Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Innovation or Return?

I recently had the pleasure of attending a service at an ACNA parish and heard a sermon that was so far removed from what my Episcopalian ears were accustomed to hearing that I kept wondering what would happen if this preacher was to give the same sermon in front of a group of Episcopalians.

Let me summarize his points:
  • The Reformation was a "return" and not an "innovation". 
  • The primacy of Scripture in the Anglican tradition.
  • The roles of tradition and reason in Anglicanism (not the same as the three legged stool Episcopalians teach).
  • Innovation is not derived from Scripture or tradition but from (flawed) human reason.
  • One should apply Scripture, tradition, and reason in that order to answer the question, "Is this an innovation or is it a return?" 
He then proceeded to give us a few examples of ancient and old issues the Church has faced.

Can you guess which examples would have caused an audience of Episcopalians to rend their clothes?

Yep, divorce, cohabitation, same-sex blessings, transgender liturgies, etc. Which were all correctly identified as innovations contrary to scripture and tradition.

The ACNA congregation nodded in agreement.

A congregation of Episcopalians would have turned into,

Or maybe not. A crowd of Episcopalian clergy certainly would have been irate, but a crowd of pewsitters just might have had their ears opened.

Just imagine what effect a steady diet of correct information might have on the Episcopal congo.

Ah, tis but a flight of fancy I know.

But, just imagine...


  1. Pewster,
    A price had to be paid for many congregations to allow this kind of preaching to continue. Our church was a cathedral church and the first Episcopal church established in Fresno County CA. We have been taken in and temporarily housed in a Baptist Church and are still looking for a place to rent/buy. Pray for us.

    1. Indeed. Dissenting parishes (of which there are probably fewer and fewer in TEc) have a price to pay when they vote to leave. I think it is a price worth paying because the Episcopal organization is so deeply infected with revisionist thinking that I don't think it can be salvaged. Yet, people still come and sit in the pews and soak it in. I suspect that Biblical illiteracy is a large reason why people stay. (see my earlier post on a "hypothetical" rector search committee )

  2. Who are you going to believe, revisionist preachers or the evidence of your own eyes? When the revisionist says that the created order which is obvious to any observer is irrelevant, he denies science, Scripture, Tradition, and common sense.

  3. To your preacher's point, we don't need to do everything exactly the way Christians did in the early centuries, but we need to have good reasons when we don't. As to matters which are quite clear in the preaching of the Apostles, what good reasons could possibly contradict the teachings of God incarnate and those who knew Him?

    1. I think he was saying that the Reformation was a needed correction and a return in that the accretions of past innovations were cast off. Revisionist churches are piling on novel accretions of erroneous practices which we reject.