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I am a Baptist. I strongly identify with historical Baptist roots, by which I do NOT mean the temperance movement or the “freedom” (read: rank individualism) so many Baptists claim while attempting to ordain homosexuals or something like that. By historical Baptist roots, I refer to that community of believers so committed to what they believed to be the Biblical pattern of believers’ baptism that they were willing to risk excommunication and even death by withholding infant baptism from their children and by being baptized as adults.
All that being said, it is a joy to be friends with Presbyterians, Anglicans, and others whose practices in the area of paedo-baptism I do not share, but whose beliefs in so many other areas I DO share!
But I have grown up and lived most of my life in America, where the Episcopal Church USA has shown itself time and again to be the Oholah and Oholibah of biblical revisionism and flat-out heresy! The World Anglican Communion, of which the ECUSA is a part, has repeatedly called for repentance from its straying daughter; the election of an openly homosexual bishop and the instating of a woman as Presiding Bishop over America were merely the latest in a long line of efforts on the part of the ECUSA to alienate millions of faithful Anglicans worldwide.
The actions of the ECUSA have shown them to be (as a denomination, of course — this is not to say that faithful, believing Episcopalians do not exist within local bodies across America) presumptuous, arrogant, elitist, narrow-minded, and, dare I say it? Racist. They cavalierly make decisions anathema to the vast majority of their brethren in developing nations, assuming that whatever choices they make will be lauded by those poor, ignorant, third-world bishops and priests. For the ECUSA to flaunt its faithlessness, ignoring the pleas of African and Asian bishops to return to Scripture, is nothing less than what I said above: elitism and racism. We in the West know SO much better than you, they seem to say. We’ve successfully rubbed out any remnants of a medieval view of sin and are now liberated from feeling bad about ourselves! We’re free to make our god look however we want him or her to look! Catch up with the West, you poor, backward savages!!
This week, 35 Anglican leaders are meeting in Tanzania. I will be praying for the Lord’s hand to be on these men as they again extend a call for repentance to the ECUSA. May they all be stirred to spread the Gospel anew, and to root out the evil influence of man-centeredness. May this meeting be a turning point in the Anglican Communion, and a corporate return to Biblical faithfulness. Lord, pour out a spirit of repentance and grief for sin! Do not abandon these brothers or give them over to a depraved mind, but instead stir up renewal among them and re-visit them with your Holy Spirit!
And may “Bishop” Jefferts-Schori not hear her alarm clock and miss the whole meeting!
UPDATE: Seven Bishops from the global South, who collectively represent over 30 million faithful Anglicans, refused to receive the eucharist with Katharine Jefferts-Schori Friday. These men have declared that their provinces are in a state of “broken” communion with the Episcopal Church. 6 other bishops have stated that their provinces’ communion with the Episcopal Church is “impaired.”
UPDATE #2: Sorry to keep harping on about this, but you all have GOT to read this article from Virtue Online about biblical vs. unbiblical “reconciliation.” Fantastic! I have a feeling this site is going to become one of my regulars.