by Hadley Robinson
The esteemed and venerable bishops are showing courage, patience, and care as they address the departures from orthodoxy of more and more bodies within the Anglican communion.
Nonetheless, I was disappointed to see this in their statement, words that continue to rip apart the connection between faith and obedience in the life of the Church and her role in the world. This practice is also known as antinomianism.
“…The Primates reaffirmed their rejection of criminal sanctions against same-sex attracted people.”
This statement (SMNT) is laden with Marxist/Leftist (M/L) constructs and words of the Enemy i.e. “criminal sanctions” and “same-sex attracted people.” Who framed this? It is language from the American/European schools of journalism, not from orthodox theologians committed to the absolute truth of Scripture.
The M/L’s are masters of the re-naming game,
“How can we invent new words and phrases that neutralize the traditional ones that are loaded with Christian history and values? How can we remove from the people’s memory every trace of anything Christian?”
If we remove the M/L constructs in the SMNT, we are still left with an elephant in the room: punishment of homosexuals for what? For thinking homosexual acts? Doing them?
The M/L’s want to frame the criminal behavior of homosexuals as a form of injustice along the lines of a black man being punished for being black – something he cannot help or change. For example, if black men riot and burn, they should be shot – but no less so than any man who riots and burns should be shot. But the M/L’s are experts in framing issues in such a way that they can pass off lies and confusion for truth and order. These people attack the very root of how humans communicate: the very meaning of words. At the heart, they are liars and deceivers – like their father, the Devil.
It begs the question: why did the Primates approve/make this SMNT?
The Church had the civil authority stripped from her at the Resurrection but not her teaching authority regarding everything that happens on earth e.g. what is the State and what is its purpose? The State is not independent of God's Sovereignty because it is an institution, like the family, created by Him to graciously protect the human race from the rampant evil of some men.
Apparently, the author of the SMNT apparently believes that the Church’s role is largely limited to liturgy – that’s what it sounds like. So what can we expect next?
“The Primates reaffirmed their rejection of criminal sanctions against pedophiles.”
Does the author believe in a real Devil who is intractably opposed to every breath from the Holy Spirit and to the words from His Prophets? Do the bishops read what they sign? Was there any discussion? Is the level of scholarship and research so weak among them that this was the best they could do?
It seems that someone along the way missed what caused the Fall: Man’s disobedience to the Divine Command, “Don’t do that!”
Homosexuals, in particular, are singled out in Scripture as the worst of evil men and the capital example of men who reject the Creator, neither giving Him glory nor thanks (Romans 1). They are a grave danger to any society. This is why they cannot be allowed to roam about freely. Homosexual acts are to be punished with death by the civil authorities (Lev. 20:13; Rom. 1:32). Evil behavior by men must be suppressed – the duty of the State. The Church, not the State, may show grace and love to evil men but they must be repentant i.e. be born again, converted by the Holy Spirit.
God’s wrath, not His love, is manifested against the unrepentant and homosexuals, in particular (Rom. 1:18). There is a lot of confusion in the Church about God’s character, in particular, to whom and for what purpose does He demonstrate His love? To suggest He loves everybody is a tenet of Humanism, not Christian orthodoxy. But that discussion is not the focus of this essay.
Why do the bishops appear to be so at odds with God’s justice for homosexuals?
That the American M/L’s have seized control of all of our public cultural and political institutions and most of the Church in the West is also apparently lost in some important ways on our eminent bishops. That is, what better way is there to eradicate the prophetic and teaching authority of the Church than to eliminate her teaching everywhere possible? This technique is an ancient one that can be traced back to the earliest times.
"Did God really say…?” – The Devil’s words to Eve just before she initiated the holocaust of evil that engulfs us to this day. (Genesis 3:1)
God has said a lot – His truth rings out from the Bible and Creation. The Devil’s job is to do everything possible to silence it and convince humans that there is no God or Truth which must be obeyed. Another purpose is to convince humans that suffering is to be avoided at all costs. It is not complicated. He works away with the help of Man’s fallen nature which, at the heart, is at enmity with the Creator. (A man’s conversion, on the other hand, fixes this enmity – one moment he hates God and His law, the next He loves Him and wants to obey Him, all from a now purified heart. God does the work – all of it – and gets the glory.)
The bishops are effectively denying the Divine purpose and role of the State: to suppress evil for the common good. The M/L’s want nothing more than such a denial except, perhaps, the death of truly converted Christians. History demonstrates that the Spirit blesses and curses government according to some Plan unknown but to Him. The bishops are not helping to mitigate the political and cultural implosion that is fully underway here in the West.
For example, the last Prophet of the Old Testament, John the Baptist, was murdered because he not only accepted the Law against adultery but insisted that it be enforced. The God he served rejects the popular but false notion that the State can dissolve a marriage.
“…for John had been saying to him: ‘It is not lawful for you to have her.’” Matthew 14:4
Herod had to send Herodias away. Despite his being the State, he could not dissolve the marriage between Herodias and Phillip, something only God can do and does through the death of one of the spouses. No doubt the Pharisees and Scribes of the time had invented some workaround, much like most Reformers also did with their mistranslations of the Sacred Text e.g. Matt. 19.
John the Baptist was obedient and, for his efforts, had his head chopped off. Over the millennia, the faithful have been persecuted, jailed, tortured, and murdered by Satan and his disciples because of their obedience to God.
What prevented the bishops from being forthright and true to Scripture, including the history of the orthodox until the last 50 years or so? Why didn’t we read something like this?
“The Primates reaffirmed that homosexual behavior should be suppressed and punished by the civil authorities.”
Why are they trying to make peace with the Devil? Why are they yoking themselves to the godless by renouncing the Church’s teaching authority in this way?
For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? 2 Cor. 6:14-16
The bishops are not in the line of the Prophets with the SMNT. Instead, they have furthered weakened the Church’s role in denouncing evil while she is still on this earth. Peggy Noonan (of the Wall Street Journal) remarked years ago during the Roman Catholic child-sex scandals that it would take hundreds of years, if ever, for the church to regain her teaching authority in the world. If the Roman Catholics have destroyed their credibility, are orthodox Anglicans on the same path? It appears to be so.
The Neo-orthodox (a.k.a. church liberals) insulated themselves from the attacks of godless scientists by asserting that there is no connection between observable facts and faith in Christ. The Christian faith is merely internal. Was Jesus of Nazareth born of a virgin? Who knows? So what? It does not matter…. The bishops are not denying the Virgin Birth, of course, but they have taken a small step in the direction of Neo-orthodoxy by denying God’s sovereignty and the Church’s teaching authority over everything human. Jesus does not have fuzzy words for the sexually immoral – unless one has a skewed understanding of the authority of Scripture i.e. the Bible is one big cafeteria of paradigms where we can pick and choose what we like.
Nonetheless, the bishops have opposed positions of authority in the Church being assumed by homosexuals, in itself a courageous act. They have opposed giving them license to have sanctioned and recognized partners i.e. the Church should not perform “weddings” among homosexuals – a hideous parody of the ceremony.
But how did the Bishops diverge from such well-established doctrines concerning the role of the Civil Authority? The answer I can give assumes that they, collectively, authored the SMNT and not some American journalist who had sway among them.
It might have gone something like this:
Or something like that....
The bishops should have gone further and, like some in the Roman Church, clearly expressed the evil of homosexuality.
Much of the confusion is due to a misunderstanding of Jesus as Savior. The Savior from what? An unhappy life here? A life of celibacy? Freedom from being disliked and hated by others? From suffering? Why is He called “Savior” in the first place? When has anyone recently heard this said in the same sentence, “Jesus saves us from God’s justice and the eternal Hell every man deserves”?
The Primates have declared that homosexual behavior does not represent a danger to society. What about child pornography? Prostitution? Abortion? Should “criminal sanctions” against theft be “rejected”? Where does it end?
And it begs the question. Who/what is in charge of the theological department for the Primates? The Roman Catholics, for all their excesses, have shown care, depth, and skill in formulating doctrine concerning human life – a coherency and connection with the historical church that appears to be missing in the ACNA and others. Have they read Humanae Vitae by Pope Paul VI? It does not sound like it.
The Church in the west is in a tailspin of decline and irrelevance and statements like the SMNT just ensures that it will continue. Suffice it to say, John the Baptist was murdered because he declared that adultery is sin. Who in the West has the courage of John the Baptist? How much worse must the collective immoral decay become before Church leaders step forward and say, “Because of these things, men will be thrown into Hell – forever” instead of glib statements e.g. “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life”?
Would that pastors be pastors rather than attempt to make the Gospel look appealing to sinful men. Eloquence and flattery do not convert – despite what Billy Graham and the Humanists may say. Why do so many assume the role of the Holy Spirit and His work in changing men’s stony hearts into ones of flesh?
Regrettably, this is not the first time that Church leadership has flattered sinners. It is a pattern of humanistic thinking that has deeply penetrated the theology of modern Christians: God wants me to be happy in this life and Jesus can help.