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The October 27th edition of The Briefing had single topic: morally bankrupt Anglicans

By Mary Ann Mueller
VOL Special Correspondent
November 1, 2022

The Rev. Dr. Albert Mohler, the president of Louisville, Kentucky-based Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, is a theological conservative who pulls no punches when he feels that the Gospel is being compromised by the progressive messaging and actions of liberal denominations.

His target on Thursday, October 27 was Anglicanism, including The Episcopal Church. TEC took a direct hit.

Dr. Mohler's weekday podcast is about 30 minutes long. He calls it "a daily analysis of news and events from a Christian world view." Through his podcast he tackles a wide variety of topics from the LGBTQ revolution to calling President Joe Biden the "Enthusiast-in-Chief for the Transgender Revolution." Some of his wide-ranging list of topics include: Art & Culture, COVID, Evangelicalism, Euthanasia, Homosexuality, the Environment, Pornography, Marriage & the Family, Technology, Religious Freedom, and Abortion.

Occasionally, he will single out a denomination including his own -- the Southern Baptists -- as well as Roman Catholics, Quakers, Methodists, Mormons, Muslims, and Anglicans.

His topical treatment of Anglicanism includes, but is not limited to:
✓Truth May Be Lonely But It Nonetheless Remains True: The Church of England Attempts to Hold Irreconcilable Positions on Sexuality Simultaneously (Jan.15, 2021);
✓Archbishops of the Church of England Apologize for Statement Upholding Historic Christian Conviction: Where Does the Church Go From Here? (Feb.10, 2020);
✓'No Members, No Attenders, No Givers' -- Will the Anglican Church of Canada Be Gone in Just 20 Years? If So, Why? (Nov. 22, 2019);
✓Senior Anglican clerics call for Church of England to be stripped of its legal right to operate according to its convictions (May 14, 2018);
✓Theological confusion: Scottish Episcopal Church allows anti-Christian reading from the Koran (Jan. 17, 2017);
✓Church of England Archbishops call for Christians to "repent" for the Reformation (Jan. 18, 2017);
✓Some in Anglican Communion would prefer sexual revolution to biblical truth and godly order (Jan. 27, 2016);
✓Liberal Protestantism's meltdown: Episcopal Church welcomes heretical sculpture of woman on a crucifix (Oct. 6, 2016);
✓CofE: When the Lights Go Out--The Death of a Denomination (May 4, 2012);
✓TEC: "For the Sake of God"--Must We Surrender Sexual Morality? (May 18, 2010); and
✓ACNA: It's About Theology, Not Territory (Dec. 3, 2008);

Dr. Mohler has again taken a bead on the Anglicans -- specifically, The Episcopal Church, the Anglican Communion, and the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont.


First up is a dissection of an Oct. 15 New York Times piece penned by Fr. Stephen Paulikis, who is the rector at All Saints Episcopal Church in Park Slope, Brooklyn, New York, where he claims his "Same-sex Marriage Is Religious Freedom."

Fr. Paulikas considers himself a Lithuanian even though he was born in the United States. He is in a same-sex marriage and is one of five candidates vying to become the XVII Bishop of New York. He is the token gay priest in the bunch. There is also a token black and a token woman. The other two in the running are white priests in traditional marriages.

Dr. Mohler picks apart Fr. Paulikas' rationalization of his "marriage."

"Our wedding was an exercise of the freedom not only to be married under equal protection of the law, but also to practice our religion," wrote Fr. Paulikas.

"Today, same-sex marriage is a fully integrated part of some 15 religious traditions, including most mainline Protestant churches and three prominent Jewish movements claiming millions of members throughout the country," the Episcopal priest claims.

The 15 American faith traditions which seem to embrace gay marriage include: the American Baptist Convention, the Disciples of Christ, the Reformed Church in America, The Episcopal Church, the Unity Church, the Community of Christ, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Metropolitan Community Church, the Presbyterian Church-USA, the Quakers, the Old Catholics, the Unitarian Universalists, the Conservative Jews, the Reformed Jews, the Reconstructionist Jews,

No so fast, says the Baptist seminary president. "Let's stop there for a moment. Is that true or false? No, it's true."

Dr. Mohler is an ordained Southern Baptist minister. He has an earned doctorate in systematic and historical theology. Since 1993, he has been the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, the Southern Baptist Convention's oldest seminary.

"Liberal Protestantism has largely and with enthusiasm embraced the entire LGBTQ revolution, and they've also embraced, of course, something like same-sex marriage, same-sex marriage rites, and same-sex marriage ceremonies. Liberal Protestantism -- complete surrender," Dr. Mohler notes. "The only holdout right now, in terms of official policy on this issue, is the United Methodist Church. And as we have discussed, it's just about to split over this very issue."

The United Methodists are not the only American denomination struggling with so-called "marriage equality" issues; the Mennonites, the National Baptists and the Moravians are also in that deep denominational struggle.

However, there are religious bodies which are still trying to maintain the understanding and practice of traditional marriage, including: the Anglican Church in North America, the Seventh-Day Adventists, the Amish, the Assemblies of God, the Southern Baptists, the United Pentecostal Church, the Roman Catholic Church, the Christian Reformed Church, the Church of God, the Church of God in Christ, the Nazarene Church, the Orthodox, the Mormons, the Evangelical Covenant Church, the Evangelical Free Church, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, the Presbyterian Church in America, the Wesleyan Methodists, the Vineyard Church, and Orthodox Jews.

"It is impossible that in one church body you can have people who say, 'I believe same-sex marriage is right. I'm going to throw out two thousand years of the church's tradition. I insist on performing same-sex ceremonies and then being recognized by the church.' And those who say 'Marriage according to Scripture and the tradition of the church can only be the union of a man and a woman. Period!'" Dr. Mohler explained. "Those two positions cannot exist side by side in any religious body, certainly in any Christian denomination for any amount of time."

The Baptist continues: "I'll also go on and say as a Christian theologian, that a church that embraces unbiblical teachings like this and would corrupt marriage as these liberal denominations have done, I do not believe that they can continue to claim any historic tie to biblical, orthodox Christianity, and it's not by accident."

He concludes: "We should note that when a church holds liberal positions on these issues, you can almost, if not entirely be convinced that they hold liberal positions on other theological questions as well. This is not just an outlier issue."

The Episcopal Church not only champions gay marriage, it also endorses abortion and the philosophy of All Sacraments for All the Baptized, including full women's ordination as well as pushing for Communion for the unbaptized. There is also the rewriting of Scripture and the Book of Common Prayer to include expansive language, inclusive language, and gender-neutral language.

Meanwhile, Fr. Paulikas laments: "Yet a powerful political, legal, and social movement is poised to prevail in its mission to relegate the marriages of LGBTQ people to second class status in the name of religious freedom. It seems its true goal was not to advance its advocates' religious freedom, but to restrict ours."

Christians are being forced and coerced into compromising their Christian beliefs and compromise their walk with Christ to compete in the market square when same-sex couples present themselves for wedding cakes, wedding pictures and wedding event venues.

Cases making headlines are Jack Phillips in Lakewood, Colorado and his Masterpiece Cakeshop's battle over rainbow-colored same-sex wedding cakes and Emilee Carpenter, an Elmira, New York, wedding photographer, for refusing to photograph a gay marriage ceremony. Wedding venues in Texas, Ohio and North Carolina have declined to rent to two brides or two grooms; and Kimberly Davis, the Rowan County (Kentucky) County Clerk, who would not issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples after same-sex marriage became the law of the land.

As a result, the believing Christians are sued in court, they are hounded and their lives threatened. They are forced into bankruptcy through exorbitant fines, high court costs and costly legal fees. They lose their businesses, and they lose re-elections.

"But, you're also looking at a far deeper issue here," Dr. Mohler cautions. "... because the LGBTQ revolution isn't just coming for your camera, it's coming for your church school, and it's coming for the absolute requirement that every single human being, every single citizen, every single participant in our culture is going to have to be an enthusiastic supporter of the LGBTQ revolution, or you're going to be left behind."


Turning to the South Pacific, Dr. Mohler encountered Pete McKenzie, a New Zealand-based freelance journalist who writes for the New York, the Guardian, the Independent, Yahoo News, the Chicago Tribune, and other publications.

The reporter penned a Sept. 1 New York Times article entitled: "Anglican Church Delivers A Kick In The Guts To Gay Parishioners."

He was loudly complaining that Justin Welby and Lambeth Conference failed the LGBTQ community by not going far enough in supporting their cause.

"Craig Watson has spent his life searching for a church that accepts him fully as a gay man. After having left the Baptist church, Mr. Watson thought he had found it within the famously progressive Anglican faith in New Zealand," McKenzie prefaced in his NYT article.

Dr. Mohler explained to his listeners that liberal Anglicanism is found mainly in the United States (The Episcopal Church); Canada (the Anglican Church of Canada); Australia (the Anglican Church of Australia), New Zealand (the Anglican Church in New Zealand) and the Church of England.

Then McKenzie reports that Mr. Watson felt betrayed by his newly-found liberal leaning and LGBTQ-affirming denomination.

"Then came what Mr. Watson called a 'kick in the guts,'" McKenzie writes. "In late July, Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury and global leader of the Anglican Church, affirmed as church policy a 1998 statement that rejects 'homosexual practice as inconsistent with Scripture.'"

This summer's Lambeth Conference proved that the Archbishop of Canterbury was speaking out of both sides of his mouth at the same time when it comes to same-sex marriage and the place of gays and lesbians within Anglicanism.

"For the large majority of the Anglican Communion the traditional understanding of marriage is something that is understood, accepted and without question, not only by bishops but their entire Church, and the societies in which they live," Archbishop Justin Welby acknowledged. "For them, to question this teaching is unthinkable, and in many countries would make the church a victim of derision, contempt and even attack. For many churches to change traditional teaching challenges their very existence."

Yet, on the other hand he tried to square the circle and hold two diabolically opposed positions at once in response to Lambeth Resolution 1:10, which affirms the teaching of Scripture and "upholds faithfulness in marriage between a man and a woman in lifelong union."

"For a minority, we can say almost the same. They have not arrived lightly at their ideas that traditional teaching needs to change. They are not careless about Scripture. They do not reject Christ," the modernist titular head of the Anglican Communion countered. "But they have come to a different view on sexuality after long prayer, deep study and reflection on understandings of human nature. For them, to question this different teaching is unthinkable, and in many countries is making the church a victim of derision, contempt and even attack. For these churches not to change traditional teaching challenges their very existence."

"We are looking for allies, and they are not an ally," Mr. Watson is quoted as saying as he saw Lambeth Conference play out in late July and early August and came to realize that Anglican gay and lesbians were not fully received at Lambeth with open arms. And he is deeply disappointed.

Mr. Watson, a leader of Diverse Church, an Anglican advocacy group in New Zealand that describes itself as "a network of rainbow Christians," witnessed the fact that spouses of partnered same-sex bishops were not invited to Lambeth's Conference; that there was the conflict over Lambeth Resolution 1:10; that several Global South bishops declined to attend the confab; and that conservative bishops refused to receive Holy Communion with their liberal counterparts.

At the end of Lambeth Conference, there were competing statements issued by both the liberal and conservative factions within Anglicanism on the meaning of marriage.

Dr. Mohler has great regard and respect for Global South Anglicans, particularly in Africa.

"Years ago, I was invited to a meeting in which several of the African archbishops of Anglican churches were present," he fondly remembered. "And let me tell you, they were staunch defenders of biblical truth, unbending, and for that matter horribly offended at the elitism and the condescension and the political maneuvering of the theological liberals, particularly in places like the United States and Great Britain."

Fast forward to 2022 and Dr. Mohler saw African archbishops Henry Ndukuba (V Nigeria); Laurent Mbanda (IV Rwanda); and Stephen Kaziimba (IX Uganda) decide not to attend Lambeth in protest of what they called "biblical revisionism by liberal churches." In addition, Archbishop Jackson Ole Sapit (VI Kenya) also stayed home because he believes God's plan of marriage is between a man and woman for procreation."

Dr. Mohler was watching the goings on at Lambeth Conference very closely because of the greater implications beyond even Anglican borders. He says that evangelicals and the biblically orthodox in any Christian church can celebrate the fact that the African bishops stood their ground against the continuing LGBT theological push.

He has also noted that Justin Welby and the Anglican Communion don't seem to have the fortitude to go in either clear direction, and Anglicanism is basically finding itself split apart inch by inch, church by church, issue by issue.

"I am very conscious that the Archbishop of Canterbury is to be a focus of unity and is an Instrument of Communion. That is a priority. Truth and unity must be held together, but Church history also says that this sometimes takes a very long time to reach a point where different teaching is rejected or received," Archbishop Welby iterates. "I neither have, nor do I seek, the authority to discipline or exclude a church of the Anglican Communion. I will not do so. I may comment in public on occasions, but that is all. We are a Communion of Churches, not a single church,"

"The Anglican Communion can't have their cake and eat it too," Dr. Mohler explains. "They're either going to go full bore into the enthusiastic celebration of everything LGBTQ and ongoing with that plus sign, or they're going to have to return to some kind of objective moral judgment based upon biblical authority."

"We should seek with passion the visible unity of the church, but this is very difficult," the Archbishop of Canterbury concludes.

"Yeah, it's impossible. It's not just difficult. It's impossible," Dr. Mohler responds. "If you intend to keep in your church those who intend to hold to the historic teaching of your church and those who seek to defy it. That's impossible. But you knew that up front."


In the final segment of Thursday's show, Dr. Mohler takes up the bishopric of Mary Adelia McLeod (IX Vermont). He is no proponent of women's ordination. He does not believe a woman belongs behind the altar (or a Baptist Communion Table) nor in any pulpit.

He has even taken issue with Rick Warren when he ordained three women pastors at Saddleback Church in May 2021 as an act that endured after he retired in September 2022.

Dr. Mohler says that women's ordination is "driven by two major energies -- first, the demands of second wave feminism and, second, the impulses unleashed by liberation theology."

Last month, the former bishopette of Vermont died. Mary McLeod (1938-2022) was the first woman to be the ordinary of an American Episcopal diocese. Dr. Mohler points out that "Ms." McLeod was not the first bishopette in The Episcopal Church. That distinction goes to the late Barbara Harris (Massachusetts-suffragan), who was consecrated not only the first woman Episcopal bishop in the United States, but the first female bishop in all of Anglicanism. And the first bishopette to lead a diocese as the diocesean bishop was Penelope Jamieson (VII Dunedin) in New Zealand from 1989-2004.

However, Ms. McLeod's claim to fame was her embrace of all things LGBTQ. She once said: "Homosexual persons choosing to live together in a lifelong union are not committing a sin and that God's great gift of love and the expression of that love cannot and should not be denied to those among us who happen to be homosexual."

The Baptist theologian points out: "Even an Episcopal bishop -- whose charge is to uphold the faith -- saying that a man and a man or a woman and a woman living in a committed relationship are not in sin ... Scripture says exactly the opposite."

The New York Times obituary says: "As bishop, Ms. McLeod was credited with improving the Vermont diocese's finances, increasing its membership and generating enthusiasm among parishioners. She was a strong advocate for the inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people both in the church and in society more broadly. As a bishop, she supported the legalization and the celebration of same-sex marriages."

Mary McLeod was bishopette for less than a decade from 1993-2001. She was the third Episcopal woman bishop consecrated after Barbara Harris in 1989 and Jane Dixon (Washington, DC - Suffragan) in 1992; and the fourth bishopette in Anglicanism following Penelope Jamieson in New Zealand in 1989.

Diocesan stats during Ms. McLeod's tenure shows an increase of $1.2 million in Plate & Pledge offerings, but a decrease of 825 souls or --8.5% in church membership and a drop of 634 people-in-the-pews on Sunday or --17.8%.

Vermont again has a woman bishop. In the two decades between Ms. McLeod and Shannon MacVean-Brown (XI Vermont), the church membership has dropped from 8,859 to 5,305 a loss of 3,554 people or --40.1% and a huge collapse in the ASA from 2,923 to 1,567 for a whooping --55.9% loss. However, Plate & Pledge income has inched up from $3,315,317 to $3,419,302 for a modest 3.1% increase over nearly 20 years. The TEC's 2021 statistics are yet to be released.

"The big issue here is biblical authority. You either hold to it or you don't," Dr. Mohler fleshes out. "And when it comes to the issue of the ordination of women to the teaching office -- I'll come back again and again, regardless of what you will call that person, pastor or bishop or whatever -- if you are defying Scripture in that sense in which Scripture is so abundantly clear, then you will find it a very easy thing to go ahead and reject the authority of Scripture when it comes to issues of sexual identity, sexual orientation, and sexual identity politics as well."

Dr. Mohler also points out that Ms. McLeod was married, divorced and then remarried to a different man before she headed to seminary with her second husband.

I Timothy 3:1-3 outlines the qualifications for a bishop: "This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous ..."

"If you look at this bishop's life just as reflected in this ordination, there are three issues here that run into direct conflict with historic Christian teaching, and the first actually is divorce," Dr. Mohler explains. "She was divorced from her first husband, married to a second, then she entered the ministry."

In 1957, Mary Rosamond married Harrison Steeves III. The couple had four children and divorced in 1970. Later that same year, Mary married Henry McLeod III and together they had a daughter.

Her second husband, Mr. McLeod, was an insurance man until he headed to Sewanee, Tennessee to study for the Episcopal priesthood in 1976. His wife, Mary, joined him at the University of the South at Sewanee in 1977 to pursue her own path to the priesthood after the 1976 General Convention green-lighted women's ordination.

Following their ordinations, the McLeod clergy couple ministered together as co-rectors first at St. Timothy's Episcopal Church Athens, Alabama and then at St. John's Episcopal Church in Charleston, West Virginia.

Following his wife's elevation to the bishopric, Fr. Henry McLeod took on the rectorship of St. James Episcopal Church in Essex Junction, Vermont until the Bishopette of Vermont retired.

One of their sons followed his parents into the Episcopal priesthood. The Rev. Dr. Harrison McLeod is currently rector of Christ Church Episcopal in Greenville, South Carolina.

In 2013, Virtue Online reported that the younger Harrison McLeod parted ways with his mother -- the bishop -- over blessing same sex unions.

Fr. Harrison McLeod said he put in "a great deal of personal prayer, considered reflection and struggle with its Biblical and theological basis."

Church Clarity, an Internet database designed to identify LGBTQ friendly churches lists the large Greenville Episcopal church as being "Non-Affirming in their LGBTQ Policy."

"If you can find a way to justify disobeying Scripture when it comes to the issue of the pastor and to those who are in the teaching authority, hold the teaching office and the church, then it's a fairly short step to extending that, to overcoming the very clear teachings of Scripture when it comes to LGBTQ issues," Dr. Mohler explains. "The logic of the feminist movement in terms of identity politics as we know that term now and the logic of the LGBTQ+ continuing revolution given the identity politics we know now, it's the same logic."

Dr. Mohler is correct about this. Women think with their heart and their emotions where men tend to logically think with the gray matter between their ears and weigh out the possible consequences, or at least consider them. But a man can easily be led astray by the wiles of a woman.

Remember, the serpent found it was easier to temp Eve than try to trip up Adam directly.

"So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate ... " (Genesis 3:6a)

It was only after Eve picked fruit from the tree and tasted it, that Adam followed her lead.

"... and she also gave some to her husband, and he ate." (Genesis 3:6b)

Dr. Mohler points out that it is the first world nations -- the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain -- which all have female bishops also have church gay marriage rites or are leaning toward such authorizations and the full embrace of the LGBTQ+ agenda.

He continues: "The fact is that when you look at churches and denominations that have taken a more liberal position on the ordination of women or putting women into the role in the teaching office, they tend not by accident, to be the very same churches that either have already adopted a full-on LGBTQ affirmation or are on their way to doing so."

Mary Ann Mueller is a journalist living in Texas. She is a regular contributor to VirtueOnline

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