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Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

The Great Anglican Death Wish

Jul 11, 2017

It was the renowned journalist Malcolm Muggeridge who used to speak about the “great liberal death wish”. There were various versions of this given, either as an essay or a talk. Here is a short part of one such version:

Searching in my mind for an appropriate name for the ’70s, I settle for The Decade of The Great Liberal Death Wish. It seems to me that this process of death-wishing, in the guise of liberalism, has been eroding the civilization of the West for a century or more, and is now about to reach its apogee. … Systematically, stage by stage, dismantling our Western way of life, depreciating and deprecating all its values so that the social structure is now tumbling down, dethroning its God, undermining all its certainties, and finally mobilizing a Praetorian Guard of ribald students, maintained at public expense, and ready at the drop of a hat to go into action, not only against their own weak-kneed, bemused academic authorities, but also against any institution or organ for the maintenance of law and order still capable of functioning, especially the police.

YORK, ENGLAND - JULY 13: Delegates discuss issues during the afternoon session of the annual Church of England General Synod at York University on July 13, 2014 in York, England. Members and officers of the Church of England's General Synod are preparing for a vote on whether to introduce women bishops. The Synod will vote tomorrow during it's meeting at York University and if successful women bishops could be announced later this year.  (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

He speaks of course about how the West is cowing before its enemies, agreeing with them that it is time for the West to go, and renouncing its own values, beliefs and foundational principles. Ideological self-immolation in other words. It is not just Western politics and culture which is involved in this, but sadly and much more despicably, so many of our Christian churches.

And we see a perfect example of this with the latest week-long General Synod of the Church of England, this one being held in York on July 7-11. As one concerned writer notes, this is the Church of England’s “highest decision-making body. It holds congress twice a year—in Westminster and in York….

“Over 400 bishops, clergy and laity will attend its sessions. Members may propose motions, ask questions, discuss positions and raise issues for debate. It is their chance to table the most serious issues facing Christianity and therefore society today.”

But as this writer, Rev. Jules Gomes, points out, the questions being asked and debated were not about vitally important matters such as the worldwide persecution of Christians. The modern-day genocide of Christians, overwhelmingly at the hands of devout Muslims, should indeed be a key issue for the week. But not so. Says Gomes:

While their Christian brethren— bishops, priests, nuns, evangelists and congregation members – are raped, stoned, crucified or machine-gunned to death, while their churches are bombed or burned down, while modern day Neros are throwing Christians to the lions, what the members of General Synod are suffering from is a preoccupation with sex.
As the veteran conservative blogger Adrian Hilton observed earlier this week regarding this week’s Synod: ‘Of the 85 listed Synod questions, not one – not one – is concerned with the plight of the persecuted church worldwide. There are questions about sex, sexuality, sex, LGBT, sex, LGTBQIA (what?), sex, LGBTI, sex, same-sex marriage, sex, “gay cure” conversion therapy, sex, sex, and sex. Oh, there’s a question on ‘Monitoring air quality’, too. That’s diversity of obsession. Welcome to the General Sex Synod of the Church of England.’
‘Sex’ is to General Synod what the ‘bell’ was to the Russian psychologist Ivan Pavlov’s salivating dogs. The Church of England has sex on the brain. Four African nations face one of the worst famine crises since World War II yet all the Church of England can obsess about is what lies below, not above, the belt.
So why this fixation on sex? And at a time that Justin Welby is facing serious questions regarding two of the most significant sexual abuse scandals in recent archiepiscopal memory? Could this be another diversionary virtue-signalling media tactic as was scapegoating the former conservative ABC George Carey, while letting the former liberal ABC Rowan Williams get away with a rap on the knuckles?

He concludes:

Instead of having Bibles in the pew, it is likely members of General Synod will be given an illustrated copy of the Kama Sutra! Watching the antics of the General Synod Sex Circus, the Hungarian-born British journalist George Mikes, would have to rewrite the chapter on sex in his very funny book How to be an Alien. ‘European men and women have sex-lives; English men and women have hot-water bottles,’ he wrote in 1946. Not any more! And certainly not if you are on General Synod! You are more likely to get a sex therapy session.

A day after writing that, we have an even better idea as to just what kind of mischief these folks have gotten up to. And it sure is not looking pretty. Here is how one report discusses the proceedings:

The General Synod of the Church of England has officially passed a motion welcoming and affirming transgender people to the church. A top bishop also declared that being LGBT is “not a sin.”
“That this Synod, recognizing the need for transgender people to be welcomed and affirmed in their parish church, call on the House of Bishops to consider whether some nationally commended liturgical materials might be prepared to mark a person’s gender transition,” the motion that passed on Sunday reads.
As the official CofE website points out, the vote went overwhelmingly in favor of welcoming transgender people, with 30 for the motion and two opposed in the House of Bishops; 127 who backed the motion and 28 against it in the House of Clergy; and 127 for and 48 against in the House of Laity.
The Rev. Christopher Newlands of the Blackburn Diocesan Synod said at the beginning of the assembly: “I hope that we can make a powerful statement to say that we believe that trans people are cherished and loved by God, who created them, and is present through all the twists and turns of their lives.”
During the synod’s weekend session, the church body also backed a motion calling for a ban on what critics have called “conversion therapy” for people with unwanted same-sex attractions.
The Archbishop of York, the Most Rev. John Sentamu, who is one of the most senior officials in the CofE, declared: “As the world listens to us, the world needs to hear us say that LGBT orientation and identity is not a crime. LGBT orientation and identity is not a sickness. And LGBT orientation and identity is not a sin,” Sentamu added, according to BBC News.

Thankfully not everyone there has ditched their Bibles for Playboy magazine and the complete works of Freud, Kinsey, Hefner and Tatchell. As usual, Church of England members from the developing world were keen to hold the line:

Concerns from Anglican conservatives over the pro-LGBT direction they say the CofE has taken has led groups such as the Global Anglican Future Conference to put forward their own “missionary bishop” to oversee traditional Anglican parishes.
GAFCON has said that the Western world is “abandoning Christian heritage,” and warned that a number of U.K. churches are “under pressure to compromise clear Christian teaching in the face of secular humanist philosophy.
“In some cases, the Gospel appears to have been watered down or even denied. Even some faithful clergy do not feel free to give clear teaching on key topics such as sexual ethics or the uniqueness of Christ,” GAFCON said earlier.
Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, the Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria and Chairman of the GAFCON Primates Council, wrote following The Scottish Episcopal Church’s decision to change its laws on marriage:
“This attempt to redefine marriage is not a secondary issue about which we can agree to disagree and continue to walk together. It means that Jesus was mistaken when he taught that marriage was between a man and a woman and that sex outside of such a marriage is a sin.
“It is a radical rejection of the authority of Scripture. The Church claims that it can consecrate behavior that God’s Word clearly teaches to be sinful. According to the Bible, this behavior, without repentance, separates those who practice it from his kingdom.”

Thank God for the African and other Christians who still read the Bible, who refuse to bow down to the spirit of the age, and resist fiercely the politically correct mainstreaming of what Scripture clearly calls sin. The CofE in the West is clearly pushing its own version of the great liberal death wish.

We see it being played out right before our eyes. Not only is this abandonment of the gospel and this move to radical secular left sexuality going to harm millions in and out of the CofE, but worse yet, imagine what these “leaders” are going to hear when they stand face to face with the risen Christ one day.

If you are not sure what that might be, let me tell you. Jesus made it perfectly clear in Matthew 7:21-23:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness’.”

www.conservativewoman.co.uk/rebel-priest-rev-jules-gomes-synod-puts-sex-horrors-christian-persecution/
www.christianpost.com/news/church-of-england-votes-to-affirm-transgender-people-top-bishop-says-lgbt-not-a-sin-191424/

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17 Responses to The Great Anglican Death Wish

  • Think of all those Church of England buildings which will now be available to evangelical Christians after they close down. We have to pray for finances for those new congregations so they can fund the takeover of these defunct churches and begin a real gospel work in their towns and cities!
    Like in John Wesley’s day, the Church of England is hugely backslidden, England is ripe for revival!

  • Yes that would be the ideal Joel. But sadly, if recent history is anything to go by, things are much more likely to pan out like this: most of these closed down Anglican churches will be converted into mosques!

  • Thank God for your truly Christian writing Bill Muehlenberg! I was on the verge of tears when I finished reading this piece. The Church into which I was baptised and confirmed has gone, and “the monstrous regiment of women” has driven me out. What you describe in this article is even worse than the women. Over the years I have come to believe in the Real Presence in the Eucharist and am very thankful that the local Catholic priest allows me to receive the Eucharist in the Catholic Church. He tells me there are a lot of Anglicans in the same boat. I can no longer call myself an Anglican, if asked, I say I am a Christian and I try to live as one.

  • Regardless of how dark the world becomes God always has a faithful remnant. It looks like the Global Anglican Futures Conference – mentioned in your article – has them.

    I stumbled across GAFCON recently and found it to be a breath of fresh air. I’m not Anglican, but I’m happy these folk are my brothers. I recommend all Christians read and be blessed with the content of the GAFCON web site. On it you will find two short videos by Archbishop Jensen, GAFCON in 60 seconds and GAFCON in five minutes. Take the long route, you will see a heartfelt and compassionate defence of Biblical orthodoxy.

    GAFCON in 5 minutes;

    And encouraging pieces like this one;
    www.gafcon.org/news/why-i-believe-expository-preaching-goes-hand-in-hand-with-faithful-anglicanism

    www.gafcon.org

  • Thanks Tony. Yes GAFCON is a great bunch, and I have discussed them elsewhere, eg:

    billmuehlenberg.com/2008/06/30/the-jerusalem-declaration/

  • So, for the Anglicans of England, Bible-based decision making is evident in 27% of laity, 18% of clergy, 6% of the bishops.
    In other words, the more education they receive, the more they oppose the Bible.
    Obviously there is something wrong with their education.
    What a tell-tale sign of a sick, anaemic church, wallowing anchorless and rudderless and in its death throes. Such a get-together bears more than a passing resemblance to Christian and Faithful at court in Vanity Fair (Pilgrim’s Progress). I can see them counting the “for” votes now, Mr. BLIND-MAN, Mr. NO-GOOD, Mr. MALICE, Mr. LOVE-LUST, Mr. LIVE-LOOSE, Mr. HEADY, Mr. HIGH-MIND, Mr. ENMITY, Mr. LIAR, Mr. CRUELTY, Mr. HATE-LIGHT, and Mr. IMPLACABLE…
    Meanwhile England is rapidly dissolving into an Islamic caliphate. I can’t help but notice how the rate of Islamisation of the west accurately tracks the poverty of true Christianity in each nation.
    Very, very sad. But I guess England has long been world leader in evolution madness, so they had this coming for the last 150 years…
    Is the country fixable? That’s a tough call. That would take someone like God…

  • Thanks for that post Tony, it’s great to see! We actually had an interstate Anglican chap join our church several years ago as the local one he visited was spiritually dead. He eventually became the youth pastor for a while before heading overseas with his family on mission work. Sadly we could never get him to see the light and convert though. 😀

  • They preach a Jesus that says different things to the real Jesus.

    Lev 20:23 And you shall not walk in the ways of the nation which I cast out before you. For they committed all these things, and therefore I loathed them. (MKJV)

    How will they be able to claim that they believe in Jesus when they oppose what He says? They have called both Jesus and the Father liars and said they know better than God. Is this not the same sin as Satan’s? If a Heavenly angel did not get away with this, they have no hope but they are so puffed up in their pride and arrogance and fleshly deviation they may not even notice.

  • I have been expecting the C of E to start sidling towards chumming up with LGBT for a long time now. The rot is definitely up top, easy to see from the voting numbers. What on earth people in the congregations must think of this, I really don’t know….certainly in rural areas where I am, it’s a sense of horror. I don’t think it will be much longer before we hear the announcement that gays will be married in church….at which point, secularists will jump for joy— “the church has finally “come around”… while any remaining true believers will exit in fury, leaving the C of E institution as it stands to go totally corrupt and finally die.

  • Bill,

    What a contrast to the following good news:

    The UK’s largest evangelism event since Billy Graham’s crusades decades ago, reached into the heart of Britain Saturday, 8 July 2017, as thousands responded to the Gospel message, putting their faith in Jesus Christ:

    www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/cwn/2017/july/thousands-set-to-attend-the-largest-uk-evangelism-event-since-billy-graham

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnXbmLHx878

    John.

  • The decadent Anglican Church gives the ancient Roman Empire a run for their money these days. No wonder they are so completely obsessed with the collapse of God-ordained sexuality and its replacement with a perverse counterfeit. No wonder they have absolutely no regard for the suffering of the Christians in other parts of the world. The old calcified Christian structures are turning into a barren wasteland and those who are seeking truth and life are leaving to go elsewhere. “Come out of their midst and be ye separate and touch not any unclean thing.”

  • Yes Bill, sadly most of them have already been turned into Mosque’s and Hindu Temples or knocked down to make way for public housing or modern apartments. The people of England are seeing Romans 1:18 to the end of the chapter being fulfilled before their very eyes.
    However, it would much of the C of E leadership don’t believe their “lying eyes”.
    It is not too late though, now is the time for the evangelical believers in England to get off their blessed assurance and go spread the good news throughout the United Kingdom.
    I pray many more believes in the UK will read your blog and heed your prophetic message from the Lord to repent and obey the gospel!

  • The rise of liberal theology in the Anglican Church of the 18th and 19th centuries saw the emergence of the Evangelicals on the one hand and the Oxford Movement on the other: Both were expressions of protest at the cognitive dissonance of the liberals’ “neology” which ostensibly had the appearance of godliness, but denied the authority of Holy Scripture and tended to prefer contemporary philosophy over the historical teachings of the church.

    Has the Anglican Church reached what Luther and Bonhoeffer would call a point of statis confessionis where it needs a new Reformation?

  • Yes the apostasy of the mainline churches is staggering.
    Like Judas committing suicide for betraying Jesus, they are at the hanging stage. The guts spilling out will happen when they marry homos. The total neglect of the persecuted church, plus the sick focus on lgbtxyz, would indicate they are no longer churches, just dangerous and destructive, false religion social clubs.

  • Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, you who are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of gentleness

    Let’s pray fervently for each other (James 5:16 ), that our merciful GOD will correct, instruct and save those, who are stumbling and facing trials, through a revelation of Scripture.(2 Tim 3:16-17)& (Hebrews 4:12)

    Col 2:6 Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him,
    Col 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.

    1Peter 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober,
    1Pe 1:15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,
    1Pe 1:16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

    2Ti 2:19 “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”

    1John 2:6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

    1John 2:28 And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming.

    1John 3:24 Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him.

    John 14:15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

    John 14:21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me.

  • It’s sad but true. My family left the Anglican church after our local bishop (Wangaratta) endorsed gay ‘marriage.’ Even before then I had my reservations when I couldn’t find any of our local congregation interested in the bible or in growing as a Christian. The building had become their god and faith was a Sunday thing. I spent years as one of them but was born again and my family saved as a result. Praise God!!! We are known by our fruit. The Church of England should be left to die and bible believing churches should attempt to fill the void.

  • Noticed on Patheos website Eugene Peterson “the Message” has changed his views on Marraige

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