The Anglican Mission in America
Reflecting on the proceedings of the recent General Convention within ECUSA, Bishop John Rodgers, the province of South-East Asia's missionary bishop in the United States, has stated: it is clear to me that the Episcopal Church has officially endorsed intimate homosexual relationships and unmarried heterosexual relationships as acceptable within the Body of Christ . . . This is clearly in contradiction to the biblical and official teaching of the church which affirms that sexual intimacy is to be found only in heterosexual, exclusive, life-long marriage . . . ECUSA has called evil good. It is with sorrow that Reform Ireland accepts this analysis. We had hoped that Lambeth 98's clear reaffirmation of Biblical teaching on the matter of human sexuality would have encouraged all parts of the Anglican Communion to have unity in Truth. Regrettably, ECUSA has decided to shatter this unity by aligning itself with false teaching.
It is in this context then, that Bishops Murphy and Rodgers and the First Promise movement have inaugurated the Anglican Mission in America, at the request of the Archbishops of South-East Asia and Rwanda. Reform Ireland has consistently supported the attempts to provide godly, orthodox and Biblical episcopal oversight for Anglican congregations in dioceses within ECUSA which have openly rejected the authority of God's Word Written. The creation of the Anglican Mission in America is a necessity - a necessity because of ECUSA's espousal of false teaching, while many in the leadership of Anglicanism in the one-thirds world stood by as spectators. It is with sadness that we observe the shattering of Anglican unity. It is with deep sorrow that we receive news of ECUSA's apostasy. It is with joy that we welcome the fact that congregations of Anglicans throughout the United States now have the assurance of episcopal leaders who are persuaded that the Holy Scriptures contain sufficiently all doctrine required of necessity for eternal salvation through faith in Jesus Christ (The Consecration of Bishops, 1662).
Once again, Reform Ireland pledges its prayerful support for and fellowship with Bishops Murphy and Rodgers, and the First Promise movement, in their labour of building the Body of Christ in the Anglican tradition in the United States.
While we recognise those dioceses within ECUSA which still adhere to Biblical truth in the face of institutional apostasy, Reform Ireland wishes to publicly state that we regard the Anglican Mission in America to be the authentic expression of Anglicanism within the United States. We are not, nor have we been, in fellowship with those many dioceses within ECUSA which have rejected God's revelation: we are in Christ-centred fellowship with the Anglican Mission in America.
It is appropriate at this time for Reform Ireland to give its thanks to those members of the episcopate who, in January of this year, did not stand by as spectators as apostolic truth was being rejected by ECUSA - those bishops who consecrated bishops Murphy and Rodgers. As bishops Murphy and Rodgers take their places in the House of Bishops of their respective provinces (Rwanda and South-East Asia), Reform Ireland looks forward to a growing fellowship and co-operation with them and the congregations which they serve, as together we strive to be obedient to the Great Commission. 14th Aug 2000