Friday, December 05, 2008

American Anglicans Form New Denomination

Attention American Christians: Consider this as instructive for all of us (how to respond to attacks)

Wednesday evening in Wheaton, IL, former Episcopal Church USA clergy announce the creation of the Anglican Church in North America, believed to include about 100,000 Christians

Nearly 1,000 Christians, including Anglican and former ECUSA clergy from around the globe, packed a loaned worship center (of the Wheaton Evangelical Free Church). To say that the atmosphere was worshipful would be an understatement!

The historic occasion included the official signing of the Jerusalem Declaration, but the hours-long gathering was a glorious worship experience that included prayers, Scripture reading, recitation of the Nicene Creed, teaching, traditional organ hymn singing, contemporary praise singing, and the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.

The congregants were visibly worshipful, and enthusiastic in their thanksgiving to God for His blessings, and bringing them out of the persecution of the apostate ECUSA, and providing for their new Bible-believing and confessing church.

So, how is this Anglican event instructive to other American Christians? These Anglican Christians have demonstrated how all Christians must react when Jesus Christ is attacked. These Anglicans in America did not cower within their local churches as their ECUSA leadership abandoned Scriptural Authority in favor of the popular culture. Rather, these Christians spoke out and took action against their heretical persecutors.

The question to American Christians is, Does it take the equivalent of a 9/11 attack to garner the attention of people who proclaim the mantel of Christ? Will the evil incrementalism be an effective weapon against slumbering churches?

As Jesus Christ is being assaulted both from within churches, by apostate and heretical leadership, and from outside the church, by pagan/secular forces, will American churches stand in the name of God Almighty despite the "risk" of persecution?

American Christians are in the position of the perverbial frog in the pot of water on the stove. Satan is very slowly turning up the heat, such that the cowering and reclusive Christians are about to be unwittingly cooked.

To quote the new Archbishop, Robert Duncan of the Anglican Church in North America: "It's time to be ready!" Mark 13:24-37

-- From "It's About Theology, Not Territory" by Albert Mohler 12/5/08

. . . conservative Anglican leaders met in Wheaton, Illinois to plan for a future province of the Anglican Communion -- in this case a province determined by theological conviction, not geographical designation.

As The New York Times reported . . . The move threatens the fragile unity of the Anglican Communion, the world’s third-largest Christian body, made up of 38 provinces around the world that trace their roots to the Church of England and its spiritual leader, the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The strange part of that account is the statement that this move "threatens the fragile unity of the Anglican Communion." That fragile unity was shattered by the actions of more liberal churches in North America to bless same-sex unions, ordain homosexual ministers, and elect an openly-homosexual bishop. The lack of unity is what has prompted the establishment of this new denomination.

Indeed, this division among the Anglicans and related national churches can be traced directly back to the Anglican Communion's failure to establish and maintain doctrinal boundaries and a clear affirmation of biblical authority. Liberals and conservatives have been increasingly at odds over a host of issues related to biblical authority.

The announcement of the Anglican Church in North America is good news. The big question is just how many churches and dioceses will join this new province and depart the Episcopal Church. Officials with the Episcopal Church sought to downplay the development, suggesting that the new group was rejecting the denomination's commitment to diversity. In the eyes of those forming the Anglican Church in North America, the Episcopal Church has rejected the Bible.

Nevertheless, the fact that the establishment of the Anglican Church of North America was motivated by explicitly theological concerns and commitments is a sign of hope. The battle for biblical authority arises again and again, and it is good that these leaders recognize the centrality of this commitment.

To read Albert Mohler's entire blog entry, CLICK HERE.