What Happened to These Reformation Churches?

Anglican Church: The first openly gay Episcopal bishop and his partner of 20 years have been legally “wed” in a private civil union. Bishop V. Gene Robinson was legally joined to Mark Andrew, his partner of 20 years, in a civil ceremony Saturday, the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire announced. This is the same church that brought us the English Reformation martyrs – Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer, Bishop Hugh Latimer, and Bishop Nicholas Ridley – martyred by the Roman church in 1555 and 1556 for opposing the abuses and the false teachings of the church. On the pulpit the day of his burning, Cranmer stood by his Reformation beliefs, saying, “And as for the pope, I refuse him, as Christ’s enemy, and Antichrist with all his false doctrine.”

Presbyterian Church: A woman minister of the Presbyterian Church (USA) will be tried in a church court for conducting a marriage ceremony for a lesbian couple, but three of five charges against her were dropped. Janet Edwards has never denied conducting the ceremony, but denies any wrongdoing. I was absolutely dumbfounded to read a couple of things:

  • PCUSA officially permits clergy to “bless” gay couples but the ritual should not resemble a marriage ceremony!
  • The dropped charges alleged errors in the liturgy, which Edwards had modified to accommodate one of the women, who is Buddhist! Edwards allegedly omitted Bible readings and references to the Trinity and Christian faith.

This again from a church whose government is based on John Calvin’s teachings, and brought us the great Scottish Reformer John Knox, American Founding Father John Witherspoon, First Great Awakening’s George Whitefield and anti-liberal reformer Gresham Machen. Machen says this about liberalism in his 1923 book Christianity and Liberalism:

What the liberal theologian has retained after abandoning to the enemy one Christian doctrine after another is not Christianity at all, but a religion which is so entirely different from Christianity as to be long in a distinct category…. It is at any rate perfectly clear that liberalism is not Christianity.

I shudder when I read such news and then remember what Hebrews 6:4-6 says of those who who have once been enlightened…. and then have fallen away.

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