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.