NEW

Welby in Danger of Losing primus inter pares Role over Same-Sex Blessings

CHURCH OF ENGLAND ‘BLESSING’ GAY UNIONS WOULD VIOLATE BIBLICAL TEACHING & JEOPARDISE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY’S CONTINUING ROLE IN THE ANGLICAN COMMUNION  by Paul Eddy The Most Reverend Justin Badi, Primate of South Sudan, and Chairman of the GSFA responded,...

Letter: Bingo’s Ordination?

Letter Bingo’s Ordination? Dear Sir, The Church of England has been ordaining men for centuries, and since the 1990s has had legal authority to ordain women to the priesthood also. According to your recent report, the Revd Bingo Allison declared, "I’m not a man and...

Barnabas Aid Appeal for Democratic Republic of Congo

Barnabas Aid Appeal A bomb explosion ripped through the congregation at a baptismal service last Sunday evening (15 January 2023). Just after the baptisms had been performed, and while a blind pastor was expounding some Bible verses, the improvised explosive device...

Archbishops Differ on Practice if Not on Principle

Archbishops Differ on Practice if not on Principle Archbishop Justin Welby has revealed that he will not bless same-sex relationships, while Archbishop Stephen Cotterell has indicated his intention to do so. Explaining his decision, the Archbishop of Canterbury...

Pilgrim’s Process: Tone, Voice, & Speech

Pilgrim’s Process By the Revd Dr Peter Sanlon Many today are concerned about not just the content of what people say in the public arena, but also the way that whatever is spoken, is said. People can get offended as much by tone or manner, as content. The complex and...

Keene’s Review: Confirm, O Lord by Martin Davie

Defend, O Lord Confirmation according to the Book of Common Prayer Martin Davie Latimer Trust, 2022 (ISBN: 9781906327743, 116pp, £6.50) Confirmation is a vital spiritual coming-of-age rite in churches which practice paedobaptism, giving those for whom promises were...

Orthodox Anglican Provinces Invited to Covenant Members of the Fellowship

Orthodox Anglican Provinces Invited to Covenant Members of the Fellowship Global South May Provide Alternative Episcopal Oversight By Paul Eddy The GSFA has recently invited orthodox provinces across the Communion to formally sign up as full Covenant Members of the...

Diocese of Oxford’s “Bloated Bureaucracy” Under Fire

Diocese of Oxford's "Bloated Bureaucracy" Under Fire by Julian Mann The Diocese of Oxford, one of the best endowed in the Church of England, has come under fire for its alleged ‘bloated bureaucracy’ in a letter from a frontline parish treasurer in London’s Daily...

Gist of Bishops’ Pastoral Letter Regarding Same-Sex Blessings

Gist of Bishops’ Pastoral Letter  New Prayers of Love and Faith We value and want to celebrate faithfulness in relationships. That is why we have drafted and asked the House of Bishops to further refine and commend a new resource to be used in churches, called Prayers...

Pilgrim’s Process: “Mind Mr By-Ends”

Pilgrim’s Process

“Mind Mr By-Ends”

By the Revd Dr Peter Sanlon

 

Driving into an English city on holiday I idly counted the rainbow flags posted in shop and house windows. One after another they signalled support for this world’s ideology. I went into three shops to make purchases -– in two of them staff wore rainbow lanyards. Many major corporations and banks publicly signal support for the LBGTI agenda -– and do so visibly and financially. Increasingly Christian speakers and schools, hospitals and employees are giving into pressure to ‘wave the flag’ -– signal support for the world’s religion. All that is demanded is the modern equivalent of what Nebuchadnezzar insisted upon -– fly the flag, wear the lanyard -– bow the knee to the golden statue. A symbolic gesture that indicates support for an ethic founded upon Jesus-denying religion.

As leading evangelical speakers on sexuality equivocate on whether Pride events are off limits for believers; as Christian schools fly the rainbow flag and encourage people to use pronouns as requested -– some believers wonder how people who seem to be Christians and are involved in ministry can compromise and be so convinced it is right to do so. Part of the answer is given in Pilgrim’s Progress, where we meet a character called ‘By-Ends.’

By-Ends comes from the town ‘Fair-Speech’ -– a town he boasts of as being wealthy. He is happy to have Christian as his companion but also speaks of his many rich friends and relatives, who are most impressive folk. By-Ends speaks of ‘Lord Turn-about, my Lord Time-server, my Lord Fair-speech (from whose ancestors that town first took its name), also Mr. Smooth-man, Mr. Facing-both-ways, Mr. Any-thing; and the parson of our parish, Mr. Two-tongues, was my mother’s own brother, by father’s side; and to tell you the truth, I am become a gentleman of good quality, yet my great-grandfather was but a waterman, looking one way and rowing another, and I got most of my estate by the same occupation.’

His background of looking a different way to how he is travelling is the key to By-Ends’ character. He is walking towards the celestial city with Christian -– but he is looking with appreciation towards the world he values. By Ends is developed as a character by Bunyan in more depth than many others. He has many companions and they talk much of religion -– convincing themselves by abstruse arguments that their compromises with the world are actually more sound than Christian’s ‘rigid notions’ and ‘headstrong manner.’

Money and comfort are important for By Ends. He says he is ‘for religion so far as the times and my safety will bear it -– I am for religion in golden slippers, in the sunshine and with applause.’ With lots and lots of impressive friends to reassure him his comfortable take on Christianity is right, he feels confident in his theological discourses. But is it right for pilgrims to honour the opinion of ‘Mr. Hold-the-world and Mr. Money-love? Of course not -– but many always have. Today if a person wants to be accepted, popular and comfortable in our culture they must listen to men like ‘By-Ends’. Preach and speak of Christ but look in the opposite direction — with the requisite rainbow flag posted. 

The Revd Dr Peter Sanlon is Rector of Emmanuel Anglican Church, Tunbridge Wells.  www.emmanuelanglican.uk

Previous

Next