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By David W. Virtue, DD
October 11, 2020

The question that must be asked is this.

Why isn't the Archbishop of Canterbury, a Holy Trinity Brompton evangelical, not coming out in full support of an evangelical catholic episcopal bishop in the person of William H. Love?

Bishop Love has just been found guilty for disobeying Resolution B012 mandating homosexual marriage. He has resolutely said he would not obey that dictate because it contradicts Scripture and the Book of Common Prayer, and for his "sin" now faces deposition, and possible expulsion from the Episcopal Church.

Welby has no problem declaring his admiration for a heretic like Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, who believes that General Convention resolutions override the authority of scripture on human sexual behavior; inviting him to preach at a royal wedding and listening to his endless talk of "love" and "beloved community," which will soon be less one beloved bishop. So, Welby completely ignores a bishop who shares the same apostolic faith that he says he possesses?

But does he, that is the question?

Welby has shown himself to be deeply conflicted over homosexuality, even though the scriptures are abundantly clear on the subject. He agonizes over calling a sodomite spade a sodomite spade lest he appear uninclusive and homophobic. He is desperately trying to square the circle over a behavior that has never been theologically or morally endorsed in 2,000 years!

For his obfuscation and prevarication, Welby has alienated more than 80 percent of the Anglican Communion's clergy and laity. He has refused to uphold and enforce Resolution 1:10 and keeps insisting through his theological spokespersons that we can all get along if we would just give and compromise a little. His best-known agent provocateur is the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Thabo Makgabo. Makgabo has whined and cajoled Global South primates to attend Lambeth in 2022, while Welby uninvites ACNA archbishop Foley Beach to Lambeth 2022. How successful he is, we still do not know. By all accounts, all the GAFCON bishops will not appear and most of the Global South primates won't be at Lambeth 2022.

GAFCON is now a reality. It is not going away. GAFCON speaks for more than 80 percent of the Anglican communion, even if it doesn't have as many bishops on its side. The Jerusalem Declaration, while not as sacred as Scripture, has to be signed off on or entry is excluded.

It's a farce that a diocese like Northern Michigan with 385 Episcopalians constitutes a diocese! An even bigger farce is the Navajo Missions with 167 persons! That would be unthinkable in Africa. Most parishes in any diocese in Africa are bigger than that. There is not a single ACNA diocese that has a membership less than four figures.

So, the Lambeth Conference has more bishops serving fewer and fewer Anglicans and is slowly dying, while the Global South grows exponentially every day. The Global south adds thousands of new converts across the globe through vigorous evangelism and discipleship programs.

Even in a difficult geographical region like the Middle East, a new diocese was recently formed in Alexandria, Egypt. When did you last hear of a new episcopal diocese forming in the United States, whose population continues to grow year over year!

The US population in 2020 is 321 million, in 2019 it was 319 million. It grew by two million. Was a single episcopal diocese added? Of course not. The Anglican Church of Canada has similar problems. Its general population too is growing, while the ACoC continues to wither and die.

In a 2017 report, Anglican membership fell to 357,123 -- with an average Sunday attendance of 97,421 (which is less than the ACNA). The stunning bottom line is that by 2040 the church will have no members. With Covid it might be closer now to 2030.

Recent stories by VOL reveal that the dioceses of Huron and Labrador are in such dire straits, they are busy selling off properties just to stay afloat!

Welby, it appears will not confront Curry and support Bishop Love because of money and historic ties, but are those dollars and ties legitimate or even realistic in the face of gospel absolutes where sin and salvation have eternal consequences?

Welby is playing with fire, a fire that consumes and for which there is no water of grace. Welby might want to ruminate on that.


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