Church Makes Itself Irrelevant.
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
Episcopal Church officials voted recently to allow bishops the latitude to bless same-sex unions and it is a vote that may further divide the worldwide Anglican community. Read the full article entitled: "Episcopalians authorize bishops to bless same-sex unions" HERE.
In my opinion, it is past time for the Anglican community to toss ECUSA out and be done with it.
I am a non-practicing ELCA Lutheran. I became non-practicing when my church adopted left-wing politics in place of the scriptures. It was at that point that it became, in my opinion, apostate, and I left the church because that is what Christians are supposed to do when they find themselves in such surroundings.
The Episcopal Church, USA seems bent on becoming a "cult", of some sort, rather than a church or denomination, within the mainline churches of the world. The Anglican Communion, in my opinion, ought to toss them and get on with their Christian work without the distractions left-wing organizations seem always to bring with them into any organization.
There is an article at the Charlotte Observer site you will find interesting. It is titled: "A Church Divided" and you will find it HERE.
As we watch the mainline churches in America fall like dominoes to the evil forces assailing them, one must wonder whatever gave them the idea they could weigh anchor and sail away from safe harbor within the sola scriptura. As one of the (seemingly) very few OLD Lutherans left still kicking, I confess to believing, still, in sola scriptura, meaning: "only from the scriptures," or "the scripture alone," or, finally, "the scriptures (The Bible) as the sole source of authority." What I mean, simply, is that I base my faith on scripture alone, not on politics, not on any secular creed, not on passing fancies, whims, fashions, and, or, fads, but scripture - alone. Back in the day, when protestantism did the same thing, denominations did not split over things like homosexual bishops, blessing homosexual marriages, etc. It was enough that the scriptures condemned homosexuality. The argument, if ever there was one, was over before it began.
With the all out attack of left-wing politics on the church, and the Left's "everybody goes to heaven" theology (making the church, itself, irrelevant), denominations not deeply anchored in sola scriptorua folded like cheap suits.
Sola scriptorium, on the other hand, is a philosophy upon which the original protestant churches were built. The Great Reformer, Martin Luther, gets the credit for inventing it. It dictates, in layman's terms, that the interpretation of the word of God ultimately rests within a person and his or her personal relationship with God. That is, no one else can tell you how to believe in God. See, now, I LIKE that. In fact, I have lived my life that way. I do not now, nor have I ever, believed that it is forbidden for one to interpret the scriptures for oneself. Although, some churches in Christendom do believe it is forbidden for the believer to read and interpret the scriptures for himself or herself.
As I said above, I must admit to being an adherent to Sola Scriptura, as well. That is - Bible Sufficiency - or the scriptures alone. In other words, I hold a belief in the scriptures as the sole source of authority... not the preacher, not the pastor, not the priest, not the Bishop, not the Pope - the scriptures alone. As a result, I have very few gray areas in matters of faith, to deal with.
In my last few years as an active church member, I was in a constant state of turmoil. I watched my church become something I knew to be wrong. When I spoke up and warned fellow members the path the church had taken was not biblical, was not true to the faith, and most importantly, was not true to the scriptures, I was looked upon with disdain. As I looked about me I saw, to my horror, that fellow members did not seem to be troubled by the path the church was taking. Mainly, they wanted to be left alone and not disturbed by unpleasant things such as apostasy.
I stopped taking communion - and finally announced to my bible study class that I was leaving the church because I could not remain a part of an organization that I believed was not true to the scriptures. I was admonished to remain in the church and work from the inside to force the church to return to its scriptural mission. After a few weeks of actually considering that - I decided that would not work because the hierarchy of the church was far too powerful and they had set the course for the church and nothing I could ever do would make the least bit of difference. And so, I left the church.
My only regret is that I could not do a thing to save my beloved church from self-destruction. My greatest disappointment is with my (former) fellow members of that denomination who could not be bothered to act quickly and decisively to save a great old Christian denomination which had done much good in this world, in God's name, but had now gone over to the opposition.
Today, as I watch so many of the mainline churches going over to the enemy, I have to ask myself if this is as bad as it appears? The scriptures tell us clearly that only a remnant of God's people will survive "the great shakeout." It seems to me that our great old denominations, like our nation, the USA, have become fat and lazy and are not competent to lead anymore. The churches, tired of setting the standards for society have, instead, adopted society's standards as their own. It is much less work, you see. In doing so they have forsaken their only true mission on this earth and are of no further use in the fulfillment of The Great Commission. Shouldn't we, then, ask ourselves if these churches, these Christian denominations, have become a hindrance to the work of the true church on this earth? I warn you, an honest answer here WILL hurt!
J. D. Longstreet