Discussion in 'Anglican and Christian News' started by Ananias, Jul 20, 2021.
The Anglican Realignment continues.
Lord, have mercy.
It's always a shame to see such a drastic move being necessary.
It is with a great deal of sadness that I read this article. Given the numbers they have on General Synod in Australia, it is probably easy enough for them to remain within.
The nub here seems to be
This is a less than oblique reference to the decision of the Appellate Tribunal that each Diocese is competent to make its own decisions in relation to the blessing single gender relationships where there had been a secular marriage that had already taken place. Two Australian Dioceses have given a strong indication that they would like to do this, and given that it is likely to affect only a couple of couples in each Diocese, and does not per-se change the understanding of marriage theologically. Both those Diocese will now have to consider the matter again before anything happens.
And given that the Gafcon Australia website says amongst other things
I grew up in an Anglicanism that accepted and appreciated diversity, yet strove for unity. It seems those days may be gone.
I see this as short-sighted and schismatic, and I suspect it will ultimately go the way such movements typically do. It will either wither away or morph into something new entirely.
70% of the world's Anglicans now operate under, or in Communion with, the GAFCON banner. I think we're well past the "flash in the pan" stage of development. I agree with you that Anglicanism is going to look much different in the coming century than it did in the last century, but I see that as a good thing.
The cross-section of GAFCON that's not represented at Lambeth or in communion with Canterbury is way less than 70%. It'd be shocked if the number is one-tenth that. As an organization, it has no more legal authority over individual provinces than Lambeth. It's main purpose is to provide a veneer of officiality for schism. It is sad but perhaps unavoidable. As Bishop Bayne once put it:
Or as Edward Norman put it:
Maybe all this is just inherent to Anglicanism. It's still a shame.
I really cannot believe that articles claim that 70% of worshipping Anglicans is embraced by Gafcon.
I think it may be true from a global perspective, once you remember that there are some very big Anglican Churches in Africa. 17.5 in Nigeria versus 13.4 in the United Kingdom.
I have read up on GAFCON
Just remember that only 1% of CofE “members” attend CofE churches anymore, in England. You’re more likely to be anything other than CofE, in England itself. Here in the US, the Episcopal Church is losing people at a rate of one diocese every single year; in a few years there will be more people in ACNA than in TEC. Latin America was funded by TEC, now starting to realign toward Gafcon; I recently saw a report about our really strong mission in Cuba. Africa: that’s Gafcon territory. Southeast Asia, Singapore: that’s Gafcon.
Gafcon is the future of Anglicanism. The liberal wing commanded by Welby is shrinking every year.
I keep telling the Gafcon folks, they need to open up a mission in Canterbury, consecrate an Archbishop, and thereby have our own, orthodox, Archbishop of Canterbury that doesn’t bow to the apostate UK government. It’s only a matter of time. God wins.
I was shocked to learn that the UK government is so involved with the appointment of Bishops in the CofE. I guess it all makes sense now.
Schism has a funny way of taking its members where they initially never intended to go. When the biggest growth in ACNA is from C4SO, and the much lauded African and Asian provinces are saturated with charismatic/Pentecostal theology and practice, it seems clear that the end result of a breakaway from the historic, continuous Anglican jurisdictions will over time look, feel, and act like something very different from Anglicanism. And all this because some guys just can’t stomach the idea of being taught by a woman. Be careful what you wish for.
I agree with you that Pentecostal theology is a problem for GAFCON and the ACNA. However, I'm not sure if I'd rather be a member of a "church' that blesses same-sex marriages (persecutes those who refuse to go along), calls abortion a gift from god, prays to plants for the environment, wonders if Jesus actually rose from the dead, and would view me with contempt if I ever should up for a service. I'll take speaking in tounges over that any day. The ACNA is more historically Anglican and with the REC 100, it appears that a renaissance of Orthodox Anglicanism is on the horizon. Maybe if the TEC adopted the mutual flourishing approach of the CofE (which seems to be a farce), I could understand attending one of their "churches." Someone with my convictions would not be welcome at an Episcopal Church.
I am very mindful that none of this is easy, and I sense that †Foley Beach is on the money.
Do you imply that the Archbishop seeks reunion with the TEC in its current state?
I tend to remind people that we are called to be one in Christ, not one in opinion. The question remains of course, how much intolerance can a tolerant person tolerate. Sometimes I feel the woke church is asleep, in a coma, drifting from intensive to palliative care. And yet, we are alive in Christ and ready to give an account of the hope that is in us.
Not at all. I sense his concern is that very real risk that schism can begat to schism.....
This is painting the Episcopal Church with a very broad brush. In my area of the country, what you’re describing isn’t typical at all. Schism not only goes in unpredictable directions; it’s also really hard to stop once it starts. Setting the clock back to 1928 doesn’t resolve anything. The 1928 Prayer Book itself was in some ways a concession to progressives within the Episcopal Church.
All the same ambiguities that have historically been present in Anglicanism are reproduced in the so-called “Continuing Movement”, and will lead to further division within that movement if those differences harden further. ACNA doesn’t have a uniform position on women’s ordination. And the low/broad/high-church divisions are all still there as well. I’m not at all confident the evangelicals at the very least won’t split off again, and all this is before taking into account the impact of the charismatics. Meanwhile, in terms of actual numbers, the ACNA is meaningless. The growth rate would have to be astronomical for many years in a row for the ACNA to surpass the Episcopal Church. More precisely, ACNA’s membership would have to grow at about 20% each year for almost 20 years in a row for that happen. Rumors of the Episcopal Church’s demise are being greatly exaggerated here. Meanwhile its detractors, whether they realize it now or not, are moving slowly but inexorably away from anything historically recognizable as Anglicanism. History shows us this is the nature of schism, and yet many of the students of history within ACNA seem to have somehow missed this, one of its most important lessons.
That's never been the root of the issue. Nor same-sex marriages, nor allowing practicing homosexuals into the ordained ministry. These are merely symptoms of the disease. Ultimately it comes down to the authority of scripture over the conduct of Christians -- if you elevate human reason over Biblical teaching, you have left Christianity behind.
This is what I mean by the "iceberg" -- WO and gay marriage and all the rest is just the part of the iceberg you can see. By far the larger problem is the part you're not seeing.
Oh, the buildings will remain, and a pension fund. But the church, as in a functioning body of believers who are supposed to fill the pews, will be long gone by 2050. TEC is essentially a real-estate trust and pension fund with a shrinking sideline business of conducting services on Sundays.
ACNA is not the locus of Anglican growth. That was never going to be the case. We're just what remains of Anglican orthodoxy in America and Canada. GAFCON -- Africa, Asia, and the Southern Cone -- is the future of global Anglicanism. To the extent that ACNA is in communion with GAFCON we benefit from that vitality, but it is true that we are a mere rounding-error in terms of numbers. The vast majority of practicing Anglicans today don't live in America or England; they live in Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, and Rwanda. Anglican numbers also grow by the day in Asia and South America.
I've said before that historic English Anglicanism is on the way out. Future Anglicanism is going to be much more evangelical and much more Pentecostal than many in the West feel comfortable with. I'm not crazy about it either, but neither do I think the western status quo is viable. The future of Anglicanism no longer rests in Western hands; it now lies in the Christians who live in Africa and Asia. Given the poor stewardship we in the west have shown, I can only think of that as a positive development.
Then let us hope that a more positive vision prevails. I doubt the alternative will win many converts.