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WHY GLOBAL SOUTH ANGLICANS WILL HAVE TO RE-EVANGELIZE THE WEST

WHY GLOBAL SOUTH ANGLICANS WILL HAVE TO RE-EVANGELIZE THE WEST

COMMENTARY

By David W. Virtue, DD
www.virtueonline.org
August 17, 2020

There is overwhelming evidence that western Anglican provinces are in such dire spiritual straits that unless they are re-evangelized by Global South Anglican evangelicals they will be lost within a generation.

The Church of England has admitted that there are about 30 separate safeguarding inquiries under way into senior clergy -- bishops or cathedral deans and some retired clergy. There are only 104 active bishops in the whole Church of England and 42 deans. This raises serious questions about the depth of spiritual depravity found in the Church that will not soon go away. It is not just an Anglo Catholic like Bishop Ball and two evangelical leaders John Smyth and Jonathan Fletcher, but massive cover ups of sexual abuse that is ringing alarm bells and causing such harm that it is emptying churches.

It is now very apparent that The Archbishop of Canterbury is a sniveling, groveling managerial fop, and the Church of England has become so incredibly embarrassing that GAFCON bishops will have nothing to do with it or him. I have blamed Welby, as I have done on occasion, for being a thin-skinned, theologically lightweight chancer who should never have been given the keys to Lambeth Palace. He now faces a safeguarding inquiry himself; he has publicly endorsed and embraced the most corrupt archbishops in the Church of South India; he has privately flailed against George Carey and he has betrayed his own evangelical roots. He has caused brilliant evangelical minds like Melvin Tinker, Peter Sanlon and Gavin Ashenden to leave the Church of England.

On top of all this is the new Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, whose progressive views on homosexual marriage mirror those of the American Episcopal Church. These views are alien to the views of African Anglicans, who see it is a slippery slope that, in fact, introduces a new religion disconnected from scripture and history.

Africans, who barely 178 years ago lived in animism, embraced the gospel from Anglican missionaries. These Africans have gone on to evangelize and disciple the African continent with explosive gospel results!

While the Church of England has two archbishops, Nigeria has 14 archbishops with 14 Provinces, 163 Dioceses, 175 Bishops with over 10,000 parishes! In the last ten years they have added 27 new dioceses and 15 mission dioceses, while the Church of England is shriveling in the face of spiritual decadence, irrelevance and a virus, with whole dioceses facing an uncertain future.

No one knows for sure how the American Episcopal Church will emerge from the coronavirus, but all the indicators are that the news will not be good. Juncturing of dioceses, already begun, will be the order of the day. Smaller parishes, already on the brink with aging congregations will surely die or be forced to merge with another parish.

The recent defection from TEC of evangelical former Central Florida Bishop John Howe was a black eye for PB Michael Curry. It was an upper cut to the head when Howe declared that the actions of the most recent General Convention had redefined marriage to be something that must now be available to same-sex partners. "This dramatically changes the role of a bishop in relation to the clergy and the people of a diocese. It also changes the definition of the diocese itself." Also waiting in the wings for the sword to fall, is the bishop of Albany, William Love. He has yet to learn his fate for daring to disobey resolution B012 that mandates homosexual marriage against 2,000 years of church teaching on marriage and sexuality.

A knockout punch came from Anglican theologian Gerald McDermott 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."

African Anglicans have grown increasingly outspoken over Western Anglican apostasies. The new Anglican primate of Nigeria, the Most Rev. Henry Ndukuba brazenly proclaims that homosexuals and law breakers will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Without mentioning names, this would include the two lesbian bishops and three practicing homosexual bishops in The Episcopal Church. These include Vicky Gene Robinson (formerly New Hampshire), Mary Glasspool (New York, formerly Los Angeles), Thomas Brown (Maine), Bonnie Perry (Michigan) and Deon Johnson (Missouri).

In short, if Scripture is true, then hell awaits the vast majority of episcopal bishops who have bowed the knee to the phallic god of Eros. Is it any wonder that the late evangelical theologian Dr. J. I. Packer walked out of the Anglican Church of Canada over that Church's acceptance of pansexuality? The ACoC is in serious demographic trouble. Dioceses like Huron and Quebec hover on the edge of extinction.

Their primate, Linda Nicholls, has stated her province will need to rethink its "mission" as it faces an uncertain demographic future. The ACoC cannot muster 100,000 Anglicans in a country that has grown exponentially over the last 20 years. On July 1, 2018, Canada's population was estimated at 37,058,856, up 518,588 from July 1, 2017. The country's population growth rate was 1.4%, a level not seen since 1989/1990! All the while the ACoC is dying.

A recent study of American Christians revealed that over half of the Church doesn't believe the gospel. "The majority of professing Christians do not believe that salvation is by grace through faith alone. While it might be alarming to some, it ought not to be a shock to us that the majority of professing Christians don't know the gospel," the study found. Only half of all Christians now believe the gospel!

If that is true, then numbers among North American Episcopalians and Anglicans would be closer to ninety percent! Do Episcopalians even know what the gospel is? Could they articulate Paul's understanding of justification by faith. How many Episcopalians have ever seriously read the Book of Romans or winced at Paul's condemnation of those who preach "another gospel?"

Another survey revealed that US Christians are increasingly departing from core truths of a Christian worldview. The survey found that the majority of Americans no longer believe that Jesus is the path to salvation. Instead they believe that being a good person is sufficient.

How many woke Episcopalians now grovel before condemnation of white privilege, systemic racism, or seek diversity training to address their latent homophobia, while busily writing out checks to atone for sins they have never committed?

Michael Curry's "beloved community" talk is an embarrassment. Nobody can put any substance to it or even say what it means. His appeals to 'love' are a far cry from those of C. S. Lewis; the homosexual cry that "love is love" is an empty tautology.

North America needs the evangelical and revivalist call of African evangelical Anglicans who can point us once again to Jesus and his saving message. We may have given them the gospel, but now we need them, in great numbers, to bring it back to us.

America is not devoid of evangelical witness. The ACNA has many fine bishops and clergy, but many lack the fire in their bellies which Black evangelicals, especially African Evangelicals, have in abundance.

It is time to bring it on home.

END

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