“Top Evangelical quits church” – headline in the Saturday, April 26, 2008 Leader-Post in the city of Regina, Saskatchewan. The “top evangelical” is J.I. Packer, professor at Regent College in British Colombia, Canada and an Anglican / Episcopal priest. Now in his 80’s and still teaching – named one of the 25 most influential evangelicals on the globe – he has left the Anglican CHurch of Canada due to the Anglican Church’s trend towards “poisonous liberalism.” The split has come as a result of his now former bishop, Michael Ingram, “who in 2002 sanctioned a diocesan vote that eventually permitted the blessing of same-sex couples…”
Packer and a number of other clergy and parishes have left their respective dioceses and come under the covering of a non-geographic diocese headed by an archbishop from South America who is a believer in what the Bible teaches. Packer, like his new bishop, believes the “Bible is the absolute authority on divine truth, and that it clearly describes homosexuality as a grave sin.”
Two things struck me as interesting in the article. The first is the soft and gentle tones – maybe it’s political correctness. I quote James Packer: “an arguably heretical trend towards poisonous liberalism” and “He is a bishop who appears heretical”. Soft language. Let’s call a spade a spade. The Anglican Church of Canada has been liberal and getting even more liberal (and non-believing) for decades. It has ignored, then tolerated, then legislated, and now accepts homosexual priests and the homosexual lifestyle as a valid alternative way of life. They even teach this from their pulpits. It has been an active part of the Anglican Church of Canada for over 50 years and those who are gay have been pursuing an aggressive agenda which is now front and center.
But, let’s not fall over just the issue of homosexuality. Almost 30 years ago the writer, who was an Anglican priest and whose wife was ordained a deacon in the Anglican Church of Canada, left the Anglican Church due to a bishop (who then became an Archbishop and eventually then lead Archbishop of all Canada – the Primate) who bluntly stated that he did not believe the Bible, did not believe Adam and Eve were real people, did not believe in a literal Hell, nor a literal Devil, did not believe in the virgin birth and did not believe that Jesus was the Son of God. Can’t get more heretical than that – and that was November of 1979. Why are we still walking on egg shells? The Anglican Church in Canada has been liberal for many years. Decades ago they became an apostate church and are now heretical. It’s plain and simple.
The second thing I found amazing in the article was the response from the other side. A Reverend Kevin Dixon who is seeking permission for his chruch to bless same-sex unions states that Packard’s use of the word heresy “stunts dialogue and honest intellectual exploration.” Gee, I would have thought it would have encouraged dialogue because it was honest, true, and straighforward. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, sounds like a duck, it is a duck. The Anglican Church is and has been for some years a Church that is teaching heresy. Ask the Archbishop of Canterbury and Lambeth Conference bishops who have sanctioned both the Anglican CHurch of Canada and the American Episcopal House of Bishops for their stand for homosexuality and their ordination of homosexual priests and consecrations of homosexual bishops. Why are we afraid to call a spade a spade.
Dixon goes on, in typical Anglican fashion to say, “(the word) heresy stunts dialogue and honest intellectual exploration”. The problem here is it is so-called honest intellectual exploration that has gotten the Anglican Church to where it is today – dying and losing members weekly. Their educational system for priests – from which I graduated with a Master’s degree in 1972 – was blantantly and openly liberal. The Anglican Church has been and is so open minded that when it bends over its brains fall out. There is nothing honest or intellectual in the way the liberals are researching and handling the issues that desperately need to be discussed and settled. This was fact 30 years ago and still is today. It is hard to be honest and intellectual when there is an agenda being pursued.
Then comes the icing on the cake. Ready for this. Dixon states “Packer is adopting a ‘literalistic’ reading of the Bible.” You just knew that old brick would be tossed at the believers. Packer is by far one of the most intellectual, honest, deep-thinking Christians on the face of the planet Earth. And to call him a “literalist” is simply unthinkable – and it would appear that Dixon’s brains actually did fall out when he last bent over.
The Anglican Church of Canada and the Episcopal Church in the U.S.A. should be declared by someone as a “non-Church” because it’s leaders no longer believe the basic tenants of the faith once delivered to the saints (Jude 3) and don’t teach the truth from their pulpits. There are a few exceptions to that statement and they are currently leaving and seeking to come under the authority of believing bishops from other nations of the world. It has become a cancer on the true Church of Jesus Christ and is deceiving many people by their non-gospel.