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Friday, 25 January 2013

Why is obedience to Christ's example anathema to new Anglicanism?

I maintain a link to 'Thinking Anglicans' but tend not to visit their site very often, largely out of despair of the comments of those determined to rid the Anglican church of anyone who does not accept the latest fad or fashion, even if that person sincerely believes that he or she follows the example of Christ. On 22 January, 'Thinking Anglicans' included a Press Release under the heading 'Diocese of Blackburn clergy write to the Archbishop of York':  Over fifty clergy from the Diocese of Blackburn have written to the Archbishop of York, urging him to ensure that the next Bishop of Blackburn will be prepared to ordain women as priests, and fully affirm their ministry. Apart from the blatant discrimination against priests holding views which liberals regard as unacceptable, there is no sense of holiness or that the most suitable man should be appointed, just the advancement of the ordination of women in the Church of England to the exclusion of all else.

This new 'liberal' church is no longer the broad church of old but an exclusive club for like-minded people based not on scripture but on conjecture in deference to political correctness and a complete misunderstanding of what constitutes equality. In their drive to exclude anyone who does not support the ordination of women, either they ignore or are ignorant of existing legislation which stipulates that "there will be no discrimination against candidates either for ordination or for appointment to senior office in the Church of England on the grounds of their views about the ordination of women to the priesthood"

Ignorant or not, some of those commenting under the 'Thinking Anglicans' entry feel free to brand as 'bigots' fellow Anglicans who adhere to the historic catholic faith along with the vast majority of Christians who look to Christ's example rather than to conjecture based on what is not said in the Bible. There are many biblical accounts of people questioning Jesus but there is no record of the women He favoured asking why He had no regard for parity of the sexes when calling His Apostles or what He thought about gender-neutral marriage. Hence the free rein taken by Anglican revisionists.

It is conjecture based on silence in scripture that enables the House of Bishops to issue statements which could have been written by WATCH as in this example: The House expressed its gratitude and appreciation for the ministry of ordained women in the Church of England, and its sadness that recent events [the consequences of the 20 November General Synod vote on the draft Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure] had left so many feeling undermined and undervalued. Anyone who feels "undermined and undervalued" should ask themselves how they find themselves in this situation. It is because of the determination of many holding the 'majority' view that others should accept what little they are offered or get out. But there are still Anglicans in favour of the ordination of women who are not prepared to see other loyal Anglicans treated in such a shabby manner. Consequently the selfish failed to triumph over the selfless who demand no more than their right of freedom to worship according to conscience, unencumbered by restrictions allegedly designed to avoid a two-tier church, a position easily avoided if there is a will to do so .

Yesterday I listened to a conversation between Peter Ould and Steve Chalke about their different approaches to same-sex relationships. It is a typical example of the divisions created in Anglicanism between those who conjecture on the basis that the Bible has nothing specific to say about current trends and those who take a traditional approach to the message of scripture. The conversation was prefaced with the new commandment: 'Jesus said to His followers, if you have love for one another, everyone will know that you are my disciples' and quoted Jesus as He prayed for all believers. The question for discussion was, How can we be a Jesus shaped church while disagreeing on this question?

I did not recognise the 'unwelcoming' church which Chalke described, a church which had to make up its own rules because long term same-sex relationships are not mentioned in the New Testament, the same attitude that can be traced back to the ordination of women and and the 'anything goes' culture in the US which is being imported into the Church of England. This conversation takes us to the heart of the problem with new Anglicanism which takes its cue from society, making the rules as they go along because, as they see it, the Bible is silent on a specific issue instead of taking the message of the New Testament as a whole. Consequently they condemn those who strive to bear witness to Christ's example by taking passages of scripture out of context to reinforce a point or claim that the teaching is irrelevant today because Christ was a man of his time. If that were so, miracles would be mere conjuring tricks and the Resurrection a fabrication. That is not the basis of the Christian faith.

1 comment:

  1. 'Bigots'? We've heard worse. From the pulpit of one Welsh Cathedral a former Scottish bishop described those who opposed the ordination of women as 'stupid buggers and sods'. Of course, we all realise what 'buggery' stands for don't we?

    Hell hath no fury like a liberal episcopal scorn.