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ATLANTA: CoFE Priest Says Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans Recognizes Legitimacy of New ACNA Archbishop

ATLANTA: CoFE Priest Says Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans Recognizes Legitimacy of New ACNA Archbishop
Culture is collapsing in the UK both within and outside the Church, says Evangelical Leader
It is now up to Orthodox Anglicans in England to follow the ACNA'S lead

By David W. Virtue in Atlanta
www.virtueonline.org
October 10, 2014

As a sign of the theological and geographical realignment of Global Anglicanism, the Rev. Charles Marnham, vicar of St. Michael's parish in London and a leader of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans in the United Kingdom (FCA-UK), told 2,000 North American Anglicans that England is collapsing culturally, both inside and outside the Church. An inevitable bond is forming between orthodox Anglicans in the UK and those in the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), he said.

Addressing the newly installed ACNA Archbishop, Marnham, a pioneer of the ALPHA movement, said Archbishop Foley Beach and fellow members of his province should be in no doubt that he has many friends in the Church of England who admire and respect his costly, courageous and principled stand in recent years.

"You have taught us valuable lessons as we respond to the challenges of a collapsing culture in the United Kingdom, both within and outside the Church," he told the assembled Anglicans, most of whom are refugees from the Episcopal Church.

The Rev. Charles Marnham, a former curate at Holy Trinity, Brompton, started Alpha in 1977.

"The primates of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans recognize this regional body as the expression of orthodox Anglicanism in the United Kingdom and Ireland. I have been asked to bring greetings and prayers of the executive of the Church of England Evangelical Council whose existence owed much to the late Dr. John Stott."

The recently renewed Conference of Anglican Clergy and Leaders consists of members of three organizations -- the Anglican Mission in England (AMiE), which is the mission society of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans-UK & Ireland; REFORM; and Church Society.

Marnham blasted England's acquiescence over the redefinition of marriage. "Outside the Church, the redefinition of marriage by a government without a manifesto, commitment or mandate caused great shock, not only within the Christian community but wider nationally.

"Within the Church of England the Pilling Report, recently submitted to General Synod -- of which I am a member -- recommended that the subject of sexuality be addressed through facilitated discussions. However, it states that it has not found the arguments from Scripture, theology, science or social trends to be conclusive either for or against the Church's current teaching."

“In his minority dissenting Report, the Bishop of Birkenhead, Keith Sinclair records that as far as the Report is concerned ' the jury is still out but that is a conclusion and rationale and basis for further discussion which', he says' I do not share'. (Pilling Report p 131 para 450)

Charles Marnham commented that the main Report's conclusion that 'the working group has not found arguments from Scripture, theology, science or social trends to be conclusive either for or against the Church’s current teaching' represents "a shift from the current position that I believe will actually make fruitful discussion about sexuality more difficult. No one who reads the signs of the times will be reassured that the foundations are secure as the tectonic plates are already shifting."

"Within the Church of England the Pilling Report, recently submitted to General Synod -- of which I am a member -- recommended that the subject of sexuality be addressed through facilitated discussions. However, it states that it has not found the arguments from Scripture, theology, science or social trends to be conclusive either for or against the Church's current teaching."

No one who reads the signs of the times will be reassured that the foundations are secure as the tectonic plates are already shifting."

"We have learned at least two valuable lessons from you -- in particular: United we stand, divided we fall," wrote Marnham.

"We can spend a great deal of wasted effort focusing on where we disagree. It is Satan's best weapon. You are here today because you have worked so hard on maintaining unity. I'm encouraged that I have come with greetings from a number of bodies from the United Kingdom which demonstrates a greater understand of our need for unity at this time.

"The second lesson is making the main thing the main thing. Guarding the Gospel is a priority, but its twin in proclaiming the Gospel."

Marnham added it is now up to orthodox Anglicans in England to follow the ACNA's lead.

"This is a moment of celebration and we rejoice with you and thank GOD that He has brought you safely thus far. Never think for a moment that you don't have many friends and admirers in the Church of England who hugely respect your integrity in the face of provocation and persecution.

"This year marks the centenary of the First World War and I am reminded of the remark by Marshal (Ferdinand) Foch to Marshal (Joseph) Joffre during the First Battle Of Marne in September (8,) 1914. 'My center is giving way, my right is retreating -- situation excellent; I am attacking!'

"Our attack, if it be so called, is the message of the transforming love of GOD in JESUS CHRIST, and nothing and no one can defeat it."

Mary Ann Mueller contributed to this report.

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