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Monday, December 20, 2010

"You travel over land and sea to win a single convert ..." To What?

This blogspot is critical of Moore Theological College - the theological seminary of the Episcopalian Diocese of Sydney. Our concern is the College's handling of Genesis on Creation but, primarily, the problem is deeper than that. That erroneous teaching is a symptom of the Cancer that has eroded the evangelical church in Western culture for more than a century. It is a pursuit of the same error found in Higher Criticism and Liberal Theology which places the thoughts of man above the Word of God.

It is not as if the evangelical church has not had sufficient warning in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We have publicised some of the warnings that people concerned for Christ's Church broadcast last century. The Cancer continues with little abatement. Closer to home Moore Theological College lures students from many parts of the world, proselytizes via its distance studies course - PTC - and spews its converts into evangelical churches around the globe.

We publicise here now more sampling of earlier warnings of the Cancer diagnosed last century and, despite proud protestations about its purity, is manifest in 'evangelicalism' today - no less evident in the Episcopalian Diocese of Sydney via it's theological seminary.

Upon hearing of the proposed retirement of Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones in 1968 a Suffolk pastor wrote to the doctor and thanked him for the help received when he and his once fellow students of Richmond College wrestled with the compromised teaching at the college. He said, in part:

"I have just seen the notice of your resignation as minister of Westminster Chapel. At such a time I feel that I must tell you what a very great help your ministry was to me and to several other theological students while we were studying for the Methodist ministry at Richmond College. Often, at the end of a week of lectures which sometimes left us wondering just what we could believe, we would go up to the [Westminster] Chapel, as we called it, and there we would receive food for our souls, and would catch a fresh vision of the power and relevance of the gospel we had been called to preach. We came to see that God was greater than we had ever imagined before, and that the Bible was indeed His Word to us, inspired and wonderful in all its teaching."

It would not have been Richmond College alone which has compromised the Word of God because there was a broad departure from the Reformers and their principle for understanding the Word of God. Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones alludes to this when he wrote his 1967 annual letter to the members of Westminster Chapel on January 1, 1968. I cite part of his letter hereunder:

"When one turns to the more general position however, the situation is very different. Here, the main impression is one of confusion, uncertainty, and divided opinions. This is true not only in this country but throughout the world. This is something that one expects in 'Christendom', but in the past it has not been true of those calling themselves evangelical. This is the new feature which is so disturbing. No longer can it be assumed that to be evangelical means to accept the authority of the Scriptures on matters of history, and on the creation of the world and man, and at the very lowest to be sceptical about the theory of evolution. In the same way there has been a recrudescence of denominationalism and an entirely new attitude towards Romanism.

It is, alas, a time of conflict and of trial, indeed a time of tragedy when old comrades in arms are now in different camps. It is not that one in any way questions the honesty or the sincerity of such friends. There is only one explanation and that is, 'an enemy hath done this'. Never has that enemy been more active or more subtle . . .

What the outcome of the present upheaval will be no one can tell. Our duty is to be faithful knowing that the final outcome is sure

Well, the upheaval has continued inasmuch as 'evangelicalism' is being turned on its head. As in the past, where certain institutions commenced with sound biblical principles but later turned to an opposite principle, 'evangelicalism' is abandoning its primary principle founded on trust in the Word of God.

Ecumenism may have lost momentum but just as Israel longed to return to Egypt when faith in the Word of God waned so it is likely that many who call themselves evangelical today will, one day, desire to return to Rome as loss of faith in the Word of God runs its course. The disease is there, all that is awaited is its consequence.

The lost of the world are in desperate need of a strong evangelical church but all they have tottering before them is a diseased and ever diminishing church.

Sam Drucker

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