Wednesday, June 28, 2006

An Answer to Cahos

As we stand here today the entire Anglican Communion continues to reverberated down to it’s roots following the actions of the 2006 General Convention of the Episcopal Church of the United States.

The world looks at what has taken place and wonders as to the validity of the Anglican Faith. Devoted Christians are shocked, confused and demoralized as to the actions of their national Church. Many parishioners are abandoning their traditional faith and moving over to other denominations. Where and when will this madness stop? What can we as concerned Anglicans do to help right this dilemma?

First we must pray constantly for Gods guidance in this matter.

Secondly we must reach out to those hurting. We must let them know that there are Traditional Anglicans out there to help assist them in finding answers to their quandary. We must stand up and let the world know that there are still dedicated Christians who believe in and live by the Holy Scriptures with out being influenced by so called politically correct interpretations.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has produced a paper titled Challenge and Hope which delves into some of the underlying problems of this quandary. A copy of the synopsis of his paper is is found at the link below. The content is well worth any concerned Anglicans reading and consideration.

Anglican Communion News

A MS Word version of the entire text is at the following link

Quickly following the conclusion of the ECUSA convention the Diocese of Fort Worth requested alternative primate oversight, and it is almost assured that a number of other dioceses will follow suit in the near future. In addition, there are cries heard daily throughout the Christian community from individuals and congregations who are seeking help in leaving the heterodoxy of ECUSA and who have lost heart for Anglicanism. Many laity departing ECUSA are leaving quietly, going to Rome, independent churches, or most sadly, no church at all. This week, the largest church (in average Sunday attendance) in ECUSA, Christ Church, Plano, announced its decision to disassociate from the Episcopal Church. It is feared that tens of thousands of individuals will be lost from Anglicanism forever unless immediate, though interim, intervention is provided. The face of Anglicanism has been changed, and it behooves us as Traditional Anglicans to be creative in the midst of the restructuring process before us. The situation in the American church is rapidly deteriorating, and it is critical to act now in order to prevent the “balkanization” of the entire Anglican Communion.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

A Matter of Sheep and Goats

There comes a time near the end of the season when the Sheppard brings all of his animals into a confined area and systematically begins separating the sheep from the goats. The sheep he will lovingly place into a protected place of plenty during the winter and later put them out in the spring to multiply. Most of the goats will be sold and sent to slaughter.

Are we like the sheep and the goats in the Anglican Communion? Christ said “I am the good Shepherd; and I know my sheep, and am known by My own." "My sheep hear My voice and I know them, and they follow Me." Goats have always had a bad reputation with the Sheppard’s of old. They were always wandering off, climbing into inaccessible and dark places, never listening to the voice of the shepherd. That is exactly why the goats were always getting into trouble.

This same characteristic of the goats marks some of our Brothers and Sisters in the Anglican community. They have wandered far a field, failing to heed the voice of the Good Shepherd. Like most goats, due to their own hard headedness, they are now teetering on the brink of denominational damnation.

There can not be a cafeteria exercise of faith in traditional Christianity. The bible says exactly what it means. To understand the message you must read the before and after of a particular bit of scripture in order to correctly grasp the entire meaning of the passage. You can not take a little scripture here, another bit there and formulate a basis of correct scriptural dogma. You can not be a true Christian and also be politically correct.

Trust me when I tell you there is no "Mother Jesus".

Trust me when I tell you that the practice of homosexuality is a sin according to strict interpretation the bible by all knowledgeable Biblical scholars.

Trust me when I tell you that marriage is a God given sacrament between one man and one woman.

Trust me when I tell you that good Anglicans are fed up and are looking again at the moral values of the Traditional Anglican Church as a refuge from the madness of the so call politically correct religions.

This Sunday morning in the process of leaving for church I stood in the kitchen with my sermon under my arm gulping down the last cup of coffee. Glancing at the morning’s paper I happen to see the following Editorial by nationally known columnist Cal Thomas. Suddenly I became aware that there were others out in the world community that were as disgusted and saddened as myself at the actions of a national Church which appears to have gone morally and spiritually corrupt. I have included Mr. Thomas’s article below for your edification and you draw your own conclusions.

Cal Thomas
Church lite

The new leader of the Episcopal Church in America, Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, says she does not believe homosexuality is a sin and that homosexuals were created by God to love people of the same gender.

As the Episcopal leadership continues to huff and puff to catch up with the world, it would be helpful if it could tell its members what it regards as sinful behavior, or will the very concept of sin soon be up for negotiation in order to avoid giving offense to anyone?

Truly what Paul, the Apostle, warned would happen in the "end times" is coming true in our day: "For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine, instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn away from the truth and turn aside to myths." (2 Timothy 4:3-4 NIV).

Meeting at the Episcopal General Convention in Columbus, Ohio, the denomination passed a resolution expressing "regret" for consecrating a homosexual bishop three years ago, but it declined to repent of its action. On Tuesday, they voted to continue consecrating homosexual bishops and to permit same-sex unions. But, just 24 hours later, they reversed themselves yet again and adopted a resolution to avoid consecrating additional gay bishops. Apparently, they are so wishy-washy; they are even wishy-washy about their wishy-washiness.

Bishop Schori, a former oceanographer for the National Marine Fisheries Service in Seattle, says, "The Bible tells us about how to treat other human beings and that's certainly the great message of Jesus to include the unincluded."

This is so outside orthodox Christianity that only biblical illiterates or those who deny the supreme authority of the only book that gives foundation to the faith will accept it.

Anglicanism has suffered from probably irreversible Corruption since the days of the late C.S. Lewis and John Stott, who is still with us. These men combined intellectual heft with orthodox belief and had little regard for trends, fads or cultural diversions. They have been replaced by theological dim bulbs that are less concerned about proclaiming truth and conversion than in not offending anyone

Maybe the question for Bishop Schori and her fellow heretics should be: if homosexual practice is not sin, what is? And how do we know? Or is it a matter of "thus saith the opinion polls" and lobbying groups, rather than "thus saith the Lord"? With the bishop's "doctrine" of inclusion, why exclude anyone? How about applying the religious equivalent of "open borders" and let everyone into the church, including unrepentant prostitutes, murderers, liars, thieves and atheists. If the Episcopal Church denies what is clearly taught in scripture about important matters like sexual behavior, why expect its leaders to have any convictions about anything, including directions to Heaven? How can anyone be sure, if the guidebook is so full of errors?

The leader of Anglicanism, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, has promoted this doctrinal wishy-washiness. Williams, who has acknowledged ordaining a priest who is a homosexual, says he opposes cohabitation by heterosexuals because it has a harmful impact on family stability. But the same book that speaks against what we used to call "fornication" before such words died along with the accompanying doctrines, also speaks against the "sin" of homosexual practice. So how can anyone be sure one is true and the other not true, or the reverse, or neither, or both? And who is to say if the church leaders don't know or are afraid to say because they might be criticized as "exclusive."

The Episcopal Church isn't the only denomination having trouble deciding what it believes. The Presbyterian Church (USA) has voted to "receive" a policy paper on sex-inclusive language for the Trinity. Instead of the traditional (and biblical) Father, Son and Holy Spirit, these liberal Presbyterians will consider using "Mother, Child and Womb," or "Rock, Redeemer, Friend," among others. Never mind what God calls Himself. These people want a name change without asking permission.

No wonder liberal denominations are losing members while the conservative ones are growing. The liberal ones don't seem to care. Seeking only to be "relevant" they face condemnation from the One they are supposed to represent, whose attitude about such things is anything but "inclusive."Conservative Episcopalians are too few in number to stop the theological drift. If they intend to preserve their congregations without further theological seepage, they should "come out from among them and be separate."

Where do we go from here???

We pray with out failing for the hand of God to direct the hearts of those in positions of responsibility to realize the error of their ways and return to the Sacramental fold of Christ’s Church on Earth.

We open our hearts and parishes for those who flee from this madness while we continue to pray lovingly for those left behind.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

A Test of Faith

The Episcopal Church of The United States is meeting in solemn session to determine it's path to embark on for eternity. There have been many resolutions that have been drafted in response to the Windsor report. None of these which respond directly to the concerns of the report but rather dance around the fringes of truth.

It is obvious that almost all of the resolutions as they are currently drafted fail to meet the concerns of the Anglican community as a whole as well the areas addressed by the Windsor report. Basically, at this point in time, it also appears that ECUSA has no intention of correcting its head strong slide away from Christian morality.

As a result of these actions, or should I say skirting around the truth, many prominent church leaders have looked the proposed resolutions and expressed grave concerns to their lack of concrete answers. Such is the case of Dr N. T. Wright, Bishop of Durham. The concluding remarks of his paper on these actions are presented below.

The Choice before ECUSA
by the Bishop of Durham, Dr. N. T. Wright June 2006

19. It is very important not to let the plethora of material, in the official document and in all the various commentaries on it, detract attention from the central and quite simple question: Will ECUSA comply with the specific and detailed recommendations of Windsor, or will it not? As the Resolutions stand, only one answer is possible: if these are passed without amendment, ECUSA will have specifically, deliberately and knowingly decided not to comply with Windsor. Only if the crucial Resolutions, especially A160 and A161, are amended in line with Windsor paragraph 134, can there be any claim of compliance. Of course, even then, there are questions already raised about whether a decision of General Convention would be able to bind those parts of ECUSA that have already stated their determination to press ahead in the direction already taken. But the Anglican principle of taking people to be in reality what they profess to be, until there is clear evidence to the contrary, must be observed. If these resolutions are amended in line with Windsor, and passed, then the rest of the Communion will be in a position to express its gratitude and relief that ECUSA has complied with what was asked of it. Should that happen, I will be the first to stand up and cheer at such a result, and to speak out against those who are hoping fervently for ECUSA to resist Windsor so that they can justify their anti-ECUSA stance. But if the resolutions are not amended, then, with great sadness and with complete uncertainty about what way ahead might then be found, the rest of the Communion will have to conclude that, despite every opportunity, ECUSA has declined to comply with Windsor; has decided, in other words, to walk apart’ (Windsor 157). My hope and earnest prayer over the coming week will continue to be that that conclusion may be avoided. May God bless the Bishops and Delegates of ECUSA in their praying, thinking and deciding.

As Christians the most difficult thing to do in this secular world is stand up for the truths of our faith as set out in the Bible with out compromise. One can not be a cafeteria Anglican and remain true the basic tenet’s we profess to believe.

There are many parishes in ECUSA that are trembling at home as to the possible action to be taken by this Synod of 2006. We reverently pray that their fears may be in vain and their ancient Christian faith restored.