Though sympathising with John Graham re the Queen’s abdication, I fail to see the need for Anglican Christians, freed of their governess, to leave their Church. Are not the very Christians to whom he refers the true Church of England? A church is not where one goes but what one is.
Should Mr. Graham empty the Anglican Church of Christians, where would he transfer them? They might be an asset to his own denomination, but this would be out of the frying-pan into the fire. The many factions regarding faith, worship and church order amongst Baptists do not lag behind Anglicans in anti-Scriptural liberalism, sacramentalism and Pelagianism. Recent studies (Baptist Quarterly 8/2000), show how historically, traditionally and doctrinally, the Baptist Movement is a sacramental system and therefore Liberal and Pelagian. Most Baptists view their major rite as being a declaration of what the sinner performs rather than what God does. General Baptists abound in Arminianism; Reformed, Strict, Grace and Particular Baptists are riddled with Baxterism, Amyraldianism and Fullerism. Landmarkers outdo Romanists in their High Church dogmas of authority and succession. A Reformed Baptist pastor recently told me that though his church rejected covenant baptism, the faith into which his members were immersed included physical circumcision. Other Baptist groups hold low views of the deity, humanity and Sonship of Christ and/or lower baptism to an occult initiation rite. Some Baptist groups reject the Old Testament, others excommunicate members for not accepting certain weird ‘prophesyings’. Others call those of like doctrines who, however, use wine at the Lord’s Supper, ‘heretics’. Many Baptist groups hold to degrees of Christians similar to R. C. and Mormon patterns. Others practice ideas taken from Freemasonry. Most Baptists disagree with fellow-Baptists on baptism. Twenty Anglicans can easily form a church. The same number of Baptists will soon produce a bevy of new meeting-places of different ‘faiths and orders’.
Surely, the answer to this is not to chop and change, confusing denomination with Church, but to see God’s harvest-field in one’s present situation whether Anglican or Baptist. German Christians look to both these British institutions with envy. We have nothing as good as the Anglicans and our Baptists are all up the Willow Creek. Anyway, even Liberal, High Church Anglicans tell me that they estimate 30 per cent of Anglicans to be ‘Evangelical-Puritan’. What other denomination can boast such (sadly for today) high figures?
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