Friday, September 15, 2006

Dear Dick,

Below is a clear and strongly worded statement from one of your anonymous readers, recently posted by you to your LIST. It is strong on “truth” claims for the Continuing Anglican Movement but very weak on “unity” claims. As you know no-one has stated more clearly the innovations of the Episcopal Church than have I in EPISCOPAL INNOVATIONS 1960-2004 but at the same time I long to see more attempts at dialogue and cooperation amongst well-intentioned and biblically based Anglicans. Here is the strong statement:

“The whole reason for creation of the "continuing Church movement" was opposition to and rejection of the innovations made by the ECUSA circa 1976-79. Since nothing has changed for the better (in fact has only worsened) in what is now The Episcopal Church (TEC), there is absolutely no justification whatsoever for anything other than a continuing condemnation of TEC. Other English-speaking manifestations in England, Canada, Scotland, Ireland, most of Australia, most of New Zealand, and most of South Africa, which are equally apostate/heretical to TEC are also worthy of such condemnation.

The only "sell-outs" among the continuing Churches have been the REC and the APA who have embraced the ACN (tied inextricably to TEC) "common cause" fluke in hopes of gaining favored treatment when the long-promised "orthodox Anglican province" is created in the U.S. The other continuing Churches have "held the line" against TEC apostasy and heresy for nearly thirty years now and have no reason to justify changing that policy today. (By the way, the AMiA is also a "common cause" partner with the ACN).”

May I suggest that, though there is the Traditional Anglican Communion, it by no means embraces all who left the Churches of the Anglican Communion – in fact in the USA only a minority of Continuers are in the TAC and further a majority of the laity within TAC itself in the USA is apparently opposed to the present Rome-ward direction of the Archbishop and Episcopate.

May I also suggest that if there were more real and visible unity within the varied jurisdictions of the Continuing Movement in North America, and if that united movement would them enter into dialogue with those Anglicans whom they judge to be less orthodox (e.g. Network & Common Cause) then perhaps a real move forward in unity and truth could be achieved by God’s help. Is not this what the Lord Jesus wants? Does he delight to see all the competitive jurisdictions, who differ on (from heaven’s view) matters that are at heart often expressions of human fallen-ness and pride?

I call upon your anonymous writer to work for cooperation amongst those of like mind. Communion and unity amongst all those who both use the classical BCP and do not ordain women….such will be a good and noble exercise

Thank you for this space.

The Rev'd Dr. Peter Toon MA., D.Phil (Oxford)

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