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ACNA's C4SO DIOCESE MIGHT BE TOO TRENDY FOR MANY ANGLICANS

ACNA's C4SO DIOCESE MIGHT BE TOO TRENDY FOR MANY ANGLICANS
Bishop Todd Hunter breaks with ACNA bishops on homosexuality statement and embraces Critical Race Theory

By David W. Virtue, DD
www.virtueonline.org
March 5, 2021

The Anglican Church in North America's ecclesiastical and liturgical diversity might be too trendy for more conservative minded Anglicans. Virtueonline has learned that the Plano, Texas-based Church for the Sake of Others (C4SO) diocese is a stretch for traditionally-minded Anglo-Catholics and is causing uneasiness from evangelical diocesan bishops in the ACNA.

C4SO's bishop, one Todd Hunter, is the legacy of former ACNA Archbishop Bob Duncan. Hunter was consecrated a bishop in the AMiA without ever having been an Anglican, without any training or experience in Anglicanism and is more comfortable with his Vineyard Church roots. He was viewed as being on the cutting edge of culture and faith. His knowledge of Anglicanism seemed less important than what he might accomplish reaching out to Millennials and Generations X, Y and Z.

Some of his statements and positions, however, are causing consternation and embarrassment to the Church's hierarchy.

Hunter did not agree with the recent statement put out by the ACNA College of Bishops over homosexuality and issued his own, rival pastoral guidance.

In issuing his own statement, Hunter directly hyperlinked in the "Dear Gay Anglicans letter"--in which he, too, objected to the thinking of the College of Bishops. In the course of doing so, he pointedly used "gay Christian" nomenclature.

"I recognize the various arguments for and against using the phrases same-sex attracted and gay Christian. There is no phrase universally understood and free of baggage. In our pastoral work we want to encourage gay and/or same-sex attracted Christians to discern before God, in Scripture, with the Church, and among trusted mentors how to most faithfully describe themselves and their life stories."

Bishop Hunter then said this; "Policies are blunt instruments. They are rarely able to take into full consideration the nuances of context and the complexity of personhood. They cannot anticipate all eventualities. Well-meaning theological statements are similar."

"My vision is that C4SO churches would create communities in which gay and/or same-sex attracted people are not left to make sense of their sexuality alone. Rather, we want C4SO churches to be places where we all can share our stories, find community, and seek support on our journey of transformation into Christlikeness."

There was no formal renunciation of homosexual behavior in anything he wrote. He skirted the bishops' statement, parsing what he wrote as more compassionate.

Hunter's words, as it turned out, reflected more the thinking of dissenter, celibate homosexual Peter Valk than that of the ACNA bishops. Hunter moved further to the left of the ACNA statement. This has caused deep consternation for Nigerian Anglicans, who have already excoriated Archbishop Foley Beach and the College of Bishops for their view as an unnecessary compromise with homosexuals, reflecting more the morality of The Episcopal Church than that of GAFCON.

Bishop Hunter has also come down on the side of Critical Race Theory. This theory has been shredded by Anglican theologian Gerry McDermott, who eloquently summarizes it in these words, "CRT teaches a new racism in the name of a fight against racism, it instructs its devotees to do what the New Testament condemns--"do[ing] evil that good may come" (Rom 2.8). In effect, CRT endorses the principle that the end justifies the means." You can read his full take can be read here: https://virtueonline.org/critical-race-theory-compatible-christian-faith

Hunter has embraced and issued a guidance praising Critical Race Theory, saying it is useful for churches. He views the writings of one Dawna Markova, whose positive view of CRT can be seen here: https://mcusercontent.com/947bbe13263155969627c0595/files/418a920c-cbd1-4fd6-838b-2e745cb01053/Current_Issues_Bishop_TOdd_Email_07.0a_Vol_VII.01.pdf

For Lent, Hunter reached out to Soong-Chan Rah, Professor of Church Growth and Evangelism at North Park University, Chicago, to lead his diocese. Professor Rah was first noticed as a keynote speaker at a Matthew 25 Gathering in the ACNA in 2017. Protests arose, and he was removed from the speaker list. Now Rah has reappeared in the Diocese of C4SO. The bishop says that for the five weeks of Lent, the diocesan Lenten book reading is Professor Rah's "Prophetic Lament" alongside the Book of Lamentations. This will be accompanied by a Task Force sharing a video reflection on that week's readings.

Professor Rah's woke act includes this quote: "The United States of America does not hold a morally exceptional position greater than Nazi Germany. We are not more just. Our sense of equality is not any superior. Our nation has never been Christian. We have just won our wars. And therefore, for centuries, we wrote our own history. And that has proven to be incredibly dangerous." (Unsettling Truths: The Ongoing, Dehumanizing Legacy of the Doctrine of Discovery).

C4SO also has a congregation giving up Whiteness for Lent, with the apparent blessing of C4SO itself.

END

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