New ACNA Bishop of the Carolinas... What about Bishop Lawrence?

Discussion in 'Anglican and Christian News' started by The Hackney Hub, Aug 21, 2012.

  1. The Hackney Hub

    The Hackney Hub Well-Known Member

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  2. Scottish Monk

    Scottish Monk Well-Known Member

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    Hackney Hub...

    I have mixed thoughts on this news.

    First, I do not like schism when it might represent personal gain among clergy. We have enough of that sort of thing in secular society (government, business, etc.). The Church of Jesus Christ, in my way of thinking, should take a different road.

    Mark Lawrence and the orthodox diocese of South Carolina are indeed a bright light among the various TEC dioceses. I hope ACNA Bishop-Elect Steve Wood did not jump that ship because someone else was selected TEC Bishop a few years back.

    On the other hand, currently I am a practicing Anglo-Catholic ACNA and I am thankful for our growth. We probably will see more ACNA dioceses announced in the upcoming years.

    ...Scottish Monk
     
  3. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I see what you're saying about South Carolina being an orthodox jurisdiction; however SC is not a church apart, it is part of the larger Episcopalian Church, and subject to its canons. That is the unfortunate fact. Secondly, ACNA has to continue building a mirror hierarchy across the whole territory that TEC now occupies; they can't and shouldn't be stopped from this important process by inward bickerings within TEC, and it's still the case that Mark Lawrence is still to be considered on the 'innards of TEC' (inside TEC). Thirdly, it is by no means clear that Mark Lawrence will lead SC out of the wilderness, into ACNA. If he gave a hint that this was on the cusp of happening, I can't see why the ACNA wouldn't delay this consecration, to let him be a shoe-in.

    To mirror the argument by Bramhall against Rome, it wasn't Archbishop Duncan who schismed from TEC; but TEC which schismed from Archbishop Duncan. Mark Lawrence was part of the machine which excommunicated an orthodox bishop; so as long as he remains part of it, he is part of their schism. He needs to return back to Anglican orthodoxy which Duncan, and GAFCON, and 90% of the Anglican Communion represents.
     
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  4. The Hackney Hub

    The Hackney Hub Well-Known Member

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    I'll have to disagree a bit with you. Traditional Episcopal ecclesiology acknowledges the Church as a voluntary association of autonomous dioceses. The Diocese of South Carolina is very much a Church in its own right, in fact, they were originally called "state churches" not dioceses. The Diocese of South Carolina doesn't have to agree to all the Constitution and Canons of the General Convention and in fact, doesn't. It doesn't accept the new Title IV and it requires that for General Convention canons to be accepted, they must conform to South Carolina canons first.

    I'd also argue against your logic in schism. TEC hasn't changed its doctrine, we have a lot of heretical bishops who break their ordination vows but the doctrine remains the same as it was in 2003 or 1979 or 1789 (unless you want to argue the ordination of women changed it, which is arguable). Heretical bishops does not a schism make. I would still argue that Steve Wood and anyone who secedes from an orthodox diocese is in formal schism and should be encouraged to return to their rightful bishop or do some very public penance. (People who have seceded from unorthodox dioceses can be exempted from formal schism).
     
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  5. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Hmm, that is indeed good to hear. So why can't Bishop Lawrence lead his autonomous diocese out of the wilderness and join ACNA? It is perhaps that he gave indication that he wasn't going to, that forced ACNA to establish some provision for hierarchical oversight over SC in the future (I'm not an expert on ACNA canon law, but I don't think it shares TEC's curious tradition of autonomous diocese).

    Can you explain what you mean? I'm a little puzzled. :)

    Are you really saying that Alexander Hamilton would worship and attend today's TEC as the church of exactly same doctrines that it held in the 1700s?

    True. But the declaration of separation does make a schism. And it isn't Duncan who formally left the TEC, but the TEC who formally left Duncan. They pronounced the declaration of separation.

    It is exactly the same situation that happened with Anglicanism viz. Rome, as Archbishop Bramhall pointed out in his polemics against the Roman apologists. It wasn't England that formally left Rome, but rather, Rome that formally left England. England never initiated the pronouncement of separation. By this logic, Bramhall declared that the entire Roman Church was in schism from the Catholic Church (of which England was a province).
     
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  6. The Hackney Hub

    The Hackney Hub Well-Known Member

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    Sure, I realize these are bold statements but I don't think that the ACNA issue is a simple one and I can't come to a conclusion that says either ACNA is right and TEC is wrong or vice versa. I think both are right and wrong on different points. In fact, I think progressive TEC people and ACNA are really two sides of the same coin. I think both the Schori gospel and ACNA's secession are American solutions to a global problem. I am not saying that ACNA is heterodox, however. What I mean is that progressive TEC is pushing its agenda at the expense of the Communion and ACNA is pushing its agenda at the expense of the Communion, both want to the Communion to work how they want it too, in my opinion. I think the Communion Partners has the best strategy, at this point. My dioceses is one of the few that is in communion with ALL of the Anglican Communion. The CP strategy is to listen to the rest of the Communion instead of directing it. However, as I said, this is a complex issue and can't be handled with simplistic answers. The Diocese of Albany regards itself as in communion with ACNA (and probably informally in impaired communion with a lot of TEC!).

    Bishop Lawrence can lead his autonomous diocese out of TEC, like San Joaquin, Quincy, Fort Worth, and Pittsburgh did. (General Convention can admit new dioceses in their place, which is how I interpret the TEC dioceses there now). I think ACNA needs to sit down and think through its own ecclesiology because it doesn't seem to have one right now. TEC, even orthodox TEC, is committed to the geographical system, ACNA is not.

    I'm saying that the doctrinal standards that William White laid out in 1789 are still in force. TEC hasn't changed its wording in the Constitution and Canons significantly enough to alter what constitutes the "doctrine, discipline, and worship of the Church" which clergy swear to uphold in ordination. What this means is that the Scripture and the Prayer Book (with Articles!!) are still authoritative in TEC as much as they were under William White. Now, you could argue that this changed in 1979 but you would be forced to join either the Continuum or REC. ACNA has said that this was not changed in 1979 by allowing its continued use.

    I think Bramhall's logic is rendered ineffective based on my point above. If TEC were to formally change its doctrine, then he would be correct and we could say that TEC left Duncan, but as of now, all we have is number (if not most) of the clergy breaking their oaths, which is heresy, but not schism. It's similar to the situation during the Arian controversy.
     
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  7. mark1

    mark1 Active Member

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    Apparently, ACNA accepts the independence of bishops when it suits them. Bishop Lawrence is the Bishop Of South Carolina under the rules of the Anglican Commumion. ACNA has chosen to appoint it's own schismatic bishop of South Carolina. South Carolina does NOT need yet another bishop in schism with the very orthodox bishop of South Carolina.

    I see this as ACNA siding with our primate's theory of the limited authority of the local bishop. South Carolina has been an Anglican diocese for a very long time. TEC and several schismatic organizations have opposed and tried to replace our bishop. It is a shame that ACNA is no better than the rest.


     
  8. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Ok, so, why did they 'break their oaths'?
     
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  9. The Hackney Hub

    The Hackney Hub Well-Known Member

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    Because PEC clergy are still bound by the Holy Scriptures and the Prayer Book, including the Articles. The course of action taken by GC and most of our episcopal bench is a direct break of that oath and almost all of our Constitution and Canons.
     
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  10. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    No, my question was, why did break the vows?
     
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  11. The Hackney Hub

    The Hackney Hub Well-Known Member

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    Ah. I think there's been a long tradition of legitimizing heterodoxy in the Anglican Communion, especially in PEC, by watering down our standards, bit by bit. The most recent episode shows that revisionists are near the end of the line, there isn't much left anymore to erode.
     
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  12. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I think Hackney meant doctrine hasn't changed, in that it remains the same since 1560 even if it is ignored or not practised.

    It's like Sola scriptura "dividing" Protestantism - no, sinful fallen human beings do, by our pride and refusal to read Scripture humbly and honestly. It doesn't mean Scripture is less clear or beautiful or divine because of our ignoring it.
     
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  13. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Great. Exactly. So the Church nominally has 1 set of rules, and effectively another one, literally, a whole other (non-Christian, anti-Christian) gospel.

    By having officially adopted this new unofficial gospel, do you think that the Church has gone into heresy, and abandoned both its officially orthodox canons, and its orthodox bishops?
     
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  14. The Hackney Hub

    The Hackney Hub Well-Known Member

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    The Church isn't heretical but a majority of her bishops are, yes. It doesn't undo the authority of the Bible or Prayer Book though, no matter how much someone disregards them.
     
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  15. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Let's say even the bishops in, around, and including Canterbury himself were corrupted by heresy! Could we say the Church itself stood free of error when the very lynchpin of the Communion did not? What if he changed the BCP? Would it be authoritative?
     
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  16. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    That's a red herring, because the blessing one might enjoy in the orthodox diocese like Albany or South Carolina, will be denied to most every other place in the TEC. The New York Episcopalian will be living in heresy, preaching heresy, and practicing heresy.

    Who is going to force them back? What is the road back to sanity?
     
  17. The Hackney Hub

    The Hackney Hub Well-Known Member

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    That doesn't change the fact that the New York Episcopalian preaching, teaching, and practicing heresy is breaking his or her ordination oath and the Constitution and Canons of the Church. Heck, there are priests here who are breaking their oaths.
     
  18. The Hackney Hub

    The Hackney Hub Well-Known Member

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    And according to my understanding of things, churchmen are not bound to heretical bishops. Therefore someone who is in the Diocese of New York is not bound to Bishop Dietsche, because he is a heretic and openly disregards the Constitution and Canons of the Church. However, there is a strong orthodox presence in the Diocese of New York.
     
  19. The Hackney Hub

    The Hackney Hub Well-Known Member

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    I would agree Mark, Bishop Lawrence is the Bishop of South Carolina, any ACNA work within his territory is by nature schismatical.
     
  20. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    So again, this makes us focus on the real question: who will force them to go back? What is the road here out of the wilderness?
     
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