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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

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Liberal and Relativistic Theology of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer Leads to Apostasy

[The following excerpt is from an article which appeared in The Churchman.  The article is based on a book by Samuel Leuenberger which outlines the history and the revivalistic theology of the 1552 Book of Common Prayer which is preserved in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, still the official prayer book of the Church of England.  Leuenberger's criticism of the 1980 alternative services book in England applies with equal repercussions for the American 1979 book of alternative services which is also known as the 1979 Book of Common Prayer, although it bears little resemblance to the official 1662 prayer book.  The article is called Archbishop Cranmer’s Immortal Bequest:  The Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England:  An Evangelistic Liturgy.  It appeared in Churchman 106/1 1992.  Leuenberger's critique of the theology of the 1979 "prayer book" is prophetic here.  The intention of the 1979 book is to lead people away from God's revelation of Himself in Holy Scripture and toward a more this worldly theological liberalism and relativism.  We can see the results of that sort of thinking in the current state of apostasy of The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion at large.  Even GAFCON is infected with this liberal version of the prayer book since it can be found in wide use in the new Anglican Church in North America.  Liberalism is at work through the Anglo-Catholic elements of GAFCON, which mistakenly claims to be  faithful to the Anglican Formularies, being the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, and the Ordinal.  The reality, however, is that GAFCON perpetuates the same compromises which will eventually lead to the same outright apostasy the organization  is supposed to be prophetically challenging.  You can read Leuenberger's entire article by clicking on the title or here:  Archbishop Thomas Cranmer's Immortal Bequest.]

5. The Alternative Service Book 1980 in the service of Pluralism and Ecumenism

The last chapter of my study is concerned with The Alternative Service Book 67 which has been in use since 1980. Since 1966 experimental liturgies have been preparing the English people for its introduction, and in the last decade these have had such an influence that the old prayer book has largely fallen out of use, although it is still the official prayer book of the Church of England. Unfortunately the Anglo-Catholic movement of the last century, with its vehement denial of the principle of Sola Scriptura,68 has had a major influence on this new prayer book. Once the principle of Sola Scriptura is out of the way the door is wide open to heretical doctrine. The twentieth century attack which resulted in this attempted liturgical revolution has been led by men such as Bishop John Robinson (1919-1983) whose series of books had a marked effect upon the laity.69 The greatest failing of The Alternative Service Book 1980 is that it lacks the Reformation character. Man is no longer seen as being born in trespasses and sin: therefore the confessions are much shorter. The main emphasis is man’s guilt with respect to his neighbour: the old prayer book stresses man’s guilt with respect to God. The exhortations have been done away with and thereby the revivalistic flavour has also been excised. The possibility of damnation is not mentioned, as it was in the old prayer book, and God is not understood as a judge. Universalistic tendencies70 become obvious, while the difference between being a believer and an unbeliever is totally obscured.  From a formal point of view one has to notice that the sequence of the liturgical elements in The Order for Holy Communion is almost identical with present day Roman Mass. The canon has been restored, the epiclesis reintroduced.71 Also there are many alternatives for certain liturgical elements, and these many alternatives smuggle in pluralism. There are different confessions of sin72 and absolutions to choose from: the one confession of sin reflects a more conservative biblical theology while the other reveals a modernistic conception. These many alternatives as representative of different theological ideas express a relativistic notion of truth.  It is very difficult for the churchgoer to develop roots in such a prayer book, and this is probably deliberate. The people are being trained for an unlimited openness, in preparation for acceptance of the new world church, without resistance.  It seems to me that the strong adaptation of the eucharistic liturgy and of other formulas to the form of the Roman church has to be understood as a liturgical preparation for the planned Super-church. The highest principle will be unity and not truth. In that cause anything that legitimately and Biblically could cause separation has been avoided. However the proclamation of Biblical doctrine does always, both rightly and inevitably, differentiate believer from unbeliever, and truth from error, while The Alternative Service Book 1980 is masterful in avoiding any such scandal. This new liturgical book is therefore a very serious sign of apostasy within the Church of England.

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Reasonable Christian Blog Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost; Answer. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen. 1662 Book of Common Prayer

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