Earlier this week (November 1), Tim Morgan at Christianity Today posted a story about the South to South Encounter of top Anglican delegates in Egypt. Morgan’s story is an excellent overview of the current issues threatening to tear apart the Anglican world. It’s worth the read:
Anglicans ‘Severely Wounded’
At a top summit in Egypt, conservatives call for a Scripture-affirming covenant.
by Timothy C. Morgan in Ain Sukhna, Suez, Egypt
Following are some key quotes from the story:
Gay ordinations, same-sex unions, and acceptance of the homosexual bishop, V. Gene Robinson, have sharply increased tensions among Anglicans worldwide. Talk of schism is no longer speculation.
From an eight-page statement released after the meeting:
“We [in the Global South] reject the expectation that our lives in Christ should conform to the misguided theological, cultural, and sociological norms associated with sections of the West.”
Regarding the growth of the Global South verses the Western Anglican church:
The number of active Anglicans in the United Kingdom and Episcopalians (as they are known in the United States) has been in steady decline for decades. But in the developing world, Anglican growth has been exceeding overall population growth by two or three times. Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, parts of South America, Malaysia, and Singapore have all emerged as hot houses for evangelism, church planting, and traditional missions work for Anglicans.
Meanwhile, Anglicans in the West have been battling over theology, homosexuality, and the authority of Scripture.
Morgan broke some key news regarding a petition and a statement released at the council by SPREAD:
At the Global South meeting, Christianity Today obtained a confidential petition and a supplemental 100-page statement. A new organization, SPREAD (the Society for the Propagation of Reformed Evangelical Anglican Doctrine) drafted the petition, which calls on conservative Anglicans to reaffirm:
- Scripture is truly “God’s Word written” and is sovereign over the church and its members.
- A commitment to the church law not to ordain “anything that is contrary to God’s Word written.”
- A pledge that as church leaders they will “banish and drive away from the church all erroneous and strange doctrine contrary to God’s Word.”
- No Christian is free from obeying scriptural commandments that are moral.
According to SPREAD spokesman Martin Mahoney the issue at the heart of the Anglican angst is this:
The debate has revealed that the communion is divided not only over the issue of whether the church should approve of same-gender sexual relations, but also over the more profound issue of whether the church is subordinate to Scripture. The church is no longer united in the Anglican reformed catholic faith, which subordinates the church to Scripture, and many of its members follow various other kinds of faith, which Subordinate scripture to the church (emphasis mine).
This is a good article to catch if you’re still not sure what all the fuss is about. The issue is an important one to watch over the coming months.
Kudos to Tim Morgan for a great article.
[tags]BlogRodent, timothy-morgan, christianity-today, anglican, global-south, episcopal-church, controversy, gay-ordination, theology, SPREAD, anglican-doctrine, denomination[/tags]