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CANADA: The Fatal Decisions Of General Synod

THE FATAL DECISIONS OF CANADA'S GENERAL SYNOD

COMMENTARY

By David W. Virtue

The Anglican Church of Canada with its some 600,000 members in a population of nearly 31 million, made two serious blunders this week - blunders they will never recover from, unless a miracle occurs.

The first thing it did was to elect an ultra-liberal archbishop from Montreal to head the province - a man who had already given his approval to a same-sex blessing, and the second thing it did was to pass same-sex blessings via an eleventh-hour amendment to a motion affirming the “sanctity” of same-sex relationships and by doing so poured scorn on the 1998 Lambeth Resolution.

These two actions will only serve to alienate the Canadian Church from the worldwide Anglican Communion which is overwhelmingly orthodox in faith and morals, and secondly it will continue its gadarene slide towards extinction, even as it boasts a doctrine of inclusion that, in fact, saves no one and nothing.

By brokering in same-sex blessings it will tread the path the United Church of Canada has trod since 1988 which has also seen its numbers plummet even as it sought to embrace a wider group of people, who never showed up for the party.

By thinking to add a category of sexual behavior proscribed by Scripture, theology, history and tradition it committed itself to a slow, languorous, suicidal death.

It's as though one was given a hand written, gilt-edged invitation to a black tie party with the promise of champagne, fine wines and a superb dinner, only to find that the hostess, also dressed in her finest, is passing out drinks laced with arsenic and the food contaminated with botulism - all done with a welcoming 'no outcasts' smile.

After 2,000 years of church history in which the church wrestled and hammered out its great doctrines and built fine cathedrals, it has now put on the dirtiest pair of jeans it could find, filled its pockets with colorful condoms and moved into a gay bathhouse, with the belief, albeit fatal, that the flesh no longer is at war with the spirit, but could embrace it and be embraced by it.

Future archaeologists and historians will marvel at the sheer insanity of a group calling itself Christian that could not only start down such a path, but, in seeing the consequences, continue down it till, like lemmings, they walked over the cliff face and onto the rocks below.

A word like 'gay' which once meant happy; and a word like 'homosexual' that bespoke a behavior that dared not speak its name, has become over time, twisted and warped, with those who should have come ostensibly to bring salvation from it, now embracing the darkness with a gusto.

There is a double irony in all this.

The more liberal Western Anglicans become, the more tyrannical they become. This is seen most obviously in someone like Michael Ingham Bishop of New Westminster. The revisionist bishop has embraced the United Religions Initiative, a grab bag of Eastern syncretistic religions and western pantheism, while demonstrating a heavy handedness towards his faithful orthodox priests and their believing flocks that would delight the heart of any fascist leader.

It makes little difference whether one wears a purple shirt with a pectoral cross, or a black shirt with a Swastika, the mentality behind both is the same - conformity to the liberal mind demands an absolute nonconformity to what Francis Schaeffer called 'true' truth.

The other irony is that the more a bishop talks about 'unity' and 'ecumenicity' much favored by the new Primate of Canada whose ecumenical credentials are the closest thing to perfection to be found, the less "unified" and "united" they are towards Anglicans with whom they allegedly share a common faith.

Andrew Hutchison, the new Primate has a list of ecclesiastical offices which reads like a religious Who’s Who. He has been engaged in Jewish-Christian, Christian-Muslim dialogue and has been a five generation Anglican. He has done all the right social things and his “vision” of the job is embracive and he talks about being a “servant.” He doesn’t want “internal division” to distract “from the proclamation of the good news in Jesus Christ, and our commitment to God’s kingdom of justice and peace.”

At a press conference he dropped words like 'unity' and 'ecumenical dialogue' with all the alacrity of a snake charmer. He demonstrated he was smooth and very suave, but those who know him say he is far closer to the revisionist Michael Ingham, Bishop of New Westminster, but just more 'subtle' about it.

If Hutchison is the iron fist in the velvet glove, then Ingham is the fist without the glove.

One can only imagine how embarrassed and uncomfortable he would be hanging around for any length of time with the evangelical Ron Ferris, Bishop of Algoma. Hutchison will take Ingham’s side over the blessing of same-sex unions, say sources. In the end he will be no friend to the orthodox.

The tragic truth is that what he believes, will continue the "internal divisions" precisely because there is no spiritual gold standard to judge anything by except niceness, sameness and inclusivity.

His understanding of what the "good news" is is not remotely the Good News of repentance and faith; it is about "justice and peace". And herein lies another irony. The Prince of Peace came into this world preaching repentance and the kingdom, with justice as the product of a redeemed people.

For Hutchison there is no talk of repentance and faith, that is the language of Fundamentalism and Billy Graham. So at then end of the day he must stand in opposition to those in his own church who preach the very "exclusive" gospel he himself does not believe in nor is able to share with others.

He must then side with the Inghams of the church as he persecutes a minority of his most faithful flock. When nine orthodox bishops protested the same-sex decision Hutchison said he was “obviously very disappointed to hear that kind of statement because it speaks of division.” But it was he and his pals that created it!

In another ecclesiastical twist the acting Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, the Most Rev. David Crawley dismissed the four instruments of Anglican unity arguing that they have no juridical authority. While urging sensitivity to the broader Anglican Communion he said the Canadian Church should have independence in its personal decision-making. "We have provincial autonomy" he told Canadian Anglicans. "The four instruments of unity have no juridical authority, only consultative and moral authority," he said.

Crawley said the Canadian Anglican Church should and will work independently of any action by another province. He said it was equally unacceptable for direct interference in the affairs of the Anglican Church of Canada by Primates of other Provinces of the Communion. "That is not the way our Communion operates." The Synod was the highest legislative authority, he said. "We have no central legislative body and no Magesterium."

So Crawley, Ingham and Hutchison want 'unity' with like-minded liberal travelers, but any Anglican who stands up and says there is only one way to the Father and that is through the Son, God's only begotten Son, will find themselves ostracized, accused of being narrow-minded, lacking diversity and exclusive, failing to get the big picture of God's embracive love for all mankind without going through the cross and Christ's atoning death.

Hutchison et al will reject evangelical Anglicans of the Global South and any entreaties by the Archbishop of Canterbury, for the "higher" cause of liberal inclusivity. It is an irony beyond all ironies, and it will destroy the Anglican Communion as we know it.

END

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