Archive for June, 2009

What will the British State do about the Bible ?

Monday, June 29th, 2009


Cranmer’s Curate writes:

The legality of the Bible in English, at least in uncensored form, is now at its most precarious since the reign of Mary I (1553-1558).

Under the reign of her father, Henry VIII, the Bible had been both translated into English and distributed widely in the form of the Great Bible in parish churches throughout the realm. Mary reversed her father’s permissive policy towards the desire of the Protestant reformers to open up the Bible to the English nation, but the establishment of a Protestant monarchy under her successor Elizabeth meant there has never been a threat since to the wide availability of the Bible in English.

Until the cultural triumph of secularism in the second half of the 20th century.

The now deeply-entrenched public support for the sexual revolution, revealed by the 40th anniversary celebrations of the reaction to the infamous police raid on the Stonewall Inn in New York, will not be lost on the candidates standing for Parliament in the general election next year.

Particularly amongst younger voters, support for the suppression of views that are perceived to be ‘homophobic’ is likely to be de rigueur. This means that even under a Conservative government it is highly unlikely that there would be any serious political resistance against the pressure to use current anti-homophobia legislation to suppress any criticism of homosexual practice.

Under such cirumstances, it is difficult to foresee how elected politicians would be motivated to support the uncensored availability of biblical statements such as St Paul’s in Romans 1:

For this cause (i.e. the fact that mankind rejected their Creator and turned to idolatry) God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet (Romans 1v26-27 – King James Version).

Under pressure from influential gay lobby groups such as Stonewall, with widespread media-fuelled public support behind them, the State will be faced with the question of what attitude it should take towards the wide availability of the Bible in the United Kingdom in the English language. Currently you can easily purchase an uncensored copy of the Bible from mainstream retail outlets and from online retailers such as Amazon.

Will the State allow a Stonewall-approved version of the Bible in retail outlets with certain offensive passages excised?

If this happens, Christians must pray for the courage to reject censored versions of the Bible promoted by the State out of loyalty to Christ. It is after all the Word of the King of kings and Lord of lords they are tampering with.

Anglo-Catholic and Evangelical Bishops back UK launch of Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

June 27th, 2009 Posted in News | Edit | Comments Off  on www.anglican-mainstream.net

Issued by the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (UK)

For Immediate Release

28 June 2009

FIVE English Bishops are to take part in the launch of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans in London on July 6, expressing the breadth of support the fellowship, which had its roots in the Gafcon conference in Jerusalem last year, is experiencing. Organisers, who booked Westminster Central Hall for the day-long event, have seen registrations from church leaders flooding in since the launch was announced just two months ago.

In addition to video and personal greetings from international guests including Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, Bishop of Asaba and Archbishop of Bendel, Nigeria, and Archbishop Henri Orombi from Uganda, delegates will also learn of the depth of support and good wishes from English bishops, leaders of both the evangelical and Anglo Catholic wings of Anglicanism.

English Bishops John Broadhurst (Fulham), Wallace Benn (Lewes), John Hind (Chichester) and Michael Nazir-Ali (Rochester) are all billed to speak to the gathering, and Peter Forster (Chester) has sent greetings. Two other diocesan bishops will attend the event. Leading Anglo Catholic Bishop, Keith Ackerman, will lead a main session on how FCA is a catalyst for united mission, ministry and focus for both orthodox Anglicans, be they evangelical or Anglo Catholic.

Bishop Ackerman, who is President of Forward in Faith in the USA, said: “One of the reasons I am really looking forward to being with my friends in England is so that I might be able to share with them the anointing of the Holy Spirit that has occurred at this gathering (of the installation of Archbishop Bob Duncan as Primate of the Anglican Church in North America at Christ Church Plano on June 24) here in Texas.

“Some people say that they really like to stand in line and have a little bit of food from here and there – a smorgasbord – other people like casseroles.  At this event the Holy Spirit has brought this meal forward, he has blended together those unique contributions that each of the strains brought and while not losing its integrity is able to put forth that which is well pleasing in his sight and to God be the glory.

“The time is right for us right now not to lose sight of what he is calling his entire Church to.  The entire Anglican Communion is being called to stand up and Be Faithful! at this very time.  Luke-warmness has gone and we are now ready to talk about the light of the world, Jesus Christ who is ready to ignite the work he has placed before us at this time. I cannot wait to see everyone.”

Event spokesman, the Revd Paul Perkin, a vicar from London, added: “Some are staying in the Church, but failing to stand for Christian truth and practice; others are standing firm for Christian truth and practice, but are not staying.  We are standing, and we are staying.”

The gathering will also hear from a personal video message from veteran evangelical and Anglican statesman, Dr. Jim Packer, before Archbishop Peter Jensen from Australia will give a 30 minute presentation on Why the Jerusalem Statement, agreed at Gafcon in 2008 is central to the fellowship’s development across the globe, and in the UK.

For more information about FCA (UK), visit www.fca.net

ENDS.

Anglicans in the US: a new Church is born.

Friday, June 26th, 2009

ACNA3

FROM Ruth Gledhill’s Blog

Please welcome guest blogger Chris Sugden of Anglican Mainstream,reporting live from Texas on the first assembly of the Anglican Church in North America. For any readers baffled, bewildered or simply bored by Anglicans,Reuters have very helpfully published a Q&A on where we are and how we got here. For Chris, a member of the General Synod which meets in York soon, where traditionalists in England will continuetheir battle over women bishops, this group is the 39th province of theAnglican Communion. Although formal recognition awaits, new Archbishop Bob Duncan is in regular contact with the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams. Read about his ‘I am’ statement on VirtueOnline.

ACNA5Chris writes: ‘Many will be quick to find fault with the launch of the Anglican Church in North America, a church representing a Sunday attendance of 69,000 Anglicans in 23 dioceses across the USA and Canada.

‘It will to all intents and purposes be the 39th province of the Anglican Communion.

‘Already the Anglican Churches of Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, South East Asia, and Rwanda, representing over 30 million Anglicans have stated that they are in full communion with ACNA. But everyone should have their opportunity to have their say before being undermined without proper review of the evidence. That’s only fair.

‘So what has happened? The Episcopal Church has pursued a determined path to oppose and overturn Christian teaching and practice. An English clergyman now in the USA told me that many TEC clergy and bishops only regard the creeds as purely historical statements of what used to be believed, not statements of Christian truth today that they believe.

‘Many orthodox clergy and congregations who have resisted TEC’s practice and direction have been driven out of their churches and buildings. Some individual church members have been sued for upwards of half a million dollars.

‘What were the faithful bishops and clergy who cared deeply for their people and the teaching of the faith to do?

‘They have formed a new Anglican church and a new Anglicanism in North America. Their leaders are those who experienced the charismatic renewal movement in the 1970s and 1980s. Leaders of the world church here in Bedford, Texas this week have publicly recognized them as upholding the Christian faith as understood by the Church for the last 2000 years.

‘Archbishop John Chew of South East Asia sent a personal representative to present a letter in which he said: “Today you are making a historic and apostolic stand. You have paid a price. Be assured of our deep communion to the Lord. We are right behind you.”

ACNA1‘Most surprising was that the senior Orthodox Archbishop of the Orthodox Churches in the USA, Metropolitan Jonah, announced that over 30 years after they had broken off dialogue with The Episcopal Church, the Orthodox Churches in America were ready to begin dialogue again, but now with ACNA.

‘ACNA claims that far from promoting division, it is building unity by making it possible for other Churches to recognize in an Anglican Denomination in the USA the marks of a Christian church.

‘Visitors from the Church of England included Bishop John Ellison, assistant bishop in the Diocese of Winchester. Greetings were read from the Bishops of Rochester, Winchester, Chester and Chichester. The three day assembly included sessions to ratify their canons and constitution and inspiring talks on Christian mission by, among others Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church who had offered the prayer at President Obama’s inauguration, inheriting the mantle of Billy Graham as the USA’s chief pastor.

‘The formal canons establishing the Anglican Church in North America were adopted by acclamation over two short plenary sessions. Explaining how these canons differed from those of The Episcopal Church of the United States, one bishop indicated to me that they made it more difficult for bishops to depart from the teachings they were publicly supposed to uphold, while continuing to exercise office and jurisdiction in the church.

“Ways of calling them to account have been instituted”, he said.

‘A strong focus of ACNA is mission. Archbishop Bob Duncan insisted that the structures only existed to support and encourage the mission of the Church to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. Would the structures of this new church enable mission in ways that their previous jurisdiction had not?

‘Canon John Macdonald, with long experience of overseas mission work and support for it, claimed that their previous jurisdiction had defined mission solely as charitable responses to poverty and hunger, allied with the concept that you did not want to impose your faith on another faith system.

“ What we have seen is an understanding of the whole gospel”, he said. “We have within our intention to reach the lost with the gospel.”

ACNA4‘The assembly was crowned with a service to install Archbishop Bob Duncan as their Archbishop. His anointing by the Archbishop of Kenya was formally witnessed by primate of West Africa, and representatives of the primates of Uganda, Rwanda, Southern Cone, South East Asia, Myanmar, and Nigeria along with Bishop John Ellison.

‘In his sermon Archbishop Duncan insisted that the past was behind them; they had left behind conflict with TEC ; there should be no bitterness. Their task, like that of John the Baptist, was to prepare the way for Jesus to come to those in the wildernesses of US society who are without any sense of being loved and forgiven. The service demonstrated another difference from the direction of TEC: Jesus Christ was enthusiastically worshipped as the risen Son of God who is ready and able to transform lives and situations.’

Anglican Church Assembly Begins

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

June 23rd, 2009 Posted in Anglican Church in North America |

From Christian Newswire

“This is clearly not a schismatic quest for purity by a small group of discontents. Rather, it is a theologically diverse group that sees how much is held in common.” — Jeff Walton, Director of IRD’s Anglican Action Program

Following years of preparation, evangelical, charismatic and catholic Anglicans from across North America, many of them recently departed from the Episcopal Church, convened in Texas today to formally launch the new Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). ACNA unites 28 Anglican dioceses under a single Archbishop and positions itself as an alternative to the U.S. Episcopal Church within the global Anglican Communion.

“It’s a new day,” Bishop Robert Duncan of the Diocese of Pittsburgh told a standing-room only crowd packed into St. Vincent’s Cathedral, gathering for the organizing assembly of the 100,000-member church. The new denomination is working to be recognized as part of the 80-million member global Anglican Communion. Many of the overseas Anglican churches have sent observers to the assembly, including, but not limited to, African churches that have supported the denominational enterprise. Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has sent an observer, known as a pastoral visitor, Retired Seychelles Bishop Santosh Marray of the Province of the Indian Ocean.

Ecumenical speakers including Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in California and Metropolitan Jonah of the Orthodox Church in America will offer keynote addresses later this week.

The Anglican Communion is divided over hot button issues like homosexuality and scriptural authority, with U.S. Episcopal church leaders being more theologically and politically liberal than their overseas counterparts.

Ecumenical and Anglican Visitors Attending Assembly

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

Anglican official delegations

West Africa: Archbishop Justice Akrofi
Nigeria: Bishop Alfred Nwaizuzu
Uganda: Bishop Evans Kisekka (Representing Archbishop Henry Orombi)
Kenya: Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi
Southern Cone: Archbishop Gregory Venables; Bishop Tito Zavala (Chile); Bishop Frank Lyons (Bolivia)
Jerusalem & the Middle East: Rev. Sherif Lemey Gendy (Representing Archbishop Mouneer Anis)
Myanmar: Bishop Saw Noel Nay Lin, Bishop of Mandalay (Representing Archbishop Stephen Oo)
South East Asia: Bishop Tak Meng Wong (Representing Archbishop John Chew)
Rwanda: Bishop Chuck Murphy (Representing Archbishop Emanuel Kolini)

Anglican Visitors

– Bishop John Ellison, Church of Paraguay/Church of England
– Ven. Norman Russell, Church of England
– Rev. Canon Dr. Chris Sugden, Church of England
– Bishop Santosh Marray, Bishop of Seychelles (Indian Ocean), (Representing the Anglican Communion Office)
– Bishop Alpha Muhammad, Tanzania

Ecumenical Guests

– Metropolitan Jonah, Orthodox Church in America
– Bishop Walter Grundorf, Anglican Province of America
– Rev. Dr. Samuel Nafzger, Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod
– Pastor Rick Warren, Saddleback Church
– Bishop Kevin Vann, Roman Catholic Bishop of Fort Worth

Anglican Church in North America officially constituted

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

June 23rd, 2009 Posted in Anglican Church in North America |

From ACNA

Delegates to the inaugural Provincial Assembly gathered in Bedford, Texas, ratified the constitution of the Anglican Church in North America today, officially constituting the Church. The constitution is posted to the Assembly website.

Following ratification at 4:23 pm Central Time, Archbishop-designate Robert Duncan said, “We have done the work, dear brothers and sisters. The Anglican Church in North America has been constituted.”

Prior to consideration of the constitution, Bishop Duncan reported on the work of the College of Bishop this past week. The bishops completed the election of eight bishops for several dioceses and officially elected Bishop Duncan as the Archbishop-designate of the Anglican Network in Canada.

Nine provinces in the Anglican Communion have official representatives at this Inaugural Provincial Assembly: West Africa, Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya (Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi), Southern Cone (including Archbishop Gregory Venables), Jerusalem & the Middle East, Myanmar, South East Asia and Rwanda. For a list of bishops-designate, see the Assembly website.

In addition, a number of ecumenical guests are at the Assembly, including: Metropolitan Jonah of the Orthodox Church, Bishop Walter Grundorf of the Anglican Province of America, the Rev Dr Samuel Nafzger of the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church, and Bishop Kevin Vann, Roman Catholic Bishop of Fort Worth. For a list of delegations and ecumenical guests, see the Assembly website.

The Anglican Church in North America unites some 100,000 Anglicans in 700 parishes into a single church. Jurisdictions which have joined together to form the 28 dioceses and dioceses-in-formation of the Anglican Church in North America are: the dioceses of Fort Worth, Pittsburgh, Quincy and San Joaquin; the Anglican Mission in the Americas; the Convocation of Anglicans in North America; the Anglican Network in Canada; the Anglican Coalition in Canada; the Reformed Episcopal Church; and the missionary initiatives of Kenya, Uganda, and South America’s Southern Cone. Additionally, the American Anglican Council and Forward in Faith North America are founding organizations.