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March 21, 2013


On Not Being Carried Away With Optimism

Archbishop Welby said in his sermon today that reconciliation begins with being reconciled to God and from that divine point of reconciliation, we can be reconciled to our enemies and to the world. And that is true.

But we mustn’t forget that ++Welby believes that Bishop Shannon Johnston who promotes same sex blessings and believes the Nicene Creed is negotiable is a leader with whom it is right and good to be reconciled. So what ++Welby means by being “reconciled to God first” is not what the New Testament means.


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39 comments

Which leads me to believe that Archbishop Welby’s tenure is ill-fated from the start.  Lying in bed with poisonous snakes is not exactly conducive to one’s spiritual well-being.  Are you reading this, Your Grace?

[1] Posted by cennydd13 on 3-21-2013 at 02:08 PM · [top]

I see the party of perpetual Anglican war has waited the required half day before attacking our new ABC.  Thanks.  This should be a big help in securing the recognition of orthodox Anglicans in North America.  Or is that of no matter?

[2] Posted by Clive on 3-21-2013 at 02:13 PM · [top]

Clive, that’s completely false. I wrote this up the moment the installation ended. Half-day…what do you think we are?

[3] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 3-21-2013 at 02:15 PM · [top]

By the way…I desperately hope the ABC does not recognize the ACNA until/unless he disciplines TEC.

[4] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 3-21-2013 at 02:37 PM · [top]

[comment deleted for whining about tone and content of articles, commenter warned]

[5] Posted by Clive on 3-21-2013 at 02:37 PM · [top]

No recognition for ACNA?  Is that part of your long-term strategy?  Have you checked in with your bishop and archbishop to see if they are on board?  I suspect they might have other intentions for the flock in North America.

[6] Posted by Clive on 3-21-2013 at 02:40 PM · [top]

Hi Clive,

Re: “Who DO you think you are…”

Well I am one of the admistrators of this site and one of our longstanding policies is that we do not allow tone-policing or commenting on the appropriateness of our posts. We prefer our commenters to be made of sterner stuff than to whine like children about such things as you have done. So this is your warning. I’ve deleted your last comment. Do it again and lose your posting privileges.

Cheers!

[7] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 3-21-2013 at 02:46 PM · [top]

Fair enough.  How about the recognition question?  Is this the view of your bishop or are you freelancing?

[8] Posted by Clive on 3-21-2013 at 02:52 PM · [top]

Hi Clive,

“No recognition for ACNA?  Is that part of your long-term strategy?”

Just an opinion Clive. Odd that it bothers you so much? Are you okay with people expressing opinions you disagree with?

“Have you checked in with your bishop and archbishop to see if they are on board?”

Oh my thoughts and opinions are published here and elsewhere my bishop and archbishop are well informed leaders who do tend to read lots of things. So I suspect they know my opinion.

“I suspect they might have other intentions for the flock in North America.”

Really? Could be. That is their shot to call I suppose.

There are some areas over which I have some say. And my guess is that my parish would not rejoin any Communion wherein an unrepentant TEC is a member in good standing.

[9] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 3-21-2013 at 02:53 PM · [top]

RE: “I see the party of perpetual Anglican war has waited the required half day before attacking our new ABC.  Thanks.  This should be a big help in securing the recognition of orthodox Anglicans in North America.  Or is that of no matter?”

What on earth is Clive talking about?  We pointed out—with quotes and excellent research—the problems with Welby months ago! It’s called “analysis” and we certainly did not wait until after his enthronement.

This is a blog that offers analysis, and we’ll continue to be doing that.  Commenters are, of course, free to disagree with our analysis, but they are not free to drone on and on about the horrors of our offering such analysis in the first place.

As a part of TEC, I agree with Matt [who is a part of ACNA]. I hope that ACNA is not recognized by the Anglican Communion formally at all, for two reasons.  First, ACNA does not need to be entangled further with the formal structures of Anglican Communion while those formal structures are attempting to determine what the Anglican Communion wishes to be.  If it decides one way [and it looks mightily likely that it will] than Anglicans who believe the Gospel will not wish to be a part of those structures anyway.  If it decides another way, than TEC will be deleted.  Second, ACNA itself has numerous structural problems with which it needs to deal internally and the last thing it needs is to be further entangled with another much more massive and highly dysfunctional, unhealthy entity.

RE: “Have you checked in with your bishop and archbishop to see if they are on board?  I suspect they might have other intentions for the flock in North America.”

Well, that’s certainly their right to have other intentions, and they are free to promote their viewpoint on their own blogs, if such be the case.  But this is the SF blog, and the seven writers for the blog have our own analysis and beliefs and we’ll be promoting those to the high hills, too.

[10] Posted by Sarah on 3-21-2013 at 02:59 PM · [top]

Something else to analyse. What wasn’t said in today’s sermon.

[11] Posted by Gregory on 3-21-2013 at 03:43 PM · [top]

Matt - I love disagreement so no worries there. 

One of the advantages we enjoy in our hierarchical structure is some hope of maintaining sound doctrine and good order, and I have read how important those things are to you.  That was the basis of my inquiry about the views of our ACNA bishops on the question of recognition.  Their views, I would think, would be dispositive for the denomination.  Of course, individual parishes could easily reach a different conclusion and then opt out but that’s a separate problem from where we think our leaders are or might be on this critical matter.  You have easy access to your bishop so I thought you might be able to fill us in.

[12] Posted by Clive on 3-21-2013 at 03:48 PM · [top]

Clive, although I have sympathies with waiting and letting Welby have a chance before unloading the criticism, I think your response to Matt et al. is unfair. I took a very similar line to the one you did when Welby’s appointment was announced. But since then he’s been in the limelight, and his recent interviews suggest that he is—at very best—profoundly squishy. (Which is totally inconsistent the duty of a bishop or archbishop, as shown in the Welby/Cranmer post that just went up.) There’s nothing with criticizing him for what he’s already said and done, which isn’t pretty.

[13] Posted by Hitchhiker's Guide on 3-21-2013 at 04:08 PM · [top]

Hitchhiker - Bishops are tricky things and Archbishops of Canterbury are trickiest of all, at least for Anglicans.  My thought is that, since we have nothing really to lose, a strategic pause might be in order to see how things play out.  There will be plenty of time to criticize his lack of moral fiber after he’s been in the job for a year or two which we could put to good use straightening out all our many problems here in ACNA that Sarah has so helpfully pointed out.  In the meantime, it might be in our interests to take a wait and see view.  I’m sure that if he does take a dive in the wrong direction, our leaders will be on the alert and the alternative strategy of ditching the Communion for our orthodox bretheren elsewhere will still be available to us.  In the meantime, a grace note might be in order.

[14] Posted by Clive on 3-21-2013 at 04:17 PM · [top]

But this is normal operation.  This is exactly what Rowan Williams did.

Say things that SOUND like orthodoxy and that a tough line will be taken so that the orthodox do not reject you outroght.  They will hang on, always willing to give you ‘one last chance.’  Then, at every turn, support TEc and assist the UK government in implementing it’s New World Order.

It’s standard play book.  I am astonished that, after decades of this, people are still falling for it.  I predicted exactly what Welby would do before he was even named.  Whoever was appointed by Her Majesty’s anti-Christian Government was going to be a collaborator but the ‘softly, softly’ approach adopted by the CoE matched by the blatent aggression of TEc has actually worked rather well.  Welby can sound nice while letting TEc drive the agenda forward.  He just has to make sure that no-one gets in the way.  To do that, he’ll whisper sweet nothings like Williams.

I still do not get how so many just haven’t worked this out.  The Global South, though, have finally worked it out though and no longer give the AboC any trust.

[15] Posted by jedinovice on 3-21-2013 at 04:31 PM · [top]

I, for one, look forward to learning more about the interaction between the global south primates and the new Archbishop.  I suspect some may have spoken with clarity.

[16] Posted by pendennis88 on 3-21-2013 at 04:31 PM · [top]

I hope they were allowed to.

[17] Posted by Gregory on 3-21-2013 at 04:47 PM · [top]

#11

No mention of the cross or sin or repentance. Odd considering one of the bible readings was from 2 Cor. chapter 5.  Rather the emphasis was on human flourishing and improving society not the need for salvation.

http://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/articles.php/5038/out-of-our-own-traditions-and-into-the-waves-the-archbishop-of-canterburys-inaugural-sermon

[18] Posted by Steven Pascoe on 3-21-2013 at 04:58 PM · [top]

Jesus said that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations.  What an opportunity!

[19] Posted by Gregory on 3-21-2013 at 05:06 PM · [top]

Clive:

My thought is that, since we have nothing really to lose, a strategic pause might be in order to see how things play out.  There will be plenty of time to criticize his lack of moral fiber after he’s been in the job for a year or two .... In the meantime, a grace note might be in order.

No, I disagree with you.  Consider that Welby has come out running with this “reconciliation” theme of his.  There is a reason why he has done so.  It behooves us to understand this reason.  So, why is Welby pushing his version of reconciliation so hard?  Well, by all accounts, he appears to see this reconciliation plan as a shield to protect the Church of England from the strife that has engulfed TEC and ACoC.  The reconciliation process is aimed to neutralize the Global South.  The fact that Welby is pushing this so quickly and so hard out of the starting gate means he believes that the Global South have real power (if he didn’t think so, he wouldn’t be pushing his version of reconciliation so hard).

If what I have just said is true, it would be a strategic blunder to let up now.  Quite the opposite, the Global South and conservative Anglicans should push harder.  Make it ABUNDANTLY clear to Welby NOW what is expected.  You don’t relax the pressure when you have the advantage.  You press your advantage.

Welby is going to eventually have to make a choice between throwing his lot in with the liberal Western minority or with the conservative Global South majority.  His choice will have great effect on the Church of England and how he chooses to govern there.  It is in our interest that he make that choice now.

[20] Posted by jamesw on 3-21-2013 at 05:51 PM · [top]

Primates look forward to a future opportunity to meet and discuss how they can work together with the new ABC.

http://www.anglican-mainstream.net/2013/03/21/primates-of-kenya-nigeria-uganda-rwanda-sudan-and-southern-cone-write-to-archbishop-welby/

[21] Posted by Steven Pascoe on 3-21-2013 at 06:21 PM · [top]

Jamesw - that is an interesting notion, pressing the advantage and trying to extract commitments early on that might be precluded by later decisions.  I see what you’re saying and, from a purely political standpoint, I think it has merit.  Let me express my view differently and see what you think about it:

1)  Who is most adamantly opposed to permitting ACNA join the Anglican Communion? (Other than Matt, that is.) Answer:  TEC.  (Finally, something Matt and TEC can agree on!  A true red-letter day).  It isn’t always true that just because my adversary doesn’t want something I should want it but it may be true in this case it needs to be thought through.

2)  Why is the saber rattling between 815 and Canterbury ratcheting up over the issue of ACNA’s admission and certain interim steps that are under consideration?  Answer:  Because TEC knows that once the monopoly on who speaks for Anglicanism in North America is broken there’s no putting it back together.  It might even make it easier for the orthodox who remain in TEC to jump from the ship, an intrinsic good on its own.  TEC is desperate to avoid this outcome and we should be doing what we can to make it happen and avoiding actions that tend toward making it more difficult like not extending grace to the most biblically and culturally conservative of ABCs in a very, very long time.

3)  What benefits might acrue to the orthodox church from ACNA’s recognition?  Answer:  Many but chief of which is that TEC would have a genuine competitor rather than one that hovers on the edge of public legitimacy.  Competition is almost always salutary in wringing excesses, errors and misallocations within systems and a businessman like ++Welby is likely to understand that.  Personally, I’d like to see TEC under that kind of pressure for once.

++Justin is not an American evangelical and will likely never express himself on questions of orthodoxy in the way that we express ourselves. He may even be soft in places that we’d rather he weren’t.  He is, by far, better than we could have hoped for and far better than whoever will likely succeed him in 10 years.  What do we lose by letting this play out for a year?

[22] Posted by Clive on 3-21-2013 at 06:39 PM · [top]

Clive:  The ACNA has no chance right now of being formally recognized as part of the Anglican Communion.  TEC and its western liberal allies (including the ACO) have control over the ACC, and so ACNA has no chance at becoming a formal part of the Anglican Communion anytime soon.  Now, you can argue that Welby “might” do an end run around the ACC and simply issue invitations to ACNA bishops and the ACNA primate to the various activities, and lobby the CofE to recognize the ACNA, but two questions come from that?  First, what status would ACNA have in such circumstances (you know that TEC and its allies will insist that unless the ACC approves, ACNA isn’t a full member and the ACO will work to support that interpretation), and second, why would Welby do this?  Why would Welby want to give formal credibility to the ACNA as an “acceptable Anglican option” when his big fear is that an ACNA-like group will set up shop in England?  That makes no sense from Welby’s perspective.  Welby does have an interest in pacifying the ACNA, but not in giving it formal credibility.  Don’t get fooled in the same way we were fooled by Rowan Williams (i.e., don’t worry, action is just around the next corner!).

No, what Welby wants at this point, is to engage in “reconciliation” by which nice things will be said about the ACNA, and promises will be held out about possible future recognition, in exchange for the Global South agreeing to say that western revisionists are really “brothers in Christ” and should be accepted as legitimate Anglican bishops (in other words, undermine the reason for the ACNA).

Thus, to hold off now, gives Welby time to undermine the Global South, removes any pressure he may have to deal honestly with the ACNA and undermines any long term recognition.  In contrast, pushing him hard now will give the best possible situation in which he will be forced to deal forthrightly and honestly with the issues in the Communion.

[23] Posted by jamesw on 3-21-2013 at 07:14 PM · [top]

Jamesw - I don’t think we can make either case definitively, and I happen to think there may be more opportunity for recognition and/or interim steps toward recognition for ACNA than you do.  While I can’t go into why I think that, I do have reasons beyond the “feathered thing that makes its nest in the heart” (hope).

We have been strangled on half-measures and disappointment for a long time and that leads toward a sense of despair.  My innate conservatism tends toward the tragic view:  Is it going to end in tears?  Yeah, probably.  But there are also good signs on the horizon and I’m focusing my attention there.  If I’m wrong, I’ll be a year older but conditions, spirtually and materially, won’t have changed much.  But what if I’m right?

The only other thing I’d point to is that recognition, I believe, is still very much on the agenda for our bishops and archbishop.  They haven’t abandoned it yet, and since they are men of holiness, prayer and discernment, we should let that count for something in our own thinking.

[24] Posted by Clive on 3-21-2013 at 07:30 PM · [top]

Communion with Canterbury would be a burden and a curse. Why would we want to be in such a relationship? We’re already in communion with the orthodox primates and provinces…why would we want to entangle ourselves with the ever malleable dubiously “orthodox” see of Canterbury. The first condition I named above - the discipline of TEC - would, I think, be a necessary condition for even considering it…but even with such discipline, the CofE itself is a mess and that mess is personified in the ABC himself.

[25] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 3-21-2013 at 07:38 PM · [top]

I wouldn’t discount the see of Canterbury quite so steeply as that.  It is positioned at a strategic crossroads and has great influence in many corners of the world.  In 100 years, perhaps, those wishing to know the mind of the Anglican church might pick up the phone and call Lagos.  For now, they are still calling London and if Lagos or Nairobi are to replace London, time and the Holy Spirit will take care of that.  Is anyone under the illusion that a simple transfer of power and authority to the Global South wouldn’t be accompanied by its own set of deeply challenging problems including theological ones?  The case for improvement by such a maneuver has not been made.

[26] Posted by Clive on 3-21-2013 at 08:04 PM · [top]

“Recognition, schmecognition”! What I want from Archbishop Welby is that he is a faithful follower of the Gospel and takes active measures to encourage/lead/proselytize others to faithful adherence to the teachings of Jesus Christ. Although I am a faithful parishioner of a church in ACNA, what is important to me is that the human leaders of Christianity open their hearts to the Holy Spirit and follow God’s ways. ACNA, TEC, AMiA, the Roman Catholic church, the other Protestant and Orthodox denominations are all creations of man. A saving belief in Jesus Christ is what counts. If a denomination’s human leader leads away from Christian belief, I don’t care what his job title is.

[27] Posted by sophy0075 on 3-21-2013 at 08:16 PM · [top]

Clive,

I can’t see the “theological problems” under the Global South as being worse than what the Communion has currently under the rule of such “theologians” as KJS and Janet Trisk. 

2 other observations-

Like most people who left TEC, I spent a period of time under the authority of a Global South primate.  I don’t seem any the worse for it.

A much higher percentage of GS bishops respond to my emails that North American bishops (TEC or ACNA).  In and of itself, that doesn’t prove anything one way or another about their theology- but many seem pastoral almost by nature.

[28] Posted by tjmcmahon on 3-21-2013 at 08:23 PM · [top]

Hi Clive:

“I wouldn’t discount the see of Canterbury quite so steeply as that.  It is positioned at a strategic crossroads and has great influence in many corners of the world.”

Oh I’ve no doubt that Canterbury exercises influence. True, but irrelevant. So does the Dali Lama. So does the Pope. So do lots of religious leaders…I don’t think that is reason enough to be bound in ecclesial union with any of them. And that is especially true with regard to this particular Archbishop who has explicitly expressed his desire to wage reconciliation with heretics.

“In 100 years, perhaps, those wishing to know the mind of the Anglican church might pick up the phone and call Lagos.  For now, they are still calling London and if Lagos or Nairobi are to replace London, time and the Holy Spirit will take care of that.”

Again…true but irrelevant. I could care less who those wishing to know the mind of the Anglican church might call up. Why would we want to enter into any kind of reconciliation process with wolves…which is what Communion with Canterbury would require.

“Is anyone under the illusion that a simple transfer of power and authority to the Global South wouldn’t be accompanied by its own set of deeply challenging problems including theological ones?”

No one is transferring any power. I’m not sure what you are talking about. My point was merely that we are already in Communion with orthodox primates and all is well. Why should we seek unity with the heterodox ones? 

“The case for improvement by such a maneuver has not been made.”

That’s true but, of course, I certainly haven’t attempted to make it.

[29] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 3-21-2013 at 08:27 PM · [top]

Just in case anyone was wondering how TEC sees the new ABC and today’s sermon, there’s this quote from today’s   press release from the Anglican Communion:

<blockquote>
Reconciliation was a dominant theme noted by Standing Committee member Bishop Ian Douglas who said, “The theme of reconciliation came through in the music and the work of the Anglican Communion was clearly evident. In Jesus all our differences are reconciled and our vocation is to be agents of reconciliation and not to be afraid.”<blockquote>

I’m sure this fuzzy blather is just how TEC wants reconciliation to be viewed - not a hint of repentance.  And if that’s acceptable to Archbishop Welby, then it’s everything we’ve been fearing—and yes, this is something of which the church should be afraid.

[30] Posted by hanks on 3-21-2013 at 11:00 PM · [top]

For TEC, and it appears for the new ABC,  “reconciliation” means accepting what TEC did, TEC is the official Anglican body in the United States, and everybody who wants to remain in the AC in the United States better come back along with their property and check books.

In other words reconciliation is another word for capitulation.  Welby is another Williams.  We orthodox were played for fools for the past 10 years and Welby offers nothing more than the same.  But if you want to give Lucy another go at the football be my guest.

[31] Posted by Br. Michael on 3-22-2013 at 06:00 AM · [top]

#10. Sarah,
” I hope that ACNA is not recognized by the Anglican Communion formally at all,...” Agreed.

#25. Matt Kennedy
Clear and succinct. I agree.

[32] Posted by Fr. Dale on 3-22-2013 at 08:04 AM · [top]

#11. Steven Pascoe,
” Rather the emphasis was on human flourishing and improving society not the need for salvation.”
I hope you weren’t surprized.
http://sanjoaquinsoundings.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-error-of-human-flourishing-as.html

[33] Posted by Fr. Dale on 3-22-2013 at 08:08 AM · [top]

So is the Nicene Creed somewhat negotiable with ++ Welby?

“The Nicene Creed that followed omitted the filioque (now a standard act when ecumenical guests are present)” (ChurchTimes)

Reconciliation?

[34] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 3-22-2013 at 08:16 AM · [top]

Re: The Filioque

However materially, politically and historically it came into being, the Filioque is written in Scripture.

See John 15:26 and 16:7

Also see Orthodoxy’s beloved Ikon, Rublev’s “Trinity” in which the Holy Spirit (on the left) is being sent by the perfectly unified will and consent of both other Two Divine Persons, the Son sitting at the Father’s righteous right hand with a space reserved at the fore-front of the table for the Saints, who are invited to the banquet.

Any other interpretation of that Ikon would place Jesus at the Father’s left hand.

[35] Posted by St. Nikao on 3-22-2013 at 08:28 AM · [top]

#33 Fr. Dale

Not really surprised at all – as I suggested on another thread a couple of days ago the Cof E does not appoint real evangelical bishops anymore so there was no chance of one becoming the ABC.

Nonetheless it is widely reported in the media that Justin Welby belongs to the evangelical wing of the CofE, so here was a marvellous opportunity to preach the gospel, and to put Jesus’ death on the cross central to his message and his ministry.

There is a lot of unbiblical talk even in evangelical circles of “building the kingdom”  which completely ignores the cross.  You put it very well in your link: “The Gospel of Jesus Christ is our missiology. The Word of God is our means. The building of the Kingdom begins with the Cross not human flourishing.”

The fact that he fluffed this opportunity and that the cross is not mentioned in the sermon speaks volumes about how far he has moved away from an evangelical belief (assuming he was there in the first place).  For if Justin Welby’s message really is devoid of the cross then what’s the point of talking about reconciliation -  a point Anne Kennedy eloquently illustrates in the recent thread, and a point which the Global South Primates will no doubt want to discuss with him when they finally get to sit down together.

[36] Posted by Steven Pascoe on 3-22-2013 at 11:18 AM · [top]

I agree that the recognition of the ACNA by Canterbury is not that desirable for now, and we can afford to wait.  What’s important to know is that we ARE recognized by the Global South, and therefore while we’re not “officially” recognized by Canterbury, it is sufficient that we are recognized by a very significant number of Communion primates.  What rankles, though, is the fact that Archbishop Duncan was not invited to be present for the ceremonies installing +++Welby on the Chair of St Augustine, while non-Christian religious were.  That is being seen as a snub which was not at all deserved.  I wonder what Schori’s reaction would’ve been if an invitation had gone out to the ACNA?

[37] Posted by cennydd13 on 3-22-2013 at 02:40 PM · [top]

It’s probably just as well that Archbishop Duncan wasn’t invited. He might have felt obligated to attend. I don’t think his not being invited is necessarily a snub. Aside from primates, bishops and other clergy from the various AC provinces, were other religious leaders from outside the UK invited?

I think dropping the filioque from the creed at the service is problematic. To be honest, I’m not personally sure whether it should have been added in the first place. But the Western Church did add it long before the Reformation, so it is part of the C of E’s version of the Nicene Creed, and this teaching is included in the 39 Articles of Religion. To to the extent that there is such a thing as official Anglican doctrine, the filioque is part of it.

If this had been an ecumenical service between an Anglican and an Orthodox congregation, I could see dropping the filioque (although it would probably better to omit the creed entirely). But the ABC’s inauguration isn’t an ecumenical service. It’s a Church of England service, and its liturgy should reflect the teachings of the C of E.

[38] Posted by Paul Powers on 3-23-2013 at 10:24 AM · [top]

“Not really surprised at all – as I suggested on another thread a couple of days ago the Cof E does not appoint real evangelical bishops anymore so there was no chance of one becoming the ABC.”

Well said.  There are quite a few “evangelical” bishops in CofE who want to claim leadership of the evangelical constituency in the CofE, which is large and vibrant.  So far, they haven’t made a good case for why evangelicals should follow their leadership.

[39] Posted by MichaelA on 3-24-2013 at 05:58 AM · [top]

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