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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Apostasy From The Gospel.

Correspondent, John, in a comment to my last blog presents his perceptions of two past correspondents to the yoursydneyanglican website. I am not prepared to go so far as John, except to say I see a serious theological error being propounded by those correspondents.

However, there is no comfort to be found for them in my perception. In a blog posted by me here on 14 May 2007 I quoted from "Apostasy from the Gospel" - John Owen - Puritan Paperbacks published by The Banner of Truth Trust - abridged and made easy to read by R.J.K. Law. It is a reliable translation of a portion of Owen's "Works". I draw from that blog and provide it hereunder.

Before proceeding further I urge readers to have in mind the various excuses for escaping the historical reading of Genesis 1 now accommodated within Moore Theological College (all designed to accommodate the monstrous theory of evolution) and set that against the errors and causes of error which John Owen says lead to "Apostasy" or "Partial Apostasy".

Speaking on the topic of "Darkness and Ignorance a Cause of Apostasy" and with reference to Sceptics on page 66 Owen says "Scripture, the Trinity, Christ and his offices, justification by grace and all the other great truths of the gospel are weighed and examined in the defiled, tottering scales of bold, irreverent sceptical discussions. They may be teachers of religion, but they show their ignorance of the fundamental difference between truth and error. They cannot see the glory, beauty and power of truth, so it is all one to them whether it is truth or whether it is error". The office of Christ as Creator is considered part of the gospel and ought not be subjected to assault just as Christ as Redeemer or other office ought not be subjected to assault.

Speaking on the topic of "Pride, Neglect and Worldliness, Causes of Apostasy" on page 79, Owen says "The corrupt mind exalts its own ideas. It loves, applauds, dotes on and firmly embraces its own ideas and opinions. This is the origin of all heresy," and on page 80 "The corrupt mind exalts itself as the sole and absolute judge of God's Word....... whatever the mind rejects as not in agreement with its own ideas and system of logic is scorned and despised". On the same topic on page 89, Owen says "(2) Secondly, God delivers up willful apostates to false teachers and deceivers. These, deceived and taught by Satan, are used by God to carry out his just displeasure on wicked apostates whom he delivers into their power. The deceived people exalt these false teachers and deceivers into high positions in the church and then submit implicitly to them".

Speaking on the topic of "Apostasy from the Doctrine of the Gospel" on pages 92, Owen says "So none will remain constantly faithful to Christ who is not able to spiritually discern the glory of his person and his offices" and on page 93, "The whole foundation of all gospel faith rests in the glory of Christ's person and offices (Heb. 1:2, 3; Col. 1:15-19)". Note that Owen specifically cites passages of Scripture addressing the creative work of Christ in this assertion.

Speaking on the topic of "Apostasy from the Commands of the Gospel" on page 103, Owen says "By the Word of God and the Spirit of Christ, multitudes have been made holy, and multitudes more are still being called out of this world to holiness of life. These shall never utterly and finally fall away from true holiness, but shall be preserved by the power of God through faith unto salvation. Yet even these may fall away from wholehearted obedience to the holy commands of the gospel and become for a while unfruitful in their lives. In every backsliding there is a partial apostasy, with much dishonour to Christ. Nor does anyone know whether his backsliding will not end in total apostasy".

These and so much more are sober words from John Owen for reflection on all aspects of our life and testimony to Jesus Christ. In connection with the full gospel of Jesus Christ, they have relevance to the glory that is His in His office as Creator and are a caution against diminishing the glory due Him.

Objective readers will observe that the Anglican (Episcopalian) Diocese of Sydney is in grave danger due to a shameful corruption of the glory of Jesus Christ as Creator and the roots of the corruption are to be found in its theological seminary.

Sam Drucker

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