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10 November 2009

Response from the Council of Church Society to the plans by the Church of Rome to receive disaffected Anglicans.

According to its own doctrinal standards and history, the Church of England's true nature is that of a Protestant, Reformed, Evangelical and catholic (in other words, universal) church. Orthodox Anglicanism is therefore defined by reference to these characteristics only, which are set out in the Thirty-nine Articles and the Church of England's submission to the over-arching authority of Scripture alone. Church Society seeks to defend and promote these defining characteristics, especially the Gospel of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone which is at the heart of the message and mission of the Church of England.

While acknowledging the correct stand taken by Anglo-Catholics against theological liberalism (the features of which do not represent true, Biblical Anglicanism), it should also be noted that the true doctrine of the Church of England does not embrace any of the teachings or practices which characterise the Church of Rome. For instance, the Church of Rome is fundamentally flawed in its claims about its own nature and authority and in its teaching about the means of salvation.

A proper rejection of theological liberalism should therefore not be accompanied by a turning to the Church of Rome and its unbiblical teachings and practices. Rather, both theological liberalism and the unscriptural teachings and practices of the Church of Rome are contrary to the Bible and to the historic doctrines of the Church of England as a Protestant, Reformed, Evangelical and catholic church.

The longing of Church Society is that all Anglicans, whether in England or elsewhere, would see and understand both the destructive nature of theological liberalism and the false nature, teachings and practices of the Church of Rome.

We grieve that the Church of England, along with our nation, has fallen so low in its spiritual and moral condition.  We pray that God would pour out His Spirit on both church and nation.

We rejoice that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone and we pray that the Church of England will return to full adherence to its doctrinal standards, acknowledging the supreme authority of the Bible as God's Word and seeking to shape its teaching and practices by what He has revealed.

The statement was agreed by the Council at its meeting on 4 November 2009.

Further information relevant to this statement can be found here.

-END-

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