Archive for October, 2009

Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans Could Keep Orthodox Anglicans within the Church

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

By David W. Virtue

A group of maligned orthodox Anglicans believe they have found a solution to keeping the Anglican Communion from splitting.

The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, led by the Rev. Dr. Chris Sugden, Dr. Vinay Samuel and the Rev. Paul Perkin in the UK, say they can keep “Orthodox” Anglicans from defecting to Rome.

“The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans could turn out to be the ‘glue’ which the Archbishop could use to hold the Church together,” said the Rev. Paul Perkin, vicar of St Mark’s Church, Battersea Rise in London, and Chairman of FCA (UK and Ireland).

The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans have been denounced by liberals and members of FULCRUM, a liberal left-of-center evangelical blog, for “splitting” a charge they vigorously deny.

“There are now apparently two options for Anglicans concerned about the liberal revisionist drift: leave and go to Rome, or stay and work together with Lambeth for an internal solution: a single provision to cover a range of concerns,” said Perkins.

Following the Vatican’s historic announcement this week at joint Press Conferences in Rome and London, which took Dr Rowan Williams by surprise, Perkins said “The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, which some thought was a group which could split Anglicanism, after this week’s announcement, could really help the Archbishop of Canterbury to keep Anglicans together. The open letter from the Primates Council of the FCA to orthodox Anglicans in the UK and Ireland indicates that there is an alternative to the proposal from the Roman Catholic Church – namely that appropriate oversight be found for those who want to remain Anglican.”

The Primates wrote, “We are encouraged by your commitment to work for an internal solution that can address these deep concerns. Steps taken early enough to make provision to address them can preserve good order. We firmly support your efforts to ensure the provision of appropriate oversight, and if this is not forthcoming, to provide it.”

Commented Perkin, “It is strongly to be hoped that the Archbishop of Canterbury, having welcomed dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church who are now providing “cross-boundary oversight” for Anglicans who wish to leave, might continue dialogue with those who want to stand and stay. If he is determined to keep faithful, orthodox Anglicans within the church, then FCA could offer a tangible solution for unity. The offer is there.”

The Church of England is at a cross roads. Anglo-Catholics are a minority and growing smaller Their seminaries are dwindling in size. Liberals, revisionists and women priests have shown little or no ability to make churches grow. The main seminaries and theological colleges in the UK, like Ridley Hall Cambridge, Oak Hill, London, Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, St. John’s Nottingham and Trinity College, Bristol, are filled with the next generation of Evangelicals. The future of the Church of England resides with them.

The Archbishop of Canterbury may be forced, in the end, to listen to Evangelicals. They might just save him and the Church of England.

Call to Prayer

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

Bishop Bethlehem Nopece, Episcopal Patron of the FCA Southern Africa has been led to call the FCA and all orthodox Anglicans to a special time of prayer.

This is for Sunday 1st November 2009 the feast of All Saints. This feast that we know as All Saint’s Day originated as a feast of All Martyrs, sometime in the 4th century. The special focus of your prayers during that time is asked for the orthodox faithful across the world that:

· They would be strong in their stand for the written word of God.

· Continue to hold to the faith “once delivered to the saints” Jude 1:3

· The Lord strengthens those caught in unhappy struggles and divisions over churches and property.

· We stand strong in face of persecution from the culture and even part of our own church. Pray that it may be said of us that we even:’ joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.’ Heb 10:34, If that is what we are called to de in our stand for the truth.

· The Lord blesses all bishops in the role of guardians of the faith.

As help and direction for your prayers at this time may we suggest this passage of Scripture:

3 Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. 5 Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. 6 And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day– 7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire. 8 Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones.” (Jud 1:3-8 ESV)

It seems that the church in the 21C struggles with just the same problems and needs the same encouragement.!!! Let us pray for all the faithful on this All Saints Day!

Fr Gavin Mitchell

General Secretary FCA SA

Spong on the Listening Process: “I Refuse to Listen”

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

October 20th, 2009 Posted in HomosexualityNews |

by David Ould

Hat Tip: Stand-Firm

As has been widely reported, Jack Spong has had enough. What’s his problem? Well, we just won’t agree with him and so he sees little point to even having the conversation any more…

“Life moves on. As the poet James Russell Lowell once put it more than a century ago: “New occasions teach new duties, Time makes ancient good uncouth.” I am ready now to claim the victory. I will from now on assume it and live into it. I am unwilling to argue about it or to discuss it as if there are two equally valid, competing positions any longer. The day for that mentality has simply gone forever.

This is my manifesto and my creed. I proclaim it today. I invite others to join me in this public declaration. I believe that such a public outpouring will help cleanse both the church and this nation of its own distorting past. It will restore integrity and honor to both church and state. It will signal that a new day has dawned and we are ready not just to embrace it, but also to rejoice in it and to celebrate it.”

But Jack, surely we should keep talking? After all, isn’t that what relationship is all about?

An evangelist extravaganza

Friday, October 16th, 2009

Julia Duin reports in Washington Post:

The first one was in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1974. The second was in Manila in 1989. The third will be in Cape Town in 2010.

I’m talking about the massive worldwide conferences on evangelism that began as the brainchild of evangelist Billy Graham, along with British Anglican theologian John Stott and Australian Anglican Bishop Jack Dain. They have since taken on a life of their own. One year from this week, the Third Lausanne Conference on World Evangelization will take place from Oct. 16-25 in South Africa.

Its Web site,, says the event will draw 4,000 people from more than 200 countries, an intriguing goal as there are only 195 official independent countries in the world. The event will be translated into Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Swahili.

The United States is providing 400 delegates and Canada is contributing 50.

I first heard of the conference when I got word this spring that U.S. organizers were looking for candidates. Some 1,322 applied to go. What made things a bit tricky is that organizers wanted 50 percent of the delegates to be under 50 years old. No doubt this is frustrating for top-tier American church leaders – most of whom are well past 50 – who weren’t invited to the Manila conference 20 years ago because they were considered too young.

Read More Washington Post:

NIV to be updated

Sunday, October 11th, 2009

One of the most popular Bible translations in the world is about to be rewritten—but not based on its so-called “gender-accurate” sister text.

On Sept. 1, the three groups behind the New International Version of the Bible announced that they would tackle a new translation. Biblica, the Committee on Bible Translation (CBT) and the publisher Zondervan — the forces behind the NIV since its original 1978 publication — announced they would scrap the Today’s New International Version of 2005, an “inclusive language” text and go back instead to the NIV’s 1984 update and start over.

Journalist Cathy Lynn Grossman wrote in USA Today that “No one built an actual bonfire under the folks who put out the so-called ‘gender-accurate’” T-NIV, which was an update of the immensely successful evangelical NIV. “But they were badly scorched by scholars, theologians, linguists and cultural critics.” Matt Kennedy, journalist and Anglican priest, observed: “This probably means that the T-NIV will meet with a slow, quiet and deserved death.”

Douglas Moo, chairman of the CBT, said they’re passionately committed to scholarly accuracy and accessible language. They are listening to voices from a wide spectrum of Christendom. But he stressed, “We are committed evangelicals who believe in the importance of every word in God’s words. We can’t fit the Bible into any cultural mode.”

Source: Anglican Planet

The Beachhead expands – False Bay Diocesan Synod 2009.

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

The Beachhead expands – False Bay Diocesan Synod 2009.

The recent Synod of the Diocese of False Bay South Africa has shown that, the foothold being sought in Southern Africa by the revisionist ideas of TEC is still expanding.

Two motions before that synod seem to illustrate this point clearly.  The first was a motion, proposed by myself.  It brought into question the relationship of the diocese with TEC, especially since the recent pronouncements about basic faith by the presiding bishop and the decisions of the 2009 General convention.  The Motion in part stated:

This Synod notes:

7.1                   the repeated non-compliance of the Episcopal Church (of America) with the resolutions of the Lambeth Conference 1998, the Primates of the Communion and fraternal requests of the Global South………. “


7.4                It is now proposed that this Diocese:

7.4.1   enters into no new ties with The Episcopal Church;

7.4.2  Suspends all ties with The Episcopal Church until there is some clarity about the damning statements about basic faith delivered by Presiding Bishop Schori, ………….

7.4.3   recognizes the Anglican Church of North America as an Anglican Church, in line with many of our African brothers and sisters;……..”

In the proposal the facts leading up to the present situation in the Anglican Communion were briefly outlined and the content of some of the relevant statements and actions expanded.  Most of the clergy speakers responded against the motion, with a heavy emphasis on the inclusive nature of our Anglican Church and the need for unity.  It seems from that debate, unity at any cost, even the cost of truth.  There was also an admitted ignorance of the issues from many of the laity, who did express concern in the main for the crisis situation.  Some even asked the bishop directly for some explanation of the “crisis” and the response of the leadership.

The Bishop responded with the implication that the crisis is exaggerated by the media and that the process of listening would be harmed by the suspending of relations with TEC.  He has also reported in CPSA chat, that the motion was soundly defeated.  Unlike most of the motions at this synod, there were both yes and no votes. As much as one can say about a voice vote, I would guess 80-85% No and 15-20% Yes.

However the next day was interesting in that the “sexuality” motion came to synod.  The morning was dedicated to “conference of Synod”, when normal rules are suspended.  The discussion was introduced by the full time “Gender Desk” coordinator for the diocese, who has submitted a discussion paper for the synod.  This introduction and the paper indicate a clear leaning:

“. The situation is analogous to the debate that went on around the ordination of female clergy, and while there was initially widespread discontent, there is now to a large extent an acceptance that e are all one in Christ through our baptism.”

The paper also presented some dubious statistics:

In the middle of it all are our gay and lesbian Christian brothers and sisters- at least 10 % in any community, some priests, some bishops, some our children, our brothers, our neighbours, people in our congregations, whom we talk about and continue to reject and ridicule and fail to offer a safe space to talk to find out what its like to be patronized and ,demonised- Bishop Merwyn Castle, Bishops Charge, False Bay Diocesan Synod, 2007″

The synod was introduced to a Lesbian minister from Inclusive and Affriming Ministries. The speaker was given unlimited time to tell a very emotional story about her rejection first as a woman minister and then once discovered and accepted, as a lesbian in the ministry of the Dutch Reformed Church.  This was an extremely coercive and manipulative technique on the part of the Synod Advisory Committe.  I was not going to be the “oppressive male dinosaur” who stood up following that session to argue against the two motions that were presented to the synod.

Following this presentation two motions, one to kick start the “Listening Process” and one identical to the motion on same sex relationships passed in Cape Town, and I believe Saldanha Bay Synods were presented.  The Listening motion passed smoothly without dissent.

The “same-sex partnership motion” Agendum 17 (2), illicited short discussion exclusively in favour of the motion.  I then asked the chairman if this motion should still be on our agenda, since the identical motion had already been passed in Cape Town and the actions requested have already been taken to the Synod of Bishops.  They have already taken the steps to “develop a pastoral directive” at the recent Synod of Bishops.  The Bishop’s response was interesting, in that he stated that he felt the motion was worthwhile in that it would “indicate the feeling and sentiment” of the Diocese.  Can one say that the was a purpose to “add weight” to the Cape Town motion?

When the motion was “put” again by voice vote, the motion won.  However, and this is personal observation, I felt that the “yes” votes were perhaps around 75%.  From conversations that day, I felt that there was and is, a lot dis-ease around  the direction that the synod is clearly being encouraged to take among many of the delegates.  This was expressed by members saying that they felt that they did not have enough information to make decisons, particularly on these two motions mentioned above.

Please keep the dioceses of ACSA in your prayers as we enter what feels like a Synod Season.

Gavin Mitchell.