March 23, 2017

February 18, 2014

60 Theses on Real Integrity in the Anglican Church

Some Theses for you all.

  1. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Truth (John 14:6), spoke truth that He received from His Father (John 8:40), and prays for His followers to be sanctified in that same truth (John 17:17).
  2. When our Lord said “Let your yes be yes and your no be no”  (Matt. 5:37) He was calling us to integrity in the way that we speak in all things.
  3. To do otherwise is to be a mouthpiece for the devil (Matt. 5:37) who is the Father of Lies (John 8:44).
  4. “Bearing false witness” (Exod. 20:16) is not the only way that we speak falsely.
  5. As Christians we are urged by Jesus through His apostle to speak the truth to each other (Eph. 4:25).
  6. We are also called to “put away falsehood” (Eph. 4:25).
  7. Finding clever ways to lie does not avoid the sin, it only compounds it.
  8. Weasel words are just that - words from a weasel.
  9. Rhetorical questions are just another way of making assertions and to hide behind them is to only increase any dishonesty.
  10. It is sometimes as much a lie to be silent as it is to speak. This is particularly true when by your silence you intend to suggest that you might be communicating something other than what you actually think.
  11. The refusal to affirm a truth (particularly when it is a truth about God) is often just another way of denying it, but without taking responsibility for your denial. This is therefore a double dishonesty which only compounds the deceit.
  12. Liars are therefore often identified by what they refuse to affirm rather than by what they openly deny.
  13. While all Christians must take care over their speech (James 3:10), leaders in the church are especially responsible for the way they speak (James 3:1).
  14. The responsibility of those who lead in the church is, not least, to promulgate the truths of God from the word of God in the Scriptures (2Tim. 2:15), just as the Church in which they serve upholds and supports the truth (1Tim 3:15).
  15. Those who lead in the Church and yet do not teach the truth are rightly called false teachers and we are to be warned away from them (2Peter 2:1-2).
  16. The recent House of Bishops Pastoral Guidance on Same Sex Marriage from the Church of England does not fully serve the truth since it contains contradictions.
  17. The Scriptures consistently proscribe same-sex acts.
  18. To state that “18. ... Those same sex couples who choose to marry should be welcomed into the life of the worshipping community and not be subjected to questioning about their lifestyle.” is to do a great disservice to sinners who ought to be called to repentance and thus forgiveness.
  19. It also contradicts the later statement that “26. Getting married to someone of the same sex would, however, clearly be at variance with the teaching of the Church of England.”
  20. To get married to someone of the same sex is not just to be at variance with the teaching of the Church of England but with the teaching of our Lord Himself (Mark 10:6-9)
  21. To not call an unrepentant sinner to repentance is to demonstrate contempt for them.
  22. Either that, or to fear men more than God.
  23. Our Lord tells us it is damnable to encourage that which leads to damnation (Matt. 18:6; 1Cor. 6:9-11)
  24. Jesus urges us through His apostle to expel those who are persitently unrepentant in their sexual immorality (1Cor. 5:11) in the hope that they may be brought to repentance.
  25. It is therefore simply wrong and inconsistent to state “15. ... the Church of England should not exclude from its fellowship those lay peope [sic.] of gay or lesbian orientation who, in conscience, were unable to accept that a life of sexual abstinence was required of them and who, instead, chose to enter into a faithful, committed sexually active relationship.”
  26. It would be ludicrous to state “ ... the Church of England should not exclude from its fellowship those married lay people attracted to someone other than their spouse who, in conscience, were unable to accept that a life of fidelity was required of them and who, instead, chose to enter into a faithful, committed sexually active relationship with that person.”
  27. The Bishops are to be applauded when they state “23.  At ordination clergy make a declaration that they will endeavour to fashion their own life and that of their household ‘according to the way of Christ’ that they may be ‘a pattern and example to Christ’s people’. ”
  28. It is widely acknowledged that there are many clergy who do not live this way, nor think that they should.
  29. Many of those clergy make no secret about their situation.
  30. It is therefore obvious that there are bishops who refuse to discipline such clergy.
  31. If discipline has not been exacted in the past, why should we expect any difference in the future?
  32. When the Bishops state “25.  The Church of England will continue to place a high value on theological exploration and debate that is conducted with integrity. That is why Church of England clergy are able to argue for a change in its teaching on marriage and human sexuality, while at the same time being required to fashion their lives consistently with that teaching.” their statement assumes that the Scriptures are unclear upon the question of sexual ethics and that the matter is open for debate.
  33. The church has held to the Scriptures and their position on marriage for 2,000 years. Variations fom this position are a novelty.
  34. To argue that the Church has recently changed its position on divorce and remarriage does nothing other than further indict the Church of guilt in departing from the Scriptures.
  35. There are those who allow themselves to be ordained into leadership in the Church who do not believe what the Scriptures say on this and other matters.
  36. Despite this they are happy to receive a stipend or salary.
  37. This is an act of great dishonesty and lacking in integrity.
  38. There are those who ordain them who know what they believe.
  39. They are therefore complicit in their dishonesty.
  40. The call to leaders in the church who experience same-sex attraction, (as with all Christians in that position) is to live a chaste life.
  41. It is not “denying"or “supressing” your sexuality to live a chaste life but, rather, to acknowledge it and to ask for the Spirit’s assistance in seeking to be godly.
  42. To deny that sin is actually sin is to speak untruth (1John 1:8).
  43. It is therefore not an act of “integrity” for leaders in the Church to persist in advocacy of or engagement in sexual immorality.
  44. The opposite of concealing sin is not to be openly proud about it but to confess it (1John 1:9; Prov. 28:13).
  45. Such honest confession will receive mercy (1John 1:9; Prov. 28:13).
  46. The right response of “integrity” from those who advocate for same-sex blessings and marriage in the Church is not to seek to act against the Church and its teaching but to repent or to seek another place to teach their falsehood.
  47. It is wrong for a Bishop in the Church to advocate that proponents of same-sex blessings and marriage should establish “facts on the ground”.
  48. Such a man not only promotes sin and rebellion but also acts directly against his episcopal colleagues by contradicting them.
  49. Such a man ought to have the integrity to resign.
  50. His colleagues ought to have the courage to urge him to resign.
  51. In a similar way when someone is to be consecrated a bishop despite the fact that they deny Christian truth and the teaching of the Church they ought to have the integrity to resign.
  52. It would be ridiculous to suggest that an unashamed advocate of Pepsi and only Pepsi should be given a seat on the board of Coca Cola Corporation or that they should retain such a seat once their preference was clearly stated and understood.
  53. Nevertheless, there are Bishops who have been Bishops for far too long and some who ought never to become Bishops.
  54. To promise to uphold the teaching of the church when you have previously publicly denied it is to appear to lie unless you have provided clear unequivocable evidence that you have changed your position. Such inconsistency ought not to exist in those who are leaders in the Church.
  55. When someone appears to be inconsistent in what they say, to simpy “rely on their word” is not least an act of self-deception in which only one person is actually deceived.
  56. It is also to enable that deception.
  57. Christian leaders ought therefore not to be involved in the public endorsement, let alone the public ordination or consecration of such people.
  58. More than that, there is a clear responsibility on the part of other leaders to speak out publicy against such an act of inconsistency.
  59. We ought never to forget that our Lord absolutely does tell us the truth when He says “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” (John 5:24). This is a great promise to all who recognise they have sinned but who then turn in repentance and faith to the Lord Jesus Christ.
  60. It is the sincere desire and prayer of all those in the Church who love the truth that all in the Church would love the truth.

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Thank you, David.  I tremble for the eternal souls of the bishops of today.  They will give an account for the souls entrusted to them (Heb 13:17).  They are held to a higher standard.  In Lev 4, the sin offering for the unintentional sin of a priest was a bull without blemish; of the common person a female goat without blemish.  Scripture clearly states “For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins.” (Heb 10:26)

[1] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 2-18-2014 at 09:11 AM · [top]

Nail it to the door.

[2] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 2-18-2014 at 10:13 AM · [top]

#2, I was thinking the same thing. This needs to be seen by all the clergy in the Church of England!! If I thought it might do some good, I would email this to the PB of TEC. Alas, I am sure she would never approve of such true and loving statements.

[3] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 2-18-2014 at 10:31 AM · [top]

Seldom have truer words been spoken.  These words should be thoroughly read and understood by all bishops and other clergy in the Church of England and in all other Anglican jurisdictions as well.  If they do not believe in what these words say, then they should resign their orders.

[4] Posted by cennydd13 on 2-18-2014 at 01:28 PM · [top]

Faith is much more than just words; it is what we believe and practice.

[5] Posted by cennydd13 on 2-18-2014 at 01:31 PM · [top]

#4, Agreed.  Only reason I mentioned the CofE in particular is that several of David’s theses were directed at those in the CofE. No doubt many clergy in the Global South and other orthodox Anglican clergy would agree with David on many of these. Even so, I doubt that these theses will be convincing to those who are blind to the truth and instead rely on human *wisdom*.

[6] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 2-18-2014 at 02:47 PM · [top]

“It would be ridiculous to suggest that an unashamed advocate of Pepsi and only Pepsi should be given a seat on the board of Coca Cola Corporation or that they should retain such a seat once their preference was clearly stated and understood.”

So, that is the lost 40th Article…

But that is what it really comes down to.  This analogy is the explanation of the downfall of the Episcopal Church, and the turbulence being experienced through Western Christianity in general.  People who do not believe in God, or at least not in God as he has revealed himself to us in Scripture, have been ordained as deacons, priests and bishops.  And that is the one thing in Anglicanism that is completely and unquestionably in the hands of the bishops.  Had they maintained their own vows over the last 100 years, we would not be in the place we are now.  We, of course, do bear some culpability, as in many places bishops are elected.

In the CoE, if I understand the process (my understanding being that bishops are selected by a Crown committee), that there are now many revisionist bishops is specifically the result of the leadership turning its back on vows, responsibilities and canons.  To appoint persons KNOWN to be opposed to the Church’s doctrine on Marriage, Sacraments, or basic credal concepts such as the Resurrection, is (I think literally) an abomination.

[7] Posted by tjmcmahon on 2-18-2014 at 08:33 PM · [top]

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