By David W. Virtue in Plano
February 23, 2010

The Archbishop of the Anglican Church of North America said today that “if orthodox Anglicans do what we are sent to do, what we will become is the ancient future movement of the 21st Century church attracting a rising generation of believer leaders abounding in the love of Jesus Christ broken.

“This could be the Anglican Century in North America accountable to Scripture, Tradition, the Holy Spirit and the transformation of society. There has never been a movement so well positioned at the beginning of an era multiplying congregations fueled by the Holy Spirit. It is the Anglican moment and if we are faithful we should prove to be an Anglican century,” said Archbishop Robert Duncan to 325 new Anglican Church planters.

“We have come a long ways from those darks days seven years ago when the church we grew up in we discovered had left us. We are in a different moment, today.”

Duncan said, ”We are in a season where there are so many evidences of God’s favor about what we are engaged in. It is what the Father is doing and there is great blessing when we enjoin ourselves to what the Father is doing. We preach Christ crucified.”

“This is an Anglican moment because it is in God’s plan. We are not something special. God chooses those who don’t deserve it. ACNA is evidence of God’s favor.”

Duncan recounted how in 2004 Bishop Ed Salmon (SC ret.) got a letter from Archbishop Rowan Williams saying they (orthodox Anglicans in North America) will never get it together. “They didn’t think like that eight months ago. Now look at how far we have come together today! Last week in London (General Synod), it changed yet again.”

Duncan said ACNA is part of the Anglican alphabet soup. “It is a sovereign act of God and it has actually changed our hearts. We have brought Canada and the US together wiping away boundaries, bringing us altogether. It is the first sign of God’s favor.”

“We have an identity. The charisms of catholic, evangelical and Pentecostal have been brought together in one church to reach North America with the transforming love of Jesus Christ.”

Duncan outlined four accountabilities: Scripture, tradition, the Holy Spirit and society. “They are not four streams but four accountabilities. We meet people where they are, but we do not to leave them there. We love them there and help them be transformed by God’s love.”

The archbishop said the recognitions that have come, both ecumenical and Anglican, from Rick Warren and Metropolitan Jonah empowered him. “They said we know who you are and we stand with you. That is a sign of God’s favor. It is extraordinary the Anglican recognition we have gotten and how it keeps unfolding. One can debate what Synod meant in London, but part of it is that both archbishops voted for it. This past Saturday I got a call from Southeast Asia Archbishop John Chew who told him this Synod by unanimous resolution voted so the whole province is now in communion with ACNA. Myanmar (formerly Burma) and GAFCON have also recognized us.”

Facing the fears and financial threats to ACNA, Duncan said it is easier to leave Egypt than to leave Egypt’s patterns. It is easy to fall back in old ways of behaving. “There were lots of fears that we would lose the Prayer Book, seminaries, parishes and pensions.” On finances, Duncan said “We used to have a lot (of money) and did nothing with it, so stop worrying about it.”

“We have overcome. God is favoring us. There is a new rising generation of leaders and I am excited.

“The devil is a raging lion, he doesn’t like what you are doing, but God does. The final threat is to end on less than the vision. When you have a vision you aim at the vision when you don’t have a vision you aim at each other.”

Touching on the thorny issue of women’s ordination, Duncan said, “We have made peace together about two integrities. It is easy to take the easy road. We will settle it out politically. Are we going to aim at the vision or at each other? The goal is to reach North America with the transforming love of Jesus Christ.”

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