Category Archives: GAFCON

The Global Anglican Futures Conference held in July in Jerusalem. Now called the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans – see the website of Anglican Mainstrream for news.

+ John Ellison on the Anglican Church in North America

In preparation for the first Provincial Assembly of the Anglican Church of North America, to be held in Bedford, Texas, 22-25 June 2009, the Right Revd John Ellison, the retired Bishop of Paraguay, discusses the marks of a true church – apostolicity, catholicity, holiness and unity.

He argues that the Church of England is in danger of becoming a backwater within Global Anglicanism if it fails to recognise and partner with the new Province.

Bishop John Ellison on the Anglican Church in North America from Stephen Sizer on
href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo
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Bishop John Ellison reflects on the marks of a true church as found in the Anglican Church in North America

As I have been thinking about the first Provincial Assembly of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) I have wondered how leaders, especially those bishops in the Church of England who have been invited, will in fact respond. Will we as a church make sure we are represented? My firm conviction is that the ACNA shows the marks of the true church as affirmed by the Nicene and the Niceno Constantinoplan Creeds, that it to say apostolicity, catholicity, holiness and unity.

1. The mark of apostolicity. Then as now apostolicity links the contemporary church with the Apostles of the New Testament and ensures that the church is both earthed historically as well as establishing the vital link of continuity. To speak of apostolicity is to affirm that there is a clearly definable content to the Bible which is not ours to tamper with. The ACNA in its commitment to Scripture and apostolic teaching is clearly worthy of our encouragement and support.

2. The mark of catholicity. Catholicity speaks to us of the church worldwide across national and international boundaries, as well as temporally across the centuries. “Where Jesus Christ is, there is the catholic church”, famously wrote Ignatius of Antioch in 110AD. Here is the vital safeguard against parochialism, being concerned only with the local and negligent of the wider church catholic. “Those to whom God is Father, the church may also be Mother”, wrote John Calvin (Institutes 4.1.1) He added “One may not put asunder what God has joined together”. As English Christians we should rejoice in the coming together of so many different expressions of North American Anglicanism embracing the vision of both Ignatius and John Calvin. At a time when TEC is sadly but relentlessly turning its back on the wider Anglican Communion, we should be glad to know of the continuing witness to the church both catholic and reformed that is represented within the ACNA and give it our support.

3. The mark of holiness. Holiness has been so emphasized as a mark of the church by both Protestant and Catholic theologians, that we might be tempted to take it for granted. Nevertheless, given the worldliness of so much of the contemporary church in the West, it is reassuring to have in the ACNA a firm testimony to the Christian difference seen in the holy living of the church over against the surrounding secular culture. The ACNA unequivocally affirms that holiness is God’s calling to God’s people, both individually and collectively. In the coming together of different Anglican traditions within the new province there is a renewed emphasis on the corporate nature of our common discipleship. ACNA represents a clear turning away from the excessive individualism that we have seen in TEC and gives us hope that in other western cultures by God’s grace, orthodox belief and behaviour can be brought back together again.

4. The mark of unity. The unity of the church only assumes significant meaning as it grows out of apostolicity, catholicity and holiness. We have in the new province a serious expression of all these characteristics. We might also add that if the church’s suffering is a further sign of authenticity, then the ACNA has much to teach us.

We need to hope and pray that the Church of England will be properly represented at the inauguration of this new province at Forth Worth later this month.

Bishop John was interviewed this week by Stephen Sizer on the ACNA. The transcript is below.

Q What would you say to those who say you are breaking up the Church in forming a new province?

JE That only makes sense if your priority is some sort of institutional unity and that you actually put order above doctrine. My fear is, looking at this from within the English perspective, that the priority in the Church of England is order rather than doctrine – order in the sense of conforming to the rules and regulations that we as a church have put in place which no longer function and have not been exercised to stop the spread of heresy both in belief or behaviour either in the TEC or the Anglican Church of Canada (ACoC) Those who have had the courage to stand up and be counted on these issues are the very people who are part of this new province.

Q What are the specific issues that have led to the formation of this province?

The fundamental issue is the loss of the focus on gospel. However you look at TEC or the ACoC, The people of deep gospel conviction who have obviously been there as the classic evangelicals over the decades and also within the anglo-catholic end of the spectrum, they have been chopped off. What you have ended up with is a bland middle – that is particularly the case in the ACoC, and in the TEC you have not a bland middle but an aggressive neo-liberal leadership which is actually preaching a different gospel. That is well documented on the various websites. That is the heart issue – it is a rejection of authentic Christianity.

Q. Were these issues prevalent while you were a serving in Paraguay as bishop?

JE They were in South America where we in the process of establishing new congregations and founding new dioceses, you have to ask what is the church, who are we and what we are doing that neither Roman Catholic nor Pentecostal Churches are already doing. What is our reason for being here as Anglicans? We have received immense encouragement to be ourselves from the Roman Catholic leadership and the leadership of many Pentecostal denominations. What shocked them and the areas where we were called to give account was when they asked the question over recent years – “Is the Anglican Communion a serious church?” because of the things we were tolerating both about belief and behaviour. So we had to redouble our efforts to make sure our people were taught about the nature of the true church and that we are part of it.

Q What is the timescale for this new province?

JE Later this month there will be the inauguration of a new province in North America, moving beyond the different strands that have been working together and seeing growth over recent years and coming together as never before. The exciting this is that it brings together people of deep conviction both of a more catholic and more reformed background.

Q What do you think the response is going to be from the Church of England towards the new province.

JE The evidence at the moment is that it is trying to ignore it. My hope and prayer is that a diocesan bishop who will have the courage to say that this is something we must identify with for the sake of the global communion. That is where the majority of Anglicans worldwide will be. They will be identified with what is happening in the United States. Not to do anything , to pretend it is not happening, will be further evidence to our brethren, particularly in Africa but in many other parts of the Communion too that the Church of England is moving out of the mainstream of Anglican identity worldwide.

Q The primary support that we are seeing so far for ACNA seems to be coming from the provinces that have been planted as missionary churches in Africa and South America.

JE It is this old story of the family grows up and the children assume responsibility and leadership. How do we as aging parents, if you like grandparents, respond to the new reality. The Church of England is finding it desperately difficult to respond to this new reality – of leadership being given in quite extraordinary ways by non-Anglo-Saxon leadership.

Q. We see TEC trying to seize properties of faithful gospel churches, removing the licences of clergy, seek to defrock bishops in North America, and numerous court cases are going on as well. Where do you see this going?

JE. The litigation culture saturates North American society and it is prevalent within the life of the church. The first thing you do is to go for the properties. These are measurables. What we are seeing in the process is a part of what was once the Anglican Communion beginning to move in its own direction to become an independent organization. It is no coincidence that it simply calls itself The Episcopal Church and seeking to influence many others worldwide. They have their own agenda which they will follow fairly relentlessly.

Q Where do you see Global Anglicanism in the next 10 years? What would your hope be for the Anglican Communion and what is your fear?

JE We see the historic shift of the Church from the East to the West and now to the South. That movement will continue. It does not depend on the Church of England. It has its own momentum and its own pattern. The question is whether we are prepared to learn from the experience of the wider church or not. They want to learn from us. The high regard with which many Anglican leaders and many others hold the Church of England is quite remarkable. We have to enter into a different kind of partnership where we are prepared to learn from one another and much more humbly recognize our interdependence. My hope is that we will do just that. We need the help of the wider church catholic to move forward here in England. They are ready to give it. It is a prayerful yearning for the restoration and the renewal of the Church here in England. They want to be alongside us so that by God’s grace that can happen.

My fear is that we will further isolate ourselves from what is happening in the church worldwide and without being aware of it get further out of step with God the Holy Spirit in terms of the moves that is so dominant in the south and in the worldwide church. We must avoid the terrible kind of parochialism which is not just there in parishes but also in provinces which forget the global catholic reality. This could happen in the provinces of Canterbury and York if we further isolate ourselves from the vibrant Anglicanism of the wider Communion.

Q Where do you see the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans gathering on July 6th having a strategic role to play?
JE. It can be a key moment for raising our awareness of the global Catholic church and to help us to see the great things that God is doing in other parts of the world and saying : “This is tremendous. What more could we do in England with the support of these our brethren and what do we by God’s grace have to give them so that we are truly working together, perhaps as we never believed possible in recent years in partnership in the gospel.

Watch the interview here

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+ Wallace Benn: Confessing Anglicans

Last night we hosted + Wallace Benn, Bishop of Lewes and President of the Church of England Evangelical Council at Christ Church, Virginia Water. + Wallace spoke on Confessing Anglicans in Global and Local Mission. You can view his two presentations here:

+ Wallace Benn: Contend for the Faith from Stephen Sizer on Vimeo.

+ Wallace Benn: Be Faithful from Stephen Sizer on Vimeo.

THE launch in the UK and Ireland of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA), an orthodox Anglican movement for mission at global and local level, is to take place on July 6 in London.

The Fellowship is the outworking of last year’s GAFCON conference in Jerusalem, at which 1200 delegates signed up to the Jerusalem Statement. Those attending Gafcon 2008 represented some 40 million Anglicans world-wide, 70% of the total active membership of 55 million.

The launch event, entitled ‘Be Faithful! – Confessing Anglicans in Global and Local Mission’ will be held at Westminster Central Hall from 10.30am-5.30pm. The aim is to encourage and envision Anglicans who are committed to the orthodox teachings of the Anglican Church and who are passionate about global and local mission. It will be the first of regular ‘fellowship’ events both in the UK and across the world.

Speakers at the July 6 gathering, where around 2,300 bishops, clergy and laity are expected, will include contributors from across the Anglican Communion, including Bishops Keith Ackerman (President of Forward in Faith North America), Wallace Benn (Bishop of Lewes), John Broadhurst (Chairman of Forward in Faith UK) and Michael Nazir-Ali, Dr Chik Kaw Tan plus Archbishop Peter Jensen (secretary of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans www.fca.net). They, and others yet to be announced, will also lead gatherings in London churches on Sunday July 5th. the day before the launch.

For further information about the event, email befaithfulanglicans@gmail.com, or book on-line here

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Confessing Anglicans: Resources

GAFCON Jerusalem Conference: June 2008

Audio recordings of the presentations made at the Global Anglican Futures Conference in Jerusalem. (the videos are accessible here)

1. Welcome Address: Archbishop Akinola

2. Opening Sermon: Archbishop Orombi

3. The Gospel and Secularism: Dr Os Guiness

4. The Nature and Future of the Anglican Communion: Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali

5. The Gospel and Religion: Professor Lamin Sanneh

6. Genesis 12: The Promise of God: Archbishop Akrofi

7. Exodus 24: The Presence of God: Revd David Short

8. 2 Samuel 1:1-17: The King of God: Revd Vaughan Roberts

9. The Jerusalem Declaration

10. Closing Sermon: Jesus Christ is Lord: Archbishop Venables

GAFCON Jerusalem Report Consultation, 1st July 2008

Orthodoxy & Effective Mission : Archbishop Henry Orombi
Orthodoxy & Global Connections : Archbishop Greg Venables
Orthodoxy & Personal Experience : Dr Jim Packer
Questions to the Panel – Henry Orombi, Peter Jensen, Greg Venables & Jim Packer

Links

Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans

GAFCON

Anglican Mainstream

The History of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans

Life After Lambeth

Christ Church, Virginia Water Pass Resolutions on the Jerusalem Declaration

Hollow Men, Lambeth 2008. What Happened and Why

Former Pittsburgh bishop warns Church of England

Fellowship Broken: Statement made at City of London DEF

In Solidarity with Orthodox Vancouver Anglicans

Church of England Evangelical Council (CEEC) and TEC

The Jerusalem Declaration: Why Anglican Churches should endorse it

GAFCON and the Future of the Church of England

Q&A with Dr Jim Packer

Anglican leaders offer support for Bishop Bob Duncan

10 Reasons Why Now Is the Time to Realign

Statement by the Primates’ Council of GAFCON

Comment From Bishop of Birkenhead on TEC Decisio

Screwtape Proposes an Episcopal Toast

The Future of the Church of England

Anglican Archbishops and Bishops in Solidarity

GAFCON and the Future of the Church of England

GAFCON, the future and the Jerusalem Statement

“The Church cannot heal this crisis of betrayal”

Anglican Pastoral Forum: Lets play Happy Families

GAFCON, Boundary Crossing and the Councils of Nicea

GAFCON’s 40 million vs. Lambeth’s 5 million

Homosexual bishops face Anglican Church ban

150 Lambeth Bishops agree Robinson should resign

Chris Sugden explains: Why many bishops did not attend Lambeth

A New Traditional Anglican Province of North Ameria

The Great Commission or New Millennium Goals?

Conscience and logic: ‘I can do no other’

Gene Robinson should resign: Statement of the Sudan

Dr. James Packer Speaks Out on Homosexuality

Evangelical Fellowship in the Anglican Communion

GAFCON Archbishops Respond to the Archbishop of Canterbury

Prayer for Lambeth Conference

Evangelical Alliance Statement on GAFCON

Homosexual Practice? The Biblical Answer

Why has the Archbishop of Canterbury compromised

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Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans: South East Regional Meeting in Virginia Water on Friday 15th May


The launch in the UK and Ireland of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA), the orthodox Anglican movement for mission at global and local level, is to take place on July 6 in London. The Fellowship is the outworking of last year’s GAFCON conference in Jerusalem, at which 1200 delegates signed up to the Jerusalem Statement. Those attending Gafcon 2008 represented some 40 million Anglicans world-wide, 70% of the total active membership of 55 million.

Click here for a larger PDF poster

Visit the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans

Book a place on Friday 15th May here

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Be Faithful: The Launch of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans – May 15th in Virginia Water & July 6th at Westminster Central Hall

The launch in the UK and Ireland of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA), the orthodox Anglican movement for mission at global and local level, is to take place on July 6 in London.

The Fellowship is the outworking of last year’s GAFCON conference in Jerusalem, at which 1200 delegates signed up to the Jerusalem Statement. Those attending Gafcon 2008 represented some 40 million Anglicans world-wide, 70% of the total active membership of 55 million.

The launch event, entitled ‘Be Faithful! – Confessing Anglicans  in Global and Local Mission’ will be held at Westminster Central Hall from 10.30am-5.30pm.  The aim is to encourage and envision Anglicans who are committed to the orthodox teachings of the Anglican Church and who are passionate about global and local mission.  It will be the first of regular ‘fellowship’ events both in the UK and across the world.

Speakers at the July 6 gathering, where around 2,300 bishops, clergy and laity are expected, will include contributors from across the Anglican Communion, including Bishops Keith Ackerman (President of Forward in Faith International), Wallace Benn (Bishop of Lewes), John Broadhurst (Chairman of Forward in Faith UK) and Michael Nazir-Ali, Dr Chik Kaw Tan plus Archbishop Peter Jensen (secretary of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans www.fca.net).  They, and others yet to be announced, will also lead gatherings in London churches on Sunday July 5th. the day before the launch.

Regional meetings, in the run up to the London event will also be held on:-

* May 14, St Batholomew’s, Bath
May 15, Christ Church, Virginia Water
* May 18, Holy Trinity, Platt, Manchester
* May 19, St Andrew’s, Newcastle-under-Lyme
* May 20, Christ Church, Fulwood, Sheffield

The Revd Paul Perkin, , vicar of St Mark’s Battersea Rise, London, and Chairman of the event planning team, said: “The fellowship is just that, a spiritual movement of brothers and sisters across the nation and the world. It is not a separatist party, nor is it an organisation, but a spiritual fellowship issuing from a concern for truth and unity. It is a renewal of our confessing Anglican roots and convictions, and will be forward-looking in gospel mission locally, and in solidarity globally with Anglicans throughout the world, especially those suffering through poverty or discrimination”.

For further information about the event, email befaithfulanglicans@gmail.com, or book on-line on www.anglican-mainstream.net

For further information:

Revd Paul Perkin, Be Faithful, Event Chairman: 020 7326 9412
Canon Dr Chris Sugden (Anglican Mainstream): 01865 883388

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Rico & Lucy’s Wedding

Rico Tice married Lucy on Saturday 20th December at All Souls Church, Langham Place, London. It was a truly joyful occasion. You can access some of the ‘unofficial’ photographs here. May the Lord richly bless them in their marriage, now and in the years to come.

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CEEC Executive Affirms the Jerusalem Declaration


  • “CEEC affirms and rejoices that the Church of England professes the faith
    uniquely revealed in the Holy Scriptures and set forth in the catholic
    creeds and its historic formularies (the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, The Book of Common Prayer and the Ordering of Bishops, Priests and Deacons) and set out in Canon A5 and the Declaration of Assent.
  • Further we affirm (1) the CEEC’s own Basis of Belief, (2) Resolution 3.5 of Lambeth 1998 (concerning the authority of Holy Scriptures), (3) Resolution 1.10 of Lambeth 1998 (concerning human sexuality), and (4) the Jerusalem Declaration, and as members of the Anglican Communion, we acknowledge our obligation to stand in prayerful solidarity with faithful Anglicans across the globe.
  • We recognize that evangelical Anglicans will pursue a variety of strategies for dealing with the current crisis in the Communion, and we support those who are seeking to work through the existing Anglican Communion structures, those who are working within the framework set out in the GAFCON Statement, and those supporting both.
  • We call on the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Primates to recognize the urgency of the situation as it affects parishes and clergy, particularly in the USA, Canada and Brazil, and to give immediate and serious consideration to granting recognition to the new Province in the USA.”

See CEEC Statement

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High Noon at the OK Corral: GAFCON Primates meet the Archbishop of Canterbury


It is time for plain speaking: The Episcopal Church in the USA and the Anglican Church of Canada have prostituted the Christian faith and authorized that which God has anathematized.

The hour of reckoning has arrived. How the Archbishop of Canterbury responds will determine much. Early signs are not good. Whether the views of the Archbishop or his staff, the official Lambeth statement about the meeting tomorrow between six archbishops is terse if not defiant.

Ruth Gledhill writes, TimesonLine “Today Lambeth Palace, although not the Archbishop of Canterbury in person, has at last made a comment on this, and the comment at first glance seems to make it clear that this new province will not receive formal recognition any time soon. In fact it appears pretty brutal in its dismissal of the Common Cause initiative. Hong Kong, don’t forget, was recognised extremely fast once its three dioceses decided to seek independence.

Lambeth Palace says: ‘There are clear guidelines set out in the Anglican Consultative Council Reports, notably ACC 10 in 1996 (resolution 12), detailing the steps necessary for the amendments of existing provincial constitutions and the creation of new provinces. ‘Once begun, any of these processes will take years to complete. In relation to the recent announcement from the meeting of the Common Cause Partnership in Chicago, no such process has begun. This comes as the five Gafcon primates, Archbishops Akinola, Venables, Nzimbi, Kolini and Orombi, fly into London this afternoon and prepare to travel to Canterbury tomorrow, Friday, to meet Dr Williams to discuss the new province among other things.’

The meeting has been arranged at the request of the five primates. Next month, I understand, the Gafcon primates will then meet with the primates of the Joint Standing Committee, Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori of TEC and Archbishops Morgan of Wales, Aspinall of Australia, Orombi of Uganda, Anis of Egypt and Dr Williams. At this meeting they will present the plan formally to the primates for consideration at the Primates Meeting which begins in Alexandria, Egypt the following day. But it is not at all clear whether this presentation will incorporate a formal request for recognition or not.

Apparently, the big question that is being asked inside the power structures of the Anglican Communion is: ‘Do they want recognition?’ Is there a desire to maintain unity or not? This is not at all clear, and so far the guidance from both sides on this is a bit fuzzy.

Read the rest of this entry »

With Archbishops Akinola, Venables, Nzimbi, Kolini and Orombi riding into town, it is literally high noon at the OK Corral. The fact is the Arcbishop and his staff do not determine who is, or who is not, recognised in the Anglican Communion. Let me explain what is going to happen next, although I make no claim to the gift of prophecy.

1. Conservative Evangelical organisations such as Anglican Mainstream, SAMS, Church Society, the Fellowship of Word and Spirit, Crosslinks, New Wine, REFORM, and probably Forward in Faith, CMS and the CEEC, will all recognise the new Anglican Province of North America, either immediately, or in the next few weeks. They are already working together with Common Cause partners, formally or informally, within the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans. This Fellowship already includes whole Provinces, Dioceses, Bishops, clergy and laity. What representatives or Bishops within the Church of England have to say or threaten is now really quite irrelevant. After Gene Robinson was consecrated the die was cast. The showdown in Canterbury tomorrow became inevitable.

2. A majority of the Primates meeting in Alexandria in February (who thankfully are still orthodox) will recognise the new Province of North America. No question.

3. The Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) will be tasked with completing the administrative processes necessary to give the recognition that is already there, legal status. Liberals on the ACC and Jefferts Schori especially, will do everything they can to stall or circumvent the will of the Primates, but time, history and the majority of Anglicans worldwide are not on their side.

4. TEC will be expelled from the Anglican Communion. OK, that was not prophecy just wishful thinking on my part.

“Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us. But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.” (1 John 2:18-20)

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A foot in many camps – a reply to Stephen Kuhrt

by Chris Sugden in the Church of England Newspaper November 21 2008

In his CEN article last week, Stephen Kuhrt argued that the 57 member CEEC is not representative because 28 members belong to what he defines as one, conservative, stream.  Stephen argues, as does Graham Kings in a parallel article in the Church Times last week, that there are three streams in the Evangelical Constituency and any organization claiming to represent that constituency needs to reflect them in proportion.

PROPORTIONALITY

Arguments about proportionality encourage a particularly narrow view of ‘representation’. Like MPs and Bishops, CEEC members – drawn as Stephen’s piece shows from different types of ‘constituency’ – are there to represent the whole constituency.  That should be common ground about how we understand the ‘Evangelical Constituency’ to be made up.

Stephen speaks of ‘three streams’:  but why (only) three?  How do we know their relative strengths?  The usual way is by elections – to see which groups win support. Even accepting the argument for proportionality, applying it in the evangelical constituency is problematic. The categories overlap. Many, but not all, conservatives are charismatics. There are different kinds of charismatics and conservatives, just as there are different kinds of points of view in Fulcrum.  Fuclrum itself illustrates the difficulty. Its strap-line refers to ‘The Evangelical Centre’.  But what is the ‘centre’? Identifying the centre requires an agreed definition of the limits of the range – the meaning of ‘Evangelical’.

DEFINING IDENTITY

A representative organization like CEEC needs some means of establishing what makes it distinctive so that it can be seen who and what it represents.  When an organization consists, as many do, of a number of viewpoints, defining its identity is difficult. This is particularly so when some who agree on some points but disagree on others find allies with those on the outside who are in fundamental disagreement with the view of other members of the first organization.

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The Episcopal Church: A New Religious Movement. TEC Leaders in their Own Words

† “I am the way, and the truth and the life…”

“‘I am the way, and the truth and the life. No one comes to God ex­cept through me.’ The first thing I want you to explore with me is this: I simply refuse to hold the doctrine that there is no access to God except through Jesus. I personally reject the claim that Christianity has the truth and all other religions are in error… I think it is a mistaken view to say Christianity is superior to Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and Judaism and that Christ is the only way to God and salvation.” The Rev. Dr. George F. Regas, Rector Emeritus All Saints Episcopal Church, Pasadena, California, April 24, 2005, guest sermon at Washington National Cathedral

“My understanding of idolatry includes the assumption that I can know and comprehend the way in which God saves people who are not overtly Christian. I understand that Jesus is my savior, I understand that Jesus is the savior of the whole world. But I am unwilling to do more than speculate about how God saves those who don’t profess to be Christians. I look at the fruits of the life of someone like Mahatma Ghandi and the Dhali Lama and I see Christ-like features …” Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, Virginia Theological Seminary, May 25, 2007

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