Thursday, 3 August 2017

Homosexuality Winnows the Church

J. I Packer and The Refiner's Fire

We have read the recently written biography of J. I. Packer.  Few would argue against the contention that Packer has been the most significant orthodox theologian of the Anglican Church over the last fifty years.  For those of our readers who comprise the informal gerontocracy within the Christian Church, the account of Packer's life reads like a trip down memory lane.  

He has been a wonderful servant of his Lord and Master, Jesus Christ.  Presently in his 91st year, Packer remains active and faithful.  For many years he has taught and ministered in Canada and the United States.  Always loyal to the original biblical construction of the Anglican Church, he was finally ejected by the Anglican Church of Canada because of his biblical stand against homosexuality.
In that action, the Anglican Church of Canada indirectly confirmed that it was an apostate denomination.  Ironically this has led to a purifying revival amongst many North American Anglicans, who have determined to "come out from among them, and touch not the unclean thing".  [II Corinthians 6:17]  Such are the "mysterious ways" of God to perform His wonders.
 And, as is always the case when state persecution is not involved against the faithful, the growth of true faith amongst the ejected, dissenting Anglicans of North America has been most encouraging.  For does not the Lord say to those who have come out from amongst the unclean, "I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty."  [II Corinthians 6: 18]

Packer wrote a succinct article in Christianity Today in which he laid down five points as to why the issue of homosexuality in the Church is a Rubicon issue.
1. Packer walked out [of the Anglican Church of Canada]  "because this decision [to defrock him]. . . falsifies the gospel of Christ, abandons the authority of Scripture, jeopardizes the salvation of fellow human beings, and betrays the church".

2. What does Paul say in I Corinthians 6: 9-11?  "Those who claim to be Christ's should avoid the practice of same-sex physical connection for orgasm."

3. Paul "is not speaking of inclinations, only of behaviour."

4. As always, Packer rejects the practice of homosexual advocates who "let experience judge the Bible."

5. "Homosexual inclinations are a spiritual disorder, one more sign and fruit of original sin in some people's moral system."  [Cited by Leland Ryken, J. I. Packer: An Evangelical Life (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway, 2015),  p. 409.]
We understand that around the world faithful Anglicans are quietly preparing for their inevitable ejection from that communion.  Packer has been instrumental, along with many others, in providing a biblical foundation for this development.  The signs point to the emergence of a new Anglican Church based upon the Scriptures, 39 Articles, and the Prayer Book.  It will likely be a reformed Anglican communion: no longer bearing the millstones of the head of the church being the king or queen of England, of government support, and a broad tolerance of heretical unbelief within its ranks.

A purified, reformed Anglican church would be a most welcome development.

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