jQuery Slider

You are here

Is the Church of England a Gnostic Sect? * New Ministry Organizations Emerge on the Fringe of the CofE * Gathering storm of renewal is harbinger of a new day in England * FCofE, AMiE, GAFCON could form backbone of new Anglicanism

True apostolic succession. Almost deafened by the babel of voices in the contemporary church, how are we to decide whom to follow? The answer is: we must test them all by the teaching of the apostles of Jesus Christ. 'Peace and mercy' will be on the church when it 'walks by this rule' (Gal. 6:16). Indeed, this is the only kind of apostolic succession we can accept -- not a line of bishops stretching back to the apostles and claiming to be their successors (for the apostles were unique in both authorization and inspiration, and they have no successors), but loyalty to the apostolic doctrine of the New Testament.

The teaching of the apostles, now permanently preserved in the New Testament, is to regulate the beliefs and practices of the church of every generation. This is why the Bible is over the church and not vice versa. The apostolic authors of the New Testament were commissioned by Christ, not by the church, and wrote with the authority of Christ, not of the church. 'To that authority (sc. of the apostles)', as the Anglican bishops said at the 1958 Lambeth Conference, 'the Church must ever bow.' Would that it did. --- John R.W. Stott

On the Church of England Bishop becoming a patron of Pride event. I am convinced beyond doubt that the CofE is now apostate. My heart bleeds for it, but I honestly cannot see how any faithful Christian can be part of it any longer. If someone can convince me otherwise from Holy Scripture, I am willing to listen and change my mind. --- Rev. Dr. Jules Gomes

Once you fracture the link between sex in Christian marriage with the conception of children, and sanction homosexual love liaisons, there is no logical need to restrain the definition of marriage to two people. It can be extended to three or perhaps four -- and of any combination of straight or LGBTQQIP2SAA you care for. --- Rev. Dr. Gavin Ashenden

Instead of having Bibles in the pew, it is likely members of General Synod were given an illustrated copy of the Kama Sutra! --- Bill Muehlenberg

"Religion is not the place where the problem of man's egotism is automatically solved. Rather, it is there that the ultimate battle between human pride and God's grace takes place. Human pride may win the battle, and then religion can and does become one more instrument of human sin. But if there the self does meet God and His grace, and so surrenders to something beyond its self-interest, then Christian faith can prove to be the needed and rare release from human self-concern." --- Langdon Brown Gilkey

Two men can't enter the state of holy matrimony any more than two screwdrivers can. --- Daniel Oliver

The terrible mistake that people like...the Archbishop of Canterbury and the General Synod, make, is to think that a movement and a trajectory that takes 'pride' in refusing to repent, can be baptized by Christian affirmation. --- Rev. Dr. Gavin Ashenden

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
www.virtueonline.org
July 21, 2017

It was another week and the pain was further ratcheted up on the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. He is defining deviancy down even as his views continue to alienate him from his fellow Global South Primates as they move further and further away from him. All the while, the Church of England sinks further into a sexual quagmire of its own making.

An orthodox Anglican priest in South Africa wrote to say that he is absolutely convinced that the moves by the CofE synod are going to embolden the revisionists in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa (ACSA). "The leadership here on the whole tend to see the establishment in the CofE as the paragons of all things good and true."

Hence, another foothold on the African continent. GAFCON take note, the revisionists are coming for you and they won't settle till they have won over bishops, dioceses and whole provinces to their pansexual worldview. And TEC's Presiding Bishop is willing to spend the money to make it happen. He said so at the last primatial gathering in Canterbury. You have been warned.

But pushback is now being heard. One knowledgeable layman expostulated in a PODCAST that with Welby's lackluster performance and the direction the CofE is headed, he now believes large, wealthy Evangelical parishes should withhold their (voluntary) giving to their respective dioceses and force them into bankruptcy! This is ballsy stuff. The usually stiff (necked), institutional Church might finally get its comeuppance, not on the basis of 'sound teaching', but from withholding money.

The Church of England is now accused of being little more than a Gnostic Sect and a couple of VOL's brilliant commentators, The Rev. Dr. Gavin Ashenden and the Rev. Dr. Jules Gomes, have expanded and expostulated on this theme.

When the recent Synod could not affirm the uniqueness of Christ or that Christ was the only means and way of salvation, you know that the Mother Church has fallen over the cliff, even as Welby feels the pain of pansexualists and whines for more collegiality with Islam. The Church of England has turned truth on its head and it will pay a huge price in continuing falling numbers and increasing opprobrium from the Global South.

Now something has just emerged, nicknamed a 'shadow synod'. It marks a new form of partnership between Anglican churches in Kent and Sussex.

Here is what a colleague sent me. It has just been made public on EVANGELICALS NOW blog and written by The Rev. Dr. Peter Sanlon, who is convener of the Anglican Partnership Synod and vicar of St Mark's Church, Tunbridge Wells.

The clergy and lay leaders (PCCs) met at that first meeting to pray and ponder whether widespread denial of the gospel in our denomination meant that we needed to partner together in fresh ways.

Gavin Ashenden gave a prescient analysis of the Church of England's failure to discharge its mission to England. After praying, we agreed to keep meeting as a 'synod' of churches. Synods used to be informal gatherings of churches to resolve common pressing problems. Our new synod would be like that. Rochester Diocese accepted that our new synod was one of many legitimate ways Anglican churches can support one another. Their press statement noted: 'Many like-minded parishes join together in a range of organizations, meetings and assemblies to share mutual support and debate.'

Churches have joined the synod by means of PCCs passing a motion: 'As a PCC that is determined to uphold the Jerusalem Statement we commit ourselves to an Anglican synod of churches whose PCCs have likewise resolved to uphold the Jerusalem Statement. As an Anglican synod, we will send representatives to confer, pray and assist PCCs in said synod as needful. We will seek to ensure our mutual support is indeed as well as word, and therefore enthusiastic, missional, financial and prayerful.'

By having churches join the synod via PCC resolutions, we ensure that lay people are fully involved in decisions and leadership. Bitter experience has shown that organizations almost exclusively led by Anglican clergy become talking-shops! Our churches see the Jerusalem Declaration as a valuable rallying point. Some churches have additional doctrinal commitments. In addition to the main synod meetings, attended by all our PCCs, there are occasional Clergy Chapters. These offer fellowship and training to clergy who are happy to sign a statement similar to the PCC motion.

Until churches talk about money, they are merely talking. Our partnership includes discussing how we use our money. Many lay people are fed up with their sacrificial giving being used to pay for the staff and buildings of a denomination which so openly embraces the spirit of the age. They long to see resources used to plant desperately-needed orthodox churches. Our synod tasked a team to establish the Rochester Good Stewards Trust. This charity enables our churches to allocate finances to mission in line with the Jerusalem Declaration.

Central to our mission is planting orthodox Anglican churches that will spread the gospel. A taskforce drawn from churches in our synod has facilitated our churches to advance plans for a number of plants. Some will hopefully be within the Church of England, others outside it. Our synod has had guests speaking at it to help envision us. Lee McMunn (Mission Director for AMiE) shared a vision for Anglican plants outside the CofE. Bishop Paul Hunt (Free Church of England) shared how his denomination can use their structures and experience to support new plants. The process of meeting together has not only energized us to plant, it has led to our churches helping each other in unexpected ways -- sharing information, seeking buildings for each other, offering volunteers, coordinating ventures and so on.

Our church planting occurs against the backdrop of the CofE's widespread toleration and commendation of false teachers. Faithful churches are called to guard the faith by distancing themselves from -- even breaking fellowship with -- false teachers. CofE structures for enabling this aspect of faithful ministry have broken down. As we spend time sharing resources, plans and people we are seeing the Spirit grant remarkable unity in seeking effective steps to guard our churches.

John Fenwick, Bishop Primus of The Free Church of England, released a joint letter to the Anglicans of Great Britain arguing that an alternative Anglican jurisdiction in the British Isles already exists.

"The Free Church of England has maintained an orthodox Anglican witness here since the 1840s. There is nothing secret about it. The Church of England has had dialogues with us from time to time and recognizes our Orders," he said.

The Free Church of England's witness was augmented by the appointment of the Rt. Rev. Andy Lines as a Missionary Bishop, a GAFCON bishop of the Anglican Church in North America, which is in full communion with the Free Church of England.

"The priority is to ensure that they enable the proclamation of the biblical Gospel within the Anglican patrimony," said Fenwick.

What this "rebellion" indicates is that evangelicals will increasingly work outside the structures of the CofE to press the gospel cause. The real issue is whether they can form a critical mass to be another ACNA (maybe AMiE) on British soil.

I can't imagine that Archbishops Welby and Sentamu will take this lying down, but what can they do to stop it, or force them to conform to the Church of England? For the moment, there are more questions than answers. One thing is certain, a new day has dawned for evangelical Anglicans in the Church of England and the momentum will not be stopped.

Given the persistent failure of the majority of the House of Bishops to fulfil the God-given duties which they have sworn to discharge these tragic developments were, sadly, not wholly unexpected.

Perhaps it is time for a clarion call to disestablish the Church of England!

BREAKING NEWS. An article in the Catholic Herald by Andrew Sabisky says that Conservative Anglicans are close to despair. Is the CofE about to split? "As an Anglican, I used to think theological liberalism was on the wane. Not anymore." You can read the full story here: http://www.virtueonline.org/conservative-anglicans-are-close-despair-cofe-about-split

*****

An Anglican cathedral in Scotland will become the first in the UK to host same-sex weddings. Glasgow's St Mary's Cathedral is now taking marriage bookings for same-sex unions after the Episcopal Church's General Synod made the landmark decision to amend canon law and approve gay marriage in June.

"It is hugely exciting to open up wedding services to all couples who want to get married," said the cathedral's provost, the Very Rev Kelvin Holdsworth, according to The Herald.

"People at St Mary's were part of the campaign to allow gay and lesbian couples to get married in Scotland so it is not surprising that we would want to be able to offer such weddings in the cathedral itself."

*****

The Episcopal Church's house of cards continues to crumble. This week, the road rage of a priest driving a corvette (aren't we glad it was not a Lamborghini) finally got the attention of his bishop. The Rt. Rev. Jose A. Mcloughlin of the Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina who refused to answer our questions about what he was going to do with the Very Rev. (gun slinging) William Rian Adams, finally woke up and issued a statement in response to the priest's road rage on July 6 near Palm City, Florida and said that "conversation is underway about the incident." Really. Conversation!

"Pastoral care is being provided to Father Adams, his family, and his congregation. It is best to remember that, as in all situations, there are many facets to consider," Mcloghlin said. So, no temporary inhibition, but if he had been caught in adultery, (the only sexual sin left in TEC) he would have been out the door in a heartbeat. "We believe in, and will follow, all formal processes. I ask that you continue to keep everyone in your prayers," said the bishop.

A news release by Florida Highway Patrolmen said Adams pointed a Glock 22 -- a 15-round, .40 caliber pistol -- at a passing Chevy Silverado containing two people after Adams "brake-checked" the vehicle in his red Chevy Corvette.

Adams was released from the Martin County Jail after two hours on a $15,000 bond. He faces two counts of assault with a deadly weapon. A local writer has written a humorous take on this which you can read in today's digest.

At this historic moment, TEC needs a Lazarus-like resurrection to survive, or at the very least a hail Mary. None are likely to be forthcoming.

*****

If you really want to know why The Episcopal Church is heading down the crapper, the National Episcopal Church wants Texas House Speaker, Joe Straus, to remain "steadfast" in his opposition to legislation to restrict bathroom use for transgender Texans.

In case you were wondering if those (trannie) Texans are the ones who wear cowboy hats, tall boots and chew gum at the same time...and they don't talk like "W" well, they are not.

If the Texas Senate prepares to consider legislation to restrict bathroom use for transgender Texans, the national Episcopal Church is going to take its marbles (GC2018 Convention) and move it to say Hawaii, which should be fine with Texas I would think. Hawaii has better climate and all the bishops can do the circle dance of dispossession on the beach and feel good about themselves.

To my knowledge, TEC has only one Trannie couple from Mass. But who knows, there might be another couple lurking in a toilet somewhere in the Diocese of Newark.

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and Gay Clark Jennings, president of the House of Deputies cited the "emotional and spiritual damage that discrimination does to transgender people," without a whisper of the emotional and spiritual damage they have done to orthodox Episcopalians over the years. No "bathroom bills" they sniffed.

*****

If you think the lunacy is restricted to TEC, The Presbyterian Church, USA shot right by it (and they are losing market share even more rapidly than TEC). The Presbyterian Church raised eyebrows after lifting up prayers to Allah at its General Assembly meeting last week.

"Allah bless us and bless our families and bless our Lord. Lead us on the straight path--the path of all prophets: Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad."

These were the words that rang out over the congregation at The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, USA meeting in Portland, Oregon. Wajidi Said, co-founder of the Muslim Education Trust, led the attendees in the prayer to the Islamic deity--a move arranged by the Ecumenical and Interfaith ministry staff at the assembly.

The prayer was part of the "first order of business" during the meeting's opening session, a time dedicated to praying for those affected by the Orlando shooting that occurred just weeks before.

"In the name of Allah, the beneficent, the merciful, let us praise the Lord ... Peace be upon them and peace be upon Allah," Said prayed. He also prayed peace on the "bigots" and "Islamophobes."

Later, at the conclusion of the session, Rev. Gradye Parsons offered an apology to anyone who was offended by the prayer. He assured the congregation that mistakes can be made, but the prayer was not an intentional one. They later openly bashed Israel.

*****

If you don't believe America is going down the drain morally and losing its collective mind about sex, then consider this. The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) narrowly voted on July 19 to adopt protocols to marginalize students who aren't comfortable using restrooms with so-called transgender students.

The document, "Toolkit for Ensuring Safe and Supportive Schools for Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students," was written by an advisory council of the MDE. Although the document is considered non-binding, LGBT activists are expecting it will be implemented in every public school.

It asserts, "Schools should not assume a student's name or pronoun. School officials should ask the student and use the requested name and pronouns," and adds: Students need not provide schools with legal documents to correct their first name or gender within their student records. When students are referred to by the wrong pronoun by peers or school staff, students may feel intimidated, threatened, harassed or bullied. School staff can ensure a more respectful environment for all students when efforts are made to correct the misuse of pronouns, as well as names in student records.

It goes further to discuss how bathroom, locker room and hotel accommodations are to be dealt with, recommending that "privacy objections raised by a student in interacting with a transgender or gender nonconforming student may be addressed by segregating the student raising the objection," as long as the segregation of the student "does not result in stigmatizing the transgender and gender nonconforming student."

But Dr. Michelle Cretella, president of the American College of Pediatricians (ACP), asserts that institutions and systems that promote transition affirmation inflict "institutionalized child abuse." She asserts:

Physicians and therapists who embrace hormone therapy and sex reassignment surgery for children promote a political agenda not scientific advance. This is obvious once the euphemisms are shed: Chemical castration and the surgical mutilation of children is not 'therapy.' It is cold, calculated, institutionalized child abuse at the hands of those charged with healing.

Dr. Stephen Stathis, a gender expert and psychiatrist, declares that most children claiming to be "trans" are merely doing it for attention. He commented, "You might get a six- or seven-year-old girl wanting to dress as a boy. She may even say she wants to be a boy. When she hits puberty, she says, 'No, I'm just a girl who likes to do boy things.'"

Although transgender activists believe the MDE's adoption of the protocols will help students feel safe and comfortable in school, critics like Cretella note that affirmation does nothing to curb depression and suicide numbers among transgenders.

She also notes, "There is no evidence that harassment and discrimination, let alone lack of affirmation, are the primary cause of suicide among any minority group," adding that 90 percent of those who commit suicide have a diagnosed mental disorder.

*****

I want to thank the hundreds of twitter notes and emails I received from friends all over the globe for my recent Bastille Day birthday. I do not have the time or resources to thank each one of your personally, but it is nice to know that I still have a few friends out there and I thank you for your kind notes to me.

*****

VOL's Summer Appeal goes out this week and we hope you will consider a tax-deductible donation. We are light on funds and really need your help.

Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution through PAYPAL at the link here: http://www.virtueonline.org/support-vol/

Or you can send a snail mail check to:

VIRTUEONLINE
570 Twin Lakes Rd
P.O. Box 111
Shohola, PA 18458

In Christ,

David

Subscribe
Get the latest news and perspectives in the Anglican world.
comments powered by Disqus
Barnabas Fund

Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee

Drink Coffee

Do Good

Sustainable Ministry

Coffee, Community, Social Justice

DrinkCoffeeDoGood.com

Trinity School for Ministry
Go To Top