Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The implosion of global Anglicanism and a falling away from the Faith

With the break-up of global Anglicanism due to the crisis in the ECUSA caused by the embrace and celebration of deviant sexuality by her leaders, the newly formed ACNA (Anglican Church in North America) and the Global South coalition are still trying to resolve the mess formed in the aftermath of the schism and total apostasy of the ECUSA (although it has already apostatized much earlier, but this it seems is the straw that broke the camel's neck for a lot of Anglicans — Says a lot about the importance they place on orthodoxy as compared to orthopraxy). The Roman Church, seeing an opportunity, has seen fit to poach some sheep as Anglicanism continues to fracture with the release of the document Apostolic Constitution ANGLICANORUM COETIBUS.

In response, the 'Global South Primates Steering Committee' has issued a statement as follows:

1. We, under-shepherds of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church of Jesus Christ, bring greetings to the faithful in the Anglican Communion. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. For in his great love for us, we are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit (Ephesians 2: 19-22).

2. The Vatican announcement on Apostolic Constitution gives us an occasion in making the following pastoral exhortation.

3. We welcome Pope Benedict XVI’s stance on the common biblical teaching on human sexuality, and the commitment to continuing ecumenical dialogue.

4. At the same time we believe that the proposed Anglican Covenant sets the necessary parameters in safeguarding the catholic and apostolic faith and order of the Communion. It gives Anglican churches worldwide a clear and principled way forward in pursuing God’s divine purposes together in the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church of Jesus Christ. We urge churches in the Communion to actively work together towards a speedy adoption of the Covenant.

5. In God’s gracious purposes the Anglican Communion has moved beyond the historical beginnings and expressions of English Christianity into a worldwide Communion, of which the Church of England is a constitutive part. In view of the global nature of the Communion, matters of faith and order would inevitably have serious ramifications for the continuing well-being and coherence of the Communion as a whole, and not only for Provinces of the British Isles and The Episcopal Church in the USA. We urge the Archbishop of Canterbury to work in close collegial consultation with fellow Primates in the Communion, act decisively on already agreed measures in the Primates’ Meetings, and exercise effective leadership in nourishing the flock under our charge, so that none would be left wandering and bereft of spiritual oversight.

6. As Primates of the Communion and guardians of the catholic and apostolic faith and order, we stand in communion with our fellow bishops, clergy and laity who are steadfast in the biblical teaching against the ordination of openly homosexual clergy, the consecration of such to the episcopate, and the blessing of homosexual partnerships. We also urge them, as fellow Anglicans, to continue to stand firm with us in cherishing the Anglican heritage, in pursuing a common vocation, in expressing our unity and common life, and in maintaining our covenanted life together.

7. In the closing words of the Anglican Covenant: With joy and with firm resolve, we offer ourselves for fruitful service and binding ourselves more closely in the truth and love of Christ, to whom with the Father and the Holy Spirit be glory for ever. Amen.

“Now may the God of Peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, make you complete in everything good so that you may do his will, working among us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” (Hebrews 13.20, 21)

25th October 2009

Global South Primates Steering Committee:

Chairman: The Most Revd Peter J. Akinola, Nigeria
Vice-Chairman: The Most Revd Emmanuel Kolini, Rwanda
General Secretary: The Most Revd John Chew, Southeast Asia
Treasurer: The Most Revd Mouneer Anis, Jerusalem and the Middle East.

The Most Revd Stephen Than Myint Oo, Myanmar
Bishop Albert Chama, Dean of Central Africa

Compare this statement with the Response from the Council of Church Society which can be accessed here.

Response from the Council of Church Society to the plans by the Church of Rome to receive disaffected Anglicans.

According to its own doctrinal standards and history, the Church of England's true nature is that of a Protestant, Reformed, Evangelical and catholic (in other words, universal) church. Orthodox Anglicanism is therefore defined by reference to these characteristics only, which are set out in the Thirty-nine Articles and the Church of England's submission to the over-arching authority of Scripture alone. Church Society seeks to defend and promote these defining characteristics, especially the Gospel of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone which is at the heart of the message and mission of the Church of England.

While acknowledging the correct stand taken by Anglo-Catholics against theological liberalism (the features of which do not represent true, Biblical Anglicanism), it should also be noted that the true doctrine of the Church of England does not embrace any of the teachings or practices which characterise the Church of Rome. For instance, the Church of Rome is fundamentally flawed in its claims about its own nature and authority and in its teaching about the means of salvation.

A proper rejection of theological liberalism should therefore not be accompanied by a turning to the Church of Rome and its unbiblical teachings and practices. Rather, both theological liberalism and the unscriptural teachings and practices of the Church of Rome are contrary to the Bible and to the historic doctrines of the Church of England as a Protestant, Reformed, Evangelical and catholic church.

The longing of Church Society is that all Anglicans, whether in England or elsewhere, would see and understand both the destructive nature of theological liberalism and the false nature, teachings and practices of the Church of Rome.

We grieve that the Church of England, along with our nation, has fallen so low in its spiritual and moral condition. We pray that God would pour out His Spirit on both church and nation.

We rejoice that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone and we pray that the Church of England will return to full adherence to its doctrinal standards, acknowledging the supreme authority of the Bible as God's Word and seeking to shape its teaching and practices by what He has revealed.

The statement was agreed by the Council at its meeting on 4 November 2009.

No prizes for guessing correctly which statement is more in line with the teachings and tenor of Scripture.

[HT: Reformation Anglicanism, Reasonable Christian]

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