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 First Sunday in Lent.

The Collect

O LORD, who for our sake didst fast forty days and forty nights; Give us grace to use such abstinence, that, our flesh being subdued to the Spirit, we may ever obey thy godly motions in righteousness, and true holiness, to thy honour and glory, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse

Monday, May 29, 2006

Unity At All Cost?

I'm amazed at the current state of Evangelical churches in general and of the continuing Anglican movement in particular. Churches and denominations are quick to unite in "common cause" against what they consider liberal trends in the communion such as the ordination of homosexual priests, the consecration of homosexual bishops, and a disregard for the literal deity of Christ and His resurrection from the dead.

However, when it comes to other essentials of the Christian Gospel, such as the five solas of the Protestant Reformation, they are quick to forget that the English Reformation was every bit Protestant. The Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion makes it clear that Anglicanism was a moderate form of Calvinism/Augustinianism and that the English church was and should be forever Protestant. Anglo-Catholicism is a restorationist movement in the sense that it is an attempt to return to the errors of the Roman Catholic era both before and after the claims of papal supremacy were issued.

However, the Protestant Reformation is the true restorationist movement. The Reformers certainly sought to restore the church to the doctrines taught by Christ and the Apostles, though many of them erred by going too far, including Zwingli, who denied that the sacraments are a means of grace.

We ought to be continually seeking to reform the church and to restore it to its original message and purity, while at the same time making that Gospel message intelligible to modern generations. We should never change the faith that was once delivered to the saints. Although the modern mindset is anti-supernatural and closed to divine revelation, we should never capitulate to a materialistic philosophy that in the end leads to totalitarian governments who carry the materialistic argument to the natural conclusion that human beings are not divinely created nor inherently valuable but only a commodity to be exploited for political and earthly gain.

The common cause we might share with Roman Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox traditions on earth might be relevant in the political realm. However, to enter into common cause with churches or denominations which openly deny the Gospel and issue forth anathemas against the Gospel is to commit theological suicide. Such theological suicide would include entering into compromise concordats with Anglican bodies within the communion or outside the communion in the continuing Anglican movement.

We who are confessing Anglicans ought to be willing to sacrifice peace for the sake of truth. While unity in the faith is desirable, unity cannot override the abiding obligation to remain true to the faith once delivered to the saints.

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