Friday, July 19, 2013

Forward in Faith North America Rejects Historic Anglicanism with New Faith Statement


By Robin G. Jordan

At its July 17-19 2013 meeting the Assembly of Forward in Faith North America adopted a new faith statement that places FIFNA at odds with historic Anglicanism, the classic Anglican formularies, and the Jerusalem Declaration. In its new Declaration of Common Faith and Purpose FIFNA affirms the doctrine of Transubstantiation — the true, real, and substantial presence of Christ under the species of the bread and wine; the teaching of the first seven Councils of the undivided Church; and seven (not two) sacraments. This statement departs significantly from the more moderate language of the FIFNA’s previous Declaration of Common Faith and Purpose. Historic Anglicanism rejects the doctrine of Transubstantiation and recognizes only the teachings of the first five ecumenical Councils and only two sacraments—Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

What is worth noting is that the FIFNA Assembly took this action in advance of GAFCON II, which is set for October of this year. FIFNA President Keith Ackerman has in the recent past called for FIFNA to spearhead a “new Oxford Movement.” FIFNA represents an Anglo-Catholic element in North America, which not only seeks to make the Anglican Church in North America more “Catholic” but also seeks to export its beliefs and practices to the Global South and influence the direction of global Anglicanism. Among the members of the FIFNA Council are ACNA Diocese of Fort Worth Bishop Jack Iker and REC Diocese of Mid-America Bishop Coadjutor Ray Sutton.

One is prompted to openly wonder what is happening in FIFNA and the Anglican Church in North America to embolden the FIFNA Assembly to take this step. 

8 comments:

RMBruton said...

Now let all the presumed Evangelicals in the ACNA and elsewhere in GAFCON wake-up and smell the incense. There can be no mistaking what these people are, simply put, Roman Catholics without the Pope!

Reformation said...

Vis a vis:

http://juicyecumenism.com/2013/07/08/ird-exclusive-bishop-ray-sutton-on-the-reformed-episcopal-resurgence/#comments

and

http://www.virtueonline.org/portal/modules/news/article.php?storyid=17771#.Udtt-p3D9jo

1. Those who have been impressed by Mr. Sutton’s spirited justification of the “new” REC might be interested in getting to know the gentleman further, through asking a few pertinent questions:

2. From what institution does Mr. Sutton claim to have an earned PhD? (Inquiring minds should be prepared to ask, at the same time, the P.O. Box in the UK this institution uses as its classroom, administrative and library facility).

3. What might have been the topic of the day last November when Mr. Sutton had a personal audience with Pope Benedict XVI?

4. In 1964, the membership of the Reformed Episcopal Church was listed as 7007 with 66 churches; in 2008, it listed 125 congregations but only 6040 members. Is this what Mr. Sutton means by resurgence?

5. Which of the following interesting statements was written by Mr. Sutton?

a) For the non-Christian, mysticism is that which is comprehensible in the universe. If this is true, then mystery is something that can be manipulated in the form of knowledge, liturgy, experience and so forth.

b) But, today, our Churches are filled with "pampered" individuals who are the product of too much direct attention. They float from Church to Church trying to find someone who will give his/her life for him.

c) Does this mean that man cannot have personal transcendence? No, the Psalmist says, “1 said, you are gods, and all of you are sons of the Most High” (Psalm 82:6; John 10:34). In the words of Athanasius, the early Church Father and great defender of Trinitarianism, “God became man that man might become god.”

d) "Protestantism has failed to give the world a better Church."

e) Man is the son of God in a covenantal sense. He can be called a “god,” little g, without taking on Deity. This is not double talk, rather, it is covenantal talk.

f) All of the above

6. Who does Mr. Sutton think was responsible for the REC’s new “historical consciousness?”

Reformation said...

7. What resurgence did the Theological Seminary of the Reformed Episcopal Church experience during the years it was under Mr. Sutton’s leadership? Give a year by year record of full time students during your tenure. Also, provide the same for the years 2000-2013, year by year.

8. Did Mr. (bp.) Roy Grote tell Mr. Sutton to scrub any and/or all internet references to Mr. Sutton's online articles about Reconstructionism and related subjects? If so, what articles, references, and connections? When and why? Explain the history.

9. What is Mr. Sutton's view of Federal Vision?

10. Please explain your church affiliation/s and membership/s while at Dallas Theological Seminary, including your views of premillenial dispensationalism. When and under what circumstances did you surrender the dispensational views of the seven ages of innocence, consciense, government, promise, Mosaic law, age of grace, millenial kingdom and eternity? Do you still believe there are "two peoples of God?" Explain the theo-exegetico-historical circumstances of switching to postmillenialism.

11. Explain your call and time at Westminster Presbyterian Church, Tyler, TX and relationships with Rousas Rushdoony, Gary North, James Jordan and the elders? Did this church and denomination subscribe to the Westminster Confession of Faith, Larger Catechism and Shorter Catechism? Did you subscribe to those Confessions? If not, why not? If so, do you still subscribe to them or have you changed your views and mind? Why did you leave this church? Was there an implosion amongst the leaders? Are you still a theonomist? If not, why not? Was this authoritarianism a personal and tempermental tendency or did you have theological convictions about reconstructionism?

Reformation said...

12. Explain in full the history, circumstances and relationships to Dr. Daniel Dunlap? Was Dr. Daniel Dunlap also an ex-Theonomist like yourself? Dr. Milton Fisher? Dr. Allen Guelzo? Dr. Geoffrey Hubler? Dr. Dwight Zeller? Rev. Niel Bech? And other faculty members or administrative staff at The Theological Seminary of the Reformed Episcopal Church. What were the circumstances and reasons for leaving this seminary?

13. What happened to the study centre in Arkansas? Does it still exist? If not, why not?

Reformation said...

14. Fully explain your relationship with Mr. (bp.) Walter Grunsdorf of the Anglican Province of America as well as other Anglo-Catholic individuals, churches and/or institutions. Include circumstances, times and places, including their views and your views on seven sacraments, purgatory, invocation of saints, prayers for the dead, Mariology, missals and breviaries, rosary beads, incense, icons, Massing vestments, Masses, Masses for the dead, seven councils, episcopacy as a divine institution or human institution, the anti-Reformation perspective, Tract XC, Tractarianism, John Newman, the Lady of Walsingham, legitimacy of Protestant (Lutheran, Presbyterian) ordinations, the Society of the Holy Cross, Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament, reservation and adoration of the bread, justification by faith alone, sola scriptura, sola fide, solus Christus, Capernaitic-corporal-fleshly presence of the Ascended Redeemer in the Communion, free will, predestination, covenant theology, Arminianism and semi-Pelagianism, and the Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England, Irish Articles of 1615, and the Westminster Confession of Faith.

15. Did Baptists or Bible Church Pastors ordain you? Provide the names of Baptist Pastors who ordained you as well as the time and circumstances. Following that, what Presbytery examined you? If a Presbytery, provide the name of the denomination and presbytery (we understand it was not the ARP, PCA, RPCGA, URC, URCNA, CRC or the OPC).

16. Explain the circumstances when you, Mr. Sutton, changed your views from the Baptist version of "believers' immersionistic baptism" to "infant baptism." Provide names, dates and influences in your thinking.

17. Mr. Sutton, explain your view of transubstantiation including your views of Mr. (abc) Thomas Cranmer and his view of "transubstation." Did you ever teach this view at the Theological Seminary of the Reformed Episcopal Church shortly after it relocated to Grace Chapel, Roxborough, PA. Include your view of the history of the black rubric in the Prayer Books. Mr. Sutton, here's the background from Mr. Robin Jordan. http://anglicansablaze.blogspot.com/2013/07/forward-in-faith-north-america-rejects.html "At its July 17-19 2013 meeting the Assembly of Forward in Faith North America adopted a new faith statement that places FIFNA at odds with historic Anglicanism, the classic Anglican formularies, and the Jerusalem Declaration. In its new Declaration of Common Faith and Purpose FIFNA affirms the "doctrine of Transubstantiation — the true, real, and substantial presence of Christ under the species of the bread and wine;" the teaching of the first seven Councils of the undivided Church; and seven (not two) sacraments. This statement departs significantly from the more moderate language of the FIFNA’s previous Declaration of Common Faith and Purpose. Historic Anglicanism rejects the doctrine of Transubstantiation and recognizes only the teachings of the first five ecumenical Councils and only two sacraments—Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. What is worth noting is that the FIFNA Assembly took this action in advance of GAFCON II, which is set for October of this year. FIFNA President Keith Ackerman has in the recent past called for FIFNA to spearhead a “new Oxford Movement.” FIFNA represents an Anglo-Catholic element in North America, which not only seeks to make the Anglican Church in North America more “Catholic” but also seeks to export its beliefs and practices to the Global South and influence the direction of global Anglicanism. Among the members of the FIFNA Council are ACNA Diocese of Fort Worth Bishop Jack Iker and REC Diocese of Mid-America Bishop Coadjutor Ray Sutton. One is prompted to openly wonder what is happening in FIFNA and the Anglican Church in North America to embolden the FIFNA Assembly to take this step."

Subdeacon Henry Shirley said...

I an so grateful that this is no longer my fight, having left Anglicanism for Orthodoxy some 25 years ago. The last Anglican Mass I served was in the Holy House at Walsingham, feast of SS Peter and Paul, 29 June, 1988.

nathaniel kidd said...

I've responded comprehensively to this issue here: http://angsedcontra.wordpress.com/2013/07/24/a-hasty-but-comprehensive-response-to-fifna-critics/

Subdeacon Henry Shirley said...

Well-thought analysis and answer, Fr Deacon Nathaniel...Not my fight, but I keep you folks in my prayers.