The Anglican Church: From Heaven or of Men?

Keith Sisman

Dear reader, the Anglican Church claims that its origin is from the Apostles, via the Catholic Church in an unbroken chain of succession. It has claimed that it is the true Church, so let us together examine this claim, for it is a lofty claim indeed and if true, one of which we need to take notice. Men have many ideas about the church and it’s relationship to Christ, but let’s look at what the inspired Apostles Paul and John have to say on the subject. The church is “the pillar and ground of truth” (1 Tim 3:15), The word of God is truth (John 17:17), thus it is the responsibility of the church to teach and practice every truth of the word of God. Therefore ask, is the Church of England (CoE), the Anglican Church, from God or of men?

This proud Church wears the title “The Church of England”. The New Testament church wears several descriptions, including the “church of Christ” (Rom. 16:16). It began on the day of Pentecost in Jerusalem as prophesied. The Church of England or Anglican Church wears a name unknown 2,000 years ago, for Anglican and England are new words, which have come into use since the 600s. England did not exist before then, therefore the “Church of England” did not exist before the year 590. We can further this argument when we see that the Lord gave the great commission as recorded in Mathew 28:19, it was to teach all nations, the church was to be universal, not limited to individual countries. An examination of both history and scripture reveals the Church of England, the Anglican Church, is not the church of Christ (Rom. 16:16). It is not from heaven, but of men.

In theology, the Church of England is Roman Catholic, but distanced itself from the Pope, which it denied in a number of acts of parliament between 1532-36, making Henry VIII supreme head of it. In most areas the CoE is almost identical to the Roman church, having rejected any Protestant ideals such as the authority of the scriptures. Therefore the Church of England is a continuation of the Roman Church, but with the monarch as head, not the pope, and not Protestant in origin. When we examine scripture we find each congregation is autonomous, overseen by a plurality of elders (bishops Titus 1:7) yet the Church of England is overseen by an archbishop who, to this day, rules from Canterbury where once the arch-Druid ruled over his heathen empire of temples. The Church of England on examination is a continuation of earlier, pre-Christian pagan religion. The New Testament Church is, as we see from Acts 20:17, Titus 1:5, and Philippians 1:1, overseen by Godly elders who are able to teach the pure word of God (Titus 1:9). We can see that by organisation, the Anglican Church (The Church of England), is not the church of Christ (Rom. 16:16), for the Head of the church of Christ is Jesus as we read in Ephesians 5:23: “For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Saviour of the body.” Dear reader, if we are not in Christ’s body, the church, we are not saved for He is the saviour of the body, the church (Col. 1:18), and He is the head of the body, the church).

The CoE’s split with Rome came after Henry divorced Catherine of Aragon, which was opposed by the Pope. Few objected because the promiscuity of the Catholic priesthood was frowned upon by people of all classes. The priests were able to keep their jobs and marry, also they were able now to deal directly with Henry as the head of the church. Parliament was under the control of Henry, England still being nearly 150 years from being any sort of democracy. The Lord Himself in Matthew 19 taught that marriage is for life (Mat. 19:4-12; Rom. 7:2).The Anglican Church has refused to teach God’s plan for marriage and the family from its beginning, as seen in our day by the divorce of Prince Charles, the future head of the CoE, from Diana. Their teaching shows that the Church of England, the Anglican Church, is not the church of Christ (Rom. 16:16).

The Church of England has a separate class of clergy called priests, yet the New Testament pattern for the church of Christ knows nothing and speaks against such division. For the New Testament teaches that all Christians are priests, a holy priesthood as seen in First Peter 2:4-5: “Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” The church of the Bible are the priests, who are Christians, yet the Anglican Church, the Church of England is the building, dedicated on holy ground. Such a pattern is not found in the New Testament. From this we can safely conclude, the Church of England, the Anglican Church, is not the church of Christ (Rom. 16:16). It is not from heaven, but of men.

Regarding salvation, the CoE teaches the need for baptismal regeneration of babies (original sin) whereby their sins need to be removed to allow them to take on the Anglican faith. As such, a baby that has not been baptised according to Anglican theology will go to Hell. This doctrine teaches that we can do nothing for our own salvation, the faith comes about after baptism.

In the year 1658, Henry Denne, who was both a preacher and evangelist for the Fennystanton church of Christ (near Cambridge) debated with the Anglican Dr Gunning (St. Clement Dane’s church, The Strand, London). Dr Gunning later became bishop for the diocese of Ely and is still fondly remembered by Anglicans today. Brother Denne was strongly opposed to Calvinism and Anglicanism, teaching “all men were put into the possibility of salvation through Christ” and “those that choose to perish do so at their own choice”. During the debate with Dr Gunning, which started after a lady showed concern with the practise of infant baptism, the following exchange took place; Dr Gunning: Infants unbaptised where there is no desire of their baptism in their parents or friends shall be shut out of heaven.

Henry Denne: If unbaptised infants be shut out of heaven, then God punisheth some creatures for that which they cannot help. Therefore unbaptised children are not shut out from heaven.

Gunning: I deny the consequence.

Henry Denne: Then shutting out of heaven is no punishment.

After this exchange the lady was baptised by brother Denne. Here, one of the foremost theologians of the 17th century is honest in his claim that without infant baptism, a child that dies will spend eternity in Hell, this being admitted in debate with an evangelist from the Lord’s church.

Baptism is essential for a person to be saved, for a person to be in Christ, and for a person to be in the church. The saved are in the church. This is what the Bible teaches.

Ephesians 4:4-6: “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one LORD, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”

Second Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

Galatians 3:27-28: “For as many of you as were baptised into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Matthew 28:18-20: “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

Mark 16:15-16: “And He said to them, Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptised will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.”

The scriptures teach that faith comes before baptism, that faith will lead the sinner to repentance and salvation in the waters of baptism. This precludes and will always precludes infants who do not understand. An infant cannot hear, cannot repent and thus are precluded from baptism, because they are innocent.

The plan of salvation is not taught by the Anglican Church, as baptism is the doorway to salvation. Salvation is not found in the Anglican Church, therefore the Anglican Church is not the church of Christ (Rom. 16:16). It is not from heaven, but of men.

From its onset, the reformed CoE was Catholic, liberal and humanistic in its outlook, being controlled by the Anglican party who were opposed by the much smaller Puritan (Protestant) and increasingly Calvinistic party.

Between 1604 and 1611 the Puritan party, under the oversight of the Anglicans introduced the King James Bible in 1611, still regarded as one of the most accurate and honest versions in the English language.

Under Oliver Cromwell the CoE became Protestant between 1646 and 1658, during which time the monarchy was abolished. After 1658 the Anglican party became the sole party in the CoE, becoming increasing liberal. This resulted in the Methodist movement in the next century.

During the time of Cromwell, some ministers within the CoE were able to teach true Christianity, but after the restoration in 1658 were forced to leave the CoE and faced persecution. There were many churches of Christ being established in this short period, most of whom later became Calvinistic and Baptist.

When Darwin introduced his theory of organic evolution it was greeted by the now very liberal CoE as proof of the Bible as being myth and thus allowed the CoE to further distance itself from scripture. It has been said of the CoE, that they can take a man of faith, put him through theological college and four years later he will leave, qualified as a minister in the CoE, but an atheist. But it is an able manager of property, for the CoE is one of the largest land owners in England. Jesus said “My Kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36), yet the Church of England is a physical organisation. In the past it has killed those who it considered heretics, yet Jesus in the verse quoted makes it clear we should not use violence. The last Christian to be burnt alive in England was in 1612 when Edward Wightman of Burton upon Trent was convicted of heresies on the 14 December 1611, before the bishop of Coventry and Litchfield. He was burnt at Litchfield on the 11 April 1612. Those heresies were preaching Jesus and the necessity of baptism (immersion for the remission of sins). We must ask, who are the real heretics? The answer is the Anglican Church, therefore it cannot be the church of Christ. Today the CoE is anti-marriage, pro-evolution and for allowing gay priests, both male and female to be ordained. Many within the CoE are for gay marriages. Many priests deny the existence of God, being atheist. Others reject the virgin birth whilst celebrating Christmas, and rejecting the Resurrection whilst celebrating Easter.

Diana, Princess of Wales, who unfortunately died in August 1997 after a promiscuous relationship, was regarded at the time of her funeral as a minor goddess, which is interesting since her funeral took place in St. Paul’s Cathedral, London which is built on, and is a continuation of, the pagan temple of Diana. This is the same goddess (Diana) whose followers clashed with Paul at Ephesus (Acts 19:21-41). We must ask, did Paul fellowship these heathen worshipers, or did he preach Christ to them? We must ask, what fellowship do we have with devils (1 Cor. 10:19-21)? The Anglican Church is a continuation of pagan worship. We can conclude the Anglican Church is of man, not God, it is not the church of Christ (Rom. 16:16). It is not from heaven, but of men.

In recent years the unity in diversity movement of the CoE has been inclusive of all faiths including Hindus and Muslims. In regards to Christianity little more needs to be said than this, the Church of England is not of God but man. Paul said teach no other gospel (Gal. 1:6-12).

In the USA, the offshoot of the CoE is the Episcopalian Church, which too suffers from the liberalism of the CoE. Starting in Jamestown, Virginia in 1607 its correct title is “Protestant Episcopal Church”, though in reality its beginnings were Anglican, not Protestant. After the War of Independence the Episcopalian Church has enjoyed greater autonomy over the Anglican Church, but the two, to this day, are still closely associated. The Episcopalian Church started on the wrong continent (America), at the wrong time (1607) by the wrong people (Anglicans). It is most certainly not the church of Christ (Rom. 16:16). It is not from heaven, but of men.

Paul wrote “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1). The Anglican/Episcopal does not follow this great example and command, therefore the Anglican/Episcopal Church cannot be the church of Christ (Rom. 16:16). It is not from heaven, but of men.

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