Archives For Anglicanism

From Sam Storms (our New Wine 2016 speaker):

In 2002, the synod of the Anglican Diocese of New Westminster

authorized its bishop to produce a service for blessing same-sex unions, to be used in any parish of the diocese that requests it. A number of synod members walked out to protest the decision. They declared themselves out of communion with the bishop and the synod, and they appealed to the Archbishop of Canterbury and other Anglican primates and bishops for help.

Packer was one of those who walked out.

When asked why he walked out, he answered, “Because this decision, taken in its context, falsifies the gospel of Christ, abandons the authority of Scripture, jeopardizes the salvation of fellow human beings, and betrays the church in its God-appointed role as the bastion and bulwark of divine truth.” In other words, it was Packer’s confidence in the functional, life-directing authority of Scripture that led to this decision.

“My primary authority,” wrote Packer, “is a Bible writer named Paul. For many decades now, I have asked myself at every turn of my theological road: Would Paul be with me in this? What would he say if he were in my shoes? I have never dared to offer a view on anything that I did not have good reason to think he would endorse.”

Here we see that, for Packer, affirming biblical authority is meant not merely to provoke a debate but to give ethical direction to life. Regardless of what personal preferences one might have, irrespective of the cultural trends in play at the time, the Bible is the ethical standard by which Christians such as Packer judge their responsibility.

What’s Really at Stake

Packer then proceeds to exegete Paul’s thought in 1 Corinthians 6:9–11 as justification for his decision to lodge this protest. There are only two ways in which we might miss Paul’s point and his directives. One is to embrace an artificial interpretation of the text in which Paul is conceived as speaking of something other than same-sex union.

The second approach, notes Packer, “is to let experience judge the Bible.” Experience suggests that homosexual behavior is fulfilling to some; therefore, the Bible’s prohibition of it is wrong. But the appropriate response is that “the Bible is meant to judge our experience rather than the other way around,” and “feelings of sexual arousal and attraction, generating a sense of huge significance and need for release in action as they do, cannot be trusted as either a path to wise living or a guide to biblical interpretation.”

What is at stake in such a debate is the nature of the Bible itself. There are, notes Packer, fundamentally two positions that challenge each other . . .

Read it all.

Read it here.

Iain-photoA thoughtful article – and well worth the read – from The Rev’d Iain Boyd.  Iain is an old friend – personally and of St. Andrew’s.  I met him while he was a cadet at the Citadel and I’ve enjoyed watching him go from college to seminary to parish leadership.  Iain is a priest in the Diocese of South Carolina where he serves as the rector at Trinity, Myrtle Beach – and he is one of the finest men I know.  

“Are they even Anglican?” “We aren’t Baptists, we’re Episcopalians.” “He’s just a Presbyterian with robes on.” As a Reformation Anglican, you would think I would get used to hearing these kinds of statements. I have to admit, even after over a decade of active leadership in Anglican and Episcopal ministries, it still surprises me when I hear people articulate a monolithic understanding of what Anglicanism is. For this reason, it’s important that we ask the question “What does it mean to be authentically Anglican?” While this question seems straightforward at first, through Anglicanism’s 450 plus years some very different answers have been offered. This series of posts will examine some of the main ways Anglicans have identified themselves through the years.

Read it all.

A Conversation on Race

and Mission Among African Americans

April 27-28, 2015

 

A Collect for the Human Family: O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Ephesians 2:19-22 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

Revelation 7:9-10 I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice,“Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

 

raceandmissionFrom Ferguson to North Charleston to Baltimore

In November of this past year, the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri became a further catalyst for our ongoing conversations about race across the United States and within the Anglican Church in North America. In response, Archbishop Foley Beach called together leaders from around the Church to discuss issues of race, systemic injustice, and our mission to reach all of North America with the transforming love of Jesus Christ. We recognize that this must include a deeper level of engagement with and among our African American communities.

In January, Bishop Alphonza Gadsden of the predominantly African-American Diocese of the Southeast (REC), graciously offered to host this dialogue at one of his parishes, New Bethel Reformed Episcopal Church (ACNA) in North Charleston, South Carolina.

At that time, we never could have anticipated the way North Charleston would become a part of the national conversation, nor could we have known that the unrest in Baltimore would unfold during the days of our gathering. The leaders of one of our newest church plants, Church of the Apostles in the City, Baltimore, MD were with us for this dialogue. Throughout the day their cell phones rang with first hand accounts from family members who were the victims of this violence. These are real people in our parishes, and we grieve together.

We had the opportunity to join them in prayer, interceding for the safety of the police officers, the citizens of Baltimore, and the perpetrators of violence. We have been encouraged by the witness of Baltimore’s clergy who took to the streets in an effort to end the violence that was destroying their communities.

There are no easy answers to the issues that plague our communities, but the spirit of unity that was in our midst this week testifies to the hope that we have through the cross of Christ, which reconciles us to God and one another.

Towards A More Diverse and Unified Future

We began with a frank assessment of the current challenges facing the Anglican Church in North America in our mission with and among African Americans. The Book of Revelation gives us the multiethnic vision of the Church in which members of every nation, tribe, people, and language offer up their unified praise before the Lamb (Rev. 7:9-10).

This biblical vision leads us to affirm a deeper commitment to both multiethnic and ethnic-specific expressions of the Church; a change that is critical if we are to remain in step with the Holy Spirit in light of the shifting demographics of North America.

Multiethnic ministry continues to expand within our Church. This emphasis includes Bishop Leung of Vancouver whose pioneering work in Asian and Multicultural Ministries in Canada (AMMiC) has now spread to the United States. Caminemos Juntos is a vibrant network of members committed to the growth of Hispanic congregations in North America. This week we have taken the first steps in addressing as a Province, the need for the intentional inclusion and growth of the African American community in our midst.

The Challenge Today

Few conversations are as timely and important to our life as a Province, and so while our hearts have been grappling with the tragedy of the present, our eyes are looking to the future.

To this end we:

  1. Ask each congregation to pray and work for racial reconciliation in their community,
  1. Intend to develop a Provincial team to lead our multiethnic ministries and we encourage the development of regional networks to support those who are called to multiethnic church planting, evangelism, and discipleship,
  1. Invite dioceses and parishes to consider how they might actively develop more effective multiethnic leadership pipelines,
  1. Invite dioceses and parishes to make a financial commitment to supporting multiethnic leadership.

Talk alone will not bridge the gap or bind us together, but if we are to move forward, action must be preceded by honest dialogue. Talk is not cheap. Risking these conversations in our present culture is costly. We invite all who love the Lord Jesus Christ to join us in moving the conversations in our communities forward, so that together, having cleared a foundation, we can build a common future that brings glory to God.

 

A Collect for Peace (prayed during the violence that unfolded in Baltimore, Monday, April 27, 2015) O God, the source of all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works: Give to your servants that peace which the world cannot give, that our hearts may be set to obey your commandments, and that we, being defended from the fear of our enemies, may pass our time in rest and quietness, through the merits of Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

A Collect for Mission (prayed during Morning Prayer, Tuesday, April 28, 2015) O God, you have made of one blood all the peoples of the earth, and sent your blessed Son to preach peace to those who are far off and to those who are near: Grant that people everywhere may seek after you and find you; bring the nations into your fold; pour out your Spirit upon all flesh; and hasten the coming of your kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach
Archbishop and Primate

The Rt. Rev. Alphonza Gadsden
Bishop, Diocese of the Southeast (REC)

Rev. Jay Baylor
Church of the Apostles in the City, Baltimore, MD

The Rev. Taylor Bodoh
Incarnation Tallahassee, FL

Mrs. Linda G. Butler
Grace Reformed Moncks Corner, SC

Mr. Ron Davis,
All Saints, Woodbridge, VA

Mrs. Rose-Marie Edwards-Tasker
Intercessor, Anglican Church in North America

Mr. Kevin Gadsden
New Israel Reformed Episcopal Church, Charleston, SC

The Rev. Canon Andrew Gross
Canon for Communications and Media Relations

The Rt. Rev. John Guernsey
Bishop, Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic
Dean of Provincial Affairs

The Rev. David Hanke
Restoration Anglican Church, Arlington, VA

The Rev. Christopher Jones
Incarnation Tallahassee, FL

The Rt. Rev. Mark Lawrence
Bishop, Diocese of South Carolina

Mr. Peter Lebhar
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Tallahassee, FL

The Ven. Canon Dr. Jack Lumanog
Archbishop’s Canon & COO

The Rev. Esau McCaulley
PhD Candidate, St. Andrew’s University, Scotland

Mr. Drew Miller,
St. Andrew’s City Church, Charleston, SC

The Rt. Rev. William White
Bishop, Diocese of the Southeast (REC)

The Rt. Rev. Steve Wood
Bishop, Diocese of the Carolinas

Ms. Carletta Wright
Church of the Apostles in the City, Baltimore, MD

Excellent article from Anglican Mainstream:

In contrast (to the CofE), what the Anglican Church in North America is doing, and what GAFCON is doing,  is centripetal. Not flinging things outwards.  But drawing things in to the centre. Like dust being drawn up into a tornado.

But what is that centre? Is it a particular person’s version of the faith? Is it the personality of one Archbishop? Is it the the narrow agenda of a particular group of Archbishops, as many in the liberal media would want to portray it ?

No. What is at the centre is the Bible: the Bible as authoritative for all faith and conduct; the Bible as its own interpreter, rather than being read through the spectacles of super elevated human reason and contemporary secular culture.

In addition,  the Anglican 39 Articles of religion are being reasserted as being at the centre:  it is those Articles that makes us specifically Anglican Christians rather than Baptist or Pentecostal or Presbyterian Christians.

The Bible and the 39 Articles of Religion (and the Anglican liturgy based upon the Book of Common Prayer) is what unites us as Anglicans. And so if we want to be Anglican, and properly Anglican, and recover Anglicanism, we need to get back to that centre.

And like the spokes on a bicycle wheel come closer to one another, the closer they get to the hub, so Anglicans are drawn closer to each other, the closer we come back to the historic core of our faith.

Read the rest.

simeon-trust-e1417031889985-270x250Please join me for a workshop on Biblical exposition put on by the Charles Simeon Trust and hosted by St. Andrew’s in Mount Pleasant, next month, May 20-22.

We know that the Gospel is the “power of God unto salvation” (Rom 1.16) and that a major part of our effectiveness in ministry depends upon the proclamation of the Gospel in the preached word.  As a central part of our ministry, it is no surprise that there is a desire amongst many of us to grow in our preaching abilities.  And yet, I have heard from so many clergy that there are few opportunities for clergy to get training to really grow in this area.  For that reason, I am pleased to host this workshop.  This workshop will be run by an organization world renowned for it’s quality, and commitment to training excellent preachers.  The leader of the workshop, The Revd Mike Cain (Church of England) is the Rector of Emmanuel Bristol at Westbury, a church planter and author.  Our focus will be Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians.  At the workshop participants will

Improve their expository preaching skills

Prepare a sermon series on a portion of Ephesians

Encourage and strengthen one another in the ministry of Gospel proclamation

I do hope you can join us as we seek to grow together in our ability to preach the Gospel.

To register for the workshop click here and make sure to click the proper registration link for the event at St. Andrew’s Church in Charleston, S.C.

Questions about the event? click here.

 

 

AshleyNullA few weeks ago we (St. Andrew’s and the Diocese of the Carolinas) had the pleasure of hosting The Rev’d Dr Ashley Null, the theological advisor to the Diocese of the Carolinas, for two-days of teaching and ministry.  As a part of his time with us Ashley sat down with The Rev’d Claudia Dickson Greggs for a little chat about his life and work.  Claudia writes occasional papers for the Diocese entitled,Perspectives, in which she highlights some of the various people and ministries associated with the Diocese of the Carolinas.  Following is a snip of her article, the full article is linked below.

Grace and gratitude play a central role in The Rev’d Dr. Ashley Null’s life and work. Ashley is an authority on the English Reformation – particularly the theology of Thomas Cranmer, who was the author of the first Book of Common Prayer and the Archbishop of Canterbury during the reigns of King Henry VIII and Edward VI.   Ashley also serves as a senior research fellow for The Ridley Institute and a theological consultant to the Diocese of the Carolinas, most recently giving a series of thought-provoking lectures to the clergy of the diocese. In those lectures, Ashley talked about how Cranmer’s understanding of God’s grace and mercy shaped the Communion service he composed for the first English Prayer Books (or the 1552 Book of Common Prayer).

A similar understanding – of how God’s grace, freely offered in love, sets the stage for us to acknowledge our sinfulness and repent – has shaped Ashley’s life. Although born in Birmingham, Alabama, (‘Ashley’ is a family name) he was reared in Salina, Kansas, and since his father was an Episcopalian, the Null family attended Christ Episcopal Cathedral, where the bishop of the Diocese of Western Kansas was in residence. His mother had been raised in the Baptist church (her great-great-grandfather was the first Secretary of the Southern Baptist Foreign Missions Board) but with Pentecostal influences– and all of these Christian traditions – Anglican, Evangelical and Pentecostal – played an important role in Ashley’s formation as a Christian. The Book of Common Prayer, with its liturgies and prayers rooted in Scripture, held a special appeal for him.

Read the rest.

john-donneToday is the commemoration of John Donne.  Timothy George over at First Things has written a nice article, Flesh and Dust, to mark the day.  An excerpt follows:

Donne would be a lot more popular today if he had been a “name it and claim it” kind of Christian. But however ecstatic his experience of God might have been, the dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral continued to struggle with such disagreeable realities as sin, suffering, repentance, sickness, decay, and death. We prefer a Lent with all lilies and no ashes. But Donne knew that the difficult disciplines of prayer, fasting, self-denial, and cross-bearing, together with the holy discontent of waiting for an answer that does not come—such rigors are necessary medicines for what he called the “insatiable whirlpool of the covetous mind.”

John Calvin once wrote that “we cannot imagine any certainty that is not tinged with doubt, or any assurance that is not assailed by some anxiety” (Inst. 3.2.17). Donne had lots of doubts and anxieties within—and they were matched by the cosmic angst without, in the universe where not even God’s love could move the sun around the earth anymore, as Dante had once assumed. But Donne also knew the forgiveness and freedom that flows from God’s grace and mercy. Such consolations drew him closer to God as he grew weaker in body, languishing away in the illness that would lead to his death.

Here is a bit more biography, a smattering of his writings, and a collect for the day.

When Cranmer was on trial for his life because of his views of Holy Communion he made clear his thinking:

“We should consider, not what the bread and wine be in their own nature, but what they import to us and signify . . . that lifting up our minds, we should look up to the blood of Christ with our faith, should touch him with our mind, and receive him with our inward man; and that, being like eagles in this life, we should fly up into heaven in our hearts, where that Lamb is resident at the right hand of the Father . . . by whose passions we are filled at his table.”

J.E. Cox, Cranmer on the Lord’s Supper, p. 398

Title_Page_1552“If the message of transforming grace was to be unchanging, what about the packaging?  As a Renaissance humanist like Erasmus, Cranmer believed every presentation of a message had to be tailored to the needs of its specific audience.  How else could the audience be allured to embrace the message, unless the manner of the presentation took into account what would move them?  Consequently, Cranmer taught that the church’s presentation of the Gospel had to evolve and change as the society it addressed did.  If the church didn’t, how could it have any hope of continuing to reach its audience generation after generation?  Liturgy had to proclaim the good news in the light of the current needs and aspirations of the people.  In short, for Cranmer the Gospel message had to be unchanging, but its presentation equally had to be constantly adapting.”

Ashley Null, Divine Allurement, p. 12