TEC decision ‘a mistake with serious consequences’

Jul 7, 2015 by

GAFCON statement: A Response to The Episcopal Church of the United States’ (TEC) decision to make ‘Same – Sex Marriage’ official The recent decision of the General Convention of The Episcopal Church, to remove reference to gender in the marriage canon and introduce rites for conducting ‘same-sex marriage’, is a mistake with serious consequences. The problems for the rest of the Anglican Communion have already been noted by the Archbishop of Canterbury. But the fundamental reason that it is a mistake – and the reason why it is so destabilizing – is that it is a significant departure from Holy Scripture. This is a departure which Christians are not at liberty to make. With this action, TEC has officially rejected the Anglican Communion’s standard, Lambeth Resolution 1.10, which expresses the Communion’s received and historic understanding of marriage and sexual relationships. TEC has now taken the pattern of behaviour which Lambeth describes as ‘incompatible with Scripture’ and equated it with Holy Matrimony. It may be claimed that TEC is modelling ‘two integrities’, but the Church of God finds its integrity in teaching and living according to the received Word of God. The determination of TEC to press ahead with changes which ignore the serious concerns of many others in the Communion, in some cases for their physical safety, shows very clearly the inadequacy of initiatives designed to create reconciliation without repentance. The recent decision of the United States Supreme Court that claims ‘same sex marriage’ is a constitutional right puts pressure on all churches in the United States, but in different ways all of our Provinces face the temptation to compromise with the surrounding culture.  It is within this context that we commend the Anglican Church in North America for their willingness to speak with courage, truth, and charity. Being part of a global Communion should always be such a source of mutual encouragement to faithful witness, not a source of hurt to that witness. Read here...

read more

TEC General Convention

Jul 6, 2015 by

Preview by Barbara Gauthier, Extensive coverage of General Convention may be found at Virtueonline Further reports and comments: GC2015: TEC Bishops comment on SCOTUS Same-Sex Marriage ruling, Virtueonline Five Predictions About Presiding Bishop-Elect Curry by Sarah Hey, Stand Firm Justin Welby expresses ‘deep concern’ after Episcopal Church bishops vote for same sex marriage by Ruth Gledhill, Christian Today Anglican Unscripted 190 – Canterbury not happy with TEC gay marriage LGBT Episcopalians Celebrate “Disordering Our Boundaries” by Jeffrey Walton, Juicy Ecumenism The Episcopal Church approves religious weddings for gay couples after controversial debate, George Conger, Washington Post Statement of dissent issued by bishops to gay marriage vote by George Conger, Anglican Ink Global South Primates Condemn Actions of The Episcopal Church for Changing Definition of Marriage by David Virtue, VOL Mind of the House of Bishops Statement: ‘Communion Across Difference’, Episcopal Digital Network    ...

read more

When a church is not a church – Anglican Unscripted #191

Jul 4, 2015 by

Today Kevin talks to canon lawyer Allan Haley about St James, Newport Beach, whose people wanted to leave the Diocese of Los Angeles with its revisionist Bishop Bruno, Bishop Bruno’s legal action over the property, and the poetic justice which ensued  (the whole sorry saga can be read here). Allan also talks about why he can no longer call himself an...

read more

TEC General Convention 78: A Turning Point to a Renewed Church — A Critique

Jul 4, 2015 by

By David W Virtue, VOL: “This might be an historic convention,” writes the Very Rev. Ian Markham, Dean and President of Virginia Theological Seminary. MARKHAM: It is always difficult to judge that which is historical about the present, while you are in the middle of the present. However, as The Episcopal Church proceeds through this 78thGeneral Convention, there are real grounds for believing that a decisive shift is occurring in the fortunes of The Episcopal Church that will have historic ramifications. VOL: The HOB passed two resolutions on gay marriage, changing the language of the canons and allowing same-sex trial liturgies. That is a certainly a “decisive shift” but not necessarily for the good and certainly with “historic ramifications”. No other province in the Anglican Communion has taken such action and TEC got a mild scolding from the Archbishop of Canterbury for doing so. A group of Global South Primates came out strongly rebuking the Episcopal Church for its actions. Hardly a “decisive shift” rather a decisive reprimand for being the communion’s serious bad boys. Bishop Dorsey McConnell of Pittsburgh said we have been talking about this for 40 years. Most of that wasn’t talking; it was a pitched battle. Maybe now we will be able to actually talk and listen to each other, he said. Nope, not really; 90% of all those, who were “talked at,” have left and gone to the ACNA, the Ordinariate, Rome or Lutheranism. The truth is we have listened ourselves to death and the result is the total marginalization of the orthodox in TEC with thousands leaving the Episcopal Church to form the Anglican Church in North America. “Listening” means you ultimately agree with revisionists. It has been reported that the Church’s “fortunes” are dropping. Only 60% of the national budget comes from dioceses; the other 40% comes from the Church’s endowments and rents. There is no sign that that will turn around any time soon, if ever. MARKHAM: Let me make the case. Let us start with the fact that the brand of The Episcopal Church has some traction in modern America. Too often we forget that the puzzle in the 1990s was why The Episcopal Church was both growing and outperforming our mainline brothers and sisters in terms of average Sunday attendance. Our combination of faithfulness and thoughtfulness was attractive; our deeply biblical liturgy and timeless language fed women and men as they coped with the ephemeral nature of our world. Then we struggled through the cultural wars and schism of the initial years of this century. So why is this General Convention the start of a renewed and growing Episcopal Church? There are three reasons. First, everything that worked for us in the 1990s can work for us now. Although Roman Catholics and Baptists are going to continue to dominate the U.S. scene, we will play a vital role in providing a thoughtful, inclusive, gentle, biblical, liturgical, and Christ-committed witness. Millennials will find the commitment to outreach attractive; they will...

read more

Mind of the House of Bishops Statement: ‘Communion Across Difference’

Jul 3, 2015 by

From ENS: We the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church wish to express our love and appreciation to our colleagues who identify as Communion Partners and those bishops who have affinity with the Communion Partners’ position as stated in their “Communion Partners Salt Lake City Statement.” Our time together in Salt Lake City, in conversation and in prayer, has demonstrated how profoundly the love of God in Jesus binds us together and empowers us for service to God’s mission. As we have waited upon the leading of the Holy Spirit in our deliberations, we have been reminded that the House of Bishops is richly gifted with many voices and perspectives on matters of theological, liturgical, and pastoral significance. This has been shown in our discernment with respect to doctrinal matters relative to Christian marriage. We thank God for the rich variety of voices in our House, in our dioceses, in The Episcopal Church, and in the Anglican Communion, that reflect the wideness of God’s mercy and presence in the Church and in the world. We give particular thanks for the steadfast witness of our colleagues in the Communion Partners. We value and rely on their commitment to The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. We recognize that theirs is a minority voice in the House of Bishops in our deliberations with respect to Christian marriage; and we affirm that despite our differences they are an indispensable part of who we are as the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church. Our church needs their witness. Further, we appreciate that each of us will return to dioceses where there will be a variety of responses to Resolutions A054 and A036. The equanimity, generosity, and graciousness with which the Communion Partners have shared their views on Christian marriage and remain in relationship is a model for us and for the lay and ordained leaders in our dioceses to follow. We thank God that in the fullness of the Holy Trinity we can and must remain together as the Body of Christ in our dioceses, in The Episcopal Church, and in our relationships with sisters and brothers in Christ in the Anglican Communion. The bonds created in baptism are indeed indissoluble and we pray that we have the confidence to rely upon the Holy Spirit who will continue to hold us all together as partners in communion through the love of God in Jesus. Read here Watch:  How can a rite be so wrong? – Anglican Unscripted...

read more

Global South Primates Condemn Actions of The Episcopal Church for Changing Definition of Marriage

Jul 3, 2015 by

From Virtueonline: Statement in response to the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church resolution regarding same sex marriage. We are deeply grieved again by the Episcopal Church USA (TEC) Resolution to change the definition of marriage in their church canons in their current ongoing General Convention. By this action, TEC has chosen by its own will and actions in clear knowledge to depart from the Anglican Communion’s standard teaching on human sexuality according to Lambeth Resolution 1:10. This TEC Resolution is another example of such unilateral decisions that are taken without giving the least consideration to the possible consequences on other provinces and the Anglican Communion as a whole, the ecumenical partnerships, the mission of the church worldwide, and the interfaith relations. This Resolution clearly contradicts the Holy Scriptures and God’s plan for creation as He created humankind as man and woman to complement each other physically and emotionally. Indeed the church must provide pastoral care for all, whether heterosexuals or homosexuals. However the church should not alter the teachings of the Holy Scriptures that was interpreted by the majority churches globally, to provide such pastoral care. The aim of pastoral care is to restore people to the bosom of God where they encounter His love and design to live a life according to His plan. We are against any criminalization of homosexuals, they are like all of us, need God’s mercy, grace and salvation. The church is intended by its Lord to be the holy leaven to shape society by its spiritual and moral values in line with God’s design. But sadly, by this action of TEC, the church gives way to the society to alter and shape its values. In other words the church is losing its distinctiveness as salt and light in this world. “do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2) This statement is approved by: Read here...

read more