Anglicanism is Divided
The New Hampshire Decision
Statement from All Souls Church, Langham Place, London W1
We take note of the sectarian action of dissident bishops of the Episcopal Church in the United States, in carrying through a dubious consecration ceremony which will not be regarded as valid in most Anglican provinces across the world.
The service of November 2nd 2003 was held in defiance of the statement and appeal against such an action, issued unanimously on October 14th, 2003, by world Anglican primates at Lambeth. For the Presiding Bishop in America - himself a signatory to that statement - then personally to have overseen the ceremony involving Canon Gene Robinson, indicates a demeaning of his fellow primates (including the Archbishop of Canterbury) and a deviousness in Christian leadership that is unworthy of a Shepherd of the flock of Jesus Christ.
In planning to consecrate a bishop a divorcee, now in an active homosexual relationship, the Episcopal Church in the United States of America has caved in to prevalent western cultural pressures and reverted to the paganism of the ancient Graeco-Roman world that was vigorously challenged by the early Christian church. In doing so, ECUSA has departed from the boundaries of orthodox Anglicanism, in contempt of the consistent biblical witness to the God-given institution of marriage, and of 2000 years of universal church practice across all Christian traditions.
We will fully support British bishops who continue to stand for the biblical norm of the one man/one woman lifelong monogamous relationship that represents marriage - and we thank the overwhelming majority of Anglican leaders worldwide who are giving the lead in standards of sexual behaviour. But we also intend to work with Anglican Mainstream and with every network that strengthens local parish churches in the nationwide lead that supremely belongs to them.
The result of the controversial service on November 2nd is to be seen not as much as a split in the Anglican Communion, but rather as a stepping away by ECUSA, outside of the world-wide Anglican witness. It is an occasion of tragedy that we are not able to recognise Canon Gene Robinson as a bishop; nor are we able to welcome any further as Anglicans the ministry of those who took part in the service of 2.11.03.
ECUSA claims to have taken a step towards 'inclusivity.' The opposite will be the result, in the loss from their membership of a very great number of men and women who are determined to be loyal to the apostolic standards of the Gospel of Christ. It is with immense sorrow that we foresee the reduction of the Episcopal Church in America to what will turn out to be a diminishing single-issue sectarian body.
It is for this reason that we extend our deep and prayerful sympathies to those men and women, clergy and lay, in North America, who continue loyally to teach and abide by the Scriptures. We shall give our support to Anglican leadership world-wide in the providing of structures and encouragement for them in their continuing service.
We also wish warmly to affirm those sisters and brothers, already in membership with orthodox churches, who - while experiencing same-sex desires and feelings - nevertheless battle with the rest of us, in repentance and faith, for a lifestyle that affirms marriage and celibacy as the two given norms for sexual expression. There is room for every kind of background and past sinful experience among members of Christ's flock as we learn the way of repentance and renewed lives, for Such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God (I Corinthians 6:11)
This is true inclusivity.
Rector of All Souls Church
London W1B 3DA
So, the actions of the Anglicans in the United States
in consecrating a divorced man, now actively participating
in an openly homosexual relationship, has begun an
official divide in the Anglican community.
This division is seen by some as a "positive."
11/25/03: A Positive Statement from the Anglicans
In the midst of apostasy, it's nice to see someone
standing for truth. Click here <links to article above>
for a positive statement from the Anglicans.
Is it just me, or does this division among Christians
sound like something that should be praised as a positive?
Perhaps this embracing of division is something some
groups of Protestants just feel some sort of kinship
among a dividing community.
I happen to agree with the underlying sentiment from aomin.org - that being that homosexuality is not something any Christian church should embrace. Certainly, embrace homosexuals and help guide them to better choices. The fact remains that homosexuality, the act of such, not merely the tendencies or even desire thereof, is an abomination to God who clearly in His Word, several times, has made this truth known. The sad part is that there became another schism within the schism of Anglicanism over this. It is the prayer of this writer that there be an acknowledgement of the truth and full unity among Christians be restored to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.