Author Topic: Quarter of English Clergy Deny The Virgin Birth  (Read 2508 times)

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Offline Orthodoc

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Quarter of English Clergy Deny The Virgin Birth
« on: December 28, 2002, 05:59:54 PM »
Note:  I find this quite distrubing!  Makes me wonder why so many Protestant and Roman Catholic's are so interested in Evangelizing Russia instead or RE Evangelizing their own.

Orthodoc

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2002.12.22 Telegraph:

Quarter of clergy do not believe in the Virgin Birth

By Chris Hastings and Fiona Govan
(Filed: 22/12/2002)

More than a quarter of Church of England clergy do not believe in the
virgin birth of Christ, according to a survey carried out by The Telegraph.

A poll of 500 clerics found that 27 per cent privately reject the
traditional story of Jesus's birth, which forms a vital part of the Nativity.

The view of a Hampshire vicar was typical. "There was nothing special about
his birth or childhood - it was his adult life that was extraordinary," he
said.

He declined to be named, saying: "I have a very traditional bishop and this
is one of those topics I do not go public on. I need to keep the job I have
got."

The survey will dismay traditionalists inside and outside the Church of
England.

Many of the sceptics who took part in the survey, one of the biggest ever
conducted by a newspaper, said that the story of the virgin birth was a
product of poor biblical translations and literary tradition rather than
divine intervention.

The Rev Dr Keith Archer, who is based in Salford, said: "It is not
particularly important because it is a debatable translation of a Hebrew
prophecy which first appeared in Isaiah."

Another vicar added: "Writers at the time used to stress a person's
importance by making up stories about their early life. I think that is
exactly what has happened here."

Most of those who cast doubt on the virgin birth admitted that they would
be presiding over traditional Christmas services which stressed the
miraculous nature of Christ's birth.

Dr Archer said: "We will be having a traditional service because that is
what people expect and enjoy. There are times and places for this debate."

A colleague added: "I do not believe in the virgin birth but I would not
argue for that point of view in a sermon because I simply don't believe it
is that important an issue."

The Gospel according to St Luke recounts how Mary was visited by the Angel
Gabriel and told she would give birth to the son of God.

When Mary questioned how this could be because she had no husband, she was
told: "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, the power of the Most High will
overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the son
of God."

Traditionalists seized upon the survey's findings as evidence of a Church
in decline.
John Roberts, an evangelical preacher who heads The Lord's Day Observance
Society, said: "If you take away the virgin birth you might as well take
away the entire Christian message. The miracle of the Christian faith is
that God came down to us. If you lose that miracle you lose the
resurrection and everything else."

« Last Edit: December 28, 2002, 06:58:14 PM by Orthodoc »
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Offline sinjinsmythe

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Re:Quarter of English Clergy Deny The Virgin Birth
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2002, 07:07:28 PM »
This is horrible news.  I hope that Orthodoxy does not follow this path especially in the Ecumenical movement.
Life is just one disappointment after another.

Offline Dan Lauffer

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Re:Quarter of English Clergy Deny The Virgin Birth
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2002, 10:15:12 AM »
Friends,

This is one of those issues among the Anglicans that makes me wish that another set of Wesley brothers would rise up in England...Then again the Methodists today aren't any better than these Anglicans you site.  My last official act as a United Methodis pastor was to file formal heresy charges against my bishop for in part teaching what 27% of Anglican clergy privately believe.

BTW the percentage is probably much higher, but who could ever get the clergy to admit it.

Dan Lauffer

Offline Mexican

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Re:Quarter of English Clergy Deny The Virgin Birth
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2003, 04:27:21 AM »
Well, Im not surprised. The Anglican Church, specially now, is a circus of indifferentism. I wouldn't pay so much atention to them. Unfortunately the Orthodox Churches, specially in the USA still have a very pink image of the Anglican Church and are often engaged in dialogues with Anglican clergy.   ???
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Offline Ebor

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Re:Quarter of English Clergy Deny The Virgin Birth
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2003, 11:38:31 PM »
Well, Im not surprised. The Anglican Church, specially now, is a circus of indifferentism. I wouldn't pay so much atention to them. Unfortunately the Orthodox Churches, specially in the USA still have a very pink image of the Anglican Church and are often engaged in dialogues with Anglican clergy.   ???

How so is it "unfortunate"? Do you know many Anglicans who are indifferent?

One could turn the numbers around to say that three quarters of English Clergy believe/do *not* deny the Virgin Birth.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2003, 11:40:23 PM by Ebor »
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