Sunday, September 27, 2015

27 September 2015 A.D. Goodbye PEAR-USA



27 September 2015 A.D. Goodbye PEAR-USA
Jordan, Robin. “Goodbye PEAR-USA.” Anglican Ink. 25 Sept 2015. http://anglicansablaze.blogspot.com/2015/09/goodbye-pear-usa.html. Accessed 27 Sept 2015.
lBy Robin G. Jordan
While the Anglican Church in America’s publicist is spinning this development as “a bold move for Anglican unity,” I personally would like to know the backstory behind the decision of the Anglican Church of Rwanda’s provincial synod to disencumber itself of PEAR-USA. PEAR-USA will no longer operate as an extraterritorial missionary district of the Anglican Church of Rwanda. It will be reorganized as Rwanda Ministry Partners, a ministry association within the Anglican Church in North America. I became well-acquainted with the Byzantine nature of Rwandan ecclesiastical politics several years ago while investigating the backstory to what was then the new canons of the Anglican Church of Rwanda.
When PEAR-USA was first organized, it was clear from its new charter that it was moving in the direction of eventual integration into the Anglican Church in North America. The organizational structure and form of governance that the new charter created for PEAR-USA was modeled upon that of the Anglican Church in North America.

PEAR-USA affirmed the Episcopal Church’s 1804 revision of the Thirty-Nine Articles and the Jerusalem Declaration while acceding to the fundamental declarations of the Anglican Church in North America. The Episcopal Church’s 1804 revision of the Thirty-Nine Articles is not recognized with the 1662 Book of Common Prayer as the longstanding doctrinal standard of Historic Anglicanism and it is not the Thirty-Nine Articles to which the Jerusalem Declaration refers. As I have written elsewhere, the ACNA fundamental declarations equivocate in their acceptance of the authority of the Thirty-Nine Articles. The only logical conclusion was that PEAR-USA’s affirmation of the Thirty-Nine Articles was purely rhetorical and had nothing to with what it believed.

While the Anglican Church of Rwanda’s House of Bishops elected bishops for PEAR-USA, only the names of candidates nominated by PEAR-USA council of bishops and approved by the Anglican Church in North America’s College of Bishops could be presented to the Rwandan bishops.

The clergy and congregations in the PEAR-USA church networks were given only a consultative role in the decision-making process and then under extraordinary circumstances.
North American Anglicans who have harbored the thought that PEAR-USA might become an enclave for Anglicans who are Biblical and Protestant in their stance and evangelical and reformed in their theology can write off that idea. Absorption into the Anglican Church in North America means that former PEAR-USA clergy and congregations will be using the ACNA prayer book presently in preparation and To Be a Christian: An Anglican Catechism. Neither of these two ACNA formularies (not to be confused with the Anglican formularies) fit the description of Biblical, Protestant, evangelical, and reformed. They display the strong influence of unreformed Catholic teaching and practices.
The future of authentic Historic Anglicanism in North America looks even grimmer. 

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