of the resolution therefore follows:



“Standing Committee agrees in principle that a motion along the
following lines be moved at the forthcoming session of the Synod ‘by
request of the Standing Committee’-

‘DECLARATION OF THE SYNOD OF THE DIOCESE OF SYDNEY CONCERNING THE
ADMINISTRATION OF THE LORD’S SUPPER

WHEREAS –

(A) With deep conviction under Almighty God, this Synod believes that
holy Scripture contains all things necessary to salvation, so that
whatever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be
required of any person, that it should be believed as an article of the
Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation.

(B) With deep conviction under Almighty God, this Synod believes that
Jesus Christ, in his death on the cross for our redemption, made there
(by his one oblation of himself once offered) a full, perfect and
sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of the
whole world.

(C) This Synod thanks Almighty God for the participation of all
Christian people in the ministry of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and in particular the participation of lay persons in the public
ministry of the Word of God and prayer.

(D) This Synod believes, with deep conviction under Almighty God, that
there is no prohibition or restriction in the holy Scriptures, or in
Christian doctrine, on the administration (sometimes referred to as
‘presidency’) of the Lord’s Supper by a suitable person, but who is not
a bishop or an episcopally ordained priest.

(E) This Synod has actively considered and debated this subject since
1977, receiving reports from committees and commissions in 1978, 1983,
1984,1985, 1986, 1987, 1993, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2003 and 2004. After due
consideration this Synod has consistently endorsed the principle that,
for theological, pastoral and evangelistic reasons, suitable lay persons
and deacons should be permitted to administer the Lord’s Supper.

(F) The Sydney Diocesan Doctrine Commission concluded in 1993 that –

“………… there are no sound doctrinal objections to, and there are
significant doctrinal reasons for, lay presidency at the Lord’s Supper.
There are also sound reasons based on our received Anglican order for
allowing lay presidency. In the light of this the continued prohibition
of lay presidency at the Lord’s Supper does not seem justifiable
theologically. Since church practice should conform to sound doctrine,
practical problems related to the introduction of lay presidency ought
to be dealt with, but should not constitute an obstacle to reform
motivated by theological truth.”

(G) The Appellate Tribunal of the General Synod of the Anglican Church
of Australia in its opinion of December 1997 on the Primate’s reference
concerning diaconal and lay presidency, by majority, advised that –

“[It is] consistent with the Constitution of the Anglican Church of
Australia to permit, or authorize, or otherwise make provision for

(a) deacons to preside at, administer or celebrate the Holy Communion; [and]
(b) lay persons to preside at, administer or celebrate the Holy Communion.”

(H) The same opinion advised, by majority, that it is not consistent
with the Constitution of the Anglican Church of Australia for a diocesan
synod, otherwise than in accordance with a canon of General Synod, to
permit authorize or make provision for these ministries.

(I) Both opinions of the Appellate Tribunal were opposed by a minority
within the Tribunal and have been opposed by others since 1997. Some
consider that there is in fact no legal impediment to the authorization
of lay and diaconal administration.

(J) Differing opinions have been, and continue to be, expressed as to
whether there is a law of this Diocese that needs to be changed and, if
so, as to the means whereby it may be changed, in order to allow
diaconal and lay administration of the Lord’s Supper.

(K) The Synod believes that law should allow that which holy Scripture
allows and for which there are sound theological, pastoral and
evangelistic reasons.

THE SYNOD OF THE DIOCESE OF SYDNEY DECLARES THAT –

(1) This Synod respects the consciences both of those who support the
introduction of diaconal and lay administration of the Lord’s Supper and
those who oppose it.

(2) This Synod commits itself to the continuing investigation and
implementation in due course of such processes as may be necessary to
formally effect a change in the law of this Diocese to remove any
conflict in this matter between what holy Scripture allows and what the
law may prevent.

(3) This Synod believes and urges that, until such time as any necessary
change in the law can be effected by an appropriate process (or it can
be determined by an appropriate process that no change in the law is
needed), no disciplinary or other action should be taken against any
person merely because the person, in accordance with this Declaration –

(a) authorizes or permits, or purports to authorize or permit, a deacon
or lay person to administer the Lord’s Supper, or
(b) being a deacon or lay person, administers, or purports to
administer, the Lord’s Supper, or
(c) is involved in the administration, or purported administration, of
the Lord’s Supper by a deacon or lay person.

(4) This declaration is intended to have application only to the
administration of the Lord’s Supper by a deacon or layperson and not to
any other area of doctrine or worship, or of faith, ritual, ceremonial
or discipline, applicable to and in force within this Diocese.”’


Friday, August 13, 2004
 
OKLAHOMA BISHOP MAKES MAJOR BOOBOO IN LETTER TO PITTSBURGH BISHOP


Duncan says Moody's letter based on false assumptions and ECUSA's
innovations

Special Report

By David W. Virtue

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (8/11/2004)--The Bishop of Oklahoma, the Rt. Rev.
Robert M. Moody has written a letter, which Virtuosity has obtained,
publicly castigating and chastising the Bishop of Pittsburgh, the Rt.
Rev. Robert W. Duncan, Jr., over the appointment of a deacon in his
diocese, who was not, it turned out, under his jurisdiction.

In his letter, Moody blasted Duncan saying that the appointment of the
Rev. Vern Caswell as vicar of St. James Anglican Church (formerly St.
James Episcopal Church - an ECUSA parish) was outside his authority and
jurisdiction and he questioned the orthodox bishop's pastoral judgment.

Moody accused Duncan of assigning the recent graduate of Trinity
Episcopal School for Ministry to this parish "as the moderator of the
Anglican Communion Network."

"Since the Anglican Communion Network is not a jurisdiction that is
recognized within The Episcopal Church or by The Anglican Communion, I
question how you, as an active Diocesan Bishop of the Episcopal Church
can assign or permit one of your Deacons to function in a congregation
that is not a member of The Episcopal Church or the Anglican Communion?
I also question your authority and pastoral judgment to assign a Deacon
to minister outside the Diocese of Pittsburgh and within the Diocese of
Oklahoma," he wrote to Duncan.

Moody then said that he realized that Duncan was not breaking the letter
of the Canons and Constitutions, "especially as St. James Anglican
Church is not part of this diocese and is not part of the Episcopal
Church and the Anglican Communion. But you are breaking the spirit of
the Canons and Constitutions that govern this Episcopal Church and you
bringing schism into this Church by your actions."

The bishop, who is known for his revisionist positions, concluded the
letter by saying that he felt "regret and deep sorrow" because of
Duncan's actions.

Bishop Duncan responded and on July 30th wrote the following letter to
Moody.

Dear Bob,

Word of your letter has reached me while on vacation in rural France.
Your communication proceeded based upon a false assumption as stated in
your letter, "I assume that he is under your authority and that you are
assigning him to this ministry as the moderator of the Anglican
Communion Network." It would have been simple to pick up the telephone
and check with me. It is destructive of the life of the church to
communicate with the entire church without verification. All the bishops
of the church now have a letter stating something that is not true.

Before I left on vacation I had already begun the proceedings to
transfer Deacon Vern Caswell to the Most. Rev. Gregory Venables, Primate
of the Southern Cone, at their mutual request. Since then, Archbishop
Venables has received Deacon Caswell. His subsequent assignment is not a
matter of my jurisdiction.

Finally, while your letter questions my authority and pastoral judgment,
I must state that it was your action and those of the majority of the
bishops of the Episcopal Church that created the schism to which you
refer. The consequences of last summer are simply unfolding all around
us. I regret this is so, and even more so in consideration that with the
Church's adoption of these innovations it finds itself increasingly
separated from the vast majority of the Anglican Communion and the whole
of catholic Christendom.

Please know that those of us in the Network are most willing to try to
work with you to repair the damage done if you would turn back from
these innovations which have been so divisive.

Faithfully in Christ,
+Robert/Pittsburgh.

Both letters were also sent to the Presiding Bishop, Bishop Clay
Matthews, The Chancellor, The Diocesan Bishops of the Episcopal Church.

Bishop Moody is the first bishop in the 2,000-year history of
Christendom to ordain a transsexual to the Diaconate. The Rev. Paul
Schonauer is now the Rev. Paula Schonauer, following a sex change operation.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004
 
Leadership Development


The first course in the new AMiA Anglican Studies Program convened in July
with 20 students gathered at Church of the Messiah near Atlanta. Held from
July 12-16, the inaugural session=97Anglican Theology of the Word=97was an
extraordinary success, according to the Rev. Dan Claire, Executive Director
of the Office of Leadership Development in the Anglican Mission in America.
"Dr. Joe Murphy is to be congratulated on a superb first course in our new
Anglican Studies Program," observed Dan Claire. "He has been preparing for
months for this week together, and the fruit of his efforts is clearly
evident. As a result, every student came away with a profound appreciation
for our rich doctrinal heritage as Anglicans. This is a godly foundation for=

our work as missionaries to North America. Thanks be to God!"

The Rev. Dr. Joseph Murphy coordinated the class and gave lectures on the
Bible as the foundation of our knowledge and the basis of authority as
Anglicans. Dr. Murphy thrives in the classroom and is appreciated by the
students because of his patience and his pastor's heart. Other areas of
instruction included the early church councils and the creeds, taught by the=

Rev. Dr. Rob Sanders, who used these foundational documents as a lens for
discussing the resurgence of ancient heresy in churches today. The Rev. Mark=

Rudolph taught on how to lead churches that are faithful to the Word. Father=

Rudolph has over twenty years experience pastoring churches in rural, urban,=

and cross-cultural contexts.

A highlight of the week was teaching on the 39 Articles offered by The Rev.
Roger Salter, Rector of St. Matthew's Church in Birmingham, Alabama.
Students reported that it was the most pastoral and winsome presentation of
doctrine ever encountered. Centered at Church of the Messiah, the week also
included morning devotionals led by the Rev. Fred Goodwin, Pastor of
Messiah, and a Eucharist on Wednesday evening. "This helped keep the studies=

of the week rooted in worship and prayer, reflected Rev. Claire. "This is
our identity as Anglicans--Word and sacrament. It is a biblical and Godly
way to learn."

The July course was the first of six to be offered in the program aimed at
enriching the knowledge and practice of Anglican ministry, especially for
those in ordained and lay leadership who have not had a background in
Anglican studies. Students for the initial course were drawn from
experienced pastors, seminary students and active lay leaders in the Church,=

both inside and outside the Anglican Mission. Participants were effusive in
their praise of this first course. As one student offered, "The course has
been highly enriching. The professors were engaged and engaging. They all
imparted concepts with excellent effectiveness. The best aspect beyond the
knowledge gained was the importation of Christ-like spirit the professors
modeled and deposited with us."

The lectures were professionally recorded, and will eventually enable the
Office of Leadership Development to offer the six-course series to a much
larger audience.

The next course, Anglican Theology of Sacrament, convenes at Church of the
Messiah August 9-13. Teachers will include the Rev. Dr. Joseph Murphy,
Bishop FitzSimons Allison, Peter Leithart, the Rev. Roger Salter, the Rev.
Dan Claire and Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini of Rwanda. Future courses will
taught in other geographic areas of the United States, and will deal with
topics such as history, polity, and even crises in Anglicanism. For more
information on the Anglican Studies Program of the Anglican Mission, visit
the web pages of the Officer of Leadership Development, or contact their
office in Washington DC at 866.830.2642, or by email at
leadership@anglicanmissioninamerica.org

 
Leadership Development


The first course in the new AMiA Anglican Studies Program convened in July
with 20 students gathered at Church of the Messiah near Atlanta. Held from
July 12-16, the inaugural session=97Anglican Theology of the Word=97was an
extraordinary success, according to the Rev. Dan Claire, Executive Director
of the Office of Leadership Development in the Anglican Mission in America.
"Dr. Joe Murphy is to be congratulated on a superb first course in our new
Anglican Studies Program," observed Dan Claire. "He has been preparing for
months for this week together, and the fruit of his efforts is clearly
evident. As a result, every student came away with a profound appreciation
for our rich doctrinal heritage as Anglicans. This is a godly foundation for=

our work as missionaries to North America. Thanks be to God!"

The Rev. Dr. Joseph Murphy coordinated the class and gave lectures on the
Bible as the foundation of our knowledge and the basis of authority as
Anglicans. Dr. Murphy thrives in the classroom and is appreciated by the
students because of his patience and his pastor's heart. Other areas of
instruction included the early church councils and the creeds, taught by the=

Rev. Dr. Rob Sanders, who used these foundational documents as a lens for
discussing the resurgence of ancient heresy in churches today. The Rev. Mark=

Rudolph taught on how to lead churches that are faithful to the Word. Father=

Rudolph has over twenty years experience pastoring churches in rural, urban,=

and cross-cultural contexts.

A highlight of the week was teaching on the 39 Articles offered by The Rev.
Roger Salter, Rector of St. Matthew's Church in Birmingham, Alabama.
Students reported that it was the most pastoral and winsome presentation of
doctrine ever encountered. Centered at Church of the Messiah, the week also
included morning devotionals led by the Rev. Fred Goodwin, Pastor of
Messiah, and a Eucharist on Wednesday evening. "This helped keep the studies=

of the week rooted in worship and prayer, reflected Rev. Claire. "This is
our identity as Anglicans--Word and sacrament. It is a biblical and Godly
way to learn."

The July course was the first of six to be offered in the program aimed at
enriching the knowledge and practice of Anglican ministry, especially for
those in ordained and lay leadership who have not had a background in
Anglican studies. Students for the initial course were drawn from
experienced pastors, seminary students and active lay leaders in the Church,=

both inside and outside the Anglican Mission. Participants were effusive in
their praise of this first course. As one student offered, "The course has
been highly enriching. The professors were engaged and engaging. They all
imparted concepts with excellent effectiveness. The best aspect beyond the
knowledge gained was the importation of Christ-like spirit the professors
modeled and deposited with us."

The lectures were professionally recorded, and will eventually enable the
Office of Leadership Development to offer the six-course series to a much
larger audience.

The next course, Anglican Theology of Sacrament, convenes at Church of the
Messiah August 9-13. Teachers will include the Rev. Dr. Joseph Murphy,
Bishop FitzSimons Allison, Peter Leithart, the Rev. Roger Salter, the Rev.
Dan Claire and Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini of Rwanda. Future courses will
taught in other geographic areas of the United States, and will deal with
topics such as history, polity, and even crises in Anglicanism. For more
information on the Anglican Studies Program of the Anglican Mission, visit
the web pages of the Officer of Leadership Development, or contact their
office in Washington DC at 866.830.2642, or by email at
leadership@anglicanmissioninamerica.org

 
Rodgers Scholarship Recipients Named


Press Release
August 9, 2004
Contact: Jay Greener
Communications Officer
The Anglican Mission in America jay@anglicanmissioninamerica.org

Rodgers Scholarship Recipients Named

The first recipients of the John and Blanche Rodgers Scholarship have been
named. Two students preparing for ordained ministry in the Anglican Mission
in America will share a scholarship of $10,000 as they continue in their
studies and involvement in mission oriented ministry.

The Office of Leadership Development announced that Jonathan M. Holland of
Winter Springs, FL and Benjamin C. Reed of Minneapolis are to receive the
award. Both are actively involved in Anglican Mission congregations and were=

selected by a committee from a strong pool of applicants in this the first
year of the scholarship.

Jon Holland, 27, is married to Jennifer and the father of new-born Ethan. He=

is a member of Church of the New Covenant in Winter Springs, Florida,
looking to the possibility of planting a 'daughter' congregation in Oviedo,
FL. A 2000 philosophy graduate of UNC-Charlotte, he is now pursuing
theological and biblical studies at Reformed Seminary in Orlando. . For some=

time, Jon and Jenni have felt God calling them to a dual vocation of
pastoral ministry and missionary theological education in Africa. His
seminary studies have helped him prepare for both, especially the former. In=

addition, he has been preparing for the latter in his work as Director of
Operations for Third Millennium Ministries (www.thirdmill.org). When the
Hollands discovered the AMiA, with its roots in Rwanda, they came home.

"I am deeply grateful and honored to receive a share in the John and Blanche=

Rodgers Endowment Scholarship Fund," expressed Jon Holland. "With great
excitement I anticipate completing my seminary education and moving into the=

priesthood. I pray that we, the recipients, may emulate Bishop Rodgers'
pastoral and theological ministry."

The second recipient of the first Rodgers' Scholarship is working with a new=

church plant in Minneapolis. Ben Reed, 24, is married to Nicole and is a
member of Church of the Cross. . Ben is a 2002 graduate of Taylor University=

in Indiana. During college he participated in the CCCO's American Studies
Program in Washington, D.C., and he is now pursuing Theological Studies at
Bethel Seminary in St. Paul. Strongly influenced by the missional theology
of Leslie Newbiggin, as described in his work The Gospel in a Pluralist
Society, Ben says that "any church that is unconcerned with the world
immediately outside its doors is not truly exemplifying the message of the
Gospel. I am very excited to be a recipient of the John & Blanche Rodgers
Scholarship. It is great to feel supported in both my pastoral as well as my=

academic pursuits. The funds I receive will allow me to focus more on church=

ministry with my church, Church of the Cross in Hopkins, MN.," Reed said.

The John and Blanche Rodgers Endowment Scholarship Fund was established this=

year through the Office of Leadership Development to support theological
education for prospective clergy in the Anglican Mission in America. The
fund is a gift from generous friends who have grown in grace through the
ministry of John and Blanche Rodgers. Recipients of the scholarship are
considered first upon a genuine profession of Christian faith and a
heartfelt commitment to the mission and doctrine of the Anglican Mission in
America. The second consideration is a demonstrated vocation to the
priesthood, and a disciplined life as a promising pastor-theologian, as
exemplified by the Rt. Rev. John Rodgers. In choosing between worthy
recipients, financial need is also a consideration.

Bishop John and Blanche Rodgers have influenced generations of pastors and
theological students through their gifted, warm and godly mentoring. They
said of the award, "=85we are pleased, nay thrilled, that it will be availab=
le
to help qualified recipients to prepare for ordination and even doctoral
study. We would never have been able to go to the University of Basel
without the help of others and it is exciting to think that some who would
otherwise not be able to prepare for the ministry to which God has called
them will be able to do so now".

For more information on the Rodgers Scholarship contact the Office of
Leadership Development of the Anglican Mission in America at 866.830.2642,
or by email at leadership@anglicanmissioninamerica.org.


 
Church to defrock disgraced bishop


By Greg Roberts
THE AUSTRALIAN

28 July 2004

THE Anglican bishop at the centre of the child sex abuse controversy
that forced the resignation of Peter Hollingworth as governor-general is
to be formally stripped of his holy orders.

A church tribunal headed by Queensland Supreme Court judge Debra Mullins
has unanimously resolved that Donald Shearman, 77, be defrocked for
seducing a teenage schoolgirl boarding at an Anglican hostel at Forbes
in western NSW in the mid-1950s.

Church sources said the unprecedented defrocking will be performed by
Brisbane Archbishop Phillip Aspinall in the Darnell Room of St Martin's
House - part of the St John's Cathedral complex in central Brisbane - on
August 25.

In a parallel development, NSW police have begun investigating the first
formal complaint against Mr Shearman by his victim. Religious historian
and head of religious studies at the University of Queensland, Philip
Almond, said he had not heard of a bishop being defrocked in comparable
circumstances anywhere.

"This is indeed exceptional," Professor Almond said yesterday. "This is
clearly being done to emphasise how seriously the diocese intends to
deal with behaviour of this kind."

Archbishop Aspinall confirmed yesterday that he had received the
six-member tribunal's findings, but said it would be inappropriate for
him to comment until the process had concluded.

A suggestion by Dr Hollingworth in 2002 that the underage victim had
initiated the sexual relationship with Mr Shearman sparked a national
outcry, and a church inquiry into his handling of sex abuse complaints
while archbishop of Brisbane.

The inquiry's report was highly critical of Dr Hollingworth and led to
his resignation last year as governor-general.

Mr Shearman, who failed to respond to the so-called Articles of
Association served on him by the tribunal and refused to attend its
hearings, has previously admitted the relationship with his student but
said he was unsure how old she was at the time. The victim has claimed
the then priest began sexually interfering with her when she was 14, and
this progressed to sexual intercourse when she was 15 before he expelled
her from the hostel.

In the complaint now being investigated by police, the woman claims Mr
Shearman told her at the time she was not too young to have sex because
the teenage Juliet, in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, was a partner in
"one of the great romances of history". Mr Shearman could not be reached
for comment yesterday at his Deception Bay home north of Brisbane.

As Brisbane archbishop, Dr Hollingworth was present at a 1995 meeting
attended by the woman and Mr Shearman.

Mr Shearman later offered to relinquish his holy orders, but Dr
Hollingworth rejected the offer. Instead, Dr Hollingworth wrote to the
woman suggesting that her allegations had caused great distress to Mr
Shearman and his wife, Fay.


Sunday, August 08, 2004
 
The Ninth Sunday after Trinity

GRANT to us, Lord, we beseech thee, the spirit to think and do always such things as be rightful; that we, who cannot do any thing that is good without thee, may by thee be enabled to live according to thy will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Saturday, August 07, 2004
 
Historical and experimental


=====================================================
T H E J O H N S T O T T D A I L Y T H O U G H T
=====================================================

August 6, 2004
Authentic Christianity
From the writings of Dr. John R. W. Stott

Christianity, Religion and Culture

830. Historical and experimental
Christianity is both a historical and an experimental
religion. Indeed, one of its chief glories is this
marriage between history and experience, between the past
and the present. We must never attempt to divorce them.
We cannot do without the work of Christ, nor can we do
without the witness of Christ's apostles, if we want to
enjoy Christ's grace and peace today.

--From "The Message of Galatians" (The Bible Speaks Today
series: London and Downers Grove: IVP, 1968), p. 19.

----------------------------------------------------
--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", p. 345, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.


Friday, August 06, 2004
 
The Transfiguration of Christ

O GOD, who on the mount didst reveal to chosen witnesses thine only-begotten Son wonderfully transfigured, in raiment white and glistering; Mercifully grant that we, being delivered from the disquietude of this world, may be permitted to behold the King in his beauty, who with thee, O Father, and thee, O Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth, one God, world without end. Amen.
Thursday, August 05, 2004
 
Philadelphia Inquirer | 08/04/2004 | West Philadelphia church steeple collapses

By Murray Dubin

INQUIRER STAFF WRITER


Posted on Wed, Aug. 04, 2004


Larry Falcon was sitting in his living room at 43d and Ludlow Streets at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday when he heard a rumble outside. The house shook. He opened the door.

"I saw a cloud of dust billowing toward me, like it was 9/11," Falcon said today. He is the pastor of the Covenant Community Church around the corner on the 4200 block of Chestnut Street.

He didn't know that the 117-year-old steeple of Christ Memorial Church - on the northwest corner of 43d and Chestnut Streets - had collapsed, creating a hill of stone slabs and rubble 20 feet high.

The steeple had been empty. The church's school, Christ Academy, was not being used. And the families - 63 children and 37 adults housed in a Lutheran Settlement House family residence program - were in a church building a half-block away at 43d and Ludlow Streets. They were evacuated and unhurt, except for one minor injury, fire officials said.

Steven Hoopes, school headmaster and a church member, said church leaders would meet today to discuss what to do about the fallen tower, which was once 80 feet high. Christ Church currently has no pastor.

Hoopes had expected a meeting today to discuss an engineer's and architect's report that detailed problems with the steeple, which already had a visible crack.

"I hadn't read the report yet because I wasn't on that committee, but there was a possibility of collapse," he said. "We were going to talk about what to do and how to pay for it."

Hoopes said that the tower had "imploded" and that the rubble and sandstone veneer, "a soft stone," had just collapsed.

Eileen Evans, deputy commissioner of the Department of Licenses and Inspections, said today that the rain exacerbated conditions at an old and deteriorating building and that "we are not looking at any negligence at this point."

The church buildings were important to Falcon. He was married in the church in 1979 and attended the Episcopalian seminary that once was housed within its walls.

He saw a firefighter from the station at 43d and Market Streets running toward the church Tuesday night, "carrying his boots. That impressed me."

He said people knew that the "steeple had problems. I walked by there at dusk Monday with my granddaughter and you saw stones on the ground. They had been falling on a regular basis. Already was a little fence there. There was a couple sitting on the steps near the steeple and I told them not to sit there, that it wasn't safe. Yes, they got up."

Tuesday, August 03, 2004
 
The instrument of change


=====================================================
T H E J O H N S T O T T D A I L Y T H O U G H T
=====================================================

August 2, 2004
Authentic Christianity
From the writings of Dr. John R. W. Stott

Evangelism and Social Action (cont'd.)

826. The instrument of change
Evangelism is the major instrument of social change. For
the gospel changes people, and changed people can change
society.

--From "Issues Facing Christians Today" (London:
Collins/Marshall Pickering, 1990), p. 71.

----------------------------------------------------
--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", p. 343, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.

Sunday, August 01, 2004
 
Archbishop of York to step down


The Church of England's second most senior bishop has resigned and will return to being a parish priest.
Dr David Hope, who has been Archbishop of York for nine years, will be invested in a more junior role by one of his own bishops in March 2005.

The archbishop will swap his palace in York and a £60,000 salary for the rectory at St Margaret's, in Ilkley near Bradford, and just £18,500-a-year.

But Dr Hope insisted he won't miss any of the luxuries of a bishop's life.

He told BBC News he felt it was time to move on.

He said: "It has been something that has been rumbling around in my mind and heart for a couple of years.

"I will have done nearly 20 years as a bishop. It is the sort of time that you ought to be moving on."

During his time as archbishop Dr Hope has aligned himself with traditionalists in the Anglican church.

'God's gift'

He has opposed the ordination of women and has warned that the internet could limit human interactions.

He said St Margaret's in Ilkley, a town of around 5,500 people, was attractive to him because of the "traditional values" of its people.

"Clearly I sympathise with their background. I'm looking forward to it. It is clearly a change and a challenge," he said.



"I thought it would be good to conclude my ministry where I began - as a parish priest," he added.


Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams described Dr Hope as "unfailingly effective" and "one of God's great gifts to the church".

Dr Williams said: "In every post he has filled he has brought to bear a deep common sense, a complete unpompous attitude, a ready sympathy for all and an irrepressible dead-pan humour.

"I shall miss him more than I can easily say, as a colleague whose wise advice and constant support have made a huge difference to my own ministry."

He added: "Everyone in the Church of England will want to wish him all good things in the next stage of his ministry."

BBC correspondent Jane Little said Dr Hope has made no secret of his desire to return to what he has called the "real ministry" of parish practice.

She said: "Dr Hope, as an opponent of women priests, has had the support of traditionalists within the church and some have seen him as a counterweight to the more liberal Archbishop of Canterbury.

"His departure could not come at a more sensitive time for the embattled church."

Dr Hope, 64, can continue as a parish priest until the age of 70.


 
The Episcopal Church has abandoned not only Truth, but also the Faith



By Bonnie J. Fisco

You scramble to agree on an Oversight Plan that will enable you to stay
in the Episcopal Church. You have identified yourself as "conservative".
Well, I ask you this.... Would Jesus or Paul or Peter or any one of the
apostles describe themselves as "conservative"? Webster says
conservative is "tending to oppose change".

"Cautious and restrained". The church of Jesus Christ is militant,
opposing the enemies of God in constant spiritual warfare. We are
Christian soldiers who are not timid about carrying the cross of our
Lord, Jesus Christ until He comes.

And what about your frantic struggle to obtain "Alternate Oversight" so
that you can remain in the Episcopal Church that has become exceedingly
corrupt over the past years. The sin of the Anglican Communion and the
Episcopal Church far exceeds the single issue of ordaining a homosexual
Bishop. This is a manifestation of its most egregious sin, which is its
lack of faith. The Church is willing to revise the truth for the sake of
unity.

The Episcopal Church is puffed up and proud about what it is doing. It
is lifted up by tolerance, prideful about its inclusivity, pleased with
itself for celebrating and accepting that which God has clearly revealed
is disgusting to His own heart. The Church has revised and interpreted
scripture that has sustained us and fed us for thousands of years. She
has arrogantly challenged His word with as much deceit and cunning as
Satan when he said to Adam and Eve, "Yea, Hath God said ye shall not?"
The church uses words such as dialog, conversation, inclusiveness,
tolerance, compromise, celebrate, and acceptance to define her plans,
purposes, and very nature. The Episcopal Church has re-defined sexual
activities that are spoken of by God as abominations as loving and
committed relationships and has tried to re-interpret scripture to
answer the needs of a fleshly, pragmatic and Me-First Generation.

But in the Episcopal Church and yea, even revealed in the writings of
Archbishop, Rowan Williams, there is no toleration for the Word of God.
Its "Inclusivity" has left TRUTH knocking at its door and it cannot get
in. There is no celebration or joy over a loving and committed
relationship with Scripture. There is no acceptance of the New Covenant,
and Scripture is no longer exalted and extolled as being the absolute
and unchanging Word of God. The only conversation and dialog that takes
place in the Church is designed to change the hearts and minds of the
people to agree with their own perversities. With smooth words and
silken tones, the Church leadership has taught and seduced the people to
commit fornication with a higher degree of expertise than Ahab's
Jezebel.

And to my beloved brethren, I say this: "Scramblers" You make haste to
negotiate a Delegated Episcopal Oversight (DEPO) but fail to see and
perceive that you already have the most excellent and perfect oversight.
He is among you now. Don't you recognize him? The one who shed His blood
on Calvary's hill is the Bishop and Shepherd of our souls and He is our
oversight.

He is the High Priest of all Ordinations. He is the one who consecrates.
He is our Mentor and our Teacher, and yes, even our Boss. And His
visitation is Unscheduled. Where two or three are gathered in His name,
He has promised to be in our midst. What a perfect visitation schedule
is that!

You scramble for Alternate Oversight in order to keep your place in the
Anglican Communion which is become as a "harlot". Your faith is
misplaced. You are putting your trust in a DEPO Plan while you ignore
what is already yours. I see you as children in the market place. He has
mourned for you, and He has danced for you, but you would not have it.
Are your eyes upon the prize?

And, again, when asked why you don't leave the Episcopal Church, you
say: "Where would I go?" Don't you trust the same God that leads you
each day can keep you and deliver you from this unholy alliance with the
Anglican Communion? Don't you trust that He will direct your path if you
acknowledge Him in all your ways? And cannot God bring you to another
place?

What about Abram when God called him out of the land of Ur to a place He
would show him? What about Noah when he and his family closed the doors
on the ark and they didn't know where they would be going?

What about the Hebrew Children when they left Egypt? Were they sure
about where they were going? And what about the apostles when they left
Jerusalem to preach God's word to all the earth? And what about Paul
when He left his home and suffered throughout all of Asia Minor to
preach the word?

And why do you, "Pilgrim", think there should be an itinerary for you,
or a place for you to nest, or a special church name to keep you safe?
Cannot the same God that called you to belong to Him lead you onward to
your eternal home? Jesus said that the birds of the air have nests and
the foxes have holes, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.
Why should it be better and more comfortable for you?

Can you identify with the souls that went before you and never lived to
see the promise, but left their homes and families to follow Christ and
the commandment of the Father? Do you trust Him who is able to deliver
you and keep you? This is FAITH. (Action, based upon belief, sustained
by confidence).

And what happens to a church that has lost its "faith"?

The Church will not preach the whole word of God. It will not want to
"offend" anyone and thus will not allow the whole Word of God to be
taught among the people. It will not identify with the words of Paul who
spoke boldly to the Christians at Galatia..."do I seek to please men?
For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ."
(Galatians 1:10) The church will continue to rationalize and compromise
truth for the sake of "staying with the buildings" to its own final
destruction. And the church will continue to bow before the altar of
"toleration and compromise"

Hate Crimes Legislation, enacted in the State of Connecticut in May 2004
to include gender-based crimes, will soon work to silence the truth of
God's word in our churches. Some churches have already been involved in
litigation concerning homosexuality and its Biblical references being
taught from the pulpit. Their will be a "gag order" imposed by Federal
and State legislators and courts to prevent Churches from offering the
hope Christ offers homosexuals to turn from their perverse desires and
be transformed by the renewing of their minds by the power of the Word
of God. This will be labeled as "hate-speak" and discrimination against
the "gay lifestyle" and will be the subject of many lawsuits.

Because of these lawsuits, or the potential for them, the church could
be sued, and eventually closed for lack of funds. The church will
scramble to get insurance policies to protect them against these suits.
There are two churches in Pennsylvania that are seeking to obtain this
insurance today. They are Episcopal Churches.

And when such cases occur, the pre-requisite for getting this coverage
will be mandated by the State Insurance Commission. The church will have
to submit to the insuring agency by taking part in seminars and
programs. Anyone that teaches or has a position of leadership in the
Church will have to prove that they have taken a class in Diversity
Training, Anti-Violence and Discrimination Training, and possibly
Sensitivity training in order to assure the agency that we know how to
treat homosexual people. Of course this training will be based upon the
values and truths held by the insuring agency, and the State and not the
values based upon "Thus Saith The Word Of God". This is not much
different than the seminars that are held now in order to have the
church insured against lawsuits concerning "child abuse" or other
sexually oriented events that may take place in the church. The church
will be taught, instructed, and judged by the world! It will continue to
give itself over to the worldly powers.

And once again, the church will bow at an altar, but this time before
the government. This lack of faith leads to the worst kind of idolatry.

But, WHO do you trust? The world, the government, the church leaders,
the insurance policies, alternate oversight? Do you scramble in fear,
not knowing or believing in His power to save you? And you say, "Where
would we go?"

Shouldn't you be more terrified about where you would STAY? Don't be
afraid of where you'll go. Be of good courage.

It is my most heartfelt prayer that you will quickly acknowledge the
oversight that you already have in Christ Jesus, trust Him with your
whole being and let Him lead you out from among them. There is no
fellowship, no respect, no friendship with those that are the enemies of
God. Yes, I feel angry toward the Bishop. A perfect anger rooted in my
love for His Word.

Put your trust totally in Him and He will direct your path.

Bonnie J. Fisco has attended Christ & The Epiphany Church in East Haven,
CT since 1997. She recently left the church with a number of other
Episcopalians two months ago and has formed a small group where they are
studying the Scriptures discerning God's will for their future.

 
Submission to the Lambeth Commission
from The Church of England Evangelical Council (CEEC)




July 29, 2004

The Church of England Evangelical Council is the democratically
constituted voice of Evangelical Anglicanism in England, which last
autumn held a major National Evangelical Anglican Congress. CEEC is also
part of the Evangelical Fellowship of the Anglican Communion and EFAC's
conference in Kenya last summer made a lengthy statement on the issue
before the Commission. Bishops from around the world were present at
both conferences. This submission, then, has active knowledge of the
thinking of national and international Anglican Evangelicalism behind
it.

1. Our understanding is that this submission should be brief and
focussed, and it thus runs the risk of appearing trite, uninformed or
uncaring. In particular, we have not rehearsed our position on biblical
interpretation, nor of appropriate pastoral guidelines for local
congregations. If the Commission sees fit, we would happily expand our
arguments.

2. The current crisis has been provoked particularly by the election and
consecration of Gene Robinson to the Diocese of New Hampshire, but it is
not limited to that. We have in mind the actions of the Diocese of New
Westminster, and the decision of the General Synod of the Anglican
Church of Canada to "affirm the integrity and sanctity of committed
adult same sex relationships." We also most recently have in mind the
extraordinary appointment of the Reverend Canon Jeffrey John as Dean of
St. Albans. In our own country this highlights the particular concerns
because it was made in direct opposition to the Archbishop's request
that no controversial appointments be made until the Commission has
reported. It becomes another clear example of provocation by a liberal
and revisionist elite on an orthodox and unsuspecting Church. It raises
the problem of how the solution the Commission arrives at ought to be
workable at a Diocesan as well as a Provincial level. Thus every
reference to ECUSA and a Province below could and should be read as
having relevance to other referents, albeit outside the strict terms of
the Commission.

3. In itself this restricts the options open to the Commission, for the
issue is not merely Gene Robinson, and will not be resolved by his
resignation, or the declaration of his election or consecration as
invalid. Whatever the merits of those actions in that case (and while
the first is simply improbable, the last two are open to substantial
legal challenge), they only provide a temporary solution to one aspect
of the crisis. The consecration of Gene Robinson is likely to be a
precedent, as the crisis in Oxford Diocese last summer showed.

4. We want the Commission to note, first, that the seriousness of this
debate should not be underestimated. We are aware that for both sides
the issue is salvation, and that the two understandings of the meaning
of salvation are incompatible and mutually exclusive. Our concern on
this issue is therefore not fundamentally ecclesiological, sacramental,
doctrinal, nor biblical, (critical though all those issues are) but
pastoral, for in classic Christian teaching, homosexual actions leave
the actors facing God's judgement without Christ's mediating work.
Teaching which encourages such behaviour is profoundly cruel, as it
encourages people to sin and, in defiance of the gospel, to call that
sin an act of grace. Toleration of such teaching is equally cruel, and
makes one complicit in the sins of both the actor and the teacher. This
issue matters to us because people matter to us, and both heaven and
hell are genuine alternative destinies.

5. A note on questions of Jurisdiction

5.1 Our starting-point is that the Provinces of the Anglican Communion
are part of the one universal apostolic Church whose head is Jesus
Christ, and that accordingly neither the Communion as a whole nor any
Province within it has any power or jurisdiction either to ordain or to
permit anything contrary to the will of God.

5.2 This entails that any rules, laws or practices amongst the Communion
or by its constituent Provinces must be in accordance with the will of
God expressed in Holy Scripture.

5.3 As part of the apostolic Church, ECUSA has no jurisdiction or power
to institute the practices it has, for God has forbidden this throughout
Scripture.

5.4 As part of the apostolic Church, the rest of the Communion not only
has no jurisdiction or power to permit these practices, but rather has a
positive duty to discipline ECUSA for the purpose of restoring it to a
loving obedience her head.

5.5 Some deny that explicit legal instruments exist amongst the members
of the Communion to regulate the exercise of this disciplinary
jurisdiction. However, this must be challenged. First, a formal
jurisdiction is necessarily implicit in the position given to Holy
Scripture by the Lambeth Quadrilateral, even if it is not legally
expressed. Further, any legal instruments of the separate Provinces of
the Communion are subordinate only, designed to further our common life
to the glory of God. They must therefore be set against the background
primarily of Holy Scripture and secondly of the traditions of the Church
on earth.

5.6 Such legal instruments as exist are thus a partial expression of a
wider range of formal instruments, such as invitations to the Lambeth
Conference, and those are in turn an expression of the authority and
duty of the Church to govern itself under God's authority.

5.7 Holy Scripture and the tradition of the Church on earth alike
testify to a residual jurisdiction to discipline those in error even
without any explicit subordinate legal mechanism. In the case of Holy
Scripture, St. Paul both rebukes his fellow apostle, and also corrects
churches of which he is no longer a member. In the case of the tradition
of the Church on earth, discipline has been consistently exercised even
against erring bishops by those outside their sees. This is evidenced in
the case of Paul of Samosata, Origen's role in the Dialogue with
Heraclides, the Arian controversy, but most strikingly in Cyprian's
Letter 67. Cyprian is frequently cited as upholding Diocesan or
Provincial autonomy, but there he and others subordinate that
consideration to the need for a wider discipline.

5.8 This residual jurisdiction cannot be revoked by desuetude, for the
Church has no authority to revoke it at all. Nor can it be repudiated by
the Provinces of the Communion without an implicit repudiation of their
apostolic inheritance. If the objection that there are no secondary
legal mechanisms for the exercise of this jurisdiction be accepted, this
only entails that a range of mechanisms be forthwith be created for the
purpose of the proper pastoral care of ECUSA by discipline. These may or
may not include legal mechanisms.

5.9 The objection that this amounts to retrospective legislation is
fallacious since the Scriptural prohibition on homosexual genital
practice is clear and express, as is the historical submission of
Christ's church on earth to this injunction. Similarly the existence of
both Scriptural and traditional residual jurisdictions for the exercise
of discipline is well-attested. Both substantive law and residual
jurisdiction are therefore not being retrospectively created. ECUSA can
only claim to have been either ignorant of these things, or to have
disregarded them. Neither ignorance nor disregard abolish either law or
jurisdiction, but go only to challenge ECUSA's claim to be authentically
part of the Communion.

Unworkable solutions

6. Following from point 4, those churches that have broken or suspended
communion with ECUSA are therefore simply insisting on the maintenance
of Biblical standards of discipline that they would apply equally to any
individual within their dioceses, or to any church seeking communion
with them. This is done for the eternal security of the individuals
concerned.

7. We submit that tensions on this subject are running so strong
internationally that either ECUSA will split further, or the Communion
will split entire. Indeed we can see no alternative to that choice, and
foresee that any solution which fails to take the seriousness of the
charge made against ECUSA with full force, will be anything other than
temporary.

8. Furthermore, we question any model which seeks to resolve the problem
of two Provinces being in impaired or non-Communion by means of seeing
them as only being indirectly related via their primary Communion with
the Archbishop of Canterbury. It would be appealing, but the logic of
the orthodox means it will fail. They will be out of Communion with
anyone who is in Communion with Gene Robinson, and that must include the
Archbishop of Canterbury himself if the logic of Communion is followed.
The only route out of that dilemma is for the Archbishop to declare
himself in at least impaired Communion with ECUSA.

9. We are in frequent contact with a range of traditionalists in ECUSA,
and they report considerable irritation with the rhetorical technique of
being provided with a form of words to which a number of (mutually
contradictory) meanings can be given or where loopholes can be found.
The Commission must take pains to express itself unambiguously if it is
to win the traditionalists' confidence. This is not a case where a
quasi-balanced attempt to hold everyone together will succeed

10. The rhetoric of liberalisation needs careful unpacking as well, for
too often it implies that the traditionalist case is of its essence
thoughtless and unreflective, a product of naïve and inadequate
theological depth. A good example here is the comments made by the
Bishop of St Alban's in his Presidential address to his Diocesan Synod,
12th June 2004. Commenting on the response to the appointment of Jeffrey
John he said, "One of the saddening features of my postbag, over the
past few weeks, has been the way in which biblical texts have been used.
It is not that they are quoted - that is not the issue - but it is as
though all the thinking and study that has gone on in the Church during
the twentieth century concerning the Bible has simply not been
recognised". Granted that there are thoughtless and unreflective people
on all sides of this argument, and we cannot comment on the Bishop's
postbag, it is matter of record that at its best, the traditionalist
case has been made, on numerous occasions, with considerable academic
rigour and theological sophistication.

11. Similarly, traditionalists in ECUSA - and we - are familiar with
committees which claim a theologically neutral (or theologically
superior) stance from which it can see that both sides are equally at
fault. We strongly repudiate that this double and equivalent fault is
the case, and deny the claimed theological superiority that sees it.

12. Evidence of that technique already being in place is the equivalence
being placed on (alleged) toleration of polygamy in some African
Provinces, and homosexual expression in (some) Western Provinces. We
urge the Commission to study the Constitutions of those African
Provinces with great care before such toleration of polygamy is assumed
or described. The Anglican Church of Kenya, for instance, has a lengthy
description of the disciplinary procedures to be followed for a
polygamist, and they are deeply offended to see their pastorally nuanced
discipline wrongly described as toleration.

13. This is itself evidence of the continued bureaucratic domination in
the Communion by the white West and North, despite the numerical
domination of the global South. So high are feelings running over this,
that we fear many think that if the Communion will not adhere to
orthodoxy, and discipline members in line with its stated position, then
its raison d'être has ceased beyond being a remnant of the British
Empire, and will be sloughed off with as little concern.

14. We also suggest that the technique of dealing with the two views as
equivalents, imparts a spurious equality between two views which are
disparate in the strength of their claims to tradition, catholicity,
unity, and Scriptural interpretation. The novelty and self-consciously
communion-breaking nature of the consecration of Gene Robinson must be
recorded, as must its distortion of the Lambeth Quadrilateral in pitting
one element, episcopacy, against the others. We note the disdain with
which the Diocese of New Westminster treated the Primates' Statement.
Equally, the Bishop of St Alban's has shown similar contempt for the
Archbishop of Canterbury's call for calm. It is breathtaking that the
Bishop can make this appointment and simultaneously expect those who
oppose it to submit to his Episcopal authority as a mark of authentic
Anglicanism.

15. In that some people have manipulated rightful authority to their own
ends, and are enforcing those ends on others, the consecration of Gene
Robinson was also an abuse of power, albeit under a democratic form, and
therefore an act of ecclesiastical tyranny. By the same token, however,
the refusal to offer adequate oversight for orthodox Christians thus
marginalized is equally an abuse of power by the non-exercising of
rightful authority.

16. The matter of justifiable Scriptural interpretation is especially
critical at this point, because, as the recent report Some Issues in
Human Sexuality from the English House of Bishops notes, and
notwithstanding the few caveats the Report itself lists, 'the consensus
of biblical scholarship still points us in the direction of the
traditional reading of the biblical material' (4.4.71).

17. There is therefore no parallel with the debate over women's
ordination where there are significant texts which can be used by both
sides. The liberalizing case has consistently been judged a
misinterpretation, by General Synod, the Lambeth Conference and the
Primates' meting in Brazil, to name but three. Therefore the means to
resolve, or at least to live with the tensions caused by, women's
ordination cannot be used to solve our crisis. We therefore reject any
model based on a process of reception, development, emergence, or of the
provision of a Second Province, and the Commission should think beyond
such suggestions.

18. For all that the traditionalist case has been on occasion
overstated, misstated, or expressed unlovingly or untheologically, such
should not be confused with the case in itself, nor have such occasions
been the normal or desired self-expression of the case. We ask the
Commission to avoid caricaturing both sides by their worst expressions
(or by the other side's caricatures), but instead deal with them in
their most consistent and authentic forms. This will inevitably mean
that the traditionalist case is described as the overwhelmingly majority
voice of Anglicanism, past and present, and indeed the overwhelmingly
majority voice of Christianity, past and present. We do not discern the
need for a new Word from God on this subject, as we do not find any
theological confusion or pastoral inadequacy in the scriptural
provision.

19. Finally, we submit that a proposal based on the loosening of
provincial ties and giving greater autonomy will not work. It is
necessary to recognize the theological and ecclesial maturity of
churches across the communion, and that they are no longer client
states, but the problem is too complex for that alone to be adequate. On
one level, it is simply the issue of one Province or Diocese flouting of
the mind of the Communion, but it is simultaneously the question of the
responsibility of the wider Communion for those within that Province or
Diocese who repudiate that flouting.

Proposal

20. Our suggestion is that there be a reversible suspension of
representatives of ECUSA from being invited to the Lambeth Conference,
the Primates meeting, ACC or indeed any event where the Archbishop of
Canterbury is acting in the chair. A clear exception should be made for
all those who have publicly distanced themselves from the consecration
of Gene Robinson, and who can rightly claim to be in communion with the
majority mind of the most recent Lambeth Conference.

21. At the same moment, there should be provision of sanctioned
oversight for the marginalised orthodox, and it is necessary that such
oversight should be provided without the primates feeling the necessity
of obtaining the permission of the Province or Diocese in question. This
action is legitimate precisely because the abuse of power that has led
to this crisis is illegitimate, and Provincial or Diocesan consent is
unnecessary, and to a great extent undesirable, because it serves to
legitimate the abusers.

22. These sanctions should come from the Primates' meeting rather than
residing in the office or person of the Archbishop, since mutual
discipline is a collegial matter.

23. The Primates who meet to enact this should simultaneously discuss
whether there are other Provinces or Dioceses where such oversight must
also be needed, with particular reference to ACC, the Diocese of New
Westminster and the Diocese of St Alban's.

24. The essentially reversible nature of this is a reflection of the
theology of the discipline exercised in 2 Corinthians, where the final
goal is neither marginalisation nor exclusion but reconciliation. The
proximate means to full reconciliation, however, is neither dialogue nor
creative tension but reversible expulsion. This is consistent with
Paul's expressed goal of love (2 Cor 2:8) and avoids the divisive
consequences either of disobediently refusing to confront error or of
denying the salvific and reconciling goal of discipline.


 
The Eighth Sunday after Trinity

O GOD, whose never-failing providence ordereth all things both in heaven and earth; We humbly beseech thee to put away from us all hurtful things, and to give us those things which be profitable for us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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