By Robin G. Jordan
Is the Anglican Church in North America committed first and foremost to listening to the Word of God as Archbishop Iliud Wabukala maintains in his latest pastoral letter? To date I have observed only a very selective listening to God’s Word in the Anglican Church in North America.
While ACNA leaders may heed the Holy Scriptures in regards to marriage and human sexuality, they pay more attention to tradition in other important areas than they do to Scripture. One might suspect that they heed what Scripture says about marriage and human sexuality because Scripture and tradition agree on these subjects.
Archbishop Wabukala errs and errs significantly in assuming that because ACNA leaders takes a traditional position on marriage and human sexuality, they are listening to God’s Word in other key areas. One only has to conduct a thorough survey of the teaching and practices contained in the ACNA’s rites and services and its catechism to see that is really not the case. ACNA leaders gives far greater weigh to tradition and Scripture interpreted by tradition and therefore ultimately tradition than it does to God’s Word.
Archbishop Wabukala destroys his own credibility when he makes these kinds of statements. He needs to be certain of the facts before he puts pen to paper.
My advice to Archbishop Wabukala is:
Commend the Anglican Church in North America for the positive things that it may be doing but do not draw false conclusions from them.
Also bear in mind that the ACNA often does things for the sake of appearances. It wants to retain the approval of the GAFCON Primates—at least for now—while pursuing its own agenda which departs significantly from that of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans.
Be more restrained in your support of the Anglican Church in North America. Unqualified support gives ACNA leaders the wrong message. It emboldens them to keep moving the ACNA away from what the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans profess to believe.
I worked for a number of years with youth who had been adjudicated by the court as in need of supervision. This involved not only the supervision of the youths themselves but also their parents or other care takers. One of the reasons their behavior had brought them to the attention of the court was that their parents or other care takers for various reasons did not set firm limits with them and were not consistent in enforcing whatever limits they did set. The youths perceived their parents or other care takers as not caring about how they behaved. When the care takers did attempt to impose firm limits on a youth and to consistently enforce these limits, they experienced greater rebellion from the youth if they had been doing it from the very beginning.
I hope that an Anglicans Ablaze reader will pass this word of caution onto the Archbishop.