ACNA'09: Great Reformation of Christian Church Underway, Says Bishop Duncan
God will sort out issue of women's ordination
By David W. Virtue in Bedford
BEDFORD, TX: The Bishop of Pittsburgh and archbishop-elect of the Anglican Church of North America, The Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan said that a great Reformation of the Christian Church is underway and North American Anglicans are in the midst of it.
He told an overflow audience of some 800 Anglicans in St. Vincent's Cathedral that while much of mainline Protestantism is finding itself adrift from its moorings by refusing submission to the Word of God, there is an ever-growing stream of North American Protestantism that has re-embraced Scripture's authority.
Duncan said the new North American Anglican province is the vanguard of a renewed orthodoxy.
According to Bishop Duncan, the face of Christianity in North America is changing with both Protestant and Pentecostal brothers and sisters being drawn into "the Great Tradition" that classic Anglicans know so well.
"Our God is up to something very big, both with us and with others. The Father truly is drawing His children together again in a surprising and sovereign move of the Holy Spirit. He is again Re-forming His Church."
Duncan said there was is a "keen interest" among Catholic and Orthodox brothers and sisters about what was is happening here in Bedford. "The whole of the Christian Church senses re-alignment. God is bringing about a confluence of Evangelical, Catholic and Pentecostal. We are daring to recover what Anglicanism at its best has always been about."
Duncan said theThe whole world is looking at Bedford stated Duncan. "Are we ready? Are we willing?"
The archbishop-designate said that Satan, whom he called calls "the enemy", had to be, must be resisted and that the re-gathering of a faithful Anglican church in North American is among the enemy's greatest concerns. "We should not be surprised if he tries to break in here. He will attempt to lure us back to old ways and old hurts and old fights."
Duncan reflected on the thorny issue of women's ordination saying that "for those who believe the ordination of women to be a grave error, and for those who believe it scripturally justifiable - reflecting Global Anglicanism - that we should be in mission together until God sorts us out. It is not perfect, but it is enough."
Drawing on the history of the movement that has culminated in the formation of the new province, Duncan recalled the late '90s at Anglican Congresses among the Anglican Diaspora...the heady days in the American Anglican Council, the First Promise Movement within the Episcopal Church, Plano 2003 and Hope and a Future 2005 and the coming together of the US and Canada and the missionary interventions of Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria and the Southern Cone who have helped form a "recognizably Anglican Province here."
Touching obliquely on The Episcopal Church, Duncan stated that many have sacrificed a great deal to follow Jesus to this place. "Many of us have lost properties, sacred treasures, incomes, pensions, standing and friends, but few had suffered to the point of shedding their blood (though some global émigrés had)."
Bishop Duncan called for a return to "muscular Christianity" that once reigned in the US and Canada. "No cross, no crown. No pain, no gain."
"I hear it over and over, there is no one here who would go back."
Ft. Worth Bishop Jack Leo Iker called the occasion both "historic and momentous" reminding delegates in the cathedral that this was the Diocese of Ft. Worth established in 1982 and that they were maintaining the faith and order of the Catholic Church.
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