jQuery Slider

You are here



By David W. Virtue DD
January 18, 2023

Orthodox Anglicans are circling their wagons as the Living in Love and Faith forces from the Church of England launch their report on marriage. Like flame-lit arrows raining down on the fearful western settlers, this report threatens the unity of the Anglican communion."

The LLF report casts a long dark shadow over the communion that will, if it is adopted, lead to eventual schism. Recall that dark shadows presage the night and many now believe that the Anglican Communion is at a tipping point.

Consider the following.

Three theologically trained American Anglicans believe that the Anglican Communion is at a critical breaking point when the Church of England (CofE) General Synod convenes in February and adopts the "Living in Love and Faith," report, effectively abandoning the biblically faithful, historically Christian view of marriage in favor of authorizing same-sex marriage.

The Rt. Rev. Derek Jones, (Bishop of the Armed Forces); Rev. Canon Justin Murff, (Executive Director of the National Committee for Religious Freedom); and Job Serebrov (Archdeacon in the Jurisdiction of the Armed Forces) believe the LLF report will almost certainly be the death knell for continued allegiance to Canterbury's leadership of the worldwide Anglican Communion. It will most assuredly draw the Global Future Anglican Conference (GAFCON) and the Global South into solidarity. It is believed that the Global South Primates could even take the bold and immediate step to elect from among themselves a new Primatial leader of the Communion!

Strong words indeed. But they are not the only ones believing the communion is in danger.

The late Dr. John Rodgers, an Anglican bishop, was prescient in his observations when he made his case back in 2008, saying; "What is to be the relation of the faithful Common Global Family to the present Anglican Communion? Assuming that the present Anglican Communion is not reformed in accord with the essential marks of faithful, apostolic Anglicanism at the 2008 Lambeth Conference, there are only two possibilities: one is some form of impaired communion or the other is that of totally independent families.

"The departure is not just a matter of human sexuality, but of biblical authority, of the uniqueness of Christ, of the depth of sin and the redemption by God's grace, of the mission of the Church. Everything is twisted and distorted by this "fallen theology," and the ecclesial structures are used by the unorthodox, when they achieve the majority, to oppress those who are faithful to the marks of faithful Anglicanism."

"If Lambeth 2008 refuses to be reformed in accord with the marks of faithful Anglicanism, a new faithful Anglican Communion should be formed as soon as possible. The alternative seems to be merely a delay and dangerous to reformed Catholic Anglicanism."

More recently, the Rev. Dr. Stephen Noll, an Anglican theologian who has taught in Anglican seminaries in the US and Uganda has made the case that the communion bureaucracy has been complicit in its failure to discipline errant provinces. In fact, these same practices are being condoned in the Church of England, where the government has legalized same-sex marriage and enforced LGBT rights and promoted them across the Communion. Within a few years, the CofE will formalize these practices, and the Communion bureaucracy will insist that other Anglicans accept these practices in terms of "good disagreement," along lines of the "Living in Love and Faith" exercise.

Noll proposes 14 theses toward reviving, reforming, and reordering the Anglican communion for global Anglicans. You can read them here: https://virtueonline.org/toward-reviving-reforming-and-reordering-anglican-communion

These theses describe an "Ebenezer moment" for the Anglican Communion and propose a critical next step: a costly but necessary separation from the Church of England as the mother church and from the role of the Archbishop of Canterbury as a focus of Anglican unity. In truth, this separation has been happening since 1998, as Global Anglicans have begun charting their own way forward.

Noll writes, "Any genuine reform of the Church involves a threefold cord: renewal of faith and mission; reform of doctrine, discipline, and worship; and reordering of church polity at the local, regional and international levels. This pattern was true in ancient Israel, in the early church, and at the Protestant Reformation in Europe and England. The challenge for contemporary Anglicanism is to hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches in the context of Global Anglican Communion." You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/present-darkness-and-crisis-contemporary-anglicanism-thesis-1

Orthodox provinces must summarily dismiss any further connection to the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Church of England has been telling the public its intentions over the past several years. But in the past few months, staff decisions by the CofE have strongly indicated their intention to abandon the teaching of scripture and embrace apostasy, which has been noted by the majority of biblically faithful Anglican Provinces.

Every New Testament book except Philemon contains warnings about false teaching. Why is this? Simply because ideas have consequences. Right thinking and its fruit produce goodness, whereas wrong thinking and its accompanying action result in undesired penalties.

If the CofE embraces the LLF report, then orthodox Anglicans will have to decide about whether they can continue to stay with a shrinking minority of apostate global Episcopalians and Anglicans. They cannot let themselves be bullied with money or talk of "listening," and "conversation," buzzwords of acquiescence.

In AD 325, the Council of Nicea convened primarily to take up the issue of Arius and his teaching. Much to Arius's dismay, the end result was his excommunication and a statement in the Nicene Creed that affirms Christ's divinity. Arius's spiritual children are still with us to this day.

Paul told the Thessalonians that a great falling away would precede Christ's second coming (2 Thessalonians 2:3) and that the end times would be characterized by tribulation and hollow religious charlatans: "But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be . . . holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; avoid such men as these" (2 Timothy 3:1--2, 5).

It is critical, now more than ever, that every orthodox Anglican pray for discernment, combat apostasy, and contend earnestly for the faith "once and for all delivered to the saints," if need be to separate once and for all, in order to preserve the very faith now being abandoned by the Mother church.


Get a bi-weekly summary of Anglican news from around the world.
comments powered by Disqus
Trinity School for Ministry
Go To Top