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UK: Renewed Orthodox Anglicanism Movement Heralds Growing Realignment

UK: Renewed Orthodox Anglicanism Movement Heralds Growing Realignment
Church of England slowly fragments even as Welby waffles on sexuality and gender issues

By David W. Virtue, DD
December 4, 2017

The Church of England faces the biggest threat to its hegemonic position; a backlash as deep as the breach by Wesley and Whitfield with the Church of England in the Eighteenth Century.

Slowly but surely, renewal movements are making inroads into the Church of England even as voices are being raised calling for the disestablishment of the Church.

A number of organizations are pushing for a realignment that Archbishop Justin Welby cannot ignore, cannot stop, and will, over time, force dioceses to rethink their gospel priorities and allegiances. The Church of England is facing the same ecclesiastical and theological conflicts that assailed The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada, resulting in tens of thousands leaving TEC, millions of dollars spent on property lawsuits, with dioceses shrinking over TEC's embrace of pansexuality, same-sex marriage and the failure of progressivism and revisionism (inclusivity and diversity talk) to deliver on new parishioners.

The ReNew conference highlights serious problems in the C of E and it is urging delegates to stand firm for the Gospel. ReNew is a conference organized by the Anglican Mission in England, (AMiE) Church Society, and Reform. The conference is chaired by William Taylor, rector of St Helen's Bishopsgate in London. St Helen's stands within the Conservative Evangelical tradition of the Church of England. It has passed resolutions to reject the ordination of women and/or female leadership.

The appointment of Rod Thomas Bishop of Maidstone, a provincial episcopal visitor for conservative evangelical members and parishes of the church, marked a milestone for evangelicals in the CofE who were feeling isolated and disenfranchised. He was ordained to offer encouragement to biblically faithful CofE churches.

The Free Church of England (FCE) has seen vibrant leadership from men like the Rev. Dr. Peter Sanlon. The FCE is becoming better known and providing a pathway for people to remain faithfully Anglican, outside of the C of E. As the realignment grows among Christians in the UK and globally, their mission is to offer a home for all orthodox Christians (of Anglican or other backgrounds) who hold "that which was believed everywhere, always, and by all" (Vincent of Lerins), and, by a ministry of Word and Sacrament, to equip them to live and witness for Christ. A new FCE church was recently established in Tunbridge, Wells: http://emmanuelanglican.uk/ John Fenwick is Bishop Primus of the Free Church of England.

The AMiE now has a Bishop and is developing its own mission and planting plans. One new church is in Scarborough: https://www.trinityscarborough.org.uk/ The Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) is a mission society that seeks to promote gospel growth in areas covered by the Church of England (principally in England, but also in other parts of Europe) by supporting Anglican churches and individuals both within and outside present Church of England structures. The curate, the Rev. Jonathan Pryke, has served at Jesmond Parish Church since 1988. He was consecrated by bishops from the Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church of South Africa (REACH-SA) at a service in Newcastle. The AMiE came into being as a result of GAFCON and is one of a number of agencies that relates to GAFCON through the GAFCON UK. The parish of Jesmond is developing a new model of faithful episcopacy within the Church of England.

The Rt. Rev. Gavin Ashenden, former Queen's chaplain in the Church of England, was consecrated a bishop after leaving the Church of England. His writings are causing heartburn in Anglican circles as he exposes the fatuity of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the compromises being made to keep the CofE together which such phrases as "good disagreement." He was consecrated a missionary bishop to the UK in the Christian Episcopal Church, one of the continuing Anglican jurisdictions. Though not recognized by the Church of England or GAFCON primates, he is a tour de force whose impact on English Anglicanism grows daily.

The Unity Forum consists of orthodox Anglican leaders inside and outside the C of E. They have met twice and meet again in December to develop their partnerships.

Perhaps the most decisive move and the most worrying to Welby was the recent consecration of Bishop Andy Lines by GAFCON primates from the Global South, resulting in the birth of GAFCON UK. They are gathering delegates for the Jerusalem Conference where it is hoped more people will be enthused by a new vision for global orthodox Anglicanism, not necessarily tied to Canterbury.

All of the above, are evidences that increasing numbers of Anglicans are seeking ways of being faithful Anglicans, owing to the dawning realization that there are serious theological and moral problems in the C of E.

All this being said, The Archbishop of Canterbury who has the bully pulpit, is fighting back, engaging facilitators, professional reconcilers and a growing press and PR corps in Lambeth Palace to do damage control, hoping to head off what is the slow drip of orthodox dioceses, persons and parishes away from his leadership and grip.

What he faces is an uphill battle as his church slowly embraces cultural Marxism that he is unable to control, and which, in fact, he himself consciously or unconsciously embraces even as he talks up Jesus.

Just as TEC and the ACoC have become borderless on culture war issues, so, too, is the Church of England and the Scottish Episcopal Church.

His achievements include manipulating the Nigerian born Archbishop of Kaduna, Josiah Idowu-Fearon, to be the Secretary General of the Anglican Consultative Council. Fearon's appointment, in which Welby never consulted Nigerian Primate Nicholas Okoh, caused tremendous anger in the Church of Nigeria. As a result, there is no love lost between Fearon and the House of Bishops of Nigeria. It was a major coup for Welby, and, as it turned out, a satisfactory appointment from his perspective. Once in the job, Idowu-Fearon went after his former African brethren with a vengeance, calling them homophobic and haters, sealing forever his allegiance to Welby and Canterbury and permanently alienating his Nigerian Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, whose province is the largest, strongest and most orthodox in the Anglican Communion.

Welby cleverly brought into Lambeth Palace the Rt. Rev. Anthony Poggo, currently Bishop of Kajo-Keji in South Sudan, and appointed him as his new Adviser for Anglican Communion Affairs. By choosing an orthodox African, especially a Sudanese bishop, he drew a bead on GAFCON.

Welby also appointed an African to succeed the debonair New Zealand bishop, David Moxon, and appointed Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi, Burundi's former primate to succeed him. He is the first African prelate to be appointed to the position by the Archbishop of Canterbury's representative to the Holy See and leader of the Anglican Centre in Rome.

In March of this year Welby made an official visit to the Anglican Church of Rwanda and spent time with the Primates of Burundi, Congo and Kenya in their Provinces, all designed to head off any more defections to GAFCON and the Global South, a separate group of orthodox primates.

It was said that Bishop Joel Waweru (Nairobi's) misuse of Archbishop Wabukala's signature and draft of a letter in order to get to AAC-16 Lusaka and receive his "just reward"-- a place on the SCAC -- had Welby's fingerprints all over it. What cannot be overlooked is the money trail, the donations that come from Compass Rose and TEC to the Anglican Communion Office and its influence to push the reconciliation notions of Welby in his hope to keep the broken and divided Anglican body together.

Money, the oil that keeps the wheels of progressivism grinding, is being used by TEC to not only buy the allegiance of the ACO, and to keep Lambeth Palace off balance, but to buy the silence of African primates - an effective strategy - that is apparently paying off in some African provinces. The theory behind this is that if African primates will not change their minds about sodomy and homosexual marriage, they can be paid to say nothing.

But at the end of the day, Welby cannot escape the elephant in the cathedral -- GAFCON. As a powerful, gospel-driven Anglican movement it poses the biggest single threat to his hegemonic hold on the Communion. Should that hold ever be broken, then the Anglican walls will come tumbling down and the writing on the wall will be visible for all to see, and it will not be welcoming news.

For more click here: http://www.virtueonline.org/anglican-mission-england-comes-age

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