Thursday, August 24, 2017

C of E bends in the wind. . .

Did you hear?
In July, 2017, the General Synod of the Church of England officially passed a motion welcoming and affirming transgender people to the church. A bishop went on record declaring that being LGBT is "not a sin."  "That this Synod, recognizing the need for transgender people to be welcomed and affirmed in their parish church, call on the House of Bishops to consider whether some nationally commended liturgical materials might be prepared to mark a person's gender transition," the motion that passed on Sunday reads.

According to the official CofE website, the vote was 30 for the motion and two opposed in the House of Bishops with 127 who backing the motion and 28 against it in the House of Clergy and with 127 for and 48 against in the House of Laity.

The Rev. Christopher Newlands of the Blackburn Diocesan Synod said at the beginning of the assembly: "I hope that we can make a powerful statement to say that we believe that trans people are cherished and loved by God, who created them, and is present through all the twists and turns of their lives."
Archbishop Justin Welby desired to retain marriage as defined by one man and one woman but this has now become private opinion in the face of an official vote by the Church of England.  The C of E joins the Scots, who were first, but appears to have sealed the great divide between Anglicans in Africa and the mother church in England.  Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, the Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria and Chairman of the GAFCON Primates Council, wrote after The Scottish Episcopal Church's decided to change its laws on marriage -- we can only assume that a current statement will echo the same opinion now that the Church of England has followed suit:
 "This attempt to redefine marriage is not a secondary issue about which we can agree to disagree and continue to walk together. It means that Jesus was mistaken when he taught that marriage was between a man and a woman and that sex outside of such a marriage is a sin.  "It is a radical rejection of the authority of Scripture. The Church claims that it can consecrate behavior that God's Word clearly teaches to be sinful. According to the Bible, this behavior, without repentance, separates those who practice it from his kingdom."
Although the Bishop of Liverpool, the Right Reverend Paul Bayes, declared: "As the world listens to us, the world needs to hear us say that LGBT orientation and identity is not a crime," it is more likely just the opposite -- the C of E is listening to the world and has closeted the voice of Scripture to join in the chorus of assent that began with the media and was joined by culture.  How far are Europeans willing to go to bow toward the altar of political correctness and give up the Biblical witness?  We can only wait to find out!  In case the Queen finds it uncomfortable to be head of a church that follows the prevailing wind, I guess she could become Roman Catholic or Lutheran.  What say you, Elizabeth?


Anonymous said...

Blessing an adulterer with a divorce decree was enough for a king to break from Rome and found the Anglican church. Why stop there? They could bless other sins such as homosexuality. Doesn't the decision to allow such sin reveal fatal flaws within core Anglican doctrine.

We can only hope that the Anglicans in Africa will abandon Anglicanism in disgust and seek out confessional Lutheranism, as their brothers in South Sudan recently have done.

Anonymous said...

The CoE is apostate, but that is really no surprise. It has been in progress for a long time.

Anonymous (above) repeats the common confusion that Anglicanism is "founded" by Henry VIII over his divorce issue. While Henry's divorce was the final straw, it was but one of many issues that caused tension between the UK and Rome in the 16th century. In any case, Henry did not "found" the CoE; it first appeared in the 1st century, and only later came under Rome around 640 AD. What can come under Rome can also come out from under Rome, and that is what happened. Anglicanism, that is, true Anglicanism, is the ancient catholic faith of the British Isles.

True Anglicans everywhere (which now seems to exclude the CoE) have no need for Luther and Lutheranism. We are orthodox catholics, following Jesus in the ancient faith. This is true in Africa, and true in America with the Continuing Anglican movement.

Fr. D+
Continuing Anglican Priest

tubbs said...

Yes, good Christians should worry about the cure of souls in the UK, even if those souls only amount to that minuscule number attending a CoE on the sabbath.
I fret about those beautiful country churches, still beautiful in spite of Genevan iconoclasm. I hope they are never leveled.

Anonymous said...

Tubbs, I wouldn't worry much about the church buildings; they are historical, and concrete, part of England's heritage. The government will likely keep them up. It's the spirituality of the CoE that is crumbling. I am concerned as you are about the true Church in Great Britain (and the rest of Europe). We likely should pray for them as they are under great pressure to conform to apostasy. Pray for ourselves in America, where we have pretty much nothing but that Genevan iconoclasm in our church buildings, and fundagelicalism filling them. If American Christianity succumbs to the same pressures, there won't even be church buildings (country or city) to stand as witness to Christianity's past.

John Joseph Flanagan said...

I suppose we might also look at it from another angle: Scripture suggests that the Lord prunes the branches of His earthly church on a regular basis. Purging is a painful process. It is not caused by God, but it is a condition in which churches depart from God's word, ignoring God's commands and warnings, making a mockery of His grace, willfully disregarding the redeeming work of Christ on the cross. Then, as recorded in the OT, the Lord sends His prophets to wake up the congregations. And what happens? The prophets are slain, in reality or in less violent form...rebuked and scorned. The result is that only a remnant of believers exist at any one time in history. Much of the church consists of professing Christians but essentially unbelieving ones. The word of God does not effect them or guide them. Some wrongly assume that water Baptism was enough religion to perhaps keep them from eternal damnation. As we look at the decline of Christianity in Europe, and the U.K., and in America, we see an increase in believers in unexpected places, in China, in communist as well as in Muslim countries....areas where persecution is intense. Why? Simply because the church is being pruned, the branches trimmed, dead leaves cut away. So as you see churches accepting homosexuality and redefining sin, ignoring Holy Writ, behaving badly...just remember that the true believers within these bodies will leave. They will find more faithful denominations, or gather in small groups. However, the earthly church of Our Lord, tarnished, wounded, scarred, will continue on until the time He returns.