Thursday, 30 June 2011

Boxed In

A high-powered, high-profile course to train the Church of England's future women bishops is being funded by the Panacea Society. When there are 24 mitred ladies, will they open Joanna Southcott's Box?


  1. Ambrose St John30 June 2011 at 15:16

    The Prophetical Office of the Church...?

  2. Blessed John Henry Newman's work on that, completed and corrected by and as his subsequent submission to the Magisterium, would indeed be the key to redeeming this sort of thing, as also manifested by such figures as Ellen White, Mary Baker Eddy, Charles Taze Russell and Joseph Smith. But that is not what is happening in this case.

    Nor, speaking of Smith, is it what has happened with the unanimous admission to the National Council of Churches in the USA, therefore with the support of the Episcopal Church in which one of the prime movers behind this course now ministers, of the Community of Christ, formerly and for most of its history called the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (no hyphen). Not that that is a lesson to liberals alone in the Anglican camp.

    The people who have withdrawn from the RLDS since it became the Community of Christ have not become LDS or anything else. On the contrary, they remain strongly committed to the historic RLDS objections to the Utah Church.

    Likewise, there are elements in America, England and elsewhere that either have withdrawn or, especially if women became bishops in England, would withdraw from the Anglican Communion but who would never go to Rome or to any federation of independent Conservative Evangelical congregations. On the contrary, they remain strongly committed to the historic Anglican objections both to Rome and to Evangelical sectarianism.

    But there really is no historical basis for the traditional RLDS claims that polygamy, plural gods, men becoming gods, Adam-God, Adam as the physical father of Jesus by means of sexual relations with Mary, baptism for the dead, secret temple rituals, the Curse of Cain, and so on were all the work of Brigham Young rather than of Joseph Smith.

    Nor is there any for the Anglo-Catholic and Conservative Evangelical presentations of the circumstances of the Church of England's creation, and thus for any synthesis of the two such as might be, and is, favoured in the circles in question.

    Instead, both the Restoration Branches on the one hand, and the likes of the United Episcopal Church of North America or England's own Third Province Movement on the other, need to recognise their position as a devolopment, proclaim it as a devolopment under God, and seek to present it as superior in those terms to the alternative developments in the direction of liberalism.

    But the question then arises of whether, in doing the only thing that the historical facts will permit, they would effectively be conceding the liberal point and negating the basis of their own positions.

    Far better to follow Newman, one way or another.