Wonderful to see again just how the glorious righteous remnant is working its PLAN. Remembering that the folk that wondered off and formed the Anglican Church in North America are providing what they claim is the safe place to land, the American Anglican Council provides the continuing shout out directed to whoever will listen from within The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada. The AAC is a propaganda remnant of the big effort which failed, namely to push large number of Episcopalians to bolt The Episcopal Church. Now part of the greater ACNA effort, they continue to claim a looser Anglican identity, so that some Episcopalians might think them friendly and helpful.
They do their friendly work by saying, as The Rev. Canon Phil Ashey, J.D. just did in the monthly AAC newsletter,
"... the heart of the matter is not sexuality. It is the denial by TEC and the ACoC to embrace the doctrines of the Christian faith - biblical, classical and Anglican - and to substitute another religion which includes universalism, pantheism, and denial of the uniqueness and universality of Jesus Christ as Lord and savior of all - all of which we documented and continue to document in our Report to the Primates."
This is, of course, a crock. AAC takes the lead and heat so that the leadership of the Anglican Church in North America can get about other things - like building up a new denomination in the US and Canada. But it is the same tune, just more overt. Ashey makes the noise, Duncan worries about the money.
So on a cold Friday night in January it is a comfort to know that it is business as usual over in pseudo-Anglican land. They have determined that TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada have substituted some non-Christian thingy for the faith. But, friends, what do they know? Not much.
The struggle against TEC and the ACoC must of course be conducted on Christian, biblical principles.
Ashey mutters about how that might be done:
"Yes, Jesus set a standard that we must all seek to follow - facing those who persecuted him to death and those who had yet to acknowledge him as Lord and Savior - and forgiving them. Thank you Dr. Radner for reminding us that even and especially where we disagree with and contend with false teaching by TEC and ACoC, we must do so in the spirit of Jesus and his suffering on the cross."
He nicely recovers from actually having to suffer and forgive, however, by stepping back from cheap forgiveness:
"... let us be equally clear: Jesus did not forgive them and then tell them to stay as they were and take positions of leadership (as they were) in his Church! He called them to repentance and renewal in body, mind and spirit."
Fortunately Ashey has found a standard that he thinks will work: dump all of us miserable sinners in TEC and the ACoC.
"...There is another biblical standard for dealing with false teachers who will not repent - teachers who oppose the truth, "always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth" and "having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them." (2 Timothy 3:1-9) Is this not exactly what the Global South primates have elected to do?"
So he supports the notion that the Primates who were ready to boycott the Primates Meeting continue to do so - Have nothing to do with those awful people TEC and ACoC, and in particular their leaders. And more, he recommends it for his readers (who are not likely to be the Primates but us regular folk). Have nothing to do with TEC or the ACoC.
Who is he trying to convince? The Primates who might waver, obviously, but also, always ready to pick up the odd person on the cusp, ready to leap over to ACNC but not sure yet whether or not to do so. The good ol propaganda machine is always ready to make an issue like attending the Primates Meeting the one that convinces the regular Christian in the pew, and alternately always ready to make it seem to the Primates that whatever their concerns are about, they cover the whole of TEC and ACoC so that breaking off is breaking off with a whole church of infidels.
But here is the deal: The Episcopal Church is full of people who mostly care not a hoot about meetings of the Primates, or for that matter who is bishop in the diocese in the next state, or who the Presiding Bishop is, or for that matter who their own bishop is. We are Episcopal, which means that on the one hand we have bishops, we are under authority, but we also understand - bishops retire, die, or move on, and we will be about the work of the Church in place anyway. Most of us will use the Book of Common Prayer, which is just loaded with all that stuff Ashey claims we have given up, without our fingers crossed, and we will act on those beliefs in missional ways. At the same time we will from time to time think on all those other things - you know, universal salvation, the possibility that God can work our salvation however God wills, and that God is known in creation which is shot through and through with God's presence - you know, things like that. We are The Episcopal Church, and apparently he is not.
Well, the AAC will have its reward, and so with TEC and the ACoC, and all the rest. But Canon Ashey, watch it. I don't take kindly to being dismissed, discarded, and denounced.
Its Friday night and all is well.