Opening Comments 2-18-2000
DVirtue236 at AOL.COM
Thu Feb 17 22:25:30 EST 2000
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The explosive news out of London today is that the Archbishop of Canterbury
George Carey has come out full steam against the consecrations of Bishops
Rodgers and Murphy calling them "illegal." He said it was a "breach [of]
Anglican rules and practice." He said he would not recognize the Episcopal
ministry of the two priests.
The issue will be discussed by the Primates in Portugal, he said.
Now the question is this. If Lambeth Palace is going to hold these two men
accountable for their breaking the rules, will George Carey also hold the
liberal and revisionist bishops in the Episcopal Church USA equally
accountable for their open rebellion against Lambeth resolutions, their
persecution of orthodox parishes, their decrying of heterosexism and the
continued ordination of non-celibate homosexuals to the priesthood in direct
defiance of the Lambeth resolution forbidding such? And what of the
conscience clause on women's ordination voted on at Lambeth and scorned by
ECUSA's House of Bishops?
Will George Carey go to Portugal and raise those issues with his fellow
Primates? He better, because they are certainly going to raise them with him,
and if he votes down these two newly consecrated bishops he may find himself
in the minority.
Because here is what my sources tell me about the make-up of the Primates and
how they might vote on any given issue.
There are 38 altogether. Five are solidly revisionist and liberal. They are
ECUSA, Canada, Australia, Scotland and Southern Africa. Questionable are
Ireland, Wales, Brazil, the Philippines and New Zealand. That's ten maximum.
That leaves 28 solidly orthodox primates that divide into three camps:
Evangelical, Charismatic and Anglo-Catholic. They are, on balance from
Africa, Asia and the Far East.
George Carey is going to have a hard time spinning Anglican cohesiveness
while decrying the consecrations as divisive unless he is prepared to admit
that provinces like ECUSA and Canada live and act in flagrant defiance of
Biblical truth, openly bullying in word and deed African provinces whose only
interest is in upholding the gospel of Jesus Christ.
This is one Primate's meeting not worth missing and your humble scribe is
going to make sure he gets the truth out one way or another. It might even,
perforce mean the end of the Anglican Communion as we know it. A split could
occur it's not entirely out of the question.
Now a book I have reviewed today titled the Way of Faithfulness and authored
by an archbishop and Primate makes precisely that point. Harry Goodhew
(Sydney) and Maurice Sinclair (Southern Cone) argue that to restore an
orthodox ministry in North America might mean these diocese be declared
missionary districts and that COMMUNION WITH THE NON-CONSENTING DIOCESAN
BISHOPS SHOULD BE SUSPENDED.
In effect that is what has already happened by these two consecrations. The
timing is certainly lousy, but the effect is the same. They are saying what
many of us have known for a long time, ECUSA is morally and theologically
bankrupt and it is time someone stood up and shouted FRANK GRISWOLD HAS NO
THEOLOGICAL CLOTHES. He stands naked wrapped only in the tattered robes of
pluriformity, inclusivity and diversity.
And, if I am not mistaken at least 28 Primates will stand up in Portugal and
tell him that. I hope the Evangelical leader of 70 million plus Anglicans has
an answer for them, because George Carey is an Evangelical, and whether he
likes it or not SPIRITUAL COMMUNION IS ALREADY BROKEN in fact and that truth
is inescapable. Light cannot coexist with darkness. What is going on is
nothing less than total spiritual warfare between two totally conflicting
worldviews and they cannot live together any longer. In truth they never did.
They and he may not want to believe that but it is true. You cannot serve two
masters, and George Carey, a godly, educated, humble man knows that. He must
be the most conflicted Christian man in the world today. He deserves our
prayers as perhaps no other leader needs them. Pray for him.
In other news, I have a report from both Bishops Rodgers and Murphy in
response to Carey's statement along with a statement from the leader of the
American Anglican Council, Dallas Bishop James Stanton. They come from
different directions. The AAC, comprising some 45 conservative bishops both
active and retired in the HOB still believe they can reform ECUSA from
within. Clearly the two consecrated bishops do not believe that.
Now the Anglican Church of Australia has a new Primate. His name is Peter
Carnley AO, Archbishop of Perth in Western Australia. The bad news is that he
is an old-fashioned liberal or so I'm told, but he talks like a new fangled
revisionist. There is a simple means test. What does he think about sex,
specifically homosexuality or sex outside of marriage? Here is what he says.
"I am of the opinion that there are many conversations still to take place."
Now "conversations' is a buzzword of Frank Griswold. These guys like to
"converse" to talk endlessly, but they never want to come to a decision.
Please let's talk ourselves to death. Archbishop Carnley dislikes the use of
the term 'homosexual marriage' and prefers to cast the discussion in terms of
'friendship.' Now is that friendship with or without sex? He says that the
boundaries of friendship and the limits of touch need to be "carefully
explored." Is he saying that Louie and Ernest can hold hands but must stay
out of bed or what? It's like telling your teenage kid about to go out on a
date wearing a tank top and jeans in a fast car with a guy who has a ring in
his ear and a condom in his pocket that they can only kiss, without saying if
that's to be the lips, cheeks, neck, breasts or even lower and can they take
some clothes off while leaving the bare essentials on. Boy, are these
theologians going to have fun with this.
Sadly Carnley defeated Harry Goodhew a solid Evangelical by 24 votes to 17 in
the final ballot. The fact that Goodhew will be retiring in March 2001 on his
seventieth birthday influenced some electors. This is indeed a sad day for
the Anglican Province of Australia. Carnley says he likes growing tulips.
That won't help him be Primate, trust me. Nor will it resolve profound
Apparently Carnley wrote a paper called "the Church and her memory of Jesus,"
here's hoping he can recall that when he comes to debate sex in Portugal. Oh
to be a fly on the wall on that occasion.
Carnley says he will not support the concept of a second province within the
American Church for bringing it close to home he will reject such a notion
when it comes to discussions within the Anglican Church of Australia on lay
presidency and women bishops.
Now in his globe-trotting to promote unity and help congregations link with
sister congregations around the Anglican Communion, Canon Bill Atwood General
Secretary of EKKLESIA says he now has some 200 bishops in 25 countries who
oversee more than half of the Anglican Church in the world who work with him.
Quite a feat.
EKKLESIA is a fellowship linking Anglicans especially for the purpose of
making disciples for Jesus Christ and proclaiming and defending the gospel of
our risen Lord. EKKLESIA also pursues development projects both spiritual and
economic and he points to a radio station in Uganda that is both commercial
and spiritually proclaiming Christ.
There are a number of other stories for your interest and, as usual, I close
with a devotional.
For all of you who have signed on to Virtuosity during this past week I want
to give you a warm welcome and invite you to look at Virtuosity's web page
for back digests and some 450 links.
You can get there by typing:
http://virtuosity.bizland.com OR http://virtuosity.freeservers.com.
Please feel free to write to me with questions, queries, criticism and
corrections. I welcome them all.
There are major stories in the works in the coming weeks that should keep you
firmly interested in the affairs of the Anglican Communion. They will not
always make you feel happy, but they will drive you to your knees.
More information about the VirtueOnline