25 September 2015 A.D. Why GAFCON Primates Should Reject Welby’s Offer for the Anglican Communion to stay together
Virtue, David. “Why GAFCON Primates Should Reject Welby’s Offer for the Anglican Communion to stay together.” Virtueonline.org. 17 Sept 2015. http://www.virtueonline.org/why-gafcon-primates-should-reject-welbys-offer-anglican-communion-stay-together. Accessed 25 Sept 2015.Why GAFCON Primates Should Reject Welby's Offer for the Anglican Communion to stay together
By David W. Virtue DD
September 17, 2015
Orthodox Global South primates are being asked to fly to Canterbury in January to discuss the future of the Anglican Communion. Archbishop Justin Welby has called for the confab because he believes it is the last great hope to either find reconciliation in the Anglican Communion or watch it fall apart with the two parties occupying separate bedrooms, a sort of legal separation versus an outright divorce, a loose federation if you will.
The archbishop felt he could not leave his eventual successor in the position of "spending vast amounts of time trying to keep people in the boat and never actually rowing it anywhere." Rowan Williams, his predecessor, was a dismal failure so Welby doesn't want to slough it off to a future archbishop.
If such an outcome were agreed upon, members of all the churches would be able to call themselves Anglican, but the change of structure would make clear that there is no longer a need to be be a common doctrine.
VOL believes they should not waste the airfare. There is nothing to be gained by their attendance. Nothing.
First of all, if there is no "common doctrine," Anglicanism itself is meaningless. What does it mean to be Anglican if two different versions of the same faith are tolerated! To be an Anglican means a specific identity, a specific theological outlook. The Scriptures and the Gospels, the Apostolic Church, and the early Church Fathers are the foundation of Anglican faith and worship that make up the Anglican Communion.
The Church of England is part of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. It worships the one true God, who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It professes the faith that is uniquely revealed in the Bible and set forth in the Catholic Creeds (the statements of faith developed in the Early Church that are still used in the Church's worship today). The Church is called to proclaim that faith afresh in each generation. Led by the Holy Spirit, the Church of England bore witness to Christian truth in historic texts that were developed in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries: the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, the Book of Common Prayer and the Ordinal (services for ordaining bishops, priests and deacons).
So the question must be asked again, can the two groups, orthodox and heterodox, live under the same roof and still call themselves Anglican? I think not. It is impossible. Most TEC bishops have denied the creed in one form or another, the worst case being John Shelby Spong who was never disciplined for his outright heresies. Walter Righter, Gene Robinson, and Katharine Jefferts Schori -- the latter has denied the bodily resurrection of Jesus and calls personal conversion a Western heresy.
Secondly, it presupposes that the Global South Primates are willing to agree to such an arrangement and admit that heterodoxy and orthodoxy can live as "two integrities" side by side when, in fact, they cannot.
For nearly two decades, the Global South primates and the GAFCON bishops have argued, pleaded, and fought with TEC to repent of its heresies. They have steadfastly refused to do so. TEC's response has been to promote endless "reconciliation" talks and Indaba.
Since the 1998 Lambeth Conference declaration on sexuality and the passage of resolution 1:10, TEC has consistently defied that resolution and gone further by pushing its pansexual views in a variety of ways onto the Global South using its considerable financial wealth.
From faux reconciliation and endless Indaba talks, to a Covenant nobody believes has a prayer of being implemented and has pretty well sunk without trace, TEC has tried to manipulate and seduce bishops and archbishops, including Anglican elections on the African continent using its "mission" money. Griswold got Archbishop Rowan Williams to set up a phony listening post in London, headed up by the pudgy biased figure of Philip Groves. (If a deal is worked out in Canterbury, he would be rendered irrelevant, thank God.) All along, he has been a shill for TEC's pansexual lobby.
TEC's Presiding Bishop and its pansexual arm Integrity have gone around the archbishops of Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda by going to local bishops to get them to endorse TEC's views on homosexuality in exchange for money for "poverty issues." It has sent faux gay "theologians" from the U.S. to African dioceses in orthodox provinces on "reconciliation" efforts, angering the Anglican leadership in those countries.
I have followed the primates around the world for nearly twenty years when Welby was still working for an oil company in a thousand dollar suit. I have watched what TEC presiding bishops have done to both the Global South primates and to Rowan Williams (his Hegelian worldview could not deal with moral absolutes) in Brazil, Ireland, and a host of other places, pushing the gay agenda in the face of the Africans.
The one person who has done the most damage to the Anglican Communion is Frank Griswold, former Presiding Bishop of TEC, before Katharine Jefferts Schori. His relentless and persistent push for sodomy outraged the Global South; they have not forgotten or forgiven him. The push back by former Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola and later Nicholas Okoh would fill volumes. Their cultures have never permitted sodomy as a legitimate alternative sexual behavior. They have quoted Scripture to defend their position in the Church. They have steadfastly refused to cooperate or fall over.
At Dromantine, Ireland, the Primates could not even take communion together. At one point Griswold stormed out accusing Williams of not pushing the Africans hard enough to accept western pan Anglican sexual tastes.
The Evangelical ALPHA driven theological lightweight Justin Welby just doesn't get it. He has never been present at one of these primatial gatherings (The last one was in Dublin, Ireland, four years ago in 2011 where it was attended by only 23 of the 38 provinces of the Anglican Communion.) I was there. He has never seen or watched the infighting from one continuous primatial gathering to the next.
Welby thinks the archbishops may be able to cooperate on matters such as climate change and inter-religious violence, which is desperately important to many of the poorer churches, as well as the obvious religious tensions in the Middle East. Last year, 200 churches in south India were burned to the ground by Hindu extremists. These issues seem more urgent to the Archbishop than the interminable wrangling about sexuality.
Really! The ontology of human sexuality touches the very heart of God's creation of "male and female." Without it we have no procreative possibilities. Welby thinks this is less important than climate change? Homosexuality is absolutely proscribed in Scripture, says theologian scholar Robert Gagnon. Homosexual behavior is a salvation issue. It has the gravest of penalties in both Old and New Testaments. Dead people don't repent. Homosexuals will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Climates come and go. Jesus himself acknowledged that the poor would always be with us.
Catholics, Orthodox, other Protestants, Jews, Zoroastrians, Muslims, and most other religions can agree on climate change, poverty, inequality, and religious persecution. These are not salvation issues. Recently, 20 Egyptian Christians had their throats cut by ISIS thugs and were hailed as martyrs.
Welby's notion that the two positions can exist and be permanently institutionalized is a fiction. It also means that the "Anglican tradition" no longer has any significant meaning at all.
How can one enshrine logically different positions under the same roof but in different rooms and still call it Anglican. You can't.
One blogger rightly asked, why would any Christian tradition want to have any connection whatsoever, however theoretical, to any other "Christian" tradition whose beliefs completely contradict their own?
And where is the benefit to GAFCON? What possible benefit is there in having an "official" relationship with Canterbury if Canterbury has "official relationships" with "churches" you consider hopelessly heretical?
If Welby thinks the answer is to sleep in separate bedrooms, the Global South primates can send an email and say no and not waste the airfare.