Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Women probably stay. . . for now. . .

The ACNA, ever discussing the issue of women's ordination, has apparently come to something of a conclusion.  The task force charged with leading in this issue appears to suggest no change.  Women should continue to be ordained in the Anglican Church in North America.  As one commentator put it:
Arguments pro and con . . . all carry some weight, but at the end of the day they are, taken as a whole, inconclusive because they are associated with conflicting and inconclusive ecclesiologies. On that account, for the sake of unity, no departure from the status quo, that is, the denominational acceptance of women’s ordination, can be urged.
However, the good news is that among some there is appreciation for the fact that the arguments for ordaining women are not simply arguments about women or about ordination but have far reaching consequences for the church itself.  What happens to the fourth installment of the Task Force Report remains uncertain.  It will be communicated to GAFCON and some ecumenical partners (perhaps the LCMS) but the college of bishops will talk about this more.  And more.  It is clear, however, that despite the passion on the various side of this issue, the impetus remains with the continuation of the status quo.

If that is the case, the future of the rather surprising close connection between the LCMS and ACNA may be cloudy.  It is certainly not the only issue being discussed but it is one of the elephants in the room.  And it is not simply about women or the ministry but about ecclesiology, doctrine, and the catholic tradition.  As is typical, the decision to review the decision to ordain women takes longer than the original decision to actually ordain women.


Kirk Skeptic said...

The bishops' statement was a concatenation of pure weasel words, ans wellas proof that ACNA is no more than liberalism lite - they are just uncomfortable with the liberalism of TEC.

Anonymous said...

The ACNA is only very recently separated from ECUSA, and as such, it has brought the ECUSA virus with it. It uses the deliberately heretical BCP 1979, it ordains women, and many of its members can't see a problem with abortion. All Christians would do well to hold ACNA at arms length (or further). It is numerically fairly large, but it will founder on the same rocks that have sunk ECUSA.

Fr. D+
Continuing Anglican Priest

Carl Vehse said...

For years LCMS leadership has tried to move beyond ecumenical second base with the ACNA as well as with NALC, EECMY, ECAC-CR, ECAC-SK, and ELCT, to name a few. None of these religious organizations has ever given the slightest hint they are interested in dropping the ordination of pastrixes or their other heterodoxies.

The LCMS has tried to fool Lutheran pewsitters with the use of selective (and TOP SECRET) fellowship agreements, a duplicitous "Side Note", and describing these religious organizations with the oxymoronic phrase, "increasingly confessional" (See 11/2016 LCMS BOD Minutes).

And that's in addition to pewsitters having to wear hipwaders while sloshing through "apparently come to something of a conclusion... appears to suggest... some ecumenical partners (perhaps the LCMS)... the future of the rather surprising close connection between the LCMS and ACNA may be cloudy."

Carl Vehse said...

In 2016, the snuggling ACNA/LCC/LCMS threesome released a 13-page report, "On Closer Acquaintance," which contained such ecumenical droppings as:

"Rather than describe ACNA and LCMS–LCC as sister churches, we should acknowledge each other as ecclesial first cousins, closely related indeed, but not yet partaking publicly of the same Lord’s Table."

"At this stage we walk the middle path of what our RC friends call 'imperfect communion.' We aim here to draw upon our respective formularies from the Reformation period and, where possible, also the modern era, to establish the range and degree of consensus that exists between us on major articles of faith and their consequences for churchly practice."

"The theologians of 17th-century Lutheran Orthodoxy taught that, as the Church becomes visible through the means of grace, she is seen to be the 'synthetic' or 'composite' Church (ecclesia synthetica), composed of laity and clergy. ACNA likewise teaches the biblical doctrine (1 Cor 3:9; Phil 1:1b) of the divinely willed distinction of laity and clergy who are to work together in the mission of the Church."

"LCMS–LCC understand the instituting words and deeds of Christ, authoritatively interpreted by the apostles, to preclude the ordination of women to the office of pastor (presbyter/bishop). The majority within ACNA holds this position, while being engaged at the present time in a consensus-seeking discussion with the minority within its midst that takes the opposite view."

"The remarkable convergence of our two confessions on this point of doctrine [justification] on which Luther comments, “When this article stands, the Church stands; when it falls, the Church falls” (WA 40 III. 352, 3), gives a strong impetus to our churches to implore the Lord’s assistance toward our achieving the degree of consensus that would make full church fellowship possible."

Wait! What?!?

The LCMS signatories confirm here that the church bodies have only to achieve some unspecified (Is it the magic 85%?) "degree of consensus", rather than full agreement in all articles of doctrine, for altar and pulpit fellowship between the LCMS and a small (112K) church body that permits the ordination of female pastrixes, and has shown no meaningful desire to recant such heterodoxy.

The Purple Palace is throwing away its credibility.

John Joseph Flanagan said...

It is really simple, not complicated. The LCMS should have separated from the ACNA. It is unnecessary to compromise. It is not even necessary to vote on it. Just do it. Stick to our own distinctives and doctrines and follow the Bible. Relationships with other denominations except in matters of common charity or mutual causes (I,e. abortion) should not be our focus.

Anonymous said...

Any Anglican (and Episcopal) congregations are welcome to leave their church bodies and join the LCMS.

The Evangelical Catholic said...

Most of the responses on the blogosphere, to the idea of Anglicans and Lutherans dialoguing lack a spirit of honest ecumenism through academically sound dialogue. Just because we aren't 100% identical in either doctrine, practice or order, that doesn't mean we can't get there someday. Many Lutherans (even conservative bodies that we're in fellowship with) have been and some still are, members of the Porvoo Communion across Europe, and maybe -- as the statement has said -- there is a place for legitimate plurality in the one church of Christ. Saying that fellowship will come only when they reject Anglicanism and join our own LCMS may seem wholly pious, but it is sayings like that that are unhelpful at best; sectarian at worst.