Tuesday, October 12, 2021

A Strong Letter to ++Kenya from FIF Bishops

Ten ACNA bishops who are also in Forward in Faith, N. A. have written a strongly worded open letter to the Archbishop of Kenya regarding his consecration of a woman as bishop.  

Now it may not seem that strongly worded to those not used to the usual Anglican understatement, but know that it is indeed very robust by Anglican standards, and that from bishops of high reputation.  The conclusion alone calling upon the Archbishop of Kenya “to repent of your actions which have directly harmed your brother and sister Anglican Christians around the world” are the sort of words rarely seen publicly between Anglican bishops.

Do read the whole letter below.  I will add that I am especially glad to see this:

While the Anglican Church in Kenya currently maintains an orthodox understanding of the Gospel, it should be noted that every province that has adopted women into the episcopate has, in time, yielded to the pressures of the culture and left Biblical morality. Listen to the words of Saint Paul to Timothy, “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

 

This reflects what has become the clincher to hardening my opposition to women’s ordination.  WO has been undergoing “reception” in large parts of the church for decades now.  And its fruit has been found wanting to say the least.  There is only one jurisdiction that ordains women as priests that I can recommend for now.  WO almost always comes with baggage the church should not carry.

 

By the way, I’ve seen it asked why more ACNA bishops did not sign this.  Note that the letter is from bishops in Forward in Faith.  Perhaps a better question is why aren’t more ACNA bishops in Forward in Faith? :)

 

The letter follows:

 

Feast of St. Michael and All Angels

 

The Most Reverend Jackson Ole Sapit
Archbishop and Primate of the Anglican Church of Kenya

 

Your Grace, 

We, the bishops and members of Forward in Faith North America, write to express our profound sadness at the decision of the Anglican Church of Kenya to break two thousand years of episcopal principle and practice, the great tradition in Anglicanism since the English Reformation, as well as GAFCON protocol, and consecrate a female bishop. 

 

Your decision to act unilaterally in opposition to the expressed concerns and agreements of the GAFCON Primates Council is a break in the fraternal love and respect that has been a hallmark of GAFCON and witness to orthodox Anglicans worldwide. 

 

Sadly, the actions of your province directly harm Christ’s Church by failing to uphold the “doctrine, sacraments and discipline of Christ, as the Lord has commanded and as this Church has received them.” Specifically, this innovation directly harms the maintenance of the historic episcopate, challenges our missional and ecumenical relationships throughout the world, and opens the door for Satan to divide Christ’s One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. 

 

The Historic Episcopate 

In a 2017 communique from the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON), the Primates noted: “It is our prime recommendation that the provinces of GAFCON should retain the historic practice of the consecration only of men as bishops until and unless a strong consensus to change emerges after prayer, consultation and continued study of Scripture among the GAFCON fellowship.” The historic male episcopate provides the Church a common assurance of sacramental validity. * 

 

Ecumenical Relationships and Christian Mission 

Recently the GAFCON Primates Council has reached out to the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churchesas well as Protestant denominations such as the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, in order to further our relationships and further our common mission in fulfillment of our Lord’s prayer in John 17, 

“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” (John 17:20-21). 

Our ability to fulfill this prayer, heal division, and carry out Gospel mission together will only be further impaired by breaking with the holy Biblical tradition given by all male apostles to all male successors. 

 

Doctrine, Discipline and Division 

While the Anglican Church in Kenya currently maintains an orthodox understanding of the Gospel, it should be noted that every province that has adopted women into the episcopate has, in time, yielded to the pressures of the culture and left Biblical morality. Listen to the words of Saint Paul to Timothy,  “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4) 

 

Lastly, your Grace, for the sake of the Gospel and our unity in Christ we call upon the Anglican Church in Kenya to refrain from further actions of division and to repent of your actions which have directly harmed your brother and sister Anglican Christians around the world. 

 

Faithfully, 

The Rt. Rev. Eric Vawter Menees, 

Ordinary of San Joaquin and President of Forward in Faith North America 

 

The Rt. Rev. Richard Lipka 

Ordinary of the Missionary Diocese of All Saints and Vice President of Forward in Faith 

 

The Rt. Rev. Ray Sutton 

Ordinary of the Diocese of Mid-America 

 

The Rt. Rev. Walter Banek 

Assisting Bishop of the Diocese of Mid-America

 

The Rt. Rev. Clark Lowenfield 

Ordinary of the Diocese of the Western Gulf Coast 

 

The Rt. Rev. Ryan Reed 

Ordinary of the Diocese of Fort Worth 

 

The Rt. Rev. Jack Iker 

Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Fort Worth 

 

The Rt. Rev. Bill Wantland 

Assisting Bishop of the Diocese of Fort Worth

 

The Rt. Rev. Alberto Morales, OSB 

Ordinary of the Diocese of Quincy 

 

The Rt. Rev. Keith Ackerman

SSC Assisting Bishop of the Diocese of Fort Worth 

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