Friday, May 09, 2008

AAC weekly message from Bishop David Anderson

Via email, the weekly message from Bishop David Anderson with the American Anglican Council [boldface mine]:

Beloved in Christ,

This week, a good portion of my time has been invested in an Executive Committee meeting of the Common Cause Partners Federation. If this organization is, hopefully, to be more than just a gathering of orthodox judicatory and mission organizations' leaders, work has to be commenced on some difficult issues. The good news is that such work is being addressed. After the many disappointments of the past five to eight years, I am reluctant to pronounce when something will happen and what it will look like, but I do have a great deal of optimism about the future for the Common Cause participants. I see a willingness to look the hard issues in the face and begin trying to work on them. Is the task formidable? Absolutely! But the important thing is that the leaders I am sitting beside are willing to begin the process, and this willingness will continue to be reflected when the same bishops are gathered for GAFCON. I also have a good deal of hope and optimism for GAFCON, that it will bring forth what will unfold into the future of Anglicanism.

When the American Anglican Council writes to those overseas about the troubles on the spiritual landscape in North America, it is often the case that our listeners or readers will default to the easiest understanding - sex. I have explained to journalists at length that the sexuality issues in North America are derivative of the theological errors of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada. The orthodox Anglicans in North America fervently believe that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and none come unto the Father except through him. Jesus gave us this doctrine himself, and it becomes a litmus test for the theological deviation that has occurred and is progressing at an alarming rate. Additionally, the orthodox Anglicans believe the Holy Scripture to be "God breathed," as II Timothy 3:16 phrases it. We believe that Holy Scripture has the authority to speak into both our spiritual and our "secular" lives, and to provide not only the words of eternal life, but also the proper ordering of our behavior and discipline.

The great divide we face is that the liberal revisionists no longer believe this, and it is a very significant departure from historic Christianity. In their view, Jesus is a way to the Father, but you can pick the path that works best for you. Likewise, scripture is written by the church and can be rewritten and reinterpreted by the church to mean different things than it has for the past two millennia. In reality, if Bishop Gene Robinson were to resign tomorrow, very little would change in North America. Sexuality issues are the presenting symptom that indicates a visit to the doctor's office is needed, but they are not the disease. Departure from the historic Christian faith is the disease, and sexual perversions, dealings in witchcraft and the occult, and other manifestations are the consequent result. If you are not here to witness it, it is hard to comprehend how wacko the Episcopal Church scene is getting. We couldn't make this stuff up if we tried, so we will just report it to you to underline our point: as bad as the homosexuality issues are in the church, the bizzare theology is even worse.

David Kalvelage, the Executive Editor of The Living Church, a respected orthodox weekly publication centered on the life and events within the Episcopal Church, has written an excellent article that goes to the point of my remarks above. David has given us permission to reprint the entirety of his article which appears in the May 11 edition of The Living Church. Read the article below, and bear in mind that no one made this up, and this is the very sad and dangerous state of much of the Episcopal Church. People's eternal life is being put at risk because teaching such as this is disseminated by diocesan sources, and those who believe and act on it are at peril.

Speaking of Gene Robinson, he is again claiming that his life is being threatened, but this has all of the narcissistic credibility of the young Nigerian gay man who keeps claiming that he was attacked in Nigeria because of his sexual orientation, but he can't seem to keep straight the details of the alleged event(s). Is it dangerous to be publicly gay? In some locations and at some times, undoubtedly so. It is also dangerous in many European and North American settings to be public and verbal about being ex-gay. The entire concept of being ex-gay undermines the mantra of "they are born that way and it is immutable," and thereby seems to somehow threaten the very identity of being gay. Consequently, verbal and physical attacks have been visited on those who have had healing and restoration from God brought into their life. Those whose lives were disordered have been re-ordered, or if you will, re-oriented, into what is the intention of the Creator - thanks be to God.

This Sunday is a double Holy Day in the US: first the feast of Pentecost, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the church, accompanied by supernatural events. This is still happening in the churches where the members both believe and expect it. Secondly, it is Mother's Day in the United States, and anyone who hasn't sent Mom a card and some flowers is in trouble. And even if you have, phone Mom and thank her for all that she has done for you.

Blessings and Peace in Christ Jesus,

The Rt. Rev. David C. Anderson, Sr.
President & CEO of the AAC

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