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Attendance at the Church of England continues to plunge to new lows as those who hold true to the scriptures have no choice but to abandon a church that is collapsing in on themselves and so hollowed out from the inside that it is barely recognizable to what it once was.
Official figures - based on an annual pew count - show that only 1.4 per cent of the population of England now attend Anglican services on a typical Sunday morning.. and sadly that is a good thing.
The Church of England's decline into apostasy has been strange to watch, not because they are the first or the only mainline denomination to collapse under the weight of its own compromises. In Canada, for example, the United Church campaigned for legal abortion, celebrated the destruction of the Christian ethic of sexuality, and now has at least one atheist minister.
But the brazenness with which the clerics of the Church of England have spat on their own heritage has been jarring, to say the least. The Church of England has consistently presented a false Jesus to the world in matters of both homosexuality and transgenderism.
A member of the clergy that presided over Queen Elizabeth II's coronation has asked the faithful to pray that her great-grandson, Prince George, might become a homosexual in order to increase tolerance for the LGBT community.
Earlier this year, Anglican clergy urged the British government to ban so-called "conversion therapy" for those with gender dysphoria, and announced their intention to attempt to recruit transgender clerics to serve in all aspects of Anglican leadership. And now, of course, there's the new ceremony to celebrate one's "new" gender.
From the Telegraph:
New pastoral guidance, published on Tuesday, advises clergy to refer to transgender people by their new name, though it stops short of being a baptism. The guidance, which was approved by the House of Bishops on Monday night, also details how elements including water and oil can be incorporated into the service.
It also advises that as part of a special service, they can be presented with gifts such as a Bible inscribed in their chosen name, or a certificate. The guidance notes: "For a trans person to be addressed liturgically by the minister for the first time by their chosen name may be a powerful moment in the service."
As a central part of the new service, called the Affirmation of Baptismal Faith, the minister lays their hands on the candidate or candidates, addresses them by name, and prays for them. While the Church is clear that this does not constitute a second baptism, it explains that the Affirmation of Baptismal Faith enables people to "renew the commitments made in baptism and in a public setting and provides space for those who have undergone a major transition to re-dedicate their life to Jesus Christ."
There are still some voices within the Anglican Church trying to save it from itself and had these words of warning:
Andrea Williams of Christian Concern, who serves as a lay member of the General Synod had her open letter published by the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON), urging Christians to "defend the gospel against threats from without and within."
"Today's guidance continues the Church of England's devastating trajectory towards an outright denial of God and His word, by undermining what it means to be baptized and to identify with Him through baptism," Williams lamented.
"The point of baptism is to identify a person with Jesus as they begin a life of following Him," she noted. "Using an affirmation of baptism to celebrate a gender transition turns this upside down by encouraging people to follow their own feelings and live in identities contrary to how God created them."
Williams said that the Church of England thinks that it is being "loving" in releasing the guidance, but it is actually doing the opposite.
Gavin Ashenden who writes for the Anglican Ink gave this warning to his fellow Anglicans:
"Where the real Jesus saves us from our sins and offers us renewal in the image and furthers the likeness of God, the fake Jesus offers to make us comfortable in our skins, cozy with our sexual appetites and untroubled by having the central areas of who we are off limits to the interference of God," he outlined.
"This comes under the historic categories of both blasphemy and heresy," Ashendon continued. "It interferes with peoples' salvation. It replaces faith in the Living Christ with pseudo-therapy. It is an abandonment of the heart of the gospel; and this is done by people who when they use the words 'Jesus, holy, love and acceptance,' have twisted the words to mean very different things from what the Church has always intended."