“Brothers and sisters, Luther’s protest is over. Is yours?” Tony Palmer
News broke today that Tony Palmer, a [questionable] “Anglican Episcopal Bishop” in the Communion of the CEEC, has passed away from a motorcycle accident in the UK. Bishop Palmer gained infamy this past February when he was featured at a conference with good friend, ministry partner, shenanigans-enabler and arch-Heretic Kenneth Copeland. Bishop Palmer also counted Pope Francis as a close friends and leveraged that friendship to get the Pope to give a message at this conference via circumstances and technology. In this way the three of them had gathered to put into play spurious and mischievous intent. Their ecumenical purposes were to suggest that the Protestant Churches give up their divisive ways and to be joined in unity with the Roman Catholic Church. In short order, Bishop Palmer declared that the Protestant reformation was over, and that it was time for all the denominations, led by Kenneth Copeland and his merry band of Charismatics to assimilate back into a visible united [Roman] Catholic Church and “come home”
It was not difficult to see where Tony’s true loyalties were. While he was positioned as an Anglican is a particular schism, he seemed to have been a Roman Catholic in all but name only. He said in a sermon in 2007:
Because of our close relationship with the Charismatic Catholic Church, my wife has returned to her Catholic faith and even our Children desire to be Catholic. I am the only one in my own family that is not Catholic. This is something I have to suffer for the sake of my Mission. As an Anglican I represent a bridge between the Protestant and Catholic worlds, becoming a Catholic myself would mean losing my ability to be a bridge, therefore I suffer being outside the ‘Mother Church’ for the sake of the Kingdom of God. God knows how I suffer internally when I am unable to partake of the Communion that I feel so part of. I am reminded of the Samaritan Women who asked Jesus healing, He told her that He had not come for the Dogs but for the Jews… And she answered…’but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the table’… I have become worst (sic) than a dog for the sake of God’s calling, remember us when you eat?
At the time of the conference, some people had made claims that this was the start of the one world religion,or at least a big step forward. Certainly It was and remains a historic event for how it came together, how the communication happened, and which personalities were involved, but to be frank it’s difficult for me to regard it as a precursor for one world religion. I tend not to put much stock in people who speculate about the formation of one world religion, and generally consider that an exercise in distraction and a profitless endeavor to pursue.
But now the man is dead and question are arising over what this means for the renewal movement; what does it mean for the ecumenical inroads that had begun to be driven by certain pastors and congregations, and what should our response be to this man’s death.
While not one to speculate or engage in conspiratorial thinking, I can see many avenues whereby his death would serve to rally certain susceptible denominations/ groups of people on a small-scale. If not in outright assimilation then at the very least in working closer, and any time any group drifts towards Rome theologically I consider that a bad thing. Palmer had put forth some effort with his “the protest is over” speech, and I can see parts of that continuing after his death, and his death itself being a catalyst to gel certain factions together. It wouldn’t surprise me to see something like “To honor Tony’s memory and spirit, as a sign of solidarity to achieve his life-long dream, we will unite ourselves with…”
As for the man himself- like any enemy of the faith that breathes their last, we ought to be both saddened and heartened by this news. Saddened because a man is dead and his wife and children are grieving. It’s a surreal, painful time when anyone passes away, especially in such brute circumstances, and we ought to empathize with those in mourning. The Lord takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, and neither should we. We can only pray that he repented of his sins before he perished and repudiated Rome and her false gospel.
Heartened? Because a man who was peddling theological and spiritual poison is no longer a direct threat to the Christian Church, though even in death the ramification of those meetings will invariably ripple across Christendom. Tony’s legacy is that he sought to enslave us Children of the Reformation by joining us to the damnable heresies of Rome. He partnered with and promoted Kenneth Copeland, a man whose spiritual misdeeds and heresies are legendary in their scope and in their depravity, and sought to have us look to him as a paragon of unity and Christian virtue.
And last he tried to minimize the dividing lines drawn by the Reformers. He tried to get us to stop protesting and lay down our bloody insistence that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ’s work alone, confirmed by scripture alone, to the glory of God alone. He wanted to marry us to a decrepit, whorish, Romanist bride who wears the six sessions of the Council of Trent on her tattered dress with pride and defiance. In that respect it was *good* that he is no longer with us because his death has served to minimize the damage he caused in life.
[Contributed by Dustin Germain]
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