Your editorial on the Rise of the BINO (Bishop in Name Only) highlighted what church members have observed many years, how bishops have kept their titles, robes and status while emptying their role of defending and upholding sound doctrine. These are the ‘hollow men’ (and women) of church life, keeping form while abandoning the formularies. Alas, the Bishop of Oxford is merely the latest version of this species.
However, his much-publicised booklet on permitting homosexual marriage in the church has had the effect of exposing another variant of BINO, a sub-species called the evangelical BINO. While the Bishop of Oxford and others were playing to their darlings in the media and controlling the narrative, where were the conservative and evangelical bishops? Why were there no other episcopal voices at the time to challenge the impression that the church was abandoning its teaching on marriage? Did they consider it ‘just not cricket’ to stand up for the Christian faith when it was attacked by a fellow bishop? Did collegiality trump conviction? This does not bode well for the future, if those who believe orthodox doctrine are not prepared to defend it publicly, as per their episcopal vows. Are the evangelicals also amongst the BINOs?