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Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect.

O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Anglican Unity?

It has become increasingly apparent to me that Anglicanism as a whole is not integrated and that there is no such thing as a "catholic" or universal unity among Anglicans. I consider myself primarily Evangelical, Reformed and Protestant, although I prefer Anglican worship and the Book of Common Prayer.

The difficulty arises over several aspects of Anglicanism as it exists today. First and foremost is theological liberalism and relativism. Several of the national provinces have pushed homosexual priests and bishops and the acceptance of homosexuality as a valid lifestyle within the Anglican church. While that is reprehensible, it should not be overlooked that so-called "conservative" Anglican groups who promote Anglo-Catholic doctrines are just as far from the Gospel as any liberal province or parish.

Anyone reading the 39 Articles of Religion will immediately notice that it is thoroughly and completely a Protestant document and clearly upholds a general outline of the theology of the English and continental Reformers. Additionally, the 39 Articles can be said to have at least an intimation of Calvinism since it clearly teaches double predestination. Only an extreme prejudice against Reformed doctrine by Anglo-Catholics and other groups would even attempt to deny this.

It is my opinion that no true unity among Anglicans and Episcopalians can occur until there is a return to the 5 solas of the English and continental Reformation. While the unity established by the Lambeth quadrilateral is undeniably important to Anglican unity and communion, there can be no true church where the Scriptures are abrogated by traditions that are contradictory to the apostolic traditions recorded in Holy Scripture.

I find particularly troubling the tendencies in continuing Anglican groups of tolerating Anglo-Catholic doctrines that clearly deny the Gospel. Justification by faith alone is a specific doctrine that includes a forensic declaration of righteousness based on faith and faith alone. In short, God declares the sinner righteous on the basis of Christ's completed work on the cross. There is no need for a sacrament of penance since Christ has done penance for us for all time.

This entry is meant to identify my disagreements and difficulties with so-called Anglican provinces that are in denial of the Gospel by either denying biblical standards of morality (i.e. ECUSA's ordination of a practicing homosexual as a bishop) or by denying doctrines essential to the Evangelical and Protestant faith as it is understood from the Holy Scriptures.

The English Reformers were so dedicated to Protestant doctrine that many of them were martyred by the Roman Catholic Church and English monarchs who sided with Roman Catholicism. Fox's Book of Martyrs gives several accounts of these brave men who died for the sake of the Gospel. Why should I or any other Anglican be any less committed to the Protestant faith?

"The Book of Common Prayer is catholic, though purged of superstitious elements; the Articles of Religion are evangelical and moderately Calvinistic.1142" (From: http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/creeds1.ix.vi.ii.html). In light of such facts, I find it hard to understand how the various factions within Anglicanism arose in the first place? Clearly, the 39 Articles do not leave room for Anglo-Catholicism no matter how much the advocates of it protest.

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