Where are the Escondido men when we need them...

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. ...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. ...

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... (excerpt of an article by David Virtue)

Anglican bishops from Africa are violating parish boundaries here in these United States, planting orthodox Christian parishes where the presiding Anglican/Episcopal authorities have betrayed the faith. Is this good or bad?

Ask Darryl Hart and his fellow Escondidoites and it's bad... Right? After all, this is the sort of thing that was done by Anglicans like Whitefield during the Great Awakening, and Darryl and his fellow Orthodox and Old Light Presbyterians oppose such violations of proper ecclesiastical boundaries.

In an interview Dr. Hart is asked, "What is an Old Side Presbyterian, and do you qualify?"

To which he responds:

An Old Side Presbyterian was a guy who opposed revivalism because revivalists were not as concerned about subscription as Old Siders were, and was opposed to the way that some New Siders completely disregarded church polity and the authority of synod and presbyteries. So if to be an Old Sider is to favor subscription to the Standards, believe in the real authority of the church, and to be suspicious of subjective religious experience, I am one.

For myself, though, I'm not holding my breath waiting for Old Presbyterians to mount a campaign against men like Nigeria's Anglican Archbishop Nicholas Okoh for trampling on the proper local Anglican authorities here in Indianapolis.

Can you imagine Old Light Presbyterians defending the ecclesiastical authority of sodomite Christian bishops by criticizing African black pastors today for not "believing in the real authority of the church" as they regularly criticize dead white pastors in colonial New England who also did not "believe in the real authority of the church?"

Just to be clear: I do not believe these aspects of the ministries of Whitefield and Edwards were wrong, nor do I think this aspect of Archibishop Okoh's ministry is wrong. It used to be that real Reformed men spoke of "the church reformed, always reforming," so it grieves me to watch Old Schoolites opposing such godly reformers as Edwards and Whitefield. What does Scripture say on this subject?

Check out this post from 2007.

And while we're at it, here's a book every reader of Baylyblog should buy and read. It's the non-Ph.D.'d John Frame exposing the many bad errors of the Ph.D.'d at Westminster Seminary in Escondido in a book called The Escondido Theology: A Reformed Response to Two Kingdom Theology.

(w/thanks to Jody K.)

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and fifteen grandchildren.

Comments

Didn't realize a man like Hart would go so far to defend ecclesial authority. Interesting post.

go so far as to defend the Episcopal church against folks like Okoh, I meant to add. That is truly disconcerting, having read some of his stuff with admiration. Where does he speak to this issue specifically?

>>Where does he speak to this issue specifically?

He doesn't.  I think Pastor Bayly is trying to make a different point.

I hope Archbishop Okoh makes a visit to Bloomington. I was just at the Episcopal campus ministry's website, and saw pictures of some former attendees from the Chinese church in town attending their services, two of whom have visited Clearnote. Tragic and infuriating. This is the "ministry" of the woman who lives right next door to Bob...

Im confused then. My sense here is that Pastor Bayly is drawing a link between Hart and opposition to men like Okoh.

>>Didn't realize a man like Hart would go so far to defend ecclesial authority.

My point is that, if these men oppose the Anglican reformer, Whitefield, because they "believe in the real authority of the church," they ought to oppose the Anglican reformer, Okoh, because they believe "in the real authority of the church." Both violate proper parish boundaries, one by his preaching and the other by actually planting churches. Both oppose the spiritual decadence of the churches whose territory they're invading. What's sauce for the Great Awakening is sauce for the African invasion.

But of course, do they oppose it? Will they oppose it?

Somehow I think not, but we'll see.

As I said in the post from 2007 that, above, I asked people to read, opposing the reform of Christ's church is a ticklish business because the logic of believing in "the real authority of the church" and opposing Edwards and Whitefield necessarily leads you to opposing the Old Testament prophets, our Lord Himself, the Apostles, Athanasius, the Waldensians, Luther, Calvin, Knox, Machen, and now Nicholas Okoh. It would take some fancy footwork to peel two or three out of the bunch and say, except for them, you believe in the real authority of the church.

I hope readers will read that earlier post, keeping in mind that Hart and his men oppose Whitefield's reforms of the church of his time on the principle that Whitefield "completely disregarded church polity," that he rebelled against "the real authority of the church of his time."

Love,

It is possible to conclude that people take the idea of disregarding the authority of the church so lightly that a corrective is needed.  We are in an age that despises authority.  The church is made up of fallen men and its institutions must, at times, be resisted.  But in our society the whole idea of ecclesiastical authority and respect for that authority is treated with contempt.  The only person fit to rebel against ecclesiastical authority is the person who has genuine fear of doing it in error and who recognizes the exceptional nature of the act, when justified.  Luther and Calvin took that seriously.  Not so many today I'm afraid.

Dear Brother David,

If we're concerned about the hatred of authority in our time, why no zeal for patriarchy anywhere but in matters of ordination of pastors and elders? Why, for instance, are Reformed men not leading a resurgence of the authority of application in the pulpit and church discipline in session meetings? Why is their zeal for ecclesiastical authority located at the matter of robes and historic confessions and presbyteries and synods? Time-wise, why is it located three centuries ago and it doesn't oppose Machen's utter rejection of Presbytery and General Assembly authority?

The key to understanding many Reformed men today is simply that they can't stop opposing their childhood churches. Once you know their greatest fear is American civil religionist patriotic legalistic fundamentalistic Baptist churches, the mist clears.

When I see these men begin to teach and preach the authority of patriarchy and church discipline with anything like the pungency and zeal they preach the authority of presbyteries, synods, robes, and confessions, I'll...

Praise God and retire.

Love,

As I think you know I have no problem with the application of authority in the family and in society in general.  An incomplete response is better than no response at all.  And I'm less interested in defending many or most reformed men today than I am with defending the legitimacy of authority within the church.  As you rightly observe the rebellion against authority isn't limited to the church.  It rages throughout society, in government, and in the family.  Ideally I'd like everyone to respond in every area.  If somebody gets something right somewhere I'll take what I can get in the storm and encourage them to make their position consistent across every aspect of life.

And in fairness to Darryl Hart he has, in interaction with me, told me he thought it would be appropriate for a session to discipline a member of the church who was in government and promoted abortion.

Yes, I do, and I'm grateful.

Love,

David, I'm completely with you about the hugeness of the problem of the authority of the church not being treated properly. However, that happens in two ways. One is what you are discussing--the easy dismissal of that authority and hence rebellion. However, the other is the refusal to appeal to a higher authority to call a lower authority to account.

Since we are in agreement that this happens all over the place, not just with the church, let me use the example of the home. Many wives refuse to treat their husbands with honor and respect, and have no fear as they do so. At the same time, you also have wives who refuse to go to the authorities when their husband is abusive to them and their children. The fact that we have both of those things going on in the same culture is not surprising. It's to be expected. They are both related to an improper view of authority. 

Defend the authority of the church! Yes, please do! But those who refuse to hold church authorities accountable are at fault the same way the wife mentioned above is.

And I agree with you.  As I mentioned above I think that to question authority properly one must first respect it.  But you're right that there is only one authority from which there is no appeal.

>>> there is only one authority from which there is no appeal.

Think of it! O the majesty of God the Father!

Tell of His glory among the nations,
His wonderful deeds among all the peoples.
For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised;
He also is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are idols,
But the LORD made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty are before Him,
Strength and joy are in His place...
Tremble before Him, all the earth;
Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved.
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
And let them say among the nations, "The LORD reigns."
- 1Ch 16:24-27, 30-31

How exciting! Foreign missionaries who truly understand the gospel are finally bringing its Light into the heart of the spiritual "Dark Continent." I can't wait to see what happens next! African missions trips to America, perhaps?

It's a grand irony that all of the liberal, inclusive, pluralist denominations can't produce half of the tolerance and good will that God gives to some Methodists and Anglicans uniting against a common foe.  Maybe Presbyterians and Baptists can be friends, too. Or, even crazier, maybe Presbyterians and ClearNoters will start getting along. ;-)

On an unrelated note, perhaps a change of title is in order for the liberal Episcopalian bishops? Instead of referring to them as "The Right Reverend" we could call them "The Left Reverend" or maybe "The Wrong Reverend."

:-)

Contrary to the two-kingdom-ites, it looks like some of the three-forms brethren are taking the duty seriously to proclaim the gospel even to men who happen to be rulers, http://theaquilareport.com/conservative-reformed-church-in-the-united-st...

p.s. a church whose authority is based on structure and hierarchy and not faithfully expounding and asserting the word, is neither a church of Christ nor an institution invested with God's authority; it is a shell pretending to be either, and something to be ridiculed, mocked, subverted, exposed, denounced, warred again spiritually, and contended against among those who are and might be deceived without the commotion: let their be riots of the makers of idols and merchandisers and priestesses of the goddess of their imaginations before harmony with or any respect or regard for the devil's minions transforming themselves to appear as angels of light.

I was part of an neo-evangsmellical church once with authoritarians and, once armed with the word of truth and the skills to properly handle it, I hope to make war and, if necessary, offend every friend and former friend once had by association and participation with them, to be faithful to Christ and expose substitutes presented as His gospel. These self-deluded pretenders liked (and like) to quote anything related to authority of pastors and elders, "obey your leaders..." for instance, but despised those who brought the word to bear upon them in ways that endured beyond equivocations and duplicitous answers to make go away questions about their teachings and methods and exposures of their unfaithfulness, despite all the sophisticated subtlety they had developed over the years.

It's one thing to level one's sights to target those who despise authority, another to fail to very explicitly distinguish legitimate from pretended authority arrogated by imposters. Bravo for Africans openly subverting an institution that uses offices, forms, and names officially meant for the faithful for its own purposes and whims. Also, Ion't know that I would really accept them beyond that: the Episcopal church in Africa (at least in places like Uganda, when I have checked their own publications) is largely part of the egalitarian heresy itself, and full of problems like as the false evangelicalism that darkens our land, such that their zeal could be for "the gospel", but that isn't really well defined, but all about "gettin' men saved, yeppers!" This tells us that it too has a severe...problem with [biblical] authority, and is in need of even more fundamental Reform. But I love that they were so bold as to "enthrone" a new ruler this way--it's just awesomely uncivil, contentious, and bold. : D

It's one thing to level one's sights to target those who despise authority, another to fail to very explicitly distinguish legitimate from pretended authority arrogated by imposters.

True but most rebels claim the authority they reject is illegitimate and pretended wielded by imposters.  Hence we must examine ourselves carefully and be open to others if we wish to reject authority.

<blockQUOTE>most rebels claim the authority they reject is illegitimate and pretended wielded by imposters.  Hence we must examine ourselves carefully and be open to others if we wish to reject authority.</blockQUOTE>

True. But again, it comes down to the problem of authority, that is, what is and isn't: there is authority and then there are powers, whether government, charismatic/influential people, institutions that just havne't folded-up for so long that their bare endurance makes them influential (e.g. New York Times). If you have to pick one of a thousand rebels in the modern "churches", whether their motives are correct or no, reasoning correct or no, odds are the "authority" or elders/pastors/leaders/etc. they are rebelling against is no authority at all, because they do not have the word of truth, they do not teach it, they twist it until it has become what they prefer it to be: may those rebels multiply a million times their number and instead of railing against "the bible" or "God" or the morals in the Scriptures, at the very least may they see how false it has become, and ruin that awful influence of men pretending to serve Jesus who really are just seeking good lives, a decent society, and a means to relieve themselves of having to care (to think on things long or deeply, go to those they have hurt/harmed and beg forgiveness before bringing an offering, etc.). As I am sure you ware well aware, in societal terms we are mired in dissolution, and the churches are no exception: they are gatherings of devils and antichrists, where Jesus pleads to save rather than saves, where deep inward remorse has been removed, along with the conviction that brings it, from repentance; where salvation is not just a ticket to heaven, but your best life now: I would marvel if I didn't know better how the evangsmellicals are lambasting Joel for that book and his t.v. performance, yet the teach the same damnable doctrines day in and day out. : (

As I am sure you ware well aware, in societal terms we are mired in dissolution, and the churches are no exception

Indeed.  And a primary characteristic of that dissolution is the rejection of authority.  This is not surprising, Satan's current status was achieved by rebellion against authority and rebellion is a primary characteristic of those who serve his purposes.

If you have to pick one of a thousand rebels in the modern "churches", whether their motives are correct or no, reasoning correct or no, odds are the "authority" or elders/pastors/leaders/etc. they are rebelling against is no authority at all

In so far as I can understand what you wrote here it seems to me you are badly mistaken.  Given the state of fallen man I have no reason to assume most rebels in this day and age, in the church, are justified because they rebel against corrupt authority.  There is much corrupt authority, the idea that there is much virtuous rebellion has escaped me for the first few decades of my life. 

But then I wish more pastors could echo Donald Cargill, a rebel with an appropriate cause, as he climbed the stairs to the gallows when he said "I mount this gallows with a lighter heart than ever I mounted the pulpit."

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