Anglican bishops apparently think the answer to Pilate’s knotty question goes something along the lines, ‘Truth is a multi-faceted interpretation of reality that evolves and changes over time according to cultural revision.’ Whether their belief is that God changes, or that transformation stems from our own advancing perception, is a moot point – as perhaps is whether some of them actually believe in God or not. But the end result is the same. The majority appear to have become moral and doctrinal relativists, with Scripture no longer regarded as revelation of the immutable Word of God, but rather a Self-affirming ‘manual’, dependent for interpretation on ideologically driven, and necessarily transient, cultural identity.
God made everything and everyone the way they are, the thinking appears to go, so everything is good, and let no man condemn the ‘truth’ of another.
Such an approach is misconceived, replacing worship of God with worship of Self. Notwithstanding, in pursuit of their quest to drag Christianity into this utopian world of neverland – where mankind has in theory come of age and anything goes – the bishops are this week set to debate prayers and services of blessing for same sex couples, currently denied full marriage in church. This, they argue, will preserve the unity of the Church, by on the one hand upholding traditional teaching on marriage, and on the other extending love and affirmation to those who, over the centuries, have suffered cruel persecution simply for being ‘who they are’.
It is clearly right that as a Church we repent any failure to love and care for those who come seeking help. We are all sinners, and Christ loves all equally – it was precisely to save sinners that He came. But the bishops would do well to remember that, while we are told to love sinners, we are commanded at the same time to reject sin, and that the Bible unequivocally prohibits all sexual relations outside marriage. It also clearly labels as sin, without exception, adultery, fornication, homosexuality, incest and bestiality. But perhaps most worrying of all, it tells us that if we persist in sin and refuse to repent, we shall be excluded from God’s Kingdom. As summed up by Paul in his letter to the Galatians, ‘I warn you again, as I warned you before, those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom …’ (2:21).
Of course, this doesn’t mean that God ‘hates’ sinners. Let us repeat, God loves us so much that He sent His own Son into the world to set us free. But the perhaps uncomfortable truth is that goodness and evil cannot co-exist. It’s simply impossible, and in this life we have to choose one side or the other. When we choose to follow Christ, we don’t overnight become perfect, of course – and there will unquestionably be times when we fall again into sin. But as we repent, the Holy Spirit comes alongside us, to strengthen and help … to ready us for heaven.
When we willingly persist in sin, we cut ourselves off from that help and from chance of restoration. From being whole. Effectively, we write our own judgement. Which is why the bishops’ attempt to reconfigure what constitutes sin is so reprehensible, because, in the light of eternity, it denies help to those caught in sin. Thereby, the Church fails in its duty of care.
To say you will uphold the traditional teaching of the Bible on marriage as union between one man and one woman for life, and then offer services of prayer and blessing for same sex couples, is hypocrisy. However dressed up, such a stance is formal reclassification of same-sex relationships as approved by God, and of equal standing with heterosexual union between one man and one woman. It is not demonstration of God’s love, but a bowing to pressure on the part of those who would change the fundamental tenets of Christianity into a revived form of paganism, that has at its heart sexual licence and Self.
Similarly, and whatever campaigners may claim, the drive to use gender-neutral terms when referring to God and to develop in general ‘more inclusive language’, is not at heart designed to enrich the Christian faith, but is rather a weapon wielded by the liberal elite in their battle to destroy patriarchy and the religious underpinnings of Western culture (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/feb/07/church-of-england-to-consider-use-of-gender-neutral-terms-for-god). If adopted, such a move can only further and fatally weaken the Church, called by God to guard the truth and care for believers.
VfJUK urges the bishops genuinely to uphold Christian doctrine and exercise, before it’s too late, proper pastoral oversight of those, committed by God, to their care. Let the Church once again become the Church of God, and not merely a lapdog Church of England, compromised by woke aspirations to overturn the values and beliefs that have given strength and stability to our society for well over a thousand years.
Should, however, they persist in such stubborn and perfidious betrayal of the faith, it is surely time for believers to have the courage robustly to defend Biblical truth, and to distance themselves from so-called ‘liberalising’ attempts to undermine and reconfigure Christian belief.