Equipping The Saints


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Equipping The Saints

  1. 1. EQUIPPING THE SAINTS: A Crisis Resource for Anglican Laity An Education Resource Produced by The American Anglican Council MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT Beloved in Christ, CONTENTS As my staff and I have traveled across the nation attending various AAC meetings and Message from the conferences, it has become apparent that many Episcopalians are still somewhere “in the President . . . . . . . . . . . .1 middle” regarding our current crisis. Many faithful in the pews believe the issue is solely Facts and Figures . . . . .2 one of sexuality and are “simply not willing to see their church torn apart because of Timeline of sex”. Others truly believe “things will blow over” given time. Still others are horrified Significant Events about what has happened, but have convinced themselves that the problem “doesn’t in ECUSA and the affect me or my church – as long as we are orthodox, does it really matter what the Anglican Communion . .3 national church does?” Did You The fact is that the decisions of General Convention 2003, and subsequent actions Know That…? . . . . . . . .4 by the Episcopal Church, have deeply divided our denomination and torn the fabric of Quotable Quotes . . . . .5 the Anglican Communion. The nature and depth of this crisis have effectively destroyed the middle ground – it simply no longer exists. We are all faced with the Frequently Asked ancient choice Joshua gave to Israel: each must “choose this day whom you shall serve.” Questions & Glossary . .6 This situation with its inherent choice affects each and every man, woman and child; it This We Believe . . . . . .8 impacts each bishop, priest, deacon and layperson. The Episcopal Church has chosen a The Tip of path inconsistent with traditional faith and practice; Anglicanism upholds the faith once the Iceberg . . . . . . . . .10 delivered. Will we choose to be Episcopalians or Anglicans if ECUSA will not repent and return to the Lord? The Cost of Faithfulness . . . . . .10 In addition, while the presenting symptom is sexuality, the disease with which our church suffers threatens the very foundation of Christianity. What is at stake is the Laity Standing Up, authority of Scripture and the unique and essential nature of Jesus Christ. This is the Speaking Out & difference between Christian tenets of belief outlined in Scripture, as well as expressed Taking Action! . . . . . .11 in Anglican faith and order, on one hand, and universalism on the other. The two are Resources . . . . . . . . . .12 mutually exclusive, contradictory and irreconcilable. Many of you have asked us to assist you in helping others understand the issues and the crisis we face. Laity have also asked us to provide specific ways in which you can find your voice and take action. In response to these requests, we have formulated this “...Jesus said, resource. “Equipping the Saints: A Crisis Resource for Anglican Laity” is designed as an educational tool for use by congregations, small groups and individuals. We encourage ‘If you hold to my you to reproduce it and pass it along. You can also download PDF files from our teaching, you are website (www.americananglican.org). A tool is only as effective as those who utilize it. We hope you will use this material as often and as broadly as possible, and we pray this really my disciples. resource will help you persuade friends “in the middle” to make a choice and take a Then you will know stand. the truth, and Blessings and Peace in our Savior Jesus Christ’s Name, the truth will set you free.’” The Rev. Canon David C. Anderson — John 8: 31-32 President of the American Anglican Council 1
  2. 2. FACTS AND FIGURES WEBSITES American Anglican Council www.americananglican.org ECUSA TRENDS 1965 to 2000 [Note: “Equipping the Saints” PDF Area 1965 2000 Percent Change version on website lists affiliated congregations, chapters and ministries] Congregations 7539 7347 - 2.5% Network of Anglican Communion Infant Baptisms 91,695 46,403 - 49.4% Dioceses and Parishes Adult Baptisms 13,627 7,231 - 46.9% www.anglicancommunionnetwork.org Confirm/Reception 128,066 44,892 - 64.9% Anglican Communion Institute www.anglicancommunion Church School Attendance 880,912 275,382 - 68.7% institute.org Membership 3,615,000 2,297,000 - 36.5% Forward in Faith (International) Avg Membership 480 312 - 35% www.forwardinfaith.com Anglican Mainstream (Great Britain) Avg Ch School 116 37 - 68% www.anglican-mainstream.net Researched and supplied by the Rev. Kevin Martin, Vital Church Ministries Anglican Essentials (Canada) www.anglicanessentials.org FAST FACTS 2002 TO 2003 AAC’s General Convention 2002 2003 2003 website www.aplacetostand.org Parishes and Missions 7,305 7,220 SPEAK OUT! A resource for Active Baptized Members 2,320,221 2,284,233 Anglican Laity Net change in Active Membership (2001-03) -8,201 - 35,988 www.anglicanlaity.net % of Churches Growing 10% in Membership 34% 34% Institute on Religion and Democracy www.ird-renew.org % of Churches Declining 10% in Membership 35% 36% Ekklesia Total Average Sunday Worship Attendance (ASA) 846,640 823,017 www.ekk.org Net Change in ASA (2001-03) -11,926 - 23,623 % of Churches Growing 10% in ASA 31% 28% % of Churches Declining 10% in ASA 39% 43% % of Congregations with 200 Members or Less 53% 53% ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Median Active Baptized Members 185 182 We gratefully acknowledge assistance % of Congregations with ASA of 100 or Less 60% 61% for this resource from Robert Babb, Rebecca Brust, Sarah Hey, the Rev. % of Congregations with ASA of 300 or More 7% 6% Canon Dr. Kendall Harmon, Diane Median Average Sunday Worship Attendance 79 77 Knippers, the Rev. Canon Martyn Minns, and the Rev. Canon Brad Page. % of Parish Clergy Under Age 40 9% 9% % of Parish Clergy Age 50-60 49% 49% THE AMERICAN Median Age of Parish Clergy 53 53 ANGLICAN COUNCIL Source: Episcopal Church website (www.episcopalchurch.org/23235_28079_ENG_HTM.htm). The American Anglican Council is a Network of individuals, parishes, specialized ministries and Episcopal FACTS REGARDING YOUTH: Bishops who affirm Biblical authority Episcopal National Average and Anglican orthodoxy as the Youth General Populations Episcopal Church within the Anglican Communion. In response to the Believe in God 70% 85% Lord’s calling and by His grace, we Faith important in daily life 40% 50% commit ourselves to proclaim the Good News to every person, to gather Morality is relative 60% 45% those of like mind in order to move Believe adults are hypocrites 45% 27% ahead with the mission and ministry Source: National Study of Youth and Religion, Lilly Endowment of the Church. Editor: Cynthia P. Brust Assistant to the Editor: Claire E. Whitehill 2
  3. 3. T IMELINE OF S IGNIFICANT E VENTS I N ECUSA & THE A NGLICAN C OMMUNION 1976 1996 September 2002 April 2004 • General Convention of • The American Anglican • ACC meeting in Hong • Retired Bishop Otis ECUSA approved Council Incorporated Kong approved motion Charles “married” homo- Resolutions A068 & B101 urging dioceses and bishops sexual “partner” in calling for study/dialogue 1997 to refrain from unilateral Pasadena, CA (The two on sexuality and ordina- • Kuala Lumpur Statement actions/policies that would have 5 previous marriages tion of homosexuals upheld traditional strain communion between them.) theology of sexuality 1979 May 2003 May 2004 • General Convention of 1998 • Primates’ meeting in Brazil • Bishop of Los Angeles, ECUSA approved • Lambeth Conference issued pastoral letter J. Jon Bruno, performed Resolution A053, reaf- upheld Scriptural and stating that liturgy reflects same sex blessing firming traditional teaching traditional teaching on theology/belief, thereby on sexuality and morality marriage and human negating authorization of June 2004 • Twenty revisionist bishops sexuality rites for same sex blessings • Bishop of Washington, issued “Statement of • New Westminster, Canada, DC, John Chane, March 2000 performed same sex Conscience” rejecting • Primates’ meeting in Bishop Michael Ingham A053 issued same sex rite for use blessing Oporto, Portugal, issued • Dioceses of Washington, • Revised edition of the pastoral letter upholding in diocese Book of Common Prayer DC & Vermont issued the authority of Scripture August 2003 proposed rites for same was approved July 2000 • General Convention of sex blessings 1985 • General Convention of ECUSA defeated • General Convention of Resolution B001 which October 18, 2004 ECUSA approved • Lambeth Commission ECUSA approved Resolution D039 acknowl- affirmed the authority of Resolution D082 calling to Scripture; voted to confirm released Windsor Report edging relationships other 2004 “dispel myths and preju- than marriage and exis- non-celibate homosexual dices” against homosexuality tence of disagreement on as Bishop; and approved October 25-31, 2004 the Church’s teaching Resolution C051 which • African Anglican Bishops 1988 recognizes blessing of same • General Convention of Conference March 2001 sex unions as “within ECUSA approved • Primates’ meeting in bounds of common life” January Resolution D102 calling Kanuga issued pastoral • Special meeting of the for the continuation of letter acknowledging October 2003 ECUSA House of Bishops consultation/dialogue estrangement in Church • Special Primates’ meeting regarding human sexuality due to changes in issued pastoral statement February theology and practice condemning ECUSA’s • Meeting of Executive 1989 decisions at General Council of ECUSA • Bishops John Spong and regarding human sexuality and calling Communion Convention and calling for Walter Righter, Diocese of “adequate provision for February 20-26, 2005 Newark, ordained non- to avoid actions that • Primates’ meeting (will might damage “credibility episcopal oversight” celibate homosexuals consider Windsor Report of mission” November 2003 recommendations) 1994 • V. Gene Robinson • General Convention of 2002 June 18-19, 2005 • Synod of the Diocese of consecrated Bishop of ECUSA approved New Hampshire • Anglican Consultative Resolution D049 calling New Westminster created Council meets to imple- for preparation of a report rites for same sex blessings January 2004 ment Primates’ decisions considering rites for same April 2002 • Anglican Communion on Lambeth Commission sex commitments • Primates’ meeting at Network launched recommendations • Bishop Spong drafted Canterbury issued pastoral Koininia Statement February 2004 For more comprehensive letter recognizing responsi- • Lambeth Commission information, please see the defining homosexuality as bility of all bishops to morally neutral and began deliberations “Equipping the Saints” page at articulate fundamentals of the American Anglican Council supporting the ordination faith/maintain truth March 2004 of homosexuals in faithful website (www.american • ECUSA House of Bishops anglican.org.) sexual relationships issued Delegated (signed by 90 bishops and Episcopal Pastoral 144 deputies) Oversight (DEPO) Plan 3
  4. 4. DID YOU KNOW THAT… • At General Convention 2003, the suggesting the inclusion of other a Buddhist prayer bell and do a House of Bishops was unable to faiths and thereby presenting Buddhist chant). pass Resolution B001 which ECUSA as a sort of unitarian sect. would have re-affirmed “Holy Its presentation of pluriform • Leaders of the Episcopal Scripture as the foundation of reality and revisionist version of Church USA promoted pagan authority in the Church” and reaf- “Christianity” is contradictory to rites to pagan deities on the firmed “positions adopted by Scripture and traditional teachings website of ECUSA’s Office of previous General Conventions and of Christianity in general and Women’s Ministries. affirms that no member of this Anglicanism in particular. • Recently, two priests (a married Church shall be forced to practice couple) in the Diocese of anything contrary to the clear • The Fall 2004 Clergy Conference in the Diocese of Pennsylvania were exposed as meaning of Holy Scripture.” leaders of a local society of Druids, Los Angeles was entitled: • Many Episcopal congregations “Beyond One Way: Christians people who follow a pre-Christian have been blessing same-sex and Religious Pluralism”. practice of worshipping the sun unions for years, and this practice and venerating the Earth. The is now officially permitted, not • A number of ECUSA congrega- female priest also affirmed a rite only by the General Convention tions are affiliated with the Center called “A Women’s Eucharist—A of the Episcopal Church USA for Progressive Christianity. Celebration of the Divine and the Presiding Bishop, but by Founded by an Episcopal priest Feminine” that was featured on the a number of dioceses including (who currently serves as the Episcopal Church Office of the dioceses of Delaware, Center’s president), members of Women’s Ministries webpage. Nevada, North Carolina, New this organization reject, among Charles Bennison, Bishop of Hampshire, Vermont and other things, the uniqueness of Pennsylvania, referred to the situa- Washington DC. Many other Jesus Christ and the Sacramental tion as “a small error of judgment dioceses are in the process of nature of the Eucharist. that has been very costly to their developing official written poli- ministry and their church, and the • At Diocesan Convention in the church at large.” cies authorizing such blessings. Diocese of Atlanta, Integrity • Thomas C. Ely, Bishop of sponsored a booth with a large • Since the early 1990’s cathedral Vermont, announced that bowl of condoms to distribute. and parish churches have experi- Episcopal priests in his diocese In addition, the diocesan youth mented with Sunday liturgies that will continue to bless same sex offered a prayer for world peace delve into paganism. One such unions despite the Windsor “in the name of Allah, Buddha service at the Cathedral of St. John Report’s call for a moratorium on and Jesus.” the Divine in New York City even such blessings. included praises to “Ra, the Sun • ECUSA’s National Christian god of Egypt” and “Ausar, ruler of • Every Voice Network, long associ- Education Conference in 2002 Amenta, the realm of our ances- ated with aggressively promoting included various shrines to other tors.” This service was led by the the homosexual agenda within religions, including Islam, Native diocesan bishop. ECUSA, has “re-invented” itself American Spirituality, Buddhism and formed “Via Media”. and Christianity, and at each shrine • ECUSA’s Virginia Theological one was encouraged to engage in Seminary provides faculty • “Via Media: Evangelism for the some activity relative to the reli- housing for sexually active Episcopal Church” is the gion represented. (For example, (of any sexual preference) Episcopal Church’s newest and one could wave a feather and say a non-married faculty. most heavily publicized program Native American “ancestor prayer”, for new members. It represents or weave a small prayer mat out of the basic ethos of ECUSA in strips of construction paper, or ring terms of “radical inclusion,” even “...and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” — 2 Timothy 3:16-17 4
  5. 5. QUOTABLE QUOTES Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” — John 14:6 “B “G “I ut there is a tradition in the od is not an external, super- would be a fool to regret that church in the United States natural entity, ruling the decision. Gene Robinson is one of a kind of pluralism. There world from above the sky. of the finest priests that I’ve ever has never been one interpretation of God is rather the Source of Life, the known and one of the finest bishops Scripture. …And while I think we Source of Love, the Ground of I’ve ever known. There’s no way, would all say as our ordination Being. It is a non-theistic definition. shape, or form that I could not have liturgy has us say – those of us who Life has taught us that theism is voted for Gene Robinson.” are ordained – that we believe that dead. There is no supernatural God — Jon Bruno, Bishop of Los Angeles (in a Q the Old and New Testament contain directing the affairs of history.” & A response to this question: “In light of all things necessary to salvation, “The idea that Jesus is the only the schism in your diocese, do you regret there is a broad interpretation of way to God or that only those who your decision to support Robinson?”) what precisely that means in actual have been washed in the blood of terms as one looks at various issues Christ are ever to be listed among “W e have got to stop letting and concerns in the life of the the saved, has become anathema the bullies win … When Church. … So when we think about and even dangerous in our shrinking people start talking about church, I think many of us think world.” biblical truth and waving it as a first of all about that sacramental — John Spong, Episcopal Bishop of New cudgel, stand up to them. There is experience rather than the Book as Jersey, retired no single biblical truth. You can read the absolute determinant of our the Bible and prove anything.” ecclesial life …” “T “But I think one thing that has he Bible has been hijacked — The Rev. Tom Ehrich, syndicated religion been important to me is that the by the religious right … That columnist, “Going Forward Together” biblical authors really, I don’t think, is our Bible. It’s time we Conference had a sense of people whose affec- take it back … I keep on saying to gay and lesbian people: Let’s reclaim “T tions might fundamentally be ordered he next battle will move to members of the same sex.” this book. It is our story.” beyond sexuality to focus on “Do you think that if I had the exclusivity of — Frank Griswold, Presiding Bishop of the declined to be consecrated, this Episcopal Church USA Christianity and the need to recog- would have all gone away? … That nize Jesus as a way, but not the only toothpaste isn’t going back into the way.” “I f there were any word of God tube. Even if something happened to beside the Scripture, we could me, there are gay and lesbian people — Michael Ingham Bishop of New never be certain of God’s word; everywhere waiting to be elected.” Westminster, Canada and if we be uncertain of God’s “The religious right is hardly “I word, the devil might bring in religious and definitely not right … f you must make a choice among us a new word, a new They’re in bed with the enemy. between heresy and schism, doctrine, a new faith, a new church, They’re in bed with winning and always choose heresy.” a new god, yea himself to be a god. arrogance. We have let them hijack — Peter Lee, Bishop of Virginia If the Church and the Christian the Bible. It is our book, and these faith did not stay itself upon the are our stories, and we cannot let “I Word of God certain, as upon a sure them be misused.” ’m not exactly sure what will and strong foundation, no man happen in terms of some formal — V Gene Robinson, Bishop of New Hampshire . moratorium. I rather doubt that could know whether he had a right faith, and whether he were in the will occur.” true Church of Christ, or in the — Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold, speaking synagogue of Satan.” on the Windsor Report — Archbishop Thomas Cranmer 5
  6. 6. FAQ FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS What are the four “Instruments What is the nature of the “crisis” What is meant by of Anglican Unity”? in the Episcopal Church and the “crossing boundaries”? The Anglican Communion under- Anglican Communion? In the current crisis of the Church, stands itself to be a family formed by The Episcopal Church faces an the Episcopal Church leadership has mutual responsibility and interde- extreme crisis of belief centered on utterly failed to offer adequate provi- pendence chiefly enabled through the uniqueness of Jesus Christ as sion for episcopal oversight. Faithful four instruments of unity: Savior and the authority of Scripture. Episcopalians have been suffering • The Archbishop of Canterbury under revisionist leadership, and this • The Lambeth Conference What is Adequate Episcopal has necessitated emergency measures • The Primates Meetings Oversight (AEO)? in the form of senior bishops crossing • Anglican Consultative Council In their statement of October 2003, diocesan boundaries to perform It is significant to note that all the Anglican Primates expressed Episcopal functions for beleaguered, four exhorted ECUSA against the “particular concern for those who in parishes. Some parishes have chosen actions taken at General all conscience feel bound to dissent to seek oversight from bishops in Convention 2003 as well as the from the teaching and practice” of other provinces. [Such measures have subsequent consecration of an provinces or dioceses that contravene precedent in Church history.] The active homosexual. the teaching of the Communion. As individuals who are providing these part of this concern, the Primates as a Episcopal functions do so at personal What are the Lambeth whole called on “the provinces sacrifice and are considered by many Commission and the concerned to make adequate provi- to be heroes of our times. Windsor Report? sion for episcopal oversight for such The Lambeth Commission was dissenting minorities within their What does it mean to established in October 2003 by the own area of pastoral care in consulta- “be in Communion” with one Archbishop of Canterbury to tion with the Archbishop of another? What is meant by examine the life of the Canterbury on behalf of the “broken communion”? Communion. The Windsor Report Primates.” Oversight provided solely, Members of the Anglican 2004 was developed by the and potentially manipulated, by Communion (38 provinces) are Lambeth Commission outlining the offending authorities cannot be united by a common faith, doctrine, state of the Anglican Communion deemed acceptable. “Adequate” over- tradition and order. Broken, or and how to address issues splitting sight must be determined by those impaired, communion indicates that the worldwide Church. who are seeking it. one or more of the constituent members has breached the bonds of What is the via media concept What is Delegated Episcopal communion. Of the 38 provinces in within Anglicanism? Pastoral Oversight (DEPO), and the Anglican Communion, 22 have Traditionally, the term “via media” does the AAC support it? declared that they are in a state of has been used to describe the middle In March 2004, the House of Bishops broken, or impaired, communion way between the Reformed/ of the Episcopal Church approved a with the Episcopal Church USA due Protestant expression of faith and plan for Delegated Episcopal Pastoral to its actions. Roman Catholicism. With the rise of Oversight (DEPO) as a means to revisionism, via media has been re- meet the pastoral needs of What is the difference between interpreted as the middle of “dissenting” churches not wishing to the American Anglican Council extremes between conservative and receive oversight from the bishop of (AAC) and the Anglican liberal theology – it is described as their diocese. DEPO does not Communion Network (ACN)? the “moderate position”. adequately address structural relief Founded in 1996, the AAC is an (alternative jurisdiction) for faithful advocacy organization dedicated to What is the Episcopal Church USA Episcopalians in hostile dioceses; the serving individuals, congregations (ECUSA)? plan is viable only where it is unnec- and dioceses. The first and fore- The Episcopal Church is the U.S. essary, that is, in the few dioceses most goal of the AAC is to perpet- province of the worldwide where bishops would grant AEO. uate the true and living Gospel, Anglican Communion. DEPO in no way fulfills the call of carrying out the Great Commission the Primates for adequate provision by providing information, updates for episcopal oversight. and practical ideas for assisting individuals and congregations. The AAC commits to: proclaiming the 6
  7. 7. Glossary Biblical and orthodox faith; Anglican Communion—The Anglican worship of this Church or manner of fulfilling the Great Commission Communion is a worldwide life and behavior of the Priest or and transforming the Church. The communion of 38 Anglican Provinces Deacon addressed”. In 2004, both president of the AAC is the Rev. with 77 million baptized members. Pastoral Directives and Inhibitions have been used inappropriately by bishops Canon David C. Anderson. Council for Anglican Provinces of in an apparent attempt to “control” The Anglican Communion Africa (CAPA)—An organization of 12 orthodox clergy who are speaking out Network (ACN), whose formal African provinces and the Diocese of or seeking to affiliate with the AAC title is the Network of Anglican Egypt representing over 40 million and/or ACN. Communion Dioceses and Parishes, Anglicans. CAPA is the largest and is an ecclesial body established in fastest growing segment of the Anglican Pluralism—“Pluralism is an affirmation Communion. of the validity of every religion, and the 2004. A biblically-driven refusal to choose between them, and missionary movement, the ACN is Global South—A term used in refer- the rejection of world evangelism….” dedicated to bringing the "true and ence to those provinces and dioceses of —John Stott, Anglican theologian legitimate" expression of the Anglican Communion near or south Anglicanism to North America and of the equator; refers particularly to “Many people today confuse traditional Africa, Southern Asia and Latin Western religious tolerance with reli- provides the means for remaining America; these Anglicans tend to be gious pluralism….the latter assumes all connected with those provinces religions are equally valid, resulting in deeply evangelical and are outspoken who have declared impaired or critics of the theological innovations of moral relativism and ethical chaos…” broken communion with the the Episcopal Church. —Robert E. Regier & Timothy J. Dailey Episcopal Church. Heresy—Doctrine or teaching that is Progressive Christianity— Are the AAC and the ACN contrary to Scripture and traditions of Synonymous with “revisionist schismatic and/or divisive? the Church (based on the 4 Councils of Christians – those who have embraced Nicea, Constantinople, Ephesus and a new gospel”, one which rejects the While some claim that the AAC and orthodox tenets of faith. Progressive Chalcedon; the 39 Articles; the ACN have caused schism in the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral, and Christians emphasize “recognizing the Episcopal Church, in reality, it was the Lambeth Conference of 1888). faithfulness of other religions and Episcopal Church that divided itself, proclaim that they do not have an as well as the Anglican Communion Inhibition—ECUSA’s canons refer to a exclusive hold on the truth.” The written “command” from a Bishop that Center for Progressive Christianity worldwide, when it ignored the a Priest or Deacon is to cease from (www.tcpc.org) is an organization authority of Scripture and the admo- exercising functions of ordained whose members reject the uniqueness nitions of the worldwide Primates. In ministry. In 2004, both Pastoral the words of the Anglican of Jesus Christ and the Sacramental Directives and Inhibitions were used nature of the Eucharist. Communion Primates, the Episcopal inappropriately by bishops in an Church “tore the fabric of the apparent attempt to “control” orthodox Revisionism—Revisionism, also known Communion.” clergy who are speaking out or seeking as “Progressive Christianity,” seeks to to affiliate with the AAC and/or ACN. change theological, doctrinal and moral What is the AAC’s position on essentials of orthodox Christianity. women’s ordination? Orthodoxy—Doctrine, teaching and Their version of Christianity offers a practice consistent with Scripture and “new gospel.” As a network, the AAC has affiliate traditions of the Church (based on the members and congregations who hold 4 Councils of Nicea, Constantinople, Unity —Understood in traditional differing views on women’s ordina- Ephesus and Chalcedon; the 39 Christianity to be centered on being tion, and we respect these differing Articles; the Chicago-Lambeth unified with Christ and the ultimate opinions. This issue has been studied Quadrilateral, and Lambeth Conference Truth He reveals. Revisionist/progres- and debated within the Anglican of 1888). sive theology, however, elevates unity to a level above truth and accuses Communion and was deemed an Pastoral Directive—In ECUSA’s traditional Christians of causing issue upon which Christians might canons, refers to a written “solemn disunity or schism. have legitimate differences based on warning” from a Bishop to a Priest or Scriptural evidence within the bonds Deacon setting forth clear reasons for For a more comprehensive list of of the Anglican Communion. This is the Pastoral Direction. The canons note frequently asked questions and glossary radically different from issues of sexu- that pastoral directives should not be terms, please see the “Equipping the “capricious or arbitrary in nature” and Saints” section on the AAC website at ality in which the Communion has must relate to some matter which www.americananglican.org. said there is not room for legitimate “concerns the Doctrine, Discipline or differences as the full Body of Scripture confines sexual expression to a man and woman within marriage. 7
  8. 8. THIS WE BELIEVE any in the church believe the current crisis centers on issues of sexuality, but we face a far deeper, more pervasive and M insidious threat to our church. Tragically, the Episcopal Church has divided into two distinct religions –one that upholds traditional or orthodox Christianity and one that embraces revisionist or “progressive Christianity”. Note that both world views claim to be “Christian” but in reality these two represent belief systems that are contradictory and irreconcil- able. For 2000 years, there has been an understanding of basic tenets of Christian faith, that is, a specific, identifiable belief system consisting of so called “essentials of faith.” These essentials are “non-negotiable”, with Christians accepting this belief system based on the authority of Scripture as the revealed word of God and the historic documents of the Church. Beliefs, doctrine and practices inconsistent with these essentials of faith have been considered “false teaching” or heresy. The chart below outlines some contrasting beliefs of two religions based on essentials of faith that prove mutually exclusive: Traditional/Orthodox Christianity Revisionist/Progressive “Christianity” What is the nature of God? What is the nature of God? • God is the one and only God (monotheistic) – creator • God is love, a force within humans rather than the creator of heaven and earth, of “all things seen and unseen,” and of the universe. God is the “Ground of all Being.” He has intervened in the world throughout the course of history.1 • God is transcendent (utterly other) immanent (present with us), omniscient (all-knowing), omnipotent (all- powerful). His love demonstrates a balance of perfect mercy and perfect justice.2 Who do we believe Jesus Christ to be? Who do we believe Jesus Christ to be? • Jesus, as the only Son of God, is God made man (fully • Jesus was a good man, a teacher and Rabbi who offers a human and fully divine). He is the Savior and Lord of all positive role model and points to God. He can be under- creation, the only means of salvation and reconciliation stood as “a way” to God but calling him “the way” is with God.3 “exclusive”. The “historical Jesus” was not born of a virgin, was not God incarnate and “went to God” after his death, but the Resurrection is questionable at best. • Jesus’ gift to the world was teaching his followers how to love one another and to work for justice and peace in the world. What is the nature of humanity? What is the nature of humanity? • Humans are creatures made by God in His image and at • Man is innately good and is in need of enlightenment, creation, God declared humanity “good.”4 not salvation. • At the Fall, humans were separated from God and became • Man contains/experiences God within. sinners who “have fallen away from God and His destiny for us, living in either open or passive rebellion to him.”5 What is the nature of sin? What is the nature of sin? • Sin and spiritual death originated in the Garden of Eden • Humans are not born into sin but do require enlighten- at the Fall, and all humans “inherit” a sinful nature (orig- ment and to grow into their true selves. People do not inal sin) – inherent tendency to rebel against God and sin; rather they “make wrong choices” or “mistakes”. others, and therefore sin is universal “…for all have sinned • There is no spiritual condemnation or penalty for sin. and fall short of the glory of God…”6 • Sin is understood as “active rebellion”; “going astray”; “missing the mark”; disobedience or trespass; marked by “godlessness”; often involves immorality; cannot be over- come by our attempts to fulfill the Law or be pleasing to God and results in spiritual death and separation from God – “…for the wages of sin is death.”7 8
  9. 9. Traditional/Orthodox Christianity Revisionist/Progressive “Christianity” What is salvation? What is salvation? • Salvation is reconciliation with God which was accom- • Since man is not sinful, salvation is unnecessary. Man plished by Christ’s death and resurrection. In salvation rather needs “self-fulfillment” and/or Christ offers atonement, redemption and regeneration.8 “self-actualization”. • Salvation is experienced on two levels: “Justification” • To imply that humanity needed a “savior” or “rescuer” is (God’s forgiveness of sin and being made righteous in demeaning to humankind – a theology of Christ as a sacri- God’s sight) is received by grace (unmerited gift of God) fice for sin is abhorrent. through faith. “Conversion” is the act of accepting Christ • “Christianity desperately needs to escape the language of as Savior and following him as Lord through repentance antiquity that has portrayed sacrifice and shed blood as signs (completely turning away from unbelief and sin) and faith of salvation. The Jesus who ’died for our sins’ has simply got (profession of Christ as Savior and Lord, choosing to live to go in our post-Darwinian world. Christianity must move under His authority).9 beyond a rescuing Jesus, who overcame a fall that never happened, even metaphorically, to restore human life to a status it has never had, even mythologically.” —John Spong, retired Bishop of New Jersey What is the nature and authority of the Church? What is the nature of the Church? • The role of the Church is to represent Christ to the world, • Churches help individuals find their inner being and making disciples and teaching them to obey Christ’s connect with the God within. teaching.10 • Ministry in the church centers on social action. • The church is charged to proclaim by word and example • Worship tends to be centered on the “community.” the good news of God in Christ. • The church is “the Body of Christ” and His Bride.11 What is the nature, role and authority of Holy What is the nature, role and authority of Holy Scripture in the life of Christians? Scripture in the life of Christians? • Holy Scripture – God’s word – is His revelation to • Scripture is a collection of stories that must be understood humanity which records the story of faith – the unfolding in its historical, cultural and societal context which limits of salvation history. It also outlines God’s vision of and its application and relevance. Scripture is not authoritative standards for, holy living, discipleship, ministry, morality, nor the revealed word of God but rather metaphorical. It marriage and family life. is a product of human beings representing a specific histor- • “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, ical ethos.13 rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”12 1. Deuteronomy 6:4 7. Proverbs 28:13; Isaiah 53:6; Matthew 1:21; Ephesians 2:1; Titus 2:12; James 2:10; Romans 3:20; Isaiah 54:6;Romans 6:23 2. 1Chronicles 29:11; Revelation 4:11; Psalm 139: 7-12; Acts 17:28; Psalm 139:1-6; 1 John 3:20, Job 42:2; Jeremiah 32:17; Exodus 15:11; 8. Romans 5:10; Galatians 3:13; John 3:3; 2 Corinthian 5:17 Ezekiel 28:25; Psalm 107:1; Romans 5:8; 1 John 4:7, 8 9. John 3:16-18; Romans 10:9-10 3. John 14:6 10. Matthew 28:18-20 4. Genesis 1:27; 31 11. 1 Corinthian 12:12-31 5. Genesis 3 12. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 6. Genesis 2:16; Romans 5:12; Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:8-10 13. Revisionist views are based on general information gathered from books, articles and websites. 9
  10. 10. THE COST OF FAITHFULNESS • For decades, orthodox congrega- • Bishop Garrison, Diocese of • Bishop Robert Moody, Diocese of tions have struggled with issues Western New York, threatened to Oklahoma, strongly objected in such as pastoral succession, designate all parishes not funding writing to a new Anglican Church seminary education and ordina- the fair share budget as plant associating with the Anglican tion, mandatory giving in revi- “dependent parishes,” rending Communion Network or hosting an sionist dioceses and fear of losing local leadership subservient to his AAC event in his diocese. their property. centralized control. • Linda Radosevich, a lay chaplain at • Laity in some places have experi- • One bishop sent letters to two Northern Arizona University in enced “revisionist imperialism” and orthodox parishes questioning their Flagstaff, AZ, was pressured by ECUSA has developed “canonical loyalty and blasted them for their Bishop Co-Adjutor Kirk Smith to fundamentalism”. views, questioning their right to begin contributing to the Episcopal • Bishops have issued arbitrary publicly express them. Church and “modify” her theolog- Pastoral Directives directing clergy • Bishops have called for “loyalty ical positions because they “were not to join the American Anglican oaths” from clergy and laity. an embarrassment to him.” Ms. Council (AAC) or the Anglican • Bishop Stacey Sauls, Diocese of Radosevich resigned rather than Communion Network (ACN). One Lexington, reduced St. John’s compromise her faith. It is impor- bishop issued a Directive pro- Episcopal Church to mission status tant to note that she was never hibiting a priest from participating and seized all monetary assets as accused of expressing her views on in any worship service other than well as the building based on a campus in her capacity as chaplain. those within ECUSA. They were “rumor” that they might try to [Note: Some individuals who have shared their threatened with inhibition if they leave ECUSA. stories have asked that their names or those of did not comply. • Bishop Theuner, Diocese of New the bishop/diocese be withheld to protect them • Bishop Don Johnson, Diocese of Hampshire, revoked Fr. Don from retribution.] Western Tennessee, sent a pastoral Wilson’s pastoral license after he letter to all clergy instructing them publicly expressed his strong oppo- to cut ties with the AAC. sition to the election and consecra- tion of V. Gene Robinson. THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG Sexuality is only the tip of the iceberg, but the real controversy is underneath the water. So, what is the real issue? Adopted from a presentation by the Rev. Canon Dr. Kendall Harmon, Editor of the Anglican Digest Theology Marriage This is fundamentally a debate about the interpretation Traditionally, marriage was understood to have four and authority of Scripture. At issue are not just a few purposes: communion, union, procreation, and individual passages, but the broad structure of the prevention. The church has always understood that biblical narrative from the primordial couple in the the only proper context for the expression of sexual Garden of Eden through the New Testament. The Bible’s intimacy is between a man and a woman who are teaching on marriage is that it is intended by God to be married to each other. a “one flesh” union which embraces the complemen- tarity of the two sexes. Based on this positive teaching, the Scriptures are also very clear that homosexual behavior is a violation of God’s purpose for sex. Authority of the Church Message of Jesus Christ Who gets to make decisions and how are those decisions The message of the will of God to draw all people to made? Anglicanism sees its decision making as conciliar, himself through the cross of his Son has been replaced promoting peace and stability. Authority should be with a new and different message of a “therapeutic related to their conformity to the teaching of Holy Jesus” embracing people where they are. Episcopalians Scripture and the decisions of previous councils, as well as have embraced a gospel of affirmation, rather than the to the degree to which their decisions were more widely gospel of salvation and transformation. Jesus said to the accepted over time. woman caught in adultery, “Go and sin no more.” 10
  11. 11. LAITY…STANDING UP, SPEAKING OUT & TAKING ACTION I t is imperative in this time of crisis that doxy must be restored. Apply Pressure orthodox, traditional Episcopalians join • Christ’s instructions to guard the faith • Use the Windsor Report to pressure forces, mobilize, stand up, speak out and are clear and directed to all Christians. the Presiding Bishop, House of act. While the Windsor Report has some As the “priesthood of all believers”, Bishops and Executive Council of the weaknesses, it does give us the opportunity how can laity not take their proper Episcopal Church to choose to remain to apply pressure and affect change. For a place in the life of the Church? a constituent member of the Anglican brief window of time (now until the • The role of the laity extends far Communion (repent and turn from launch of the February 20 Primates beyond faithful service in the life and revisionist innovations); meeting), we need to engage in a pincher worship of the local congregation. • Redirect funds from revisionist movement within the Communion with Laity also need to participate actively churches/dioceses to orthodox organi- Primates pushing down and laity pushing in the governance of the Church. zations/ministries; up. We need to employ various methods • Laypersons are being excluded from • Develop vestry resolutions calling for and specific action to apply pressure on critical decisions. Windsor Report recommendations to rectors and vicars, bishops, standing • Laity can speak out with relative be implemented. Send these to committees and diocesan conventions. It is impunity. bishops, Standing Committees and time to draw the line in the sand and make diocesan councils (Sample resolutions it clear that laity will no longer watch WHAT CAN YOU DO? may be found on the “Equipping the while the church is hijacked by revi- Saints” section of the AAC website) sionism. It is time to say, “Not any more, Join with Others: • Submit similar resolutions to diocesan not on my watch.” councils/convention; • Pray without ceasing – consider Our goals can best be attained rela- • Hold your rectors/vicars and organizing dedicated days of prayer tionally – informing and persuading one bishops as well as Standing and fasting or prayer vigils in homes Episcopalian, one church, one diocese at Committees accountable – schedule or churches; a time to stand in the gap and act. The meetings to express your call for a • Join the American Anglican Council Windsor Report made it quite clear that return to orthodoxy; (individuals and congregations); the middle ground is no more. Rather • Flood the bishops’ offices and • Establish an AAC chapter in the choice for individual Episcopalians Standing Committee members with your diocese; and the Episcopal Church as a body is letters outlining your position and • Register on SpeakOut! (www. clear: Will we walk together with the expectations; anglicanlaity.net) (individual laity); Anglican Communion or will we choose • Work for orthodox individuals to • Affiliate with the Anglican to walk apart? be elected to vestry and diocesan Communion Network (congregations and clergy); council/conventions and for key “You can come together and you can pray. Be • Develop mailing lists (email and diocesan positions such as Standing the church and begin to move forward. Get postal); Committee and Commission organized, develop mission partnerships. Get • Gather and mobilize all orthodox on Ministry. involved in ministry. Show how God can transform lives. You have lots of power; the laity/clergy in each diocese; Protect Your Clergy and power of the Spirit, the power of the feet and • Stay in touch and encourage the power of the purse. This is a good time to one another; Congregation stand up and fight back. … The laity are the • Develop small groups for fellowship, • Seek legal counsel; greatest resource in the church. It bugs me prayer, Bible study and strategy; • Work with lawyers (including why the laity sits quietly by; be encouraged • Establish a home church. consulting with the AAC legal team) to rise up. The church was never meant to be to understand your canonical rights. dominated by clergy or bishops. Many lay Communicate and Inform Challenge bishops who step beyond folks are reluctant to take initiative. Please, I • Write the Anglican Communion the canonical boundaries; beg of you, stand up and rock the boat.” Primates (see SpeakOut! website); • Always have legal counsel present — Martyn Minns, Rector of Truro Church • Educate those who still don’t get it – for discussions with hostile Fairfax, VA host Bible studies or coffees and help rectors/vicars and bishops and other to inform others of this crisis and why significant meetings; WHY SHOULD YOU GET it impacts them; • Develop a civil employment contract INVOLVED? • Develop classes in parishes to for your orthodox clergy; • Not all bishops and priests can be inform/mobilize members – copy • Establish a “Scenario Task Force” to counted on to “guard the faith, unity and/or share these booklets; consider your options as a congregation and discipline of the whole Church”. • Send your harassment stories to the and develop action plans accordingly. • The future of the church for you, AAC and allow us to communicate your children and grandchildren is at them to others; stake – this crisis affects every • “Go public” and expose harassment Episcopalian and Anglican. and revisionist actions in your • This crisis will not blow over – ortho- church/diocese. continued on page 12 11
  12. 12. LAITY…STANDING UP, SPEAKING OUT & TAKING ACTION continued from page 11 A Call to College Students “future of the Church,” and it isn’t our your waist, with the breastplate of & Young Adults time to fight. The truth is, we are no righteousness in place, and with your more the future of the Church than our feet fitted with the readiness that Rebecca English Brust parents and generations before us are comes from the Gospel of Peace.” We The crisis of our Church is severe and the Church’s past. As Esther did, I have been presented with a battle. It is people are leaving the Episcopal believe we have “come to the kingdom time to stand in truth, wear the breast- Church every day. In this crisis lay for such a time as this.” We need our plate and plant our feet firmly with the people have been looking to their voices to be heard, and we can no readiness of the true Gospel of Jesus bishops and clergy to fight for us, but it longer wait for other people to speak Christ. As lay people and college is time we too begin fighting to restore for us. students, it is our responsibility to hold biblical Orthodoxy in our church. God has called everyone to partici- our bishops and clergy accountable to As young adults we have the easy pate in this battle regardless of our age fight, but we must also take our place opportunity to avoid taking a stand or or position in the Church. The Lord in the battle. articulating our thoughts. We can lie to instructs each of us to “stand firm then, ourselves by saying that we are the [From the Speak Out website at with the belt of truth buckled around www.anglicanlaity.net] RESOURCES BLOGS Robert Gagnon, Theologian (resources Anglican Communion News Service American Anglican Council BLOG regarding Scriptural view of homosexuality www.anglicancommunion.org/acns/ http://aacblog.classicalanglican.net www.robgagnon.net index.cfm TitusOneNine BLOG Stand Firm N.T. Wright, Bishop of Durham http://titusonenine.classicalanglican.net www.standfirminfaith.org www.ntwrightpage.com Website on ECUSA spending Andrew Carey EPISCOPAL CHURCH www.ecusadollars.blogspot.com http://andrewcarey.classicalanglican.net/ Episcopal Church USA index.php?m=200408 THEOLOGICAL BOOKS, ESSAYS, www.episcopalchurch.org AND WEBSITES www.comeandsee.org THE LAMBETH COMMISSION ON COMMU- Episcopal News Service NION AND THE WINDSOR REPORT Breakdown of votes for the election of Lambeth Commission on Communion Gene Robinson to the episcopate www.episcopalchurch.org/ens.htm www.anglicancommunion.org/ www.americananglican.org/News/ The Red Book Church Locator ecumenical/commissions/lambeth/index.cfm News.cfm?ID=682&c=21 http://theredbook.org/redbook/default.asp Anglican Communion Institute Church Pension Group CONTACT INFORMATION www.anglicancommunioninstitute.org www.cpg.org Find a clergy member of the Episcopal Church USA www.ecdplus.org Robert Sanders Directory of Parishes and Dioceses www.rsanders.org www.episcopalchurch.org/directory.htm Contact Information for the Worldwide Primates Nicea and the “Invasion” of Bishops in www.aco.org/acns/special/primateslist.cfm ANGLICAN COMMUNION Other Dioceses www.americananglican.org/Issues/ Anglican Communion Issues.cfm?ID=1037&c=16 www.anglicancommunion.org THE AMERICAN ANGLICAN COUNCIL Non-Profit www.americananglican.org U.S. Postage 800-914-2000 PA I D Permit #4889 Suburban, MD