Evangelical Anglicans Respond

Go here for the response of the Anglican Church in North America–a conservative Evangelical ‘continuing’ church. The subtext is, “What? You must be kidding! No popery here!”

Readers should understand that amidst all the rejoicing the Anglo Catholics are a minority in the Anglican Church. The Liberal establishment rules all (most of their minions being the vast indifferent) and the Evangelical Protestant Anglicans are in second place. The one and only thing that unites the Liberals and the Conservative Evangelicals is the fact that they’re not having the Pope.
In the meantime, notice the hardening of opinions by reading (if you can stomach it) this rant by retired Episcopal Bishop Spong. Yes, that would be the one who for some time had a job blogging for an adult website! Here are a few choice quotes to give you the gist:
I have made a decision. I will no longer debate the issue of homosexuality in the church with anyone. I will no longer engage the biblical ignorance that emanates from so many right-wing Christians about how the Bible condemns homosexuality, as if that point of view still has any credibility. I will no longer discuss with them or listen to them tell me how homosexuality is “an abomination to God,

I will no longer act as if the Papal office is to be respected if the present occupant of that office is either not willing or not able to inform and educate himself on public issues on which he dares to speak with embarrassing ineptitude. I will no longer be respectful of the leadership of the Archbishop of Canterbury, who seems to believe that rude behavior, intolerance and even killing prejudice is somehow acceptable, so long as it comes from third-world religious leaders, who more than anything else reveal in themselves the price that colonial oppression has required of the minds and hearts of so many of our world’s population.

You get the idea…But listen. Spong is right. As usual he’s ahead of his time. He sees that we are entering a time now when debate and discussion is finished. The forces of darkness have exhausted that ruse. They are preparing for battle. They will now launch their full force of darkness and hatred against the light. It is no co incidence that the Holy Father now calls urgently for all those who stand against the present darkness to join forces with the Holy Catholic Church, for nothing but a united church will be able to stand against the coming tsunami of rage and hatred for God and his saints.

About Fr. Dwight Longenecker
  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02101609624849982529 Chris Mac

    Oh, no, Father, not you too. I get the same message from my Charismatic friends and my Opus Dei friends. (Not the liberals I work with, though.) Every religious person I talk to sees a major confrontation on the horizon, good vs. evil. I am tired, worn out with stupidity, cupidity and fears for family — and the battle is not yet engaged.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12299316830826795416 ellacanfield

    No need to fear! We know who will triumph. We have read the last page of this book, and the ending is a GLORIOUS one.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12299316830826795416 ellacanfield

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05457638700868739891 Eric Sammons

    Every religious person I talk to sees a major confrontation on the horizon, good vs. evil.Perhaps that should tell you something?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17877449375576975508 Sarah – Kala

    I pray to be always at the ready to defend the Church! God grant me the grace to desire it.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02862427983848722994 Irenaeus of New York

    If the priests who come over are anything like you and Father George Rutler, nothing could make me happier.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01680079765644723484 screenwriting

    Thank you father Longenecker, for your work, and for strengthening our Church. Your bio says you came into full communion a few years ago, but this is the first time I've read your blog, and first chance I've had to say welcome home!I'm so happy more of our Anglican brothers and sisters are coming home, their return is a blessing on us all, thanks be to God.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00777639640082565199 jason miller

    I am an evangelical Anglican priest, and my reservations about joining Rome have little to do with its Bishop. I have the utmost respect for Pope Benedict XVI and Pope John Paul II.Two matters that restrain me at the moment:1) Marian dogma of the Immaculate Conception and Assumption. The issue is not that there is a doctrine with which I have reservations or even disagreement. I have reservations about certain Anglican distinctives, such as the second-class nature of the Deuterocanon, but I remain an Anglican and honor that article. Yet I am not required to elevate it to dogmatic status, as I would be with Rome and these recent accretions to Marian dogma. How are these dogmata essential to the Faith? 2) Relationships. Were I to join the Roman Catholic Church, I would not be able to be joined by my closest friends, faithful Christians, at the Lord's Table (thanks to the unfortunate particulatization of the dogma of transubstantiation). At least as an Anglican priest, I can invite all baptized Christians, including those viticmized by divorce, to receive the Body and Blood of our Lord.These are not my only causes for hesitation, nor are they ironclad hindrance from ever becoming Roman Catholic. But the Pope is the least of the problems for some of us Anglican evangelicals.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09375104956646159746 Brian Walden

    Fr. Miller, thank you for sharing your candid thoughts. About the Catholic Church's Marian teachings, I think they're the last teachings that many people embrace. I know for me, I just kind of accepted them at first because I had come to believe everything else that the Church taught and trusted it's teaching authority. It look a while to really see the beauty of the Church's veneration of Mary.I can't give the Holy See's view on why the Immaculate Conception and Assumption are essential to the faith. But one guess is that it ultimately comes down to protecting the human nature of Christ, just as the declaration of Mary as the Mother of God at the Council of Ephesus did. The Church may have felt it necessary to define these doctrines in order to protect the truth as Protestantism trimmed more and more of Mary out of story of our salvation.About communion. The Church's perspective is that it welcomes everyone to communion so long as they're not going to harm themselves by receiving our Lord. The restriction isn't meant to keep people out but for their own protection. The Church would always rather encourage people to truly be in communion with Jesus than encourage them to pretend they are when they aren't.I know a lot of people are confused by this, but the Catholic Church doesn't prevent divorced people from receiving communion. If people get remarried after divorce, then the Church believes it's better straighten out their marital situation first than to receive communion without amending their lives. While the approach is different than most Protestants, the reason for the communion restrictions is because of the Church's love of marriage and married people.I know those explanations aren't going to convince anyone to change their mind, but hopefully it's a glimpse into the way the Catholic Church sees things.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12373317560249811006 Fr Longenecker

    jason. Thank you for your comment. May I recommend my book 'Mary-A Catholic Evangelica Debate'?I wrote it with an old college friend who is now an Evangelical Anglican.You can get it through my website.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07346012062816580296 Athelstane

    Hello Jason,I have always liked what Cardinal Newman once said on the matter: “The votaries of Mary do not exceed the true faith, unless the blasphemers of her Son came up to it. The Church of Rome is not idolatrous, unless Arianism is orthodoxy.” – An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine.And I think that this is much of what the Council of Ephesus was all about. I tend to see the two Marian dogmas as simply a ratification of what Ephesus said.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00777639640082565199 jason miller

    Many thanks for the gracious responses to my previous post. I recognize that my evangelical concerns are common, especially as regarding the Mother of our Lord.To be clear, I understand and support veneration of Mary (and I certainly don't believe that Rome worships her). I do not have a fundamental theological problem with the Immaculate Conception, nor with the Assumption. I'm probably in a minority of evangelicals who would not take much convincing to ascribe to Mary's perpetual virginity. The concern is their elevation to dogma without clear indication as to how they contribute, on the most basic level, to a proper understanding of who Jesus Christ is, which, Rome has argued, is the whole point.Thanks to all for the resources mentioned, the Council of Ephesus and the book.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13417921656976087828 RJ

    For a Response to Fr. Jason Miller…Dear Fr. Miller,The "Roman" Catholic Church is not a "national" Church as is The Anglican. The Anglican Church has more variations of doctrinal interpretations as do the Protestants. When something in The "Roman" Catolic Church is Defined as Dogmatic, it is to avoid Confusion on the subject rather than throw it up in the air and allow countless persons to have differing understandings of a "Teaching". When you stand and teach to your congregants The Gospel, do you believe that It Is Authoritatively Taught 100% as Truth? Cause if you don't, what is the reason to teach it? There is a reason Jesus Christ left The keys of The Kingdom ONLY and SOLEY with the Apostle Peter and not with "just" everyone. All the Apstles receive The power of Binding and Loosing in John 23 but in Matthew 16 only Peter receives The keys.. (To open and shut—to settle the issues, Father, not continue The Church in an everlasting list of unending teaches untill they are all just "washed up" and mean nothing)Jesus said that Peter and The Apostles in unionm with Him would "Bind and loose". Fr. Miller, with all due respect.. You can't bind something and loose it and have it ACCEPTED in Heaven unless it is TRUE. ;) Can you say the same un-equivacally of The whole Anglican Communion with It's many beautiful but Conflicting facets of faith? I can't. Peace Fr. Miller! :) + RJ

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07684022781377951103 Damien

    Fr. Miller,Mark Shea, a Catholic blogger (see http://www.mark-shea.com/books.html), has addressed your questions in his second volume of his trilogy on Mary. See http://www.mark-shea.com/books.htmlI pray that you find peace in your search and hope that one day we'll be in communion.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01038498107096197056 Edward Elkins jr.

    I must confess I am not a strong supporter or follower of any of the Church's leaders . I dont really believe there should be a Pope. I dont like to view the work of theology as the Lords real work. However we are all hiers to christ and must work in accord. The Lords training is spiritual and there is no preparation a seminary or bible college can teach us that compares to the training of the Holy Spirit. The trained David's hands to war in the spirit. Have any faith then pray for David to intercede for you to the Father who was so faithfull in his fight. Pray for Isaiah to intercede that the Lord would bless us all such as he did Isaiah when the same kind of oppression oppressed Gods people. When the unrighteous decrees were being made in isaiah's time the Lord destroyed their forests and lands much like is happening in our modern times. Desire the spiritual gifts have any of you prayed to God with one another for spiritaul gifts. Just ask!!! Prophecy , Faith Healing, Divine Wisdom, Dreams and interpretations, Desire the gift of tongues not as a pentecostal but as a warrior of prayer to invoke in the tongues of angels the righteous prayers of the Lord. To train in the spirit for a battle that is already won.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01038498107096197056 Edward Elkins jr.

    The Bible tells us that The nations are the Lords inheritance. That all we have to do is just ask the Lord to inherit the Lands. Many of us did not have 40 acres willed to us. If so we could all just say Bull to the government because we own all the land. However Hippies own farms, athiests, lesbians born of farmers inherited land , farmers kids got on dope and joined biker groups. It goes on and on the adversity of the principality of our nations inheritance. The land use is much just used for profit. The realistate people live in the urban places affording their luxury by buying up land rurual and pricing it high for thier profits. The Forests are privately owned by who?. Do you own them. Me neither. Pray for God to help us inherit this nation enough to battle the oppression not as the worlds servants but as the children of God . God didnt create anything for these people to own it.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01038498107096197056 Edward Elkins jr.

    FR. Miller I dont know if you have read the infancy gospels. In the infancy gospels it explains how Mary was chosen before she was even born to give birth to Jesus Christ. She lived in the temples as a child actually fed and raised by angels. Joseph recieved her has a companion with laws forbidden him to defile her virginity. She was chosen before all others. This Tribe of Judah Davidic lineage stuff they must of really been set apart from the rest of the tribes while all this happened or the other jews would of believed in Jesus from the get go.