Hull Parish Rejects Authority of Archbishop of York Over False Teaching
St Andrew’s Kirk Ella has written a very direct letter to the Archbishop of York about his support for the same-sex blessings proposals. In the letter, they pull no punches and announce that with immediate effect they will no longer recognise the spiritual authority of bishops who promote false teaching. The full response is listed at the end of this article.
“First, there is what we might call False Anglicanism. In the ordinal, all clergy promise to order their lives and doctrine by the Scriptures and to drive away error. You appear to us to be breaking your promise. In Article XX, an article ordained members of the Church of England have promised to uphold, it is clear both that Scripture (interpreted by Scripture) is the supreme authority of the Church and that it is therefore contrary to the Articles for the Church to ordain any rites or ceremonies which are contrary to Scripture. These prayers, then, appear to us to be utterly unAnglican. We invite you to make the Scripturally founded, historically Anglican, and doctrinally coherent case for this change. At present, however, the move appears to be both unbiblical and unAnglican.
“This unAnglican practice, disingenuously avoiding the due process of Synod, in violation of your promises upon which you were ordained, is a severe rupturing of the Anglican Church in this country and across the communion. We call on you and all the bishops to repent of this schismatic proposal. It is hard to see how you can maintain your integrity otherwise.
“Secondly, there is a far more serious issue even than dividing the Church of England or even the Communion. It is the propagation of False Teaching. To bless what God calls us to repent of is to do violence to everyone in our diocese. To depart from Scripture and to teach others to live contrary to Scripture is to invite God’s judgment on yourself. Please, do not take lightly the warnings that Jesus gives us about leading others astray (e.g. Matt 18:6-9). There are many in our Churches who desire to be faithful to Jesus but who will be led to stumble in the area of sexuality because of your words and actions. Some of those may be kept out of the Kingdom of God altogether. There are still others in our churches who will be thrown into confusion by such a radical departure from historic Christianity. Most sadly of all, there are those outside our churches who, in the pain and misery of our present day, are looking for truths, even hard truths, upon which to build their lives. They look to the Church to be the radical counter-culture that Christ intends. But these prayers, and the change of doctrine they herald, make the Church like the world, with nothing useful to say. Christ will not honour a church which does not honour him and we can only expect terminal decline.
“We shall not recognise the spiritual authority over our church of Bishops who promote, practice, or allow this false teaching.
“ This means that until the Prayers of Love and Faith and its supporting document are withdrawn, and the historic doctrine of the church is publicly upheld in word, deed and appearance we will not take part in communion services, or times of prayer with any who approve, use or allow the Prayers to be used, nor welcome them to our church or homes.
“ We will pause all finance paid in Free Will Offer to the diocese with immediate effect whilst we prayerfully consider our long term response. “