Saturday, January 30, 2016

Catholic Revivalism ≠ Biblical Anglicanism


By Robin G. Jordan

The events to which I referred in my last article are a part of the history of the Anglican Church in North America. When these events and other events in the jurisdiction’s history are examined along with the doctrinal contents of the ACNA’s own formularies and the doctrinal associations of the practices that they mandate or sanction, they show that a serious conflict of interest exists between the ACNA and the GAFCON Primates and the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans.

The revival of unreformed Catholicism in the North American Anglican Church is not the renewal of biblical Anglicanism. The two are antithetical to each other.

Biblical Anglicanism is "the true Profession of the Gospel and the Protestant Reformed Religion Established by Law" of the Coronation Oath Act of 1688. Its principles are based upon the Holy Scriptures and are set forth in the historic Anglican formularies, including the two Books of Homilies.

 The continuing support of the GAFCON Primates and the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans for the ACNA is not in the best interest of confessing Anglicans who desire to see a renewal of biblical Anglicanism in the North American Anglican Church. They are supporting leaders whose aspirations are at cross-purpose with the aspirations of such Anglicans.

If their commitment to the restoration of the Bible and the historic Anglican formularies to the heart of the Anglican Church is genuine, the GAFCON Primates and the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans need to reserve their support for the elements in the North American Anglican Church that share their commitment. It makes no sense to support leaders who have a contradictory and incompatible commitment—a commitment to the revival of unreformed Catholicism.

It also does not make sense for confessing Anglicans in the ACNA to support leaders who are not committed to the restoration of the Bible and the historic Anglican formularies to a central place in the  Anglican Church, particularly those who are involved in reviving unreformed Catholic teaching and practices in the ACNA.

In failing to take any steps, much less adequate ones, to comprehend in the jurisdiction’s formularies the beliefs and convictions of Anglicans who subscribe to the biblical and reformed principles of historic Anglicanism, these leaders are signaling that their present toleration of confessing Anglicans is conditional. It is contingent on the expectation that these Anglicans will either compromise their beliefs and convictions or leave the ACNA. If they intended to make room for the beliefs and convictions of these Anglicans, they would have already extended official standing to those beliefs and convictions. This should be quite evident by now.

Saturday Lagniappe: "12 Church Enemies" and More


12 Church Enemies

Every pastor will eventually have to face enemies within the church, people who are dedicated to damage and even destroy them. As these enemies have a range of motives and methods, and can be deadly if not recognized early, here’s a selection of the kinds of enemies that can be found in many churches (some belong to more than one category – some belong to all!) Read More

6 Reasons Why Church Leaders Are Afraid to Talk About Money

The unfortunate avoidance of finances. Read More

The Most Dangerous Place On Earth

There is no more dangerous place to be than where the direct, straightforward teaching of the Word of God confronts dead religion. Read More

4 questions every church should ask a missionary candidate

For every missionary candidate, pastors and churches need to take the time to ask probing questions. Read More

Clergy could soon be allowed to take services in jeans and hoodies

Now the habit of dressing down on Sundays is to become legal for the first time as the General Synod prepares to debate a new law to allow clergy to wear casual clothes during services so long as they make sure to be "seemly". This even takes in dress deemed appropriate for youth services, such as jeans and hoodies. Read More

Friday, January 29, 2016

On the Wrong Track with the Anglican Church in North America


By Robin G. Jordan

The renewal of biblical Anglicanism in North America and the Anglican Church in North America are NOT synonymous. The movement that dominates the ACNA at the provincial level has little to do with biblical Anglicanism. Its focus is the revival of unreformed Catholicism in the Anglican Church, in other parts of the Anglican Communion as well as North America. Its vision of the Anglican Church is an Anglican Church reconstructed on the model of the supposedly undivided Church of the early High Middle Ages before the East-West schism in the eleventh century. It is NOT the vision of an Anglican Church that is biblical and reformed in its doctrine and practices.

The Anglican Church in North America did NOT get onto the wrong track very early in its existence. The ACNA has never been on the right track in the first place. This is evident from the original proposed Common Cause Theological Statement as well as from the one that eventually was adopted. Both documents took very weak positions on the historic Anglican formularies while affirming the Anglo-Catholic/Roman Catholic view of the episcopate as being essential to the very existence of the Church.

The US delegation to the Jerusalem Global Anglican Future Conference was the only delegation that questioned the confessional nature of historic Anglicanism. Members of that delegation sought to introduce changes into the wording of the Jerusalem Declaration to make it more unreformed Catholic in doctrinal positions.

Upon returning to the United States from the conference, Bishop Jack Iker assured Anglo-Catholics that the Common Cause Theological Statement, not the Jerusalem Declaration, would be determining the direction of the new province.

At the time the provisional Constitution and Canons were first made public, interested persons were given very little time to make comments and to recommend changes. The same thing happened when the draft Constitution and Canons were made public.  

A CANA ad hoc task force on the new province’s proposed Constitution and Canons, to which I acted as a consultant, received a negligible response to its concerns and recommendations from the Common Cause Governance Task Force. The Governance Task Force corrected one glaring oversight that I drew to their attention. Like those of the CANA ad hoc task force, however, my other concerns and recommendations generated a negligible response.

I also submitted to a number of Common Cause bishops an alternative proposal for the Constitution of the new province, modeled upon the Constitution of the Anglican Church of Australia. Only two bishops responded to my submission. Both bishops were on the Governance Task Force. Bishop Jack Iker demanded to know who had authorized the proposal. Bishop Royal Grote, then director of communications for the Reformed Episcopal Church and now its Presiding Bishop, claimed that he was the wrong person to whom to submit the proposal for distribution to the bishops of the Reformed Episcopal Church. Outsiders wishing to communicate with the REC bishops were at the time required to go through Grote. Both bishops gave me the distinct impression that the proposed Constitution and Canons had been already agreed upon. Making the proposed governing documents available for comments and recommendations from interested parties was cosmetic, for the sake of appearance.

One or more people in the Common Cause leadership or acting on its behalf pressured David Virtue into discontinuing the publication of a series of my articles critiquing the draft Constitution and Canons. Bishop John Rodgers posted on the Internet an open letter urging evangelicals to support the draft Constitution and Canons despite their misgivings, claiming that if they were not ratified, there would be no new province in North America. He also claimed that any problems in the two governing documents could be fixed later. After the documents were adopted and ratified, the letter was removed from the Internet. The problems have never been fixed.

Anglo-Catholics in the provisional Provincial Council would block any meaningful revision of the Fundamental Declarations that might have made them more acceptable to evangelicals and other Protestant-minded Anglicans.  CANA Bishop Martyn Mimms who drew the concerns of CANA clergy and laity to the attention of the provisional Provincial Council was told if any substantive changes were made to the Fundamental Declarations, making them more acceptable to evangelical and other Protestant-minded clergy and laity, it would cause the Common Cause Partnership to unravel. The Anglo-Catholic Council members essentially threatened a walkout.

On the motion of Bishop Jack Iker, a leading Anglo-Catholic Council member, affirmation of the Jerusalem Declaration was stripped from the proposed ACNA Fundamental Declarations, which were an adaptation of the final Common Cause Theological Statement. The Jerusalem Declaration was relegated to the Preamble of the ACNA Constitution where it is purely incidental to the Preamble’s account of the formation of the ACNA and is not binding upon the consciences of clergy and congregations in the ACNA.

At the Inaugural Provincial Assembly Archbishop-elect Robert Duncan gave an address in which he compared those delegates who wanted to make the draft Constitution and Canons clearer and more detailed to the Israelites who wanted to return to Egypt. While he turned the chair over to someone else during the business meeting, he frequently interrupted the meeting, urging the delegates to quickly ratify the two governing documents as speakers were waiting to address them. The delegates were given little opportunity to debate the provisions of the two documents.

The previous year Archbishop Duncan had gone on a speaking tour in England, in which he declared that the Protestant Elizabethan Settlement were no longer relevant for Anglicans today, and in which he called for a new settlement. The Protestant Elizabethan Settlement has shaped the character of historic Anglicanism. During the reign of Elizabeth I the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion, historic Anglicanism’ confession of faith, was given its final form. During her reign the reformed 1552 Prayer Book with only three changes was adopted. It would be the Prayer Book of the Church of England for almost 100 years. The 1662 Book of Common Prayer is substantially the 1552 Prayer Book. With the Articles of Religion and the Ordinal of 1662, it forms historic Anglicanism’s longstanding standard of doctrine and worship.

If there is to be a renewal of biblical Anglicanism in North America, the Anglican Church in North America is NOT the ecclesial organization through which this renewal will come about. The ACNA does not have the right DNA for such a revival. It is like trying to cut sugar cane, rice and corn stalks with a butter knife instead of a cane knife or machete. It is the wrong tool for the job.

It is well past time that the GAFCON Primates and the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans came to their senses and admitted this to themselves. They have hatched a cuckoo’s egg. The cuckoo is a parasitic bird that lays its eggs in the nests of other birds, leaving the other birds to incubate the egg and feed the young cuckoo when it hatches. The young cuckoo pushes the other hatchlings and eggs out of the nest. The birds feeding the young cuckoo do not seem to realize what is happening. They raise the young cuckoo as if it is one of their own hatchlings. Eventually the young cuckoo grows big enough to fly away and lay its eggs in the nests of other birds. In the case of those occupying the place of power in the Anglican Church in North America, their goal is to spread unreformed Catholic teaching and practices throughout the Anglican Communion.

Weekend Roundup: "What Happens When Your Church and Community Collide" and More


What Happens When Your Church and Community Collide

“It seems like we need an earthquake to dislodge both feet out of our churches so that we can get one foot in the community.” Read More

4 Reasons Why You Should Stop Being You

Releasing an ineffective leadership style. Read More

Why Church Leaders Need a Mentor — Rainer on Leadership #194 [Podcast] On today’s episode, Thom Rainer and Jonathan Howe explain why mentoring is so important for the continued growth of a pastor or church leader. Read More

The Necessity of Expository Preaching

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10 Common Mistakes Found On Church Websites

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Religion in America: An Interview With Greg Smith of the Pew Research Center (Part 2)

Pew researcher says neither Christianity nor Evangelicalism are dying in the U.S. Read More

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Character of the Christian: A One-Woman Man


Today we continue this series on the character of the Christian. We are exploring how the various character qualifications of elders are actually God’s calling on all Christians. While elders are meant to exemplify these traits, all Christians are to display them. I want us to consider whether we are displaying these traits and to learn together how we can pray to have them in greater measure. Read More

3 of the Serpent's Lies We're Still Falling for


Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the wild animals that the LORD God had made” (Genesis 3:1).

Everything was good. Very good, in fact. All creation existed in perfect harmony, and at the center piece of everything was the crown jewel of creation. The man and the woman lived in perfect fellowship with God, walking without guilt, shame, or any other hindrance with Him. And into this harmony slithered the cunning serpent armed with what must have seemed like a very innocent question and just a few short sentences that followed it:

“Did God really say, ‘You can’t eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit from the trees in the garden. But about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden, God said, ‘You must not eat it or touch it, or you will die.’”

“No! You will not die,” the serpent said to the woman. “In fact, God knows that when you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:1-4).

Behind the simplicity was the cunning undertone, for behind this simple exchange which set off a cosmos-rocking event, the fork-tongued liar was leveling charges against the character and nature of God. What came off like a question was really an accusation. Behind these few sentences we can isolate at least three lies about who God is, and they are lies that we are, in fact, still believing today.... Read More

Four Types of Tone-Deaf Leadership


When it comes to singing, I am likely tone-deaf (I say likely because I don’t fully understand the official definition, so just hang with me for the illustration). Now I can sing the right words; I just sing them the wrong way. While the Lord assures me He enjoys joyful noise, my apparent tone-deafness has drawn smirks and sympathetic nods of approval from others. The comical auditions for American Idol reveal I am not alone. The same is true in leadership. There are a plethora of tone-deaf leaders who are out of sync and rhythm with people and their context. They seem deaf to the people and context around them. Let me introduce you to four ways tone-deafness is displayed in leadership. Read More

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Midweek Roundup: "How to Spot a False Teacher" and Much More


How to Spot a False Teacher

False teachers come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from the most deranged cult leader to the most winsome television preacher. Too many professing Christians are duped into embracing heretical ideas or endorsing spiritually dangerous movements. Some of these movements even pass themselves off as evangelical. Read More

The Enemy's Primary Strategies against the Church

I’ve studied and written about spiritual warfare for many years. Occasionally, someone asks me about Satan’s primary ways of attacking God’s church. Here’s my answer, in no particular order.... Read More

Ramps vs. Signs: Saying 'Yes' to Unexpected Ministry Opportunities

Churches on offense don't have to be offensive. We can meet people where they are while staying true to our message. Read More

Do Something Small for God

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Prescribing Hospitality for Growth in the Christian Life

Hospitality offers a vital prescription for growth, because it touches so many aspects of how we live our lives. Read More

How Are We to Keep the Sabbath in Today’s Society?

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Do Ministers of Small Churches Need to Know Employment Laws?

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Six Ways Ministry Spouses Get Hurt

It is indeed tough to be in vocational ministry. But it’s also tough to be the spouse of these ministers. Pray for them. Encourage them. Befriend them. Read More

7 Of My Biggest Frustrations as a Leader

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5 Things That Are a Total Waste of Time in Leadership

If you find yourself saying ‘that was a total waste of time,’ stop doing whatever ‘that’ is. Read More

12 Reasons People Give Up on Church

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3 Big Reasons People Leave Your Church

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A Dozen Evangelical Churches Are Opening Every Month in Spain

Evangelical Christianity could be growing at a rapid rate in Spain, with 12 new evangelical churches being opened each month, it has emerged. Read More

Kuwait MPs Block Church Building Because It 'Contradicts Sharia Law'

Plans to build churches in Kuwait have been rejected by MPs because they "contradict Islamic Sharia law". Read More
"We should no more tolerate false doctrine that we would tolerate sin." - J. C. Ryle

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

What Happened to the Renewal of Biblical Anglicanism in North America?


By Robin G. Jordan

In the conclusion to a critique of the catechism and confirmation service in An Anglican Prayer Book (2008) I wrote eight years ago, I made the following observation:
We cannot hope for a renewal of biblical Anglicanism in North America, using a Prayer Book that in a number of significant ways is not really Scriptural and gives more weight to "the traditions of men" than to the Word of God. Such a Prayer Book does not restore the Bible to its rightful place in the Christian life. Rather it perpetuates the very conditions that have undermined the authority of Scripture in The Episcopal Church and other Anglican provinces. The presence of unscriptural doctrinal content also greatly weakens the effectiveness of the Prayer Book through the power of God’s word to transform lives. It keeps alive unscriptural teaching in the Church.
This observation is even more applicable to the proposed Prayer Book of the Anglican Church in North America presently in preparation.

The Global Anglican Future movement at its heart is a movement for the renewal of biblical Anglicanism. In the Anglican Church in North America is discernible an entirely different movement. It is a movement for the revival of unreformed Catholicism. The theology of this movement is embodied in the jurisdiction’s Catechism and the rites and services of its proposed Prayer Book. The two movements have conflicting objectives.

While North America has a chapter of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, which was organized by the American Anglican Council in 2009, the North American chapter of the GFCA is a ministry partner of the Anglican Church in North America and subscribes to its Fundamental Declarations—a prerequisite for its recognition as an ACNA ministry partner. The ACNA Fundamental Declarations accommodate Catholic Revivalism on a number of key issues—Holy Scripture, the ecumenical Councils, bishops, the Book of Common Prayer, and the Thirty-Nine Articles. The role of the North American chapter of the GFCA differs from that envisioned for GFCA in the Global Anglican Future Statement. Instead of functioning as an independent renewal movement in the Anglican ecclesial bodies in North America, in the ACNA and the Continuing Anglican Churches, as well as the Anglican Church of Canada and The Episcopal Church, the North American chapter of the GFCA is ancillary to the ACNA and carries out its objectives.

While the Anglican Church in North America may have been formed in response to the Jerusalem Global Anglican Future Conference’s call for a new province in North America to uphold orthodox faith and practice, its commitment to the Jerusalem Declaration is purely rhetorical. As Bishop of Fort Worth Jack Iker assured Anglo-Catholics upon returning from that conference, the Jerusalem Declaration has not determined the direction of the ACNA.

It must also be pointed out that the call for a new orthodox North American province was prompted by lobbying from the Common Cause Partnership, which formed the Anglican Church in North America. There were substantial differences between the Common Cause Theological Statement and the Jerusalem Declaration. It would be key points of the Common Cause Theological Statement that would be incorporated into the ACNA’s Fundamental Declarations, not those of the Jerusalem Declaration.

It must be further pointed out that the US delegation to the Jerusalem Global Anglican Future Conference was the only delegation that took issue with the confessional nature of historic Anglicanism. It also sought to make the Jerusalem Declaration more unreformed Catholic in doctrine and was thwarted in its efforts.

Except on the issue of marriage and human sexuality the Global Anglican Future movement and the Anglican Church in North America have been on different pages from the very beginning. The GAFCON Primates and the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans have been slow to publicly recognize the discontinuity between the ACNA and the Global Anglican Future movement. Privately a number of evangelical leaders in Australia, Ireland, South Africa, and the United Kingdom, however, have acknowledged this discontinuity. The group that shows the greatest reluctance to acknowledge it is the African Primates. One can only speculate on the reasons for their reluctance. Their failure to acknowledge the discontinuity between the ACNA and the Global Anglican Future movement may contribute to the undoing of that movement.

If North America is to see a renewal of biblical Anglicanism, it will require the establishment of an independent North American chapter of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans and the formation of a new province that is more than nominally Anglican and which fully subscribes to the biblical and Reformation principles of historic Anglicanism and its formularies. It will also require the development of a Catechism and a Prayer Book that embody these principles. Settling for anything less will not bring about a renewal of biblical Anglicanism in North America. God is not going to drop such a renewal in our laps. Those who wish to see it happen have to step out in faith. 


Tuesday Roundup: "7 Benchmarks Towards Success in an Organization" and More


7 Benchmarks Towards Success in an Organization

Great organizations don’t just appear. There is a method to the madness. Read More

The New Marketplace Pastor – Rainer on Leadership #193 [Podcast]

Many pastors are choosing to continue to serve in secular vocations even when a church can afford to pay them for full-time work. Read More

7 Easy Ways to Ruin an Otherwise Great Sermon, Message or Talk (And How to Fix It)

...every week gifted communicators kill the messages they bring by making at least 7 predictable, fixable mistakes. The good news is that once you identify the mistakes, you can address them. Read More
This article is a repost.
7 Ways to Fight Distraction During Prayer

Distraction can be a huge hindrance in our prayer life, but I am also discovering that it provides an opportunity for growth. Here are seven strategies for fighting distraction, and harnessing it to deepen and direct our prayers. Read More

Prayer Societies

Encouraging God’s people to pray is one of the pastor’s most trying jobs. Three reasons exist for why this is so. Read More
Prayer societies have a long history particularly in the Anglican Church.
4 Simple Ways to Engage Millennials

Here are four simple things church leaders need to do in order to engage millennials.... Read More
Unity without the gospel is a worthless unity, it is the very unity of hell. —J.C. Ryle

Monday, January 25, 2016

Monday Roundup: "Four Essentials to a Simple Ministry Strategy" and More


Four Essentials to a Simple Ministry Strategy

There are at least four essentials in a simple ministry strategy to make disciples (articulated more extensively in Simple Church).... Read More

Bacteria in the Body

How can we build strong churches when we keep attracting weak, even unhealthy, people? Read More

Desiring Knowledge and Maturity

All else being equal, I’d rather have a mature Christian with simple theological knowledge than an extremely knowledgeable, well-read Christian without a lot of maturity. But, of course, neither situation is desirable. Let me explain. Read More

4 Unhealthy Beliefs About Church Leadership

As I was writing The Emotionally Healthy Leader (Zondervan, July 2015), I was reminded again of how deeply in our bones many of us carry the following four deadly, faulty beliefs.... Read More

A System for Shepherding

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Four Steps to Form a Personal Support Group

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Seven Ways NOT to Follow Up with Church Guests

Here is what church guests told us were ways not to follow up on their visits.... Read More

Modes of Mission: Applying Biblical Mission Practices in Our Ministry

We have examined three modes of mission in Scripture. Let's apply them to today's churches. Read More

3 Ways to Share the Gospel This Week

...even though all evangelism involves sharing the same message, not all evangelism occurs in the same manner. Here are three kinds we see modeled in the New Testament. Read More

Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Predicament of Confessing Anglicans in North America


By Robin G. Jordan

The forms we use in our worship gatherings—the Scripture readings, the prayers and the other liturgical texts, and the hymns, the canticles, the psalms, and the other worship songs, influence and shape our beliefs and thinking subliminally as well as consciously. The same observation is applicable to the ceremonies that we use in these gatherings. They form and reinforce the doctrinal associations that we have with these ceremonies.

The collective impact of the forms and ceremonies we use in our worship gatherings is far greater than the impact of a pastor’s preaching from the pulpit and his teaching in the classroom. For these reasons Biblically-faithful Anglicans from Archbishop Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformers on have taken care as to what forms and ceremonies are used in services of public worship. They have sought to incorporate into the liturgy only those forms and ceremonies that teach and support what the Bible clearly teaches, recognizing that the Bible has plenary authority in all matters of faith and practice. While they have not always succeeded, they have endeavored to follow this important principle as closely as possible.

Beginning in the seventeenth century with the 1637 Scottish Prayer Book, there has been a discernible tendency in some quarters of the Anglican Church to give more authority to antiquity and tradition than to the Holy Scriptures in the compilation of their liturgies. The resulting liturgies have increasingly departed from the teaching of the Bible and have undermined biblical teaching in the Anglican Church.

In some cases this has occurred because those compiling a revision of a Prayer Book have adopted forms and ceremonies from other Prayer Books without carefully appraising the faithfulness of these forms and ceremonies to biblical teaching. They have modeled their liturgies upon the liturgies of Anglican jurisdictions that no longer fully accept the authority of the Bible and the historic Anglican formularies. As a result one sees Anglican jurisdictions that, while they subscribe to the biblical and Reformation principles of historic Anglicanism and its formularies, using liturgies that incorporates forms and ceremonies taken from unreformed Catholic liturgies. The use of liturgies incorporating such forms and ceremonies damages and weakens their adherence to these principles and may eventually lead to their departure from the principles altogether.

The 1958 Lambeth Conference with its recommendations and the ecumenical, liturgical, and convergence movements are the principal culprits in encouraging the indiscriminate use of forms and ceremonies from other Prayer Books and other liturgical traditions without sufficient attention to their faithfulness to biblical teaching and their consistency with the Anglican Church’s Reformation heritage.

In other cases the departure from biblical teaching is premeditated, rising in a large part from a different understanding of the teaching of the Bible from how Anglicans have historically understood its teaching. Here the nineteenth century Catholic Revival and modernism have had the greatest impact. The nineteenth century would see the introduction of Roman Catholic doctrinal and worship innovations into the Anglican Church along with the reintroduction of pre-Reformation Medieval Catholic beliefs, forms and ceremonies. The twentieth century would see the adoption of liturgical revisions tied to humanist concerns—non-gender specific language, feminine imagery of God, and rites for the blessing of same sex unions. It would also see the introduction of non-Christian practices into the worship life of the Anglican Church—labyrinth walking, sand mandalas, readings from the Quran and Buddhist and Hindu texts, and the like.

Recognizing the need for a clear standard of orthodoxy and orthopraxy in the Anglican Communion, the first GAFCON conference and the Jerusalem Declaration called for the restoration of the Bible and the historic Anglican formularies to a central place in its faith and life. For generations of Anglicans the Bible and the historic Anglican formularies had provided that standard. The Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans was created to fulfill this purpose.

The restoration of the Bible and the historic Anglican formularies to the heart of the Communion, however, requires more than rhetoric. It entails encouraging and implementing liturgical revision that fulfills this purpose. It means discarding a number of the liturgies adopted in recent years and starting afresh. It also means taking an active interest in the extra-provincial liturgical revision going on in the second decade of the twenty-first century and particularly in the Anglican Church in North America and in other member entities of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans and drawing attention to any departure from the biblical and Reformation principles of historic Anglicanism and its formularies.

In the case of the Anglican Church in North America the GAFCON Primates have been negligent in this regard. They have preferred to turn a blind eye to the ACNA’s departure from these principles and its denial of official standing to the same principles to the point that it casts serious doubt upon their own commitment to the restoration of the Bible and historic Anglican formularies to a central place in the Communion’s faith and life. The glaring inconsistency between what they profess to believe and what they do in practice is not lost on Anglicans faithful to the Bible and the Anglican formularies. It has the earmarks of what only can be described as a betrayal of the biblical and Reformation principles of historic Anglicanism and its formularies.

The GAFCON Primates appear to be willing to accommodate the Anglican Church in North America’s departure from these principles as long as it sides with them on the issue of marriage and human sexuality—even to the extent of recognizing the ACNA as an authentic expression of Anglicanism, which is from the perspective of the same principles far from the case. They also appear to be willing to oblige its denial of official standing to these principles. If this is indeed true, then it completely destroys their credibility as champions of historical Anglicanism and its formularies. It reduces the first and second GAFCON conferences to mere posturing and the Jerusalem Declaration to substanceless rhetoric.

The GAFCON Primates can correct this perception and redeem themselves in the eyes of confessing Anglicans by actively defending and advancing the biblical and Reformation principles of historic Anglicanism and its formularies in the Anglican Church in North America and in other member entities of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans. This requires abandoning their present hands-off policy and intervening in the affairs of these entities where and when such intervention is warranted.

It includes scrutinizing the ACNA’s Fundamental Declarations, Canons, Catechism and proposed Prayer Book for any departures from these principles and openly and publicly drawing the attention of ACNA leaders to these departures. No whitewash but an in-depth and thorough critique. It also includes denouncing the ACNA’s denial of official standing to these principles and tying their support of the ACNA to its adherence to the same principles.

The GAFCON Primates need to put the ACNA on notice that if it wishes to retain their recognition and the recognition of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, it needs to bring its doctrine and practices into line with these principles. It is only right that, having enjoyed the support of the GAFCON Primates and the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, it should conform more closely to the teaching of the Bible and the doctrine of the historic Anglican formularies.

Is that likely to happen in the foreseeable future? I have my doubts. I do not believe that the GAFCON Primates are as strongly committed to the biblical and Reformation principles of historic Anglicanism and its formularies as they might be. Segments of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans may be far more committed to these principles than the GAFCON Primates. The GAFCON Primates, however, are the ones calling the shots. They appear content to let the Anglican Church in North America to do what it pleases so long as it maintains a traditional view of marriage and human sexuality and supports them in their struggle against liberalism and modernism in the Anglican Communion.

Over the long haul I am convinced this policy will backfire. The unreformed Catholic leaders of the Anglican Church in North America have similar aspirations to the liberal leaders of the Episcopal Church. They see occupying a position of leadership in the global Anglican community as their manifest destiny. They are not going to be willing to play second fiddle to the GAFCON Primates for very long. They have already signaled in a number of ways their intentions to play a major leadership role in that community.

Where does this leave Anglicans who are a part of the Anglican Church in North America and who subscribe to the biblical and Reformation principles of historic Anglicanism and its formularies? It leaves them to use an idiomatic American expression “caught between a rock and a hard place,” or for those with a classical education “caught between Scylla and Charybdus.” Under the provisions of the ACNA Canons, they have no choice but teach the doctrine of its unreformed Catholic Catechism and use the forms and ceremonies of its unreformed Catholic Prayer Book. The unreformed Catholic leaders of the ACNA dominate its College of Bishops, determine who may join them in the College of Bishops, and decide what legislation may be submitted to the Provincial Council. They set the agenda of the Provincial Assembly and orchestrate its business sessions. Bit by bit they are creating a theological climate in the ACNA inimical to these principles and to those who subscribe to them.

Anglicans who are a part of the Anglican Church in North America and who subscribe to the biblical and Reformation principles of historic Anglicanism and its formularies can, like Odysseus who chose to pass close to Scylla and lose some members of his crew rather passing close to Charybdus and losing his ship, sacrifice a number of these principles in order to maintain their precarious existence in the Anglican Church in North America. Odysseus, however, eventually lost his ship and his entire crew. Odysseus would return to his native Ithica and his beloved Penelope after ten years of wandering. They may not be so fortunate. They may be captives in a foreign land until death closes their eyes.

The time has come for those segments of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans that are fully committed to the biblical and Reformation principles of historic Anglicanism and its formularies to demonstrate that they are more reliable allies than the GAFCON Primates. While Odysseus lost his ship and his crew, he eventually would return home with the help of others. Anglicans who are a part of the Anglican Church in North America and who subscribe to the biblical and Reformation principles of historic Anglicanism and its formularies need help too. They need encouragement and support. They need a better option than remaining a part of the ACNA, compromising their convictions, and losing their theological identity.

If these segments of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans withhold their help, when they in turn need allies, they may find themselves friendless. If the GAFCON Primates are willing to sacrifice one group of confessing Anglicans, what is to prevent them from sacrificing another group and then another if it serves their purposes.

Anglicans who are faithful to the Bible and the historic Anglican formularies need to band together, not just in North America but around the world. They need to unite to preserve the biblical and Reformation principles of historic Anglicanism and its formularies and to pass these principles on to future generations. They need to heed the Word of God and put not their trust in princes, in earthly rulers and prelates. They need to put their trust in one Lord alone—the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Saturday Lagniappe: "How to Have a Church Where Money Is Never a Problem (For Real)" and More


How to Have a Church Where Money Is Never a Problem (For Real)

If your small church is struggling to survive, this might be the solution you're looking for. Hint: it's extreme, but it's not a fad. Read More

Answering 10 Critiques of Elder-Led Congregationalism

In this post excerpted from Don’t Fire Your Church Members I seek to answer 10 common critiques of elder-led congregationalism. Read More

Did You Preach the Word?

On the Day of Judgment our Lord will require a stricter accounting from ministers of the Word. Read More

10 Things Pastors Will Think about as They Preach This Weekend

I’ve preached most Sundays since April of 1981. You’d assume by now that I could simply focus on nothing but the Word when I'm preaching, but I still think about other things at the same time. Here are some of those things that I – and, I suspect, many other pastors – think about.... Read More

5 New Rules for Effective Church Websites

If you want your website to work for you, follow these 5 rules. Read More

The Whisperer, The KJVer, and Other Types of Group Prayer Participants You Dont Want to Be

My first opportunity to pray in a group came when some of my fellow students and I were standing in a circle, holding hands. The leader told us we could either pray or squeeze the hand of the person next to us. I was a squeezer that day. Since then, I have enjoyed praying and hearing others pray hundreds of times in both planned and impromptu settings. However, I have learned through my mistakes and the conduct of others that there are certain types of group prayer participants none of us should want to be.... Read More

10 Markers of Strong Discipleship Programs

If you’ve read this website for long, you know my concern about poor discipleship in most churches. I want churches to evaluate whether they are disciplemaking churches, and I want us to avoid the wrong responses to this problem. On the other hand, I’ve seen some churches that are, in fact, doing discipleship well. Here are some of the characteristics of those churches. Read More

Why Christians Don't Evangelize

Many, much smarter than me, have offered new research and fresh strategies to motivate Christians. This is helpful. However, I suspect that our hesitance to evangelize is less a matter of faulty methods and lack of opportunity. It goes deeper. I’d like to suggest that there are three spiritual reasons why we don’t evangelize.... Read More

Primates call for a common date for Easter in trouble

Moscow only agreeable to Catholics and Protestants adopting the Julian calendar. Read More
Anyone familiar with the history of Anglican-Russian Orthodox relations from the 17th century on would have realized that this proposal was a non-starter and an exercise in futility.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Weekend Roundup: "9 Things That Will Still Be True for Your Church in 10 Years" and Much More


9 Things That Will Still Be True for Your Church in 10 Years

Here are some areas where our churches can have impact for a long time to come! Read More

Six Warning Signs of Church Dropouts – Rainer on Leadership #192 [Podcast] 

On today’s episode, Thom Rainer and Jonathan Howe cover six early indicators that someone might be on the verge of dropping out. These reasons are common in any size church, but many are reversible with the implementation of a monitoring system. Read More

8 Ways to Grow in the Fear of God

In his book The Forgotten Fear, Albert Martin lists eight “specific directives for maintaining and increasing the fear of God in our hearts.” What follows are his eight directives along with summaries of each point in his own words (lightly tweaked). Consider following these strategies for your own growth in Christlikeness. Read More

Five practical things you can do to help tackle homelessness

As the temperatures have dropped across the UK and the US over the last few weeks, minds have turned to those who are spending their nights on the streets. So, there's no better time for churches to celebrate Homeless Sunday. For the past 20 years, this day has been bringing together churches for prayer, study and action on homelessness. Read More

Ministering to People With Addiction: The First Step

The future can tiptoe in any day: One morning you’re leading worship, and in he walks, clearly high on something. Or you are in the office of the suburban church that you pastor, preparing for Sunday’s sermon, and she knocks on your door, asking for advice about her husband’s compulsive use of porn. Or your worship leader begins showing up to practice with the smell of liquor on his breath. Read More

Can I Be Forgiven If I’ve Had an Abortion?

Without delving into the theological technicalities, let me say categorically that there is no biblical evidence to support the idea and considerable evidence to deny that abortion is the unforgivable sin. Read More

Help Your Team Manage Stress, Anxiety, and Burnout

It can be tough enough to manage your own stress. But how can you, as a manager, help the members of your team handle their feelings of stress, burnout, or disengagement? Read More

Pastor, Teach Your People How to Walk With God

...as pastors, it is incumbent upon us to teach people the Word of God. One of the premiere principles we must teach them is how to walk with God personally. Read More

5 Sure-fire Ways To Get Better As A Communicator When You Plateau

So you really want to get better as a communicator. Great. But how do you do it? Especially when you plateau? Read More

What to say when someone asks for proof of God's existence

"There isn't enough evidence." It seems so reasonable. It's what any sensible person would ask. Where is the evidence? Why should it be so difficult to believe in Christ? Read More

Abortion: A Rational Look at An Emotional Issue—Free eBook

Today marks the 43rd anniversary of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. In light of this, Reformation Trust is making the ebook edition of R.C. Sproul’s Abortion: A Rational Look at An Emotional Issue free to download until the end of the month. We encourage you to download this ebook and share it with your family, friends, and church community. Learn More

Senior bishop speaks out against fixing the date of Easter

A prominent conservative evangelical bishop has warned against fixing the date of Easter to the same Sunday each year. Read More

Study: Americans share conflicting views on sports gambling

Wagering on sports isn't morally wrong, most Americans say -- but nearly half think it should be illegal anyway, a newly-released study shows. Read More
Gambling, like excessive drinking and substance abuse, is a social evil. It is addictive and can cause harm to the gambler, his family, and society. Online gambling is especially pernicious. The actual harm gambling does far outweighs any perceived benefits.
Religion in America: An Interview With Greg Smith of the Pew Research Center

Greg Smith, of Pew Research Center, recently shared his perspective on religion in the United States with me. Read More

Americans more 'spiritual' even if less religious, survey finds

Americans are becoming more spiritual although religion is on the decline, according to figures from Pew Research. Read More

United Kingdom: Public's trust in clergy plummets

Clergy are now less trusted than ordinary people on the street, it has emerged, as a new survey reveals that what was once the most trusted profession has since plummeted in the public's eye. Read More

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Four Years - Time Enough to Form a Genuine Anglican Jurisdiction in North America


By Robin G. Jordan

If one carefully examines the Anglican Church in North America’s own formularies, one soon discovers that the ACNA does full accept the authority of the Bible, that it takes a selective approach to the historic Anglican formularies, and that it adopts positions on key issues, which conflict with the biblical and Reformation principles of historic Anglicanism. The character of the ACNA is far more unreformed Catholic than it is Anglican. What it has in common with historic Anglicanism is its acceptance of the authority of the catholic creeds but departs from historic Anglicanism from that point. Since a number of denominations accept their authority, this acceptance is not sufficient basis for any claim that the ACNA is Anglican. Consequently the Anglican Church in North America’s representation of itself as Anglican is highly problematic as is the GAFCON Primates’ premature endorsement of the denomination as an authentic expression of Anglicanism.

The present situation in North America is that the United States and Canada do not have a genuine Anglican Church. Between them the two countries have a number of jurisdictions that claim to be Anglican. These jurisdictions, like the Anglican Church in North America, are not ruled by the Bible and the historic Anglican formularies. The Anglican Church of Canada and the Episcopal Church in the USA have fallen prey to modernism and secular and theological liberalism. The remaining jurisdictions, while they style themselves as “Anglican,” are unreformed Catholic in their teaching and practices. This includes the ACNA.

To be genuinely Anglican, a jurisdiction must fully accept the authority of the Bible. It must also fully accept the authority of the Anglican formularies. The historic Anglican formularies are based on the Holy Scriptures. Where they are in agreement with the teaching of the Bible, they speak with the authority of the Bible. One of the main functions of the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion is to safeguard the truth of the gospel as revealed in the Holy Scriptures and as it historically has been understood by Anglicans. The Book of Common Prayer of 1662 in its Communion Office gives liturgical expression to the crucial biblical and Reformation doctrine of justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. This doctrine Anglicans historically have understood to form an integral part of the gospel.

An Anglicanism in which the Bible and the historic Anglican formularies do not have a central place in the faith and life of the Church is not genuine Anglicanism. Neither is an Anglicanism that approaches the Bible and the historic Anglican formularies selectively and then distorts and misinterprets their meaning. This describes the existing jurisdictions in North America, which identify themselves as “Anglican.”

A genuine Anglican jurisdiction in North America would be in full agreement with the Chapter I, Section 3 of the Canons of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion):
The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) hereinafter called “The Church of Nigeria” or “This Church” shall be in full communion with all Anglican Churches Dioceses and Provinces that hold and maintain the Historic Faith, Doctrine, Sacrament and Discipline of the one Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church as the Lord has commanded in His holy word and as the same are received as taught in the Book of Common Prayer and the ordinal of 1662 and in the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion.
While such a jurisdiction might maintain cordial relations with other jurisdictions that are nominally Anglican and subscribe to the catholic creeds and a biblical view of marriage and human sexuality and cooperate with them on matters of common interest, as it would other denominations meeting these criteria, it would not be in full communion with them. It would not recognize them as being of the same faith and doctrine as itself and therefore genuinely Anglican.

The components for such a jurisdiction exist in North America—orthodox Anglicans who recognize the confessional nature of historic Anglicanism and fully accept the authority of the Bible and the historic Anglican formularies. They have yet to be gathered together into one jurisdiction. There is ample time over the next four years to form in North America an orthodox Anglican jurisdiction that is faithful to the Bible and the Anglican formularies and stands fully in the biblical and Reformation heritage of the Anglican Church. There is also ample time for GAFCON and the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans to re-evaluate and rethink its support of the unreformed Catholic Anglican Church in North America and throw its support behind a genuine Anglican jurisdiction in North America.
By North America I am referring to Mexico and Puerto Rico as well as Canada and the United States and their territories.  

Thursday Roundup: "Three Ways to Define and Demystify Ministry Strategy"and More


Three Ways to Define and Demystify Ministry Strategy

To organize and direct the flock well requires ministry strategy. Strategy can sound very overwhelming, so here are three ways to define and demystify strategy.... Read More

The Character of the Christian: Above Reproach

I told you last week about a new series that looks at the character of the Christian. What I mean to do is explore how the character qualifications of elders are actually God’s calling on all Christians. While elders are meant to exemplify these traits, all Christians are to display them. I want us to consider whether we actually do display these traits and to learn together how we can pray to have them in greater measure. Read More
Also see "The Character of a Christian."
5 Reasons Leaders Tend to Micromanage

As I work in the ministry world, however, it seems very common for micromanagement to be present. It could be a pastor who wants to control everything or a church governance that controls the pastor. And, by observation, I’ve learned there are common excuses for micromanagement. Here are some reasons leaders resort to micromanaging.... Read More

11 Ways to Protect Your Spirit from the Demands of Pastoral Ministry

Pastoral ministry can be hazardous to our spiritual health. But it doesn’t need to be. Read More

Eight Reasons Your Church Should Have an Email Newsletter

Instead of relying on a weekly bulletin or a brief 2-minute announcement time in the service, consider using an email newsletter to more effectively communicate with guests and members. Read More

Modes of Mission: A Missional Practice

What can we learn from Paul when it comes to living on mission? Read More

Study: monthly porn exposure the norm for teens

Half of teenagers and nearly three-quarters of young adults come across pornography at least monthly, and both groups on average consider viewing pornographic images less immoral than failing to recycle. Read More

More than one in ten pastors struggle with porn, survey finds

Fourteen per cent of senior pastors and 21 per cent of youth pastors struggle with using pornography, a new Barna Group survey has found. Read More

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Midweek Roundup: "6 Ways to Build Your Volunteer Team" and Much More


6 Ways to Build Your Volunteer Team

Six actions to help you connect more volunteers to your team and train them to become leaders in your church. Read More

The One Common Factor of Effective Church Leaders

Effective church leaders have many recurring and common traits; I am not suggesting this factor is the only one. But it does seem to be the trait that shows itself again and again. Read More

12 Great Leadership Questions Every Leader Should Be Asking

One of the best things a leader can do is ask the right questions. Read More

5 Reasons to Stop Making Your Sermon Notes Rhyme

Instead of playing linguistic games, we need to produce better content. In a format that matches the way people listen, talk and live. Read More

The Scandal of Biblical Illiteracy: It’s Our Problem

While America’s evangelical Christians are rightly concerned about the secular worldview’s rejection of biblical Christianity, we ought to give some urgent attention to a problem much closer to home–biblical illiteracy in the church. This scandalous problem is our own, and it’s up to us to fix it. Read More

7 Ways to Grow in the Art of Communication

We need to understand that communication is an art that we all must learn better. It does not come naturally. Here are seven principles to help you to grow in this art, that you might teach your children.... Read More
These principles work in communicating with adults as well as children.
4 Apps to Help Church Staff Collaboration and Productivity

Managing ministry is easier with these tools. Read More

Why You Should Consider Reading the Qur’an in 2016

But with our limited capacity and time for reading, perhaps the one book other than the Bible many Christians should consider opening this year is the Qur’an. Read More

Blaming the Africans: Cultural Imperialism and the Meeting of the Primates

Memories of this paternalistic and monochrome view of Africa returned as I observed the response of some members of the Episcopal Church to the recent meeting of the Primates. Read More

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

How the GAFCON Primates Can Further the Cause of Biblical Anglicanism in North America


By Robin G. Jordan

The GAFCON Primates prematurely recognized the Anglican Church in North America as an authentic expression of Anglicanism without waiting for the real theological character of that denomination to emerge. That character has emerged over the past five years and it is far from genuinely Anglican. The ACNA would more accurately be described as an independent Catholic jurisdiction rather than an Anglican one. The ACNA is officially unreformed Catholic in its doctrine and practices as evidenced by its own formularies—its Fundamental Declarations, its Canons, its Ordinal, its Catechism, and its proposed Prayer Book. The doctrine and practices countenanced in these formularies are at odds with the biblical and Reformation principles of authentic historic Anglicanism. The denomination makes no room in its formularies for the doctrinal and liturgical views of confessing Anglicans—orthodox Anglicans faithful to the Bible and the historic Anglican formularies and standing in the Anglican Church’s Reformation heritage.

Primary responsibility for the direction in which the Anglican Church in North America has moved in the past five years lies with the present ACNA leadership—its College of Bishops. Members of that body have spoken against the Protestant Elizabethan Settlement; have assured those who share their doctrinal and liturgical views that the denomination’s Fundamental Declarations, not the Jerusalem Declaration (and by the inference not the Bible and the historic Anglican formularies), would guide and inform the faith and life of the denomination; have blocked efforts to make the denomination more comprehensive; have called for a new Catholic Revival and taken steps to foster a movement toward that end; and have consistently voted in favor of giving a central place to unreformed Catholic doctrine and practices in the denomination’s formularies to the exclusion of genuine historic Anglican thought.

In terms of faithfulness to the Bible, the historic Anglican formularies, and the Anglican Church’s Reformation heritage, the bishops of the Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church of South Africa (the operational name of the Church of England in South Africa) are far more deserving of an invitation to the 2020 Lambeth Conference than are the ACNA bishops. Julian Mann’s recent proposal that the GAFCON Primates leverage an invitation for the ACNA bishops to the 2020 Lambeth Conference by threatening a boycott of the conference if the ACNA bishops are not invited is not only high questionable from a moral and ethical standpoint but it also shows a lack of familiarity on Mann’s part with the present situation in North America. Mann is the vicar of a Church of England parish. Its website describes the Church of England as “a Bible-believing Church in the Reformed tradition.” If Mann’s theological outlook fit with this description of the Church of England, it is incomprehensible to me that he would make such a proposal. Why would he champion the cause of bishops who do not share his theological outlook and who have been fostering a theological climate in their denomination that is inimical to that outlook? It makes no sense.

The recent Primates gathering revealed one very troubling fact. A sizeable number of Primates of the Anglican Communion are not acquainted with developments in the Episcopal Church in the USA and the Anglican Church of Canada. That being the case, a strong likelihood exists that they are not familiar with developments in the Anglican Church in North America.

In searching the Internet for articles for Anglicans Ablaze I have repeatedly encountered articles in which opinions have been expressed that show that the leaders and members of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans and the GAFCON Primates themselves are not well-informed where the ACNA is concerned.

The Anglican Church in North America does have an orthodox Anglican wing of undetermined size, which is faithful to the Bible and the Anglican formularies and stands in the Anglican Church’s Reformation heritage. This wing, however, does not occupy the place of power in the denomination. Its presence in the ACNA is tolerated—at least for the present time. This wing and the legitimate school of Anglican thought that it represents has no official standing in the denomination. Its position is precarious and its future is uncertain. Under the provisions of the ACNA canons the clergy and congregations forming this wing will be required to use the proposed Prayer Book upon its completion. This includes the ACNA Catechism and the ACNA Ordinal which will be incorporated into the book. If they do not conform to the doctrine and practices in these formularies, they are, under the provisions of the ACNA canons, subject to inhibition and deprivation in the case of the clergy and disaffiliation in the case of the congregations.

The form of governance of the Anglican Church in North America is modeled more on that of a sub-division of the Roman Catholic Church than a province of the Anglican Communion. Its canons incorporate doctrine, governing principles, and language from the Roman Catholic Church’s Code of Canon Law. The disciplinary canons ignore longstanding principles of Anglican jurisprudence. Its College of Bishops functions like a conference of bishops of the Roman Catholic Church. Its Provincial Assembly has negligible authority and serves a largely cosmetic function.

As one can see, the Anglican Church in North America as a replacement for the Episcopal Church in the USA and the Anglican Church of Canada as the official branch of the Anglican Church on the North American continent falls short in a number of key areas. The ACNA does not represent authentic historic Anglicanism in its doctrine, practices, and its form of governance. It is not genuinely committed to the restoration of the Bible, the historic Anglican formularies and the gospel to the heart of the Anglican Communion.

Until the ACNA provides generous space in its formularies for the doctrine and practices of orthodox Anglicans faithful to the Bible and the historic Anglican formularies and standing in the Anglican Church’s Reformation heritage and adopts and implements other much needed reforms, its bishop should at best be granted the status that is granted to Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic bishops at Anglican Communion gatherings—that of observers.

Until the Anglican Church in North America makes these necessary changes, what the GAFCON Primates can do to further the cause of biblical Anglicanism in North America is to support the formation of a convocation of Anglican churches in the United States and Canada that brings together  into a single organization orthodox Anglicans faithful to the Bible and the historic Anglican formularies and standing in the Anglican Church’s Reformation heritage—those in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada as well as in the Anglican Church in North America and those outside these ecclesial bodies. The banner of biblical Anglicanism should not be allowed to fall to the ground. Confessing Anglicans in North America should not be left bereft of an ecclesial body that genuinely stands for what the Jerusalem Declaration upholds. The formation of such a convocation with the support of the GAFCON Primates would go a long way toward restoring their credibility as the champions of Biblical Christianity and authentic historic Anglicanism. 

Tuesday Roundup: "Four Mistakes Leaders Make When Handling Conflict" and More


Four Mistakes Leaders Make When Handling Conflict

Conflict is going to happen. After sin entered the world through the disobedience of Adam and Eve, God told Eve that the relationship with her husband would no longer be perfect: “Your desire will be for your husband, yet he will rule over you” (Genesis 3:16). Scholars have pointed out that the same wording of desire and ruling is used in the following chapter to describe Cain’s relationship to sin (Genesis 4:7). So often conflict in our relationships with one another is the result of sin.... Read More

What to Do When You Get Discouraged

Whenever I get discouraged, I head straight to Nehemiah. This great leader of ancient Israel understood there were four reasons for discouragement in ministry. Read More

Things I Have Learned about Corporate Worship

AAlmost 35 years ago, I began pastoring my first church. I remember planning worship services, typing the order of worship, and praying the worship would go well. Since then, I’ve realized how little I knew about corporate worship at the time. Here are 10 things I’ve learned about worship since then. Read More

How Churches Can Pray More Effectively – Rainer on Leadership #191 [Podcast]

On today’s episode, Thom Rainer and Jonathan Howe cover seven points regarding prayer in the local church including how best to incorporate prayer into worship services, how to pray, and the use of catalytic prayer events. Read More

What Are the Top Evangelistic Churches Doing That Mine Is Not?

Here’s a quick summary of what makes a Top Evangelistic Church. We find in each case.... Read More

Once Again on Wheaton and Worshiping the Same God

We have quite a few Wheaton alumni in our church, and we seem to send one or two high school graduates off to Wheaton every year. Recently, I got an email from one of our students at Wheaton. The email had a number of good questions (he’s a very bright you man), all having to do with the current controversy over whether Muslims and Christians (and Jews) worship the same God. I thought it might be worthwhile, with is permission, to post my brief letter on my blog. Read More

0.0% of Icelanders 25 years or younger believe God created the world, new poll reveals

Iceland seems to be on its way to becoming an even more secular nation, according to a new poll. Read More

Monday, January 18, 2016

Why the GAFCON Bishops Should Not Tie Their Own Participation in the 2020 Lambeth Conference to the Invitation of the ACNA Bishops


By Robin G. Jordan

It would be premature for GAFCON and the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans to push for the invitation of the ACNA bishops to participate fully in the 2020 Lambeth Conference as Julian Mann proposes in a January 17, 2016 opinion piece on Anglican Mainstream, “Time for Gafcon to Lay Down Conditions for Lambeth 2020” The Archbishop of Canterbury should invite them to attend the conference as observers but not as full participants. Here’s why:

The bishops that Mann would have Archbishop Welby invite to fully participate in the 2020 Lambeth Conference will be the same bishops who have been entrenching the views of their particular school of unreformed Catholic thought in the formularies of the Anglican Church in North America to the exclusion of the views of legitimate schools of Anglican thought represented in the ACNA, particularly that of orthodox Anglicans faithful to the Bible and the historic Anglican formularies and standing in the Reformation tradition of the Anglican Church. Inviting them as full participants in the 2020 Lambeth Conference would be in effect sanctioning their policy of excluding the views of legitimate schools of Anglican thought represented in the ACNA and rewarding them for adopting and implementing such a policy.

For the bishops of GAFCON and the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans to make their own participation in the 2020 Lambeth Conference contingent on Welby’s inviting these bishops as full participants in the conference would be incongruent with the declared purposes of GAFCON and the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, which include the restoration of the Bible and the historic Anglican formularies to a central place in the Anglican Communion. It would further undermine the credibility of the GAFCON and the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans and its leaders. It would also be reprehensible on their part as they would be siding with the ACNA bishops AGAINST confessing Anglicans in the ACNA who, unlike the ACNA bishops, are fully committed to the declared purposes of GAFCON and the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans.

The ACNA bishops’ commitment to these purposes is rhetorical at best, designed to garner the support of GAFCON and the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans. It is evident from a number of their statements and from the formularies of the Anglican Church in North America that their actual commitment to these purposes is negligible, if not non-existent.

If the Episcopal Church in the USA at its 2018 General Convention fails to retreat from its position on gay marriage, Archbishop Welby should not invite its bishops to the 2020 Lambeth Conference. If the Anglican Church of Canada in its upcoming General Synod takes the same position as the Episcopal Church, its bishops should also not be invited.

The next four years is ample time for the Anglican Church in North America to amend its constitution and canons and change its other formularies to make the denomination more comprehensive and to implement other needed reforms. The support of GAFCON and the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans for the full participation of the ACNA bishops in the 2012 Lambeth Conference should be tied to whether the ACNA makes credible, genuine, and meaningful reforms during this time period.