Monday, June 16, 2008

Anglican church in meltdown over gays and women

Cover story in todays Times... Anglican church in meltdown over gays and women, by Ruth Gledhill. Tired old question, but could this be the straw that breaks the camels back, or is there still reason for the evangelicals to stay in fellowship with the anglo-catholics and the liberals?? I love (most of) the 39 articles as much as anyone else, but this thing has drifted so far off that it doesn't even realise the problem.

Further into The Times it's noted that having Rabbi Sacks speak at Lambeth is a positive step... Now, it's good to understand others, but I'm not entirely sure how someone who doesn't think the Messiah has come yet is going to help the CofE move forward positively

Drift happens. The Bible shows us that.
And history sings the same song.

What matters when that's happening is staying with the gospel. The gospel is then far more important than the sentiment historical unity. Unity is always selective anyway (note there are plenty of people not in the Church of England in the first place) and should always be surrendered for the sake of holding to the gospel, for the sake of the glory of Jesus. Maintaining unity without the gospel is just pointless. Where unity based on the gospel can be maintained then obviously that's the ideal, a clear basis for friendship, relationship, partnership....

The Jehovah's Witnesses who popped into our house on Sunday afternoon would have had us believe that we shared the same gospel as the four newfrontiers-types they were sitting around the table with - but that's only true if you skip Anglican articles I, II, V, VIII amongst others (that is if you skip Trinity, divinity of Jesus, the historic creeds etc). The Reformed Charismatics and the Jehovah's Witnesses hold to different gospels. We can't unite in gospel-fellowship. Likewise, how can those in the CofE who have such different gospels prentent to be united? Why would someone who loves the gospel want to fellowship with those who openly flaunt sound doctrine?

Furthermore, given that Anglican churches are essentially independent churches, and that the evangelicals are usually more than capable of self-funding - why stay in the bigger thing? I know you can never have a totally pure church. And I know it is possible that evangelicals might one day be a majority... but is that faint future hope worth the cost today? There are plenty of churches to form fellowship with instead of those that deny the things that matter. Plenty of churches who love the gospel, who will contend for the truth...