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What will happen to the Episcopal Church, the ACNA, the Church of England and Global Anglicans in 2020?

What will happen to the Episcopal Church, the ACNA, the Church of England and Global Anglicans in 2020?

COMMENTARY

By David W. Virtue, DD
www.virtueonline.org
January 14, 2020

The question might fairly be asked what can we expect in the coming year for The Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church in North America, the Church of England and the broader Anglican Communion.

Second Coming predictors and speculators have been notoriously wrong for decades bearing in mind that their sole purpose has been to spare Americans and Brits from the bitter course of persecution thereby demanding the Lord relieve them of the stress and return to rescue them. This abject narcissism, for that is what it is, must be weighed against what Oswald J. Smith once said; "We talk of the Second Coming; half the world has never heard of the first."

1. The Episcopal Church will continue its Gadarene slide. With no transcendent gospel to proclaim, and focusing strictly on racial, social and political issues with side orders on the latest in sexual stupidity (can we get any lower than trannie operations, girls wanting to be boys and vice versa), there is little doubt that the new crop of bishops among whom can be found more women, people of color, lesbians and homosexuals that this will alter the direction of TEC? Impossible. If that was going to happen it would have happened at the time of the Gene Robinson consecration. It never happened then and won't in 2020.

2. The Anglican Church in North America, already well over 130,000 strong with over 1,000 parishes will continue to grow. New churches are aborning in the US, Canada and Mexico and there is every indication that they will continue to expand and grow in 2020. If you preach the gospel, call people to faith in Jesus Christ and disciple them, they will grow. No brainer really.

3. And what of the Church of England? There seems to be a slow, but steady exodus and growing fragmentation as vicars leave and join with one of a number of spiritually alive churches like the FCE, AMiE and GAFCON-UK.
Can the Church of England Evangelical Council (CEEC) unite people in vision, strategy and action? The current CEEC has some good things going for it, a spokesperson told VOL. However, it is fatally divided over the issue of Women's Ordination and it does not see how the Archbishop of Canterbury's plot is unfolding.

Justin Welby effectively marginalized Anglo-Catholics at the time of the Women Bishops Measure by making some very limited provisions for them -- continuing the appointment of existing flying bishops -- but effectively excluding them from any role in the shaping of the future Church of England. This is what he means by "good disagreement". In just the same way, after years of talking about SEX (ECUSA style), a report will be published, and Synod will be invited to vote to make provisions for those who don't accept Same-Sex "marriage". They too, alongside orthodox Anglo-Catholics, will find themselves outside the Establishment with no hope of return, while the CofE finally adopts the whole TEC package.

The recent election of an Affirming Catholic to head the second most powerful see in the Church England (York) in the person of Stephen Cottrell is the best indicator of the trajectory of the Church of England. Welby made no effort to hear the cries of those who said Cottrell told an orthodox Anglican priest in the diocese of Chelmsford that he could leave if he was not prepared to roll over on homosexuality.

Whatever strategy evangelical Anglicans adopt and elect candidates to General Synod, they will be met by a solid phalanx of angry pro-homosexualists who will demand full recognition of their pansexual "rights". They will not settle for some second-class status. In time, as we saw in TEC, they will win.

Something called 'Living in Love and Faith' a report expressing a Biblical view of love and faith - a long-awaited document on sexual issues - was as the Bishop of Coventry Christopher Cocksworth put it rather oddly, "to help us all with our loving and 'with our sexing'." (Yes, he really did say that). It may well express a Biblical view of love and faith -- but probably alongside other views together with calls for ongoing dialogue, effectively making orthodoxy optional. But what happens after that?

4. What of the Global South and GAFCON movements? The Global South will continue to play ball with Lambeth Palace and the Archbishop of Canterbury because they see Canterbury as the unifying principle of Anglicanism. Not so GAFCON. They will meet as a body later this year (before the Lambeth Conference) and declare that the gospel they proclaim is not the same as that pushed by Canterbury. They now have their own networks and they will not compromise because Welby has ignored the elephant in the room -- Lambeth resolution 1:10 -- which will come back to bite him when the Lambeth conference meets in July/August.

Pinning one's hope on EFAC as a movement of unity won't work. It never worked in TEC and it won't unite anything in the CofE. Events and history have moved beyond them. In the Episcopal Church today, there are only four recognizable evangelical bishops -- Greg Brewer of Central Florida, George Sumner of Dallas, possibly John C. Bauerschmidt of Tennessee and the evangelical Catholic Bishop of Albany William Love. The latter will face a hearing and trial later this year and be given his marching orders, because he dared to offend the pansexual lobby over homosexual marriage.

Even if evangelicals can walk and talk with each other, it is all too little late. The homosexual steam roller in TEC and the CofE, aided and abetted by a very sympathetic culture, makes them irrelevant.

At the Lambeth Conference, Welby will make vain attempts to put lipstick on a pig, but the stink of heresy will still be there. The conference will be boycotted by a number of African primates who represent the largest Anglican constituencies.

GAFCON will ignore the Lambeth Conference. The deeper truth is that over time GAFCON will shape the future of the Anglican Communion.

The future of Anglicanism would look very bleak if it wasn't for our African Anglican friends. The United Methodists learned that lesson and have amicably split. The white Western world of Anglicanism has been eclipsed by the very people we took the gospel to and now they own the communion. The only hope for the West is their willingness to return the favor.

END

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