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March 11, 2013


Truro Issues Statement on Baucum/Johnston Controversy

The full statement can be found here. It indicates that the vestry and ordained leaders of Truro continue to hold an orthodox position on sexuality and the nature of Christian marriage. The statement also indicates that the vestry and the ordained leaders of Truro believe that Bishop Johnston’s positions are heretical and that he and all who promote same sex relationships engage in false, destructive teaching. On these points we congratulate them, but we note that neither of these points was ever in dispute. No one at Stand Firm has ever questioned the orthodoxy of Truro as a church body.

Our objection is to the relationship between Truro’s rector, Tory Baucum, and the Bishop of Virginia, Shannon Johnston. Truro’s statement makes reference to this relationship:

One outgrowth of Truro’s teaching and missional outreach has drawn considerable comment: the personal friendship between our rector and Bishop Shannon Johnston of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. This outreach has been undertaken with the full knowledge and support of the vestry. In public and private conversation with +Shannon, Tory has been frank about his and the parish’s conviction that the Episcopal Church is schismatic, that +Shannon is engaging in false teaching relative to sexuality, marriage and nuptial theology, and that he needs to repent.

We want to stress that the relationship between Baucum and Johnston is far more than personal. It involves mutual mission endeavors and the promotion of one another’s ministry. Baucum has legitimized - verbally and in his public association - the ministry of Bishop Johnston, and embraced him as creedally orthodox.

The effect of these actions has been, as we have pointed out repeatedly, to reduce the issue of homosexuality to one over which fellow Christians might disagree and yet remain brothers, sharing in Christian ministry together. To say that Bishop Johnston is a false teacher spreading destructive heresies, and yet embrace him as a brother and promote his ministry, is both theologically incoherent and pastorally irresponsible.

So - far from putting any concerns to rest, if anything the Truro statement raises even more questions:

For one, why is Truro characterizing as “personal” a relationship between Tory Baucum and Shannon Johnston that is very clearly public - one that involves not just the intertwining of their personal lives, but of the public missions and ministries of their respective churches?

For another, if “[t]his outreach has been undertaken with the full knowledge and support of the vestry,” then why on earth has Truro consented to a relationship between Baucum and Johnston that makes them corporately complicit in Johnston’s teaching, teaching they themselves characterize as false?

For yet another, where is Baucum’s bishop, John Guernsey, in all of this? Last year when this story first surfaced his silence was odd but perhaps understandable; but this year, with each passing day it becomes more and more of a concern, especially given his long-time reliability in publicly repudiating heresy and false teaching when he sees it.

The bottom line, as we’ve posted more than once, is simply this:

Either Shannon Johnston is a false teacher or he is not. Either the issue over which Truro split from Virginia is a gospel matter or it is not.

If it is the former then it is outrageous that Truro/Baucum should all promote Johnston in any way at all. If it is the latter then Truro/Baucum ought to repent of splitting over a secondary matter and return to TEC.


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46 comments

Here is another possible problem. I undertand from Virtureonline that Tory Baucum+ has been invited to the enthronement of ++Justin Welby but Tory’s ACNA bishop and archbishop have not been invited. If he goes, does this create another issue in ACNA? If ++Welby invited Baucum+ but not the others, that seems more like provocation than reconciliation.

[1] Posted by Fr. Dale on 3-11-2013 at 06:17 PM · [top]

Fr. Dale:  It’s called cultivating the Useful Idiot.  Baucum is being courted because the ACO knows full well the damage that Baucum is causing the Global South position.

[2] Posted by jamesw on 3-11-2013 at 06:25 PM · [top]

Rule #1 when you find yourself down in a hole: quit digging!

[3] Posted by Capt. Father Warren on 3-11-2013 at 06:26 PM · [top]

If Baucum intends to continue wearing ACNA vestments, he is, of course, required to decline.  Since, by virtue of the decision of the ABoC, his church in not in communion with the CoE (and therefore his bishop and archbishop are not invited, while the heretics the ABoC maintains full communion with are invited).

Betcha KJS gets to wear a mitre in the pics, too.

[4] Posted by tjmcmahon on 3-11-2013 at 07:41 PM · [top]

For yet another, where is Baucum’s bishop, John Guernsey, in all of this?  Last year when this story first surfaced his silence was odd but perhaps understandable; but this year, with each passing day it becomes more and more of a concern, especially given his long-time reliability in publicly repudiating heresy and false teaching when he sees it. 

Good question.  If Baucum’s bishop (and archbishop) continue to stay silent, this long-running effort at “reconciliation” with a TEC bishop who promotes heresy is not likely to end well for ACNA.

[5] Posted by hanks on 3-11-2013 at 09:29 PM · [top]

tjmcmahon (#4), of course +KJS will be wearing her mitre, and will be much photographed and lauded for such. What the left who are her supporters have consistently failed to grasp is that she is restricted from wearing her mitre only when she is the celebrant at a service of Holy Eucharist in the Church of England.

But when she is just a ceremonial superfluity—a doorknob among other doorknobs, as it were—then she can freely don her oven mitt and look (well, almost) just like the rest of the assembled ecclesiastical phlogiston.

[6] Posted by A. S. Haley on 3-11-2013 at 11:18 PM · [top]

Good article Greg.  The following pretty well sums up the key issue:

“We want to stress that the relationship between Baucum and Johnston is far more than personal. It involves mutual mission endeavors and the promotion of one another’s ministry. Baucum has legitimized - verbally and in his public association - the ministry of Bishop Johnston, and embraced him as creedally orthodox.
...
For one, why is Truro characterizing as “personal” a relationship between Tory Baucum and Shannon Johnston that is very clearly public - one that involves not just the intertwining of their personal lives, but of the public missions and ministries of their respective churches?”

This raises a serious question.  I doubt that Truro vestry could be unaware of it, given how often it has been raised in so many different forums, but if they were unaware, they surely understand now.  So, what is their response?

[7] Posted by MichaelA on 3-12-2013 at 03:03 AM · [top]

Hanks at #5, good question - why is the ACNA leadership, particularly +Guernsey, silent on this issue?

[8] Posted by MichaelA on 3-12-2013 at 03:04 AM · [top]

#4.  Dr. Baucum is resident in the Church of England and licensed in ACNA. He is a COE priest and under no “obligation” to decline the invitation.

[9] Posted by AnnieCOA on 3-12-2013 at 06:26 AM · [top]

#9. AnnieCOA,
If he is not a member of ACNA, then the only authority the bishop of ACNA would have is the power to revoke his license to operate as a priest in a ACNA congregation. Why in the world would a congregation call a priest that was not officially a member of the ACNA? Why would the bishop allow this to happen?

[10] Posted by Fr. Dale on 3-12-2013 at 06:43 AM · [top]

Annie,

Thanks for that bit of information.  Like most here, I assumed Baucum became resident in ACNA when he decided to take the salary from Truro.  If he is not committed to the doctrine and discipline of ACNA, that does explain a lot.  However, so long as he is rector of an ACNA parish, he is licensed by, and subject to, the discipline of the ACNA bishop.  If he wants to be rector of a CoE parish, and parade around with heretical TEC bishops, let him do so.  But if he is going to upstage his bishops here, and present himself as the face of ACNA, he should get with the program.  Perhaps now it does make sense- what +Welby is working on is reconciliation between CoE and TEC.

If the new ABoC were at all interested in real reconciliation, he would have invited +Duncan, or at least requested +Duncan send a representative.  Instead, he chose his own poster boy for reconciliation between the CoE (if Baucum wants to play CoE “presbyter” instead of ACNA priest, he does not represent ACNA at all) and TEC, which may indeed be what all this nonsense is about.  He needs money for those leaky cathedral roofs.

[11] Posted by tjmcmahon on 3-12-2013 at 07:08 AM · [top]

Fr. Dale,
It has not been uncommon for ACNA to license clergy from other Anglican jurisdictions.  It is unfortunate in this case that they licensed the rector of a cardinal parish from CoE rather than a church that recognizes their own orders, like Kenya or Nigeria or Southern Cone.
Who is Baucum’s bishop, then?  In what CoE diocese is Baucum resident?  Which CoE bishop is it that is allowing this farce with Johnson to proceed, and incidentally introducing a gay marriage proponent into the Evangelical churches of CoE as an “orthodox” bishop?

[12] Posted by tjmcmahon on 3-12-2013 at 07:13 AM · [top]

TJ,
What a tangled mess this has become. Lord have mercy!

[13] Posted by Fr. Dale on 3-12-2013 at 09:14 AM · [top]

Oh dear.

I hereby impose a personal restriction that I will post comments on anything of greater import than a kitten video until after I have had my second cup of coffee.

Please let me clarify that I only intended to suggest why the Rev’d Dr. Baucum may have been issued an invitation to the ABC enthronement and in no way meant to impugn his integrity or allegiance to the doctrine of the ACNA.

I understand that licensed clergy do swear an oath to uphold doctrine and to submit to the authority of the licensing bishop. I have no reason to believe, and would never suggest that this is not the case with the Rev’d Dr. Baucum.

I should also note that I speak not with any authority, but only with pedestrian recollection from when he came on board at Truro.

I deeply regret that I may have caused suspicion where there should be none.

[14] Posted by AnnieCOA on 3-12-2013 at 09:20 AM · [top]

Fr. Dale hits the nail on the head!

“What a tangled mess this has become”

So a reasonable question to ask is “why”?

Is it because of Fr. Tory Baucum?  +Johnston?  ++Welby?

I contend that while all of those have contributed to the mess to different degrees, the real mess is that the organization with the most to lose, which shouldn’t be dragged into what it seems to be dragged into, is staying silent.

Nature abhors a vacuum.  People, trying to be good people, hate to find out after the fact that their sacrifices to uphold the mission of the organization which they think manifests their values [religious values here] are in vain.  The vacuum will get filled, one way or another.  It would seem prudent for the organization to fill it in the way they would wish to see it filled in.

[15] Posted by Capt. Father Warren on 3-12-2013 at 09:22 AM · [top]

Grr. ...will NOT post comments…

[16] Posted by AnnieCOA on 3-12-2013 at 09:22 AM · [top]

An old friend of mine from college is now a leading figure in ELCA; I completely reject ELCA’s heresies.  (I attend an LCMS church right now, and am hoping for a call to be pastor of a church either of LCMS or of some other orthodox Lutheran body.)  If my old friend were to call me, I would be personally friendly; I’d be happy to have a beer with him, if he likes beer.  But unless I could see that he had placed himself in statu confessionis or even left ELCA, I would not attend a church function with him.  That should be this priest’s position vis-a-vis that bishop.  There are few things sadder than the diocese of Virginia’s going with TEC’s apostasy; we’re talking about the diocese in which George Washington and Robert E. Lee attended church, historically the flagship diocese of evangelical Anglicanism in the United States.

[17] Posted by KenChicago on 3-12-2013 at 03:00 PM · [top]

You know, I really think Stand Firm has jumped the shark on this one. Truro has been clear about their stance and there is no tacit endorsement of TEC or the ministry of Bp. Shannon in Truro’s strategy which is ultimately to get out of the building they lost and into their new location. Time to stop the rant, guys. It’s starting to look like you’re too eBig for your eBritches.

[18] Posted by dsh+ on 3-12-2013 at 04:31 PM · [top]

...there is no tacit endorsement of [..] the ministry of Bp. Shannon in Truro’s strategy…

I don’t mean to be rude, but exactly which story have you been following here? Baucum has openly endorsed Johnston’s ministry.

[19] Posted by David Ould on 3-12-2013 at 04:41 PM · [top]

Sounds like word parsing to a degree that Bill Clinton would enjoy.

[20] Posted by Bill2 on 3-12-2013 at 05:01 PM · [top]

Hi DSH+, it doesn’t appear that you’ve been following the story since April of 2012. Far from jumping the shark, Matt Kennedy and others’ concern and warnings have been demonstrated to be quite accurate over the course of a year of this debacle.

Here is a direct quote from Tory Baucum’s sermon in March of 2012:

“I have treated Bishop Shannon as a bishop of the Anglican Communion and with the respect that is due a fellow Christian. I have opened up relationships and ministry opportunities to him in the CofE.”

Since then he’s talked about Johnston being a “brother in Christ,” and “orthodox” creedally, promoted him publicly to the world as a representative of Christ’s Gospel, and swanned around with him in the COE/the UK promoting their bizarre version of “reconciliation” on tv.  It’s been one of the more disgraceful year-long set of actions that I’ve seen. His behavior and rhetoric could hardly be more “endorsing” of Shannon Johnston’s ministry than it already has.

Here are some links for you to catch up:
Truro Announces Loss to Diocese of Virginia
http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/sf/page/28684

The Incomprehensible Surrender of Truro
http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/sf/page/28698/

Watch Where You Sit
http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/sf/page/28701/

Comparative Literature: On Promoting the Ministry of Bishop Johnston
http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/sf/page/28772

Anglican Enablers, Spreading Poison in the Name of Peace
http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/sf/page/29477/

Sheep Reconciles with Wolf; Lamb Chops for Everybody!
http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/sf/page/30144/

The Baucum - Johnston Conversation. Baucum: Johnston is an Orthodox Brother
http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/sf/page/30150/comment-sf/

+Welby, the Future ABC, and His Vision for “Reconciliation”
http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/sf/page/29659/

Bonfire of the Vacuities: Selected Audio Clips from the Baucum/Johnston Interview
http://www.standfirminfaith.com/?/sf/page/30155

RE: “Time to stop the rant, guys.”

No, it’s only just beginning, thanks to Tory Baucum’s behavior and rhetoric.

RE: “It’s starting to look like you’re too eBig for your eBritches.”

Well . . . I suppose that depends on what we hope to accomplish with our posts.  We have simple goals for the StandFirm blog, and they’ve been simple since the blog was started in 2005.  So far, we’re very satisfied with the level of information, clarity, analysis, and research that we’ve done on this and are pleased with the rising level of awareness that’s taking place.

That’s all we hope for and we believe we are accomplishing it.

Now, it’s certainly conceivable that some might hope that we do not accomplish those simple tasks. But we’re not too concerned about that.

[21] Posted by Sarah on 3-12-2013 at 05:50 PM · [top]

As a previous parishioner from Bishop Guernsey’s congregation, the 1 thing I know about the man is he will wait for the Holy Spirit to instruct his actions.  I have known this to take a WHILE, but I have seen this process work, time and time again.  He isn’t going to get into this, until he hears what God wants him to say or do.  AND it will happen at the most critical time. 

Frustrating?  Yes, sometimes.
Right thing at right time?  Most always.

Just the way the guy works.

[22] Posted by Crabby in MD on 3-12-2013 at 07:10 PM · [top]

Crabby in MD, translation of your post at #22: “Trust Bishop Guernsey; he is in step with the Holy Spirit”.

Sorry, but no.  There are objective questions here that beg answers, from +Guernsey as well as from ACNA.

Believe it or not, the scriptures teach us that Christians who have been correctly led by the Spirit in the past can still miss the Spirit’s leading in future.  Consider King David, and the apostle Peter.

[23] Posted by MichaelA on 3-12-2013 at 07:15 PM · [top]

AnnieCOA wrote at #14:

“I understand that licensed clergy do swear an oath to uphold doctrine and to submit to the authority of the licensing bishop.”

Fair enough.  Revd Baucum would also be responsible to his congregation, would he not?  And they in turn would be responsible for actions he takes as their leader?

I agree that the issue of whether or not Rev. Baucum attends the installation of the Archbishop of Canterbury is really quite minor.  The real issue that is causing concern to many fellow Anglicans is encapsulated by Greg Griffith in the article above:

“[Rev] Baucum has legitimized - verbally and in his public association - the ministry of Bishop Johnston, and embraced him as creedally orthodox. .... To say that Bishop Johnston is a false teacher spreading destructive heresies, and yet embrace him as a brother and promote his ministry, is both theologically incoherent and pastorally irresponsible.”

Those comments apply equally to the Truro Church, since Rev. Baucum is their representative and leader.  It will be interesting to see if anyone from Truro Church is going to offer comment (or factual corrections) to the issues raised in these articles.

[24] Posted by MichaelA on 3-12-2013 at 07:21 PM · [top]

#22

  As a previous parishioner from Bishop Guernsey’s congregation, the 1 thing I know about the man is he will wait for the Holy Spirit to instruct his actions.  I have known this to take a WHILE, but I have seen this process work, time and time again.  .  .  .    Just the way the guy works.

I don’t know what your “time and time again” examples might be, but I’d ask whether any of them involved one of his clergy calling a false teacher a “brother in Christ” and letting it go on and on and on for nearly a year?  And did those situations occur before or after he was a bishop?  In my limited observation, as bishop he’s been very quick and very ready to come down on clergy for things far less serious than playing nice with heresy.  More like hair-trigger reaction (without considering whether “evidence” was real or manufactured) than someone waiting on the Holy Spirit.

In any event, his silence in this situation does not bode well for ACNA.

[25] Posted by hanks on 3-12-2013 at 08:55 PM · [top]

... wait for the Holy Spirit to instruct his actions…

Why any need to wait any longer?:

2John 9 Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them. 11 Anyone who welcomes them shares in their wicked work.

[26] Posted by David Ould on 3-12-2013 at 09:34 PM · [top]

This whole controversy illustrates something that I think should be examined: namely, that many don’t like to criticize “their” side. In other words, it’s fine and good to attack TEC or the CoE for their errors, but don’t you dare turn your guns on ACNA or AMiA or Truro, because they are the good guys.
I think this is a distinguishing mark between healthy movements and unhealthy ones; healthy movements can handle critique from within. Unhealthy movements seek to quash it and shut people up. They only want fluff pieces that talk about how many churches we are planting or how this cool new church in a coffee shop is reaching Generation Z. But a healthy organization (or Communion) should be open to pointing the finger at itself every bit as much as it points the finger at the others.
Almost *all* the prophets, including our Lord himself, stood at one time or another in opposition to the visible Church that they were a part of. I can see the blog posts now: “Jeremiah needs to stop attacking God’s anointed King and turn his guns on the Babylonians, they are the real problem.”

[27] Posted by Joel on 3-13-2013 at 07:51 AM · [top]

Joel,
Hopefully those of us in the ACNA who offer the ACNA corrective feedback are not just critical spirits. My sense has been that this is not the case. We not only don’t want heresy, we don’t want to be hypocritical. We remain sinners however. The comment from dsh+ “Time to stop the rant, guys. It’s starting to look like you’re too eBig for your eBritches.”, does not constitute a rebuttal.

[28] Posted by Fr. Dale on 3-13-2013 at 08:08 AM · [top]

Great observation Joel.

[29] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 3-13-2013 at 08:29 AM · [top]

Joel—I so agree.

I have been amazed over the years at how many orthodox, gospel-loving Anglicans have demanded that I stop writing whatever it is I’m writing—and used all the same language and “arguments” [sic] that TEC revisionists did when *they* wanted us to stop.  Some of the people who cheered us on when we have discussed TEC’s issues have sometimes been the very first people to tell us that we should not be divisive when we turn an analytical or critical eye onto “the good guys” which of course is them or in many cases, us.

Thank goodness there have been some honorable people as well and among them I can say is Matt Kennedy.  He’ll defend what he thinks needs defending, or rebut some criticism, but he’s always been the first to admit when he genuinely seems something’s wrong within *his* group.

There are others as well, and I appreciate them more and more as the years roll by.  Integrity and honesty are mighty hard to come by, in myself and in others.

[30] Posted by Sarah on 3-13-2013 at 09:10 AM · [top]

Very good statement, Joel.  Right on the mark.

I recall well in the pre-ACNA meetings of Network bishops, clergy and laity at Ridgecrest where one of the major issues discussed was:  after the experience we’d had with TEC bishops, how could we learn to trust our bishops in this budding organization? 

There was a moving evening service when Network bishops (including John Guernsey) offered tearful repentance for their role in TEC, for their failures to speak up boldly.  We talked about how this new church could not survive if it went back to the ways of TEC.

So, again I ask, why the silence from ACNA?

[31] Posted by hanks on 3-13-2013 at 09:42 AM · [top]

Luke 12:26, “If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest?” [ESV]

If we cannot discuss a relatively easy issue like Baucum/Johnston and faux reconciliation and have the leadership take a stand, what will we [ACNA] do on the far more internally contentious issue of Women’s Ordination?  Because, it is coming.

[32] Posted by Capt. Father Warren on 3-13-2013 at 10:02 AM · [top]

Dear Stand Firm friends,

As one who came to faith in Jesus through the ministry of Truro - I must speak!  I so appreciate David Ould’s thoughts here, for, as is my observation and many of yours, +Shannon Johnston is not, and cannot be termed “a brother in the Lord”.  I personally do not know, although have met Rev. Baucum, and have been deeply troubled by this title of Bsp Johnston.

The problem, as I see it, is that Truro has made this entire discussion over morality, and not over the essence of Christianity:
1)  Who is Jesus of Nazareth?
2)  What did his death upon the cross accomplish?  (Substitutionary Atonement)
3)  Did he physically die upon said cross?
4)  Did he physically rise from the grave?
5)  Did he physically ascend to heaven to be seated at the right hand of the Father
6)  Is Jesus Christ the exclusive way to salvation -  Isaiah 45, John 14:6 , Acts 4:12

For Christians, the gospel of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone is good news, and I suspect that +Johnston would answer the first five questions correctly, and then “fudge” on the sixth.  My experience with the vast majority of Episcopal leadership is that they are “Trinitarian Universalists”, that is, they use Christian vocabulary and “pour” Universalist theology into the words that they use so that the laity do not suspect it.

As an Anglican pastor, I and my staff at Christ Church Westshore are working diligently to establish what we are for - the good news of the gospel in word and deed in our community, rather than what we are against.  Truro, from this time forward are playing into the “revisionists hands”  and it’s a dangerous place!

Thank you for your time,
Gene Sherman

[33] Posted by ChristChurchGene on 3-13-2013 at 11:53 AM · [top]

#32. Capt. Father Warren,
“what will we [ACNA] do on the far more internally contentious issue of Women’s Ordination?  Because, it is coming.” Why not buck a trend?

[34] Posted by Fr. Dale on 3-13-2013 at 12:44 PM · [top]

Why not buck a trend?

I don’t have a clue how the WO issue will eventually be resolved.  But let’s hypothetically say that if leadership has a difficult time dealing with the current issue, which is a mild one compared to WO, then who will stand up to “buck a trend” if that is where the Comission on Holy Orders says the Province should go?  There is going to be formidable artillery arrayed around the WO battlefield.

[35] Posted by Capt. Father Warren on 3-13-2013 at 02:44 PM · [top]

My apologies Greg if my last post is going too far off-topic.

[36] Posted by Capt. Father Warren on 3-13-2013 at 02:44 PM · [top]

Capt. Father Warren:

I think that the two issues are totally different - the real question is who has “skin in the game”.  Regarding the Baucum issue, see Joel’s excellent comment above.  What Baucum is doing is challenging ACNA’s very essence, its raison d’etre, but nobody likes to criticize one of “their own” and since nobody HAS to take a stand since no individuals have “skin in the game”, everyone avoids dealing with the issue.

Contrast this to the WO issue.  First, as has also been observed time and again, ACNA already has a politically workable solution that appears to be acceptable to most of its leadership and which the ACNA was founded on.  If WO were regarded as a “make it or break it” issue in ACNA, there would currently be two conservative Anglican jurisdictions in North America instead of just one.  This leads to two conclusions: 
First, there is no need to have a major “showdown” on WO - the issue is already resolved, the question is whether it will be re-opened.  My guess is that those who are happy with the current resolution will push the current WO study in ACNA into something via which the non-WO folk can “let off steam” and feel “heard”, but without it becoming any sort of “showdown” to overturn the current policy.  I expect that they will succeed.
Second, if they don’t succeed and there is a showdown on WO, then a lot of people suddenly will have “skin in the game” and then there likely will be a showdown, and might lead to some pretty significant and serious action.

[37] Posted by jamesw on 3-13-2013 at 03:33 PM · [top]

“First, there is no need to have a major “showdown” on WO” - the issue is already resolved

Okay.  I predict it isn’t.

[38] Posted by Capt. Father Warren on 3-13-2013 at 05:56 PM · [top]

Was WO ever really resolved? A result was reached in TEC.  But right and wrong are not established by vote; if they are, then the matters over which ACNA left TEC are also resolved.  A great many Anglican priests and bishops of my acquaintance, mostly in ACA, ACC, and AOC, remain unalterably opposed to WO.  We face the same division in Lutheranism, and the new bodies that came out of ELCA—NALC, LCMC, and some smaller bodies—face the same issue that ACNA does.

The question you’ll eventually have to answer, just as those Lutheran groups do, is: Do you continue substantially as TEC (or ELCA), just without gay priests and gay “weddings”? Or do you re-evaluate the steps by which TEC and ELCA got to where they are?  That kind of re-evaluation inevitably means a re-examination of WOTEC’s leaders were quite clear that they were only able to get to gay ordination because they had first ordained women.

A re-examination of WO will get you back to the real starting point, one of prolegoumena.  Is the Bible the infallible revealed Word of God? Or is it a human document that contains errors amid some passages that contain the Word of God?  ++Cranmer’s answer was that if the Bible were fallible, then we could never know what was true and what was false.  Hooker, on the subject, said, “God doth not lie.” +Jewel said, “Let them show it from Scripture.” The founding Lutheran theologians wrote similarly. But modern liberal thinking has been that we DON’T know what is true or what is false. I think if you don’t revisit that principle and then evaluate everything by it, ACNA, and every other body like it, will wind up right back at where TEC, and what is going on with the priest from Truro will become general—in twenty years you’ll be reuniting with TEC and accepting everything they’ve done.

Once you have gotten back to that basic dogmatic principle, then WO must be addressed purely in Scriptural, not social, political or academic, terms.

[39] Posted by KenChicago on 3-14-2013 at 12:39 AM · [top]

KenChicago,
I apologize for the continued off topic response but I am in agreement.

[40] Posted by Fr. Dale on 3-14-2013 at 06:50 AM · [top]

Which I regret brings me back to my original post which took us off on this rabbit trail.  Hypothetically, if the leadership in ACNA cannot in the end deal with the Baucum+/Truro/+Johnston issue; where will we be when the far more difficult issue of WO rises to the top of the pile?

[41] Posted by Capt. Father Warren on 3-14-2013 at 06:58 AM · [top]

The issues facing ACNA today would certainly have been addressed in the 39 Articles if they had been in play in 1563. The Continuing Anglican Movement got the process right when they adopted the Affirmation of St. Louis at their founding in 1977. ACNA has no comparable founding statement and we are seeing the result today.

[42] Posted by Doug A on 3-14-2013 at 08:06 AM · [top]

Doug A, that’s rather ironic considering that the churches that signed the Affirmation of St Louis became a byword for splitting and bickering in the decade that followed.  In fact, most of the churches that signed it no longer exist in the form and configuration that they existed at the time, having split, re-formed, re-split and re-re-formed a number of times since 1997.

[43] Posted by MichaelA on 3-14-2013 at 07:57 PM · [top]

My aplogies, 1997 should read 1977.

[44] Posted by MichaelA on 3-14-2013 at 08:16 PM · [top]

It’s true that the Continuing churches didn’t get the polity part of it right, and there’s a lesson there too. But for some Anglo Catholics like myself they are still a source of encouragement. Our traditional TEC parish is facing an uncertain future with searches for both a new Bishop and a new Rector underway. I take comfort from knowing that there are still Anglicans out there that believe and worship as we do. I may be kidding myself, but that’s where I am today. Only God knows what tomorrow may bring.

[45] Posted by Doug A on 3-15-2013 at 09:41 AM · [top]

# 32, Father Warren, you might be interested in Bishop Morse’s comments on women’s ordination:
http://livingtext.blogspot.com/2013/01/bishop-morse-on-womens-ordination.html
“When people ask me if the REC is in danger of accepting the ordination of women, I say when hell freezes over, not to put too fine a point on it.”

[46] Posted by Joel on 3-16-2013 at 07:52 AM · [top]

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