Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Saddest Statement Ever Made About a Church

The Anglican Church of Canada chose to allow itself to be taken over by secular liberalism and radical feminism during the past 50 years or so and now it is dying. Here is a story on how merging dioceses is the new money-saving trend to delay closing the doors for a few more years.

Aging congregations and falling attendance may force the mergers of the dioceses of Montreal and Quebec, the Montreal Anglican reports. The diocesan newspaper said the bishops, clergy and lay leaders of the two dioceses were considering proposals that would begin a “process of discernment toward a fuller partnership as diocesan institutional churches.”

In November 2009 Bishop Barry Clarke of Montreal, Bishop Dennis Drainville of Quebec, Archdeacon Janet Griffith Johnson of Montreal, and Archdeacon Garth Bulmer of Quebec met to craft a two year “discernment process.” An agreement between the two dioceses dated Dec 17 proposed a joint committee to look into “opportunities and obstacles to partnership” between the two dioceses.

Last year Bishop Drainville told the Canadian House of Bishops his diocese was “teetering on the verge of extinction.” Of the diocese’s 82 congregations, 50 were childless and 35 congregations had an average age of 75. These graying congregations often had no more than 10 people in church on Sundays, he said. “The critical mass isn’t there, there’s no money anymore,” he said.

Between 1961 and 2001 the Anglican Church of Canada lost 53 per cent of its members, with numbers declining from 1.36 million to 642,000. The rate of decline has increased in recent years, according to an independent report given to the Canadian House of Bishops in 2006 by retired marketing expert Keith McKerracher. The church has not released detailed statistics on attendance and membership for the last ten years.

After the report’s release, McKerracher said, “My point to the bishops was: Hey listen, guys, we’re declining much faster than any other church. We’re losing 12,836 Anglicans a year. That’s 2 percent a year. If you draw a line on the graph, there’ll only be one person left in the Canadian Anglican church by 2061.”

This whole story is sad; God's judgment falls on liberalism, secularism and the embrace of immorality. But possibly the saddest sentence in the whole article is: "Of the diocese’s 82 congregations, 50 were childless and 35 congregations had an average age of 75."

Childless? My mind goes to Abraham and Sarah and to Hannah and to the immense sadness of infertile couples down through the ages. In the OT, the child symbolized the continuation of life, hope for the future and ultimately God's Messianic promise of redemption. For a Church to be childless seems like a horrible curse - a writing of "Ichabod" over the door of that house. The Ark of the LORD has been taken into captivity by the Philistines and the Glory has departed.

Now we must watch to see what the Lord will raise up to be a witness to Himself in the place of the dying, heretical, apostate Anglican Church of Canada.

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