In "Transgender Pastors Coming to a Church Near You," Rev. Austin Miles writes that on behalf of exhibiting, "...inclusion and growth in understanding and appreciation of the diversity of God's beloved human family," the Episcopal Church just voted to allow transgender ministers to occupy their pulpits, shattering all sacred traditions while trading the Silver Chalice for a pink one." (WorthReading)
By replacing God's Revealed Word and Moral Law with the traditions, ideologies, rationalism, scientism, evolutionary cosmogonies,lies, desires, and relentless appetites of men, the Episcopal Church emphasizes the fact that we are living in a post-Christian culture of humanism wherein fallen men claim to speak for God.
Pope Pius X saw this coming back in 1907. With alarm he saw that what he called humanistic "modern thinking" was taking hold of the contemporary mind, and in that way taking possession of Western civilization, including Catholic laity and priests. In 1907 the Pope declared Modernism and its' main doctrine evolutionism, a heresy in the encyclical called 'Pascendi Dominici Gregis." ("The Heresy of Modernism...seriously," Churchmouse Campanologist, May 26, 2009)
Prior to the turn of the century, Modernism had come to America, and as it took hold of the contemporary mind, America began its' long slide away from the living God. By the time of America's counter-cultural upheaval of the 60's, Francis Schaeffer clearly foresaw the looming spiritual and moral death of America.
In his book, Death in the City," Schaeffer argues that the post-Christian West and America are in worse shape than the ancient Jews in the days of Jeremiah. Though the Jews turned to false gods at least they still thought something was there. But our foolish "evolution and scientism infatuated" generation,
"....lives in a universe which is purely material, everything being reduced to mass, energy, and motion." (p. 43)
Thus while Jews left the living Holy God for false gods, our own generation left God for nobody at all. For our generation there is nothing, neither heaven above nor hell below; above us there is only the empty sky of John Lennon's "Imagine." Hence for the majority of secular Americans and apostate Christians, there is nothing but an ultimately meaningless life spent in a spiritually impoverished wholly secular, morally relative, empirical, scientific world.
The practical result of spiritual impoverishment is a void in which men vainly seek for meaning and purpose "here below." Always seeking but never finding because there is only one God and Creator of all men. But in that all men have rebelled against Him, God Himself has become Redeemer and Savior, dying for the sins of all men and rising again. Thus there is no other Savior than God Himself the Lord Jesus Christ:
"I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6) "He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life" (1 John 5:12). "If ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins" (John 8:24). "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." (Acts 4:12) "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God" (John 3:18).
When the Holy God and higher things disappear, only the despair of apostasy, meaninglessness, the pleasure principle, hectic diversions, personal power, and toys remain. And all of this is vanity, for it ends only in death. There is always a grinning skull behind everything we do, including America's increasing smorgasboard of Christian-in-name-only religions ranging from the apostate Episcopal Church to the Emergent Church, New Apostolic Reformation, Evolutionary Christianity, and extremely popular prosperity gospels, to name but a few.
Jeremiah analyzes the various ways in which his culture was abandoning the living God. He focuses on the general apostasy of the church, the vanity or 'grinning skull' behind the Jews 'in-name-only religions,' specific sins and the futility of searching for meaning and security apart from the true God, that is, 'here below.'
He points out that though there is no shortage of 'in-name-only religion,' all of it is ultimately futile as it is not acceptable to God Who said, "To what purpose cometh there to me incense from Sheba...What good is your religion to Me?"
The same point is made in Jeremiah 7:4: "Trust not in lying words, saying, The temple of the Lord, the Temple of the Lord" and again in 7:10, "(you) come and stand before me in this house, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations." That is, since we are sovereign and morally autonomous, now we can do anything we wish. We can live the self-glorifying, power-seeking, hedonistic life while teaching and upholding the hypocritical pseudo-moralism of men.
Through Jeremiah, the living God speaks expressly against apostasy, the hallmark of the Western and American church over and across the entire denominational spectrum.
However, though God speaks expressly against apostasy, since the thirties the church has ceased to use the word notes Schaeffer, and adds that this,
"shows that the church...has been infiltrated by... relativism (and) the concept of synthesis..." (p. 53)
In affirmation of Schaeffer's warning, Dr. Peter Jones, author of "Spirit Wars: Pagan Revival in Christian America" connects humanist Christian Liberalism to ancient devilish Gnosticism, saying they are kindred-spirits. He points to Liberalism as the carrier of an occult spiritual virus into the Body of the Church where it acts to divide Christians against each other.
In her Washington Times article, "Beware: Hell Exists, There's No Christianity without Sin, Death, and the Resurrection," Janice Crouse addresses America's growing apostasy, noting that the Evangelical Church has become divided against itself. Citing "Evangelicals Divided," in the April edition of First Things, she writes:
"First Things warns, 'If evangelical theology...does not exercise the kind of intellectual humility required by Traditionalism, it will not survive...it will risk disintegrating into ever more subjectivist and individualistic sects, many of them neither evangelical nor orthodox."
Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary addresses this crisis in his book, "The Disappearance of God." There is a growing chasm, notes Mohler. On one side are the traditionalists---all who remain faithful to the living, Holy God and His Revealed Word--- and on the other, the self-autonomous contemporary church, which defines itself over and against Traditionalism, or authentic Christianity.
Authentic Christianity is very narrowly defined. Dr. Mohler writes that all Christians across the entire denominational range, from Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic to mainline Protestant, Anglican and Evangelical--- who hold fast to the fundamental doctrines are Authentic Christians while all who do not are not by definition Christian. Fundamental doctrines are:
"The Trinity (including full deity and humanity of Jesus Christ); the authenticity of Scripture (the Revealed Word of God); the Incarnation (death, burial, resurrection); justification by faith; sin (humanities willful revolt against God the Father); the traditional doctrine of Hell, and the absolute sovereignty of God the Father." (Psalm 1)
Schaeffer writes that Jeremiah, the weeping prophet, is the prophet for our own age. Jeremiah's message of forthcoming Judgment (1:14, 5:15) was not an easy one. It was not well-received by a church and culture in revolt. Because men do not want to hear unpleasant, disturbing messages they persecute, shun, and crucify the bearers of them.
But Jeremiah cries over his people and prays for God's mercy, and his attitude, his courage, and perseverance in the face of persecution must be ours, said Schaeffer:
"When we see men ignore or pervert the truth of God, we must say clearly---not in hate or anger---'You are wrong."
Schaeffer makes clear that when the church does not speak against the prevailing apostasy, lying and other sins in our post-Christian society it does not follow God's example through Jeremiah, whose message included "in-name-only-religions," apostasy, hypocrisy, sexual sins and lying:
"Their tongue is like an arrow shot out; it speaks deceit." (Jer. 9:8)
In an age such as ours, a church that says there really is eternally unchanging Truth and Moral Law and says the living God really is there, and lives by its' stated beliefs, is a church that demonstates that it really believes He is there.