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 Second Sunday in Lent.

The Collect

ALMIGHTY God, who seest that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves; Keep us both outwardly in our bodies, and inwardly in our souls; that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Collect from the First Day of Lent is to be read every day in Lent after the Collect appointed for the Day.

Daily Bible Verse

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Charade Continues

The Anglican Church in North America is papist to its core and outright denies the five solas of the Protestant and English Reformation. Yet equivocators like David Virtue would have us believe that he agrees with the statement made by the Church Society that

A proper rejection of theological liberalism should therefore not be accompanied by a turning to the Church of Rome and its unbiblical teachings and practices. Rather, both theological liberalism and the unscriptural teachings and practices of the Church of Rome are contrary to the Bible and to the historic doctrines of the Church of England as a Protestant, Reformed, Evangelical and catholic church.

We grieve that the Church of England, along with our nation, has fallen so low in its spiritual and moral condition. We pray that God would pour out His Spirit on both church and nation, leaders concluded. [From: Church Society Response to Rome].

The truth of the matter is that the Anglican Church in North America is dominated by Tractarians and Anglo-Catholics who have no interest in the ultimate authority of Holy Scripture as the final and only rule of faith in matters of doctrine and morality. It is a fact that when reason trumps Scripture as the final revelation and this is then combined with the idea that bishops and the church are equal in authority to Scripture what happens is not only revisionism of doctrine but of morality. Liberal Anglo-Catholicism is simply the end of the slippery slope. So-called "orthodox" Anglo-Catholicism is merely the precursor to liberalism since the hermeneutics of Tractarianism is in essence revisionist and post modern. In other words, the views of the presiding bishops become the doctrine of the church rather than Scripture being the final authority.

One should not overlook the fact that many of the ministers in the Anglican Church in North America retain a form of theological liberalism which is every bit as liberal as that of The Episcopal Church except they reject homosexual behavior. However, many of them still recommend the ordination of women which erodes the biblical standards and the order of creation, which in turn leads to the idea that homosexuality is normal rather than a perversion of nature and creation. It is simply a matter of time before the ACNA returns like a dog to its own vomit. (Proverbs 26:11; 2 Peter 2:22).

The fact that David Virtue himself endorses transexuals as long as they are celibate is just an open admission that Virtue does not understand biblical authority or God's purposes in creation. (See David Virtue Goes Transexual). God creates men and women as they are and any idea that the mind does not match the body is simply a perversion of God's creation and a rebellion against the divine image and likeness. (Genesis 1:26-27; 3:7, 22-23).

It is popular to distinguish between fundamentalism and evangelicalism. I would not consider myself either since the ultra fundamentalists are essentially pelagian and arminian. Fundamentalists tend to ignore higher theological education and to be anti-intellectual. On the other hand, evangelicalism is a meaningless term these days since everybody and their brother claims to be one--including Anglo-Catholics, left wing "neo-" evangelicals, and even Roman Catholics. I would prefer to identify myself as a conservative neo-fundamentalist Protestant who happens to be Reformed and Calvinist by God's set plan and foreknowledge.

Evangelicalism these days is increasingly influenced by the ecumenical movement and many so-called "evangelicals" are willing to sacrifice doctrinal truth and propositional truth for the sake of the amalgamation of denominations. This is nothing new since the Roman Catholic Church invented the idea of the use of secular force and military means to convert entire populations to the Roman Catholic faith. The term "christendom" or the "church militant" is a reference to this idea that entire nations and populations should be coerced into an external conformance to secular powers wielded at the hands of the church. The idea that the pope is the vicar of Christ on earth developed into the thesis that God operates through earthly rulers to further the kingdom of God on earth.

It is this same sort of thinking which predominates in the theology of theonomy and reconstruction within evangelical circles and it is also why you see reconstructionists who are willing to compromise the principles of the English and Protestant Reformations in order to bring about a moral change in society at large. Rather than focusing on the true conversion of individuals to a personal faith in Jesus Christ and on the propositional truths revealed in Holy Scripture, the focus becomes an emphasis on creating a universal or catholic organization with minimalist doctrinal requirements. (John 14:36). Unfortunately, this downplaying of doctrine in documents like the Lambeth Quadrilateral has the effect of creating a relativistic and liberalistic religion with little similitude to true Christianity as it is revealed in Holy Scripture.

Our concern ought not to be the creation of denominations or even of one denomination but rather on being faithful to what the Bible as a whole teaches. Even suggestions along the lines of Dr. Michael Horton's many rooms is inherently relativistic since in the main room he only advocates inerrancy of Scripture and the doctrine of the trinity. Unfortunately, Horton has unwittingly endorsed C.S. Lewis' theory of relativism where all the side rooms are equally valid, which they are not. Some of the side rooms are teaching false doctrine.

Horton's protest against doctrinal minimalism is solved by appealing to doctrinal minimalism again! (See the Village Green). Some evangelicals, James I. Packer, have tried to solve the problem by distinguishing between secondary and tertiary levels of doctrinal importance. But Packer only makes matters worse since he seems to think the Protestant Reformation is over and even goes so far as to sign the Evangelicals and Catholics Together document. In one recent lecture series he suggested that the "Anglican quadrilateral" is a good thing. By this he seems to be referring to the Lambeth Quadrilateral. Packer's solution is no solution either since he implies that the 39 Articles can be legitimately interpreted in two contradictory ways which are diametrically opposed to one another. The Packer of earlier years would not have endorsed such relativism but the Packer of today is more interested in ecumenical amalgamation than in the propositional truths of Holy Scripture and the Gospel.

There is indeed a tension between separation and unity. (Matthew 10:34-39; Luke 12:51-53, 14:25-33). The tensions between fundamentalism and the broad tent of evangelicalism are not solved by appealing to C.S. Lewis' Anglo-Catholic theology of relativism as Dr. Michael Horton has done. Nor is it solved by appealing to the Anglo-Catholic theology of the Lambeth Quadrilateral as Packer has done. Rather, it seems to me, that the way forward is an uncompromising return to the neo-fundamentalism of J. Gresham Machen and any cooperation or fellowship we have must be on the basis of detailed doctrinal discussions and not on theological minimalism.

Such minimalism leads inevitably back to theological liberalism and relativism which true Christians should rightly eschew. True Christianity is focused on the right preaching of the Gospel and Holy Scripture as a whole, not on minimalist ideas of cooperation and amalgamation. Reminds me of a cartoon where the issue of homosexuality caused a church to focus on the one and only verse they could legitimately still endorse in the Scriptures: "Jesus wept." (John 11:35).

Reformed Anglicans need not cooperate with Anglo-Catholics or even other Evangelicals in any formal organizational way. Instead the total focus of reforming Anglicanism must be upon the right preaching of the Gospel and the right administration of the word and sacraments. The focus of Scripture is upon the conversion of lost sinners to understand the Bible and come to a right relationship with Jesus Christ and God the Father through the power of the Holy Spirit. It is increasingly obvious that ecumenicalism is an anti-Christian movement meant to undermine our commitment to the truth. (Matthew 7:13) Rather than caring who our friends in the world are we ought to be more concerned with what God thinks and what God says in total in the Holy Scriptures. (Matthew 4:4).

Article XIX

Of the Church

The visible Church of Christ is a congregation of faithful men, in the which the pure word of God is preached and the sacraments be duly ministered according to Christ's ordinance in all those things that of necessity are requisite to the same. As the Church of Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch have erred: so also the Church of Rome hath erred, not only in their living and manner of ceremonies, but also in matters of faith.

1662 Book of Common Prayer

The Collect.
O LORD, we beseech thee, absolve thy people from their offences; that through thy bountiful goodness we may all be delivered from the bands of those sins, which by our frailty we have committed: Grant this, O heavenly Father, for Jesus Christ's sake, our blessed Lord and Saviour. Amen.


aaytch said...

Well Stated

Billy said...

"I pray...that they may all be one...that the world may believe." If your focus is on the conversion of sinners, unity is a necessity. Read the Bible you claim to believe in its entirety. Believe it or not there is more there than Romans and Galatians.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Billy, there can only be unity in the one Gospel of Jesus Christ. Those who preach another Jesus and another Gospel are not part of the invisible church or the communion of saints. (Galatians 1:6-8; 2 Corinthians 11:3-4). Believe it or not there is only one way of salvation (John 5:24-25; Acts 4:11-12; John 14:6).

Billy said...

I believe there is only one way of salvation. Jesus couldn't be clearer. But your excommunication of anyone who doesn't think exactly like you do-and for some inexplicable reason many who think exactly like you-is intolerable.

By the way, those who spread lies have not found that one way of salvation. (rev. 21:8) I suggest you pray and think long and hard about your condemnations of C.S. Lewis, Mike Horton, the ACNA, and Anglo-Catholics in general.

And just as a correction, Anglo-CAtholicism absolutely does not lead to theological liberalism. The traditions of the Church safeguard the Scripture from modern heretical interpretations.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Billy, I have never said that Michael Horton is not a Christian. I simply offered a criticism on his being deceived by C.S. Lewis' relativism. Lewis was no Christian. He was an Anglo-Catholic and believed that salvation and justification is by faith plus works among other things.

Anglo-Catholics fit the description of "liars" better than Protestant Reformation Christians since the Anglo-Catholics take the 39 Articles and outright "lie" about what the Articles plainly say and what Cranmer and the other English Reformers clearly and originally intended by the Articles.

By that definition, you yourself fit the description, Billy. There is only one sacrifice and it is not "re-presented" in communion. The communion service is intended to be a physical object lesson which nourishes our faith in Christ and His sacrifice on Calvary 2,000 years ago. The Word or "Scriptures" cannot be divorced from the sacrament. To place some sort of mystical power or presence in the "creatures" or "created" elements of bread and wine is idolatry. God is Spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:24).

What leads to liberalism, Billy, is placing sinful men on an equal status with God's final revelation in Holy Scripture and in Jesus Christ. Bishops are not divine but sinful. Only Jesus was without sin.

Furthermore, the Anglo-Catholic tradition tends to allegorize the plain texts of Scripture just as the scholastic tradition of the Roman Catholic Church did and continues to do. The Protestant Reformers, being good humanists, read the Bible as a plain text that plainly says what God intends. In other words, Scripture has only ONE meaning, not four or five different meanings.

It is also this same silliness that leads Anglo-Catholics to relativism regarding the 39 Articles of Religion. They try to read into the Articles meanings never there, never intended, and never to be understood from them. So the lying and dissimulation on the part of Anglo-Catholicism is precisely one aspect that leads to relativism. The other aspect is the tendency to confuse sinful humanity with divine revelation. The church fathers are not "inspired of God" and likewise no bishop is in "historic apostolic succession" precisely because ONLY Scripture and the original prophets, apostles and Jesus Christ are inspired of God to write and speak the very oracles of God.

Have a good day.

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