By Robin G. Jordan
One way the type of organization like the one that I advocated in yesterday’s article might champion the Reformation heritage of the Anglican Church is to establish and maintain a register of clergy who stand in that heritage—clergy who are confessional Anglicans, who genuinely subscribe to the Biblical and Reformation doctrine and principles embodied in the Anglican formularies, and who are committed to the preservation of the Anglican Church’s Reformation heritage and the advancement of its protestant and reformed beliefs and convictions. Such a register would be a useful resource for participating churches looking for a new pastor or staff member.
The organization could also monitor the clergy selection and licensing process of the dioceses of participating churches and investigate and document cases where bishops rejected a participating church’s choice of pastor on basis of his adherence to these beliefs and convictions or denied licensure to a pastor or staff member for the same reason. Such cases could be brought to the attention of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans and its leaders and used to build a case for intervention in the Anglican Church in North America.
The organization could similarly monitor the process for selecting and training candidates for ordination in these judicatories, investigating and documenting cases where a judicatory discriminates against a postulant or candidate for ordination on the basis of his adherence to the same beliefs and convictions. It could also investigate and document cases in which those training for ordination are discouraged or prevented from studying the Reformation heritage of the Anglican Church under teachers who are sympathetic to that tradition or are required to undergo instruction in teaching and practices not consistent with the Bible and the Anglican formularies under teachers who are unsympathetic to the Anglican Church’s Reformation heritage. This documentation could also be used to build a case for GFCA intervention.
The organization could develop a supplemental curriculum of its own to compensate for defects in the training of candidates for ordination as such training relates not only to the Anglican Church’s Reformation heritage but also to the Bible and the Anglican formularies.
In the absence of GFCA intervention the evidence of discrimination against Reformation heritage Anglicans gathered in the monitoring process would be helpful to the participating churches in determining what should be their next course of action.
These five benefits are not the only benefits that Reformation heritage Anglicans in the Anglican Church in North America would gain from organizing. However, they are important ones. What other benefits can you think of?