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Tuesday, 15 May 2012

How did we get here?

The General Synod of the Church of Ireland has passed a motion upholding marriage as a union between one man and one woman but for upholding tradition, the Church of Ireland Synod [is] blasted for 'homophobia'.

How did we get ourselves into the ridiculous position that those upholding tradition are pilloried as extremists? What was previously considered normal is now considered outrageous. In another example, Cranmer is being persecuted by the Advertising Standards Authority following "a number of complaints about an advertisement carried on behalf of the Coalition for Marriage". Same sex marriage is the latest trend in a movement, often in search of votes, that has brought the church to its knees, not to pray but by pressing fashionable minority, secular values on the church with no regard for tradition and scripture. In research carried out for the Coalition for Marriage, the majority of the 150 MPs who have declared themselves support equal marriage, a decision also taken by President Obama, perhaps sensing some electoral advantage in the decision. 

While there is no excuse for unchristian religious extremism, the homosexual campaign for so called equality is in danger of turning away supporters of equal rights. Same sex couples deservedly have equal rights through civil partnerships but it is not homophobic to reject the notion of same sex marriage. Equality does not mean sameness especially when it dilutes the faith of the church. Unsurprisingly the champion of minorities (other than those who keep the faith), the Archbishop of Wales has already expressed his support for same sex marriage along with so called senior bishops of the Church in England. In a recent hard hitting article for Virtueonline the question was posed: What future for the Church of England: Is it too late to save her?  The Church of England is now a very short step from following precisely the same agenda as The Episcopal Church. Here a few paragraphs to give the flavour of the article:

 "The tragic facts are these: in order to maintain the illusion of a universal Church of England, inseparable from the state and its people, the Church's leaders have spent more than 150 years in trimming Christian doctrine so as not to "offend" anyone. Or to be "inclusive". Or to make the scriptures and Christian doctrine conform to the prevailing scientific fad of the day. Or, perhaps worst of all, in the truly misguided belief that by watering down the gospel they might be more successful in persuading unbelievers to come to Christ. They have compromised, with relative impunity, down the years, writing from the security of senior positions within the Church's establishment and protected by the national courts from any complaints which have come from concerned church members - but rarely, if ever, from the bishops who are supposed to be the guardians of Christian teaching. ... The Church of England has no effective mechanisms, either for guaranteeing orthodoxy of public teaching by its leaders, or for dealing with those who lead the way in subverting its witness to the gospel. Many of the leading revisionists have actually commenced their careers as teachers at the Church's seminaries. The outcome for the Church is constant drift in the direction of unbelief. Every novelty which is proposed has to be met halfway, with a compromise. The direction of movement each time is a step away from a recognisable faith in the gospel as the Church has received it, and the further alienation and exclusion of those within the Church who seek simply to be faithful to that gospel.

The catastrophic abandonment by the Church of England's bishops of their intrinsic role as guardians of Christian teaching concerning the Scriptures and the Creeds has been accompanied by a progressive relinquishment of their teaching authority in favour of voting on doctrinal and moral issues by the Church Assembly and latterly by the General Synod, whose members are not required to possess any qualification for judging such matters and who increasingly take their lead from media and politicians who want to see the Church redesigned in their own image. If it is possible for leading Anglicans to declare that there is no Hell, that there was no Incarnation and no Resurrection, and that there is no need for repentance and conversion in the universalist institution which the Church of England has become, then any appeal to the Scriptures for guidance as to God's will, or definition of morality, is met with blank looks and bafflement by many lay and clerical leaders for whom such an intellectual and spiritual universe is largely unknown." 

So what hope is there for the Church of England? It was not encouraging to read that the Apostle of Faith by Fad has been elected to serve on the Crown Nominations Commission, the body that will nominate the next Archbishop of Canterbury, an honour he will no doubt regard as an endorsement of his secular creed. 

The writing is on the wall.

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