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Breaking: Archbishop of Canterbury’s Concluding Presidential Address to the Lambeth Conference 2008

Sunday, August 3, 2008 • 10:11 am


The Archbishop of Canterbury Concluding Presidential Address to the Lambeth Conference 2008

I began the second of these plenary addresses with a reminder of the question, ‘What is Lambeth ’08 going to say?’ And I suggested that we also needed to ask ‘Where are we going to speak from?’ I hope that in recent days there has been some growing clarity about both of these questions and how we answer them : but today there is no avoiding the question of the central message, and I have the rather dangerous task of trying to discern some of what that message might be and to share with you what I perceive. I’ll do this by moving from the obvious and more superficial level to what I hope is a more fully theological perspective, so bear with me on the journey - even in the middle of a summer afternoon!

The first thing to say about this Conference - and I say it with gratitude and admiration to all of you - is that it has been a time when everyone has taken responsibility for everyone else. People have been loyal to the process devised - even when they have had serious difficulties and objections to it; and in so doing they have been loyal to one another. The level of commitment has been shown not only in people’s steady involvement in the work of the groups but also in their reluctance to step outside the Conference and look for a platform or an audience elsewhere.

That sense of taking responsibility is only one expression of what person after person has said to me : ‘There is no desire to separate.’ When we have discussed - as we’ve had to - the possibilities of remaining divided or becoming more so, no-one has relished this or thought it a good outcome in terms of our mission. And our guest speakers have, with surprising consistency (no, it wasn’t planned that way) affirmed our capacity to bear with one another patiently as one of the great gifts they saw in us. Whatever else we say, we must thank God for this - and for having been able to hold to a method of discussion and sharing that has allowed us to go on meeting one another trustfully and not without sacrifice. One of my hopes is that something of what we’ve learned in the indaba style of encounter may be translated into the way we do our business as churches in our home contexts.

But this is a point where we have to note the temptation to congratulate ourselves, and to be rather careful. ‘Anglicans are a profoundly diverse community who nonetheless live tolerantly with each other’ : we’ve all said it, and it sounds wonderful, but it can conceal some fault-lines - and some wounds as well. On its own, it could mean that nothing matters enough to us to understand why some conflicts are unavoidable and very costly - why some feel we put unity before truth, and so feel we have no very deep sense of truth itself.

So, assuming we don’t, indeed, want to separate, what’s the unity we value so much? Is it only a sense of human loyalty or a warmth towards the people we’ve shared an experience with? If so, there is nothing distinctively Christian in it. It may be admirable and good, but other sorts of community might do it as well. And if we just ‘tolerate’ each other, that can in fact be an attitude well short of real respect or love. Beyond peaceful diversity lies Christian unity; and this is what should matter to us.

Christian unity : first and above all, this is union with Jesus Christ; accepting his gift of grace and forgiveness, learning from him how to speak to his Father, standing where he stands by the power of the Spirit. We are one with one another because we are called into union with the one Christ and stand in his unique place - stand in the Way, the Truth and the Life. Our unity is not mutual forbearance but being summoned and drawn into the same place before the Father’s throne. That unity is a pure gift - and something we can think of in fear and trembling as well as wordless gratitude; because to be in that place is to be in the light of absolute Truth, naked and defenceless. St John’s gospel has been reminding us that the place of Jesus is not a place where ordinary, fallen human instinct wants to go. Yet it’s where we belong, and where God the Father and Our Lord Jesus Christ want us to be, for our life, our joy and our healing.

That’s the unity which is inseparable from truth. It’s broken not when we simply disagree but when we stop being able to see in each other the same kind of conviction of being called by an authoritative voice into a place where none of us has an automatic right to stand. Christians divided in the sixteenth century, in 1930’s Germany and 1980’s South Africa because they concluded, painfully as well as (often) angrily, that something had been substituted for the grace of Christ - moral and ritual achievement, or racial and social pride, as if there were after all a way of securing our place before God by something other than Jesus Christ.

Now all this might help us to see why Christian communities express their unity in so many visible, tangible ways. They read the same Bible in public and private, and shape their words and actions in conformity with it - or at least they try to. They seek for consistent practices around the sacraments, so that the baptism or eucharist of each community can be recognised by others as directed in the same way, working under the same authority. It happens in different ways and different degrees in different Christian confessions and families of churches; but all Christian communities have some such practice.

And this is emphatically not about forcing others to conform ; it is an agreement to identify those elements in each other’s lives that build trust and allow us to see each other as standing in the same Way and the same Truth, moving together in one direction and so able to enrich and support each other as fully as we can. What I am saying, in effect, is that every association of Christian individuals and groups makes some sort of ‘covenant’ for the sake of mutual recognition, mutual gratitude and mutual learning.

Does this mean that we are all restricted by each other’s views and preferences, incapable of arguing or changing? It was a problem familiar to St Paul, and you have already, in this Conference, heard something of how he dealt with it. But let me try to say how this affects our current difficulties. A fellow-Christian may believe they have a profound fresh insight. They seek to persuade others about it. A healthy church gives space for such exchanges. But the Christian with the new insight can’t claim straight away that this is now what the Church of God believes or intends; and it quite rightly takes a long time before any novelty can begin to find a way into the public liturgy, even if it has been widely agreed. Confusion arises when what is claimed as a new discernment presents itself as carrying the Church’s authority.

And that’s why the pleas for continuing moratoria regarding certain new policies and practices have been uttered. Such pleas have found wide support across the range of views represented in the indaba groups. The Church in its wider life can’t be committed definitively by the judgment of some; but when a new thing is enshrined, in whatever way, in public order and ministry, it will look like a definitive commitment. The theological ground for a plea for moratoria is the need to avoid this confusion so that discernment continues together. The Resolution of Lambeth ’98 was an attempt to say both ‘We need understanding and shared discernment on a hugely complex topic,’ and ‘We as the bishops in council together are not persuaded that the new thoughts offered to us can be reconciled with our shared loyalty to Scripture.’ Perhaps we should read that Resolution - forgetting for a moment the bitterness and confusion around the debate and acknowledging that it remains where our Communion as a global community stands - as an attempt to define what a healthy Church might need - space for study and free discussion without pressure, pastoral patience and respect, unwillingness to change what has been received in faith from Scripture and tradition. And this is not by any means to say that a traditional understanding and a new one are just two equal options, like items on the supermarket shelf : the practice and public language of the Church act always as a reminder that the onus of proof is on those who seek a new understanding. To say that the would-be innovator must be heard gratefully and respectfully is simply to acknowledge the debt we always owe to those who ask unfamiliar questions, because they prompt us to explore our tradition more deeply.

It’s worth adding, too, that the call for a moratorium on interventions across provinces belongs in the same theological framework. Such interventions often imply that nothing within a province, no provision made or pastoral care offered, can be recognizably and adequately Christian; and this is a claim not lightly to be made by any Christian community regarding any other without grave breach of charity. And it seems to be widely agreed in this Conference that internal pastoral and liturgical care, strengthened by arrangements like the suggested Communion Partners initiative in the USA and the proposed Pastoral Forum we have been discussing, are the way we should go if we want to avoid further ecclesial confusion.

So I hope that, if part of the message of Lambeth ’08 is that we need to develop covenantal commitments, and that one aspect of this may be what you could call covenanted restraint, this will be seen in the context of a unity not enforced but given in Christ. To embrace deeper and more solid ways of recognizing and trusting each other can be a grace not a burden; and when trust is deepened, more responsible and prayerful discussions can follow. As has been said, there will be those for whom ‘covenanted restraint’ is conscientiously hard, even impossible. And to my mind this simply means there are steps they cannot take towards a deeper unity - or rather that they conceive such a deeper unity in other ways; their questions must still be valued by us, even if the answers are not the same.

And even here - what if we let the language of covenant develop in different ways? Dioceses and provinces may enter formal engagements. But is there anything to stop an individual bishop - whether or not committed to a Covenant for the Communion - making a particular covenant with a bishop elsewhere in the world, for prayer and support? It is a development of what I sketched in one of the retreat addresses, the idea that a shared rule of life might be adopted by bishops who have drawn close to each other in these days; and I know from what some of you have said to me that this appealed to many.

But let me turn briefly to another dimension of all this, so as to draw in considerations of other matters we’ve discussed. I have just said something of what might be involved in a covenanted future, and I believe - as I said on Thursday - that it has the potential to make us more of a church; more of a ‘catholic’ church in the proper sense, a church, that is, which understands its ministry and service and sacraments as united and interdependent throughout the world. That we wanted to move in such a direction would in itself be a weighty message. But it might even be a prophetic one. The vision of a global Church of interdependent communities is not the vision of an ecclesiastical world empire - or even a colonial relic… The global horizon of the Church matters because churches without this are always in danger of slowly surrendering to the culture around them and losing sight of their calling to challenge that culture. The Church of England was, for a long time, so involved in the structures of power in this nation that it had little to say that was properly critical : part of its awakening in the last century and a half is due to its slow but steady recognition that it had come to belong to a global fellowship.

But, more sharply still, think of those churches struggling to keep alive a truthful Christian witness in situations of profound social corruption and disorder. In recent years, we have seen one element in a local church so allied to an oppressive regime and a culture of violence that it became a matter of scandal for all Christians in the country. I’m talking, of course, about Zimbabwe; and I think it is true to say that part of the wonderful recovery of the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe was due to the passion of Zimbabwean Anglicans to stay united with the rest of the Anglican family - and refusing to accept that justice, human rights and public welfare could be defined differently in Zimbabwe from how they were understood everywhere else in the world. To the massive courage and integrity of our Zimbabwean brothers and sisters, I know we’d all want to pay tribute; we stand with you, grateful for the gift of your witness.

But that’s a powerful reminder that a global church and a global faith are not just about managing internal controversy. Our global, Catholic faith affirms that the image of God is the same everywhere - in the Zimbabwean woman beaten by police in her own church, in the manual scavenger in India denied the rights guaranteed by law; in the orphan of natural disaster in Burma, in the abducted child forced into soldiering in Northern Uganda, in the hundreds of thousands daily at risk in Darfur and Southern Sudan, in the woman raising a family in a squatters’ settlement in Lima or Buenos Aires. This is the Catholic faith : that what is owed to them is no different from, no less than what is owed to any of the rest of us. That was the faith to which we witnessed in our march in London. And if the message of this Conference is silent about this, something has gone very wrong.

For one facet of the covenant that holds us together, as Jonathan Sacks so unforgettably reminded us, is the fact that we have been brought together in the small space of this planet, charged with treating its resources responsibly and sharing them justly. And our calling, therefore, is to make that further step to a ‘covenant of faith’ that will promise to our fellow human beings the generosity God has shown us; that will honour the absolute and non-negotiable dignities of all and strengthen us to resist any policy or strategy that implies that what is good and just for me is not good and just for all my human neighbours.

So is this our message? Our Communion longs to stay together - but not only as an association of polite friends. It is seeking a deeper entry into the place where Christ stands, to find its unity there. To that end, it is struggling with the question of what mutual commitments will preserve faithful, grateful relationship and common witness. But it must remember too that the place where Christ stands is also every place where God’s image is disfigured by the rebelliousness and injustice of our world — just as he once stood in the place of every rejected and lost human being in his suffering on the cross. To be with him in unity, in prayer and love, in intimacy with the Father, is at the same time to be with him among the rejected and disfigured.

This is the Catholic Church; this is the Catholic faith - a global vision for a global wound, a global claim on our service. None of it is intelligible without belief in the one divine Saviour, raised from the dead, pouring out the gifts of his Spirit. To our Communion many gifts have been given, and God wills to give many more if we let him. In these days together we have not overcome our problems or reinvented our structures : that will still take time. We have quite a strong degree of support for a Pastoral Forum to support minorities, a strong consensus on the need to examine how the Instruments of Communion will best work, and a recognition - though still with many questions - that a Covenant is needed. We have a strongly expressed intention to place our international development work on a firmer and more co-ordinated footing. Where will the work be done? Before the ACC meeting next year - which will be a significant element in implementing our vision - I intend to convene a Primates’ Meeting as early as possible in 2009. I shall look within the next two months for a clear and detailed specification for the task and composition of a Pastoral Forum, and I shall ensure that the perspectives of various groups looking at the Covenant and the Windsor process, as well as the Design Group for this Conference help to shape the implementation of the agenda outlined in the Reflections document, and are fed into the special meeting in November of the Joint Standing Committee of the Primates and the ACC. We may not have put an end to all our problems - but the pieces are on the board. And in the months ahead it will be important to invite those absent from Lambeth to be involved in these next stages. Much in the GAFCON documents is consonant with much of what we have sought to say and do, and we need to look for the best ways of building bridges here.

But in conclusion, what is most important is to say to you that it is your work, your patient, lively, impatient, hopeful engagement with each other that has, by God’s grace, brought us where we are.  My heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you for your fidelity to the life of this Conference, your patience in prayer - and your generous encouragement of your President! As you return, be bearers of good news to all your communities - above all, of the Good News of Our Lord’s promise that where he is, there his servants will be. There is our unity, there is our hope, there is the gift we have celebrated and, I trust, rediscovered in our time together. Thanks be to God.


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Comments:

Is it just me, or have other people concluded that there really is no point in even reading what he says anymore?  I made it all the way through two sentences before I couldn’t read any further, and simply started scrolling.  The falseness contained within is just overwhelming.

Christian unity : first and above all, this is union with Jesus Christ.

RW, please, just stop.  There is no unity between light and darkness. 

carl

[1] Posted by carl on 08-03-2008 at 10:24 AM • top

carl,
I’ve been angry at people before for saying that kind of thing but as I was trying to read it this time I caught myself with exactly the same sentiment.

[2] Posted by j.m.c. on 08-03-2008 at 10:34 AM • top

“As has been said, there will be those for whom ‘covenanted restraint’ is conscientiously hard, even impossible. And to my mind this simply means there are steps they cannot take towards a deeper unity - or rather that they conceive such a deeper unity in other ways; their questions must still be valued by us, even if the answers are not the same.”
I do like this formulation very much.

[3] Posted by j.m.c. on 08-03-2008 at 10:39 AM • top

I managed four paragraphs before I felt ill.

[4] Posted by Houseownedbythedog3 on 08-03-2008 at 10:55 AM • top

Watching ABC via web stream, I’m reminded by his nervous movements, voice and gestures of Joe Cocker (“I get by with a little help from my friends….”) Sad that this should be my frist impresssion.

[5] Posted by ama-anglican on 08-03-2008 at 10:56 AM • top

“Perhaps we should read that Resolution . . . acknowledging that it remains where our Communion as a global community stands - as an attempt to define what a healthy Church might need - space for study and free discussion without pressure, pastoral patience and respect, unwillingness to change what has been received in faith from Scripture and tradition.”

As I read this the Episcopal Church is invited to extend the moratorium of B033 and not to abandon it. So long as some of the dioceses represented at General Convention continue to ordain clergy in homosexual relationships (and permit those in such relationships to continue in the ordained ministry) and contnue to ask God’s blessing on such relationships clergy and people will continue to reject the authority of General Convention and seek episcopal oversight from bishops of other provinces.

[6] Posted by TomRightmyer on 08-03-2008 at 10:56 AM • top

On first reading, I’m still with him - I understood ++RW’s thoughts, and have not automatically rejected the ideas mentally or emotionally. I can’t say I’ve had that attitude much in the last two weeks! Something about his calling our attention to the simple conclusion that we WANT to be in communion appealed to me. It may be a niave place to return, but the idea that many want to return there all the same makes me stop and ponder.
++RW’s concuding address deserves careful and prayerful study, and a cross-referencing with the reflections document.
Looking forward to Matt and Darah’s thoughts as well.
Carrie

[7] Posted by cityonahill on 08-03-2008 at 11:07 AM • top

Just on a quick reading I thought it was a good speech.

[8] Posted by Pageantmaster ن on 08-03-2008 at 11:17 AM • top

I’m no fan of the ABC’s past leadership in this crisis (or lack thereof)but I find his reference to the ‘new Gospel’s of TEC controlling faction and the ACOC as a “novelty” extroidinary. I also find his call for support of the Communion Partners initiative, Pastoral Forum of the Windsor Continuation Group recommendations pro-active as well as his call for binding ties with GAFCON. I hope he will be given his due but the initial comments can’t seem to get past the forest for the trees.

[9] Posted by Doubting Thomas on 08-03-2008 at 11:31 AM • top

One of my hopes is that something of what we’ve learned in the indaba style of encounter may be translated into the way we do our business as churches in our home contexts.


Not very likely. The Liberals believe in things and take decisive action in support of such things. They arent going to turn synods into do-nothing wastes of time.

[10] Posted by Toral1 on 08-03-2008 at 11:43 AM • top

There’s no place like Rome,There’s no place like Rome,There’s no place like Rome.
AP+

[11] Posted by Anglican Paplist on 08-03-2008 at 11:44 AM • top

I shall look within the next two months for a clear and detailed specification for the task and composition of a Pastoral Forum

For Anglicans two months would indeed be astonishingly swift.  Can the heretofore unheard of urgency be related to the pending realignment of Pittsburgh in two months?  Is it possible for this Pastoral Forum to affect in any way the proposed realignment?  Is it possible for anything produced with Rowan Williams as the President (Williams will be the President of the Forum) to be “clear and detailed”?

[12] Posted by Nevin on 08-03-2008 at 11:45 AM • top

“...because you are neither hot nor cold and I will spew you out of my mouth”

Rowan dosn’t get it…his assumtions are skewed…and therefore his conclusions are wrong…

So let’s see who blows off this collection of ideas first…liberals who continue to bless and seek revenge…or conservatives who are passionate for the gospel and ignore this call to lukewarm witness…

[13] Posted by Don Armstrong on 08-03-2008 at 11:52 AM • top

This message is a powerful call for Anglican unity, one for which I feel a great deal of support.  On the other hand, perhaps if the ABC had included the CANA and AMiA and other “irregular” Anglican bishops in his Lambeth invitation, then perhaps the Nigerians, Kenyans and others would have come, too, and his call for unity would have had more weight.
  But today the hour is late; the time to have acted was after the Dar protocol.  Now with the collapse of Dar, people are moving, and the facts on the ground are changing.  I cannot imagine that the call for moratoria will affect San Joaquin or Pittsburgh or Ft. Worth, to say nothing of my friends in the northern Virginia.  And there is no moratorium on litigation. 
  But it was a great speech.

[14] Posted by Dick Mitchell on 08-03-2008 at 11:53 AM • top

It’s worth adding, too, that the call for a moratorium on interventions across provinces belongs in the same theological framework. Such interventions often imply that nothing within a province, no provision made or pastoral care offered, can be recognizably and adequately Christian [emphasis added]; and this is a claim not lightly to be made by any Christian community regarding any other without grave breach of charity.

No, Rowan, it is not a breach of charity.  It is a reluctant and painful decision one believer or group of believers has to make when the ecclesial structure to which they belong has departed from the biblical and apostolic faith with such unrepentant persistence that to continue to walk together would be a breach of fidelity to the Lord to whom we owe our ultimate allegiance.

Obviously Rowan still doesn’t get it.

[15] Posted by ToAllTheWorld on 08-03-2008 at 11:56 AM • top

Christian unity : first and above all, this is union with Jesus Christ; accepting his gift of grace and forgiveness, learning from him how to speak to his Father, standing where he stands by the power of the Spirit

I full heartedly agree. Now Rowan, REPENT!!!! You are on the path that leads away from Christian unity, you see, you are not the definition of Christianity, since Rome (a billion strong) has exhorted you differently and Moscow (the largest of the Orthodox) has also, as well as Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Southern Cone and Uganda in Anglicanism (which if you add the numbers up is a greater number than CoE and in terms of ASA maybe more representative of the majority in Anglican Communion), I urge you to REPENT, stop this charade you are putting on and truly work for Christian unity, with Christian of all time and Christians of today and stop portending to be a unifier when you are dividing the Body away from Jesus our Christ and His teaching and His authority.

[16] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 08-03-2008 at 12:01 PM • top

It’s worth adding, too, that the call for a moratorium on interventions across provinces belongs in the same theological framework.

Wrong. The unanimous voice of the primates at Dar es Salaam was that there is NOT equivalence between border crossings (which scripture says nothing about) and church blessing of homosexual relations.

Rowan Williams is trying to rid himself of the Africans who annoyingly are trying to preserve our historic faith. My prediction: We have more fudge on the homosexual blessings (otherwise his own CoE would be split) but the covenant will be used to cut off the “competition” of Uganda, Kenya, and Nigeria.

See here for another good synopsis of Rowan’s true leftward leanings.

[17] Posted by robroy on 08-03-2008 at 12:02 PM • top

He is driving me nuts.  His faith in our Lord is evident - I have no doubt about it.  But his inability to move from majestic thoughts to application is absolutely maddening in a church leader.

...that will still take time. We have quite a strong degree of support for a Pastoral Forum to support minorities, a strong consensus on the need to examine how the Instruments of Communion will best work, and a recognition - though still with many questions - that a Covenant is needed. We have a strongly expressed intention to place our international development work on a firmer and more co-ordinated footing.

More question marks and “intentions” - but this is at the end of the address - the conclusion.  He’s punted again…

Before the ACC meeting next year - which will be a significant element in implementing our vision - I intend to convene a Primates’ Meeting as early as possible in 2009.

What vision?  To ask more questions about intentions?  And he’s going to call for the Primates?  The ones he shucked and jived at Dar es Salaam? Is he going to set them up to take the blame for the failure of Lambeth - “Golly, we all got on so well in the indaba groups, but then these guys met and just wouldn’t implement our vision of asking more questions about our intentions…”
More and more, I find myself agreeing with what I once regarged as an over-the-top bit of polemic.  The Anglican Communion, if there is to be one, needs to generate its own leadership, not an appointment of some British bureaucracy.  This ABC’s inability to move from his values to implementation indicate that he is trying to placate interests and honor unspoken priorities that have nothing to do with the Gospel on the ground.

[18] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 08-03-2008 at 12:05 PM • top

“Christian unity : first and above all, this is union with Jesus Christ; accepting his gift of grace and forgiveness, learning from him how to speak to his Father, standing where he stands by the power of the Spirit. We are one with one another because we are called into union with the one Christ and stand in his unique place - stand in the Way, the Truth and the Life. Our unity is not mutual forbearance but being summoned and drawn into the same place before the Father’s throne. That unity is a pure gift - and something we can think of in fear and trembling as well as wordless gratitude; because to be in that place is to be in the light of absolute Truth, naked and defenceless. St John’s gospel has been reminding us that the place of Jesus is not a place where ordinary, fallen human instinct wants to go. Yet it’s where we belong, and where God the Father and Our Lord Jesus Christ want us to be, for our life, our joy and our healing.”

Ummmm… Rowan- surely you realize that TEC leaders do not believe what you are saying.  Your insisting to try and paint this picture otherwise is destroying the communion.

[19] Posted by cbates on 08-03-2008 at 12:05 PM • top

I am especially interested in the following part of the talk:

“. . . I intend to convene a Primates’ Meeting as early as possible in 2009. I shall look within the next two months for a clear and detailed specification for the task and composition of Pastoral Forum, and I shall ensure that the perspectives of various groups looking at the Covenant and the Windsor process, as well as the Design Group for this Conference help to shape the implementation of the agenda outlined in the Reflections document, and are fed into the special meeting in November of the Joint Standing Committee of the Primates and the ACC. We may not have put an end to all our problems - but the pieces are on the board. And in the months ahead it will be important TO INVITE THOSE ABSENT FROM LAMBETH TO BE INVOLVED IN THESE NEXT STAGES.  MUCH IN THE GAFCON DOCUMENTS IS CONSONANT WITH MUCH OF WHAT WE HAVE SOUGHT TO SAY AND DO, AND WE NEED TO LOOK FOR THE BEST WAYS OF BUILDING BRIDGES HERE.” (my capitalization)

What do you take this to mean?  I do wish it would be possible for the two efforts to join. By the way, some are speculating (on another thread) whether or not people like ++Venables may sign the “Global South” statement that already has a dozen signatories.  As he was one of those attending that same GS meeting mentioned in the statement (at Lambeth last week), I wish he would sign—also, +Duncan, who was there.  I wish that signatures could also be gained from ++Akinola and +Orombi and others.  Even if they do differ greatly on some of the details, they might sign in principle, it seems to me.

[20] Posted by Paula on 08-03-2008 at 12:06 PM • top

Matt+, how about changing the opening of the heading to:

  BREAKING WIND:

Evidence of the pointlessness of what he said is this:

We may not have put an end to all our problems - but the pieces are on the board.

Really?????  RW, do you actually believe that?????

[21] Posted by hanks on 08-03-2008 at 12:14 PM • top

#18, your frustration is understandable. But without vision, the people perish…

He is driving me nuts.  His faith in our Lord is evident - I have no doubt about it.  But his inability to move from majestic thoughts to application is absolutely maddening in a church leader.

If we had to choose between vision & ‘nuts & bolts’ practicality, I’d take vision every time. Besides, you can lead a horse to water, but…

And when you have a whole herd of horses…

And most of them are wild…

You have to make them thirsty. Maybe that is where vision comes in? I don’t know. For all that can be said for ‘nothing happening’ at this Lambeth, when we look at what could have happened…

What was supposed to happen…

For my thinking, already has happened. We just haven’t officially cut the last threads yet…and whether we should or we should not at a point may not be the issue anymore.

[22] Posted by Wren King on 08-03-2008 at 12:20 PM • top

++Rowan is a brilliant academic thinker.  He would be invaluable as an advisor to some other ABC.

[23] Posted by illinisouth on 08-03-2008 at 12:28 PM • top

The AP/yahoo take:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080803/ap_on_re/rel_anglicans_lambeth_conference
Of course, they miss the main point- there has never NOT been a ban on “new gay bishops”- the ban has been there for 2000 years.

[24] Posted by tjmcmahon on 08-03-2008 at 12:28 PM • top

Wren King #22 - I just wish I could state the vision, for better or worse.  It seems to be “We have a consensus shared by some but not all that our intention is to ask questions about the questions which were discussed in this conference…”
There is no vision.  The people perish.  The question now is whether or not some will die to an old form of religion so they can rise to be the living body of Christ.

[25] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 08-03-2008 at 12:41 PM • top

“On its own, it could mean that nothing matters enough to us to understand why some conflicts are unavoidable and very costly - why some feel we put unity before truth, and so feel we have no very deep sense of truth itself.”

The one statement that is only two words from the truth!  Insert “aught but” after “On its own, it could aught but…” and the truth emerges from its chrysalis.  Now it is wrapped in swaddling silk, disguising the ultimate reality.

[26] Posted by dwstroudmd+ on 08-03-2008 at 12:48 PM • top

The Groundhogs Day scenario. No Change. The same endless revisionist clap trap. The majority of Anglican primates, bishops, priests, deacons, seminaries, seminarians, theologians in the West are no longer Christians, but they want you to follow them, believe them, and be as heretical as them. Talking will accomplish that in the revisionists eyes and they have been proven right. Being unattached to the Anglican Church is so refreshing, so peaceful, so God directed that I wish it for each Anglican formally attached to this denominational Titanic.

[27] Posted by IBelieve on 08-03-2008 at 12:54 PM • top

His faith in our Lord is evident - I have no doubt about it.

The trouble I have with that statement is when the chips were down, ++Rowan seemed to compromise, that seems like a cheap faith to me.

When we have examples of St. Maximilian Kobe+ or Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in the not too distant past, or when I listen to how +Bollin Doli of the Sudan pray for his enemies while standing over a hole dug for his body with a gun to the back of his head or +Alexis Bilindabagabo share what it means to have the peace that passes understanding to our congregation with:

In 1994, during the genocide, there was a price on my price on my head. I got worried and scared, what would I do? What would happen to my family? I became parlayed with fear. Then I hear this voice that said, “Alex, all this time you’ve been preaching about Heaven and how people should desire Heaven and how to get there, well Heaven is now really close for you.” At that moment all fear left,I felt at peace, I got up and filled out my will and I was not afraid to die, but I’m still here, that is the meaning of peace that passes all understanding.”

I sorry Fr Fountain, but I do not want to learn any more about ++William’s type of faith, I seem to have enough of that on my own and all my chumming up to the world is ever before me. So are the warning Jesus gave to the Church, the religious people, profession and lay, throughout the Gospels. I want to learn, emulate and have the faith these others, throughout time and even in my life time have for trust in Jesus not to compromise even if they loose everything in this world.

[28] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 08-03-2008 at 01:08 PM • top

Why not have the Primates meeting earlier (November) and put off the meeting of the Joint Standing Committee and ACC until as early as possible in 2009?  Maybe he is trying to put some pressure on the Primates meeting by allowing Lambeth, ACC, ABC, and the JSC to speak on the issues.  Apparantly, he can control these instruments easier.

[29] Posted by BillK on 08-03-2008 at 01:16 PM • top

If I was a GAFCON leader I would respond by saying we are happy to have input into an solution that corrects the tear in the fabric of the Communion caused by TEC and would be acceptable to those Anglicans who find the TEC unacceptable.  However, until that alternative is available,  Anglicans in the TEC will continue to leaving TEC and need a safe place.  We will continue to offer that safe place.

[30] Posted by JustOneVoice on 08-03-2008 at 01:17 PM • top

++Rowan Williams starts out by saying unity comes from being in Christ (or where He is to be more specific).  I certainly have no arguement with that.  The question is: which Christ?  The Christ Jesus found in Holy Scripture or the Christ made up in the minds of the revisionists.  There can be no unity between those in the two different Christs.  ++Rowan Williams whole arguement falls apart because he is assuming there is only one.  He apparently beieves the Christ of the revisionists is the same as the one found in Holy Scriptures.  Consequently we will never have Anglican Unity as long as Rowan sits on the chair of Augustine and holds to that view.

[31] Posted by David+ on 08-03-2008 at 01:19 PM • top

We may not have put an end to all our problems - but the pieces are on the board.

But a hand has to actually move them, Rowan, for the game to be played.  And even chess matches have timers.

[32] Posted by Jeffersonian on 08-03-2008 at 01:32 PM • top

Jesus gives us a good tool for discernment.
Luke 6
43“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. 45The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.

[33] Posted by Blueridge on 08-03-2008 at 01:44 PM • top

I not only could NOT read the address, I couldn’t finish reading the comments.  These are maneuvers, not actions based on fidelity to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
(running screaming from the room…)

[34] Posted by wportbello on 08-03-2008 at 01:53 PM • top

Armstrong+ said: “So let’s see who blows off this collection of ideas first…liberals who continue to bless and seek revenge…or conservatives who are passionate for the gospel and ignore this call to lukewarm witness…”  Now I would certainly disagree with his characterizations of both liberals and conservatives, I think he already has his answer in at least Kenya:  Moratorium, no way, no how…

[35] Posted by EmilyH on 08-03-2008 at 01:55 PM • top

Sorry Emily, Kenya was upstaged by VGR and KJS- who proclaimed there would be no moratorium even before it was proposed.  I believe the next SSB is on schedule for tomorrow.  That makes the whole moratorium thing null and void if it happens.

[36] Posted by tjmcmahon on 08-03-2008 at 02:02 PM • top

As a fairly new member of the AMIA family I can say that it was a very very difficult decision that we made to leave the Episcopal Church and our friends there.  At the time that we were making that decision earlier this year there were some who argued that we should wait to see the outcome of Lambeth before acting…I am very thankful that we did not.  Nothing that came out of this conference would have done anything, but further enflame passions and it was difficult enough to leave behind buildings and good friends to make a stand for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  My prayers continue for those who have stayed behind hoping for deliverance.  I continue to pray for and pull for those, like Sarah, who have stayed behind to battle, but I am thankful that my faith rests on Jesus Christ and not on the ABC, or the instruments of communion which have failed once again to deal with the crisis at hand.  I am also thankful for the haven that has been provided for us and pray that such protections will continue to be offered by grace-filled Primates to those who wish to depart TEC between now and General Convention 2009.

[37] Posted by johnp on 08-03-2008 at 02:07 PM • top

I believe the next SSB is on schedule for tomorrow. 

I think you’re underestimating, tj.  Probably about four weddings today in California and a few dozen SSB’s spread around the country.  Remember— this is the Sabbath when “holy” events are celebrated.

[38] Posted by hanks on 08-03-2008 at 02:08 PM • top

OR, you could look at it the other way-
What Kenya does or does not do in no way changes TEC’s commitment to the moratoria.  The Communion may hold Kenya responsible if Kenya crosses a boundary, but Kenya was not at Lambeth, and has not bound itself to the agreement.  TEC was at Lambeth, and by virtue of their attendance (per the wording of the ABoC’s invitation) bound themselves to the Windsor process and Lambeth 1.10.  So, while Kenya would not be violating any agreement that they were actually part of, TEC would be breaking its word to the ABoC, and as individual bishops to all their indaba partners.

[39] Posted by tjmcmahon on 08-03-2008 at 02:12 PM • top

Hanks- I suspect you are correct, but they will use the excuse that the bishop wasn’t home yet to tell them they had to stop.

[40] Posted by tjmcmahon on 08-03-2008 at 02:14 PM • top

How incongruous it is for +Rowan to say:

. . . what is most important is to say to you that it is your work, your patient, lively, impatient, hopeful engagement with each other that has, by God’s grace, brought us where we are.

when he has deprived the bishops present at their once-every-ten-years meeting of the ability to affect the agenda or even to have any collective voice that is not selected, filtered and spun through ABC- or ACO-chosen apparati.  I suppose the complaining about this may be limited by a combination of respect for the office, the desire to move forward and embarrassment at being treated like schoolchildren and not finding a way to do anything about it.  But memories will linger nonetheless.  At Lambeth 1998 then Archbishop Carey was criticized for participating in the debate on Resolution 1.10.  Whatever usurpation that might have been thought to involve seems to have been exceeded a hundred-fold by the current Archbishop.  The “inter pares” has been excised from primus inter pares.

It was in early 2007 when Kenneth Kearon wrote an email to Louie Crew, subsequently leaked, commiserating about +Rowan’s perceived distancing himself from TEC and referring to conversations in which Kearon had discussed with +Rowan “absolute limits of appeasement.”  Looking back, it seems shortly after then that +Rowan began to get with the program (release of Communion Sub-group report endorsed by Rowan, aftermath of Dar es Salaam, etc.)

[41] Posted by Mike Watson on 08-03-2008 at 02:26 PM • top

Here’s a same-sex blessing in today’s T19: 

http://www.kendallharmon.net/t19/index.php/t19/article/in_massachusetts_an_episcopal_priest_performs_a_blessing_ceremony_for_a_sam/

Ms. Binder’s father, who was authorized by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, officiated at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Charlestown, Mass., where Ms. Laws’s father, an Episcopal priest, participated in a blessing ceremony.

[42] Posted by Paula on 08-03-2008 at 02:27 PM • top

And don’t forget the burgeoning out-of-state SS marriage business in Massachusetts, home of Tom “I am a conservative” Shaw…

[43] Posted by bigjimintx on 08-03-2008 at 02:31 PM • top

Hey, tj, see #42.

I just knew you were underestimating!

smile

[44] Posted by hanks on 08-03-2008 at 02:46 PM • top

The one thing that RW said that was good was the acknowledgement that being the state church for so long had compromised the mission of the COE.  As for RW’s pleas of unity, I have little to add to what has been written above, except to remind y’all that Martin Luther, in Bondage of the Will, correctly described unity for the sake of unity, irrespective of truth, as “carnal.”

[45] Posted by physician without health on 08-03-2008 at 02:52 PM • top

Christians divided in the sixteenth century, in 1930’s Germany and 1980’s South Africa because they concluded, painfully as well as (often) angrily, that something had been substituted for the grace of Christ - moral and ritual achievement, or racial and social pride, as if there were after all a way of securing our place before God by something other than Jesus Christ.

And that is exactly the reason why Christians are dividing now. I agree with ++Rowan that we have unity when we stand before the throne of God, when we admit our own unworthiness to be there and gratefully accept God’s grace.

There can be no grace when there is no admission of sin. Some of TEC has replaced the grace of God with the glorification of the natural man. 

I think can accept what ++Rowan calls us to do. But I will not substitute the grace of Christ for what TEC offers.

[46] Posted by selah on 08-03-2008 at 03:02 PM • top

It took two whole sentences before the phrase “chief purple wind bag” came to mind.  I couldn’t continue because I was seeing this overblown old man in a purple shirt swaying in whatever breeze of the moment was blowing.

[47] Posted by no longer NH Episcopalian on 08-03-2008 at 03:25 PM • top

Hosea6:6, thank you for your #21 and the salutary reminder of what faith and the peace that passes all understanding really mean.

[48] Posted by oscewicee on 08-03-2008 at 04:02 PM • top

48 & 28 you are skimming posts and launching “friendly fire”... read what I said beyond the first couple of words in 18.  My frustration with this ABC is exactly what you express.  What he believes about Christ does not translate into actions that reflect Christ’s headship over the church.

[49] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 08-03-2008 at 04:09 PM • top

a Pastoral Forum to support minorities,

Um, what minorities is he talking about here?

Fr. Tim, I think you’re absolutely right the communion needs to generate its own leader. The sooner the better.

[50] Posted by oscewicee on 08-03-2008 at 04:13 PM • top

But the Christian with the new insight can’t claim straight away that this is now what the Church of God believes or intends; and it quite rightly takes a long time before any novelty can begin to find a way into the public liturgy, even if it has been widely agreed.

Here RW seems to be saying that the moratoria will be simply that: a time of “waiting” until the rest of us catch up to the good that can come of consecrating gay bishops and doing SSBs.  It’s again, just a matter of time until the rest of us dunderheads “widely agree” with the revisionists, and help their “new insight and novelty” find a way into the public liturgy.

RW’s gifts for gab are amazing. 
I tried to read with an open prayerful mind, and actually read it all the way through twice.
What an utter disappointment.

[51] Posted by heart on 08-03-2008 at 04:20 PM • top

RE:“We are one with one another because we are called into union with the one Christ and stand in his unique place - stand in the Way, the Truth and the Life. Our unity is not mutual forbearance but being summoned and drawn into the same place before the Father’s throne. That unity is a pure gift - and something we can think of in fear and trembling as well as wordless gratitude; because to be in that place is to be in the light of absolute Truth, naked and defenceless.”
Er…I think [I hope] I know what he’s trying to say and the USPB is not gonna like it.

[52] Posted by ElaineF. on 08-03-2008 at 04:25 PM • top

#51 - something so right in the way your post appears on the SF main page:
“heart on Breaking…”
Good epitaph for Lambeth ‘08, I think.

[53] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 08-03-2008 at 04:32 PM • top

“It’s worth adding, too, that the call for a moratorium on interventions across provinces belongs in the same theological framework.
Such interventions often imply that nothing within a province, no provision made or pastoral care offered, can be recognizably and adequately Christian; and this is a claim not lightly to be made by any Christian community regarding any other without *GRAVE BREACH OF CHARITY*.”

This is the part that is particularly galling and disingenuous….TEC and ACOC have committed grave breaches of theology, doctrine, committment, communion and charity toward the rest of the AC. 

One must remember that the ABC is addressing the CoE orthodox evangelical and anglo-catholic parishes and dioceses in this portion as well. 

What safe provisional care has been offered except by CANA and Venables

Despotism, duplicity and decadence are more repugnant in the Church.

[54] Posted by Theodora on 08-03-2008 at 05:03 PM • top

In the not too distant past Anglicanism and Orthodoxy were theologically quite close, in fact much closer than Anglicanism and the Roman Church. It is with deep sadness to see Anglicanism surrender itself to the greater culture. There comes a time when one must “Shake the dust off one’s sandals and keep on walking”.Even if one with all good intentions joins a “continuing group” there will still be arguments and fighting…In Orthodoxy there is a Western Rite, don’t go to Rome cross the Bosphorus.

[55] Posted by EasternOrthodox on 08-03-2008 at 05:04 PM • top

I commend the organizers of this blog for reminding all those who submit comments of the words of our Lord in Matthew 5:43-45.  We might well also remember that Paul called us to speak the truth in love.  My brothers and sisters, it does the orthodox faith great damage when those who purport to follow Christ do not listen to his words.  I do not remember any fine print that acquitted us of the duty to love our neighbours if they happened to be heretical liberals.  Too often comments on this blog seems to degenerate into sarcasm and insult.  We should long for unity as much as any and not allow our anger at what has been done to cause our words to cease to come from a desire for the good of the other.

[56] Posted by Jonathan on 08-03-2008 at 05:12 PM • top

The man whom I really admire throughout the entire Lambeth process is Bishop Adams of Western Kansas. Gotta really love this man and his convictions.  He made the most sense of anyone in the past few weeks.

[57] Posted by Enlightened on 08-03-2008 at 07:17 PM • top

#49 - Then I apologize Fr. Tim.

I got that you were frustrated, but increasingly I am finding it very hard to doubt the sincerity of the ABC’s faith in Jesus, at least the Jesus of Scripture, the One who warned of the day when many will hear “depart from me evil doers, I never knew you.” I’m having real trouble giving ++Rowan the benefit of the doubt for his actions this past year do not line up with deep faith in a Jesus that is also the Judge. So while you have no doubt about it, I do. Not to say ++Rowan is not sincerely deceived and the idol he has created to represent a “Jesus” is what the object he’s placing his faith, but it’s not our Lord, for my Lord is One of paradox, in which fear and bold embrace is called, One in which His best friends say “depart from me because I’m a sinful man.”

++Rowan’s action this past year, from the sub-committee report, early invites which undoing Dar es Salaam as well as his behavior and words in NOLA, I can only conclude that he fears TEO more than the Lord. Unless someone can produce a creditable Biblical defense for such actions, some that seem to border even on deception, I am no longer willing to accept blindly “His faith in our Lord is evident,” to me ++Rowan’s action show unbelief in the Scripture, especially the passages that warn of the dire consequences to compromising and being friends with this world.

Not meant to be friendly fire on you, but the “evident” part is not empirical in my opinion.

[58] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 08-03-2008 at 08:16 PM • top

After reading the ABC’s closing statements I was left puzzled by still another call for study of issues which
shouldn’t require months or years to consider. I think for me that’s the “rub”, but I have no problem with
literal interpretation of the Bible. You can’t remake Christ or rewrite His teachings to justify abandoning the Truth. But, by all means keep convening global meetings and conferences until you get it right…
                            Secco

[59] Posted by Secco on 08-03-2008 at 08:19 PM • top

The only problem Secco is that the essential issues like the Divinity of Christ and the fact that the Bible is the Revealed Word of God were not allowed to be discussed due to the ridiculous format ABC came up with.

[60] Posted by cbates on 08-03-2008 at 08:29 PM • top

Well, the ABC’s relationship with Jesus just got a whole lot more serious. 

On the evidence of his actions, RW needs a bit of the old rod.  I know the Holy Spirit makes me miserable until I repent.  I figure he can handle anyone else.
Unless they have let their consciences get seared with pride and evil, they are in for a pretty hard time.  I’m planning to pray for them, but will not associate with, commune with or let them have any authority or power over me.  We need to tell them the truth and shake the dust.

[61] Posted by Theodora on 08-03-2008 at 09:01 PM • top

Lambeth ’08 is over and most of the bishops have started home, or wherever they are going next.

If the old saw, “They shall be known by their works” has any validity, the participants in Lambeth ’08 will leave little legacy of accomplishment.

So far as I can tell, the did not deal in any meaningful way with, what appears to me to be, the challenges by some in the Communion to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the authority of the Scriptures.
Lambeth ‘08 participants may be better known for their failure to act when action was required, when they may have squandered the last chance to save the AC as a real communion.  Their most significant legacy may be opening the door, smoothing the way, providing the final push for divorce, to which many seem to have no aversion in the lives of bishops so why not divorce for the three most easily identifiable groups within the communion.

Whither hence?  Only God knows.  We can speculate, and perhsps we should.  We can pray, and we certainly should.  We can also act, standing up for what we stand for: the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the authority of the Scriptures, gathering around those who share that passion.  Loving those who do not, but recognizing that our greatest responsibility to them, and the Communion, is to lead them to salvation.

[62] Posted by Ol' Bob on 08-03-2008 at 09:12 PM • top

Amen, Ol’Bob!

[63] Posted by Theodora on 08-03-2008 at 09:15 PM • top

The ABC has spoken truth from the heart.  When taken at face-value this is a simple yet powerful address that describes the essence of Christian Unity and how the church should patiently look at new ideas introduced in the church.  Unfortunately, active leadership is needed.  Those pressing a forceful GLBT agenda are long past the point of patience.  And the orthodox are also impatient with the lack of leadership and leaving TEC.  The ABC is ten years too late.

[64] Posted by grantw on 08-03-2008 at 09:16 PM • top

“We may not have put an end to all our problems - but the pieces are on the board.”  Would that be Humpty Dumpty?
Dcn Dale

[65] Posted by Fr. Dale on 08-03-2008 at 09:24 PM • top

It will be interesting to see if Dr. Ephraim Radner thinks the bishops fulfilled the requests of his recent letter pre-Lambeth. 

I don’t think they did. 

If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, then baffle them with bull**it. 

And everyone continues doing whatever they’re doing, as the band plays on…

DUH

[66] Posted by Passing By on 08-03-2008 at 09:47 PM • top

Your ABC has made his position abundently clear. Now it is up to all Christians to pray to God to show each soul how and where to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. Lord have mercy.

[67] Posted by Margaret on 08-03-2008 at 10:02 PM • top

#66 I await Dr Radner’s thoughts too. Here is my initial take. He appealed for the gathered bishops to “take action”:

1.  You must state clearly that the actions of TEC as an official body, and of certain Canadian dioceses, are unacceptable to you as bishops of the Communion.  And you must decide, resolutely, that those bishops from these churches who are in agreement to press forward in ways the Communion has now clearly and consistently repudiated no longer partake in your common councils

On the first part - I’m just not sure if the Conference can be said to have declared TEC and ACOC’s actions unacceptable. The request for moratoria head in that direction.

On the second part - no action at all by the Conference. TEC and ACOC are to be full participants in the councils of the Communion.

2.  You must call back into your midst those who have stayed away from this Conference, not simply as a sign of continued fellowship, but in order to meet face to face again to resolve and heal the breaches that are widening among you month by month.

Repeated statements that the GAFCON bishops were deeply missed. Assurance of Primates meeting in 2009. Is that enough?

3.  You must come to a common and directive mind on how you will recognize and work with those Anglicans in North America especially – bishops, dioceses, congregations, and clergy – who have remained faithful and wish to remain faithful to the common agreements of our life in the past and those upon which you are ready to embark (and yes, this includes many who do not accept the ordination of women;  they cannot be forgotten).  You cannot, of course, resolve or expel the litigious spirit so deeply and scandalously embedded among Americans of all theological stripes.  But you can state clearly what your communion in Christ constitutes and with whom, and you can agree on how you will do this in a single and common way

No decision by Conference. Does work of WCG and Pastoral Forum count as an answer? Doesn’t seem so to me - one imagines whatever they come up with will need to be received by Instruments of Communion and perhaps by the next Lambeth Conference. Any decision on what to do seems to lie in the future and indeed there seems a continued reluctance or even structural inability to take a decision one way or the other. One questions whether a decision will be taken before events on the ground render it moot.

4.  I pray that you will state clearly your commitment to the expeditious formulation and application of an Anglican Communion Covenant, one that will be faithful, concrete and adaptable to the mission entrusted to us.

Plenty of discussion of Covenant. Did Conference take a decision in principle to enact one - it doesn’t seem so. Took a decision to contribute their reflections to the process (if that can be described as a decision), which may or may not result in a Covenant, in perhaps 10 years time. Expeditious is not a word that readily comes to mind to describe the process.

The Covenant Partner bishops’ postings that I have read seem frustrated. The Conference format made it hard for any decisive, expeditious or even clear decisions to be taken or even declarations to be made. Perhaps TEC will hear the call for moratoria and pull back from the brink at GenCon 2009. If not - it doesn’t seem to me that Lambeth 2008 makes it any clearer what faithful bishops within TEC should do or what the Communion will do to help them. As the Archbishop said, if TEC don’t observe moratoria then we are in at least a bad a place as we are now.

Is this too negative. I’ve tried not to be cynical. If there is a more positive interpretation I’d sure love to hear it.

[68] Posted by driver8 on 08-03-2008 at 10:39 PM • top

Two thoughts seem to undergird Rowan’s closing address: 1) Anglicans supposedly remain united, and 2) that unity is supposedly based on a common faith in Jesus.

There can be no common faith in Jesus when some Anglican leaders accept the facts of who Jesus was historically and is forever, while many leaders, especially in the western Anglican provinces such as TEC and ACoC, invent a concept called Jesus who blesses their heretical innovations that eliminate sin and repentance from their “theology”. Where there is no agreement that scripture speaks authoritatively about who Jesus is and the reason for his incarnation, crucifixion and resurrection, there can be no unity. Instead of false “unity” there needs to be defense of the “faith once delivered”. Some GS provinces are doing that. Lambeth certainly did not.

As an orthodox CANA Anglican, I have more unity with Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Southern Baptists, Assemblies of God, and numerous other groups of Christians than I do with those with whom Rowan continues to suggest I have unity. Rowan is either deluded (Proverbs would call such a person a fool), or he is lying to keep the outward appearance of the AC from seeming to be divided.

In fact the AC is completely and utterly fractured, with those who believe in the historical Jesus and his call to repentance and obedience on one side of the divide, and on the other side of the divide those who have discarded the faith once delivered and have invented something that is not Christian in its place. We who stand on the orthodox side of this fracture have a variety of emphases in our worship that I do not fully understand - Anglo-Catholic, Evangelical, etc. but, and this is the essential without which unity cannot exist, we all believe that scripture is authoritative and that church tradition supporting and explaining (but not deviating from) this authoritative scripture can order our lives safely and in obedience to God the father.

What Rowan calls unity is not unity. It is a poisonous stew of truth and falsity.

[69] Posted by Bill Cool on 08-03-2008 at 11:30 PM • top

#69 - Bill Cool - You have spoken the truth. 

+Winchester and +Exeter, +Nazir Ali, +Mouneer Anis, +Eaton, +Proud, +Nelson, Canon Wong, the Global South, GAFCON and many others have spoken truth - over and over. 

It is time to move on, to disengage from the perpetual listening hell and conflict.  Time to remove any credibility from them by our association, the use of our names, finances, presence.  We must renounce their stance and their right to use the name of Jesus to teach and leave themselves and others in the bonds of sin, deception, rebellion and death.

We must hold onto the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Living healing, redeeming, transforming, Word of Life and stand firm on the Rock. 

Rejoice, praise and thank The Lord Who is Able to do all things - who gives us real abundant holy healthy life, love and truth - new identities, new priorities, hope, joy, peace that passes all understanding.

[70] Posted by Theodora on 08-04-2008 at 06:17 AM • top

#39 You have stated that TEC , by showing up at Lambeth,bound itself to the Windsor process.  In that sense, process, I believe you are correct.  A process, not a content.  It also bound itself to look seriously at the covenant.  TEC has taken actions in BO33 and NOLA, to follow through.  +VGR opinion is one of many. as in +Schori’s.  TEC has not blown off the moratoria.  By contrast, +Nzimbi has.  Does +Nzimbi speak for Kenya?  Unlike +Schori for TEC, probably yes.  Have you noticed the angef expressed by both Stand Firm’s far right (Armstrong+ luke warm comment and most of the comments here on +Cantuar’s leadership) and their similarity in tone and level of response of those on the far left on the liberal blogs?  +Rowan has, from their perspective, thrown the LGBT people under the bus.

[71] Posted by EmilyH on 08-04-2008 at 06:42 AM • top

In # 71 above, what I guess I am saying is that there was only one clear “winner” at Lambeth, the communion conservatives.  The trick for the next year will be how many of the others will want in?  What will they be willing to give up for the sake of the communion?  Is the communion a church or are the autonomous ones a church.  And, ironically, it’s back to the Dr. Phil question: for the churches, for their bishops: Do you want to be right or do you want to be in a relationship?

[72] Posted by EmilyH on 08-04-2008 at 07:01 AM • top

Perhaps TEC will hear the call for moratoria and pull back from the brink at GenCon2009.

That is not the point at all.  The whole point of the Lambeth conference and the indaba process and all of the ABoC’s speeches was to get the bishops to recognize first that they are bishops and not diocesan administrators, and second, that they are bishops for the whole Church and not just bishop of some province or local context.
There is no part of the moratoria that a bishop cannot enact in his diocese on his own authority at 9 o’clock this morning.  I would ask that any orthodox bishop in TEC reading this do exactly that. Issue a decree stating that 1) you will not consent to the election of a gay bishop and 2) there may be no publicly conducted rite of blessing of a same sex union, civil or otherwise, or rite of marriage for a same sex couple, in your diocese.
Just saying “we will respect the moratoria” is not enough- it needs to be spelled out so that the term “public rite of blessing” is understood to mean what ++Rowan himself says it means- see his press conference- which is much stricter than the common interpretation.
If some more conservative bishops (+SC, +WLa, +W Kansas) make statements this puts pressure on the next tier of bishops (N. Indiana, Fon du Lac) which in turn puts pressure on some of the moderates, which eventually isolates the more liberal bishops.
  If bishops begin to accept the moratoria for their dioceses, this puts the pressure on GC and “reverses” the political question- That is to say, it is no longer a question of GC determining whether to go along with the moratoria, but a decision on the part of GC on whether it will reject the moratoria.  That puts the onus on the bishops to actually do what they have told their indaba partners they will do- and support the moratoria- or to back out of a covenanted relationship with Canterbury.
  The ball is currently in the court of bishops Howe, Stanton, Lawrence, etc. to get the ball rolling.  And it won’t hurt a bit if they include some language spelling out to clergy that there will be disciplinary consequences for clergy who defy the ban on SSBs, because then other bishops will be pressured to include such language.

[73] Posted by tjmcmahon on 08-04-2008 at 07:07 AM • top

“The ball is currently in the court of bishops Howe, Stanton, Lawrence, etc. to get the ball rolling. “
Sorry, got the tennis metaphor mixed with the bowling metaphor, but you knew what I meant, right?

[74] Posted by tjmcmahon on 08-04-2008 at 07:11 AM • top

#71 - You have made the erroneous assumption that the concept of a ‘LGBT people’ is valid one - but this is not so.  This is a contrivance from the 1960s to vindicate and defend the misdirected feelings and disoriented identities of people with same-sex attractions.  There is no recognition of this concept in Scripture.

Further, there is no exemption from the process of repentance and sanctification for anyone’s sins, whatever sinful inclinations their past conditioning has fostered.  I Corinthians 6:9-11 and Romans 1: 18-32, Isaiah 58, Isaiah 61,  to cite a only few, show the progression of sin and the pattern of redemption, and all the rest of Scripture supports this throughout. 

The counsel of Scripture is consistently against the concept of a people with special exemption from God’s moral laws.  The Law states fact, what is good, healthy, whole, will promote the best, safest and most loving environment on the earth.  And it is consistent that the only way out of our sin is repentance and learning to do things God’s way.  Any compromise limits God’s blessing and separates us from Him.

[75] Posted by Theodora on 08-04-2008 at 07:17 AM • top

#71-
The Windsor process is the process of bringing TEC into compliance with the Windsor report.  IF you don’t believe me, write a letter to Rowan Williams, and ask him.  TEC is not in compliance, and never has been, over SSBs- again, read the ABoC’s press conference in which he defines what a “private pastoral response” is- not at all what is going on in Pasadena or Massachusetts or New Hampshire.  VGR’s ceremony in June, by itself, constitutes an open and egregious breech of Windsor.
There were no winners at Lambeth- of course, this is a church, not a sporting event, so maybe that is a good thing.  The communion conservatives did not get what they wanted (if what they wanted was represented by Ephriam Radner’s pre-Lambeth rmarks, and I think it was).  The Archbishop was successful in putting off a formal break with the liberals in TEC and the Gafcon primates for the 3 weeks of the conference.
  The TEC bishops had best get themselves about the business of complying with the moratoria- every hour that passes will make it more and more obvious to their indaba buddies that they were not telling them the truth in the indaba sessions.  You can say whatever you want, the first step in repentance is to stop the offending activity.

[76] Posted by tjmcmahon on 08-04-2008 at 07:32 AM • top

[72] EmilyH

[T]here was only one clear “winner” at Lambeth, the communion conservatives.

The one clear winner at Lambeth was TEC.  It is now free to act with impunity.  RW has neutered the two instruments of communion capable of taking action against it.  SSBs will continue in TEC churches.  Homosexuals will continue to be nominated for the office of bishop, eventually one will be elected, and consent will be given.  B033 will be revoked, and no moratoria has a prayer of getting through GENCON. Is there in fact one sentient individual on Earth who does not understand these things?

Communion Conservatives understand just how liberated TEC is right now.  What pressure can be brought to bear anymore on TEC for refusing to comply?  The Pastoral Committee?  But TEC has already proven it can successfully resist external efforts to interfere in the control of its own territory.  TEC will just say “No”, and leave this Pastoral Committee sputtering in impotent helplessness.  Remember the panel of Reference?  How about the Covenant process which is 10 years away?  The Covenant process that will be controlled by the self-self church bureaucrats who just stage-managed Lambeth?  They are TECs theological allies.  They are dependent upon TEC for money.  They have no
interest in punishing TEC.  So what else?  There is no ‘what else.’ The sticks are all gone.  TEC can do what it wants, and it will.

TEC will continue to crash through (what remains of) the Communion in its quest to establish the gospel of inclusion.  In doing so it will drive more and more provinces into the arms of GAFCON.  Yes, GAFCON was the other big winner in this Lambeth.  This Lambeth was a disaster for communion conservatives.  You might re-read Ephraim Radner’s open letter and see just how many of his recommendations this Lambeth conference fulfilled.

carl

[77] Posted by carl on 08-04-2008 at 07:39 AM • top

News: Solzhenitsyn dies at 89: Russian writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who exposed Stalin’s prison system, dies at the age of 89 near Moscow. [BBC]

I thought his prayer, posted on Lent & Beyond, was so appropriate for the times and events that are tearing the church and our peace of heart and mind, and for this thread:

A prayer by Solzhenitsyn:
    How easy it is
    for me to live with you, Lord.
    How easy it is to believe in you
    when my mind reels from not understanding,
    or when my mind weakens–
    when the most intelligent people cannot think
    beyond the evening and do not know
    what must be done tomorrow.
    You convey to me the
    lucid assurance that you exist,
    that you will see to it that not all paths
    toward good will be closed.
    At the peak of earthly renown
    I look back with amazement at
    that road which by no stretch of the imagination
    I could have devised–
    A remarkable road through despair
    which has led me here
    where I too have been able
    to send mankind
    reflections of your rays–
    As for what I
    won’t have time or ability for–
    This means that you have
    reserved it for others.
        Prayer
        Alexander Solzhenitsyn

[78] Posted by Floridian on 08-04-2008 at 07:44 AM • top

EmilyH poses the question:

Do you want to be <u>right</u> or do you want to be in a <u>relationship?</u>

I want to be in a right relationship with Jesus.  TEC does not seem to offer that.

[79] Posted by GillianC on 08-04-2008 at 07:46 AM • top

#73 I’m not understanding the point you ae making.

1. SSB already are forbidden in conservative dioceses. The Communion Partner bishops could reiterate their policy and the potential consequences of breaching it. I don’t, at the moment see how that will affect the progressive dioceses in California or New England….

2. It seems likely to me that GenCon 2009 will discuss giving more formal authorization to SSB and perhaps SSM. Granting permission for such (say through an authorized liturgy) would be a fateful step since it would mean, as I understand it, that diocesan Bishops could no longer prevent SSB in their dioceses and could not discipline clergy who offer them.

[80] Posted by driver8 on 08-04-2008 at 07:51 AM • top

I believe this Lambeth marks the end of my paying attention to this, and moving on.  For years my faith, as deliverd to me by a score of increasingly foggy TEC priests, was like a pile of leaves.  It blew with whatever wind happened along, and it was difficult to gather up, impossible to explain, and even harder to understand myself. I saw actions and behaviors in the church that I knew were wrong by ANY standard, but only whispered about, hushed up, eventually ignored.  I watched as the pews got emptier and I eventually left myself, but out of apathy rather than with any sort of protest.  And then I discovered an Anglican church that lit a fire under me, and for the first time in my life taught me about Jesus.  Before, I attempted to mold the word to fit the world, and now I am molding myself to fit the word.  You would think that confining, restricting, but instead my faith is now like a huge banquet.  Every morning the spirit reminds me, “see what I have prepared for you.”  I feel sorrow for those who keep trying to take God’s word and tweak it, pinch it, punch it, squeeze it, until they think it says what they want it to say.  That exercise is exhausting and once you have spent your day doing that, there is no time and energy for the grand feast that is prepared for us in Christ.

GoodMissMurphy

[81] Posted by GoodMissMurphy on 08-04-2008 at 07:54 AM • top

A note to Emily H -

Our culture has placed the gratification of sexual and all other appetites in a place God does not intend. Psychology has exalted sexual gratification and activity to the level of a necessity like breathing and abstinence is a dysfuntion. 

The Western cultural environment does not teach and reinforce the ability to discriminate the appropriate and healthy kinds and means of expression of affection or value the need for continence, self-control, monitoring and controlling thoughts, not making decisions on the basis of feelings, estimating, accepting responsibility for the consequences for one’s actions, committment or permanency in marriage and personal conduct.
We are not our feelings.  Christians are to cast down thoughts, imaginations, to bring ouselves and our feelings into conformity to the mind of Christ, to live by and in agreement with God’s Word. 

John 14:6-26

[82] Posted by Floridian on 08-04-2008 at 07:54 AM • top

TJ - # 73 - “There is no part of the moratoria that a bishop cannot enact in his diocese
on his own authority at 9 o’clock this morning.”  - Brilliant!

Bishops will by their actions decide where they stand.  We shall know them by these actions from this day forward.

“Choose you this day,” Bishops….so we can see proof of your direction, whose you are - and decide if we can and will follow you and/or Jesus Christ, in Whom the Living and Written Word, the Law and the Prophets and the Church and her mission and the Will of God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost are One.

[83] Posted by Theodora on 08-04-2008 at 08:06 AM • top

“Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.”  I Corinthians 15:1-11

[84] Posted by Floridian on 08-04-2008 at 08:22 AM • top

I’d remind EmilyH that what is offered by TEC does not constitute a healthy relationship for Christians, it is in fact a dysfunctional relationship.

With all due respect, her question strikes me as a coercive one, an abusive person would blackmail a victim with.

[85] Posted by mari on 08-04-2008 at 08:47 AM • top

Carl @ 77
On, whether or not Lambeth was a failure for Radner+.  Yes, I agree it was for the following reasons:

Radner+ is a conciliarist.

For him, a conference can morph into a council.  A council can be authoritative and the work of the Holy Spirit.  We judge its authenticity, in hindsight,  by whether or not it is historically withheld.  Therefore, since Lambeth 1998 passed 1.10,  if Lambeth 2008 passed 1.10 again, we would know that 1.10 is the work of the Holy Spirit because it supported by 2008. 

But, Radner+ has lost confirmation of the Spirit’s work in the process:
1st Nigeria and Uganda (with the numbers) on orders from their primates, didn’t show up
2nd. No resolution was passed

So, if you define Communion Conservative by Radner+ and success of the conference by its numbers and votes to prove the work of the Spirit, I agree, it didn’t happen.

As a point of reference to the WHY of Radner’s mandate that a resolution be passed. Here is his response to one of Matt Kennedy’s critiques of his research on Nicea and Constantinople,:

What I don’t get is why an overwhelming majority of traditional bishops from around the world should worry about being at a meeting of prayer and counsel, at which a puny handful of marginal dissidents from some confused and tiny Western churches is also present?  Let Lambeth 2008 finish what Lambeth 1998 began.  Arguments to the effect of “but TEC hasn’t listened and cannot be trusted” are all true!  I have made them ad nauseum along with the rest of everyone on this blog. But so what?  Nigeria, Uganda, and so on all have the numbers on their side by a long shot.  Let us then see the Spirit uphold their witness.  Posted by Ephraim Radner on 06-06-2007 at 05:16 AM

BUT, Radner+ is not the only “Communion Conservative”  Not all are “conciliarists” and not all are looking for Holy Spirit affirmation.  From Radner’s perspective, if the work of GAFCON is Spirit driven, it will endure.  IMHO, it has the seeds of its own destruction within it.  It is the nature of all “purity” based religions.  (My grad thesis in History was on American Puritan divine, within less than a generation, they couldn’t tell the truly pure from the only somewhat pure)  Maybe we will “then see the Spirit uphold their witness”

[86] Posted by EmilyH on 08-04-2008 at 09:09 AM • top

Now that Lambeth has proven itself to be the fatuous fiasco that has been predicted for months, try Googling “high church Lutheran” which I discovered by (divine?) accident yesterday.  Even the “inerrant scripture” LCMS has some.  I wonder if the people in charge of domestic missionary work at LCMS have any idea how many orthodox Angicans have been made homeless by the endless and ever-increasing apostasy of TEC, which will rapidly become even more gross and disgusting than ever, due to the indulgence TEC has bought from ABC.

[87] Posted by Long Gone Anglo Catholic on 08-04-2008 at 09:21 AM • top

Maybe the Continuing Anglican Churches (Affirmation of St. Louis type) can get a boost from Lambeth. They broke away a long time ago.

[88] Posted by Enlightened on 08-04-2008 at 10:50 AM • top

I too felt a struggle to push on through to the end of his “address”, over all I felt that he is given to preach listening, but incapable of truly listening, himself.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading of scripture, as well as the statements and interviews of those attending and some from those who stayed away. I wish there had been statements issued by Nazir-Ali and others whose voices have not been represented in this. I’m left feeling that we as Christians are required to “listen” to the gospels, and to filter what we hear from our fellow man through the guidance of the holy scripture.

The Apostle Paul spoke in 2 Corinthians about how easily it is for us to be lulled and deceived by false prophets, those wolves in sheep’s clothing, when we stray from allowing the scripture to be our guide.

William’s address is just more shilly shallying, at it’s core it means nothing. It’s a collection of excuses intended to reinforce his desired notion that our legitimate concerns are much ado about nothing.

We must retake the hill, by refusing to be put on the defense, and proclaiming God’s truth, and holding up the truth about hypocrisies rationalized by Williams moral relativism. For those hypocrisies are the results of what springs from his indifference,his lack of true love and compassion for his fellow man.

As religious people, holding fast to our faith, we must hold up the stark contrast between what Christ proclaimed as Christian faith, and what has been real violations of that Christian faith by TEC, the Canadian Anglican hierarchy, and yes, even in the CoE, and by Williams. There are plenty of glaring examples of that hypocrisy.

There can be no claims of “Christian love” or “Christian fellowship” they can hide behind, because their very actions make a mockery of those claims, they must be held up and exposed to the light.

[89] Posted by mari on 08-04-2008 at 11:35 AM • top

#86, what do you mean by “purity”? Do you mean ‘taking the Bible seriously when it speaks on moral/ethical issues’, or do you mean ‘pelagian’? Are you perhaps thinking of Finney? I’m not sure what the accusation is here. I think you might be describing GAFCON with a term too broad to be accurate.

[90] Posted by SpongJohn SquarePantheist on 08-04-2008 at 11:45 AM • top

<blockquote>I intend to convene a Primates’ Meeting as early as possible in 2009. I shall look within the next two months for a clear and detailed specification for the task and composition of a Pastoral Forum, and I shall ensure that the perspectives of various groups looking at the Covenant and the Windsor process, as well as the Design Group for this Conference help to shape the implementation of the agenda outlined in the Reflections document, and are fed into the special meeting in November of the Joint Standing Committee of the Primates and the ACC. We may not have put an end to all our problems - but the pieces are on the board. And in the months ahead it will be important to invite those absent from Lambeth to be involved in these next stages. Much in the GAFCON documents is consonant with much of what we have sought to say and do, and we need to look for the best ways of building bridges here>

Quite a big ‘to do’ list.  Yes - please do - seize the initiative and build the bridges.

[91] Posted by Pageantmaster ن on 08-05-2008 at 04:50 AM • top

#90 By “purity”, I mean, a continuous pattern of identification of requirements of doctrine and practice required for membership.  As “requirements” increase, inclusion decreases.  They are directly proportional.  The burden of properly identifying the righteous becomes increasingly difficult as well as determining the correct body to divide the sheep from the goats.  Much requires discerning the hearts of men vs. their actions and human beings, in the practical sphere, aren’t all that well-equiped to do that. In my reference above, New Englanders knew who thev"saved” were.  They got on the boats and came, but what does one do with the next generation who were born in the bay colony?

[92] Posted by EmilyH on 08-05-2008 at 06:40 AM • top

Do you mean, like the Episcopal Church?

[93] Posted by driver8 on 08-05-2008 at 06:45 AM • top

No word of repentence.
No acknowledgement of spiritual confusion.
The Anglican church will remain in my prayers, as I thank God for the Orthodox Church.  http://www.antiochian.org/

[94] Posted by Margaret on 08-05-2008 at 06:56 AM • top

By “purity”, I mean, a continuous pattern of identification of requirements of doctrine and practice required for membership.

[#92] EmilyH
How does Paul escape this designation considering what he said about the Circumcisers and the Gnostics?

carl

[95] Posted by carl on 08-05-2008 at 06:58 AM • top

The PB of TEC reflected on Lambeth Thus, “we have heard repeatedly of the life and death matters confronting vast swaths of the Communion: hunger, disease, lack of education and employment, climate change, war and violence.”  Once again it is obvious that TEC is concerned primarily about the Kingdom of this world.  Where is the concern for the Great Commission? I believe the MDG have become the primary focus for TEC. In it’s desire to reduce it’s carbon footprint, TEC is not reproducing.  In it’s desire to be PC,TEC is not Evangelizing. How will TEC reproduce itself?  It won’t.  The only converts for TEC will be within Canterbury Anglicanism who have succumbed to listening fatigue.

[96] Posted by Fr. Dale on 08-05-2008 at 07:05 AM • top

#95, Carl, I don’t think he does.  I think Paul had a significant religious experience that was transformative in his life, direct and immediatel.  He then reflected on it and his theology for himself, and the church, emerged from it.  His theology was more inclusionist than those around him, the uncircumcised Greek as well as the Hebrew.  (Those who did not accept the pure ritual practice of the Jews) Nor was the message restricted to those with special knowledge.  Faith and righteousness become free gifts for all, not the few.

[97] Posted by EmilyH on 08-05-2008 at 07:19 AM • top

EmilyH

But Paul didn’t include the Gnostics, and he didn’t include the Circumcisers.  He excluded them for reasons of <u>false doctrine</u>.

Watch out for those dogs, those men who do evil, those mutilators of the flesh.  For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus Philippians 3:2

So how does Paul escape your definition of ‘purity’ when he commands we do exactly what you say not to do?

carl

[98] Posted by carl on 08-05-2008 at 07:37 AM • top

I find in itself “inclusion” a terribly unanalytical term. It seems to function as a short hand for a whole range of ethical views. I always want to know, what (or who) is being “included” and what (or who) is being “excluded”). In other words inclusion only functions as a good in the light of higher goods which need to be identified for a judgment to be made about whether any particular “inclusion” is virtuous or vicious.

There is at least one major way in which both Jews and Christians were offensively uninclusive in the ancient world, namely, monotheism. In other words they “excluded” all gods but one and the ritual and social practices related to them. The social consequences of this were from time to time serious.

[99] Posted by driver8 on 08-05-2008 at 07:47 AM • top

Carl @ 98.  I don’t think Paul excluded those who followed Jewish custom on circumcision but he refused to accept that it be imposed on others for acceptance into the Christian community.

[100] Posted by EmilyH on 08-05-2008 at 08:50 AM • top

But, EmilyH, they did not become free gifts for all, all had an opportunity to accept the gift that faith is, and repent. Without repentance, there can be no righteousness.

Re: your comments in [92], mere “identification” does not equate “purity” (and I have a problem with your attempt to use that term because no human being is ever truly “pure”, we can only repent and strive to sin no more.), I can identify many things, about many different religions, that in itself doesn’t make me a member of any of them. Adherence to requirements of the faith does.

“Inclusive” is another one of these meaningless terms that is tossed around by TEC’s parrots. Which, by their own hypocrisies is rendered meaningless. The dictionary definition of inclusive mentions the fact that it includes stated limits. Christian faith has always been welcoming to all. Christian isn’t a meaningless label, one must believe, repent their sin, and strive to sin no more. Nor is it a “burden” for a faith to require adherence to scripture.

Your demand that the requirements be chucked out the window, that scripture be picked and chosen from to exclude what you find inconvenient is an attempt to render it meaningless. A meaningless faith, is what crumbles apart, because Godlessness is lifeless, there is no substance to it.

I spent my adolescence in Massachusetts, and you learned much more about the Puritans than the little that is taught in history textbooks. What happened with the Puritans, was that they were corrupted by those with a blind lust for power, and they, like TEC started “picking and choosing”,  and became hypocrites and betrayed the faith. They persecuted, and even murdered those among them who remained faithful to scripture, merely because they spoke out against the hypocrisies. The Puritans were consumed by their own sinful acts, their corrupt and hypocritical ways, and TEC is going to meet that same fate. It’s succeeding generation is only learning that those preceding them were hypocrites to their claims, their inconsistency is recognized as lies. They won’t believe. Many will have been lead into shallow, unfulfilling and possibly dangerous situations, because that is the legacy of moral relativism.

Your inferences about GAFCon and it’s leaders only reflect your need to demean those who are sincere in the faith. It doesn’t reflect well on you, EmilyH, nor help stake your claims. It only illustrates that rather than “love and compassion” filling your heart, that your heart is bound by hatred, and greed.  Just as TEC’s demand that all funding be given through corrupt government sources that will only serve to further enslave and continue acts of genocide and oppression, illustrates the true intent of the corrupt and hypocritical TEC.

[101] Posted by mari on 08-05-2008 at 09:20 AM • top

As “requirements” increase, inclusion decreases.  They are directly proportional.  The burden of properly identifying the righteous becomes increasingly difficult as well as determining the correct body to divide the sheep from the goats.

Um. It’s TEC that’s making a new requirement.

Your little description doesn’t fit the orthodox in TEC and you must know it because you find here on this blog a wide variety of expressions of Anglican faith (as well as Catholics and others who are in sympathy). Nobody here is ramping up “requirements” and I don’t think most of us are obsessed with determining sheep from goats. But, Emily, “Christian” means something. Any descriptive term by nature excludes others to whom the term does not apply. All are welcome, but yes, things are asked of those who come.

[102] Posted by oscewicee on 08-05-2008 at 09:32 AM • top

Oh Mari, youv’e spent too much time with Perry Miller.  But I have to admit, I’ve been spending time with John Krugler (English and Catholic)  Antinomianism and anabaptists did present problems but that does not conflict with my position, the problem of identifying the “pure”. Your presupposition in your discussion is that repentance for sin is necessary for forgiveness.  Such requires that there is a standard for “sin” (mortal? venial? borrowing on RCs) and that there is an earthly judge to determine who is a sinner and who needs to repent.  Here we have the problem of him who is without sin casting the first stone.  I’m thinking that this task is way above my pay grade.  There seem to be many passages in scripture suggesting that separating wheat/tares, weeds/good seed etc, suggesting that this isn’t a concern for us lesser lights.

[103] Posted by EmilyH on 08-05-2008 at 11:44 AM • top

EmilyH There is a big difference between trying to identify what is pure and recognizing what is clearly called an abomination.

[104] Posted by JustOneVoice on 08-05-2008 at 11:47 AM • top

EmilyH
Please go read 1 Corinthians 5, and then lets talk about what you read.

[105] Posted by Bo on 08-05-2008 at 11:53 AM • top

#92, Thanks for answering - I was curious as to the area of disagreement signified by purity. But as Bo has pointed out , there’s still the biblical issue of discipline. At this point in time, given where TEC has wandered, I think we need to “err” on the side of purity.

[106] Posted by SpongJohn SquarePantheist on 08-05-2008 at 12:26 PM • top

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