No inter-communion for conservative Anglicans and Lutherans in North America: The Church of England Newspaper, June 10, 2012 p 7. June 13, 2012Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of North America, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: Lutheran Church Canada, Lutheran Church Missouri Synod
The Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) and the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod and the Lutheran Church—Canada have released a joint statement of pastoral principles, but were unable to enter into inter-communion due to the historic doctrinal and ecclesial differences between Anglicans and Lutherans.
On 25 May 2012, the leaders of the three churches released a statement summarizing 18 months of talks. While they shared common moral views, doctrine divided the conservative Lutheran churches from the ACNA.
The President of the LCMS – an American Lutheran denomination 2.3 million baptized members in more than 6,000 congregations – Dr. Matthew Harrison stated that “in a time when there is a widespread failure to recognize the biblical teaching regarding the creation of man and woman and their biblical roles, life-issues, and other grave challenges that society faces, it is a joy to find a group of Christians within the Anglican Church in North America who affirm this biblical teaching, and who desire to cooperate in externals with the Missouri Synod in upholding the biblical natural law in society.”
The ACNA’s Archbishop Robert Duncan stated that it was a “great blessing to be walking alongside” the LCMS as the two shared “an unwavering commitment to the authority of Scripture.”
“We look forward to continuing our work together for the Gospel through prayers, evangelism, dialogue, encouragement of one another, and joint efforts to help those in need,” Archbishop Duncan said.
The ACNA and the two conservative Lutheran churches shared a common view of the Trinity; professed the Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds; and “we recognize the Fall into sin and the reality that only by grace through faith in Christ can fallen human beings find justification and salvation. We rejoice together in one Baptism for the remission of sins and the new life given through this sacrament. In the confession of these truths, we also recognize and affirm that they are known through the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, the very Word of God written, which are the infallible basis for all church teaching.”
The churches also said that “we look toward the possibility of joint statements on important issues facing our churches and our culture such as questions about homosexuality and abortion. We also anticipate opportunities to work together to address human needs like hunger, homelessness, and other ministries of mercy toward those in crisis.”
However, the ACNA and the LCMS would not be able to enter into inter-communion as Anglicans did not subscribe to the historic Lutheran confessions.
“We recognize that further discussion is needed regarding issues of ecclesiology” the churches said, particularly the “office of bishop (its definition, nature, and necessity).”
“Disagreement exists among Anglicans about the propriety of ordaining women to the pastoral (presbyteral) office, while the LCMS opposes this practice”, and “We recognize that further discussion is needed regarding our respective understandings of the real presence of Christ in the Lord’s Supper and the administration of this sacrament.”
However, the churches were encouraged by what they had in common. Dr. Robert Bugbee, president of the Lutheran Church—Canada, stated: “Despite the decay in foundational Christian teaching among mainline churches in North America, the Lord is opening doors for us to encourage each other to root our work in the apostolic Gospel of Christ and in the Scriptures as God’s infallible Word.”
First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.