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BreakPoint This Week: What Really Happened in Canterbury - The Anglican Church in Conflict

What in the world is going on with Anglicans? After a landmark meeting of Primates in England, ACNA Arbhishop Foley Beach explains why global Anglican leaders suspended the Episcopal Church.

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For years now, mainline Protestant denominations have been losing their Christian witness and succumbing to theology that affirms secular, rather than historically Christian values. It's a trend Presbyterian theologian J. Gresham Machen observed all the way back in the 1920s, when he contrasted it with orthodox faith in his book, "Christianity and Liberalism." Few denominations have slid more thoroughly into Machen's "liberalism" than the Episcopal Church, America's storied branch of the Anglican Communion. Most American presidents have hailed from this church, it operates the famous National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., and it's long served as the focal point of American liturgical Christianity. But the Episcopal Church now faces tough choices after Anglicans around the world voted last week to censure the denomination for its liberal and unbiblical theology. 

The Episcopal Church has ordained openly gay clergy and hallowed same-sex "marriages," making it clear that its leaders have parted ways with historic Christianity and with their counterparts in Africa and the global south. These churches, started generations ago by missionaries from the West, now outnumber their mother churches in Europe and the United States, and better reflect traditional Anglican beliefs, especially on sex and marriage. Their bishops hold a great deal of influence in the Anglican Communion, and just a few days ago they exercised it by suspending the Episcopal Church's voting rights for three years.

The Primates also issued a resounding reaffirmation of natural marriage and formally recognized the distance that exists between most Anglicans worldwide and the Episcopal Church.

We welcome Archbishop Foley Beach of the Anglican Church in North America to explain why this move matters, and why Christians everywhere should join traditional Anglicans in calling the Episcopal Church and other liberal denominations to repentance and renewed communion with the body of Christ.


"BreakPoint This Week" is hosted by John Stonestreet, President of the Colson Center, and Ed Stetzer, Executive Director of Lifeway Research.

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Explore this week's broadcast:

Anglican Church Disciplines U.S. Episcopals Over Gay Marriage
Lau5rie Goodstein and Kimiko De Freytas-Tamura | The New York Times | January 14, 2016

News from Primates 2016
Primates 2016 | January 14, 2016

A Letter from Archbishop Beach on the Upcoming Primates Gathering

Primates 2016: Interview with Archbishop Foley Beach at Canterbury

Bishop Foley Beach
Holy Cross Cathedral

Christianity and Liberalism
J. Gresham Machen | The Colson Center Online Store


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