Originally from here.
The Anglican Church in North America was founded by Anglicans who had left the Anglican Church of Canada and the Episcopal Church in the United States over concerns that the teaching of those churches had grown more liberal. The new body charged that the two existing churches “have increasingly accommodated and incorporated un-Biblical, un-Anglican practices and teaching”. Two major events which contributed to ACNA’s formation both involved human sexuality. The first was the 2002 decision of the Diocese of New Westminster in Canada to authorize a rite of blessing for same-sex unions; the second was the General Convention‘s ratification of the election of Gene Robinson, an openly gay non-celibate man, as Bishop of New Hampshire the following year.
The new Anglican group also charged that the existing churches had abandoned the traditional Christian belief that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation. In particular, Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church from 2006 to 2015, was strongly criticised for her comments to that effect.
Headquartered in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, the church reports that it has 30 dioceses and 983 congregations serving an estimated membership of 112,504. The first archbishop of the ACNA was Robert Duncan, who was succeeded by Foley Beach in 2014.
The ACNA has attempted to incorporate the full spectrum of conservative Anglicanism within Canada and the United States. As a result, it accommodates Anglo-Catholic, charismatic, and evangelical theological orientations. It also includes those who oppose and those who support women’s ordination. Women can serve as clergy members in some dioceses, while other dioceses maintain an exclusively male clergy. Women are ineligible to serve as bishops. The ACNA defines Christian marriage exclusively as a lifelong union between a man and a woman and consequently condemns homosexual relationships that are non-celibate as sinful. The church holds a pro-life position on abortion and euthanasia.
In its Fundamental Declarations, the Anglican Church in North America declares itself part of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, confessing Jesus Christ to be the only way to God the Father. Consistent with this, it identifies the following seven elements as characteristic of the “Anglican Way” and essential for membership:
- The Bible is the inspired word of God, containing all things necessary for salvation, and is the final authority and unchangeable standard for Christian faith and life.
- Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are sacraments ordained by Christ and are to be ministered with unfailing use of his words of institution and the elements ordained by him.
- The historic episcopate is an inherent part of the apostolic faith and practice, and therefore integral to the fullness and unity of the Body of Christ.
- The church affirms the historic faith of the undivided church as declared in the three ecumenical (catholic) creeds: the Apostles’, the Nicene, and the Athanasian.
- Concerning the seven Councils of the undivided church, it affirms the teaching of the first four Ecumenical Councils and the Christological clarifications of the fifth, sixth and seventh councils, in so far as they are agreeable to the Bible.
- The Book of Common Prayer as set forth by the Church of England in 1662, together with the ordinal attached to it, is a standard for Anglican doctrine and discipline and, with the Books which preceded it, is the standard for the Anglican tradition of worship.
- The Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion of 1571, taken in their literal and grammatical sense, express the Anglican response to certain doctrinal issues controverted at that time, and express fundamental principles of authentic Anglican belief.
Todd Hunter, who was the leader of the Association of Vineyard Churches, actually left the Vineyard and came over to the ACNA, at the suggestion of J. I. Packer, something he writes about in The Accidental Anglican. I believe this church provides a safe place for evangelical charismatics who are concerned about institutional corruption in a lot of places. Personally, I believe there has been a deterioration of revival in the Vineyard, and it goes without saying with Assemblies of God and the other Pentecostal denominations. It couldn’t be more Wesleyan than to join the ACNA. I think John Wesley would strongly approve of what they are up to.–John Boruff
The church’s website: www.anglicanchurch.net