Saturday, April 10, 2010

You know your rector is a conservative evangelical …

By Robin G. Jordan

1. When he talks about “confession,” he is referring to the Thirty-Nine Article.

2. When he refers to the altar as the communion table or the Lord’s Table and takes the entire service from the north end or side of the altar.

3. When he wears a loud Hawaiian shirt on summer Sunday mornings instead of his usual blue Oxford cloth shirt and prep school tie.

4. When he recites all the articles of the Thirty-Nine Articles from memory and adds Scripture references for each article.

5. When he adds a new holy day to the calendar—the feast of the Oxford martyrs.

6. When he uses the word “father,” he is referring to God, his dad, your dad, or you.

7. When he talks all the time about the importance of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

8. When he asks you when you first believed in Jesus Christ and were “saved.”

9. When he talks about the “Real Presence,” he means Christ’s presence in a Christian’s heart.

10. When he refuses to present your kid to the bishop for confirmation until he is convinced that your kid has really turned from his sins and trusts in Jesus Christ for his salvation.

11. When he does not wear vestments except when the bishop makes his visitation and then he wears only a cassock and surplice.

12. When the candles, cross, and flowers disappear from the altar and it is not even Good Friday.

13. When he talks all of the time about Christ’s sacrifice upon the cross in propriation for your sins.

14. When he peppers his sermons and the parish newsletter with quotes from Thomas Cranmer, John Jewel, Charles Simeon, J.C. Ryle, and other folks whom you have never heard of. .

15. When he spends the entire morning every weekday morning actually studying the Bible and preparing his Sunday sermons.

16. When he takes the youth group on an “outing” and all the kids come back excited about knocking on doors, chatting with old ladies, and handing out tracts and brochures.

17. When he talks about “the” Book of Common Prayer, he is referring to the 1662 English Prayer Book.

18. When he encourages you to read your Bible everyday and feed on God’s word and he believes what he is saying.

19. When he begins reading Morning Prayer or leading “Morning Worship” instead of Holy Communion on three Sundays of the month.

20. When he preaches a different sermon on Sunday evening than the one he preached on Sunday morning and expects you to come to hear both sermons.

21. When he keeps using the e-word in his sermons and encouraging the congregation to talking about Jesus with their friends, colleagues, and relatives.

22. When your kid can quote Scripture from memory and is more familiar with the Bible than you are.

23. When your kid washes cars and mows lawns for free to show people God’s love for them.

24. When your wife and her friends begin to meet at your house to study the Bible and drop hints you might like to join a men’s Bible study group.

25. When your kid asks you to let him go on a summer mission trip to a country you have never heard of.

26. When you overhear your kid telling the other kids at church that his dad is a backslider because you did not go with him on the father and son prayer walk.

27. Your wife keeps talking about how her life has changed since she began to live God’s way.

28. When your kid asks you when you first believed in Jesus Christ and were “saved.”

29. When you overhear your wife and your kid praying for you.

30. When your kid explains the gospel to you with stick drawings and challenges you to decide which way you are going to live—God’s way or your own way.


1662 BCP said...

Almost none of these will apply to AC/NA clergy.

Gregory S. MacBeth said...

i enjoy reading this blog very much. But after reading this particular article, i have to ask why it is not possible to be both evangelical and anglo catholic. To me this represents the most true understanding of God's word.

This article represents what i would consider to be more methodist or baptist than Anglican. Our liturgy and communion service more importantly reflects our understanding of what Anglicanism is all about.

Joe Mahler said...

Actually the evangelical pastor described is an historic part of Anglicanism. John Wesley was an ordained Anglican minister though Armininian. George Whitfield was also a passionate evangelical of the type described and he was a 39 Article Anglican unlike John
Wesley. The famous American evangelical of that same period was Devereoux Jarrat of Virginia. The passionless approach of Christianity among Anglicans in America is certainly not benefit for church growth. The church is not a county club. It is made up of believers. Evangelical was a word used that Martin Luther used to describe what he preached. I would suggest reading his BONDAGE OF THE WILL. Now can an anglo-catholic be an evangelical. Usually the anglo-catholics rail against the evangelicals. The good news (evangel) is not exactly good news to them who practice priestcraft rather than Christianity. The Scriptures makes the point clearly that we are all priests and that we have a High Priest who is Jesus Christ. There is no other class of priest in the New Testament. The Levitical priesthood was fulfilled in Jesus Chhrist. There is no such thing as a sacrifice of the altar in Christianity it is a tradition that come from the corruption of Rome. Jesus' sacrifice of Himself on the cross was the one full perfect and sufficient sacrifice. This is evangelical. To the evangelical the Bible is the Regulus principle from which most of the ceremonies, rite, and vestments of the anglo-catholics find no justifiable warrant, that is sacrifices of the mass or altar, invocation and veneration of the saints, priestly vestments, bishops separate and apart from the presbyters (elders), etc.

kmfrye said...

Joe, spot on as usual, except I would disagree if told that priests aren't mentioned in the New Testament...

...there are also Priests of Saturn and Jupiter mentioned. Nice examples of where priestcraft leads.

Robin_G_Jordan said...


You raise an important question--"Why isn't not possible to be both evangelical and anglo-catholic?" I hope to address this question in a future article. Gillis Harp addresses this issue in the article, "Navigating the 'Three Streams': Some Second Thoughts about a Popular Typology," that he wrote for Mandate. I posted this article on AnglicansAblaze at:

Part of the answer depends upon your understanding of "evangelical" and "anglo-catholic." There are theological differences between traditional evangelical Anglicanism and Anglo-Catholicism. These do not just involve second matters, matters of indifference, but primary matters, those affecting our salvation.

Before the 19th century Oxford Movement, also known as Tractarian Movement, the Church of England and the Protestant Episcopal Church in the USA had a group of churchmen who can be classified as "Protestant High Churchmen" or even "High Church Evangelicals." This group of churchmen believed as the New Testament and the Thirty-Nine Articles teach, that we are saved by faith alone by grace alone through Christ alone. At the same time they had a more realist view of Christ's presence in the bread and wine of the Holy Communion than some of their contemporaries. A number of them believed in a modified version of the doctrine of baptismal regeneration. While they observed the Prayer Book feast days and things like that, they were not ritualists. They did not wear eucharistic vestments and adopt elaborate ceremonial. When the Oxford movement came along, it hijacked High Churchmanship and changed it, making it not just more Catholic but more Roman.

The first Tractarians were not ritualists but those who followed them were--to the point that they were given the name "the Ritualists" and their movement was referred to as "Ritualism" or "the Ritualist Movement." It was also known as the "Cambridge Camden Movement." This movement not only made changes in worship but was also instrumental in introducing Roman Catholic doctrine and practice into the English and American Churches, a process that had begun with the Oxford Movement. Roman Catholicism has a different understanding of justification and sanctification from classical Anglicanism. It does not share historical Anglicanism's position on justification by faith alone by grace alone through Jesus Christ.

Traditional evangelical Anglicanism disappeared from The Episcopal Church by 1900. The church was dominated by Anglo-Catholicism and Broad Church liberalism until the 1970s when there was a revival of sorts of evangelicalism in The Episcopal Church. In the meantime Episcopalians developed an anti-evangelical identity. This included the rejection of anything that the Southern Baptists did. In their minds Episcopalians associated evangelicalism in with the Southern Baptists. They developed collective amnesia about their own church's evangelical past and the large role that evangelicals had played in the church during the 1830s-1850s.

Cont'd below.

Robin_G_Jordan said...

One of my favorite past-times is point out to Baptists and Methodists that hymns that they think are really Baptist or Methodist are actually Anglican. They were written by evangelical Anglican hymn writers.

Having little exposure to traditional evangelical Anglicanism, Episcopalians and former Episcopalians do have a tendency to associate its doctrines and practices with those of the Baptists and Methodists, but they are Anglican.

The liturgy and communion service that reflects classical Anglicanism is found in the 1662 English Book of Common Prayer. Both evangelical Anglicans and the early Tractarians used this prayer book in the 19th century; the early Tractarians were staunch advocates of the 1662 English BCP.

The first American Prayer Book is largely adapted from the 1662 English Prayer Book with some major changes in the Prayer of Consecration that make the eucharistic doctrine of the first American BCP more realist.

The liturgy and communion service found in the 1928 BCP reflects post-World War I 20th century Anglo-Catholicism and Broad Church liberalism. The liturgy and communion service of the 1979 Prayer Book reflects the liberal Catholicism of the Episcopal Church of the 1960s and 1970s. As you can see the liturgy and communion service of each Prayer Book reflects a different understanding of what Anglicanism is about.

Robin_G_Jordan said...

The challenge we face is determining what beliefs and practices constitute genuine Anglicanism and what do not. As each new group has come along, it has wanted to include its beliefs and practices within the limits of Anglican comprehensiveness--Latitudinarianism, Tractarianism, Ritualism, Anglo-Catholicism, Broad Church Liberalism, Liberal Catholicism, and more recently Radical Liberalism. Each new ideology has sought to make room for itself within Anglicanism, to be included in any general understanding of what Anglicanism is about and even to shape that understanding. In some cases, the adherents of a particular ideology have sought to un-Anglicanize the beliefs and practices of other groups included within the limits of Anglican comprehensiveness and push them to the margin of Anglicanism and then out of Anglicanism altogether.

What has been happening in The Episcopal Church points to the danger of adopting a comprehensiveness that has no limits. There is not only a wide diversity of beliefs and practices, a large number of these beliefs and practices conflict with each other. A growing number of them are heretical or non-Christian.

There has to be a limit to diversity in the Anglican Church but where do we draw the line? Historically Anglicanism has permitted diversity in secondary matters, but insisted upon uniformity in primary matters that affect salvation.

Anglicanism in North America is no longer solely represented by the Anglican Church of Canada, The Episcopal Church, and the Continuum. There is now the Anglican Church in North America. What is happening in the ACNA is that the ACNA is permitting diversity in both primary and secondary matters but not to the extent that TEC has. For example, the ACNA makes no room for Radical Liberalism in the ACNA (but does make room for some other forms of liberalism).

At the same time the ACNA is excluding conservative evangelicals who take the position that the ACNA should maintain the historic Anglican limits upon diversity, as set by the Thirty-Nine Articles. These limits include some forms of High Churchmanship but exclude a number of Roman Catholic doctrines and practices and Anglo-Catholic doctrines and practices based upon them.

Charlie J. Ray said...

John Wesley is not described there. Wesley still wore his vestments. Also, Arminianism is semi-pelagian in every respect except justification by faith alone. Wesley had the sense to get that part right.

I have studied Wesley's 52 Standard Sermons and I graduated from a Wesleyan seminary (Asbury). I know Wesley's theology inside out. In my opinion Arminianism is no better than Roman Catholicism since the emphasis is all on your own efforts and you're just a number in the crowd. God is up in heaven hoping beyond hope that you choose Jesus and you don't backslide. In Arminianism, like Rome, you ultimately save yourself.

No, the biblical view is that God saves dead sinners and raises them from their spiritual death. Not only that but God GUARANTEES that the elect WILL persevere to the end. Salvation is not left up to capricious sinners but to God who never fails to do what He promises to do.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Gregory S. MacBeth, it is not possible to be an Anglo-Catholic and be saved. Why? Because Anglo-Catholics believe in justification by good works rather than justification by faith alone. That is the Gospel. You never do enough good works to merit or earn your salvation since God requires you to be absolutely sinless and righteous just as God Himself is.

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-20 ESV)

Gregory S. MacBeth said...


As always, I am amazingly impressed by your blog. I am also greatly appreciative that you took the time to answer my question in the depth that you provided.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Gregory, length is not necessarily "depth." The Bible alone is the judge in matters of doctrine. Scripture judges all attempts to earn forgiveness and mercy to be futile. Salvation is a gift of God, period. Ephesians 2:8-9. And God justifies the "ungodly." Romans 4:4-6.

It goes without saying that Pharisees are lost because they go about establishing their own righteousness. Romans 10:1-4.

Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will likewise perish. Matthew 5:17-21; Luke 13:1-3.

May God grant you the grace to do what you are unable to do, Gregaroy: BELIEVE.


Charlie J. Ray said...

Sorry about misspelling your name. That was a typo.

Bruce said...

Good history lesson on the both "evangelical and anglo-catholic" question.

But my question to you: Just how is ACNA “excluding conservative evangelicals ...”?? The main complaint I hear on Anglican blogs about ACNA is that it is too evangelical and is moving away from the Anglo-Catholics (fine with me).

I suppose any diversity at all will annoy those at either extreme. Anglican Calvinists want to totally eliminate any hint of Anglo-Catholicism (read Romanism), whereas Anglo-Catholics want more ritual (“smells and bells”) and more connections (and similarities) with the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. I belong to an AMiA church, loosely associated with ACNA, and we have a conservative evangelical pastor (the word "priest" does not even fit) according to most of the definitions above. Lucky me. - bea

Charlie J. Ray said...

I hardly think anyone is complaining that the AC-NA is too Evangelical. That's laughable. The AC-NA is Anglo-Catholic through and through. If anything there might be more charismatics than the ACs like but the charismatics are happier than pigs in slop with the Anglo-Catholics. Two hogs in the same mud hole are still hogs, albeit two different breeds of the same species. Most of the charismatics are happy with the high church as long as they get to roll in the carpet once in awhile.


Charlie J. Ray said...

Bruce, how is the AC-NA "excluding" Evangelicals? That is an easy one. They will exclude anyone who dares to say that sola fide is an essential doctrine and part of the Gospel. Faith alone justifies us and this is the doctrine by which a church stands or falls. It's in the 39 Articles, which Anglo-Catholics do not follow or they re-interpret the Articles so that they are no longer recognizable.


Bruce said...

That is totally wrong. Those I know in ACNA are sola scriptura people. Not extreme Calvinists like you perhaps, but among those I know, only a small minority would identify as Anglo-Catholic.
Certainly my church is evangelical and anti-Roman. Judge if you will, but you judge wrongly, again.

Charlie J. Ray said...


To you everyone right of liberal is a fundamentalist. Good grief.

I've been reading Robin's blog long enough to know that the constitutions and canons of the AC-NA are Anglo-Catholic. Heck, the only "Evangelicals" I know of in the Anglican Communion are in the Sydney Diocese and a handful in South Africa... and maybe some in Nigeria... The rest are either Anglo-Catholic or charismatics who think justification by faith alone is optional.

The only doctrine they care about is non-cessationism.

Anyone who thinks that Roman Catholics and others who outright teach infused righteousness and justification by good works are "Christians" or "saved" is either a liberal or an Anglo-Catholic sympathizer.

Jimmy Swaggert might be a backslider and a wacko Pentecostal Arminian but at least even he knows that you can't be a Roman Catholic/Anglo-Catholic and go to heaven.

False religion leads straight to hell.

Even Tony Payne from Sydney is a compromiser. When I mentioned justification by faith alone he said, "Justification by faith alone is an important doctrine but it's not the Gospel."

Strange that Luther thought otherwise. Luther said that justification by faith alone is the doctrine by which the church stands or falls.

I for one will never compromise the Gospel or the doctrines of grace just so some idiot in a bishop's uniform can confirm me on the way to hell.

The doctrine of the priesthood of believers means that even a plowboy can read and understand the Bible with the same authority as any bishop in the apostate communion.


Gregory S. MacBeth said...


I am curious, how did Luther come to this conclusion?

Luther said that justification by faith alone is the doctrine by which the church stands or falls.


Gregory S. MacBeth said...


So your passionate conviction is based upon just because Luther said?


Charlie J. Ray said...

Gregory, Luther is not the only one who came to that conclusion. The entire Protestant world came to that conclusion based on the Epistle to the Romans and the Epistle to the Galatians. Perhaps you should try reading chapter 4 of Romans where Paul says that God credits/imputes righteousness to the "ungodly"?

Archbishop Thomas Cranmer came to the same conclusion. The 42 Articles are the basis for the 39 Articles. Articles 9-18 lay out clearly the biblical doctrines of justification, sanctification, and predestination.

Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. 5 And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, 6 just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works: 7 "Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; 8 blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin." (Romans 4:4-8 ESV)

yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified. (Galatians 2:16 ESV)

Charlie J. Ray said...

Isaiah 6:1-7 raises the bar so high that no one can attain the standard of holiness which God requires. Compare that to Matthew 5:17-21. All the law can do is condemn you as a no good sinner. The law is a curse to sinners and all have sinned (Romans 3:10-23).

Therefore, the only way to be "justified" before God is faith. (Romans 1:16-17).

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, "The righteous shall live by faith." (Romans 1:16-17 ESV)

Charlie J. Ray said...

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. 27 Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. (Romans 3:23-27 ESV)

Charlie J. Ray said...

Gregory, my passionate conviction is based on the propositional truths recorded in God's inspired and infallible Word, the Holy Scriptures. The Bible is the final authority.

And, by the way, the 39 Articles of Religion are the "confession of faith" of the English Reformation. The Articles were intended to outline the doctrinal teaching of the Church of England. If you claim to be an Anglican, then you ought to believe what the 39 Articles say on the matter.

Article XI
Of the Justification of Man

We are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by faith, and not for our own works or deservings. Wherefore that we are justified by faith only is a most wholesome doctrine, and very full of comfort; as more largely is expressed in the Homily of Justification.

Charlie J. Ray said...

On what basis do you justify yourself before God, Gregory?

Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. (Romans 10:1-4 ESV)

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel-- 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:6-8 ESV)

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

I just chanced upon this post and thread. I confess to thoroughly enjoying Charlie's comments.

To add to the fireworks, let me toss this grenade into the mix:

Your rector is NOT a conservative evangelical if he supports WO.

Consequently, ACNA is compromised because WO is permitted at the office of priest.

AND GAFCON is also compromised because ++Orombi and a few other GS primates are also pro-WO.

(Heh, heh). You may now turn to your regularly scheduled programming.

Joe Mahler said...

Truth unites-and divides,

Welcom to Anglicans Ablaze. You're right WO is an issue. It has absolutely no biblical basis. ACNA is compromised. Much of it is not Anglican doctrinally, traditionally or otherwise. The reformers would never recognize what they are. Maybe shocked no not amused. The drops out from tec will continue to to to ACNA bringing with them the heresy and apostasy that they learned and thinking it is orthodox. 1979 BCP is a good example as well as the 1928 BCP. Evangelical Anglicanism must united in the Five Solas, the 39 Articles of Religion and the 1662 BCP.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Well WO is an issue in Sydney as well. Sydney is trying to go through the back door with WO. They only ordain women as deacons. BUT that is still and ordained office of ministry. Sydney tries to get out of it by saying that none of the deacons are pastors. But that does not remove the fact that they are preaching and teaching regularly from the pulpit. Also, given the move toward lay presidency over the serving of the Lord's supper, women will soon be administering communion as well.

I agree with Sydney that there is no hierarchy in the three offices. Bishop and Presybter and Elder are the same office. There are really only two offices: Pastor and Deacon.

Of course you could argue for apostles, prophets, pastor/teachers, and evangelists. But apostles are out since there are no more eyewitnesses to the ministry and resurrection of Jesus.

Really WO is just the first step toward homosexual ordination. I wonder why so many folks are afraid to post openly under their own names and take responsibility for their remarks.

I might be outspoken but I certain do not hide.

In Christ,


Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Welcome to Anglicans Ablaze. You're right WO is an issue. It has absolutely no biblical basis. ACNA is compromised.

Thanks Joe.

Sadly, GAFCON's compromised too. If I'm not mistaken, one of the GS provinces has ordained a bishopess.

Jason said...

Speaking as a non-Anglican,

If we were to take as a given:

1) Robert and Charlie's description of what Biblical Anglicanism is.

2) The assertion that Biblical Anglicanism died in the United States sometime in the early 20th or late 19th century.

3) The implication that any accomandation of Anglo-Catholicism and Women's Ordination puts one outside of Biblical Anglicanism (thus ruling the COE of the last hundred years or so out, for one)

4) The apparent claim that even the FCA, the ACNA, the AMIA and the Sydney Diocese are a bunch of cyrpto-Papists a step removed from Wiccanism, or at least most certainly not Biblical Anglicans.

One if forced to wonder

A) What denominations currently existing match Robin and Charlie's description of Biblical Anglicanism.

B) If Biblical Anglicanism has been dead for so long, why not stop beating a dead horse, shake the dust from your sandals, and cast your nets in the "non-comformist" camp?

There are plently of evangelical protestant denominations and nondenominationals that, minus the extra-scriptural devotion to a specific set of man-made prayers, and man-made summaries of Biblical doctrines, seem to do a far better job at living up to Robin's list.

Gregory S. MacBeth said...


Because, we all care in some way about the future of Anglicanism in which we are all brothers. Just as brothers argue, the one thing we unify upon is a denominationalist sticking their nose into our argument.

The reason we all don't attend some place where some guy or gal with no apostolic succession credentials just stands in front of a group and lectures them for an hour each Sunday.

You might wish to review: 1 Tim 6:3-5, Titus 3:9-11 and then read Romans 14 and understand that it does not condone a church with clergy lacking apostolic succession.


Charlie J. Ray said...

Jason, while there are many problems with some of the positions taken in Sydney, they are still Evangelical and low church at this point. I don't agree with their ordination of women deacons or with lay administration of the Lord's supper. I also reject their 4 point Calvinism or Amyraldianism, though some are 5 pointers.

I can't say the same of the situation here in the US. Though in the UK they have many Evangelical Anglicans who are part of the Church Society and other Evangelical groups.

As for Gregory's social club mentality, I don't think that is what the English Reformation stood for at all.

Apostolic succession has nothing to do with the Gospel or a true local church. What really matters is apostolic doctrine as it is recorded in Holy Scripture. (Jude 1:1-4).

And by the way, Gregory, I belong to a congregation in The Episcopal Church. One of the few congregations which has not been violated by the likes of your Anglo-Catholic buddies. So much for "tolerance". Anglo-Catholics pretend to be tolerant of Evangelicals but really the agenda is something like the borg mentality: "You will be assimilated."

Anglo-Catholics have a biker gang mentality. You gotta be one of us or else.

But Evangelicals can fellowship with anyone who believes the Bible is the final authority. Denomination is not important but apostolic doctrine is.

Really, Anglo-Catholics should just do the honest thing and join up with the Roman Catholics. I think everyone would be happier that way.

Article XIX Of the Church

The visible Church of Christ is a congregation of faithful men, in the which the pure word of God is preached and the sacraments be duly ministered according to Christ's ordinance in all those things that of necessity are requisite to the same. As the Church of Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch have erred: so also the Church of Rome hath erred, not only in their living and manner of ceremonies, but also in matters of faith.

Charlie J. Ray said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Charlie J. Ray said...

Gregory, I might add that Anglo-Catholics do not preach from the Bible. Evangelicals don't give "hour long lectures." On the contrary, Evangelicals preach expository sermons from the Scriptures. Expository sermons draw out the meaning of the text using the grammatical/historical method of exegesis, not some allegorical method like what you see in pentecostal or Anglo-Catholic approaches to Scripture.

What does the Bible have to say about an issue? That's the question.

You might want to listen to Archbishop Peter Jensen's sermons sometime. You can hear them at this link: Peter Jensen

Or you might like to hear his brother, Phillip Jensen, who is also and ordained Anglican minister. Phillip Jensen

Maybe you have not heard of the Church Society or other Evangelical Anglican organizations?


Gregory S. MacBeth said...

My Friend Charlie,

On Sola Fide

No where in the Bible does it teach that we are saved by faith alone. Eph 2:8-9 may suggest faith alone, but if you read the rest of the Bible, lets say Eph 2:10, "10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus in good works, which God hath prepared that we should walk in them."

In fact, it is grace, faith and works that provide salvation. This theme is repeated in Eph 2: 8-10, Rom 2:13, 1 Cor 3:8-9, Gal 5:6, Phil 2:12-13, 1 Thes 1:3, James 1:22, James 2:14, 17, James 2:22-26. Again, please read your Bible.

Third, works is always included in every discussion of salvation, while faith is not.

Last, why are we commanded Love God and Neigbor? Is that we have faith in God, and at least in part good works for man.

On Anglo-Catholics Don't Read The Bible:

First, we support the Eucharist service as written in the BCP where an OT, NT & Epistle is read.

Second, I spend an hour of day in the bible. How much time do you spend reading the Bible.

On Denominationalism:

"I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church."

Does this mean anything to you?

St. Paul's contributions to our Bible show, that nothing is more strongly and repeated condemned in the Bible than divisions, sectarianism, and denominationalism. Doctrinal disunity of any sort is at odds with our Bible. Please refer to 1 Tim 6:3-5 and Titus 3:9-11.

BTW, please note, I am refuting your arguments with the Bible. Not bad for an Anglo-Catholic since we don't read the Bible.

I think that is enough for you to chew on for a while.77


Charlie J. Ray said...


No Protestant or Calvinist I know says that we are "saved" by faith alone. That would be fideism. But I understand that you have not been taught much by the Anglo-Catholics. The real issue is how are we "justified" before God now and in the final judgment? It most certainly cannot be by good works since God's holiness and righteousness requires ABSOLUTE holiness and sinlessness. This means that if you have ever sinned at all in the past, if you ever sin again in the present OR the future, you deserve hell. We are "justified" by faith alone.

God does not grade on a curve. God's requirement is that you be absolutely perfect as the Father Himself is. Otherwise, you are under God's wrath.

You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:48 ESV)

If you say, you have not sinned or that you never sin, then 1 John 1:8-10 exposes you as a liar and you have broken the 9th commandent. Exodus 20:16.

James tells us that if we sin in one point of the law we have broken all of it.

For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. (James 2:10 ESV)

Gregory, you said, "In fact, it is grace, faith and works that provide salvation."

But I have already quoted several passages that show that to be untrue. You are taking the Bible out of context. The text clearly said that God justifies the "ungodly" apart from works. Now the passages you cite show that we are obligated to show good works as evidence of a true and lively faith. But that is different from saying that your good works merit your salvation or earn you anything at all before the judgment of God.

You can fool yourself and others by your outward appearances perhaps. But God does not lower the bar or standard so you can appear holy. His standards are always absolute.

Denominationalism I would agree is not God's will since denominations are not local churches. That would include your precious "apostolic succession" and your "communion." The only basis for fellowship between congregations is the right preaching of the Gospel and the right administation or duly administered sacraments. The 39 Articles clearly say there are only two sacraments.

Now again, I must emphasize that you're not really an Anglican unless you embrace the Anglican confession of faith, which is the 39 Articles of Religion.

The 39 Articles clearly say that we are justified by faith alone and that Scripture alone is the only rule of faith that is infallible and authoritative.

So at least you're now reading your Bible instead of following the false teaching of men in silly uniforms. I suggest you keep reading it from cover to cover.

The Scriptures are sufficient to lead even a child to saving faith in Christ.

Article XII
Of Good Works

Albeit that good works, which are the fruits of faith and follow after justification, cannot put away our sins and endure the severity of God's judgement, yet are they pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ, and do spring out necessarily of a true and lively faith, insomuch that by them a lively faith may be as evidently known as a tree discerned by the fruit.

Really, Gregory, have you ever seriously read the 39 Articles?

You really should read Gerald Bray's commentary on the Articles.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. (John 3:36 ESV)

Charlie J. Ray said...

Free will does not exist:

Article X
Of Free Will

The condition of man after the fall of Adam is such, that he cannot turn and prepare himself, by his own natural strength and good works, to faith and calling upon God. Wherefore we have no power to do good works pleasant and acceptable to God, without the grace of God by Christ preventing us that we may have a good will, and working with us when we have that good will.

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." 33 They answered him, "We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, 'You will become free'?" 34 Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:31-36 ESV)
But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. (Romans 6:17-18 ESV)

Charlie J. Ray said...

Does the phrase "...not weighing our merits but pardoning our offenses" ring a bell? It comes from Titus 3:5-7.

he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:5-7 ESV)

Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love. (Micah 7:18 ESV)

Charlie J. Ray said...

CARM: Justification and Sanctification: What's the Difference?

Understanding the difference between justification and sanctification can be as important as understanding the difference between salvation and damnation. Rightly dividing between the two is of crucial importance. When you understand what they are, you can then draw a line in the sand and say, "This is what saves. This is not what saves."

Justification is the work of God where the righteousness of Jesus is reckoned to the sinner so the sinner is declared by God as being righteous under the Law (Rom. 4:3; 5:1,9; Gal. 2:16; 3:11). This righteousness is not earned or retained by any effort of the saved. Justification is an instantaneous occurrence with the result being eternal life. It is based completely and solely upon Jesus' sacrifice on the cross (1 Pet. 2:24) and is received by faith alone (Eph. 2:8-9). No works are necessary whatsoever to obtain justification. Otherwise, it is not a gift (Rom. 6:23). Therefore, we are justified by faith (Romans 5:1).

Sanctification, on the other hand, involves the work of the person. But it is still God working in the believer to produce more of a godly character and life in the person who has already been justified (Phil. 2:13). Sanctification is not instantaneous because it is not the work of God alone. The justified person is actively involved in submitting to God's will, resisting sin, seeking holiness, and working to be more godly (Gal. 5:22-23). Significantly, sanctification has no bearing on justification. That is, even if we don't live a perfect life, we are still justified.

Where justification is a legal declaration that is instantaneous, sanctification is a process. Where justification comes from outside of us, from God, sanctification comes from God within us by the work of the Holy Spirit in accordance with the Bible. In other words, we contribute to sanctification through our efforts. In contrast, we do not contribute to our justification through our efforts.

Gregory S. MacBeth said...

My Dear Friend Charlie,

Suppose a man is a lifelong master homicidal homosexual necrophiliac, but he has devout true faith.

Does this man enter heaven or hell?


Charlie J. Ray said...

Gregory, if the thief on the cross went to heaven, then any sinner can repent and believe and be saved no matter how terrible his sins have been.

In fact Jesus said:

"What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, 'Son, go and work in the vineyard today.' 29 And he answered, 'I will not,' but afterward he changed his mind and went. 30 And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, 'I go, sir,' but did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?" They said, "The first." Jesus said to them, "Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you. 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him. (Matthew 21:28-32 ESV)

One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, "Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!" 40 But the other rebuked him, saying, "Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong." 42 And he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." 43 And he said to him, "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise." (Luke 23:39-43 ESV)

No one deserves a pardon, Gregory. We have all sinned and therefore all of us deserve to go to hell. But Jesus was innocent. Unless you're sinless like Jesus then you deserve to be condemned.

I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose. (Galatians 2:21 ESV)

Unless you repent of your dependence on your "self righteousness", Gregory, you are lost and without hope.

The Prodigal God: Repent of Doing Good

Gregory S. MacBeth said...


Once again, thank you for your response. I want to make sure I understand you exactly.

So the multi-offense homicidal, homosexual, pedophile, necrophiliac is getting saved because he has faith?

Yes or no?


Joe Mahler said...

you said "Suppose a man is a lifelong master homicidal homosexual necrophiliac, but he has devout true faith." THAT IS AN OXYMORON. IT CANNOT BE. THE MAN CLEARLY FOLLOWS HIS NATURAL CARNAL NATURE. HE IS NOT SPIRITUAL. HE IS DEAD THOUGH HE LIVES. HE IS NOT A MAN OF FAITH. PLEASE DON'T CREATE SUCH NONSENSE.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Gregory, yes. Salvation is possible for anyone who repents no matter how despiccable their sins have been.

However, in your case your self righteousness, like that of the Pharisees, will keep you out of heaven. Your problem, like the Pharisees, is that you think you're worthy of heaven because of your good works.

But the Bible portrays you as in the same situation you think the dreadful sinner you are describing is in. In other words, in your own righteousness you don't have any chance of being saved. In fact you have less chance than the sinner you described. Why? Because unless you accept the fact that your works cannot repay the debt you owe to God and that you works cannot possibly make you righteous enough to be acceptable to God, you cannot be saved.

Good works are what we do out of gratitude for what Jesus did to save us. Good works are the evidence of a true and lively faith and of true repentance. Good works are evidence to our fellow Christians and the world that we have a true faith. But the difference is that good works can never be the ground or the basis for your salvation or your justification. That lies only in the active obedience of Christ who lived an absolutely perfect and sinless life in your place because you cannot. And even more than that Jesus paid the penalty for your sins that you cannot pay.

Only a divine man could possibly pay for your sins because only a true human being could take our place. Jesus is our substitute by identifying with us in our weakness as sinful human beings. He also bore our penalty by dying for us in our place on the cross and only a divine man could bear the full force of God's wrath against individual sinners and against the sins of the elect of the whole human race from every time in history and from every tribe, nation, and people.

There is only one way of salvation, Gregory. If you choose your own way of self righteousness to justify yourself by your own goodness--which does not exist at the level God requires--then you are lost and on your way to hell.

Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6 ESV)
This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." 13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. (Acts 4:11-13 ESV)

Charlie J. Ray said...

What is more the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion make this same case in Articles IX-XVIII.

The 1662 Book of Common Prayer has a confession of sin to be said in the daily offices, Gregory. The confession is said morning and evening. Perhaps you're familiar with it?

That confession would not need to be said daily or weekly if the Prayer Book assumes that Christians are not sinners. The Bible and the 1662 BCP both portray you and every other human being as a sinner. The only difference between a saved sinner and a lost sinner is faith in Jesus Christ. Saved sinners sin less but they remain sinners even after being effectually called to repentance and saving faith in Jesus.

Charlie J. Ray said...

EARLY beloved brethren, the Scripture moveth us, in sundry places, to acknowledge and confess our manifold sins and wickedness; and that we should not dissemble nor cloak them before the face of Almighty God our heavenly Father; but confess them with an humble, lowly, penitent, and obedient heart; to the end that we may obtain forgiveness of the same, by his infinite goodness and mercy. And although we ought, at all times, humbly to acknowledge our sins before God; yet ought we chiefly so to do, when we assemble and meet together to render thanks for the great benefits that we have received at his hands, to set forth his most worthy praise, to hear his most holy Word, and to ask those things which are requisite and necessary, as well for the body as the soul. Wherefore I pray and beseech you, as many as are here present, to accompany me with a pure heart, and humble voice, unto the throne of the heavenly grace, saying after me;

A general Confession to be said of the whole Congregation after the Minister, all kneeling.
ALMIGHTY and most merciful Father; We have erred, and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against thy holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; And we have done those things which we ought not to have done; And there is no health in us. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders. Spare thou them, O God, who confess their faults. Restore thou them that are penitent; According to thy promises declared unto mankind in Christ Jesu our Lord. And grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake; That we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life, To the glory of thy holy Name. Amen.

The Absolution, or Remission of sins, to be pronounced by the Priest alone, standing; the people still kneeling.
ALMIGHTY God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who desireth not the death of a sinner, but rather that he may turn from his wickedness, and live; and hath given power, and commandment, to his Ministers, to declare and pronounce to his people, being penitent, the Absolution and Remission of their sins : He pardoneth and absolveth all them that truly repent, and unfeignedly believe his holy Gospel. Wherefore let us beseech him to grant us true repentance, and his Holy Spirit, that those things may please him, which we do at this present; and that the rest of our life hereafter may be pure, and holy; so that at the last we may come to his eternal joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

From Morning Prayer

I read the 1662 BCP for my devotions both Morning and Evening, though not daily as I ought. Can you say the same, Gregory? If you're not saying Morning and Evening prayers daily, you, like me, fall short of the mark. You have not done enough.


"Will any one of you who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, 'Come at once and recline at table'? 8 Will he not rather say to him, 'Prepare supper for me, and dress properly, and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink'? 9 Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? 10 So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, 'We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.'" (Luke 17:7-10 ESV)

Joe Mahler said...


The hypothetical man proposed by Gregory is one who continues to be all these things after he has supposedly received grace and faith from God. This man is supposedly a spiritual man who continues in his carnal life as if not "born again." This man does not exist. This is one of those school boyish questions that roman students loved to use to stump their priest in catechism class. Any sinner chosen by God before the foundation of the world may be saved by grace through faith for good works. Gregory like many confuse salvation with sanctification. The thief on the cross had not much opportunity to demonstrate his new life, but the hypothetical man of Gregory's invention would. As James said, show me your faith without works, and I'll show you my faith by my works. Faith shows itself in life. Works do not save us, it is God by His grace and faith is his gift also and not by anything that we have done. Again the man of Gregory's invention does not exist, if he has faith the the old man (nature, the "multi-offense homicidal, homosexual, pedophile, necrophiliac" man is dead and a man living for righteousness has taken his place.

Robin_G_Jordan said...


I think that you may be exaggerating some of the positions that I have taken.

It is well documented that traditional evangelical Anglicanism disappeared from the Episcopal Church around 1900. This is not my own pet theory. Conservative evangelicals left the Episcopal Church in 1873 and formed the Reformed Episcopal Church. The evangelicals who remained became Broad Church liberals. In the 1960s Bishop of South Carolina Fitzsimmons Allyson lamented there were no real evangelicals left in the Episcopal Church--only Low Church liberals. In the 1970s there was something of a revival of traditional evangelical Anglicanism in the Episcopal Church inspired by British evangelicals like Philip Edgcumbe Hughes then teaching in the United States. However, this revival was overshadowed by the charismatic renewal movement. The "evangelicalism" seen in the ACNA today has its roots in the latter movement and popular American evangelicalism. It has also been influenced by the third-wave movement and the Convergence/Ancient Future movement. It sits very loosely to the distinctives that have historically characterized evangelicalism in the Church of England and other parts of the Anglican Communion and which characterized Episcopal evangelicalism in the 1830s-1850s.

I would also like to point out that Charlie and I do not agree on everything so please do not lump us together and try to paint us with the same brush.

And Jason,as well as being a cradle Anglican, baptized according to the baptismal service from the Book of Common Prayer, not the 1928 BCP, not the 1979 BCP, but the 1662 BCP, I am an Anglican by inclination. My evangelical and Reformed theology comes from the English Reformers and other classical Anglican sources. The problem is that what passes as "Anglicanism" both in TEC and the ACNA has drifted so far from its Reformation and classical Anglican heritage that it now wants to disown that heritage.

Robin_G_Jordan said...


You may get a better idea of what I mean when you read my next couple of articles.

Gregory S. MacBeth said...

I want to quickly address Joe.

You are absolutely correct, the man I describe does not exist, because if he did have faith, he would be doing good works as appointed by God. Furthermore, you are correct that salvation is achieved in God saves through faith for good works.

Now to both Joe and Charlie.

Both of you fell to personal attack after my email. This cost you both your ethos. An argument ends when the attack becomes personal or physical.

Second, you lose you credentials as Christians when you do this. To be a good apologist requires patience, but more importantly a genuine interest in helping others in saving their soul. When you personally or physically attack someone you lose all credibility that you care about their soul.

Now to Charlie alone.

I provided the example that I did because I wanted to demonstrate the link between faith and good works. This is one of may spots where Calvin went sideways in his argument. A pure faith alone subscription allows for the fellow I described to be saved if he existed, but he does not because he can't. The reason he can't is that if he did have faith he would be listening to God when he prayed where he would be told that what he was doing was wrong. Furthermore, instead of engaging into the activity that he is doing, he would be doing good works.

Consider Matthew 22:35-40. If we didn't have to do works then Christ would have never given us both requirements of loving man and God.

On another note of perfection be required that you mentioned a few post back. If man was perfect wouldn't he be God. There can be only one perfect.


Charlie J. Ray said...


You are committing the strawman fallacy. Calvin never said that good works are not necessary. I would never say that either. You created a false argument based on a false presentation of what Calvin nor any other Reformer taught. Any good apologist knows that you must deal with the ACTUAL position of your opponent, not a caricature of it.

I knew that you created a false picture and I responded to it according to YOUR actual view, which is that good works justify you before God. But St. Paul shoots that premise right out of the water because IF good works justify you, then according to Paul, Christ died for your sins in vain.

It is convenient for you to cut out the passages that deal with imputed righteousness, Gregory. However, the Protestant position embraces ALL of Scripture. That means that justification by faith alone is completely compatible with the warning passages and the passages that emphasize sanctification.

Sanctification is subjective and in the heart and is therefore always and forever imperfect. Sanctification can therefore never be the ground, root or basis for justification or righteousness before God. It is what we do BECAUSE we are saved, not what we do to BE saved.

Justification is not infused into the heart and is not subjective. Justification is objective and is a forensic declaration of not guilty in God's court of law. Justification is appropriated by faith alone is objectively rooted in the active obedience of Christ who lived an ABSOLUTELY sinless life on your behalf. Unless you can match that then your righteousness is nowhere near enough to save you or justify you before God.

Not only so, but Jesus bore the divine and eternal wrath of God against sinners. Unless you are divine you cannot bear such a penalty on your own behalf.

The dividing line for true Christianity and false Christianity is the absolute distinction between justification and sanctification.

I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose. (Galatians 2:21 ESV)


Charlie J. Ray said...

I also see that you have yet to respond to what the 39 Articles plainly say, Gregory. If you are an Anglican then you are obligated to follow the Anglican Formularies, including the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. Can you in good conscience do that? If not, perhaps you should consider becoming a Roman Catholic?

Charlie J. Ray said...

Gregory, another strawman on your part: If we didn't have to do works then Christ would have never given us both requirements of loving man and God.

No one is saying that we are not obligated to strive for sanctification. We never arrive in this life but only at glorification do we attain absolute sinlessness.

Gregory S. MacBeth said...

My argument is that you can and should be both Evangelist and Anglo Catholic. I will try to be brief in what is a tremendously complex subject.

At the beginning of Act, Christ Ascends and gives us two things: The Holy Ghost and the one holy and apostolic catholic church. Really, this is just a single gift that manifests itself in two ways. The Holy Ghost talks to us as a personal experience which is extreme position the Evangelist claims as supreme while The Holy Ghost also inspires the Church which is an organization representing the collective interests of God's mission on earth, "Salvation." The later being the extreme domain in which the Anglo Catholic ascribes.

The fact is that Christs gift is not an either or but rather both. As Christians we need to listen to the Holy Ghost in personal prayer, but we also need to be faithful to the teaching of an apostolic church.

Christ chose his men for Apostles and likewise the apostles carried on that tradition in choosing their men to succeed them. Thus a professional clergy was born to manage the collective interest of the church. Those picked have been chosen by God and through discernment have come to the church to dedicate their life to the profession of vocation. The simple fact is that without a Bishop you can't have a church and therefore lose half the gift.

Understand this is a high level presentation of how we are both Anglo Catholic and Evangelist. If you deny one over the other then you deny God's gift as he gave both to help us achieve salvation by grace through good works.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Gregory said: On another note of perfection be required that you mentioned a few post back. If man was perfect wouldn't he be God. There can be only one perfect.

Yes, you're absolutely right. God requires us to be as holy as God is. Adam before the fall was as perfect as God in the communicable attributes of holiness, righteousness, benevolence, etc. As least as far as that is possible human beings. But AFTER the fall all of those attributes were marred beyond repair and corrupted.

So God continues to require that we be sinless. God commands us to do what we are unable to do: Be PERFECT in holiness. You as much as admitted that you are NOT perfect.

So in your view God lowers the standard because you're a sinner and cannot do it?

OR perhaps God does not lower the standard? Which means if the standard is the same and you don't meet it then you are without hope?

All the law can do is reveal that you fall short of the mark, reveal you as sinner, reveal God to be holy.

Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it-- 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. 27 Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. (Romans 3:19-28 ESV)

Hint: God still requires of you what you cannot do.

Your view is essentially pelagianism, Gregory. Augustine prayed, "God command what you will and grant us the grace to do what you command."


Charlie J. Ray said...

Gregory, your evangelism wins people to a false religion of works righteousness which only earns them a deeper place in hell.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23 ESV)

Notice Paul says it is a "free gift." A gift is not earned. If you earn anything it is hell.

I also note that you have rejected Scripture as the final authority when you said: The fact is that Christs gift is not an either or but rather both. As Christians we need to listen to the Holy Ghost in personal prayer, but we also need to be faithful to the teaching of an apostolic church.

First off, sola Scriptura does not reject all tradition or the authority of the church but properly submits both to the authority of Scripture:

Article VI
Of the sufficiency of the Holy Scripture for Salvation

Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation.

Article XX
Of the Authority of the Church

The Church hath power to decree rites or ceremonies and authority in controversies of faith; and yet it is not lawful for the Church to ordain anything contrary to God's word written, neither may it so expound one place of Scripture, that it be repugnant to another. Wherefore, although the Church be a witness and a keeper of Holy Writ: yet, as it ought not to decree anything against the same, so besides the same ought it not to enforce anything to be believed for necessity of salvation.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Robin, I do not know the areas where we disagree. However, I do not see anything wrong with evangelizing Anglo-Catholics, Roman Catholics, and various others who deny the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the doctrines of grace.

I'm not afraid to challenge them.

And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, "These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, (Acts 17:6 ESV)

Charlie J. Ray said...

Gregory, salvation is not an "achievement" according to Scripture. Is is a gift. God gives faith and enables obedience by His sovereign gifts granted to His elect.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV)
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. (Philippians 2:11-13 ESV)

Before you can believe God has to regenerate you and raise you from spiritual death:

Jesus answered him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." 4 Nicodemus said to him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?" 5 Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit." (John 3:3-8 ESV)

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience-- 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved-- (Ephesians 2:1-5 ESV)

Gregory S. MacBeth said...

Charlie, you say:

"I knew that you created a false picture and I responded to it according to YOUR actual view, which is that good works justify you before God. But St. Paul shoots that premise right out of the water because IF good works justify you, then according to Paul, Christ died for your sins in vain."

This would not be the correct understanding. Christ died to save us from original sin. Remember, man rebelled against God.

Furthermore, you quote Gal 2:21, but must have missed Gal 5:6. Even more importantly you also missed Matt 22:35-40. Christ gives two responsibilities of a Christian. If man did not have to love his brother which can only be done and shown via good works, then why would he say this. Moreover, if man only needed faith then why does he not ascend immediately. Wouldn't he have completed his task if he only need have faith.

I gave the ridiculous example I did to show you that without good works faith is dead, as James says because you would not have Gods grace. This would mean your faith is not true.

Consider 1 Cor 6:1 - "Working together with him, then, we entreat you not to accept the gift of God in vain."

The Protestant suffers from taking away from God's message as given in the Bible. The fact is that justification and sanctification are connected. Consider the following passages

Acts 15:9, Acts 26:18, 1 Cor 1:2, 1 Pet 1:2, 2 Pet 1:9 and most importantly 1 Cor 6:11 where the Bible says,

"And such some of you were. But you are washed: but you are sanctified: but you are justified: in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of our God."

Finally, I would suggest looking at History at the time of Luther. He was not happy with the corruption he saw in the church. This corruption was widespread ranging from indulgences to the people being enslaved. I would consider Luther's message as you can't buy works to get salvation, but rather you must have faith. The proper order is that God saves through faith for good works. Furthermore, just doing good on your own doesn't get you salvation either. You must have God's Grace which requires Faith!

Our meritorious actions do contribute to our actions. But they do not do so independently of God's freely given grace; in fact; to be efficacious they must be entirely caused by Gods grace.

Consider the all important philosophical truth, where there is one there is always two (Faith & Works).


Gregory S. MacBeth said...


Now, it is obvious that you are not hear to listen to reason, participate in honest argument on this subject but rather to spread Calvin's doctrine absolutely. I wonder if that would be considered as treating Calvin as an idol?

Instead of being engaged in rhetoric you have made the subject personal. The role of a good Christian is to care for the salvation of souls. You appear to be more interested in your ethos than soul saving. If your faith alone theory were true then you would be acting with Gods grace to perform his work of helping lost souls. Since you are not, it is pointless to continue the conversation.

It's been interesting...


Joe Mahler said...


You stated,

"Now to both Joe and Charlie.

Both of you fell to personal attack after my email. This cost you both your ethos. An argument ends when the attack becomes personal or physical."

Where exactly did I fall to a personal attack against you?

Was it the following?

"This is one of those school boyish questions that roman students loved to use to stump their priest in catechism class."

If so, this is a statement referring to the question you put forth and not to you personally. Logic and reason would have it no other way.


Joe Mahler said...


You said, "My argument is that you can and should be both Evangelist and Anglo Catholic." But you started out asking if an anglo-catholic could be evangelical. This is a change in word from "evangelical" to "evangelist." This is now not the same discussion. Is this trick of the hand in this discussion?


Gregory S. MacBeth said...

No I made a mistake. It should be Evangelical. My apologies.

Joe Mahler said...


So, you are saying that one should be Evangelical and Anglo-Catholic. That is a problem. The Evangelical is throughly and completely Catholic in the truest sense of the word. But from the arguments presented the Scriptures forbid much of the practices of the Anglo-Catholics. Second Commandment prohibits the veneration and invocation of saints. It is not Scriptural and therefore not Catholic. The worship and adoration of bread and wine has no basis in Scriptures and is therefore not Catholic. These things that the party of the Anglo-Catholics do are contrary to the Biblical principles of the Evangelicals. The belief in Apostolic succession again has no Biblical basis and is therefore not Catholic. And what is Catholic? It is that which is universally true. And what do we know that is universally true? It is found in the Scriptures.

Now, I think that we agree that the Law is the teacher of righteousness. The second commandment forbids images of divinity. So, Who is Jesus Christ? and how does your answer fit with God's righteous second commandment? And how does this fit with the Anglo-Catholic practices of images.


Gregory S. MacBeth said...


Thank you for your question. I am curious though on what basis you establish the un-biblical truth of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, asking Saints for Intercession in prayer, and Apostolic Succession?


Charlie J. Ray said...

Gregory, I'm not sure what authority you think you have over Evangelicals. The fact is I believe God saves souls. I just preach the Gospel. And frankly, you haven't answered my point about the 39 Articles even once. You seem to be avoiding that issue like the plague.

Really, Evangelicals are more faithful to the English Reformation and the 39 Articles than any Anglo-Catholic. What is more, the Evangelicals put the authority of Scripture above all else. But you keep appealing to "bishops."

Where have the "bishops" of The Episcopal Church led the people? Looks like they have led them to accept antinomianism and lawlessness. Openly homosexual bishops and even women lesbians?

The Bible is the final word in all matters of faith, doctrine, and practice and if the bishops go astray it only proves that they are not accepting God's Word on the matters at hand.


Charlie J. Ray said...

Gregory, the doctrine of justification alone is not a "theory". It is the plain teaching of Scripture. I quoted the text as it stands. You seem to be unable to answer the points raised so now you're going to avoid the discussion?

That's very typical of liberals and Anglo-Catholics. The fact is that Anglo-Catholicism is the problem that led to liberalism in the first place. It is only a matter of time before the new AC-NA is right back in the same place.


Gregory S. MacBeth said...


I consider the Bible to be without err and the final authority too.

As for your questions on the 39 Articles. I have not been avoiding your question but rather I agree with you and did not see a reason to say more on the subject. The 39 Articles do define Anglicanism.

But when I read the 39 Articles I read them from a correspondence perspective.

That said, Anglicanism, started as a noble effort to return the Catholic church to the catholic church of the original church fathers. That effort though was corrupted by the Calvinist influence.

Anglicanism should be as it was intended, a return to the teaching of Christ and those closest to his physical life. I am not a papist, I am a classic Anglican.


Joe Mahler said...


You stated, "I am curious though on what basis you establish the un-biblical truth of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, asking Saints for Intercession in prayer, and Apostolic Succession?"

The answer is simple, I did not speak concerning the real presence but the adoration of bread and wine. This ans apostolic succession and intercession of the saints (those that have died not those who live) is simply not founding anywhere in the Bible. If you think that they do then it is for you to prove it. They are traditions and we all know what Jesus said about traditions.

Please respond about the second commandment and images of Jesus. I am curious.


Charlie J. Ray said...


I don't know what you mean when you say that you read the 39 Articles "from a correspondence perspective."

Since you are a Tractarian I am thinking that you mean you get to pull them out of their historical context and eisogete or read into them what you "want" them to say rather than what they plainly state.

First of all, the 39 Articles are Calvinistic. Articles 9-18 are not fully developed outlines of Calvinism but the theology is there. The Calvinist position, like the Lutheran and the Swiss Reformed position, is drawn from Augustinian theology, not the Semi-Pelagian theology of Rome.

Secondly, the church fathers were by and large misread by the Roman Catholics and made to say what they never said. It is similar to how Anglo-Catholics read into the 39 Articles what is not there.

Archbishop Thomas Cranmer and other English Reformers demonstrated adequately that the church fathers did not teach transubstantiation or consubstantiation (real presence) in the bread and wine. Rather the focus of the church fathers was on true faith. The only way to partake of the true body and blood of Christ is through a genuine faith in what Christ did for us on Calvary.

So we call the bread and wine by the names of what they signify. But they are not the true body and blood of Christ. That would be with Christ in heaven. We can only partake of the "true" body and blood of Christ by a "spiritual eating" in the heart through a true and lively faith. It is a double eating. Outwardly, we are only eating bread and wine which are called by the names of what they represent or signify. It is only in the heart that we can fully participate and feed on Christ.

Those who have no true faith are eating only empty signs called by the names of what they signify. Only those with true faith can feed on the true body and blood of Christ. This is why the Articles say that the wicked do not chew the body and blood of Christ with their teeth. There is no "real presence" in the bread and wine.

The "catholic" position of the church fathers, according to Cranmer, is the Reformed view of the Lord's supper, not the Roman Catholic view or even the Lutheran view.

Sincerely yours,


Article XXVIII
Of the Lord's Supper
The Supper of the Lord is not only a sign of the love that Christians ought to have among themselves, one to another, but rather it is a sacrament of our redemption by Christ's death: insomuch that to such as rightly, worthily, and with faith receive the same, the bread which we break is a partaking of the body of Christ, and likewise the cup of blessing is a partaking of the blood of Christ.

Transubstantiation (or the change of the substance of bread and wine) in the Supper of the Lord, cannot be proved by Holy Writ, but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a Sacrament, and hath given occasion to many superstitions.

The body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten in the Supper, only after an heavenly and spiritual manner. And the mean whereby the body of Christ is received and eaten in the Supper is faith

The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper was not by Christ's ordinance reserved, carried about, lifted up, or worshipped.

Article XXIX
Of the wicked which do not eat the body of Christ, in the use of the Lord's Supper
The wicked and such as be void of a lively faith, although they do carnally and visibly press with their teeth (as S. Augustine saith) the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ, yet in no wise are they partakers of Christ, but rather to their condemnation do eat and drink the sign or sacrament of so great a thing.

Charlie J. Ray said...

The Homilies approved in the 39 Articles include this one:

15. Of the worthy receiving of the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ

For, as tender parents are not content to procure for their
children costly possessions and livelihood, but take order that the same may be conserved and come to their
use; so our Lord and Saviour thought it not sufficient to purchase for us his Father’s favour again (which
is that deep fountain of all goodness), and eternal life, butb also invented the ways most wisely whereby
they might redound to our commodity and profit. Amongst the which means is the public celebration of
the memory of his precious death at the Lord’s table: which although it seem of small virtue to some, yet,
being rightly done by the faithful, it doth not only help their weakness, who be by their poisoned nature
readier to remember injuries than benefits, but strengtheneth and comforteth their inward man with peace
and gladness, and maketh them thankful to their Redeemer with diligent care of godlyc conversation. And,
as of old time God decreed [Exod. 12:[14–27].] his wondrous benefits of the deliverance of his people to
be kept in memory by the eating of the passover with his rites and ceremonies, so our loving Saviour hath
ordained [Matt. 26:[26–28]; 1 Cor. 11:[23–36].] and established the remembrance of his great mercy
expressed in his passion in the institution of his heavenly Supper: where every one of us must be guests
and not gazers, eaters and not lookers, feeding ourselves and not hiring other to feed for us; that we may
live by our own meat, and not perishd for hunger whilee othersf devour all....

Gregory S. MacBeth said...

Joe & Charlie,

I think both of you misunderstand the historic nature of Anglicanism. In idea, our church is an attempt to revert back to the teachings of the church fathers of the "one holy catholic and apostolic church." This is not a blanket affirmation of the Roman Catholic Church. It does result in a church that is similar as both originated from the church of patristic ideas. The difference though is the Anglo Catholic attempt to cleanse the church of the influence of the last 700 - 1000 years, where a series of popish and man-made stuff began to seep into the Roman Church.

I refer you to the Tracts of the Times #28 which denies transubstantiation in favor of a more historic Sacramental Union outlined by Edward Pusey which is grounded in the writings of the ancient Doctor, Justin Martyr in 144 AD:

"After that the Bishop hath prayed and blessed, and the people said Amen, those whom we called Deacons or Ministers give to every one of them that are present a portion of the Bread and Wine; and that food we call the Eucharist, for we do not receive it as ordinary bread and wine." They received it as bread, yet not as common bread. And a little after; "By this food digested, our flesh and blood are fed, and we are taught that it is the Body and Blood of JESUS CHRIST." Therefore the substance of the bread remains, and remains corruptible food, even after the Consecration, which can in now wise be said of the immortal Body of CHRIST; for the Flesh of CHRIST is not turned into our flesh, neither doth it nourish it, as doth that food which is sacramentally called the Flesh of CHRIST. But the Flesh of CHRIST feeds our souls unto eternal life.

Transubstantiation is a conviction of papal decree post 1215. Therefore, the root of Anglicanism and that of Anglo Catholics is to return to the teaching of those most close to Christ.

As for Apostolic Succession:

As written in Tracts for the Times #5:

We hold, with the Church in all ages, that, when our LORD, after His resurrection, breathed on His Apostles, and said, "Receive ye the HOLY GHOST,—as My FATHER hath sent Me, so send I you;" He gave them the power of sending others with a divine commission, who in like manner should have the power of sending others, and so on even unto the end; and that our LORD promised His continual assistance to these successors of the Apostles in this and all other respects, when He said, "Lo I am with you," (that is, with you, and those who shall represent and succeed you,) "alway, even unto the end of the world."
And, if it is plain that the Apostles left successors after them, it is equally plain that the Bishops are these Successors. For it is only the Bishops who have ever been called by the title of Successors; and there has been actually a perpetual succession of these Bishops in the Church, who alone were always esteemed to have the power of sending other Ministers to preach and administer the Sacraments. So that the proof of the doctrine seems to lie in a very small space.

As for Intercession of the Saints:

The Bible teaches that those who dies and are saved are fully alive, that they are aware of earthly affairs, and they love us; therefore it makes perfect sense to ask for their intercession.

James 5:16-18 Tells us that prayers of some are more effective than others.

The saved dead are alive in heaven, see Mt 22:32

God gives the saints the power to listen. So as described in Rev 6:9-10 we ask.

Rev 8:3-4 Saints offer prayers to God

As for Veneration of Saints:

I do not subscribe to this, but the theology that applies is biblical as well.

Statues and Icons are expressly different than that of Idols, which are expressly intended to replace God. The veneration of Saints is not to worship them but rather an expression of honor.


Gregory S. MacBeth said...

Continuation of Veneration of Saints, prayers for the dead, and intercession of saints.

Again, I am not a huge supporter of these subjects as I have yet to have time to properly research them. My initial impression is that the Church Fathers had a neutral position upon the subject. The aforementioned passages in support of these subjects reflect the beginning of my understanding for those in support of a biblical allowance of such acts.Finally, I do not see a biblical account in support of purgatory which these subjects eventually lead.

Joe Mahler said...

The Tracts for our Times were are not Biblical. They are not authoritative in Anglicism. Follow the history of "Saint" John Newman. The Tractarian movemnent was an attempt to take Anglicanism into Rome. I succeeded in making the Anglo Catholics hypocrites. There is not enough difference between the two systems of man made traditions to warrant an separation one from the other. Except the anglo-catholic ministry want to be married and have children. But for the layman separation is ridiculous and totally unnecessary. For the sake of this conversation let's stick to the things that are doctrinally Anglican: the Bible, 39 Articles of Religion, and the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. Your veneration of saints and offering prayers to them have absolutely no warrant. Please do not put into these documents what is not there. Do not ascribe to those departed saints an intimacy in the church militant which is not there. We have Jesus, Lazarus will not be sent to warn us of any thing. Besides why would you believe that you would need to go through a departed saint to get to God. Do you not believe He knows what you need already and even before you ask. Do you not believe that Jesus is our only Advocate and Mediator? that He is the Author and Finisher of our faith?

Gregory S. MacBeth said...


I am not suggesting the Tracts our sacred, but they site church fathers opinions of the topic we are discussing. Are you excluding the church fathers?


Gregory S. MacBeth said...

Joe and Charlie,

Again, I have to call fallacy and point out the personal attacks. You are not hear to discuss but rather condemn. If you were true Christians you would be looking to save the souls of those in need. Instead, you take the role of a jackal by making absurd responses that refer to people as hypocrites.

You clearly represent the Calvinist perspective and take no interests in the souls of men by adhering to Christs commandments: love God and man. Instead, you favor hearing yourself talk with arrogance venom and verve.

I do hope you eventually come to the point in your life where you are mature and capable of listening to opinions and through discernment and prayer come to the truth offered by God.

I have tried to be patient with you and have answered your questions with both biblical and supporting evidence from the church fathers.

May God Have Mercy Upon Your Soul.


Charlie J. Ray said...

Gregory, I'm hear to correct your wrong theology. But if you will not even consider the Protestant view, what more can I say about it?

Gregory S. MacBeth said...

There you go again, you are assuming you are correct which shows you are only trying to condemn anyone that doesn't share your Calvinist views.

Joe Mahler said...


Again I did not make any personal attack against you. But hypocrisy was the term our Lord Jesus Christ used to describe the Pharisees who used their own traditions to make the word of God to none affect. Did I call you a hypocrite? No. But if the shoe fits you know what to do. I know what anglo-catholics believe and I am sorry that they feel the need for more than Jesus Christ. The history of the entire movement is rather interesting; it has all the makings of a good novel. But it is a rejection of Biblical truth. By the way, even the church fathers were wrong on points, believe me the Bible is the best and only standard. Oh, and stop accusing me without supplying the proof that I have made a personal attack on you.

Charlie J. Ray said...


And Anglo-Catholics do not assume they are correct and Evangelicals and "Calvinists" are wrong?

But really, that is not the issue at all. What is at issue is what constitutes a genuine Anglican? Anglo-Catholics want to have it both ways. They want to be Roman Catholic and Protestant at the same time. Problem is Anglo-Catholicism is neither Protestant nor Roman Catholic. It is a "heresy" to both views.

The English Reformation was a restorationist movement. It was an attempt to restore the English church to the apostolic teaching of Scripture and a correct understanding of the church fathers in light of Scripture. Anglo-Catholicism on the other hand wants to restore the English Church to Roman Catholic theology except for the areas where they are not willing to obey Rome--like marriage... and in some cases... ordaining lesbians and homosexuals.

The Episcopal Church wouldn't be as liberal as it is today if it were not Anglo-Catholic. I would contend that the AC-NA will be just as morally liberal in just a few decades.

If the AC-NA is so tolerant of Evangelicals and Anglican Calvinists, Gregory, why are they not welcome? You have made it clear enough that you think I don't have a place in the English church.

Yet I am faithful to the 39 Articles of Religion and the English Formularies while you are not.

This one is a bit hard to figure out.


Charlie J. Ray said...


It is well known that John Henry Newman believed in transubstantiation. He merely tried to push the English church in the direction of Rome by using other terminology. In the end Newman converted to Rome. All Anglo-Catholics should follow Newman's example.

Gregory S. MacBeth said...


Newman bases his Tract upon the words of the Church Fathers. Have you actually read them?

Furthermore, it is the Calvinist, like you, who are intolerant.

I and the ACs I know just want a church that is based upon Gods revelation to man and is as closely tied to the original teachings as we can get. Often this is looks like Romanism because those principles are consistent with the Church Fathers.

On the other hand, the Calvinist, like yourself just wish to have everything the way you want. You remove what you don't like and replace it with Calvin's heresy. Your theology is based upon coherence and not that which corresponds to reality.


Charlie J. Ray said...

Gregory, you have made personal attacks without substantiating your accusations.

Have you read Archbishop Thomas Cranmer's Treatise on the Lord's Supper?

Cranmer over and over establishes the Reformed position from the church fathers. The church fathers are far from "neutral".

Do you deny that Newman converted to Rome? Of course he did.

And this might shock and surprise you, Gregory, but there are more protestants than Anglo-Catholics. The Anglo-Catholics are a fringe group which tried to take over the Anglican Communion. World wide there are way more Protestants and Evangelicals than Anglo-Catholics. Furthermore, the Lutherans, Presbyterians, and other Protestant churches all agree that justification is by faith alone, not by faith and works achieving anything.

That's an ancient heresy known as "pelagianism." Pelagianism overemphasizes the goodness of man rather than recognizing that all men are sinful and wicked unless and until they are born again by the Holy Spirit.

If you read the Bible for yourself, Gregory, you would begin to see that what the ACs say and what Scripture says does not line up or synchronize.

Sincerely yours,


and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:15-17 ESV)

Joe Mahler said...

Neither the anglo-catholics nor Rome looks at all like the early church. No such description of Christian services approach those ceremonials and rituals. The early church looked like the synagogue of its day. And that is described a little bit in the Bible.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Wes White said:

The Reformation not only re-discovered the Gospel. It re-discovered the law. Rome wanted to reduce the law to make it easier for the average man, since their justification and acceptance with God depended on good works. The real result was that justification was primarily about saying a few prayers, contributing to the Church, and kissing a few relics.

The Reformers understood that in order for people to understand the Gospel, they had to understand the law. The reason why people look for justification by the law is because they have misunderstood the law. When people understand that everyone is cursed who does not continue in all things that are written in the book of the law to do them (Gal. 3:10), then they are able to grasp justification by faith alone.

From The Problem with Federal Vision Theology

Gregory S. MacBeth said...


Can you provide a reference from patristic authorship showing such claim? I will review and respond.


Please provide a link to Archbishop Thomas Cranmer's Treatise on the Lord's Supper. I will gladly read it.

I would like both of you to notice the willingness in which I have to listen to your arguments, review your evidence and respond.

Throughout this thread I have provided evidence for my claims and counter evidence in both the Bible and patristic writings. I will give you an example:

Eph 2:8-9 is used as a common claim for sole fide, but this is a trick because verse 10 shows works is part of salvation.

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
New American Standard Bible : 1995 Update (LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995), Eph 2:8–10.

At heart of the dispute is that salvation is a process and it can be lost. Works is a process of grace as well.

I wanted to summarize the arguments and evidence for each topic. Please note that all my evidence is either from the Bible, patristic authorship, or protestant writers. I have not used any evidence from the Roman See.

Gregory S. MacBeth said...

On Faith & Works = Salvation
For Anglo Catholics it is not an opposition between faith and works but a unity of both faith and works which are necessary for salvation even if faith has the primary position (in that without faith we cannot please God - Heb 11:6) . When we speak of faith and works what we imply is a faith that works through charity (Gal 5:6). The Anglo Catholic and biblical Position is clear, namely that both works and faith are necessary for salvation. However we must keep in mind that works are simply a product of faith – we don’t buy heaven, we don’t earn heaven – It was earned through Christ that we are saved but if we have faith the works should come with it. We are not "automatically saved" simply by claiming to have once off "excepted Jesus Christ as Lord as savoir". If this were truth that Christ warnings and exhortations from falling away from the faith would have not only been futile but also ridiculous and absurd. For example we could take anyone of Christ's parables or his exhortations at random (see Matt 5:29, Matt 13:3, Mk 11:14, Luke 12:35 etc) and ask ourselves the following question: If we are once off saved (as is erroneously held by some) then what is purpose of the exhortations of Christ to perform good works and avoid sin for a believer ? (or for non-believers who are not saved anyway! Mark 16:15). If our works did not have a direct relation upon our salvation the exhortations would be without purpose.

Gregory S. MacBeth said...

Patristic Advice On Once Saved But Not Always
Irenaeus,Against Heresies,4:27:2(A.D. 180),in ANF,I:499 "Christ shall not die again in behalf of those who now commit sin, for death shall no more have dominion over Him; but the Son shall come in the glory of the Father, requiring from His stewards and dispensers the money which He had entrusted to them, with usury; and from those to whom He had given most shall He demand most. We ought not, therefore, as that presbyter remarks, to be puffed up, nor be severe upon those of old time, but ought ourselves to fear, lest perchance, after [we have come to] the knowledge of Christ, if we do things displeasing to God, we obtain no further forgiveness of sins, but be shut out from His kingdom. And therefore it was that Paul said, 'For if [God] spared not the natural branches, [take heed] lest He also spare not thee, who, when thou wert a wild olive tree, wert grafted into the fatness of the olive tree, and wert made a partaker of its fatness.'
Tertullian,On Repentance,6(A.D. 204),in ANF,III:661 "But some think as if God were under a necessity of bestowing even on the unworthy, what He has engaged (to give); and they turn His liberality into slavery. But if it is of necessity that God grants us the symbol of death, then He does so unwilling. But who permits a gift to be permanently retained which he has granted unwillingly? For do not many afterward fall out of (grace)? is not this gift taken away from many?"

Gregory S. MacBeth said...

On the Eucharist’s Presence of Christ
I refer you to the Tracts of the Times #28 which denies transubstantiation in favor of a more historic Sacramental Union outlined by Edward Pusey which is grounded in the writings of the ancient Doctor, Justin Martyr in 144 AD:

"After that the Bishop hath prayed and blessed, and the people said Amen, those whom we called Deacons or Ministers give to every one of them that are present a portion of the Bread and Wine; and that food we call the Eucharist, for we do not receive it as ordinary bread and wine." They received it as bread, yet not as common bread. And a little after; "By this food digested, our flesh and blood are fed, and we are taught that it is the Body and Blood of JESUS CHRIST." Therefore the substance of the bread remains, and remains corruptible food, even after the Consecration, which can in now wise be said of the immortal Body of CHRIST; for the Flesh of CHRIST is not turned into our flesh, neither doth it nourish it, as doth that food which is sacramentally called the Flesh of CHRIST. But the Flesh of CHRIST feeds our souls unto eternal life.

The doctrine of Transubstantiation is contained neither in Scripture nor in the writings of the Fathers.
THE word Transubstantiation is so far from being found either in the Sacred Records, or in the Monuments of the Ancient Fathers, that the maintainers of it do themselves acknowledge that it was no so much as heard of before the twelfth century. For though one Stephanus, Bishop of Autun, be said to have once used it, yet it is without proof that some modern writers make him one of the tenth century; nor yet doth he say, that the Bread is transubstantiated, but as it were transubstantiated, which well understood might be admitted.
Nay, that the thing itself without the word, that the doctrine without the expression, cannot be found in Scripture, is ingeniously acknowledged by the most learned Schoolmen, Scotus, Durandus, Biel, Cameracensis, Cajetan, and many more, who finding it not brought in by the Pope’s authority, and received in the Roman Church, till 1200 years after CHRIST, yet endeavoured to defend it by other arguments.

Gregory S. MacBeth said...

On the Episcopate & Apostolic Succession


"As I said before, the Church, having received this preaching and this faith, although she is disseminated throughout the whole world, yet guarded it, as if she occupied but one house. She likewise believes these things just as if she had but one soul and one and the same heart; and harmoniously she proclaims them and teaches them and hands them down, as if she possessed but one mouth. For, while the languages of the world are diverse, nevertheless, the authority of the tradition is one and the same" (Against Heresies 1:10:2 [A.D. 189]).

"That is why it is surely necessary to avoid them [heretics], while cherishing with the utmost diligence the things pertaining to the Church, and to lay hold of the tradition of truth. . . . What if the apostles had not in fact left writings to us? Would it not be necessary to follow the order of tradition, which was handed down to those to whom they entrusted the churches?" (ibid., 3:4:1).


"It is possible, then, for everyone in every church, who may wish to know the truth, to contemplate the tradition of the apostles which has been made known throughout the whole world. And we are in a position to enumerate those who were instituted bishops by the apostles and their successors to our own times—men who neither knew nor taught anything like these heretics rave about.

"But since it would be too long to enumerate in such a volume as this the successions of all the churches, we shall confound all those who, in whatever manner, whether through self-satisfaction or vainglory, or through blindness and wicked opinion, assemble other than where it is proper, by pointing out here the successions of the bishops of the greatest and most ancient church known to all, founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul, that church which has the tradition and the faith which comes down to us after having been announced to men by the apostles.

"With this church, because of its superior origin, all churches must agree—that is, all the faithful in the whole world—and it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the apostolic tradition" (ibid., 3:3:1–2).

Gregory S. MacBeth said...

Clement of Alexandria

"Well, they preserving the tradition of the blessed doctrine derived directly from the holy apostles, Peter, James, John, and Paul, the sons receiving it from the father (but few were like the fathers), came by God’s will to us also to deposit those ancestral and apostolic seeds. And well I know that they will exult; I do not mean delighted with this tribute, but solely on account of the preservation of the truth, according as they delivered it. For such a sketch as this, will, I think, be agreeable to a soul desirous of preserving from loss the blessed tradition" (Miscellanies 1:1 [A.D. 208]).


"Although there are many who believe that they themselves hold to the teachings of Christ, there are yet some among them who think differently from their predecessors. The teaching of the Church has indeed been handed down through an order of succession from the apostles and remains in the churches even to the present time. That alone is to be believed as the truth which is in no way at variance with ecclesiastical and apostolic tradition" (The Fundamental Doctrines 1:2 [A.D. 225]).

“For the apostolic origin of episcopacy the following points may be made: (1) The position of James, who evidently stood as the head of the church in Jerusalem…(2) The office of the assistants and delegates of the apostles, like Timothy, Titus, Silas, Epaphroditus, Luke, Mark, who had a sort of supervision of several churches and congregational officers…(3) The angels of the seven churches ofAsia, who…indicate a monarchical shaping of the church government in the days of John…(4) The testimony of Ignatius of Antioch, a disciple of John…presupposes the episcopate… as already existing. (5) The statement of Clement of Alexandria, that John instituted bishops after his return from Patmos.”
As written in Tracts for the Times #5:

We hold, with the Church in all ages, that, when our LORD, after His resurrection, breathed on His Apostles, and said, "Receive ye the HOLY GHOST,—as My FATHER hath sent Me, so send I you;" He gave them the power of sending others with a divine commission, who in like manner should have the power of sending others, and so on even unto the end; and that our LORD promised His continual assistance to these successors of the Apostles in this and all other respects, when He said, "Lo I am with you," (that is, with you, and those who shall represent and succeed you,) "alway, even unto the end of the world."
And, if it is plain that the Apostles left successors after them, it is equally plain that the Bishops are these Successors. For it is only the Bishops who have ever been called by the title of Successors; and there has been actually a perpetual succession of these Bishops in the Church, who alone were always esteemed to have the power of sending other Ministers to preach and administer the Sacraments. So that the proof of the doctrine seems to lie in a very small space.

Gregory S. MacBeth said...

Intercession in Prayer


"A Christian people celebrates together in religious solemnity the memorials of the martyrs, both to encourage their being imitated and so that it can share in their merits and be aided by their prayers" (Against Faustus the Manichean [A.D. 400]).

"There is an ecclesiastical discipline, as the faithful know, when the names of the martyrs are read aloud in that place at the altar of God, where prayer is not offered for them. Prayer, however, is offered for the dead who are remembered. For it is wrong to pray for a martyr, to whose prayers we ought ourselves be commended" (Sermons 159:1 [A.D. 411]).

"At the Lord’s table we do not commemorate martyrs in the same way that we do others who rest in peace so as to pray for them, but rather that they may pray for us that we may follow in their footsteps" (Homilies on John 84 [A.D. 416]).

"Neither are the souls of the pious dead separated from the Church which even now is the kingdom of Christ. Otherwise there would be no remembrance of them at the altar of God in the communication of the Body of Christ" (The City of God 20:9:2 [A.D. 419]).

Gregory of Nazianz

"May you [Cyprian] look down from above propitiously upon us, and guide our word and life; and shepherd this sacred flock . . . gladden the Holy Trinity, before which you stand" (Orations 17[24] [A.D. 380]).

"Yes, I am well assured that [my father’s] intercession is of more avail now than was his instruction in former days, since he is closer to God, now that he has shaken off his bodily fetters, and freed his mind from the clay that obscured it, and holds conversation naked with the nakedness of the prime and purest mind . . . " (ibid., 18:4).

Gregory of Nyssa

"[Ephraim], you who are standing at the divine altar [in heaven] . . . bear us all in remembrance, petitioning for us the remission of sins, and the fruition of an everlasting kingdom" (Sermon on Ephraim the Syrian [A.D. 380]).

This is my last post as I think my point is made. There are tons more evidence in which I can site but there is a limit to space. I would beseech you to engage in prayer on such matters with an open heart and mind.

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be alway acceptable in thy sight, * O LORD, my strength and my redeemer. Ps 19:14

But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love,
Perseverance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which
you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I charge
you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the
good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach
until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Timothy 6:11–14

Joe Mahler said...

Well Gregory,

Now you see why an anglo-catholic cannot be an evangelical. You are rooted in a work salvation which the Scriptures most definitely say just ain't so. It is by grace. No by anything we have done. You want to place tradition along side and at time above the Bible and the evangelical would never do that. It is Only Grace, Only Faith, Only Scriptures. It is obvious you cannot understand that. You cannot obtain salvation by your works. Trust in your traditions and remember that Christ told the Pharisees that they had made the word of God to none effect by their tradition. "Wow unto you Pharisees, hypocrites...... "

Charlie J. Ray said...

Gregory, there is only one problem with your quotes from the church fathers. They are not Scripture:)

No one here has said that the church fathers were always consistent with Scripture.

You'll have to do better than prooftext the church fathers.


Joe Mahler said...


Are you in the habit of quoting from known heretics? Don't you know that Origen was declared a heretic. These early writers were writing opinion or facts based on what they were doing at the time not necessarily law. I also noticed you didn't quote from Augustine of Hippo. The early and even the latter day writers are not Scripture. You place too much value on tradition and not enough on Scripture. This is one of those things that enormously separates the evangelical from the anglo-catholic. To the evangelical is is not what Luther or Calvin or Cranmer said or wrote but what the Bible teaches. Sola Scriptura.

Charlie J. Ray said...

You might be interested in this quote from The Marrow of Modern Divinity,Gregory:

Whosoever thou art into whose hands this book shall come, I presume to put thee in mind of the divine command, binding on thy conscience, Deuteronomy 1:17 - "Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great." Reject not the book with contempt, nor with indignation neither, when thou findest it entitled The Marrow of Modern Divinity, lest thou do it to thine own hurt. Remember, that our blessed Lord himself was "accounted a friend of publicans and sinners,' (Matt 11:19).—"Many said of him, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him?" (John 10:20). The apostle Paul was slanderously reported to be an Antinomian; one who, by his doctrine, encouraged men to do evil, and "make void the law," (Rom 3:8,31). And the first martyr, in the days of the gospel, was stoned for pretended "blasphemous words against Moses and against the law," (Acts 6:11,13).

The gospel method of sanctification, as well as of justification, lies so far out of the ken of natural reason, that if all the rationalists in the world, philosophers and divines, had consulted together to lay down a plan for repairing the lost image of God in man, they had never hit upon that which the divine wisdom has pitched upon, viz: that sinners should be sanctified in Christ Jesus, (1 Cor 1:2), by faith in him, (Acts 26:18); nay, being laid before them, they would have rejected it with disdain, as foolishness, (1 Cor 1:23).

In all views which fallen man has towards the means of his own recovery, the natural bent is to the way of the covenant of works. This is evident in the case of the vast multitudes throughout the world, embracing Judaism, Paganism, Mahometanism, and Popery. All these agree in this one principle, that it is by doing men must live, though they hugely differ as to the things to be done for life.

The Marrow of Modern Divinity, by Edward Fisher.