Friday, January 15, 2016
Concerning the suspension of the Episcopal "Church"
Those who want to read a brief news report about the Anglican Communion Primates having suspended the Episcopal "Church" (TEC) from voting in Communion matters, and from representing the Anglican Communion for a three year period, may read the news at this link. If you want to read my analysis of this matter please come back to this page.
That the Global South primates have won a kind of victory is a step in the right direction, but only a step in a long journey. Many of us in Continuing churches know that this is approximately forty years later than it should have been. We know also that the Archbishop of Canterbury, then Donald Coggan, would have made all things better by recognizing the Denver Consecrations in 1978. The presence of ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach at the primates meeting this past week is good in one sense, but it also drives home the propaganda that we need to resist; namely that only now has a genuine Anglican alternative to TEC arisen. That notion has been presented only in an implied sense, but it is strongly implied at our expense, though it has never been true at all.
Furthermore, we do not accept the idea that any church body that "ordains" women is practicing authentic and genuine Anglicanism, for it is rejecting the catholic understanding of holy orders that was always preserved in Anglicanism from the time of the Reformation on. The idea that the matter of a sacrament may be altered, in this case a woman substituted for a man, cannot but lead right back to the belief that a man may step in for a woman, or a woman for a man, in another sacrament, namely holy matrimony. Logic follows its own law of gravity, as I wrote before, back in 2007 (see it here). Sadly, this bodes ill for the Anglican Communion in many places other then the United States, which is why the Anglican Catholic Church (ACC) has stepped in to ensure valid orders in many countries on all inhabited continents, as well as the islands of Haiti and the Philippines. This rescue by the ACC has been necessary even in several of the Global South countries from which Anglican Communion primates traveled to Canterbury. And the ACNA still has women in their diaconate and in their priesthood.
Therefore, I do not see the suspension of the Episcopal Church as a major victory or healing. It only delays the break up of the Anglican Communion, focusing only on same-sex "marriage." In itself same-sex "marriage" was already practiced in TEC, just not by name before the government declared it legal. It was called the "Blessing of Same-Sex Unions," and was approved at the same 2003 General Convention that approved Gene Robinson for their TEC episcopate. That did not lead to any such actions as we see now by the primates, nor did it cause the ACNA to arise for six years.
Indeed, "Blessing of Same-Sex Unions" was always meant to be the same thing as marriage, however unofficially in the eyes of the state, inasmuch as the Church does not actually marry anybody, since the ministers of matrimony are the bride and groom who marry each other. The priest hears their vows in front of other witnesses, and gives them the Blessing. The Church does not make marriages, but rather blesses them. So, we know what TEC was really approving in 2003. All that is different now is the mask has come off completely.
This is not a matter of too little too late, but of a brief delay. At the end of these three years will TEC have repented? The evidence is that they are digging in their heels and playing "martyr" and "prophet" under the leadership of their Presiding Bishop Curry, who spoke passionately to the other primates, wresting every New Testament verse he could drag out of context, no matter how violently. In his theology, it appears, God sent His Son into the world to make the world safe for pornea (sexual immorality). The Son did not come to call sinners to repentance, but to seeking affirmation of their sinful "lifestyles." Curry's words, and their tone, show no repentance, but only a Satanic method called twisting the scriptures. In three years TEC will only slide further into apostasy and heresy, assuming all the while a "holier than thou" attitude in the process.
And, since history proves that TEC is the real trail blazer in the Anglican Communion, including parts of the otherwise laudatory Global South, it is only a matter of time before the cancer spreads further, perhaps a mere three years. No, a much more radical and perhaps painful procedure must take place for us to have any cause of rejoicing. That procedure may seem as painful as cutting off a right hand, or plucking out a right eye. It is called repentance.