Skip to comments.Ain't It the Truth?
Posted on 12/03/2019 5:59:08 AM PST by Kaslin
The Anglican Church of Canada clutches its throat at the prospect of -- Lord have mercy -- shutting down its ministries and works 20 years from now. You know -- putting up the "Closed" sign, the public demand for said ministries dwindling more with every passing year. So sharply have Anglican membership rolls declined since 2000 that, according to an internal study, naught but the buildings will remain in 2040.
Which, as many will recognize, is an odd assumption to entertain concerning any of the Lord's enterprises -- the same Lord who parted the Red Sea (I'll come back to this) and seems easily capable of repopulating empty churches and moving powerfully forward. Canadian Anglicanism's prospects nevertheless put in mind the consequences of life in an age when, seemingly, you don't have to believe anything.
The ongoing deconstruction of belief -- the dismissal of truths you or others see as nontruths -- leaves humans free to believe as they like. "Truth"? Who says so, pal? Falsehood? What might that be but someone else's truth turned around and dressed in new clothes?
Truth happens to be the special currency of religion. A church -- a faith -- invites acceptance of its premises, presenting them as needful and valid. Say you don't want to believe. In that event, you keep away from the church and its ancient truths, such as that very instrumental truth we hear of every year at this time: the Savior's birth.
We're constantly encouraged to get rid of unwanted beliefs. We are well acquainted, for instance, with "fake news," meaning anything disparaging of President Donald Trump. Trump's trope isn't unique. The Never-Trump media, the impeachment lobby -- these groups take pleasure in dismissing Trumpian rhetoric as shot through with lies and frauds.
Who started the great set-to over credibility in politics is unclear -- probably both sides, each reacting to the other. Wrong and right lack their former statuses as political touchstones. It's all opinion, point of view, real stuff versus made-up junk. A phone call to the Ukraine is either "perfect" or an impeachable offense. How do we know which, the standards for verification having been compromised? The very possibility of verification -- from the Latin "veritas," meaning "truth" -- having been bent out of shape?
You can see how, in such an environment, Christianity's "truth" claims can be seen as wobbly, and participation in Christian rites -- in Canada at least -- seen as a time-wasting enterprise.
So "prove" to me God opened that Red Sea! Prove it how? With a cellphone shot? Nah, some Hebrew PR guy could have faked the shot. We can't, it seems, in experiential terms, prove squat. Try to show me in physical terms you did what you said you did. Either I trust you or I don't.
Here we are, adrift on a vast sea of claims and counterclaims. Canadian Anglicanism's plight stems -- if I may tender a claim of my own -- from the shriveling of the human capacity for belief in the unseen. What happened to authority as credibly worked out in teaching and practice over long ages? It savors of "authoritarianism," doesn't it? Actually, no. Authoritarianism is someone making you do certain things. Authority is ancestral, made more credible by the witness of the credible. You can call the Virgin birth of Jesus, the origin point of the present season, fake news if you like, but that's just your unvarnished opinion -- against the grave and loving testimony of minds and mouths designated over the centuries as wise and fruitful.
Nobody in the 21st century can compel belief in the perfection of Trump's phone calls or in the right of The New York Times to consign the caller to the ninth circle of political hell. Yet where does this leave us? Swaying back and forth, forever and ever, between competing viewpoints? Uncertain what to believe and what not to? Disabled from the planting of things beautiful to us but, for all anyone knows, worthless to life at large?
The past half-century or so of American history, with its takedown of authority and truth, makes inevitable the moral frenzy that is our daily bread. And will, say, impeachment help to make truth accessible, credible as in the olden time? Pardon me as I roll on the ground, laughing hysterically.
William Murchison is writing a book on moral reconstruction in the 21st century. His latest book is "The Cost of Liberty: The Life of John Dickinson."
Too bad they didn’t follow the path of their southern neighbor. The ECUSA is kept afloat by their large real estate holdings in Manhattan and elsewhere.
Maybe this is a big clue why.
The Anglican Church of Canada just as The US Episcopal Church, the Church of England and other US mainline denominations are all in a freefall and aren’t interested in the reason for it.
They have turned their backs on Biblical teaching and endorsed a modern non-biblical way of life. Their focus has been on sexuality instead of evangelism. Instead of being the plumb line for society to judge behavior, they have become a promoter of evil ways.
Their member churches in Africa and some other parts of the world are growing because they resist the temptation to follow the world’s ways.
It is a shame for we need full churches; ones that follow Jesus.
Those buildings will make great mosques.
They forgot that when things that were once hot become cool it is because they are dead.
Hardly, considering the support of the novel social engineering seen today, plus ETsm etc. Yes, we are in a skeptical world, but not so much honest skepticism but a convenient one, which is usually concomitant with prosperity in materialism and education.
Which in themselves are blessings from God, but also a test, for just as a fully victorious person much be tested by afflictions and adversity, so he must be tested by affluence. Daniel had to endure the test of the king's food and culture as well as the den of lions.
The test of affluence is the greatest test in terms of the rate of final failure. In which test one must remember where he came from and is going to, and despite appearances and experiences, how desperately he still needs the Almighty. And order his life so that he must see God come thru.
It is this test Western Anglicanism has lost, going soft liberal which means you no longer believe and see your need for, and experience the reality of the providential and miraculous hand of God.
Thus while the Anglican church is going South in the modern West, in Africa it is growing: https://www.nytimes.com/1998/08/02/world/as-the-old-line-anglican-churches-wilt-those-in-africa-flower-profusely.html; https://religionunplugged.com/news/2019/7/1/a-more-diverse-conservative-anglicanism-is-growing
The people of Jericho were talking about the parting of the Red Sea forty years after the event took place. Still, except for Rahab, no one wanted to accept it. If God parted the Red Sea tomorrow, the next day people would be questioning it. Same if God raised someone from the dead. On and on it goes.
Why believe the Bible?
One cannot "prove" God opened the Red Sea just like you can't "prove" Washington crossed the Delaware. It is not a science experiment. It is a historical event and there were eye witnesses to both events.
Oh them wacky Canadians!
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