Creeping changes in the church represented as small steps at the time have left us mired in controversy. Tolerance has been repaid with vindictiveness in the process of allowing deaconess to become deacon, deacon to be ordained priest and now, priest to bishop. This process has been mirrored in society. Tolerance of minorities in the interests of so-called equal rights has become a hammer to bludgeon anyone who dares to speak their mind. The bishops are reaping what they have sown in their objections to the abhorrent proposal to redefine marriage. They are correct in their objection but they have lost their moral authority. Even if the Government had a mandate, which it does not, it would be contrary to natural law which binds a man and a woman together in the act of procreation without which neither same sex nor complementary sex couples would exist.
The problems we are experiencing in society first manifested themselves when we turned away from the teaching of the universal church. Consequently we have lost not only the moral authority but the sympathy of those who identify themselves as Anglican for census purposes but who, in the main, have lost any sense of its meaning. This could not be more stark than in The Episcopal Church of the United States (TEC) where the Presiding Bishop is disregarding Canon Law as she punishes bishops and priests for remaining true to the Gospel. The American Anglican Council (AAC) reported 'illegal acts' to the Church of England in February 2010 after the Holy Orders of 152 priests and deacons and 9 bishops had been renounced by TEC but to no avail. The ACC is now appealing to leaders of the Anglican Communion for help but the Church of England is impotent because she is heading in the same direction as TEC.
The House of Bishops meets next week. They MUST apply the brake and take stock of what is happening in the Anglican church and in the society they strive to emulate rather than set an example. They cannot face both ways being liberal on the one hand and conservative on the other. They must face the truth.