Establishing a sure foundation for PECUSA revived

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Friday, August 29, 2003


A word for those with ears to hear (or with eyes to read!)

In the fall-out in American Episcopalianism, following the vote for the confirmation of Canon Gene Robinson, certain things are becoming clear. To attend to them will not be easy or painless. Yet they need to be done by those Americans who intend to stay within the Anglican Communion of Churches if major mistakes of the past are not to be continued or repeated.

If certain dioceses are to leave the ECUSA, and together with certain parishes from other dioceses form a kind of continuing Protestant Episcopal Church USA [restoring the proper and older name/title of the Episcopal Church] then they will have many things to do and to become. I bring attention to what I think is a primary rather than a secondary action.

The Protestant Episcopal Church of the USA was committed to the sacred Scriptures and the Creeds, and she was based upon Three Formularies - the classic Book of Common Prayer (edition of 1928), the Ordinal & the Articles (both the latter bound inside the Prayer Book) - and all this was set out in her Constitution and Canon Law.

If there is to be any genuine reform of parts of the present ECUSA then for it be Biblical, Orthodox and truly Anglican the foundation of the PECUSA must be restored as a first duty and necessity. The foundation established by the ECUSA in 1976/79 has to be set aside as one of the major causes of the present crisis. There has to be repentance by all who have lived within this arrangement and sphere.

Then what of the 1979 Prayer Book. Easy! Let it be what its equivalent is in Canada, A Book of Alternative Services, or what it was in England until 2000, Alternative Services Book. Let it be called "An American Prayer Book, 1979" or something similar and then it can be used, but used circumspectly not standing alone as it now does as its own authority, but standing under the doctrine that is set forth in the classic Formularies.

Not to do this and to regard the present 1979 book as a sure foundation and formulary will be to carry over into the reforming movement the major errors of that from which it is separating! The problem is not getting away from homosexuality as such; but, it is finding the living God and having a right relation with Him, a relation that has a proper doctrinal foundation and has right thinking on worship, morality and discipline.

The Rev'd Dr. Peter Toon M.A., D.Phil. (Oxon.)
posted by John Graves at 9:54 PM CDT

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