Anglicans: the glory and the shame

The Church of England has provided us with some of our most glorious hymns. For example:
John Newton – Amazing Grace and Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken;
William Cowper – There is a Fountain filled with blood and Oh! For a closer walk with God;
Charlotte Elliott – Just as I am and Thy will be done;
Henry Francis Lyte – Abide with me! fast falls the eventide and Jesus, I my cross have taken;
Sabine Baring-Gould – Onward, Christian soldiers;
Katherine Hankey – Tell me the old, old story and I love to tell the story.

The translators of the Authorized/King James Bible were all members of the Church of England. The overseer of the translation committee was Lancelot Andrewes, a very learned man who was fluent in 17 languages, modern and ancient. Andrewes did not believe that God unconditionally predestined anyone to salvation or damnation and that one’s continuing salvation after conversion was dependent on a freely chosen cooperation with God’s grace.

Image by Pete from Pixabay
(the book pictured here is the Anglican Book of Common Prayer) 

In the 20th century, some of the clearest and most readable expositions of Christian faith came from members of the Church of England, such as C. S. Lewis and Dorothy Sayers. Some of the best writings on evangelism have come from Church of England writers, for example Missionary Methods: St Paul’s or Ours? by Roland Allen.

Churches of the Anglican faith are found all over the world today. But a sad and shameful thing has happened: Anglican churches in England, Canada and the USA, in trying to make themselves more relevant to the times we live in, have largely abandoned the old ways. Churches in Africa, Asia and South America, which make up the great majority of Anglicans in the world today, have come together as the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches and no longer recognize the Anglican Church of Canada and the Episcopal Church of the USA as sister churches and appear to be on the verge of cutting ties with the Church of England. They have called on the Archbishop of Canterbury to repent.

The breaking point has been compromise on morality and what constitutes a family. The root cause is a departure from the plain teachings of the Bible. A vivid illustration of the simple fact that the Bible is relevant to the true needs of mankind and when a church tries to be relevant to the current thinking of the times we live in, it makes itself irrelevant.

The Global South Anglicans are sponsoring a new Anglican Church in North America and it is growing rapidly. New congregations have sprung up near university campuses. It seems many young people are drawn to a straightforward exposition of the Bible, including its teachings on moral purity and holiness.

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