People have wondered where Archbishop Beach stands on charismatic gifts in the Church. The following email indicates that he believes in the continuation of the charismatic gifts, as it seems that he quoted from a “word of knowledge” to his church in 2005.
From: Parish Administrator
Sent: Wednesday, September 07, 2005 9:49 AM To: Rev. Dr. Foley Beach Subject: Holy Cross Pastoral Enote Please send to the parish. I have had so many requests for the word of knowledge I read at the end of the sermon on Sunday, I am sending it to the whole congregation. It is posted below and came to Fr. Jim Murphy, an Anglican priest in Florida. foley+
09/07/05 The word of the Lord came to me saying, Thus says the Lord of hosts, You mourn and wail and pray for the victims of disaster you do well in this regard. Those storm battered victims whom I love, whom I came to save, suffer great poverty. They have lost much treasure, much of what their trust was placed in. They have lost many things from which they drew comfort. Yet, declares the Lord, none of their losses were anchored in eternitytheir sorrow is for created things, not the Creator. O how I long for them to have trusted in me, to have drawn comfort from me, but they would not. Thus says the One through whom all things were made and for whom all things exist, even the Son of Man, Be not conceited of heart, you people called by my name, for your poverty is as deep as those who despair from disaster. Your trust in me is conditional. Your comfort comes from things that are passing away. Repent! Repent, O my people. Your sins and treasures weigh you down and you waste away because of them. Turn! Turn from your evil ways and live. Thus says the God of all comfort, No one is saved by the riches and might of this world. Truly, despite great strength, nothing in all creation is able to save. For you to trust in things of the created order is but vanity. Truly, you invite disaster as you draw comfort from the illusory heritage of this world. O how I long to have you trust fully in me, to experience true comfort from my very Spirit. If you will but store up for yourselves treasures that are anchored in eternity, declares the Christ, then the glory of the Father will shine like the noonday sun, to give hope for despair.
Spoken through Jim Murphy to the churches in Christ Jesus, Friday morning, September 2nd, 2005.
Over at a certain site, Archbishop Beach is asked about women’s ordination:
VOL: On the issue of women’s ordination, I gather you are opposed to it. Therefore will you continue the “period of reception” we are now in or demand a moratorium or bring the issue up for discussion and voting in a future ACNA House of Bishops conference?
ABP BEACH: Let me answer this from three different aspects. First, from the College of Bishops perspective, it would be wrong for me to usurp or undermine a process which all of us have agreed to follow. We have a study underway which has all voices a part of the discussion. When this study is completed, it will be presented to the GAFCON theological Committee for their input, and sent back to the College. At that time, the College will discuss, pray, and decide what is best for good order in the Church on this issue. Second, from a personal perspective, yes, you are correct – I do not ordain women to the priesthood. But I came into the ACNA knowing that other dioceses do ordain women. But now I am in a new position; I am the Archbishop of all the clergy in the church – including the women clergy. I will treat them with respect and honor, and I hope they will do the same with me – even though we are in different places on this issue. We are Christians, and people should be able to see how we love one another, even though we disagree on this issue. Third, this presenting issue is going to be with us for a while as the Anglican Communion and even our GAFCON brothers and sisters hold different positions.
Could AMiA be headed back into an ACNA relationship? With Chuck Murphy back to being a church “planter” (and “Consultor”) and H. Miller off to England, the players have changed a bit. So it was with interest that I saw this:
But it got even more interesting when I read this from Archbishop Duncan today:
I called Bp. Philip Jones the other day. We had a lovely conversation. There are now 50 congregations of the Anglican Mission. These 50 congregations are no longer numbered in our congregational count in the Anglican Church in North America.
What does the election of Bishop Foley Beach mean for ACNA? I have a few guesses and thoughts, all of which may look foolish when his term expires in 2024, but which I am recording nonetheless.
1. The first-generation era of the Realignment is over. Leaders such as Bishop Minns, Chuck Murphy, John Guernsey and Archbishop Duncan will no longer lead ACNA or the sub-jurisdictions. This is a good thing. While they achieved a great deal, it is time for a new wave of leaders with ACNA. I date the beginning of the realignment from the First Promise / AMiA consecrations and the end (or the end of the beginning) to the collapse of AMiA, the election of Bishop Dobbs in CANA and now Bishop Beach for ACNA.
2. Picking Bishop Beach should unite the tribes, at least to a degree. Bishop Beach appears to be a middle of the road, generic evangelical, and that’s just fine. He is against the ordination of women to the ministry, which satisfies both Reformed Anglicans and Anglo Catholics. He preaches a very Biblical salvation message, which should satisfy all of us, but particularly those who may have supported a Guernsey candidacy. His election should put at ease those who may have wondered what direction ACNA was heading had Bishop Guernsey won.
3. There will be a continued growth narrative for ACNA because the Diocese of South Carolina will join up once the dust settles. If this happens, ACNA’s numbers will jump quite a bit, although they are starting from a small base. We have to realize that in the world of Southern Baptists, the Assembly of God, and many other denominations, ACNA is a small fish in a big pond. Even the PCA had 335,000 members as of 14 years ago. So Anglican 1000 is good and necessary, but the ACNA growth story is a bit illusory right now.
4. His election makes the end of affinity dioceses more likely. Unless there are obvious theological reasons, there is really no reason for CANA and PEAR USA to continue to exist. The feeling I had listening to Bishop Dobbs preach at PEAR USA’s “Moving Forward Together” Assembly in 2012 was that things were still so muddled and ACNA’s theology so unclear, that we should maintain these African-run organizations. I don’t think that is the case anymore, and that is due to Archbishop-elect Beach. The centrist, big-tent version of ACNA is being cemented into place with the possible ten-year term of Archbishop Beach. We don’t need PEAR USA and CANA as lifeboats. I think we will see PEAR USA wrap up operation in his first five years and I hope CANA does the same.
5. Along the same lines, with the completion of a Prayer Book on the horizon, and the Catechism in place, what ACNA stands for in broad terms is now apparent. I will write more about this at another time, but my point is that the identity of ACNA is now stabilizing, and is not totally up for grabs in the way it might have been had we seen a strong Anglo-Catholic elected, or another pro-WO bishop. There should be progress on WO under Archbishop Beach, but I don’t think it will be totally rolled back.
6. Archbishop Beach gets social media, at least to an extent not seen to date by other leading bishops. He has a blog, he has a Twitter account, he is not allergic to the year 2014. Hopefully this means that the disturbing tendency of some in ACNA to want to rein in speech on the internet or try to control the message will fade out.
7. GAFCON will continue, but what does it really mean? I don’t see much evidence that GAFCON enforces the Jerusalem Declaration or the Nairobi Communique. There seems to be no GAFCON disciplinary apparatus at all, which means that it is just another voluntary grouping, which will work as long as the member churches want it to, and no longer. Without launching an exhaustive survey, I believe that the Jerusalem Declaration (JD) was a good deal more Reformed in outlook than what ACNA looks to be. ACNA wrote the JD into its founding documents, but is there any enforcement mechanism of these standards at all?
I expect Archbishop Beach to continue with GAFCON and praise it, but I don’t know what that means practically for ACNA. I hope he educates himself on the problems inherent with member nations like Uganda and Rwanda, where churches are tightly aligned with dictators (see Ephraim Radner’s recent First Things article). I hope he lives up to what the Nairobi Communique said about violence against people, not just in the case of Western abortion, but also with nations like Rwanda, where our State Department is more prophetic than PEAR USA has ever been about disappearing citizens and support for rebellions in neighboring nations. This Church-State alliance threatens to make GAFCON a body that cares about some ethical standards while completely ignoring other, possibly weightier matters. Realistically, I don’t think Bishop Beach will say much about this, but I hope so.
Finally, while there are challenges ahead of him, I don’t think they are as great as those faced by Archbishop Duncan. I think things are settling down and the version of ACNA that exists in 2019 or 2024 will be far more stable than it is even today.
I hope to add links to any information I can find. For now:
In 2004, Bishop Beach wrote about why he was leaving the Episcopal Church:
I am forty-five years old and for thirty-four of those years I have been an active participant in the Episcopal Church. I was baptized, confirmed, married, ordained a deacon, and ordained a priest in the Episcopal Church. It has served to shape and form me spiritually and it has taught me tremendous aspects about worshiping Almighty God.
The Church has been a place of stability and refuge, although it has always been in need of reform. But recent actions of the Episcopal Church have taken spiritual depravity to new depth for the modern era.
The Church which taught me the Gospel has now adopted a new Gospel which reduces Jesus to nothing more than one option among many. The Church which introduced me to the Word of God has now rewritten the Word of God to placate cultural and political pressures put upon it by intellectual extremists.
The Church which taught me to confess and repent of my sins has now embraced and endorsed certain sins which have become culturally accepted. The actions of the 2003 General Convention in approving the consecration of a non-celibate homosexual person to be a bishop in the Church, and its approval of a method by which liturgies may be used for same-sex unions in the Church is the presenting issue of a much deeper theological and moral problem within the Church.
While these decisions are clearly in contradiction to the teaching of the Bible, the lessons of Church History and Tradition, and the mind of the world-wide Anglican Communion, they demonstrate a clear obsession with reinterpreting the Scriptures and an amazing disregard to the consequences of their actions on other Christians throughout the world whether Anglican or not.
A revisionist philosophy has overtaken the ethos of the Church which interprets the Scriptures, Church History and Tradition not according to what they actually say, but according to how one is made to feel and in order to be pastorally sensitive. I cannot be apart of such forsaking of Christian teaching and morality.
To remain in the Episcopal Church is on some level affirming the direction the church has taken whether I agree or not. To remain in the Episcopal Church is to pretend that I am not a participant in this abomination before the Lord.
To remain in the Episcopal Church would be to knowingly violate my conscience, and that I cannot do and keep my soul intact. To remain in the Episcopal Church and take communion with those who teach and practice this false teaching would be a clear violation of the Scriptures (For example, 1 Cor.5). Some say that I must stay and fight for reform and change the direction of the Church. This has been my battle cry for the past 24 years.
I have come to the conclusion that the best way to reform it is to leave it and allow the devastation of embracing sin to run its course. I must be about preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and teaching the principles of the Word of God. My calling from God is not to lead or participate in an ecclesiastical fight which will evolve to litigation in the secular courts over sacred idols and mammon.
While that may be the call from the Lord for others, my calling is to help people discover the most wonderful gift in the world — a living, dynamic, personal, and saving relationship with Jesus. I cannot do this and be a part of an organizational structure which now at its core denies the very things which I hold dear. The Apostle James wrote that to know the right thing to do and not do it, is sin (James 4:17). For me this is the right thing to do and not to do it would be sin before God.1
Bishop Beach maintains a ministry called A Word from the Lord; the website is here.
In July, 2012, Bishop Beach called for prayer for revival in America:
When a nation turns away from the Lord, the Lord withdraws His very Presence, and the people are “turned over” to the very evil they desire (See Romans 1) inheriting the consequences of such evil. It is as if God says to the nation: “So you don’t want me around, ok. I will withdraw from the affairs of your nation.” And when God is not present, not only is His divine protection removed, but His wisdom, counsel, guidance, and blessing evaporate. Evil prevails. Injustice rules. Wisdom and wise counsel are no where to be found. The innocent suffer.
Our nation and the nations of the world are facing serious issues which have the potential of destroying all that we love and cherish. Politics aside, our whole way of living is hanging in the balance. Economically and socially our nation is at the brink. It is time for the followers of Jesus to wake up, and turn back to the Lord. As important as elections, laws, and public policy are, the root of our nation’s problems is our turning away from the Lord. Only a national repentance and revival will stop the flow of evil and destruction flowing through our land.2
Defending the Christian Faith. We have a faith which has been handed down since the days of the Bible. The bishop is supposed to guard that Faith.
Evangelist. The bishop leads in proclaiming the Gospel and leading others in to a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Apostolic Leadership. Like the apostles of the New Testament, the bishop is called to expand the Kingdom of God to places where the Gospel is not present on a local basis, but also through missions to other parts of the world.
Pastoring. The bishop pastors not only his own flock, but he is called to pastor the clergy, the other ordained ministers within the diocese.
Sacramental Leadership. The bishop is the designated person in the Church to ordain men to the ministry, and the bishop is the person to confirm new members in the church. A bishop is not just ordained for his diocese, but he is ordained as a bishop of the whole Church so he will also participate the consecration of other bishops as well.
Administrative. The Bishop works with other leaders in the diocese, both clergy and lay persons to oversee the administration of the ministry of the diocese. The bishop will also serve in the College of Bishops of the Province which meets at least once a year to oversee the ministry of the whole province.