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March 22, 2013


Anne Kennedy’s Review of Archbishop Welby’s Enthronement

So, yes, Anne is my wife, but that’s not why I’m linking her. She nailed it:

...so essentially, I heard some hymns, saw the African dancing, heard the sermon, and did not by any means miss out on the exceptionally weird voice of the woman inducting Welby into the pulpit/see of Canterbury. Well, it’s a stretch to say I actually heard the sermon (see above), a few lines washed over me.And I must say, after a decade of watching liberal/episco-Unitarian white boomers pander liturgically to the rest of the true believing world—swaying back and forth and clapping ineffectually, or raising the hands to the latest Native American wind—I am frankly grossed out by all the showcased ethnicity. Archbishop Welby in no wise was made to look more believing or relevant by the dancing and singing. Taken together with his “sermon” (I think scare quotes are more than appropriate), the liturgically enshrined ethnicity showed a hollow husk of a church that once brought the truth into the darkness of a world broken by sin and death, but now is just dancing around in the dark, clapping to songs of a light it doesn’t know or understand. So the “sermon”. I expect some were really happy that the new ABC was so bold as to say both “Jesus” and “Christ” in church. I used to be one of those people—pathetically grateful that the sermon wasn’t about cloning or the Buddha. And he even noted that we should be “reconciled” to God through the cross. But here’s the tiny little problem. None of those words mean anything any more. “Reconciled” doesn’t indicate the cross to anyone who hears the word any more. It just means that God won’t mind whatever we do as long as we agree to women bishops and gay marriage…read the rest

No ecstatic starry-eyed wonder for her.


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23 comments

Anne really does nail it. 

And this press release from ACNS quoting the Bishop of Connecticut confirms that the ABC and TEC are on the same page:

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.”

I’m sure this fuzzy blather (yes, by the same Bishop who plans to “celebrate” Holy Week by going to DC to advocate for gun control ) 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.

[1] Posted by hanks on 3-22-2013 at 08:48 AM · [top]

You know, when you realize in the very depth of your soul what God though Jesus has done for you….there just aren’t words to describe how grateful I am to my Father and His Son…and the Holy Spirit as well.

I weep in church most every Sunday.  I play music on the worship team and have trouble seeing my music because of the tears in my eyes.  I am sick at my own terrible sins and pray every day (usually many times a day) for God to forgive me.  How can he love me, such a sinful, awful man?  But yet he does…more than anything else in the entire world - I KNOW God loves me.  I know this more than gravity existing.  I know this more than liver tastes really bad.  wink

Imagine the sermon the ABC could deliver if his heart were in a similar place…I just don’t see it.  And I’m afraid if I touched Shori’s heart I would get frostbite.  I feel sorry for them personally, in not knowing the true and living God (at least by their fruit - only God can judge their hearts).  But regardless shame on them for leading so many others astray.

[2] Posted by B. Hunter on 3-22-2013 at 09:10 AM · [top]

That’s an awesome take. Looks like I may have gotten the short end of the Kennedy stick. raspberry

[3] Posted by Greg Griffith on 3-22-2013 at 10:15 AM · [top]

More and more,each passing day, I feel relieved in my soul that we have chosen to attend our local LCMS.  While I no longer celebrate or preach, I feel a peace in my soul that transcends the loss of the former Episcopal and Anglican Church of my youth.

[4] Posted by Fr. Chip, SF on 3-22-2013 at 05:25 PM · [top]

I will accept Anne’s word and review and skip the sermon. Thanks.

[5] Posted by Fr. Dale on 3-22-2013 at 07:42 PM · [top]

I have been very excited watching the unfolding ministry of Pope Francis I.  There are some interesting dynamics taking place in the Roman Catholic Church.  There are some ecumenical things taking place that might really change the ecclesiastical landscape.

Pope Francis has the liberals seething mad.  That is a good thing.

And then there is Canterbury [yawn].  The only news story related to Canterbury that I have been excited about was Bp. Guernsey finally reaching out to shut down the bizarre relationship between Baucum+ and +Johnston.

++Welby seems well thought of by the liberals.  That is not a good thing.

Yeah, Anne nailed it as far as I am concerned.  No change for me, all my energy goes into parish work.  Just today, spent an hour talking with a woman who is perplexed why her episcopal [woman] priest won’t speak out about some bad behavior in the church.  Not enough time to explain to her about Bp. Gray, etc, etc.  I told her, “just come and see”.

[6] Posted by Capt. Father Warren on 3-22-2013 at 08:09 PM · [top]

Rowan Williams had such a honeymoon.  Out of Christian charity, conservatives gave him the benefit of the doubt for a very long time.  . . . . Truth became optional, and trust was lost. 
There will be no honeymoon for Welby.

[7] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 3-22-2013 at 10:17 PM · [top]

Pope Francis actually has the Catholic traditionalists in quite a tizzy, but honestly, a fair few of those are worried more about vestments and trinkets than “weightier matters of the law”.

[8] Posted by Words Matter on 3-22-2013 at 10:54 PM · [top]

ACNS writes: “The theme of reconciliation came through in the music”

Err, how?  Reconciliation means facing up to one’s differences with the other person and resolving those differences by giving ground.  It doesn’t mean papering over differences with musical wallpaper.

[9] Posted by MichaelA on 3-24-2013 at 06:14 AM · [top]

Titus One Nine has a link to an excellent letter written by ++Mouneer Anis of the Middle East.  A copy of the letter is at: http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/131631855?access_key=key-2f0v3nh5w298cg9xlgth

++Anis analyses the root causes of the problems in the Communion and calls for a return (or perhaps a turn?) to the collegiality of the Lambeth Conferences and the Primates Meetings.

[10] Posted by MichaelA on 3-24-2013 at 06:56 AM · [top]

MichaelA,
“With ever-increasing pressure from the society, the church needs not to be politically correct at the expense of the truth” Canterbury has already jumped the shark.

[11] Posted by Fr. Dale on 3-24-2013 at 07:48 AM · [top]

Jill (and others):  Although the comments above indicate that ++Welby, indeed,  is not being given a honeymoon so far, our call as Christians is to go ahead and give him one.  As Paul wrote in I Corinthians 13:7—“Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. ” If Anne had been able to listen or read ++Welby’s sermon with her attention undistracted by the homeschooling responsibilities she described, she might have taken heart, as I do, by these words from ++Welby’s thoughtful sermon:

“The society Ruth went to was healthy because it was based on obedience to God, both in public care and private love.” What could he have been referring to with these last two words?

“A Christ-heeding life changes the church and a Christ-heeding church changes the world: St Benedict set out to create a school for prayer, and incidentally created a monastic order that saved European civilization.”  Hmm, he seems to think that outreach grows from prayer….

“Many Christians are martyred now as in the past.” That this is on his radar screen is a very, very good sign.

Yes, Anne “nailed it,” all right—but only as some hammer-wielding centurians did a couple of thousand years ago—not with any accuracy in analysis.

[link spam deleted]

[12] Posted by Anglicat on 3-25-2013 at 11:39 AM · [top]

RE: “Although the comments above indicate that ++Welby, indeed,  is not being given a honeymoon so far, our call as Christians is to go ahead and give him one.”

Not true—as a “honeymoon period” for new leaders is not in any way always congruent with showing “love.”  In fact, love is also wise and discerning, and it’s good to see people being wise and discerning in analyzing Welby’s past doctrinal statements, actions, and rhetoric so that people may be informed and take strategic decisions based on those.

RE: “Yes, Anne “nailed it,” all right—but only as some hammer-wielding centurians did a couple of thousand years ago . . .”

Nor is Welby in any way congruent with Jesus Christ, nor thankfully Anne congruent with the centurions [in *this* instance—we all are congruent in various other ways], although certainly the attempted analogy is quite dramatic.  ; > )

Kudos to Anne for a well-stated analysis.

[13] Posted by Sarah on 3-25-2013 at 11:53 AM · [top]

It would be helpful, Sarah, if you answered the question posed: to what do you think ++Welby was referring with those two little words? 

The “love” you describe certainly has given up on hope.  I wonder why Paul didn’t add here what you suggest, that love discerns all things?  Could it be that he was more concerned with the foolishness of the cross than the “wisdom” you claim?

[link spam deleted; this is a warning]

[14] Posted by Anglicat on 3-25-2013 at 12:01 PM · [top]

RE: “It would be helpful, Sarah, if you answered the question posed: to what do you think ++Welby was referring with those two little words? “

I’m indifferent to helping you express your opinions.  I respond to the errors to which I wish to respond. 

RE: “The “love” you describe certainly has given up on hope.”

Nonsense—all of us here are quite hopeful.  Just not hopeful in the things in which others have chosen to be hopeful.  You’re welcome to think otherwise, but we don’t accept that assertion as true.

[15] Posted by Sarah on 3-25-2013 at 12:09 PM · [top]

Hi Anglicat,

“It would be helpful, Sarah, if you answered the question posed: to what do you think ++Welby was referring with those two little words?”

Why would she answer an utterly irrelevant question?

Welby’s personal beliefs about homosexuality seem to be orthodox…as we’ve pointed out numerous times.

But his concept of reconciliation with heretics is utterly opposed to the NT. Strange that you seem unable to understand the distinction and therefore appeal to passages that do not actually deal with the topic at hand.

By the way, you will not post anymore spam links or you will be banned.

[16] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 3-25-2013 at 12:10 PM · [top]

Just a comment in general and not in response to any one thread—sort of a “trend-tracking” comment. 

One of the things I’ve appreciated from the past four to five months is how much better informed and prepared so many Anglicans are now in dealing with Welby’s doctrinal beliefs, including his “reconciliation” meme.

Various Primates of the Global South have responded admirably, as have various laity and clergy from ACNA and TEC.

It’s been heartening to see, and I think communication and analysis will continue to spread and ripple outwards in the coming months very nicely.

[17] Posted by Sarah on 3-25-2013 at 12:18 PM · [top]

#14. Anglicat
You did not include this verse. ” Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. ” Love does not seek unity at the expense of the truth.

[18] Posted by Fr. Dale on 3-25-2013 at 12:27 PM · [top]

This is from Anne: “I heard enough of It. Grasping hold of lines in a sermon that could be construed as pointing to true scripturally faithful belief (but which could also point the other way because of the way they are worded) is a naive hope, particularly as other lines that are clearly indicative of muddle headed thinking and bad exegesis have to be entirely ignored. Look look! He’s talking about love and the Bible! it isn’t enough any more. It’s like parsing over a break up letter looking for hope and possibility of reconciliation. You skip over the body of the letter and just memorize the line about how he’ll always remember you fondly. I just so long for ‘conservative’ ‘Anglican’ people to wake up to the fact that language itself is constantly being undermined. Love, Jesus, Reconciliation, Tolerance, Truth, Compassion, Resurrection—these are all words that are being emptied of their original meaning and used to mean something else.”

[19] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 3-25-2013 at 12:48 PM · [top]

It’s worth reading these <a href=“http://www.anglican-mainstream.net/2013/03/22/challenges-facing-the-new-archbishop-of-canterbury/”> comments from Bishop Mouneer Anis <a> regarding what the ABC is facing.

Here are his very pointed concluding words:

  In regard to the theological gap, it is indeed important that the church learn how to be relevant to the modern society where we live, but without adopting the values of the society that clearly contradict Scripture, our tradition and reason. Part of our DNA as Anglicans is a desire for unity and ecumenism. For this reason, we should not act in a way that widens the gap between us and our ecumenical partners.

With ever-increasing pressure from the society, the church needs not to be politically correct at the expense of the truth. The church resisted this from the early centuries and preferred to be faithful to the Gospel, even if this led to persecution and martyrdom. We are called to be “salt” and “light.” In other words, we are called to be distinctive. The modern societies of the “West” or “North” are pushing many issues, including same-sex marriages and civil partnerships. Should the church yield to the pressure of these societies and compromise the truth? I personally think that these issues are superficial symptoms of a much deeper illness which attempts to shake the foundation of our faith. This illness puts into question the essentials of faith like the crucifixion, the resurrection, and the doctrine of salvation. It ignores the primacy of Scripture and 2,000 years of church tradition. It is a spirit of individualism and cultural pride that ignores the fact that the whole truth is revealed to the whole church.

[20] Posted by hanks on 3-25-2013 at 01:34 PM · [top]

Here’s the link to Mouneer Anis I messed up.

[21] Posted by hanks on 3-25-2013 at 01:37 PM · [top]

Regarding Welby and reconciliation.  It seems to me that one of the issues that is causing confusion in some quarters is that the word “reconciliation” has multiple , distinct meanings.  These meanings, while distinct and different, do, however, have a common theme.  Basically, there is Christian reconciliation and political reconciliation.

1. Christian reconciliation - I see no evidence of actual Christian reconciliation in anything that I have read emanating from Welby’s reconciliation project, or from the Baucum/Johnston relationship.  That’s because Christian reconciliation is all about us reconciling ourselves to God, and in the context of the Anglican Communion, it would be about false teachers and heretics setting aside those false teachings and heresies and reconciling themselves to the Gospel truth.  And it would also mean those of us who are orthodox, to set aside any of our sins (pride, sense of superiority, whatever) and reconcile ourselves to Christ.  But I don’t see this as being a goal of what Welby and others are pushing.

2. Political reconciliation - This seems to be what Welby and others are pushing, but then cloak political reconciliation in the garb of Christian reconciliation.  Political reconciliation is simply an attempt to bring warring factions together, compromise on their political positions, and hammer out some accord so that everyone can co-exist together peacefully.  It is inherently a political process.  The end results of a political reconciliation depend in large part on the relative strengths and needs of the parties going in.

So, suppose you have Child and Parent.  Child wants a candy very badly.  Parent doesn’t want Child to have a candy.  So consider two scenarios:
Scenario 1: Child and Parent are in a formal setting.  Parent will be very embarrassed if there is a “scene”.  Child threatens scene, Parent gives in and gives the candy.
Scenario 2: Child and Parent are at home.  Child has nothing to bargain with as a “scene” will result in 30 minutes in the naughty corner.  Child behaves.

My point above is that Child and Parent are not always likely to ask “what is the best result that is most faithful to those principles by which we live our lives?”  Rather, they are more likely to be driven by the question of what power they can bring to bear, what the ramifications might be if no “reconciliation” is agreed to, etc.

Dressing up a political reconciliation process as Christian reconciliation is deceptive, and those who don’t discern between the two will be doubly disappointed.

What we need to do is recognize Welby’s reconciliation process for what it is - a political reconciliation process.  And we should prepare appropriately.  What orthodox Anglicans need to do (prayerfully and in light of what understand the Gospel demands of us) is ask ourselves what end result we want, what power we can bring to bear, what the other parties desire, etc.  And then don’t pretend that this is a “Christian reconciliation” (that would do violence to that concept), but rather call it for what it IS.

It is not unhopeful, unloving, uncharitable or unChristian to deal with things in a way that fully accepts and acknowledges reality, and calls on others to do the same.  It is not hopeful or loving to pretend that conservatives and liberals share the same Gospel, or to pretend that everything will be wonderful if only conservatives would accept leaders and doctrine antithetical to the Gospel and agree to work with them on some vague undefined global social services projects.

Rather it is much more hopeful, loving, charitable, etc., to openly recognize and acknowledge the deep divide between conservatives and liberals and then seek to work out appropriate partnerships later.

[22] Posted by jamesw on 3-25-2013 at 01:40 PM · [top]

To clarify my comment #22 - my point, then is not that we should see this as a question of “reconciliation or no reconciliation”.  That’s not really the issue as I see it, and debating as if this was the issue will only hurt us (not suggesting folks are necessarily doing this). 

Rather I think the response of orthodox Anglicans should be thus: Yes, by all means let us engage in reconciliation, but let’s be honest about what sort of reconciliation this is.  This would be pushing back at Welby by forcing him to be honest about what he is seeking to do.

[23] Posted by jamesw on 3-25-2013 at 02:32 PM · [top]

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