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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

Monday, October 08, 2007

Exclusion of the Episcopal Church From the Anglican Communion? Who Cares?

The Prayer Book Society and Dr. Peter Toon do not get it. Who cares if the Episcopal Church is excluded from the Anglican Communion? With the advent of liberal theology and Anglo-Catholicism, not to mention the early departures from the English Reformation by the Carolingians, the Anglican Communion splintered into a thousand sects within the umbrella of the church. The pretended unity at last shows signs of fracture.

Moreover, there is no real authority with either the primates, the Anglican Consultative Council or the archbishop. Basically, each province does what it wishes. The only authority that functions is with the bishops in their dioceses. Other than that any pretended unity in the "communion" is a total farce. The Lambeth Quadrilateral is a complete and total failure since no one can agree on doctrine. With the rise of Anglo-Catholicism the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion were shanghaied and re-interpreted totally out of their historical and textual context.

With the rise of modern higher criticism, the Bible as well has been interpreted so loosely and in so many ways that it has practically become something like the Rorschach Inkblot Test. "What does this text mean to you?"

The certainty of language, theology, or even plain interpretation of Scripture is out the window. One can see the effects of modernism even in the news and in modern politics. Remember Bill Clinton's famous rhetorical lie? "What does 'is' mean?" The short of it is that we are basically in a propaganda war. Words mean whatever the opponent wants them to mean and that could be just about anything.

Whatever happened to objective truth, evangelical theology, and the five solas of the English and Continental Reformation? Who knows? The one thing I do know is that the Anglican Communion is rotten to the core and beyond salvage. For one thing, the Archbishop, Rowan Williams, is just as pro-homosexual as any liberal in the Episcopal Church USA. I would include the vast majority within the English Province and the Canadian Province, etc.

But even if we examine the Global South and the Asian Provinces and the conservatives left in the USA and the UK, we still have the subversion of the Gospel by Anglo-Catholicism and other in house heresies that have compromised the integrity of any "common cause" agreements.

The fact of the matter is that there is no way to reconcile forty different interpretations of the Bible and the Christian faith. There is no via media between the truth and lies. If there be any hope left, it is a return to the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion as a statement of faith, a return to a confessional understanding of the Anglican church. The idea that Arminianism, Amyraldianism, Anglo-Catholicism, Evangelicalism, Latitudinarism and Reformed/Calvinist Anglicanism can all be reconciled by reducing doctrine to a bare minimum will only result in the rise of a similar crisis in the near future.

As I see it, the only hope for Anglicanism is a return to the Augustinian/Calvinist roots of the English Reformation and a return to an understanding of the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion as a creed or confessional document that binds us all to obey it as our common faith. This does not mean that we are free to re-interpret Scripture or the Thirty-Nine Articles any old way or that we are free to distort Scripture to our own destruction (see 2 Peter 3:15-16). It means using our faith, reason and tradition within the parameters of a conservative use of critical scholarship and hermeneutics. It means rejecting the Kantian/Barthian philosophy/theology which attacks the idea that Holy Scripture is a direct revelation from God rather than merely a book that contains the Word of God in some mystical encounter. It means taking Carl F. H. Henry's theology of propositional truth expressed in written form as the literal Word of God which is to be reverenced and obeyed with God's grace.

Will the Episcopal Church be excluded from the Anglican Communion? I do not believe it will because the leadership at Canterbury is all for the same agenda held by the Province of Canada and the Episcopal Church USA. Do I believe the Global South will pull out and start a conservative Anglican Communion in competition with Canterbury? Hardly. Why? Because the same rot has infested the Global South and the conservatives left here in the US through the continuing Anglican movement. This rot is the idea that there is some middle way between the Protestant Reformation and "Catholicism", i.e., Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodoxy. There is no middle way. Either one believes the Bible or one believes in the church as the final authority. To choose a middle way is to compromise the very Gospel that Jesus died for on the cross. The bottom line is that the Global South could have done something solid about this decades ago but they refused because they are enamored with being a part of the "Anglican Communion". If the Global South were serious about the Gospel, it would not tolerate false gospels like the Anglo-Catholic/Tractarian movement.

Evangelical/Calvinist Anglicans should be looking for the exit stage right. Sectarianism is the result of papal usurpation. Until Christ returns the church will continue to splinter and even to go into outright apostasy as history repeatedly shows us over and over again. The solution is not compromising with co-belligerents and fighting a culture war against immorality. Co-belligerency is fine when dealing with the society at large. However, we should and must never forget that fighting a culture war against the erosion of family values is not the same thing as defending the faith once delivered to the saints. That faith, my friends, is the Gospel of Jesus Christ which was handed down to us through the apostles and prophets and written down for us in the canon of Scripture. The Gospel is so simple that anyone, including a child, can read the Bible and be saved. Yet, the wealth of theology is so complex that we could spend a lifetime fine-tuning our understanding of who Jesus is and what God's will for us is. Let us never give up fighting for the true Gospel and a right understanding of the teaching of Christ in the Bible.

Peace!

Charlie

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

God Bless you for this post.

May the Lord strengthen you to keep fighting the good fight.
Please know you are not alone! The Lord has still kept for himself a few who have not bowed the knee to Baal.
"When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will raise up a banner."
And there is still hope. Perhaps as the apostasy deepens the Lord will send us another whitefield.
The last, best hope, might be a true revival.
The Lord be with you.

John said...

What exactly do you see as the error of Anglo-Catholicism?

Charlie J. Ray said...

Anglo-Catholicism is basically Roman Catholicism-lite. It has a dishonest and revisionist reading of the Anglican Formularies (1662 Book of Common Prayer, 39 Articles of Religion, and the Ordinal). Anglo-Catholicism rejects all five of the solas of the Protestant Reformation: 1) Sola Scriptura 2) Solus Christus 3) Sola Gratia 4) Sola Fide and 5) Soli Gloria Deo.

The Tractarians pretend to be something between Roman Catholicism and the Protestant Reformation. The truth, however, is that the ACs are more Roman Catholic than anything else.

True Anglicanism is thoroughly Protestant and the Protestant faith is the "catholic" faith while Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy and Anglo-Catholicism are all semi-pelagian heresies. All three likewise commit idolatry by worshipping and praying to the saints, adoring the bread and wine rather than Christ, and placing human tradition on the same level as divine revelation.

Scripture alone is God's divine revelation to man for salvation.

Charlie

Charlie J. Ray said...

I see it's my enemy from Orthdoxy again. Haven't you had enough punishment?

I'm more than willing to beat you to death with the Bible:)

Charlie J. Ray said...

John, your contention that tradition or the church speaks divine revelation equal to that of Holy Scripture creates a problem for you. Where does Scripture say that revelation is ongoing? And why should we reject any claim to divine revelation by false prophets like Joseph Smith, Mary Baker Eddy, or Ellen White?

We know the Bible is inspired of God and sufficient for salvation. Why would we add anything to that?

I would suggest you substantiate your own claims before you try to create a strawman that I don't believe or support. I've never said that Sola Scriptura is specifically taught in Scripture. What I and all Reformed Protestants do say is that the doctrine is logically deduced from the propositional truth claims made in Scripture.

Over and over again Jesus and the Apostles appeal to Scripture as the final authority, not the fallible opinions of self-appointed men.

I would suggest that you find somewhere else to bait and switch. It won't fly here:)

Charlie

Charlie J. Ray said...

(Matthew 21:42 ESV) Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the Scriptures: "'The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes'?
(Matthew 22:29 ESV) But Jesus answered them, "You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God.
(Matthew 26:54 ESV) But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?"
(Matthew 26:56 ESV) But all this has taken place that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled." Then all the disciples left him and fled.
(Mark 12:24 ESV) Jesus said to them, "Is this not the reason you are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God?
(Mark 14:49 ESV) Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. But let the Scriptures be fulfilled."
(Luke 24:27 ESV) And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
(Luke 24:32 ESV) They said to each other, "Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?"
(Luke 24:45 ESV) Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,
(John 5:39 ESV) You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me,
(Acts 17:2 ESV) And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures,
(Acts 17:11 ESV) Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.
(Acts 18:24 ESV) Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, competent in the Scriptures.
(Acts 18:28 ESV) for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the Scriptures that the Christ was Jesus.
(Romans 1:2 ESV) which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures,
(Romans 15:4 ESV) For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
(1 Corinthians 15:3 ESV) For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,
(1 Corinthians 15:4 ESV) that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,
(2 Peter 3:16 ESV) as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.

Charlie J. Ray said...

(Mark 12:10 ESV) Have you not read this Scripture: "'The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone;
(Luke 4:21 ESV) And he began to say to them, "Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing."

Charlie J. Ray said...

Another error you make is assuming that I'm concerned with ecumenicalism, John. Who cares how many you have in your denomination? Whole denominations go to hell. Anglicanism is apostate and so is Eastern Orthdoxy. So what's your point?

The doctrine of the priesthood of believers means that I get to question the fake authority of false churches and synagogues of satan:) Sorry if that bothers you:)

Charlie J. Ray said...

Odd, but the Reformed position is that the Apostles alone had the authority to speak the very words and oracles of God. The reason is that the qualification for apostleship is being an eye witness to the life and ministry of Jesus Christ and a witness to his crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection from the dead. No one today meets that standard. Hello.

Charlie J. Ray said...

John, don't expect me to post your commnets if you insist on lying about your position. You know full well that the Eastern Orthdox Church considers its own opinions as divine revelation on an equal standing with the Scriptures. Thus, your church is really no different from Mormonism. The only difference is yours comes earlier. The Protestant Reformation recovered the Scriptures as the final Word from God for good reason. They contradict the idolatries and false teachings of your church, which is a synagogue of satan.

Charlie J. Ray said...

The presbyters in Acts 16 are not apostles:) The APOSTLES made the authoritative decisions in the council at Jerusalem in Acts 15. And need I mention that the apostles were still living at that time? DUH!

Charlie J. Ray said...

John, this is my blog. I'm the pope, patriarch, and head master here. If you don't like it, too bad:)

It's called the "priesthood of believers".

As for the canon of Scripture, I've never once claimed that the canon itself is an inspired or infallible listing of the books in the canon. That would be your error, bud:)

Try again.

As I said before, if you insist on using non sequiturs and straw man fallacies, do NOT expect me to post your remarks here.

Belly up to the bar or shut up, pal.

Charlie

Charlie J. Ray said...

Oh, so now you're going to argue that presbyters and apostles are interchangeable? I guess that means I'm an apostle?

Brilliant line of argument, John. NOT.

Charlie J. Ray said...

I'm assuming you meant Acts 15. Elders and presbyters are the same thing. So where in Scripture does it say that elders were eyewitnesses to the resurrection, spoke the very words of God, or wrote Holy Scripture?

"Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. 17 For he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry." 18 (Now this man acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness, and falling headlong he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. 19 And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their own language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) 20 "For it is written in the Book of Psalms, "'May his camp become desolate, and let there be no one to dwell in it'; and "'Let another take his office.' 21 So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us--one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection." (Acts 1:16-22 ESV)

Charlie J. Ray said...

John, thanks for conceding that presbyters have no authority to write Scripture:)

That would imply that no modern apostles exist. That would include your false church.

As for the canon, it is closed for practical purposes. If you can come up with another book that can be universally accepted, let me know:) As it stands:

Article VI
Of the sufficiency of the Holy Scripture for Salvation
Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation.

In the name of Holy Scripture, we do understand those Canonical books of the Old and New testament, of whose authority was never any doubt in the Church.

Of the names and number of the Canonical Books.

Genesis.
Exodus.
Leviticus.
Numbers.
Deuteronomy
Joshua.
Judges.
Ruth.
The First Book of Samuel.
The Second Book of Samuel.
The First Book of Kings.
The Second Book of Kings.
The First Book of Chronicles.
The Second Book of Chronicles.
The First Book of Esdras.
The Second Book of Esdras.
The Book of Esther.
The Book of Job.
The Psalms.
The Proverbs.
Ecclesiastes, or the Preacher.
Cantica, or Songs of Solomon.
Four Prophets the Greater.
Twelve Prophets the Less.

All the books of the New Testament, as they are commonly received, we do receive, and account them canonical.

And the other books (as Hierome saith) the Church doth read for example of life and instruction of manners; but yet doth it not apply them to establish any doctrine. Such are these following:

The Third Book of Esdras.
The Fourth Book of Esdras.
The Book of Tobias.
The Book of Judith.
The rest of the Book of Esther.
The Book of Wisdom.
Jesus the Son of Sirach.
Baruch the Prophet.
The Song of the Three Children.
The Story of Susanna.
Of Bel and the Dragon.
The Prayer of Manasses.
The First Book of Maccabees.
The Second Book of Maccabees.

John said...

Are you done slaughtering straw men yet?

You've made an appeal here to "universal acceptance" as a criteria for considering your list of books as final. You didn't have any apostle to bless your list, you appealed to universal acceptance in the church.

You'll be Orthodox yet. If only you would become consistent.

Charlie J. Ray said...

I don't need an apostle to bless the canon. That's your line of bull, remember?



Also, you think planting a subliminal suggestion is going to override the revelation of Holy Scripture and the propositional truths contained therein? It ain't gonna happen. Your traditions of men are not divine revelation or divine tradition. They are false doctrine straight from satan himself.

Furthermore, it's obvious that you're a reprobate who will never repent of your self-righteousness. Unlike you, I do not trust in my powers of persuasian, rhetoric, or evangelism. God is sovereign. If He chooses to have mercy on you and convert you to the Gospel of grace alone through Jesus alone, so be it. If not, roast in hell to God's glory. It's not in my power to save or damn anyone. The Gospel is itself the key to the kingdom. All I can do is present it. If you reject it, that too is God's divine decree. I have no power to raise even one soul from spiritual death nor do I have the power to regenerate anyone whatsoever.


I've accepted the Gospel of grace. Why would I trade that for a false gospel of works righteousness, fake merits, and self effort?

Since no one meets God's standards, you and your experts in the law will perish in hell unless you repent and accept the Gospel of free grace.

Enough said. When you decide that the Protestant Reformation is orthodox and catholic, get back to me. Otherwise consider yourself ignored along with the host of other false prophets and self aggrandized heretics.

In contrast to your false assertion that I "will be Orthodox yet" I contend that unless you repent you will roast in hell yet.

Sincerely yours,

Charlie

There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And he answered them, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? 3 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? 5 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish." (Luke 13:1-5 ESV)

Charlie J. Ray said...

John,

How stupid of you to think I would fall for the fallacy of bait and switch. I don't need to try to persuade you of anything:) If God wants to save you, He will. In fact, Scripture clearly says that if someone refuses to hear the truth we are to dust off our feet and move on.

Since you insist on creating false facades of your false religion and twisting the truth, there really is no need for me to waste my time on your outright lies.

Fact is the Eastern Orthodox Church and Rome are two sides of the same stone despite the minor differences on papal supremacy and other such nonsense.

Placing church tradition on the same level as Scripture as divine revelation functions like ongoing revelation and for all practical purposes gives your religion license to invent new doctrines out of thin air:)

Sorry, find someone else to argue with your moving goal posts:)

Charlie

And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town. 15 Truly, I say to you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town. (Matthew 10:14-15 ESV)

Charlie J. Ray said...

I know it is frustrating for you when you can't control someone else's actions with your fake badge of fake authority. Read the Bible and get back to me, bud:) If not, don't bother. Scripture is final authority. If you can't prove your case from the Sacred Writings, forget it:)

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