Bishop Greg Brewer is the Episcopal Bishop of Central Florida. He is also a Communion Partner Bishop. The Communion Partner Bishops are orthodox bishops within The Episcopal Church (TEC) committed to remaining faithful to Lambeth resolution 1.10, which identifies sexual relationships between people of the same sex as sinful.
This commitment has recently been put to the test with the passage of Resolution B012 during the 2018 Episcopal Church General Convention. The resolution reads in part, “Resolved, That in dioceses where the bishop exercising ecclesiastical authority (or, where applicable, ecclesiastical supervision) holds a theological position that does not embrace marriage for same-sex couples, and there is a desire to use such rites by same-sex couples in a congregation or worshipping community, the bishop exercising ecclesiastical authority (or ecclesiastical supervision) shall invite, as necessary, another bishop of this Church to provide pastoral support to the couple, the Member of the Clergy involved and the congregation or worshipping community in order to fulfill the intention of this resolution that all couples have convenient and reasonable local congregational access to these rites…”
Consider the ramifications of this resolution. Set yourself in the place of an orthodox diocesan bishop. You believe the scriptures. You affirm the words of the Apostle Paul who writes in 1 Corinthians 6:9 that those who engage unrepentantly in homosexual sex will not enter the Kingdom of God. But now you are required, by force of ecclesial law, to arrange for members of your diocese to enter into precisely the sort of relationships that, apart from repentance, will lead to their damnation. What do you do?
It seems that if you are a Communion Partner Bishop, and your name is not Bishop Love, you do nothing. You bend and bow and do as you must to keep your place and your office.
I suppose I’ve wandered from the topic at hand. On Thursday, October 31st, 2019, Reformation Day or Halloween or All Hallows Eve or whatever you prefer to call it, Bishop Greg Brewer shared a video on his facebook page featuring what appeared to be the processional for a Eucharistic service, along with the caption: “Closing Eucharist at the consultation on theological education involving both TEC and ACNA leaders at the Duke Anglican Episcopal House of Studies. It’s a very small step but an important one if we are going to learn to love one another.”
The Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) came into being because the Episcopal Church departed from Apostolic teaching regarding human sexuality. Had our differences with the Episcopal Church concerned nonessentials; what shall we eat, what shall we drink, what shall we wear, there would have been no need or legitimate cause to leave. Division in the visible body is no light thing.
But sex is about Jesus and his Church (Ephesians 5:31-33). It was given by God to enflesh the Gospel. The Gospel is about life and death. Those who reject it and teach others to do the same damn themselves and their followers. When one who professes to follow Jesus openly rejects the Gospel, those who love him will not humor his delusions, nor will they help him delude others into thinking he is a legitimate disciple. And so there must be a separation.
This is why Bishop Brewer’s post is, potentially, a thunderbolt.
Has the ACNA established table fellowship with The Episcopal Church?
- Why are ACNA leaders communing with leaders of TEC?
2. To receive Communion together is to say: We are One Body, sharing One Faith in One Lord. Do the ACNA leaders who took part in this Eucharist believe this to be true about the relationship between TEC and the ACNA?
3. Why are ACNA leaders consulting with leaders of the Episcopal Church regarding theological education? Are the ACNA leaders re-catechizing the TEC leaders or they participating with them as if the ACNA and TEC share the same doctrinal foundations?
4. Were the TEC representatives limited to the Communion Partner Bishops or did the TEC delegation include revisionist bishops and/or leaders?
5. Did the ACNA leaders ask the TEC Bishops (assuming they were not revisionists) about their collaboration with false teachers, their cooperation with those suing ACNA diocese’ and congregations, their complicity with resolution B012, or their abandoning of Bishop Love?
If the answer to any of these questions implies that the ACNA is in any way in Communion with the Episcopal Church or participating, on an official level, in some educational endeavor with the Episcopal Church, then we have a significant problem. It is one thing for individual ACNA leaders to commune with orthodox Episcopal Church bishops on a personal, private level. It is another thing to do so on a formal, official, and public level.
If the answer to the fourth question is, ‘Yes, there were revisionist bishops there as well’, then this represents a significant departure from the Apostolic command not to welcome false teachers as if they were legitimate ministers of the Gospel (2 John 9-11). This “consultation” may then be set alongside The Reverend Tory Baucum’s (Rector of Truro Church, ACNA) collaboration with the revisionist Bishop Shannon Johnson (TEC). But this is potentially worse even than that. Tory Baucum, as a presbyter, befriended and sought to engage in mutual ministry with Bishop Shanon Johnson but ultimately Baucum’s own Bishop stepped in to stop it. The consultation involved more than one rogue ACNA leader. ACNA leaders were present, perhaps even bishops, acting in an official capacity.