Thursday, April 16, 2015

Leaving home: The Future of the Faith in England

16 Apr 2015
Gavin Ashenden

The thought of leaving Canterbury, spiritually or emotionally, breaks my heart. I grew up there. I spent five years in the school built around its cloisters. I sang from its tower on Ascension days. I sat for hours at the entrance to the cloisters where Thomas a Becket was struck down for refusing the demands of the secular over the sacred. I took the Eucharist there in the bowels of its undercroft before dawn in the mists of winter. I was confirmed there when the saintly prophetic Michael Ramsey was Archbishop.

But Canterbury has sold its birthright. She planted the orthodox Gospel around the world so that scores of millions worship our adored Risen Christ, but has slid from under the obligations of the Apostolic faith she received, to a heterodox secularized shadow of that faith.

I often wonder how I could explain our present difficulties to St Augustine who came here to evangelise in 597. I think I would say that “just as you, blessed brother in Christ, are still struggling with the Arians, who are powerful in Eastern Europe at the moment, we are struggling with the new Arians. Just as you will overcome them by the 8th Century, we will too, by the power of the Spirit.

But our Arians have assaulted the apostolic faith not by a full on assault on the Holy Trinity, but by a sideways undermining of it. Jesus has become less than the 2nd person of the Trinity because he has been reduced by claiming he suffered from cultural ignorance; he is thought to be captive to a 1st century culture with its misogyny and restricted sexual ethics. Our heretics have decided that Jesus did not come to reveal the Father, because they have adopted a new secular and essentially Marxist idea, that gender is an oppressive cultural construct. And they join that idea to a second piece of Marxism, that ‘equality’ is the most important social value to strive after. The masculinity of the Father, and that of the Son, are for them unwelcome cultural constraints. The revelation of a hierarchy of glory inverted by love became an anathema to them, because they worship equality... the rest
And I think St Augustine might then say, “but are there no orthodox bishops left you could turn to?”

And the answer would be “Yes, many. All round the world there are faithful Archbishops and bishops faithful to what Canterbury planted in their cultures and hearts. They are called the Global Anglican Fellowship.”

“So then” he would reply, “your question is not where, but when – you re-align your allegiance to my successors?”

And that is the question.

 The Episcopal Church and the New Episcopal Church ...Now, three years later, we find General Convention once again considering patently unconstitutional actions. What is noteworthy this time is that the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music is not only proposing these unconstitutional actions, it is also acknowledging that they are unconstitutional and proposing an amendment to Article X that would (presumably retroactively since the amendment could not be approved before 2018) give General Convention the authority it has attempted to exercise for years without constitutional mandate...


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