The Mysterious Hand of God in the Global Realignment of Christianity
By David W. Virtue
Sept. 2, 2012
Recently, a group of former Episcopalians sat down with the pastor and leaders of a local United Methodist church near Philadelphia and asked if they could hold services in their church. It was a bold and gutsy move with no guarantees of success. Ten people who had never met before sat down opposite each other and talked. In no time at all a deal was struck, the two leaders prayed, everyone shook hands and so Christ Church Anglican on the Main Line was born.
This is a microcosm of what is happening to Christianity in North America.
As the pansexual agenda of liberal Protestantism grips churches and tears whole denominations apart, something new is emerging that one can only view as the hand of God in breaking down the walls of denominationalism in a way that the National Council of Churches and the ecumenical movement have failed to do.
On another level, we are seeing new orthodox bodies being born. The Anglican Church in North America, born out of the apostasies of The Episcopal Church, has aligned itself with the Global South Anglican provinces Communion (Africa, Asia and Latin America) that is orthodox in faith and morals. The irony should not be missed. It was orthodox (read evangelical) Anglican missionaries who first took the gospel to Africa two hundred years ago. Now they are bringing it back to us.
This past week, the Anglican Archbishop of Nigeria, Nicholas Okoh planted a new Anglican diocese in Indianapolis right under the nose of The Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis and its liberal bishop, the Rt. Rev. Catherine Waynick. One is orthodox in faith and morals; the other imbibes the waters of progressivism and revisionism in faith and morals.
They duly elected and consecrated The Rt. Rev. Amos Akinseye Fagbamiye and enthroned him at the Anglican Cathedral Church of the Resurrection as the first bishop of the Diocese. That it was held at the Cathedral of the Resurrection is filled with irony. The Missionary Diocese of the Trinity is a mission outreach of the Church of Nigeria that grew out of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA), a diocese of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA).
This is an example of the direct intervention of an African Anglican archbishop on US soil in order to lay the groundwork and foundation for orthodox Anglicanism on these shores. There is not a thing the US Episcopal Church can do about it. They can grind their teeth, yell, and scream to the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Anglican Consultative Council about violating boundaries, but it will all fall on deaf ears. The Nigerians have landed. They want the gospel reclaimed on US soil because, they argue, the Episcopal Church has abandoned the historic gospel and drunk the Kool-aid of pansexuality and interfaith alliances where no gospel needs to be proclaimed because all roads ultimately lead to heaven.
What happened outside Philadelphia this past week when a handful of faithful Anglicans sat down with a church of equally faithful Methodists is a microcosm of denominational realignment at the local level.
We all agreed that John and Charles Wesley might well be applauding the efforts of these two groups along with a number of now deceased Anglican Archbishops and bishops. Methodism, after all, had its genesis in the Church of England. Although Wesley declared, "I live and die a member of the Church of England", the strength and impact of the movement made a separate Methodist body virtually inevitable. Now all that might be changing.
What is happening now has nothing to do with any push from the WCC, the NCC, or any grand statements on interdenominational cooperation.
These Anglicans came together over a bigger divide that is emerging in North America that is now visible among Episcopalians, Lutherans, Presbyterians, The United Church of Christ and, in time, The United Methodist Church.
Doctrinal weakness, moral relativism, a false inclusivism, and diversity are dividing whole denominations and bringing about new alliances that no one would have ever dreamed possible a few years ago.
This past week a group of orthodox Anglicans and Methodists prayed together and shook hands across a divide. No one saw it coming, but it is the way God is working, of that there is no doubt.
Out of evil God is bringing good. Nothing, no pastor, priest, bishop or archbishop can stop it. It is happening across North America (yes, in Canada as well). God is doing a new thing. We can only stand in awe at His hand of mercy as He tears down old walls through the pride and sinfulness of one group and the faithfulness and obedience of the other.
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