Sunday, July 27, 2008

The true cost of apostasy

For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still. For the people turneth not unto him that smiteth them, neither do they seek the LORD of hosts. Therefore the LORD will cut off from Israel head and tail, branch and rush, in one day. The ancient and honourable, he is the head; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail. For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed. Therefore the Lord shall have no joy in their young men, neither shall have mercy on their fatherless and widows: for every one is an hypocrite and an evildoer, and every mouth speaketh folly. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still. For wickedness burneth as the fire: it shall devour the briers and thorns, and shall kindle in the thickets of the forest, and they shall mount up like the lifting up of smoke. Isaiah 9

The apostate leaders of the Episcopal church continue to lead their sheep-like congregations into heresy and damnation. For every one parishoner who has the intelligence and courage to leave the hell-bent organization, there are ten who will stay put, sliding slowly into apostasy, for lack of courage, or awareness, or care. Not the ones who seek out the apostasy of their free choice... the ones who blindly trust their faithless clergy, are caused to err, and are destroyed. And for this, I believe, those leaders shall be held accountable when they appear before the Throne.

But there are those who leave for whom they shall also be held accountable. For by profaning of the Church and of Scripture, these leaders have caused some to despair of those things as well... to throw out the good and the true because of the stink of the evil.

Make no mistake, our Lord Jesus Christ intended for His people to be a sacramental people, episcopally led, corporately worshiping. This is the clear model the apostles themselves spread as part of the initial deposit of the faith. For Christ sent them out into the world not just to bring a covenant, but also to bring a community. The Word made Flesh gave to His Bride the Church not just His words in Scripture but also His Flesh in Sacrament... and saved and redeemed and gave her, as well, her own body; a body brought together under the headship of His apostles and, from that source, of His bishops, the inheritors of that apostolic authority.

This is Christ's will for how His people, His Church, should live and for how they are to receive His greatest gift, His very flesh: given to His Church, in His sanctuaries, by His bishops. This is how His grace and favor are most intimately given to His people, according to His own promise.
Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. John 6

And yet, reacting to the corruption and apostasy and spiritual evil that has infected the Episcopal House of Bishops, who have rejected that faith and that apostolic succession, many of the faithful are abandoning not just the apostasy but also the episcopacy and the sacraments. They are choosing, because the Episcopal church has abandoned His Word, to flee by abandoning His Flesh and His Bride as well. Because the Episcopal church has followed moral and ethical apostasy, they react against it by pursuing sacramental and ecclesiastical apostasy. They are wise to leave an organization which has abandoned Christ and so ceased to be the Church... but foolish to also abandon the Church in an effort to return to Christ.

Sadly, all too often, one reads of reactions like the following -- reads of those who, fleeing from a false church which has abandoned (along with forsaking Scripture) the apostolic succession, valid sacraments, and the true life of the Church to which Christ calls His people... flee to another place which has abandoned those things as well.
I have waited long enough and if something of massive global proportions does not happen in the very immediate future, then I will have lost faith in our conservative leadership once more and I will leave my very conservative TEC diocese for a non-denominational church or perhaps I’ll even quit going to church all together.

For these souls as well shall the apostate and the complicit leaders of the Episcopal church be held accountable.

But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in... Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves... Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.... Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? Matthew 23


Georgia said...

LP, I have always loved your 'serious writing' even more than the outrageous and brilliant wit you also possess. I still have the devotions you sent to all of 'your subscribers' from the early Apostasy yahoo group days in 2003. In fact, I sent copies to Dr. Toon to recommend you to help him with a new prayer book. You'd be my first candidate still. You have the ability to move hearts with beautiful lyrical words. The post above is proof. Give it some consideration. If not a new prayer book, perhaps a book. What riches and gifts He has bestowed on, invested in you.
All blessings,

Allen Lewis said...

One is forced to wonder why there are still those who are "hanging on" in the false belief that they are providing some kind of witness to the non-believers.

I do not doubt that there are some who are called to this task, but the number of people I encounter who make such statements are far beyond what I consider an acceptable number. I believe the others are merely deluding themselves!

A Musing Anglican said...

"hanging on" in the false belief that they are providing some kind of witness to the non-believers.

And, unfortunately, the "witness" that they are providing to the non-believers is that"
* these issues aren't ultimately that important, that
* we really can just "all get along" in one church organization despite having completely different faiths, and that
* it's not worth leaving one's comfortable and accustomed Episcopal parish to join one of the more traditional and faithful Anglican (or other denomination) parishes out there.

Except in those places where "staying in" for a brief span can be profitable in actively helping people to get out, this "witness" is a negative one... because, rather than sharing orthodoxy, it actually innoculates people against it.