Current State of Church of England 2019
You cannot talk about Anglicanism’s (Church of England) without talking about its spiritual problems. To be frank, the church is slowly disappearing. While the Roman Catholic Church is in the same disarray, Anglicanism is worse.
No True Evangelism, No Self-sustaining Growth
Let’s be frank. The salvation that the Church of England holds to, teaches, and practices is not the gospel of the Bible, but as Paul described it, it is “another gospel.” Gal 1. So Anglicanism teaches a works salvation, a salvation that is only if you are a member of the Anglican church. People must accept whatever that church is in order to be saved, and when you see the sexual abuse, the perversions of the priests, and the corruption within the church, the people understand that these people do not have true salvation.
Moreover, the pure lack of spiritual teaching that resolves the problems of a person’s life is also apparent to those who attend and participate in this church, and once you get past the ordinary church life (weekly services, Christmas and Easter celebrations, kids classes, and church socials), what do you have? An empty hull of a religious institution.
Preaching the true gospel, and evangelizing actively with that gospel will actually convert people to Christ, and they will be born again. This activity is what brings in new converts into the church. Many churches refuse flatly to do this, and as such, they only get new converts when one of their young couples have a baby (the young couples are the neediest people and the first to be mobile to go somewhere else if the church is not meeting their needs) or when an Anglican moves into town (rare thing).
So when you take true evangelism out of their principal activities and their central mission goal, the church is dead. This is true for any church of any denomination or affiliation. Catholic churches are dead because they cannot grow. They have no true gospel.
Even cults like the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons know this, and they twist the gospel of works that they teach and believe in to force their people to go into the street to “witness” as they see their gospel. Their success rate in contacting and getting new “converts” is very low. I saw on their website a statement that said that they have to contact 500+ people to get one of them to come to one of their services, not join, just to come and see.
But although with time, these groups will lose their people (thus the strong-arm tactics to prevent them from leaving), the same problem falls to their membership. They have spiritual problems, and they present them to their church leaders, and the leaders do not use the authority of Scripture to solve these things in a definitive way, they just say do this or do that. When their orders don’t solve the people’s problems, these people will break away even from them.
Within the Anglican church today there is a raging war about women in the priesthood and homosexuality. These large church groups will always have pressure on them to accept women in the ministry as leaders and teachers and preachers of men because they cannot staff their churches with men. Why not? Comes back to the same problem as above.
Again we see how the Anglican’s own doctrinal belief and practice ruins his church. Since Anglicans hold very lightly to the authority of God’s Word, they are “flexible” on women priests. There are some within the church who are fighting this, but they don’t seem to be winning. When you see a wholesale exodus from the church, the people making the decisions don’t want anything to cause more people to leave. Thus they are “flexible” bending over backwards to try and keep these women priest proponents satisfied.
It is interesting to see how a doctrinal point like your views on the authority of the Word of God can cause so much ruckus. But doctrine causes conduct, and when you don’t believe that the authority of God’s Word is correct and absolute, without discussion, then you see all kinds of errors entering into the mix.
I would note that exactly the same issue of women in the church leadership, oversight, administration, pulpit preaching and teaching has likewise destroyed the Presbyterian and Methodist churches. Today their are more women Methodist pastors than men. The Presbyterians are fighting the same battle and losing, though they are not as far down the road as the Methodists.
Without a true gospel, you do not have truly saved people in the church. Without truly saved people in the church, the unsaved that are there “pick a vocation”, and thus they enter that church’s ministry. These men will be crippled by their requirement of having to be celibate. So thus the temptations begin. When a priest has sex with a girl or woman in the congregation, there is a possibility she will be pregnant. The more that happens, the higher the risk of pregnancy. When the woman gets pregnant, she wants the priest to help her economically, and thus the corruption behind the scenes. With a man to a man homosexual conduct, both want to keep it quiet, and only if AIDS enter in will there be more complications.
The Anglican church is suffering from a great lack of priests for their churches. As money is designated to help the churches with this problem, that is the wrong way to go. They think that a higher salary will draw more men into the priesthood. But the problem is not solved so easily. First of all, any church should be able to support its own clergy. That happens regularly in all church groups. Why cannot these Anglican churches support their own? Because there are very few members, the majority are aging, retired, not able to participate much, and of little financial resources. The main thing they should be doing is recruiting more youthful membership via true evangelism. They refuse that on doctrinal belief grounds, so the problem will not be resolved, and the end is postponed until the resources from wherever they are getting them are spent up.
Secondly, the problem of throwing money at the lack of priests is not good is because the real problem is that the priest doesn’t have a wife. This again is a foundational doctrine in the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican church.
Thirdly, the aspect here is that these churches build cathedrals instead of sustainable buildings. The very fact that you have the church in a very large and ornate building requires a lot of expenses in upkeep. They slit their own throats when they thought that this kind of building would be good. They wanted to impress their membership, and what they have done is tied a boondoggle around the necks of their members. Their members marched over to a different denominational church and their part of the problem is fixed, and they left the problem of an expensive maintenance building with the Anglicans.