How can Anglo-catholics and Evangelicals really work together?
I have often been asked this question as I go about the country. It was not very long ago that we were quite unable to get on - except in the case of a very few people - and yet now in these pages and in other ways we seem to be quite changed.
And there has been a transformation. We still disagree about the nature of the Holy Communion and exactly what a priest or presbyter really is. Some of us still disagree about whether or not you can know that you are justified, and eternally saved here and now. We speak differently about the new birth. We disagree about praying or the faithful departed. We do not agree to pray to the deceased saints. And these are, of course, big things indeed.
But today we are faced with an even greater conflict, and that is over the actual basic doctrine morals and order of the church of Jesus Christ itself.
There are a great many people (and those a majority in our Church) who have rejected the ethics of the New Testament. There are many in leadership who do not accept the virgin birth ( and some even the incarnation of Our Lord), the necessity of the saving death of our Lord to take away the guilt of sin, and also the true and bodily resurrection of the Lord.
We also know that a majority in our church no longer accepts the position of male leadership which is so very clearly revealed in the New Testament. Things are therefore very bad indeed and have done more than merely take a turn for the worse. The issue is now the truth of the Revelation.
It is therefore our job to seek to save this Church of England from these dangerous forces and to bring it back to the truth - the faith once delivered to the saints. If we are to do this we need each other and we cannot do it alone.
It is for this reason that we work together so closely. I wish that we could co-operate even closer still, for the times are evil.
John Pearce is Rector of Limehouse in the diocese of London.
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