Naive or Duplicitous

David Virtue david at
Thu Dec 18 18:21:12 EST 2014

Naive or Duplicitous

By the Rt. Rev. David C. Anderson
December 12, 2014

The Archbishop of Canterbury's recent remarks are once again somewhat
puzzling. One question that comes to mind is whether he really believes
this statement that he made: "I could see circumstances in which there
could be people moving apart and then coming back together." With the
proviso noted that in God all things are possible, does he really
believe this or is he playing games with us as the British Empire
leadership has been wont to do with those of us who are less worthy?

If he is looking at the issue of women in Holy Orders, and most
especially in the Episcopate, and the sexuality issues, most especially
homosexual issues, and he thinks those are the problems, he may be
honest, though wrong in his assessment. The problem with looking at
tertiary issues is they are often the result of more basic disagreements
which in the final analysis have far more leverage on the Anglican
Communion. It is my contention that the authority of Holy Scripture as
noted in 2 Timothy 3:16 and the person and work of Jesus Christ are
actually the primary points of disagreement, though the so-called
progressive wing of the Anglican Communion, and indeed the leadership of
much of the Western church will not acknowledge it.

Many of us during our time in the Episcopal Church USA found ourselves
ridiculed as "fundamentalists" because we believed that Jesus was
serious and accurate when he said that he was the Way, the Truth, and
the Life, and none would come to the Father except by him. This
statement just didn't fit into the Episcopal Church's drive towards
"total inclusivity." To believe that the Holy Scripture has authority to
speak authentically into our private lives, telling us how to behave,
even how to behave sexually, is just so inappropriate and culturally
insensitive, according to TEC's "progressives."

The Episcopal Church and many others needed to dethrone the authority of
Holy Scripture quietly and subversively so the awkward statements of
Jesus could be scrubbed away. And the concept that Jesus is the Savior,
the only savior, and his life and death and resurrection are the only
effective way that men and women, in the midst of their sin and
estrangement from God, can come into a life-giving, eternal relationship
with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, just had to be
put quietly aside to promote inclusivity and fellowship with other
faiths, especially Muslims.

I have watched the Episcopal Church's leadership move that church first
to the margins of orthodoxy, then beyond. This is not to say that there
are not thousands of orthodox Christian Episcopalians still in the
Episcopal Church, but their days are numbered, and meanwhile their
contributions which are siphoned off to the national church are
available for lawsuits domestically and missional mischief in the rest
of the world.

If Archbishop Justin Welby actually thinks that the tertiary issues ARE
the issues and in the fullness of time we can all come back together,
forgetting the punishment that the Episcopal Church inflicted on those
members who chose to depart, and all drink tea and sing Kumbaya
together, he is at best naive. If he knows that this isn't really the
case and is mouthing this platitude anyway, it is part of the old school
church duplicity.

If an Anglican really wants to examine the division in the Anglican
Communion in North America, the British Isles, and Episcopal
Church-controlled parts of South and Central America, he or she needs to
inquire deeply into how these churches are dealing with the primary
issues of the authority of Scripture and the person and work of Jesus
Christ. It is important for the African, Asian and other Western
churches to keep their eyes on both the Bible and Jesus, and insist that
these not be compromised in the least.

Might the Anglican Communion come apart? Yes, in one form or another,
because of the Western Churches' incipient heresy on the primary issues.
Might the Anglican Communion come back together? Yes, either through a
profound repentance by the Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church of
Canada, the Church of England and other similar churches, or through
such a loss of membership that they are replaced by those who do still
believe in the core tenants of the historic Christian faith. For now, I
see a time of trial by fire of those who hold fast to the faith, or
suffering on the part of the faithful, and of the triumph of the faith
brought about by God which honors and glorifies him, and secondarily
vindicates those who stood faithfully with him.

All of us should know that there is a judge who observes all that takes
place, and those who turn and twist the Gospel and rob the people of the
truth will have to face the one who separates the sheep from the goats
at the end of time. Keep the faith, live the faith, share the faith, in
Jesus' Name.

The Rt. Rev. David C. Anderson is President and Chairman of the Board of
Trustees of the American Anglican Council

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