Archive for February, 2010

Exalt Jesus: Plant 1000 Churches to reach unchurched people in North America

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

Source: American Anglican Council

The following message is from the February 26, 2010 edition of the American Anglican Council’s Weekly Email Update. If you would like to recieve this email click here. If you would like to join the AAC as a member click here.

A report from the Anglican 1000 Church Planting Summit in Plano TX Feb 22-23

By The Rev. Phil Ashey, J.D.
Chief Operating and Development Officer

Sometimes in the heat of battle it’s hard to remember what you’re fighting for. I am grateful to the organizers of the Anglican 1000 Church Planting Summit – and especially to the Rev. David Roseberry and the staff of Christ Church Plano, Texas who hosted us – for reminding us what we are fighting for. We are not fighting merely for survival as orthodox Anglicans in North America. We are fighting against principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in high places that blind the minds of unbelievers so that they cannot hear and receive the gospel of Jesus Christ (Eph 6:13; 2 Cor 4:4). We are fighting for the hearts, minds, souls and eternal destinies of multitudes of unsaved people in North America.

The Anglican Church in North America is more than a lifeboat movement for those leaving TEC. By the grace and calling of God, we are, in the words of Archbishop Duncan, “the ancient-future movement of the 21st century church in North America” that attracts a rising generation of future leaders abounding in Christ’s love for the broken. This is the Anglican moment. It may become for us the Anglican century if we keep our eyes on the prize and focus on reaching lost people.

As I listened to the Lord in our times of worship and prayer, to the testimonies of church planters on the ground, to fellow participants in our round table discussions, and to all our gifted speakers, I came away with four action steps we must do together in order to reach the goal of planting 1000 new churches in the next five years:

1.     We must exalt Jesus Christ

There is no other reason to plant a church than to exalt Jesus Christ. We do not plant churches to vindicate orthodox Anglicanism in North America. Nor do we plant them to attract attention to ourselves. As our Bible teacher the Rev. Jim Saladin reminded us from 2 Corinthians 4, we plant churches so that unbelievers will come to know “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor 4:5-6). Drawing upon the context of Paul’s second letter to the church at Corinth, Rev. Saladin reminded us that Paul was drawing a contrast between his own church planting efforts and those who came in after him, who were literally “diluting and watering down” the gospel of Jesus Christ as they “peddled” the word of God. (2 Cor 4:1-2) Satan’s way is always to obscure Jesus Christ and veil him, just as these false teachers were doing by trying to make Jesus Christ less offensive to the culture and the synagogue.

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Anglican-1000. Where to from here…?

Friday, February 26th, 2010

By David W. Virtue in Plano
February 23, 2010

When the Rev. David Roseberry first heard about ACNA Archbishop Robert Duncan’s call to plant 1000 churches in five years, it blew him away. “I called and asked Bob, are you serious? The answer was yes.

Now after two days of intensive testimony, strategizing and listening to stories of how it can be done, the next question is, where to from here as an Anglican 1000 movement?

“Seeing this 2-day summit in the context of the last dozen or so years, I think this event signaled the end of the beginning. The next chapter is about moving forward in mission,” said Roseberry.

“We heard a certain trumpet that resonated in the hearts of many people,” said Roseberry, rector of Christ Church, Plano, at one time the largest parish in the Episcopal Church. It is now linked with the Rwanda-based Anglican Mission in the Americas.

What it meant as leaders to pull it altogether so that the ACNA and other jurisdictional groupings might achieve their goal can be found along the lines of Nehemiah’s calling, says the 54-year old pastor whose son Jed is one of the young church planters. There’s pride in his voice as he listens to his son tell of his own church planting experience.

“The Episcopal Church has left us, we have dusted ourselves off and moved on; they are in our rear view mirror. We have the energy and the resources. We are about rebuilding the walls. The Book of Nehemiah is analogously true of our life today,” he argues. Heads nod.

Roseberry admitted to initial skepticism. “I couldn’t see how the jurisdictions and groupings could fit together. Things like this happen in war time but what about peace? We are charting a new course and we ask how do Anglo-Catholics, evangelicals and charismatics fit together, how do ancient traditions and young people fit? How do Forward in Faith, the AMIA, Bolivia groups and Uganda fit together?

Roseberry said that after readingthe Book of Nehemiah, it all fell into place. “When Nehemiah started to rebuild the walls, he started with the gates, and the walls later would connect the gates.

Read more here……

Archbishop Duncan says New Anglican Movement is poised to be Anglican Century

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

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.”

GAFCON…………… the wisdom of envisaging an alternative focus of leadership for the Anglican Communion?

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

When will gay couples be able to take vows in the Church of England?

February 24th, 2010 Posted in News |

One of the most striking features of the GAFCON Jerusalem Statement and Declaration of June 2008 was the formation of a Primates Council which was urged to ‘authenticate and recognise confessing Anglican jurisdictions, clergy and congregations’. The radical nature of this step was underlined by a corresponding negative – the rejection of the commonly held assumption that ‘Anglican identity is determined necessarily through the Archbishop of Canterbury’.

Events in England this week have underlined the wisdom of envisaging an alternative focus of leadership for the Anglican Communion. As regular readers of these articles will know, I believe that the current Archbishop of Canterbury is promoting an illusory unity which accommodates false teaching and endangers the whole Communion.

But there is another reason for calling into question the role of Canterbury and the Lambeth institutions which is not so much to do with Rowan Williams himself, but with the relentless erosion of orthodox faith in the Church of England by the deeply secularized culture of the liberal establishment.

A number of leading academics and clergy, including the Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Revd David Stancliffe, wrote to the London Times this week arguing that it is ‘plainly discriminatory’ not to allow gay or lesbian partners to make vows to each other in church and this was obligingly reinforced in that newspaper’s leader comment yesterday in which it called on the government to ‘resolve the legal asymmetry’ which under the 2004 Civil Partnership Act prevents same sex couples from having a Civil Partnership ceremony in church premises.  Read Charles Raven here

Bishop Henry Scriven reflects on CofE vote on being in Communion with ACNA

Friday, February 19th, 2010

February 18th, 2010 Posted in Anglican Church in North America, TEC |

Bishop Henry ScrivenOXFORD: Reflections on Synod vote for C of E to be in Communion with the ACNA

By Bishop Henry Scriven
Special to Virtueonline
February 7, 2010

Though I am quoted as one of the examples in the current debate, I am not a primary player. I went to Pittsburgh, with the enthusiastic encouragement of the Archbishop of Canterbury, in 2002 as Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Pittsburgh (but of course, canonically, as Assistant to Bishop Bob Duncan). I resigned from the House of Bishops when I knew I was to return to England as Mission Director for South America with SAMS and CMS.

What I wrote to the Presiding Bishop and how she replied are a matter of public record and being interpreted differently by different people. All I can say was that at no point did I renounce my orders and I do not believe that the Presiding Bishop has the right to receive the renunciation of my orders if I never gave it to her. That she treated Bishops Jack Iker and William Wantland in the same way (and their clear refutations are a matter of public record) makes me proud to be in their company.

I think it is very important for members of the Church of England to know that the Pittsburgh diocese is made up of very faithful and loyal Anglicans – by anyone’s definition. These are priests (male and female) and laity who are students of scripture, faithful in daily prayer, the vast majority with spiritual directors. Read the rest of this entry »

Soundbites and Little Else – Liberals and Theological Debate

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

February 17th, 2010 Posted in Theology |

The Revd David Ouldby David Ould, Stand Firm

This lack of proper engagement and even fair representation has led to a theologically illiterate church. But illiteracy is always the preferred option if you don’t like what you read – especially in the Scriptures.

I think what disappoints me most in what passes for theological debate on the interweb and related media is the paucity of actual engagement with what the other side are arguing. A classic example can be seen in the recentGuardian: Comment is Free piece by Christina Rees, chair of WATCH (Women and the Church) entitled, “Faith in the future“.Just check out this sample of blatant misrepresentation:

It is a testament to the women who sit on the revision committee that they have listened with graciousness to some of their colleagues earnestly arguing for places of sanctuary where they could be protected from the ministry of women. It would be laughable if it wasn’t so sad.

The observation is made repeatedly that if one were to replace the word “women” in these discussions with “black” or even “French”, the breathtaking offence of these views would become obvious. This verbal offence indicates a much deeper issue: females are still considered by some to be unable to represent Christ at the altar and as not being made fully in the image of God.

Of course, this is denied by the men and women who oppose women’s ordination. They cite tradition, as if that has remained static over the past 2,000 years, and ecclesiology, as if the Church of England’s relationship with some other churches is more important than what it understands to be true.

Where does one start? I think at the end, since it demonstrates the real issue going on here. Rees argues that the conservative position is an appeal to tradition – but it’s not, is it? It’s fundamentally an appeal to Scripture – which is bolstered by the testimony of tradition.

Read here

Reform Leader Says Church of England Must Press the Gospel or Face Extinction

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

By David Virtue, Virtueonline

Women bishops debate is the aggressive face of intolerant liberalism, he says

While in London attending General Synod, VOL interviewed the Rev. Rod Thomas, chairman of REFORM, leader of the Evangelical wing of the Church of England

The Rev. Rod Thomas believes that the debate on women bishops is very revealing because it shows the aggressive face of intolerant liberalism. He argues that if evangelicals don’t take warning from that, it is difficult to see how they could take warning from anything else. He believes this is a prophetic issue for the Church of England’s Evangelicals.

VOL: How serious is the situation for Evangelicals in the Church of England?

THOMAS: Everything hinges on the forthcoming votes on women bishops, because if we fail to get adequate provision, and eventual legislation is voted through in a couple of years time, then the game is up for evangelicals within the C of E.

VOL: What will happen then?

THOMAS: If that happens, then conservative evangelicals would stop putting ordinands forward for ministry training because they could not assure them of a long-term future in the C of E.  Existing conservative clergy would face the prospect of their churches being taken over by less conservative clergy once they moved on.

VOL: That sounds ominous and somewhat threatening.

THOMAS: In truth, it means the formal structures of the C of E would clearly no longer provide a home. The legislation guaranteeing no discrimination against conservative evangelicals who believe in male headship will be repealed and everything will depend on the good offices of a female bishop.

VOL: Are there any evangelical bishops you might be able to trust to give you a break?

THOMAS: I don’t know of any evangelical women bishops. There are evangelical women priests, but they would be of no help in this situation.

Read here