Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Uh oh ... Mouneer Anis jumps the shark?

BB UPDATE: Ladies and Gentleman. We have completely changed our mind about this letter. Sadly, after much reflection, it now appears to be one of the most extreme examples of passive/aggressive writing I have ever read. My first reading was based on assumptions from the past and those assumptions appear to be false on closer reading. This letter is so incredibly upsetting. Why would he write such a letter? I counted him amongst the heroes.

For bishops, charged with responsibilities - and especially primates in particular cultural venues - we can only imagine the torn and conflicted hearts amongst that order. At the very heart of the conflict is our Anglican identity. Why are people Anglican? The question is as simple and as complex as the first question on the Alpha Course. That question has to do with the identity of Jesus. But this question has to do with our identity as Christians. Why are we Anglican? What makes us Anglican? Is that the same as being Episcopalian? And who decides? God? Man? And what do we make of the cares and occupations of our lives? When trust is broken - whom do we trust?

He opens this letter by laying out his credentials - "I am one of you," he says. We're not sure who he's writing to - who are his "brothers?" Yet it's important to him that he lays the foundation of his own solidarity with these recipients. "I am one of you." But then he reveals what appears to be the real agenda of the letter - intentional or unintentional, when people are in pain it's very hard to tell - and that is to sow discord amongst the leaders of the Global South by claiming that there are unnamed forces from the North out to get them. With cunning brilliance, there's no other way to describe it, he exploits age-old prejudices and bigotry, often in the most passive/aggressive ways. And he aims for scapegoats, for someone else to blame, taking none of the responsibility for himself - his apology, however masked, is for not showing up for a meeting he says he is honored to be invited to, yet to comes with without a direct explanation (have to mow lawn, feed ducks, take out trash) - though certainly we decipher his intentions indirectly. Tragically, his aim is at the very people whom the Global South primates have taken in as ecclesiastical refugees. He holds out his hand, and then nicely slaps us with the other. Just how far does the arm of litigation reach? I truly cannot believe it.
I wonder if he does.

08 May 2008

My very dear brothers in Christ (and we're not sure which brothers these are, by the way - all the primates, all the bishops of his province?),

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

First I want to make it clear that this letter expresses my views as the Bishop of the Diocese of Egypt, not the views of the whole Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East. I count it a great honour to have been invited to GAFCON. (a little bit of flattery - it's an honour best served cold).

I appreciate (a very interesting choice of words - he does not say he agrees with it, in fact, he chooses a word that basically says he acknowledges that this is why GAFCON was planned, but he's very careful to not affirm it - in fact, it's deception because the word itself is so positive that we think he's saying something positive about it, but he doesn't - he's just acknowledging what they believe) the fact that GAFCON provides an (not the) important meeting place for leaders from the South and from the North. I very much understand the frustrations as well as the hopes that led to the organisation of this conference (he affirms the frustrations, but not the action - in fact, looking back since 2003, Anis has taken very few public actions except to write letters - wonderful letters, indeed - but where has been the action?).

I do share your frustration in regard to what is going on in our Communion, as well as your hopes for strong and faithful Anglican church (no big surprise - but he's trying to establish his credentials, he's "one of us").

I am very disappointed with the direction taken by the Episcopal Church in the USA and the Anglican Church in Canada. This direction is not only about sexual ethics, which are contrary to Scripture, but also in regard to the fundamentals of the Apostolic Faith as we received it, like the Nature of Christ, the authority of scripture and God’s Salvation through Jesus Christ (This part is like a mantra - I took it at face value the first time I read this, very glad for the reiteration of the facts, but later reading it in the context of his letter it seems as though this is still part of his mantra to establish his credentials, especially when we get to the part where he takes his drastic turn. He needs to build a foundation that he's not one of Them.).

In addition they use very ambiguous language and contradictory phrases in their responses to the clear Windsor recommendation as well as the Dar es Salaam ones. It was shocking for me to hear that some now ask for the definition of ‘moratorium’ after four years of issuing The Windsor Report! (Right - and so what are you going to do about it? What? Go to the groovy Lambeth Be-In?)

I am deeply concerned that The Windsor Report and Dar es Salaam recommendations were not followed through and now the very people who caused the Communion’s crisis are invited to the most important Anglican council which is the Lambeth Conference. It is wrong to sweep all these problems under the carpet! (Dah! We know that. So what are you doing about it? Nothing? More words?)

I also share your hopes that we can go forward to advance the mission of the Gospel and be instruments in building the Church of Christ, founded on the Biblical truth. (Dah! What are you actually going to do about it? Have lunch at Lambeth Palace?).

Having said all this I am sorry that I will not be able to be with you at your Conference but I assure you that you will be in my prayers. (Now here he doesn't say why - and this is one of the primary examples of the nature of this as a passive/aggressive letter. It is obvious that the audience of this letter know exactly why he's not coming, but Bishop Anis' inability to say it here is telling - if he says the real reason why, he negates everything he said earlier. And he can't do that because of what is coming). Please accept my apologies. (Why? This is the British-form of politeness for affect - sorry I hit your car head on! - if he was sorry he'd be honest and say why he's not coming - perhaps the recipients all ready know, in which case, why is he writing the letter? And why release it to the world?.). I also look forward to receiving your recommendations before going to Lambeth. (that's all though - again, I read more into this than is there. He looks forward to receiving their recommendations - but for what? Nothing. For all we know, he'll use their recommendations against them. He doesn't say - and again, what he doesn't say is louder than anything he does say. I look forward to seeing who is going to be the Democratic Nominee, but it doesn't mean I'm voting for that person - in fact, I will not. But I am curious to see how it all turns out so we can get on with the Presidential campaign). My brothers (must be the Primates he's writing to) I want to draw your attention to the following: (NOW WE GET TO THE POINT OF THE LETTER) 1) The unity of the Global South (GS) is our great concern.

(HOLD EVERYTHING. Let's just stop here and sit for a while. I actually read this part out loud several times. "The unity of the Global South is our great concern. The unity of the Global South is our great concern. The unity of the Global South is our great concern. The unity of the Global South is our great concern. The unity of the Global South is our great concern." The Global South is unified. The problem is Mouneer Anis. He's isolated. Only, he's not going to take responsibility for that isolation. He's going to look for a scapegoat. Classic passive/aggressive behavior. Bishop Anis is either enraged or in grief, but he's in denial, massive denial and he sees the writing on the wall and it's not in his hand. So it's time to find a scapegoat. He has now projected his own alienation onto his audience, the Global South primates. He's now pronounced as a "great concern" something that is of his own making. It's truly sad. I just can't believe it.)

As you know the Global South was established in 1997 and has been recognized by the whole Anglican Communion. (Did you hear the slap? Read it again. The implication is that there are those who are not recognized by the whole communion - some who are now, in 2008, in the Global South. The point is that Global South is recognized by the whole communion and that is why it offered refuge to Americans and Canadians who wanted to remain Anglican but could not remain in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada. He establishes the fact that is recognized by the whole communion and so all who are in the Global South are recognized by the whole communion. But remember, his "great concern" is the unity of the Global South. Think about it.). It has been effective in strengthening the South to South links (Slap again. He's shifting away from the realignment based on Anglican theology and toward geography - he's revealing his hand, which in this case - is NO DIFFERENT THAN KATHARINE JEFFERTS SCHORI. Shocked? So are we). The GS is composed of more than twenty provinces. (Which means it outnumbers the rest of the Anglican Communion - it dominates the communion by sheer numbers, as if all Anglicans were equal. Are they? To be associated, then with the Global South is to give a primate standing - but only if the Anglicans are equal. Are they?).

There is now increasing interest from Orthodox Bishops in the North to be affiliated with the Global South. ("increasing interest?" Is that what he calls the Diocese of San Joaquin and perhaps other dioceses voting to realign with Global South provinces? Is that what he calls the formation of CANA and AMiA? Increasing interest? The phrase is outrageous. It's almost as though he's intentionally being humorous by his understatement, only he's not - he's being passive/aggressive - he's trying to minimize the relationships now between Anglicans based on doctrine, not geography). This is because we use a moderate but form of language. (Here's one of the typos in the letter, which denotes that what was leaked was either a draft or an unproofed final - does it mean the bishop wrote it all by himself and showed it to no one?). In our last Steering Committee of the Global South in March we (Ah ha - so he's one of the leaders and now we see that he's isolated, it's appearing like the Global South is moving in direction he no longer wants to go in - what's up with that?), in our statement, affirmed the importance of the Global South and its mission: (More emphasis on the Global South, which a deemphasis from the Americans and the Canadians). We see an increasing conviction and confirmation of the prophetic and priestly vocation of the Global South (there it is again - which denotes that the prophetic and priestly vocation does not include the refugees from America and Canada) in the Anglican Communion.

As Primates coming from different contexts (now here is a Schori phrase as we've ever hear it), we were led into deep conversations (did he really write this? More Schori-type phrases, "led into deep conversations?" Why doesn't he say "we discussed the future" or something straight forward - again, as is the problem with 815, more passive language) and helpful clarifications on the challenges before us ("helpful clarifications" which reads like a shadow of what really happened, one almost wonders if they got to blows at the last meeting) (Ps 133; Eph 4:1-6; Phil 2:1-5). We reaffirmed our total and collegial commitment to the solemn vocation of (wait for it - "our Christian brothers and sisters around the world? Nope.) the Global South. We resolved, and urge all in the (wait for it - because it's important now to separate based on theology and to reiterate relationships based on geography) Global South and other orthodox constituencies of the wider Communion (but he doesn't say North - what's up with that? Is that because it has to to with England and the appeasers in England who think that talking is going to fix this problem? Is that what has happened to him - that Graham Kings has gotten a hold of him and Rowan Williams has given him his personal mobile number?) to strengthen our hearts and wills to work together for the fundamental renewal and transformation of the (wait for it) global Anglican Communion.

We also stated (and of course, he's not quoting, he restating his version to fit his agenda now): Through our conversations together and clarifications made (there is that phrase again- where is it coming from - "our conversations together" - no one talks like that, those aren't real phrases, they are affected phrases, phrases fraught with political meaning - what's up with that?), we are led to understand and appreciate (again - passive voice - "we are led to understand and appreciate?" What is that? Lofty language? Who is this aimed at - we know that many of the Global South do not talk like this - they are direct and straight to the point - why is Anis talking like he's moved into 815?) the principled reasons for participation in GAFCON (June 2008) and Lambeth Conference (Jul 2008). Even if there are different perspectives on these (i.e., he does not agree), they do not and should not be allowed to disrupt (this is possibly one of the most upsetting parts of this letter. What does he mean "they do not and should not be allowed to disrupt?" Again - that's 815 thinking, that even the pretensions of unity outweigh truth - no, Bishop Anis - truth often disrupts, truth often disrupts - must we say it again. Truth often disrupts - Jesus is the stone that makes men stumble, the rock that makes them fall, I just can't believe he'd write such a thing - what has happened? Have aliens from outerspace landed near the Pyramids and have snatched the real Mouneer Anis, leaving a pod person to write this thing?) the common vision, unity and trust within (wait for it) the Global South.

Okay, we just have to stop and quote this part, it's so unbelievable. It's hard to believe an orthodox Anglican would write such a thing. "...they do not and should not be allowed to disrupt the common vision, unity and trust within the Global South." Didn't Bishop Lee say something about this one time, causing all hell to break lose in Virginia?

For this reason I appeal to you to take the above statements fully into your consideration (you've been warned!) and to be careful not to make binding decisions which may result in dividing Anglicans in the Global South and elsewhere (you've been warned. In other words - don't actually do anything at GAFCON, just keep your head down and shut up until it's all over). At the same time I would like to share with you a little more of my own thinking. (but wait - there's more - and here it comes. The scapegoat).

I believe that the best strategy for safeguarding orthodox faith and unhindered mission is to have parallel processes for building unity among those loyal to the biblical historic faith and ethics in both the South and the North. (In other words - no more mingling with these Yanks. You can swap Christmas Cards, but don't actually try to live in the same house). Orthodox leaders in the South and in the North need to continue to work together and support each other (but they get one fountain, we get another).

I would respectfully add that the (wait for it) Global South South has been looking after our interests - that must not be driven (driven? Who's driven? Driven means that the Global South is not in the driver's seat - but someone else is driving. But wait, Mouneer Anis is one of those in the Driver's Seat, isn't he? Or is he mad that he's not finding more who will talk but not walk the talk and appease the powers that be? So now we have some outside forces driving these poor ignorant Africans - that's what he's saying, friends, and that is why this shocking. If the Global South was made up of Norwegians and Finns, he wouldn't be writing like this. He assumes that because the majority of the Global South is black, they can be driven - it's simply outrageous - it's like he doesn't even know Peter Akinola - and he does. Why would he sew these seeds - unless this letter does not include Africa? What if this letter is written to his own province, thereby exploiting very old and very un-redeemed bigotry, it's outrageous, I just simply can't believe he's engaging in this type of maneuvering that we've seen most ironically on our side the pond) by an exclusively Northern agenda or Northern personalities (i.e., not Africa, not Asia, not the Middle East, etc - Northern personalities? Now this is where I feel betrayed. I have felt a kinship with the Global South - including Mouneer Anis based on our common fait. I did not know that he is now casting a dividing line between the "have's" and "have nots" and that Northern personalities (can we guess who's he talking about here - I just simply can't believe it, they've been friends for years, years - years. So it appears that this letter is not written to Africa, but is written to his brother Middle East bishops and building an alliance with them against Africa - so the question is, who and why was this letter leaked?). The meeting of the Global South in ‘09 will be critical for the future, and the agenda will need careful preparation ahead of time. (in other words, it's time to assimilate the Global South back into the progressive structures of the Anglican Communion - Unity 10, Truth 0.).

The constitution of the Global South needs to be reviewed in such a way as to clarify representation and appointment of office bearers (unless you've been living with Bin Laden in a cave, you know exactly who he's talking about here - and doing so behind that bishop's back rather than face to face - that is until this letter was leaked. What has happened?). The Global South has contributed much to the initiation of the Covenant process, and will need to consider how it is progressing. (Another passive statement - he implies that those in the North are subverting the Covenant, the heart of the issue. He's ticked off because so much of the orthodox Anglican Communion knows that the covenant is decades from passing, as Mouneer Anis told us himself! But instead of blaming the leadership of the Anglican Communion for their failure - i.e., you know who - he blames his own friends who have stood with him and he with them for so many years. That's called betrayal.).

If there is no prospect of a Covenant that safeguards orthodoxy and unhindered mission within a reasonable timescale (as if!), then the possibility of adopting a "holding covenant" may need to be considered (What is that sound? Oh, it's the howling of the TEC progressives! Don't hold your breath - this again denotes a sense of denial or illusion about the facts on the ground). I urge you all to consider participating in the Lambeth Conference. (Zinger!)

The absence of any of your voices will be a great loss (now we go back to flattery again - "the absence of your voices?" Did he really say that? Again, an 815-style phrase. "The absence of your voices" is affected - why doesn't he just speak plainly? Is it more important to him to be aligned culturally with Rowan Williams than with his brothers who share his orthodox faith? What exactly has Rowan been saying to him?). God has spoken to me through the Book of Jonah (his certainty is rather amazing - not "I believe God really spoke to me through the reading of the scriptures and particularly when I was reading about Jonah - no he doesn't explain, his audience is left to infer his meaning, which again is passive). So I decided not to withdraw but to go and speak the truth, and leave the rest to God (which means no more action required and of course, those of you who don't do that don't get the Book of Jonah, is that it?). Please remember that there will be bishops who are not fully aware of the seriousness of the situation (now it's time to lay the guilt trip - if there is a bishop alive who is clueless what are they doing being a bishop? Oh, and by way - what "situation" is he actually talking about here? The Anglican Communion Crisis or the Global South realignment? Hmm?). They need to be alerted (more guilt - you don't have time to do it yourself, is that it?) Your presence would be a help, as indeed it was in 1998 (except for the fact that the Anglican Communion is in crisis and division - hello? Didn't you get the memo?).

I am reminded by the words of Jesus that we continue to live in the world: "I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world." John 17: 14-16 One last point: we need to combine steadfastness, a peaceable spirit and gracious language (now that's pointing out the log in one's eye - having just undermined the Global South leadership and relationships, he calls for love, love, love. He implies that's not what the Global South has been doing. Arrogance, how can that be?).

I believe that the language we use needs to be especially appealing to the "people in the pews" who may be confused or misled (Confused? Misled? He's talking about us - we, the stupid sheep? We understand very well, sir), having less understanding of the issues of the controversy (patronizing now! is this a swipe at the internet like the other you know who did yesterday?), but who want to remain true (true? as opposed to what? false? Another passive/aggressive moment) Christians and Anglicans (this is another Schorism - he's poking at the blogs - Greg Griffith, Kendall Harmon, call your offices). "He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it." 1 Thess 5:24 May the Lord bless you (but what if it brings discord, his blessing? What if speaking out in truth causes men to stumble and fall? Will you just push rewind? Isn't that what he's trying to do here - push rewind and try to bring it all back to good old days? Are we witnessing a man so torn with grief he's forgotten who his friends are? Or is the Lord leading him somewhere where he does not want to go?).

Yours in Christ,

+Mouneer Egypt
The Most Rev Dr Mouneer H. Anis
Bishop of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa.

And so now we know.

The deal is - the pain is excruciating. A bishop wishes to lead and keep his people safe. But as we mentioned in the old tried and true 12-steps, at some point we realize it's not working and we give up and get real, learn to speak plainly and honestly and truthfully, with no gaming, no scheming, no scapegoating, no blaming, no whining, no nothing but repentance. Perhaps what we're seeing played out in this letter is a flood of grief.

Get out the mops It's going to be a long summer. In the meantime, let's go to the Prayer Book.

Remember not, Lord, our offences,

nor the offences of our forefathers;

neither take thou vengeance of our sins:

spare us, good Lord, spare thy people,

whom thou hast redeemed with thy most precious blood,

and be not angry with us for ever.

Spare us, good Lord.

From all evil and mischief;

from sin, from the crafts and assaults of the devil;

from thy wrath, and from everlasting damnation,

good Lord, deliver us.

From all blindness of heart;

from pride, vain-glory, and hypocrisy;

from envy, hatred, and malice, and all uncharitableness,

good Lord, deliver us.

From fornication, and all other deadly sin;

and from all the deceits of the world, the flesh, and the devil,

good Lord, deliver us.

From lightning and tempest;

from plague, pestilence, and famine;

from battle and murder, and from sudden death,

good Lord, deliver us.

From all sedition, privy conspiracy, and rebellion;

from all false doctrine, heresy, and schism;

from hardness of heart,

and contempt of thy Word and Commandment,

good Lord, deliver us.

By the mystery of thy holy Incarnation;

by thy holy Nativity and Circumcision;

by thy Baptism, Fasting, and Temptation,

good Lord, deliver us.

By thine Agony and bloody Sweat;

by thy Cross and Passion;

by thy precious Death and Burial;

by thy glorious Resurrection and Ascension;

and by the coming of the Holy Ghost,

good Lord, deliver us.

In all time of our tribulation; in all time of our wealth;

in the hour of death, and in the day of judgement,

good Lord, deliver us.

We sinners do beseech thee to hear us, O Lord God;

and that it may please thee to rule and govern

thy holy Church universal in the right way,

we beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.


Anonymous said...

It appears you are correct. Another one bites the dust. Somebody got to him in a big way.

Perpetua said...

I read this that there are some people in the North who have offended him and appeared to him to think they could drive the agenda. They know who they are. (I don't) Would they please approach him with respect and appropriate humility so that we do not loose this good man from our side?

Unknown said...

We need to pray. He is now advocating a view that the Global South must separate from it's communion with the Canadian and American churches and dioceses in exile. He now advocates a "unity" based on geography and not on core doctrine. Where have we heard that before?


Anonymous said...

Your analysis of his letter is insulting, juvenile, and based largely on wild speculation.

Kevin said...

Okay, BB, now were inverse, you were calm and I was "freaking out," but after assurances by an archbishop on SF, I decided to let it all in the hands of the Lord.


I like the hymn!!!!

Good stuff, so much theology in ten verses, enough to drown in, not to stir up that fight, but it's so very different than happy-clappy song writing today (though there many young artist today setting olds words to modern music, so these hymns blend right in to a contemporary service).


Anonymous said...

I disagree widely with your interpretation of Mouneer's letter, BB.

The man has decided not to go to Gafcon. The Gafcon leaders don't like that, understandably. But to me, it's simply his decision, and he chose a way to communicate that decision while laying out his reasons that he is going to Lambeth.

RE: "But then he reveals what appears to be the real agenda of the letter - intentional or unintentional, when people are in pain it's very hard to tell - and that is to sow discord amongst the leaders of the Global South by claiming that there are unnamed forces from the North out to get them."

Oh I don't think he's "sowing discord" -- I think that, like the "Leavers and Stayers" debates in TEC, he's a symbol of the discord that already exists, and which we all know exists, only Mouneer "said it out loud". There's a big divide in the Global South over *what to do now*. And Mouneer is one of those who has decided something differently from the four or five GS Primates who are staying away from Lambeth.

Furthermore, there's no doubt that those leading the "TEC Leavers" are indeed the ones most associated with Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, and Rwanda -- they're in alliance. So it's understandable that folks think that Gafcon is primarily for the Common Cause alliance, only internationally. That's what I've thought from the beginning, and indeed it is sometimes touted as that.

For Mouneer to say "Gafcon isn't for me, folks" is a bit like my saying that the latest CCP event is not for me.

I think it's very clear that the leadership of the Global South is divided as to tactics, and this is but the latest example of that division, among many.

But to somehow fancy that Mouneer is one of the bad guys because he's going to Lambeth and not to Gafcon is the age old question about "leaving" or "staying." Mouneer didn't undermine "the Global South leadership and relationships", BB. He simply doesn't support the direction of four Primates within the Global South. And that's a different matter altogether.


Rolin said...

BB, after reading your analysis, I got out the button that Robroy gave me this Satuday:


I set it beside my computer here until I can figure out why your letter reminded me of it.

Br_er Rabbit

Rolin said...

Maybe this is it:
Permit me to recast ++Mouneer's letter in terms of BB's take on it.

Dear John,
I am having second thoughts about the tryst we had planned in the Israeli woods. In fact, I am having doubts about our whole relationship.
Oh, and incidentally,
I have decided not to break off my relationship with Doug. In fact, I will be going to a tryst with him in the London woods.

Have a nice life,

There is one sticking point with this view.

++Mouneer says that, after being directed by God, he is going to Nineveh.


BB, perhaps you could revisit your take on the Word that the Archbishop received from God.

Anonymous said...

BB, Here is the GAFCON leadership. If you see any sisters amongst the brothers let us know. Note, too, the number of Northern personalities.

Anonymous said...

BB: [Close to topic] The Episcopal Life bulletin insert for this Sunday begs for a dramatic reading from you. I gave it a go with a liberal friend and had him laughing. Please.

Anonymous said...

bb, Excellent analysis of the letter. Here is another possible explanation.

Who are the intended "recipients" of this letter? We assume that they are the Global South leaders and us refugees in North America. What if the real intended recipients are 815 and the ABC? Suppose that 815 and the ABC are the real targets of the letter.

To 815, the letter says this: I, Bp. Anis, realize that Abp. Akinola, Bp. Duncan, Bp. Minns are at the top of your Enemies List. I also understand that your antipathy to them makes it impossible for you to consider on the merits anything they, or people who associate with them, say. So, I won't associate with them and will skip their Gafcon conference, in order to show that I am not one of them. However, I still disagree with you (815) on your theological apostacy.

To the ABC, the letter says this: I, Bp. Anis, understand how upset you are that Abp. Akinola, Bp. Duncan, Bp. Minns, et. al. are wrecking your plans for a placid and content-free Lambeth. So I won't attend their conference, in order to show you that I am not a troublemaker like them. But I still disagree with what TEC is doing.

What is the purpose for Bp. Anis to distance himself from the people who will attend Gafcon? I suppose that Bp. Anis could try to set himself up as a kind of intermediary between Gafcon and Lambeth. Perhaps Bp. Anis thinks he will be more persuasive if he distances himself from the realignment.

Now I do not think that such attempts to persuade will be effective. TEC is not going to change course, and the ABC has openly sided with them. I am afraid that the time for persuasion is over. Minds are made up.

I admit that I have no evidence to support my speculation. But perhaps it is a less disheartening explanation of what Bp. Anis is doing.

Alice C. Linsley said...

Whatever his motives, anxieties and pressures, the timing and wide circulation of this letter says as much as the content.

GAFCON will do real business, like it or not.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...


Your analysis of ++Mouneer's letter that's interspersed between the lines was excellent!!!

I think Christopher Johnson over at the Midwest Conservative Journal would not only be proud of you, but also envious that he had not written it himself.

FWIW, I have written several times over at MCJ that the split, if a split were to occur, will come at GAFCON, not at Lambeth as everyone had previously thought.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...



CJ: "Pull the plug."

Yes. I have written repeatedly in the past on MCJ that if there is to be a split, then the split will and should occur at GAFCON (among the GS/GAFCON bishops), and not at Lambeth. There is evidence that this may indeed be happening:

(1) "On the other hand, in interacting with some others (and this will include clergy as well), I have sensed that there is a very real anxiety that this ‘breaking up’ may be happening within the ranks of the orthodox or Global South folks."

From "Canon Terry Wong: Lambeth, GAFCON and my ‘two sense’ worth" thread at SFIF.

(2) "But then he reveals what appears to be the real agenda of the letter - intentional or unintentional, when people are in pain it's very hard to tell - and that is to sow discord amongst the leaders of the Global South by claiming that there are unnamed forces from the North out to get them. With cunning brilliance, there's no other way to describe it, he exploits age-old prejudices and bigotry, often in the most passive/aggressive ways. And he aims for scapegoats, for someone else to blame, taking none of the responsibility for himself - his apology, however masked, is for not showing up for a meeting he is honored to be invited to without explaining why directly - but certainly indirectly."

From BabyBlue: Uh oh ... Mouneer Anis jumps the shark?

I too was taken aback by ++Mouneer's announcement, just like BabyBlue, Sasha, et al. I do not, not even for one New York second, buy his flimsy story/excuse that he is thinking that the applicable biblical point of reference is Jonah and the city of Nineveh. That is so patently ridiculous. And the shame of it all is that many people will buy that line.

First of all, there have been MANY "Jonahs" who have already come to TEc and preached repentance to TEc. Many Jonahs! It's not like the first time as ++Mouneer insinuates. Second, the Ninevites repented. Has TEc and the Anglican Church of Canada repented? No way! If anything, it's going to accelerate even further. Don't be delusional.

Next, if ++Mouneer is looking for the applicable reference point in Scripture, then I humbly suggest to him (and to others) that it's the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. Those cities were destroyed by God for its gross, stubborn, heinous, and unrepentant sin. And ++Mouneer is behaving like Lot's wife. And do you remember what happened to Lot's wife when she looked back at what she was leaving behind?

I am wondering whether Archbishops Akinola, Orombi, Kolini, Jensen, et al are prayerfully considering whether to not only bid a tearful farewell to the Archbishop of Canterbury, but to Archbishops Venables, Mouneer, Chew, et al... as well. This possibility should be in the consideration set prior to attending GAFCON.

Anonymous said...


Cheer up, The Lord is in control.

Each man and woman will choose, each day and each moment what they will believe and do.

You have been speaking out of your pain and passionate love for Jesus Christ.

For years, you have watched Him betrayed, ignored, discounted, villified, accused, renamed, falsified, opposed, ignored, mocked, crucified... You have watched His disciples do all these things to each other... They, His own 'bishops' and people have tried to put Him out of His own Church.

I have ranted and raved as well...just not as long or as articulately as you!

Thanks for your wonderful blog.

Kevin said...

RE:"I am wondering whether Archbishops Akinola, Orombi, Kolini, Jensen, et al are prayerfully considering whether to not only bid a tearful farewell to the Archbishop of Canterbury, but to Archbishops Venables, Mouneer, Chew, et al... as well."

[53] - One thing we can be sure of, he reached this decision prayerfully. The bishops who occasionally post here could no doubt give us some insights into how difficult these decisions are.

One other thing we know for a fact is that 100 of the bishops who will be at Lambeth have lied to this man’s face. Read what he has to say above. Do you think they will not be called to account for that?
Let us stop determining someone’s orthodoxy based on what meeting they do or do not attend, or who they dined with last night. Over the course of history, some saints have guarded the Lord’s people by separating them from heresy, other saints have confronted the heretics. In our time, there are pastors doing both. That we are called to the same purpose does not mean that we are called to perform the same action.

[49] - #46 Thanks for giving us the benefit of the doubt, Tim.

[50] - #49 Tom, I mean!

[53] - #50, You and all in your care are always in my prayers. My thanks to you for all you have been doing for us here, and for your recent webcast sermons and speeches which have strengthened us all.

Tom (and I am flattered that you would remember)

[55] - #53 Thanks for your prayers. The GS steering committee expressed total unity on these themes as the March statement made clear.


By the banter, the public face would say "no."

Which leaves open many questions, but also one of trust or have we become that cynical. By nature I can be a bit of a cynic, but hopefully enough trust just to have a tinge of suspicion to say that is not their intent at this time.


Rolin said...

TUaD, rather than the "tearful farewell" to Canterbury, the Archbishops seem to have something slightly more nuanced in mind. Take note of this incisive observation by JamesW:

I have heard from the mouth of one of the GAFCON primates that there is no intention to leave the Anglican Communion. Rather as I see it, this is a difference in strategy about how quickly to abandon the current Instruments of Unity as workable to maintain a disciplined, unified Communion. It is my sense that the GAFCON advocates still plan to give formal lip service to the ABC, but will essentially ignore the Instruments of Communion as they build a new Communion within what they consider to be a defacto Anglican “Federation”. The GAFCON advocates believe that the “Global South” organization should be tailored to having that as its foremost goal.

In other words, GAFCON will put in place the "two-tiered communion" that +Rowan was unable to effectuate.

The "split", such as it is, will indeed come at GAFCON. The uneasiness that +Anis has is about who will administer that split, and whether it will divide the Global South. That is a real possibility: the Global South is not of a single mind about what to do with the Anglican Communion, and I'm not just talking about Brazil and Mexico and Australia sans Sydney.

Notice especially that last sentence from JamesW:

The GAFCON advocates believe that the “Global South” organization should be tailored to having that as its foremost goal.

That idea, if true, probably directly subverts the vision that ++Anis and others have for the Global South organization.

And finally, from my own perspective, "Jonah" is not just about going into the den of iniquity to prophesy, but being sent to exactly the place where you do not want to go. I hesitate to question ++Anis on what it was he heard from God.

Br_er Rabbit

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Hi Br'er Rabbit,

Much, much thanks for the reply. JamesW's analysis and yours makes a lot of sense given the recent news releases.

Although I will say that effecting a two-tier communion solution sounds rather odd and deeply peculiar based on one simply reality: the See of Canterbury. The ABC wants only one communion, not two. Second, the liberal revisionist apostates want and will enjoy full communion with the See of Canterbury. So does the GS/GAFCONners. Then what? The ABC belongs to both tiers of the Communion? And each tier does not really, meaningfully recognize each other? Isn't that the reality now with the "Impaired Communion" language? How is a two-tier communion effectively and structurally different from an "Impaired Communion" which is what the AC has now?

That Laffin' Place still open? I likes visiting there.

Rolin said...

How is a two-tier communion effectively and structurally different from an "Impaired Communion" which is what the AC has now?

Simple. It isn't.

Br_er Rabbit

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Yo Bro' Rabbit!

Ya lost me with all that fast hopping! Now I is confused. Replaying the conversation...

Br'er Rabbit: "In other words, GAFCON will put in place the "two-tiered communion" that +Rowan was unable to effectuate."

Me: "How is a two-tier communion effectively and structurally different from an "Impaired Communion" which is what the AC has now?"

Br'er Rabbit: "Simple. It isn't."


Dagnabbit Wabbit. What in tarnation are you saying? If an "Impaired Communion" is meaningfully the same thing as a "Two-Tier Communion" then there's nothing for the GS/GAFCON bishops to "put in place" since it ("it" being an impaired communion) is already there.

I thought I understood where you and JamesW were coming from, but now I'm not sure.

Rolin said...

Well, I guess not exactly the same. It will be different because it will have an administrator(s). Hence the qualms of ++Anis.
Br_er Rabbit

Anonymous said...

Br'er Rabbit and TUAD: You have to factor time, trends and trajectories into this.

Observation: The growing parts of the international Anglican Communion are the orthodox parts. The growing parts of Anglicanism in the Global North are the orthodox parts. The shrinking parts are the liberal parts.

So it is to be expected that orthodox Anglicanism will continue to grow while liberal Anglicanism will continue to shrink. Liberal Anglican money is currently controlling the Communion, but that money will run out.

If GAFCON takes the reins now and establishes the inner-tier Communion, it sets the agenda. It provides structural relief to the GN orthodox, who otherwise risk being choked off. GAFCON can then initiate the inside Covenant and Catechism. Overtime, it is expected that the GAFCON led inner-Communion will swallow the larger Federation.

This is broken communion, but with a vision for the future, as opposed to the current situation of broken communion with a vision of despair.

I think that Anis's concern with GAFCON is that they are pushing too quickly and too unilaterally. Americans are nothing if not impatient and inclined to take things into their own hands. Hard for Americans to hear, but it is true.

Rolin said...

JamesW said it better than I could.
Br_er Rabbit

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

James W and Br'er Rabbit, thanks for the responses! It's quite engrossing and fascinating.

For the sake of further intellectually stimulating speculation, please allow me to engage you both further.

JamesW: "You have to factor time, trends and trajectories into this."

Let me play Angel's Advocate here. Let's do factor time, trends, and trajectories into this. I humbly submit to you (and the GS/GAFCONners as well) that all 3 of these factors are in favor of the liberal revisionists, size and growth not withstanding. The more and more time passes, the more entrenched and embedded and widespread the heresy and apostasy. With the California State Supreme Court's decision to legalize gay marriage, the clear trend and trajectory is to accelerate same-sex blessings, GLBT ordinations, and the current revisionist approach to hermeneutics and the Authority of Scripture.

So in sum, I don't see how time, trends, and trajectories work out in favor for the "orthodox" Anglicans, other than growth in numbers. In fact, "orthodox" Anglicans outnumber the "revisionist" Anglicans NOW and are still unable to effect any ecclesiastical reform. Having even more numbers over time will not do anything towards ecclesiastical reform when you have, let's say, an entrenched policy of apostasy and heresy and an intransigent ABC with ineffectual Instruments of Communion.

To me, the factors of time, trends, and trajectory still circle back to one thing: Historic Anglican Fudge. In fact, what's being proposed as a genuine hope for the "orthodox" GS/GAFCONner should absolutely delight the liberal institutionalist apostate. They're happy to kick the can down the road some more while the orthodox self-congratulate themselves that they have time, trajectory, and trends. You can have the numbers. They got what they want.

"Over time, it is expected that the GAFCON led inner-Communion will swallow the larger Federation."

Excuse me. I need an extended time-out to go to Br'er Rabbit's Laffin Place.

Okay, I'm back now. That is a vision of unachievable fantasy. Repackaging it as a vision for the future is self-deceiving. I mean, I know it's unkind to splash water on a vision of hope, but let me also spell out what will also be happening while the "orthodox" patiently wait for a "GAFCON-led inner communion to swallow the larger federation": Enabling and accelerating and entrenching the heresy and apostasy within the Anglican Communion and destroying unsuspecting people's souls, not to mention being a deeply compromised Corporate Witness for the Gospel.

P.S. Treat me like an Angel's Advocate! :-)

Unknown said...

Now this is a cafe! Round of Old Ogden's Firewhiskey (trademark) for all! Even you anons over by the David Blue Memorial Pinball Machine - you see, it's not about who's got a hold of the Truth, but who does Truth have a hold of? What continues to trouble me about Anis' letter is that it sets up a strawman and then knocks it down. Even his language goes AWOL. When he's speaking to the issues facing the Communion by the unfortunate actions of the Episcopal Church and the Church of Canada, he's direct. But when it comes to bringing leadership to the Global South he reverts back to old prejudices and scapegoats. That's troubling. Where is the transparency, the sense of being that fellowship he describes when at the same time he paints a scene embossed with distrust. It is almost as though we need to read it aloud to hear the shift in tone once he presents his credentials. It's as though he is finding his own identity and sense of authority as a Global South bishop, not an Anglican one or even as a member of the priesthood of all believers.

Another troubling thing is that he sews discord in this letter rather than recognize that wars are fought on many fronts. The American Revolution was not just about crossing the Delaware or going to Yorktown. It was about Jefferson and Franklin in France and Adams in England. Ben Franklin did not point fingers at George Washington for not playing the diplomatic route as he did. Washington did not complain that Adams was over in Europe while he was out freezing to death at Valley Forge. No. They understood that their struggle was fought on many fronts.

Anis is using language we find in correspondence from 815. Perhaps the musings that this letter is aimed elsewhere are correct (and perhaps shine line on why it was leaked when it was supposed to be a private letter). Who exactly is he proving himself to?


Rolin said...

TUaD: your comment was for JamesW, but I'll kick in my bit. Your Advocate's position seems to be standing in the center of TEC/ACoC etc, the place where the heresy has metastasized. Open up your outlook to the global view. The pitiful minority in TEC etc. is not the face of the Anglican Communion, and it is not growing. The provinces of Africa, et al, are growing. The GAFCON approach, if JamesW is correct, is simply to ignore the ABC while giving a nominal nod to Canterbury as the historic center. They will do their own reform and ignore whatever "ecclesiastical" nonsense the current power centers are up to.

The big question, which only time can tell, is which way the CoE falls. When it chooses, as it finally must, it will leave a rump leftover, either revisionist or orthodox. Which one will capture the ABC prize? Dunno. That is still years down the road.

In any case, the GAFCON answer is clear: orthodoxy is more important than Canterbury. And the Global South will take the road down which the current orthodox rump in western culture is casting its lot.

Br_er Rabbit

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Pour me another round of Firewhiskey BabyBlue. And one for my newfound iron-sharpening friend JamesW.

JamesW: "You have to factor time, trends and trajectories into this. ... Over time, it is expected that the GAFCON led inner-Communion will swallow the larger Federation."

JamesW, while the GS/GAFCON are self-congratulating (self-deceiving?) themselves with time, trends, trajectories, and growth in numbers, the following is happening and spreading at the same time:

"All Saints Church, Pasadena rector, J. Edwin Bacon, Jr., announced today that the church will treat equally all couples presenting themselves for the rite of marriage. The announcement followed a special meeting of the All Saints Church Vestry, which unanimously adopted a “Resolution on Marriage Equality” [below] in response to the May 15, 2008 ruling of the California Supreme Court.

“Today’s decision is consistent with All Saints Church, Pasadena’s identity as a peace and justice church,” said Bacon, following the historic vote. “It also aligns us with the Scriptures’ mandate to make God’s love tangible by ‘doing justice and loving mercy’ (Micah 6:8) and with the canons of our Episcopal Church that forbid discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.”

“In this our 125th year, this morning’s decision was a natural step forward on All Saints’ lengthy journey of justice, peace, and inclusion,” Bacon concluded. “As the rector of All Saints Church, I am inspired by the visionary stride All Saints’ lay leaders took today. I am honored to serve a church where the leadership demonstrates such stirring courage to move beyond lip service about embodying God’s inclusive love to actually committing our faith community to the practice of marriage equality.”

“As a priest and pastor, I anticipate with great joy strengthening our support of the sanctity of marriage as I marry both gay and straight members and thus more fully live out my ordination vow to nourish all people from the goodness of God’s grace.”"

From: Marriage for All at All Saints Church

IMHO, utterly worthless and despised as it is, I think a GS split at GAFCON with some/many primates, bishops, and provinces doing the same thing as the Continuers did 30+ years ago is the more Christ-glorifying, God-honoring ecclesiastical path.

And I do say this knowing full well that I could be badly mistaken in this opinion.

Rolin said...

BB, a large part of the backdrop for Anis' letter is, of course, the internal politics of the Global South provinces and primates, and the personal relationships among those primates and others. This is set in a non-western and non-homogeneous set of cultures with its own social norms. Obviously, as you have intimated, ++Anis speaks from a position of internal GS conflict.

Since I am a lifelong and little-travelled Westerner, I don't feel qualified to pick up all the nuances of what he writes. Our cultures are too different. I would guess that the actual intended audience, whoever that might have been, would understand with crystal clarity what he is saying. As an outsider, I feel compelled to give him a break.

Br_er Rabbit

Anonymous said...

RE: "But when it comes to bringing leadership to the Global South he reverts back to old prejudices and scapegoats."

I just don't see that, BB. It seems pretty clear what he means by "the North" -- that would be the US and Canadian Gafcon leadership which are all basically CCP in philosophy: Duncan, Minns, Atwood, and Harvey. This is fine for that to be the leadership of Gafcon from the US -- but that basically makes it a CCP group that is not interested in a Canterbury/Instruments-led Communion. That is also fine too! But that's clearly not where Mouneer's heart is, not one bit.

RE: "Another troubling thing is that he sews discord in this letter rather than recognize that wars are fought on many fronts."

Like I said above -- I don't see that it's about "sowing discord". The discord already exists, and he acknowledges it in his letter. That discord is about whether to pursue a non-Canterbury/Instruments sort of communion-within-a-Communion, as JamesW has so well described, or to continue on plodding with the Canterbury/Instruments Communion.

This is the classic debate between the inside and outside strategy only writ large and internationally. It seems clear that he doesn't really wish to be involved with the efforts toward a non-Canterbury/Instruments communion and wishes to stick with the a Canterbury/Instruments communion. I don't see that as sowing disunity or discord but rather simply stating what he is going to do and what his priorities and values are, which de facto acknowledges the disunity that exists already in the GS concerning tactics -- the same disunity that exists amongst conservatives over here.


Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Hi Br'er Rabbit,

Thanks for the link to JamesW's comments over on the T19 thread.

I do like his comment #24:

"I used to argue that all should attend Lambeth. I now support the Lambeth boycott. ...

The ABC, the ACO, and every other power-that-is in the Lambeth organizing group has made it clear that nothing will happen at Lambeth. What will a boycott accomplish? Three things. 1) It is a clear sign to the ABC and the rest of the Communion that things are not “business as usual”. If there were full attendance at Lambeth and the ABC again succeeded at derailing disciplinary efforts, the ABC could claim that all was well. He cannot now. 2) It delegitimizes the Lambeth Conference as an Instrument of Unity. The boycott effectively undermines any claim for Anglican Communion unity and undermines any claim of credibility for any action taken by Lambeth. 3) It prevents the conservative bishops from becoming targets in a high-profile harassment and smear campaign by gay activists."

I think this analysis is correct.

[Here's a Crosspost from Laodiceans on MCJ

Sasha writes: "TU...aD: I sure hope that ++Akinola, Orombi, Kolini and Jensen as well as their followers will say "goodbye for ever" to not only Canterbury but Anis Mouneer, Gómez, Chew and THEIR turncoat camp (hopefully Venables will realise his error and walk-out from "Lambeth" - and may +s Iker, Schofield, Duncan, Harding and Harvey do the same!...)!!! Let's pray for such a thing to happen otherwise they will lose us all!!! "

Now check this hypothesis out by JamesW: "Whilst he believes that the ABC and the Instruments have badly let down - and even “jerked around” - the Communion recently, Anis seems to still believe that the Anglican Communion can be saved by following the “ACI Plan” of rallying the orthodox bishops to Lambeth and passing a Covenant."

From: Middle East Presiding Bishop Bows out of GAFCON [thread on T19].

I probably won't ever know for sure, but I think it's highly likely that ACI and their back-channel network got to ++Anis and sold him on their kick-the-can, do-nothing Anglican Draft Covenant Plan. You want some more Anglican Fudge? Coming right up! A Titanic boatload full of Anglican Fudge served up by the apostasy-and-heresy-enabling Institutionalists at ACI.

Commenter #1 on this BB thread also wondered whether someone got to ++Mouneer too: "It appears you are correct. Another one bites the dust. Somebody got to him in a big way."

P.S. Stand Fast Baby Blue. You're taking some hits from various quarters, but you have every right to express your analytical opinion.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

JamesW "You have to factor time, trends and trajectories into this. ... Over time, it is expected that the GAFCON led inner-Communion will swallow the larger Federation."

I'm just returning from my 2nd exile to Br'er Rabbit's Laffin' Place. That last quoted statement above just sends me into laughter.

C'mon. If anything, the utter unrefutable reality is that heresy and apostasy (from small unchecked beginnings) has swallowed the larger Anglican Communion. And the time, trends, and trajectories clearly show that after the Anglican Communion has been swallowed and digested, it will be excreted as waste product.

Next, I will speak plainly here. Let it be said that there is a voice in the internet wilderness which is distinctly contrary to the majority of other voices in the "conservative" Anglican blogosphere. I have read repeatedly ad nauseam that folks are being "impatient", "moving too fast", "rushing", "hasty", or some such other insulting description when they have already been overly patient in biblically/ecclesiastically addressing the gross heresy and apostasy in the Anglican Communion. Think 1st Corinthians 5! Think of Jesus's rebuke to the churches in Revelations!

"Hasty", "impatient"... are you kidding me??? These totally inapplicable and inappropriate insults are merely self-serving and self-deceiving excuses for committing the willful sin of omission. Namely, the failure to do the right thing when you know what the right, God-honoring thing to do is. The claim that one is exercising patience in this moment of crisis is really just inexcusable cover for one's lack of moral courage.

The ABC and the ineffectual Instruments of Unity are clearly, clearly committing the sin of omission in not biblically/ecclesiastically disciplining the apostasy and heresy growing in its provinces. An inextricable component of discipline is timeliness. (1 Cor. 5! Jesus speaking to churches in Revelations!)

The Anglican Communion Institute and its lackeys are enabling the sin of omission as well as the sins of heresy and apostasy. The sin of omission for those charged with pastoral leadership and courage in disciplining and removing heresy and apostasy. And by sin of omission, these weak-willed leaders are enabling more oxygen to the raging fires of heresy and apostasy set by the liberal revisionists.

Culpability and shame reside on those who commit the sin of omission and those who commit the heresy and apostasy.

IMHO, utterly worthless and despised as it is, I think a GS split at GAFCON with some/many primates, bishops, and provinces doing the same thing as the Continuers did 30+ years ago is the more Christ-glorifying, God-honoring ecclesiastical path.

And I do say this knowing full well that I could be badly mistaken in this opinion.

P.S. However, I have stated elsewhere that nothing of practical significance will happen after GAFCON and Lambeth are finished. Speaking from the perspective of the persecuted "orthodox" Anglicans in the Global North, that is. Expect more depositions, inhibitions, property lawsuits, accusations of border-crossing to continue in this farcial limbo "Impaired Communion". That's the way forward?

It's understandable, yet sad, to realize that Archbishops Akinola, Orombi, Kolini, Nzimbi, Jensen will not want to hear and bear the false accusations and unjust criticisms from their fellow GS bishops, not to mention the ABC and the Institutionalists, if they were to embark on a non-Canterbury path.

Only Jesus would endure His disciples running away. And so things will remain the same except for all the false hope placed upon the Anglican Draft Covenant and the Windsor Process.

For lack of moral and biblical courage, an entire communion will be lost to heresy and apostasy.

Anonymous said...

TuaD: You need to get a perspective. The great majority of the Anglican Communion is orthodox. TEC and ACCanada are shrinking.

TEC and ACCanada have already indicated that they will not accept an Anglican Covenant. Nothing can lead to expulsion from the AC.

So, all the GAFCON bishops need to do is hand in there and create their own Covenant and Communion-within-the-Federation.

TEC and the ACCanada will die out. Secular liberals don't care for TEC once their political objectives have been met.

Lies will not win out over truth. God is in charge.

Anonymous said...

Hang in there, BB. You are an inspiration.

The Lakeland Two

Truth Unites... and Divides said...


I know that you're sure in your convictions. Which is fine. Meanwhile, I assure you that I have perspective, a global perspective... and a biblical and historical perspective as well.

And I respectfully submit that the path you recognize as being the most likely path being taken by the GS, which you also think is the wisest path, is gravely mistaken. To wit:

TEC and ACCanada have already indicated that they will not accept an Anglican Covenant.

I have not read that. What I have read is that the Anglican Draft Covenant and its successive reiterations is being so watered down and neutered that TEc and ACoC will easily sign it. Particularly given the absence of meaningful enforcement clauses. Not to mention crafty linguistic revisionism.

Nothing can lead to expulsion from the AC.

True. Especially since the ABC has granted safe conduct and passage to the apostates and heretics through his deliberate subversion of the 9/30/07 deadline in the Dar Es Salaam Communique.

So, all the GAFCON bishops need to do is hand in there and create their own Covenant and Communion-within-the-Federation."

This structure is still tied to the See of Canterbury which is still in full communion with the apostate provinces.

TEC and the ACCanada will die out.

Bovine Bloviating. Otherwise known as massive bullsheet. I grant you that they're shrinking. But they'll be around in ghoulish skeletal form for a very, very, very long time. They're not going anywhere.

1st Corinthians 5. Revelations. Lukewarm. Tolerate heresy and apostasy. God spits out lukewarm churches. God spits out the Anglican Communion.

Anyways, I'm a fair guy. I like to give credit where credit's due. And I like whiners to shut up when they caused their own mess. So if things go as you predict, then I'm happy to stand up and give you a great ovation. Or I actually will give a great ovation to ACI and all the GS/GAFCONners who waited for TEc and the ACoC to die out and then swallow them.

But if things go horribly in the short-term, mid-term, and long-term with this ridiculous farce called the Windsor-Anglican Draft Covenant plan which just enables, embeds, entrenches, and malignantly spreads the heresy and apostasy throughout the Anglican Communion, then I'd like to see and hear the ACI'ers and the GS/GAFCONners to man up, own up, and confess that they made a grievious, soul-destroying, Gospel-compromising, totally preventable strategic blunder of enormous proportions because they had failed to discipline the ABC and the Anglican Communion by biblically separating at GAFCON 2008. After the confession, then let's not hear any whining from them that things didn't go as they hoped and foresaw.

Fair enough? You get total credit when and where credit's due. And you take total blame if or when blame is to be assigned for putting all your strategic/tactical hopes and plans on TEC and the ACoc dying out while the inner GS covenant-communion swallows up the larger Anglican Federation. Which is supposed to happen in some distant time in the future. Which I still don't see happening because TEc and the liberal CofE will be the immoveable gallstone because they effectively control the See of Canterbury.

Not to put a spin on it, but just being transparently honest out of respect for your intelligence... I truly believe that such a plan as you have perceived that the GS/GAFCON embarking on is both strategically and morally foolish.

Unknown said...

Nothing is settled. God, out of his love for us, gives us a free will. We are free to choose what is right and what is wrong. We are held accountable for our actions, known and unknown, things done and left undone. His gift is that we can throw ourselves on the mercy of the cross. He loves us through the cross as well - I suppose we sometimes forget that. His hand of judgment is stayed by Jesus' amazing work on the cross. But we are still free to choose. All us.

It is clear that the progressive wing of Anglicism is fading in the U.S. and Canada. What has been going on structurally began long before the progressives took over. The progressives were able to take over the structures of TEC and the ACC (Canada) because they were so weak.

That being said, what is the threat to the Church? The dead church? No, the living church, the church that is alive and growing and dynamic and spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ to all the world, seeing lives transformed and people healed and families restored. That is the threat.

So where would satan and his cohorts of evil turn their attention to? The living church of course - any where that life in Jesus could be found.

Which means we do a radical inventory in ourselves. There is not a creative bone in satan's - or however you wish to describe him - celestial body, make no mistake about that. What he does is exploit not only our weaknesses but our strengths for his benefit. We must stand watch and be aware and ready lest we stumble on our own hem.

What sensitizes me to Bishop Anis' letter is that it does continue to trouble me how he aligns himself and his identity with a geographically designed group and with a Christian tradition and in the process sew seeds of suspicion. I'm sorry, but that is not right. Not right.

We can be theologically correct and still lose the farm. We can even be standing in the shadows with Saul smiling over the revisionist strides or orthodox divisions that are made in the halls of power and in the next moment be struck by the Spirit of the Lord into repentance. "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?" We cannot know what hour we may find ourselves confronted by our own pride and divided heart.

The devil and his cohorts exploit our own prejudices, our own resentments, buried as we may think they are, our own disappointments, our own foiled ambitions, our own pride and fear and rage for their purpose and they do it with cunning accuracy.

But one thing they do over and over and over again, is overplay their hand. Repentance and forgiveness has a way of spoiling everything. Those words are not in their vocabulary and when they've left ours we know we are in trouble.

I would be so encouraged if the letters we see written between our leaders would be letters filled with repentance and responsibility and truth. If we don't know what the truth is - then admit it. We don't know. "Father, forgive them," Jesus said from the cross even, "they don't know what they are doing."

The church's structures got weak because the orthodox fell asleep at the wheel, moved on to other things, found politics distasteful, spent more time at the club and less time at the Table.

With weakened structures but a great facade, the church became vulnerable to a take over by a theological equivalent of hedge fund managers - exploiting the assets for their own gain, a kind of prophetic greed.

The orthodox are divided over theological issues as to who gets to pour the wine and pass out the bread and whether there should be a band or a choir. When we finally wake up, the prophetic greed so permeates the structures that despite valiant efforts, it's too late. If one steps up to the front one becomes a target. If one burrows in the corners, one is gathering dust bunnies.

At some point, we hit bottom. #1 on the Anglican Recovery Scale. We give up. We either flee elsewhere - as possibly the majority have all ready done - or throw ourselves on the mercy of the cross. We give up. It is not about our prestige, our identity, our hopes, our dreams, our desires. We give up.

There, in our relinquishment of all our hopes we meet Jesus. Jesus - the author of our salvation, the one who raises us up, like Aslan in the forest, who comes and rescues us and says, "lean on me and I will lead."

So we fix our eyes on Jesus - where ever he may lead, we uncircle the wagons and pick up our own crosses head out on the road to Calvary, where - if it be God's will - He will raise up His Church for His Glory.

And that is how we don't lose hope - not by our own schemes and dreams, but because of who He is. Then the joy returns and we laugh and hope and share the Good News that despite our circumstances, the accusations and suspicions and fears - there is hope that what is dead will live, that what is blind will see, with is lost is found, when we are truly and most emphatically free.

I cannot tell the future
if GAFCON or LAMBETH will prevail.
If TEC will be reduced to ashes
or if all our work will fail.

But this I know with all my heart,
and this I have to say,
that Jesus is my Redeemer
and He will have His way.


Anonymous said...

You cannot serve both GOD and MAMMON

Anis is funded from ECUSA. We all know that.

You cannot follow both GAFCON and ECUSA.

You cannot serve both GOD and MAMMON.

Anis has chosen MAMMON. The Global South has chosen GOD. The Global South has already won and Anis has chosen to descend to Hell with Shori, Griswold, Robinson, and all the rest.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...


Christopher Johnson: "As for me, if TEO still has any connection, however restricted or limited, to the Anglican Communion after August, I am finished with Anglican Christianity."

I seriously wonder how many other people within Anglican Christianity now AND how many people who are presently considering joining Anglican Christianity during this time AND how many people who would have joined Anglican Christianity in the future... who will think and process the information and events of Anglicanism in roughly the same manner as our blog host CJ and comes to the same conclusion - a flat rejection of Anglicanism.

Whether or not there are large numbers of people who will do what CJ will do, doesn't that add even more of a sound argument for the GS/GAFCONners to do what the Continuers did 30+ years ago?

And I think the results will be vastly different this time if the GS/GAFCONners formally realign than when the Continuers did it. The accusation from Institutionalists is that the Continuing movement was and is a colossal failure. (That is a matter of debate best saved for another thread. I just know that that is the argument used by Institutionalists to discredit Continuers.) But I don't think what happened with the Continuers will happen at all with a global, non-Canterbury based "Anglicanism".

I think that a global, non-Canterbury based "Anglicanism" will thrive and grow because the Lord will bless it. Just as the Continuers have been proven indubitably correct that TEc was and is a grossly heretical and apostate body, so will the GS/GAFCONners who formally realign away from the See of Canterbury and the Anglican Communion.

If the GS/GAFCONners don't formally realign, then more and more people will reason like CJ has and say to themselves, "There's no way I can be part of Anglican Christianity."

Reiterating my previous counsel: If a split is to occur, it must and should occur at GAFCON within the GS/GAFCON primates. The split will not occur at Lambeth. Sure, it will be painful, messy, and hurtful, but this is the place of ashes where the Phoenix remnant will emerge and arise from.

P.S. But I doubt it will happen given Dr. Witt's observations: "BTW, Archbishop Akinola was not the only Primate at the TEC graduation. Mouneer Anis was also there, and, with the permission of Bob Duncan, participated in the ordination of two TEC graduates last week. Bishop Mouneer had lunch with several TSM faculty on the day in which a certain online journalist leaked what I understand was supposed to have been a private letter to the internet. I do not think I am betraying confidence to say that Bishop Mouneer was quite forthcoming during his discussion about Gafcon, Lambeth, Rowan Williams, the upcoming Global South meeting, and the upcoming Primates meeting--both of which will take place after Lambeth. Those who interpret his leaked letter to mean that there is some kind of radical disagreement between the Global South Primates have completely misread it. Gregory Venables tried to make that point by commenting here, but seems to have been largely ignored."

From William Witt on Trinity's Commencement

Kevin said...

TO: Anon who risking his own condemnation,

I'd urge you extreme caution when pronouncing judgment of motivation on +Anis or the Lord's final judgment on another's soul, for while anonymous to me, you are not to the Lord and it is written that the measure we use shall be used in judging you. I'm not sure you can see into the heart of another to truly know what is there or why any other makes a decision. It appears you agree with one side thus declare that the Lord must be on it. A very dangerous game, how do you know that the Lord's hand is on exactly the opposite to punish and purifying - I can think of many times in the OT where the Lord surprises and upsets our thinking by doing the opposite what we'd think. I think your pronouncements are made our of your desire to control than out of knowing the mind of the LORD.

I may not agree with +Anis but I certainly am not going to follow that line of logic, for taking the whole council of Scripture, it does not seem to lead anywhere good.

Unknown said...

Little note to Anon above. Before we decide on the direction of other's souls (we're talking about actions here, not the heart which we cannot know) we need to straighten out our own souls and a helpful place to start is the litany. Anis actions are troubling, it's hard to believe he's naive, but it's still not too late. If it's not too late for us, then it's not too late for anyone. Even now.


Truth Unites... and Divides said...

JamesW: "You have to factor time, trends and trajectories into this. ... Over time, it is expected that the GAFCON led inner-Communion will swallow the larger Federation."

As I mentioned before, I think this is an utterly foolish conclusion. Here's another statement from another source that also suggests that your conclusion is vain foolishness:

"This bewitchment is insidious because it dulls sensitivity to the Scriptural imperative to separate from false teachers. Instead it encourages the tolerance of such leaders in direct contradiction of the Risen
Christ’s warning to the Church in Thyatira which is rebuked because ‘you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice immorality’(Revelation 2:20). The result is a false orthodoxy based on process and the maintenance of institutional unity rather than a unity based on revealed biblical truth. Being ‘Windsor compliant’ is not a long term guard against the remorseless advance of the revisionist Churches’ destructive agenda and will undermine the capacity of participants to preserve the Anglican Faith. The advocates of anti-Scriptural teaching have time on their side and they know that the longer they can engage in dialogue the greater the chance they have of establishing their position."