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TRADITIONAL ANGLICAN CHURCHES

"Continuing Anglican" Churches - We would argue the most consistently traditional or "classical" Anglican churches.

Continuing Anglican Miscellany

"Anglican Realignment" Churches (ACNA, AMiA, and others) - Conservative but markedly less traditional than the Continuing Anglican Churches.

Reformed Episcopal Church - Currently part of the Anglican Realignment but these days much more like the traditional Continuing Anglican bodies.

ANGLICAN BLOGS AND WEB SITES

1662 Book of Common Prayer Online

1928 Book of Common Prayer Online

A Living Text

Alastair's Adversaria

Akenside Press

American Anglican Council

American Anglican Council Videos on the 39 Articles

ἀναστόμωσις

Anglican Audio

Anglican Bible and Book Society

An Anglican Bookshelf (List of recommended Anglican books)

Anglican Catholic Church

Anglican Catholic Liturgy and Theology

Anglican Church in North America

Anglican Church Planting

Anglican Eucharistic Theology

Anglican Expositor

Anglican Internet Church

Anglican Mainstream

Anglican Mission in the Americas

Anglican Mom

An Anglican Priest

Anglican.net

Anglican Radio

Anglican Rose

Anglican Way Magazine

Anglicanly Speaking

The Anglophilic Anglican

A BCP Anglican

The Book of Common Prayer (Blog of Photos)

The Book of Common Prayer (Online Texts)

The Cathedral Close

The Catholic Anglican

Chinese Orthodoxy

The Church Calendar

Church Society

Classical Anglicanism:  Essays by Fr. Robert Hart

Cogito, Credo, Petam

Colorado Anglican Society

CommonPrayer.org

(The Old) Continuing Anglican Churchman

(The New) Continuing Anglican Churchman

The Continuum

The Curate's Corner

The Cure of Souls

Drew's Views

Earth and Altar: Catholic Ressourecment for Anglicans

The Evangelical Ascetic

Faith and Gender: Five Aspects of Man

Fellowship of Concerned Churchmen

Forward in Christ Magazine

Forward in Faith North America

Francis J. Hall's Theological Outlines

Free Range Anglican

Full Homely Divinity

Gavin Ashenden

The Hackney Hub

The Homely Hours

International Catholic Congress of Anglicans

Jesse Nigro's Thoughts

The Latimer Trust

Laudable Practice

Martin Thornton

Meditating on "Irvana"

New Goliards

New Scriptorium (Anglican Articles and Books Online)

The North American Anglican

O cuniculi! Ubi lexicon Latinum posui?

The Ohio Anglican Blog

The Old High Churchman

Philorthodox

Prayer Book Anglican

The Prayer Book Society, USA

Project Canterbury

Ritual Notes

Pusey House

Prydain

Rebel Priest (Jules Gomes)

Reformed Catholicism

Reformed Episcopal Church

The Ridley Institute

Ritual Notes

River Thames Beach Party

The Secker Society

Society of Archbishops Cranmer and Laud

The Southern High Churchman

Stand Firm

Texanglican

The Theologian

The World's Ruined

TitusOneNine

To All The World

Trinity House Blog

United Episcopal Church of North America

Virtue Online

We See Through A Mirror Darkly

When I Consider How My Light is Spent: The Crier in the Digital Wilderness Calls for a Second Catholic Revival

Wyclif

HUMOR 

The Babylon Bee

Bad Vestments

The Low Churchman's Guide to the Solemn High Mass

Lutheran Satire

"WORSHIP WARS"

Ponder Anew: Discussions about Worship for Thinking People

RESISTING LEFTIST ANTICHRISTIANITY

Black-Robed Regiment

Cardinal Charles Chaput Reviews "For Greater Glory" (Cristero War)

Cristero War

Benedict Option

Jim Kalb: How Bad Will Things Get?

The Once and Future Christendom

Trouble

RESISTING ISLAMIC ANTICHRISTIANITY

Christians in the Roman Army: Countering the Pacifist Narrative

Bernard of Clairvaux and the Knights Templar

Gates of Nineveh

Gates of Vienna

Islamophobes (We're in good company)

Jihad Watch

Nineveh Plains Protection Units

Restore Nineveh Now - Nineveh Plains Protection Units

Sons of Liberty International (SOLI)

The Muslim Issue

The Once and Future Christendom

Trouble

OTHER SITES AND BLOGS, MANLY, POLITICAL AND WHATNOT

Abbeville Institute Blog

Art of the Rifle

The Art of Manliness

Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture

Church For Men

The Church Impotent: The Feminization of Christianity, (Leon Podles' online book)

The Counter-Revolution

Craft Beer

Eclectic Orthodoxy

First Things

The Imaginative Conservative

Joffre the Giant: Excursions in Christian Virility

Katehon

Men of the West

Mercurius Pragmaticus Redivivus

Mere Comments

Mitre and Crown

Monomakhos (Eastern Orthodox; Paleocon)

The Once and Future Christendom

The Orthosphere

Paterfamilias Daily

Tales of Chivalry

The Midland Agrarian

Those Catholic Men

Tim Holcombe: Anti-State; Pro-Kingdom

Midwest Conservative Journal

Pint, Pipe and Cross Club

The Pipe Smoker

Red River Orthodox

The Salisbury Review

Throne, Altar, Liberty

Throne and Altar

Project Appleseed (Basic Rifle Marksmanship)

Turnabout

What's Wrong With The World: Dispatches From The 10th Crusade

CHRISTIAN MUSIC FOR CHRISTIAN MEN

Numavox Records (Music of Kerry Livgen & Co.)

Wovenhand

Jerycho

WOMEN'S ORDINATION TO THE PRIESTHOOD

A Defense of the Doctrine of the Eternal Subordination of the Son  (Yes, this is about women's ordination.)

An (Extended) Short History of the Diaconate

"Buckle Your Seabelts": Can a Woman Celebrate Holy Communion as a Priest? (Video), Fr. William Mouser

Essays on the Ordination of Women to the Priesthood from the Episcopal Diocese of Ft. Worth

Faith and Gender: Five Aspects of Man, Fr. William Mouser

Father is Head at the Table: Male Eucharistic Headship and Primary Spiritual Leadership, Ray Sutton

FIFNA Bishops Stand Firm Against Ordination of Women

God, Gender and the Pastoral Office, S.M. Hutchens

God, Sex and Gender, Gavin Ashenden

Homo Hierarchicus and Ecclesial Order, Brian Horne

How Ordaining Women Harms Ministry to Men, C.R. Wiley

Let's Stop Making Women Presbyters, J.I. Packer

Liturgy and Interchangeable Sexes, Peter J. Leithart

Male-Only Ordination is Natural: Why the Church is a Model of Reality, Steven Wedgeworth

Ordaining Women as Deacons: A Reappraisal of the Anglican Mission in America's Policy, John Rodgers

Priestesses in Plano, Robert Hart

Priestesses in the Church?, C.S. Lewis

Priesthood and Masculinity, Stephen DeYoung

Reasons for Questioning Women’s Ordination in the Light of Scripture, Rodney Whitacre

Streams of the River: Articles Outlining the Arguments Against the Ordination of Women to the Priesthood ,

Traditional Anglican Resources

William Witt's Articles on Women's Ordination (Old Jamestown Church archive)

Women Priests?, Eric Mascall

Women and the Priesthood, Catholic Answers

Women Priests: History & Theology, Patrick Reardon

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Tuesday
Jun192012

Archbishop Peter Robinson (UECNA): Commitment - Integrity - Evangelism

 

Just over a week ago I (Peter Robinson, Archbishop of the United Episcopal Church North America) spoke at the end of Synod dinner for the Anglican Catholic Church's Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic States at the invitation of Bishop Lerow, their Episcopal Visitor. The address was not recorded, neither was I speaking from notes, but this blog post is an attempt to reproduce something of that talk.


As some of you will know, I am something of a railway enthusiast, and in particular for Irish Narrow Gauge railways. These were latterly owned by the Irish National Transport company C.I.E.. Don't worry, I am not going to talk to you about railways, but about a different C-I-E, one that the church needs to follow in order to grow. The CIE of this talk is

Commitment
Integrity
Evangelism

because without these qualities a church has little chance of sustaining itself, let alone growing.

The first aspect I want to look at is Commitment.

The first quality one should look for in a church is commitment. Not commitment to the denomination, a particular worship style, or program, but to Christ. In order to grow a Church must be Christ centered, and the reason for the decline of so many mainline denominations in the USA has been their failure to retain a clear and unequivocable commitment to Christ. Jesus tells His disciples that he is "the way, the truth and the life" and we, as baptized Christian need to live as though we believe that to be utterly true. Our salvation comes not through performing works of the Law, or propitiating an angry deity but from faith in Christ. Therefore Christ has to be at the center of our lives, at the heart of everything that we do, both as a Church and as individuals.

The faith to which are committed as Anglicans is revealed in the Scriptures - both Old and New Testament - taught by the ancient Fathers, and defined by the seven Ecumenical Councils of the Church. That faith ultimately is nothing less than God's revelation of Himself to humanity. However, these ancient Fathers and Councils are not independent authorities to Scripture, but expositors of God's Holy Word. We now live some two thousand years after Christ, and we are far removed from the original cultural context of the Gospel. Yet what His Word tells us is what we need to teach, what we need to live by, and what we need to pass on to the next generation.

This desire to learn, live and pass on the faith should be at the center of our lives as Christians, because whatever denominational label we carry, we need to first and foremost carry the name of Christian. We are born again of water and the Holy Ghost in baptism, and that effects a change in the character of our souls; and we have, as it were the mark of Christ upon us. In confirmation we affirm that commitment that was made in our name at our baptism - we renounce the Devil and all his works, the vain pomp and glory of the word, profess our faith, and commit ourselves to be soldiers and servants of Christ, and, through His grace alone, to work against sin, and for the Kingdom of God. We are strengthened for that task through the Scriptures, the Sacraments, Prayer, and Good Works; and we should keep our eyes fixed upon Christ, the author and finisher of our faith.

As Anglicans we also need to pursue the integrity of our tradition.

There was a time back in the eighteenth century when the Anglican clergy were the stupor mundi - the wonder of the world for their learning. Berkeley gets its name from the great eighteenth century Anglo-Irish philosopher-bishop, George Berkeley of Cloyne, whose form of Positivism was very influential in Anglican circles in the mid-1700s. I very much doubt he would approve of the philosophy taught in his name sake city today, and that bankruptcy of our academic tradition is something that has negatively affected the Anglican Church in this country! John Kaye, who was Bishop of Lincoln in the 1820s and 30s got his bishopric in part for producing the standard English translation and a critical edition of the works of St Justin Martyr. This seems to me a far better reason for being made a bishop than being able to tick all the right PC boxes, which seems to be what gets you to the top in so many denominations today.

What I am trying to say is that the integrity of the Anglican tradition lies upon good scholarship. Back in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries scholars honestly endeavored to discover the traditions of the Early Church in belief and Worship. The Anglican Reformation, although influenced by Luther, Melancthon, Bucer, Calvin, and others, always looked beyond the contemporary reform movements back to the Early Church, the Church of the first seven centuries. This influenced its liturgy and organisation, as well as helping to drive the scholarly tradition that was so much part of the old Anglicanism.

We also have to be aware that after 450 years our church has a tradition and an integrity of its own. I find too many Anglicans are a bit too self-conscious about their Anglicanism and look over their shoulders at what the Roman Catholics, the Orthodox, or the "Methobapticostals" are up to. This seems to me foolishness - especially in view of what I have said about the Church needing to look unto Christ as the author and finisher of the Faith. Anglicans are Catholic without being Roman; Reformed without being Puritan; and Evangelical without falling for the semi-Pelagianism of Revivalism. Our safe place, our identity very largely derives from a doctrinal commitment to the faith of the Church as revealed by Christ and explained by the Ancient Fathers and Councils, and the 'worshiping form' given to that theological commitment by the Book of Common Prayer.

There is a major need today, especially when so many new Anglicans, and even new Anglican priests have come from other traditions to educate them thoroughly. Every diocese and ever parish needs to have programs of education not just for those entering Holy Orders, but also for lay readers and for the laity themselves. In order to propagate the Gospel, we need, as a church, an active and educated laity.

This talk of Education brings me to my 'E' - Evangelism.


Anglicans, like some Presbyterians, have a reputation for being God's frozen chosen. Evangelism is usually something that Anglicans know they should be doing, and have a guilty conscience about, but when it comes to doing anything - zip, nada, nothing! Well, perhaps an advertisement in the paper on Christmas and Easter. The was a time when we got away with this quite well - brand name and the fact that we were decent and none too demanding carried us along nicely, as evidenced by the year on year growth of the 1920s, 30s 40s, and 50s. The old Episcopal Church peaked in 1963 with a membership of 3.4 million. Since then, there has been considerable shrinkage. I believe the current number is somewhere around 2.6 million and falling, and of those about 850,000 gets themselves through the door with reasonable regularity on a Sunday. The fact of the matter is that no-one has to go to Church anymore - Walmart is open! A large element in the media, and in political life look down on those with a traditional Christian faith as being narrow, bigoted, and backwards. There are very, very few positive images of Christians on TV, and the cultural Left in this country seems to be engaged in a Kulturkampf against the Church. Yet despite all this preaching from the TV of a new humanity, which does not need the old moral restraints, man's basic problems of how to be at peace with God and with himself still remain. The moral battleground today is marriage, which the secular progressive wish to reinterpret away from its tradition ends of the procreation of children, the avoidance of sin, and the mutual help and society of a man and a woman such as is laid down in Scripture beginning with Genesis into some sort of a free for all based on the concept that only erotic love is important. I am taking bets on whether it will be a Unitarian or an Episcopalian minister that performs the first human-animal marriage. What is evident is that most of the mainstream church's have ducked out of maintaining traditional doctrine, tradition morality, and evangelism, and in many respects have co-opted themselves as handmaids of the new Paganism.

If I were to ask you which is the largest province of the Anglican Communion I am sure that many of you would answer England. Up until a few years ago that would have been correct. With 26,000,000 baptized (most of whom never darken the doors) the Church of England was the biggest Church in the Anglican Communion. However, they have been surpassed - can anyone tell me who by?


(voice off - Nigeria)

That's right - Nigeria. The last time I checked there were 26.4 million Nigerian Anglicans, against 25.8 million English, and what is more to the point most of those Nigerian Anglicans are in church on a Sunday, not down the English version of Lowe's or Home Depot. Why is the Church in Nigeria - or for that matter Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, or Rwanda - so successful? They have the commitment to Christ, and the Integrity that I spoke of earlier. And besides this they Evangelize. American Episcopalians and Anglicans have a bad habit of saying that evangelism is the clergy's function - but it is not. IT IS EVERY CHRISTIAN'S RESPONSIBILITY. Every member of the Church needs to be an Evangelist. Everyone of us has to have that commitment, that desire to bring folks into the Church. That way our churches will grow and more importantly more people will be committed to Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.

One thing we need to realize is that the mission field is no longer Africa, India, Korea, but here. The mission field starts two inches outside of that door. American Christianity is widespread right now, but it is not very deep; hence the success of the non-denominational mega-church with its feel good worship and soundbite preaching. American Evangelical Christianity is ripe for a collapse, and who will succeed it - Islam? Socialism - that great secular religion? Or will the old churches come back again?

The whole church needs to commit to outreach and Evangelism in the new American Mission field. The best news of all though is that it does not involve you preaching on street corners, or dishing out tracts, or knocking on the doors of strangers. We simply need to take to heart something that the Bishops of the Anglican Church of Nigeria say is the foundation of their growth. It involves a very simple commitment that every member of the Church bring one new person to church each year, and then mentor them for three years - 1 + 1 + 3. Imagine what that could do in your parish 30 become 60, then 120, then you have to start thinking about planting a new Church. We need that sort of growth not just to grow but to survive and become a living and vital force, preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ in this country.

That brings me back to my C - I - E.

We need to be, as Continuing Anglicans

Committed to Christ; be faithful to our Anglican Integrity; and Evangelize. If we commit ourselves to be this, and do this, then the Church will grow, and Christ will be Glorified.

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