Monday 28 June 2021


Is there a future for the Church of England?

This is a question I as asked recently, but I think a more relevant question might be is there a presence now for the Church?

 Before I start to respond to that question, I want to state that some people may take offence by what they read, and if you do, then I must ask you why?  My duty as a Minister of the Gospel is to tell you what the Bible states, so I am only telling what God has laid down, and I hope all will accept that.

     What an individual person believes is an entirely personal issue, which neither I nor anyone other human person may judge, we all are sinners and fall short of the glory of God, and we will all have to answer before him one day. I respect your right to believe what you do, you kindly accept mine. Everything you read will be verified by the Bible, and quotations of scripture are from the English Standard Version.

     Let us begin by looking at why God created the Church, for it is his creation. Jesus said ‘I will build my Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’

It seems to me that many people, even within the Church, are making a strong effort to prevail against it.

     The last word of our Lord to His Apostles were, All authority has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold I am with you to the end of the age.’

     The Bible tells that the Apostles obeyed the Lord’s command and the early Church devoted themselves to the teaching of the Apostles and to the fellowship and the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. We may reasonably believe therefore, that when the Church teaches what the Apostles gave to them, they were blessed by God and the Church grew.  We may further deduce, that when as now, the Church does not follow the Apostles teaching, it falls away.

     Pausing here whilst turning now to the Articles of the Church of England, which all clergy are to be guided to, and urged to uphold.  The doctrine of the Church of England is grounded in the Holy scriptures and in such teachings of the ancient Fathers and Councils of the Church as are agreeable to the said Scriptures

     When being ordained to the priesthood, the person  affirms he/she will only teach that which may be concluded and proved by the Scriptures. (the Bible).  Will also banish all false doctrine and drive away erroneous doctrine according to God’s Word.  Will further with faithful diligence,  minister the doctrine and discipline that Christ has commanded.

     When a bishop is being consecrated he/she affirms they will teach and exhort with wholesome doctrine and withstand and convince the gainsayers. They will banish all false doctrine and strange doctrine which is contrary to God’s Word, and call upon al others to do the same.

     The Articles of Religion set out teaching to be given on issues which have been controversial to some misguided clergy.

Article 2 states Jesus was born of the Father in the womb of the blessed Virgin.

Article 3 confirms the doctrine of the presence of hell

Article 4  confirms the doctrine of the PHYSICAL resurrection of Jesus.

Article 6 states the Scriptures teach all necessary and have never been in doubt.

     The duties, responsibilities, and commitments necessary have been set out clearly, and all members of the clergy, of whatever rank, know what they are sworn to do.

     Put down clearly in the clearest of terms, that is to Teach only what is laid down in the Bible. Banish (prevent) any other teaching which is contrary to God’s Word.   Dismiss any alternative teaching regarding conduct and/or belief.  Accept the doctrines of the Virgin Birth, Resurrection, Hell, Full authority of the Bible.  

     Why then are the leaders of the Church, Archbishops and Bishops, adopting policies which blatantly contradict the Bible; campaigning for that which would be contrary to what is to be believed by the Word of God; and reprimanding clergy who are acting faithfully.  There three Vicars who in recent time have left the Church because of their revulsion at current Church policy. Excellent men leaving to join the Free Evangelical Church. Who were devoted men of God, cast aside by their superiors who couldn’t accept their sincere beliefs.   

     In every service conducted in an Anglican Church the Apostles Creed is recited which states, ‘I believe in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, Born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried, he descended into hell and on the third day he rose again from the dead.

     In the Nicene Creed recited in the service of Holy Communion, we say, ‘I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins.’

     Why in consideration of these facts, do we have even Archbishops and Bishops acting  contrary to what is laid down? The Virgin Birth is not accepted by many.

An Archbishop of Wales stated we could not expect people to believe the resurrection story. A bishop once stated the resurrection was a story about a bag of bones, and when he was being consecrated in York Minster, the Church went on fire. Sixteen senior Meteorologists stated there was no scientific explanation and THEY concluded it had to be an act of God.

The Archbishop of Canterbury stated in 2013 when same sex marriage was first debated, that such could be accepted alongside traditional form of marriage. This is completely against that defined by God.

The Archbishop of York told a member of the clergy if he believed in the bible teaching on sexuality, there was no place for him in the Church of England.

The previous Archbishop of York said he couldn’t sleep at night because of the thought of people having conversion therapy. (the practice of people who regretted their changing their sexuality reverting back). This means your local Minister cannot pray or give you advice.  The Archbishop didn’t ’seem to have disturbance when people went the other way. 

The Bishop of Newcastle got all worked up in Synod, when she thought of ‘people who hadn’t done anything wrong’ having such therapy.

The Bishop of Liverpool was raving on about how proud he was of being at the head of Liverpool’s gay pride march.

We had a woman bishop, who despite the words of Jesus, said God was a woman.

The House of Bishops created special liturgy for people who transgendered and wanted to be baptized in the different gender, contravening the Creed, and the God given order of creation .

     What in effect is being stated by such Church actions, is that the Ministers of his Church believe God got his whole order of creation wrong, Non-believers may be justified in believing so, but Ministers of the Church, especially leaders can’t be.

     I could go on, but what a catalogue of such action by men and women in high places.  Could you imagine an Army being led by Generals who were colluding with the opposition?

     Could you imagine the outburst of shareholders if the directors of Tesco were to suggest their products were inferior to those of Waitrose?

     The Church is to teach biblical doctrine and proclaim how God intends us to live, to teach what is true, and make us realize what is wrong in life. We preach that perfection of life can only be obtained by people turning to Jesus Christ, who alone can bring us close to God, for there is salvation in no other name under heaven by which we may be saved. Jesus is the only way to the Father.  This is the teaching of the Bible, the complete manual of how God wants us to act.

     Whilst social issues are part of the Church’s mission, they are for attention at times out of the main service times, which is for spiritual teaching.  The Bible states after Pentecost, the Apostles met and stated they would put others in charge of social matters, so they could spend their time in prayer, preaching and teaching.  This was at a time when social services were not even thought of being.

      It is good and commendable that we can play a part, but I fear some Churches are providing such to alleviate the need for biblical preaching.  A Church is to fulfil primarily people’s spiritual need, for only the Church can do that; they can go to many other places for other needs, but we have something special to offer and we should concentrate on giving that.

      A Church is also to provide for fellowship where believers can share and uphold each other.  Just as an earthly father likes his children to visit him, so our heavenly Father loves his spiritual children to visit him, and show their concern and love for him by visiting his home  There will be times when we are not able to do so but whilst we can we should.

       If we are to halt the ever decreasing number of people leaving the Church, we must concentrate on our essential function and get back to the Bible.

      I have concentrated on the Church of England because I am a Church of England minister, so ethically and morally I should not refer to other Churches, but I suggest much of what I have stated will apply to other denominations.  Indeed, the once large Methodist Church with its great legacy of John and Charles Wesley, is due to be debating this month. whether to allow same sex marriages in the churches. John Wesley, as he set out in his sermon on Romans 1, would have much to say about that idea.

     I have been privileged to be allowed to take services in the Methodist Church, and became very fond of doing so, meeting many lovely people. It has a great tradition and the only English revival was made under the leadership of John and Charles. It grieves me to think of the many people of evangelical persuasion who I know will be upset, and will feel moved to leave if a decision to accept the motion is carried.  The Church of any name cannot afford to lose people of commitment.

 Now we pray

We pray for all the words that you have sown in our hearts this day. May they take root and produce the results you would wish for us.  Be with us as we walk our different ways and keep us alert to hear your words to us
We lift up our church leaders to You. We pray for our pastors and ministers, and ministry leaders.  in them. Inspire them to be faithful to Your Word.. We pray for humility as they lead, pouring out Your grace and generosity in them and through them.   Lord Jesus, compel us as a church to proclaim Your truth and preach Your gospel. Use Your Word to rebuke us, correct us and encourage us — and let us follow you as we hold each other accountable. Only You can give us great patience and the words to teach. We fully depend on You! Amen.

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