anglican turmoil – deeper than same-sex?

The largest Anglican congregation in Canada, St. John’s, in the exclusive Shaughnessy district of Vancouver, BC, voted last Wednesday to break ties with its diocese and to join with a ‘competing’ diocese, that of the Southern Cone, basically a South American parallel to the Canadian branch of the church. [I don’t pretend to understand how dioceses work or how they are organized.] This decision is full of risk for the congregation as it looks like the liberal Canadian diocese will mount a fight for the buildings and property of the congregation.

As a fundamentalist, I certainly applaud any resistance to the anti-orthodox establishment of mainline churches. The issue precipitating the split is the same-sex marriage debate, but it appears that more is at stake.

Consider this quote from today’s National Post:

Reverend Van McCalister, a spokesman for San Joaquin, said the issue for orthodox churches, whether in the United States or Canada, goes much deeper than same-sex blessings.

“We saw that the [Church] leadership was moving in a direction that was very different than classical Christianity. They are redefining who Christ is and what it means to be a Christian. And so we really thought it was important that we be aligned with the majority of the Anglican Communion that still had an orthodox view of Christ and Christianity.

“[The issue of same-sex blessings] was certainly the tipping point, something that exemplified how far off Biblical Christianity the leadership has gone. For some time now there have been a number of bishops and seminary professors who are denying the Virgin Birth, that Jesus is the son of God, denying the Resurrection, things that are essential to what Christianity is. This reinterpretation of scripture … that really is the central issue. The same-sex issue really is a symptom of the deeper problem.”

It seems that some Anglicans are coming to the conclusion that you cannot perpetually accommodate error in your ranks. Error only serves to advance spiritual corruption.

There is more information in this article: Major church vote widens Anglican rift. I note that J. I. Packer is a part of this church. A key quote here:

Asked why more Canadian churches have not taken a public stance in support of ANiC churches, Bentley asserted: “There’s been a lot of spiritual drift within the ACC over the past 40 years.” She said she believed many ACC clergy, and some parishioners, were out of touch with scripture.

A third article: Second church set to split.

These moves do not make fundamentalists out of this group of Anglicans! But finally they are being forced to take steps against the apostasy in their denomination. Perhaps in time some of them will see the folly of broader evangelicalism and its tolerance for a wide variety of dubious beliefs and practices.