THE CURRENT ANGLICAN DEBATE
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The Nature of Authority
The whole concept of authority is under serious challenge and questioning in today’s world. Who has a "right" to define positions to which people are required to adhere? What gives individuals or a system a "right" to impose his/her/its thought or rules upon a group of people? What gives a group within a system the "right" require the rest of the group to accept its way of thinking?
As the Church struggles with matters that are seen as a violation of faith by some groups or as natural advances in the faith position by other groups, such questions become a reality. It would appear that the current conflicts would almost certainly precipitate a parting of the ways between the two groups. And, as a consequence, the matter of authority and ownership becomes a situation causing even more division of thought and/or opinion.
Embedded within these discussions is a question of the Ultimate Authority. One can turn to law (secular or ecclesiastical) to find to whom or what authority belongs according to humankind. Even simple minds can read and understand the words that have been written in the past defining such rules and regulations. But the simple reading is totally insufficient in today’s world as the writing of such man-made rules and regulations have emanated from an authority that was given under very different circumstances than those existing in today’s world.
The first thing that has to be remembered is that authority does not find its roots in the Secular Law Books or in the Ecclesiastical Canon Laws. Rather the authority for such laws has found its source in that which was given by a group of people gathered together in community in a particular time and place. In short, authority is not an entity that is usurped or undertaken by an individual or an organisation. Rather authority is something that is given by the community.
Hence, as in all man-made situations, such authority can be later rescinded or altered by that same community – or even a part of that same community. And, such is not always a result of a majority vote. A false precept in our western world is that "democratic" vote always makes something tenable and "right." But nothing could be farther from the truth. A person or organisation only holds authority over an individual in so far as that person is ready to confer such an authority upon that individual or group. No matter with how much effort the one usurping authority tries to enforce such upon an unwilling individual or group of individuals (community) there will always come a point where such an usurper (individual or group system) is overthrown and such authority is negated and removed.
It is only necessary to look at the world around to see the veracity of this axiom. The downfall of the Soviet Union is one such example whereby absolute authority was eventually rejected and overthrown despite law, rule, or regulation. The labour-led revolt in Poland is another modern-day example. The overthrow of varying dictatorships throughout the world, despite some of the horrific aftermaths caused by those "freedom fighters" who then presented a situation worse than that from which they "delivered" their people in some situations, clearly illustrate the maxim that authority is not usurped but given.
And such will be the eventual finding of those who would hijack the Church of Jesus Christ that worships in the form of Anglicanism in accordance with the Word of God as found in His Divinely Inspired Holy Scriptures. Those in leadership roles who would lead the Church into a faith form contrary to God’s Will clearly presented in His Divine Word will eventually be deposed and removed from their perceived positions of authority. The people of God have given them such authority so that they could lead The Body of Christ within the Anglican Church in accordance with the Holy Word of God.
As they fail in their role as Shepherds of God’s Sheep by revolting against their Ordination Vows to uphold the Holy Scriptures, The 39 Articles, and the Traditional Creeds of the Church (The Solemn Declaration of 1893) they are removing themselves from the Body of Christ and their roles of leadership in the Church. Yet, while honesty and integrity would have them give up their roles in that which they are openly violating – the true Body of Christ. But, like the Sadducees and Pharisees of the time of Jesus, they like the pomp and circumstance of the "offices" they hold so much that they find it necessary to immorally hold onto that which they have rejected.
In order to accomplish this, they have to falsely usurp and enforce the "legal" authorities of the written secular and ecclesiastical laws of their organisations. The fact that these "rights" were given to them under the assumption they would use them in their work as shepherds of God’s people means very little to them. Their goal is to use the man-made written words to entrench their positions and power in order to accomplish their own godless agenda. And this approach is in violation of the basic principle of authority – that is given not taken.
The Grounds For Authority
It is an obvious point, but one that often is "forgotten" by those "in authority" in the church today, that there must be a mandatory and superseding source behind all authority. One cannot simply point to rules and regulations established by humankind and base secular, temporal, and ecclesiastical authority upon them. It should not need to be said, but has become necessary to say, that, in the Church, the highest authority needs to be Almighty God. A faith in the being of God and exclusive salvation in His Only Begotten Son Jesus Christ cannot logically draw upon any other source for its underpinning of all faith statements and required rights and responsibilities.
Yet, today’s leadership, as in the leadership leading up to and during the time of Christ, has taken upon itself the power to make statements "in the Name of God" that diametrically oppose those in the Holy Word of God. When challenged upon this they claim the guidance of a holy spirit in "meeting the cultural needs of today’s society." They find no problem with such contradictions despite the Holy Spirit’s references in Holy Writ of the unchangeable nature of God and His Moral Law.
The sin in which they are clearly participating is the oldest sin in the world – the Sin of Eve. The serpent moved Eve, and through her Adam, to take to themselves the right to make moral decisions concerning right and wrong – the meaning intended in the use of the merismus "the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil" – as this would make them "as good as God." And, ever since that event in time and space in history, humankind’s greatest temptation has been that which sets himself up as being able to stand in the stead of God. Yet, rather than recognising their sin, those who would hold the truth of those things which oppose the Truth of God, driven by their own egotism, purport to be speaking for, and maybe even as, a god.
Yet, no Christian can truthfully speak with any authority that is not in itself grounded in God and His Divinely Inspired Word Written in Holy Scripture and Living in Christ Jesus. For this reason the Anglican Reformers included Article 20 in the 39 Articles of Religion stating that the Church may not teach anything as being right and good that is repugnant to Holy Scripture. Further, the Canadian Anglican Ordinal for Deacons, Priests, and Bishops clearly requires the ordinands to swear to understand the Holy Scriptures as BEING the Word of God and to sign concurrence to the Solemn Declaration of 1893 that requires acceptance of the Holy Scriptures, the Traditional Creeds, and the 39 Articles as a condition of Ordination and a Faith Statement of the Anglican Church of Canada..
Upon this foundation sworn to by those ordained to leadership in the Church, the Church makes its rules and regulations concerning rites and ceremonies. Further, based upon these principles, and none other, the leadership of the Church, in the Name of the Church, has authority in controversies of faith.
Given these factors, the Church gives authority to her leadership in recognising such to be the Will of God the Holy Spirit. In fact, the community swears allegiance to the leadership that functions based upon these principles and criteria. And, within such there is no excuse not to give allegiance to such agreed authority.
However, when the holders of that authority, as in today’s situation, strive to step autocratically outside the parameters of the sworn principles of faith, the Church not only has the right, but also the obligation, to challenge and, if necessary, depose the apostate individuals.
Thus, the primary basis of authority is the Holy Scripture – the Holy Word of God – the Divinely Inspired Word of God Written and Living. Any authority conferred upon the leadership is based upon the leadership’s adherence to those self-same Scriptures in their straightforward and simple understanding. In the application of the Divine Word of God the leadership is to be respected and followed.
The leadership is to be trusted for its honesty and integrity. If the leadership can no longer stand by its vows regarding the place of Holy Scripture, the Creeds, and the 39 Articles of Religion such honesty and integrity should lead them to voluntarily relinquish their positions, titles, and authority in the Church. If the leadership can no longer stand by its vows regarding the place of Holy Scripture, the Creeds, and the 39 Articles of Religion such honesty and integrity should lead them to voluntarily leave that community that holds to those principles of faith. And standing by such cannot mean as revisited and reinterpreted in "modern" times to suit current "cultural" needs. Rather such understanding must be that which was stated and intended at their inception.
But, such has not been the case. Where the leadership so become apostate it has been its propensity to try to change the foundational faith principles to suit their heretical stances. And, in so doing, it has been the attitude of these false prophets, these failed shepherds, to attempt to coerce the faithful into following them into hell or, failing that, to get out of "their" church.
Under these circumstances, it is clear that the principles of authority have been ignored without any intent upon the part of those in authority and teachings such opposition to God’s Holy Word to do the honest and honourable thing in stepping down from their offices held under false pretenses. Under such circumstances, it is the right and responsibility of those faithful to God’s Holy Word to call upon the apostates to resign and leave or, failing their acquiescence, to force them out and have nothing more to do with them.
The Fallacy of Today’s Leadership
That portion of those in today’s leadership that would teach and require things repugnant to Holy Writ utilise various false and misleading means to accomplish their end goals.
First, every time there occurs a point of conflict and resistance the revisionist heretics establish a committee to study the matter. Such provides time for the opposition to cool down. It also provides time for the use of persuasion in bending people to their view. Invariably the "study" group is inundated with those agreeing with the leadership positions with the inclusion of a minority of opposition personnel who will be easily outvoted and ignored.
The committee produces heavily slanted and totally invalid "study material" that, if followed, could only lead to one conclusion – that of the leadership. Only speakers agreeing with the leadership positions are able to make their "unbiased" presentations in the regions overseen by such apostate authority while strong oppositions speakers are not allowed the same open forums.
Secondly, revisionist leadership constantly calls for further dialogue and a dedication to unity. Yet, while calling for such these same people are quick to break unity and make definitive non-conciliatory statements of their own. One attends world meetings, signs statements, and then produces "spin" repudiating that to which he agreed. Another, while signing documents asking for more "conversation" and unity, makes public statements stating that those who do not like the "liberal agenda" of the church can go find somewhere else to worship.
Third, when all else fails, the liberal leadership becomes aggressive. One picks out the weakest Parish and shuts them down four days before Christmas. Another threatens disciplinary action against anyone who violates manmade rules and regulations while he himself openly and unabashedly ignores and/or refutes the foundational documents of authority in the Holy Scriptures. In ECUSA the revisionists are taking aggressive steps against anyone who refuses to accept the revisionist liberal sodomite agenda.
Given these approaches it is no wonder that Bible Believing Christians find it difficult to believe let alone trust these persons. Their goal is total manipulation and constant talking until they can get a "democratic vote" to authorise their stance. But their dialogue is simply we’ll keep talking until you agree with us. Their studies are simply ways and means of furthering their agenda. And their legalism surpasses anything that they complain about concerning the conservative believers and their so-called "legalism" which being interpreted is "standing by the Holy Word of God."
It is becoming necessary for the Christians to remind these people that Moses didn’t ask for a vote when he brought the Ten Commandments from the Mountain. In fact, those who had taken a vote were busy building the Golden Calf. Nowhere in Holy Scripture does God ask the people whether they agree with Him or not. He merely sets the criteria (the Covenantal Agreement) by which one comes to the Kingdom of God. Mankind can either accept the offer or reject it. And much of today’s leadership would ask us to follow them in rejecting God’s Divinely Inspired Word in favour of their manmade man devised heresies.
The Call To Christians Today
In comprehending the meaning of authority and how it is being violated in the Anglican Church today, the True People of God who accept Him as He has presented Himself in His Holy Word are now called to purify the Church of the apostate members of the leadership so that God can once again be truly worshipped and glorified by His Church that worships in the Anglican manner.
The will mean taking a stance against members of a leadership that do not uphold the principles of their Ordination/Consecration Vows. It will mean calling upon the apostate members of the leadership to have at least the moral integrity to resign the offices they currently hold under false pretences. If, as is most likely, such a resignation is not forthcoming, those who are followers of God’s Holy Word must take the necessary steps to render such false leadership impotent and superfluous. In any case, God acting through His people must be allowed to purge the impurity within the Church.
Such steps may seem drastic. However, it has been in taking the soft and quiet routes over the past forty years that the current condition within the leadership of the church has been allowed to fester and the resultant tumour to grow. Now radical surgery is required to remove the stench of evil from within the Body of Christ and to restore it to a position whereby its faith is based solely upon the Holy Word of God.
In order to accomplish this, members of the Body of Christ will need to stand firm in the Holy Word of God. They will need to speak as a body against those who would supplant God’s Word – Written and Living – in favour of today’s cultural society. Christians will have to hold up God’s Word as being an authority higher than the "democratic" vote of any Diocesan, Provincial, or National Synod. The true Body of Christ will have to be ready to refuse to accept any teaching that is contrary to Scripture as being a valid teaching within the Anglican Church.
While the real temptation for those committed to Christ and His Divine Authority may be to take the uncomplicated route and simply walk away from such heresies, it is of ultimate importance that they rather stay and hold up immoveable opposition to the onslaught of evil. As some of the "liberal" leadership have been honest enough to openly state, their wish is that those who will not accept their agenda will simply go somewhere else.
In taking this stance, this apostate leadership is saying that those who stand for what the Anglican Church stood for in its Reformation principles should leave the Church to the heretics "and go elsewhere for their worship." Yet such is totally illogical. Why should those who hold to the founding principles of Anglicanism leave their Church because they disagree with those who wish to violate those principles? Logically, it should be those whose wish is to establish a newly invented faith to leave and establish their own venue for that faith.
Of course, these apostates do not wish to do this. Rather they wish to present their invalid self-developed machinations under the guise of a legitimacy that is given by the established Anglican Church community. Without such a platform their specious inventions based upon weak and untenable revisionist criterion as opposed to that which God calls unchangeable would hold no attraction or validity. Just as the appearance of their own personal illusions of authority and importance depend upon their illegally held positions within the Church so their ability to dupe others into accepting their unfounded tenets of faith as being valid depends upon the illusion of legitimacy given in the guise of a time-honoured community.
Thus, the need for God’s people to stay and fight is both a matter of faith and morals and a matter of preventing the use of our legitimate Faith Based Home - that portion of the Body of Christ known as the Anglican Communion - being falsely presented as the foundational community for that which diametrically opposed to the True Faith of Almighty God as revealed to humankind in His Divinely Inspired Holy Bible. And these two principles taken together leave True Members of the Body of Christ who make their faith based home in the Anglican Communion no option but to stay within the Body to prevent the illegitimate use of the body.
May God the Holy Spirit uphold and strengthen us. May our eyes be firmly fixed upon the Love of God in the Cross and Bodily Resurrection of Jesus Christ. May the Everlasting Arms of the Father be wrapped around us and embrace us as we undertake to stand firmly for Him against this evil onslaught.
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