There are effectively two religions being practised in the Church of England, a leader of the evangelical or traditionally Protestant wing of the Anglican Church said this week, reports Hilary White, LifeSiteNews.com. On one side are the theologically ultra-liberal leadership who support not only women’s ordination but homosexuality, while on the other are those who hold to traditionally Christian and biblical principles.
The Rev. Rod Thomas was speaking to the annual conference of the Reform movement in London this week. Thomas said that at least twenty-five parishes, representing up to 3000 practising Anglicans in the UK, are already seeking alternate oversight from bishops not associated with the ultra-liberal theological trends that dominate the Church of England.
“We are actively going to take forward the agenda of alternative episcopal oversight. We are no longer able to sit back and wait to see what happens,” Rev. Thomas said.
“The most radical scenario which I don’t discount, but neither am I saying we are pressing for, is where you have a shortlist of names and ask overseas persons to consecrate them so they cater for individuals in this country.”
The Reform movement was founded in 1993 to oppose the ordination of women as clergy in the Church of England and represents the established Church’s traditional protestant or “evangelical” wing.
Thomas urged support from Reform Anglicans for the Fellowship of the Confessing Anglicans, a body set up by the bishops who attended this summer’s Global Anglican Futures Conference in Jerusalem.
Thomas said that the group believes in remaining within an “an Episcopal church for good theological and pragmatic reasons.”
“However, where the teaching and actions of a bishop promote an unbiblical way of thinking, then we simply have to look elsewhere for a bishop.
“If we fail to do this then our congregations will not see us taking New Testament teaching seriously and the process of accommodation will continue,” he said.
This summer’s Lambeth Conference issued instructions for Anglican congregations not to continue to seek “cross-border” oversight from bishops outside traditional Anglican episcopal boundaries.
Meanwhile traditionally Christian congregations in the US are winning their cases in courts to retain their parish properties while at the same time removing themselves from oversight by the Episcopal Church of the US (ECUSA). In the Diocese of Virginia this week, a judge ruled that a parcel of land given by Christ the Redeemer Episcopal Church was properly deeded to Truro Church, a traditional church, and that the diocese has no claim to it. The diocese has recently lost three times in lawsuits to retain some dozen church properties.
Conservative Anglican writer and commentator David Virtue wrote, “The Anglican Communion is coming apart at the seams while Dr. Rowan Williams tells a London reporter that he admires the atheist [Dr. Richard] Dawkins.” Dr. Williams, the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, was reported to have recently said about Dawkins, “There’s something about his swashbuckling side which is endearing. I invited atheism’s high priest and his wife to a Lambeth Palace party last year. They were absolutely delightful.”
Report from the Christian Telegraph