Letter to the Editor
I’m grateful to Prudence Dailey [EC8094] for her comments concerning an Evangelical who was on Synod for 30 years presenting the Biblical position on sexuality, but has now left through frustration at achieving nothing – a great success for Evangelicals and Biblical authority then?!
There are two fundamental and irreversible elements which make it quite certain the Evangelical voice will never have any significant or determinative effect in Synod.
First, Synod is now firmly conformed to the secular culture of our day and changes with the culture. It is both blind and deaf to the truth – they don’t want to know. The 30 years indicator only confirms the direction in which Synod has been travelling for more than these 3 decades. This will only change further for the worse.
Second, Evangelicalism has also changed and is now firmly wedded to compromise, particularly in accepting a watered down understanding of Biblical authority. Coupled with this, the offensive nature of the Cross, the heart of the Gospel, is seen as an increasing embarrassment. Together these elements are anathema to any return of the C of E to her fundamental position established at the Reformation and expressed in the 39 Articles or Evangelicals to have power to change the direction of Synod on fundamental matters. One needs only to read Lloyd-Jones booklet, What is an Evangelical? to see how far from her moorings Evangelicalism has drifted. To all appearances the Evangelical drift is more likened to a determined sailing away. Relevance and toleration rule the day and the decisions.
On the same grounds, quoting Ryle’s reasoning for staying in the C of E, as some have done, is an anachronism. The changes in the C of E and Evangelicalism have been so fundamental and extreme that we cannot compare Ryle’s day to ours except to show their utter contrast and dissimilarity. I cannot believe Ryle would use the same arguments if he were here today. Similarly, references to Jeremiah, to my mind, are irrelevant as the situations are not comparable except on a superficial level.
I found it somewhat ironic that the same EC has a fine tribute to Melvin Tinker who, throughout his ministry, warned about the destructive liberalism in both the C of E and Evangelicalism yet even now, few bother to listen to him or take his insights seriously. Another great success for Evangelicalism and Biblical authority then?!
Isle of Wight