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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

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Elephant in the Tent Comments

[The following is an e-mail response to a bishop of a continuing Anglican denomination which purports to be Evangelical and Reformed. I have removed the name to protect anonymity.]

----- Original Message -----
To:
Sent: Saturday, June 27, 2009 10:09 AM
Subject: Re: The Elephant in the Tent

Hi, _________
Pentecostalism is indeed a serious error. In fact, it developed out of the Wesleyan-Holiness movement, which is itself Arminian. Arminianism pretends to believe the supernatural but instead places the central focus on man's "free will." Sound familiar? In essence, Arminianism is a return to semi-pelagianism. Thus, Arminians and Pentecostals have no problem integrating with Anglo-Catholicism, Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy.

Pentecostalism is not a more powerful enemy of the Gospel. It is merely another facet of the same attack. The enemy comes against God's church like a flood from every direction but God will raise a banner against it.

Likewise, the church growth movement is a spiritual stepchild of Pentecostalism. It focuses on techniques, business management, advertising, and popular music rather than right liturgy, right doctrine, and Holy Scripture. This is why I have a problem with so-called "seeker sensitive" theology. Many so-called "Reformed" churches are really using Arminian approaches because of a pragmatic focus rather than focusing on theological precision and Scriptural authority.

Pentecostalism and Anglo-Catholicism are compatible precisely because both focus on man's ability rather than God's sovereignty. Truly Reformed Anglicanism is incompatible with Anglo-Catholicism, Pentecostalism, Arminianism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Roman Catholicism.

While there is no perfect church either locally or universally, we must always be about the business of reforming the church. If your desire as a bishop is the Gospel rather than numerical success and growth, then I believe God will bless your efforts. The Gospel requires a commitment to doctrinal purity rather than ecumenical tolerance. There is a tension between communion and purity but at some point the commitment to doctrinal purity has to win over tolerance.


"Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called: Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied. Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." (Jude 1-3, KJV)

The rector at my own church seems to be Reformed as far as I can tell. The problem is his theology is often imprecise, which he thinks is great and I think is sloppy. As I have contended many times, the only basis for fellowship are the five solas of the Reformation and a confessional commitment of some sort so that we know precisely and exactly where a church stands on the issues.

There are those who have criticized me for belonging to a local church which is "officially" part of The Episcopal Church. However, since I cannot find even one Anglican Mission in America church or any other Anglican denomination or local church in my area which is Reformed at all, then I have settled on what is less than perfect. At least the rector is a product of the Sydney Anglicans, which is a Calvinistic and Reformed diocese. Likewise, the vestry here has agreed to allow me to teach an adult Sunday school class where I will systematically teach the doctrines of grace from the Scriptures and go through the 39 Articles showing how they were derived from the Scriptures.

I no longer take the Pentecostal view of success which is pragmatic results in numerical growth, wealth, and popularity. My measure of success is Scriptural growth and the maturity of God's people. One man plants, another waters, but God gives the increase (1 Corinthians 3:5-10). If I can reach just one person with the doctrines of grace and that one person truly understands the Gospel of grace, then I view that as a success.

Arminianism and its Pentecostal stepchild are both departures from the Protestant and English Reformation because the English and Continental reformations were Augustinian, not Arminian or Semi-Pelagian to any degree. Salvation is all of grace from beginning to end and the 39 Articles uphold that scriptural doctrine. Arminianism is in fact directly contradicted in Article 17.

Since I spent at least ten years in the Pentecostal movement, you're preaching to the choir here. I already know that Pentecostalism is a false religion. They pretend that man's free will enables men to do miracles simply by claiming by faith that they can do so. Nevermind that the only evidences they can give are anecdotal or their own testimony or word. Try the spirits to see if they are of God (1 John 4:1). While I would not say that I was not a Christian at that time, it is despite their false teachings and not because of it that I am saved today. There is an element of truth even in false preaching. God can and does lead his elect through false teaching to get them where they need to be later on. My journey took a wrong turn but God got me here.

True faith is a supernatural gift preceding conversion, repentance, and baptism. Baptism itself is merely the outward sign or ceremony confirming what the Spirit of God has already done in regeneration. That does not make baptism optional, though it does mean that baptism is not absolutely necessary for salvation when circumstances prevent it. In fact, baptism does not save at all. What it does is serve as a confirmation of our faith for ourselves and for the congregation and the universal church at large.

I do appreciate your input and feedback.

Sincerely in Christ,

Charlie

[I neglected to mention that the 1928 BCP is Anglo-Catholic. Any God fearing Anglican should use the 1662 BCP minus the prayers for the queen. Regarding Pentecostalism see my article on Cessationism.]

----- Original Message -----
From:
Sent: Saturday, June 27, 2009 8:55 AM
Subject: Re: The Elephant in the Tent

Dear Rev. Ray,

While I have spoken against Anglo-popery amongst neo-con Anglicans for years, I have come to believe that there another, much more potent enemy of the Gospel amongst us. It is pentecostalism.

I find no one willing to address this issue, even amongst Calvinist/Reformed confessing Anglicans. There are 10 ACNA congregations within a 50 mile radius of my house. Some are AMiA, some are "African connection" CANA, one is even in the APA at the moment but still advertises an ACNA connection. ALL are charismatic in worship and theology.

I have seen Duncan in "high praise" at "high mass" - I have seen Rogers "speaking in tongues" - I have seen several AMiA bishops doing both. One AMiA official, formerly a local TEC priest, confessed to me some time ago, "Charlie, I really don't care about Prayer Books or the ordination of women... all I want to do is be a charismatic Episcopal priest."

One very large CANA parish in Alabama approached the PEC seeking membership and oversight. They were tired of their African connection and wary of the forthcoming ACNA - they even preferred to use the accursed 1928 BCP and 1940 hymnal! As soon as they found out our position on charismania, they ran.

The silence of evangelicals and confessing Anglicans on this issue is deafening. It reminds me of the silence of the neo-cons on the matter of the number of homosexual clergy - deacons and presbyters that is - already in their ranks. Why do they only find gay bishops objectionable and why, oh why, do peopale continue to refer to Gene Robinson as the "first openly gay bishop" in TEC? Has no one ever Googled Otis Charles or read a biography of Paul Moore?

Down the rabbit hole once again,
________



On Fri, Jun 26, 2009 at 9:02 AM, Charlie J. Ray <cranmer1959@gmail.com> wrote:
The Second Sunday after Trinity.
The Collect.
O LORD, who never failest to help and govern them who thou dost bring up in thy stedfast fear and love; Keep us, we beseech thee, under the protection of thy good providence, and make us to have a perpetual fear and love of thy holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

1 comment:

Reformation said...

Excellent interchange. The Bishop's letter evinces exposure to the inconsistencies and incoherenices of the Manglican Church, or the Mangled Church. Keep writing Charlie.

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