Editorial Screwtape’s Apprentice?


Screwtape’s Apprentice?

There is a scene from this past General Synod that will be forever fixed in the minds of those who saw it—and never forgot by those who read or heard the words Archbishop Welby spoke.  In asking the Synod to vote down an amendment that would alter the Bishops’ proposal to bless same-sex civil marriages, the Archbishop approached the microphone, hands on his hips and spoke the following words.

I am genuinely torn. It is not just about listening to the rest of the world, it is caring. Let’s just be clear on that.  It’s about people who will die, women who will be raped, children who will be tortured.

“When we vote, we need to think about that – It is not just about what people will say – it is about what they will suffer.” 

As the Archbishop spoke, his voice was full of emotion.  It cracked and he had to fight back tears, yet he stood there in full view of the world and God Almighty in support of the Church of England taking a position backing sin that HE was convinced would be used to justify rape and torture.  Where was the love in that?

One wonders at the mixed message given by the Archbishop’s tears followed by his endorsement of the motion. The impression is given that the real danger to African Anglicans is outweighed by the hurt feelings of gay members of the Church of England. Woke lives matter more.

One has to wonder if the Archbishop gave any thought to the lived experience of our Anglican sisters in Nigeria who are seen as easy pickings for the rapists of Boko Haram?  Did he for one moment think of what it might be like if he were an African Archbishop and it was his wife or daughter who were singled out for their demonic depredations?  When he was making his clear statement and said, “we need to think about that,” did Archbishop Ben Kwashi’s or his wife Gloria’s experiences ever cross his mind?  If they did, it did not show.  At any rate, he considered their pain and suffering as less important than his support for the pet sin of the LGBT crowd.

As the Archbishop was torn, we were torn in watching his address to the General Synod.  We wondered how could any caring, self-professed Christian publicly ask the Church to bless what God calls sin.  We were torn in knowing that Islamists would use his words as an excuse to commit unspeakably evil crimes against those for whom Jesus bled and died.  We were torn but we were also repulsed.  We did not expect to hear such words from someone who was in the position of a person we were supposed to look to as a Father in God.

There are events that are of such magnitude that people find the date and events forever etched in their minds.   All those who watched Justin Welby’s attempt to justify sin for which the Bible says will exclude people from heaven had such a day on 9 February 2023.  The applause for his words did not originate in heaven.  Rather they originated from the depths of hell. You could almost see the smoke and smell the sulphur.  Screwtape would have been very proud of such an apprentice.

If those who were wiped out in God’s judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah knew about Welby’s speech, they might have cheered but they, like the rich man in hell from Luke 16, also knew instantaneously that God would not tolerate such intentional disobedience forever. 

The General Synod’s departure may have won a tactical victory in favour of sin but it will be short-lived.  It also proved the truth of Article XIX of the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion:  Churches do err and, “As the Church of Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch have erred; so also the Church of Rome hath erred, not only in their living and manner of Ceremonies, but also in matters of Faith.”  

Sadly, if the Articles were being written today, it would also have to include the Church of England.  Pray that the bishops’ proposals are rejected at the next meeting of General Synod.

“O God, make speed to save us.”