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WHO OWNS THE ANGLICAN COMMUNION?

WHO OWNS THE ANGLICAN COMMUNION?

NEWS ANALYSIS

By David W. Virtue, DD
www.virtueonline.org
July 30, 2020

There is an arrogance emanating from both the Church of England and the American Episcopal Church that somehow, they own the Anglican Communion and what they say goes, even as their respective provinces wither on the vine.

It's subtle of course. The Church of England has the ecclesiastical power and The Episcopal Church has the monetary power which enables them, they think, to move mountains., i.e. persuade bishops of their authority, even as GAFCON overwhelmingly owns the vast majority of Anglicans worldwide.

The Church of England can barely muster 721, 800 on any given Sunday and the Episcopal Church some 533,000. Following the end of COVID-19, both churches could see even greatly reduced numbers.

The American Episcopal Church has defied God to his face on human sexuality, denying fundamentally the binary relationship of a man and a woman. In doing so, they have promoted a new religion.

Theologian Gerry McDermott put it concisely when he said, "Progressives who embrace gay marriage worship another Jesus, a different gospel, and proclaim another Spirit (2 Cor 11.4). These are not two ways of being Christian; they are two religions worshipping different gods."

Is it any wonder that the Bishop of Albany is on trial for his ecclesiastical life for defying TEC's mandate embracing homoerotic marriage?

The Church of England is fast following in TEC's tracks on sexuality issues and before much longer, with Archbishop Stephen Cottrell ensconced in York, it will be game, set and match for the LGBTQ community in its efforts to remake marriage in their own image, putting it on a par with heterosexual marriage. There is little doubt the House of Bishops will go along with it. Weak, wobbly Welby will be unable to stop it and will even collaborate in the Church's collapse on sexuality.

The Archbishop of Canterbury himself carries on as though his word is law across the communion and that his leadership matters and the actions of his Church is relevant to the vast swathe of Anglicans across the globe. In truth they do not.

Then came this recent revelation. The bishop officially responsible for "safeguarding the church's reputation", Jonathan Gibbs admitted to general synod that there are currently no fewer than 27 active National Core Groups. Given that the CofE has only 40 dioceses, with a dean and a couple of bishops in each, it appears that a huge proportion of the church's most senior leaders are under investigation for safeguarding failings. Two of those bishops include the Bishop of Lincoln and the Bishop of Oxford! What African province would want listen to anything Welby or his bishops have to say about anything!

The COVID crisis has set back the Lambeth Conference gathering for two years and may set it back even further if the pandemic is not fully resolved. Welby might well be breathing a sigh of relief that he doesn't have a homosexual-led Eucharist in Canterbury, embarrassing the hell out of him prior to the opening. Meantime, average Sunday attendance will continue to drop in both provinces and indeed in all the progressive western churches.

The continuing collapse of western Anglicanism in the face of the prevailing culture on sexuality issues, while paying lip service to the BCP is a recipe for disaster. Fake Christianity like fake news has a short life span. The Windsor Report is gathering dust even as the Jerusalem Declaration becomes the go to document for orthodox Anglicans.

The Church's caving into the culture will not make new converts and money won't buy new believers. Screaming and hollering about the 'way of love,' the theme song of Michael Curry's Episcopal mantra isn't working. Beating up on whites for just being white and making whites feel guilty for being white and blaming all whites for their inherent racism is itself racist.

What white male truthfully wants to attend an Episcopal Church just to be told he is inherently a nationalist, racist and homophobe! But please, if you do come, write out a check to support your local homosexual and lesbian bishop to keep them in the style to which they have become accustomed.

BY CONTRAST, the Global South, specifically Africa, is ratcheting up converts almost daily with solid evangelical preaching.

The two fastest growing provinces are Nigeria and South Sudan and they are doing so amidst violence, murder, mayhem and persecution. Even as the persecution of Christians continues, a Nigerian civil society group estimates that 1,202 Christians have been killed in Nigeria in the first six months of 2020 by jihadists and radicalized herdsmen, many of them Anglicans. But even as this continues, the evangelically driven province announces the formation of yet more new dioceses with bishops and archbishops. Despite the carnage, converts are being made and churches form and grow.

This week, Archbishop Laurent Mbanda of the Anglican Church of Rwanda consecrated a new bishop for the Missionary Diocese of Karongi. This is a new diocese. By contrast, TEC is juncturing dioceses because they are failing.

God's plan is neither thwarted nor diminished as He sees his people suffer, while He rejoices as millions are brought into the kingdom. God must weep as He watches western Anglicanism descend into the pit.

Nothing like this growth is happening in the West. In safety and security, churches empty and doors are shutting. The Episcopal Church's new progressive gospel, untethered from the authority of scripture, allows them to make up their religion as they go along, but it is no longer the gospel of St. Paul's Book of Romans or the declarative statements of John's gospel. Come as you are, stay as you are is their order of the day.

Taking money from the government to maintain buildings and to pay salaries is a short-term fix. Sooner or later when the old die, the plates are empty and the government will no longer bail churches out, churches will inevitably close.

The stock market can prop up the Church Pension Fund for many years, but this creates the illusion that all that really matters is money and security and not the gospel.

The future of Anglicanism lies squarely in the hands of our African brothers and sisters ably abetted by their orthodox brethren in South America, Asia and Australasia. England and Europe are spiritually dead. It is only a matter of time before someone stands up and sings the Dies Irae.

END

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