Counting Their Chicks Before They Hatch
When most everyone had enough of a connection to the land and animal husbandry to understand the aphorism, “Don’t count your chicks before they hatch” everyone understood it was unwise to be sure of a presumed outcome. After all, the hen might be sitting on ten eggs but there was no guarantee that all ten would result in live chicks.
The Bishop of Coventry, the Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth has done the Church a great service by his honest appraisal of the LLF process and the outcome of the last meeting of the General Synod. It could not have come too soon. See the EC report on page 10.
Hopefully his words will be taken to heart by more than just other bishops and conservatives because the liberal revisionist constituency is acting as if the blessings and change to doctrine of the Church has been finalised. It would be most unkind if we were not to point out that nothing could be further from the truth.
That said, consider the actions of active Church of England clergy in recent weeks.
This past weekend, St James’s Piccadilly hosted a RuPaul PREACH! Drag event. This was done in defiance of Canon F16 which says,
“1. When any church or chapel is to be used for a play, concert, or exhibition of films or pictures, the minister shall take care that the words, music, and pictures are such as befit the House of God, are consonant with sound doctrine, and make for the edifying of the people.”
It would seem that neither Rector Lucy Binkett nor the Bishop of London, has a problem in allowing for the contravention of the standards of the Church to which they have taken an oath to uphold. Do they really think it was good and godly to allow such a display in a building set aside for the worship of Almighty God?
Who will join Sam Margrave in filing a CDM? William Taylor of St Helen’s Bishopsgate? Charlie Skrine at All Souls’ Langham Place? Archie Coates at Holy Trinity Brompton?
Someone within our Dioceses needs to make a stand for Jesus. Perhaps if hymns had not been cast aside in favour of light and unseemly music, someone would remember the question posed in #683 of Hymns A&M, “Who is On the Lord’s Side”?
The Revd Dr Crispin Pailing, Rector of Liverpool Parish told the media that he has already blessed same-sex relationships. The Revd Richard Coles (Communards) publicly admitted that his civil partnership was not celibate and that he had lied to maintain his position in the Church. Then there’s the Revd Bingo Allison being open about his “mission” to go into schools (as a cleric) to promote gender-neutral identity.
All of these things, and more, remind us of an earlier, similarly rebellious time in the life of the people of God. The Book of Judges records in chapter 17:6, “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”
Obviously, few in the leadership of the C of E believe they will answer to the Lord for their oversight his flock. “Woe to those who call good evil and evil good” is still true.
The liberals are acting as if the war is nearly over and they have won. D-Day has been accomplished and VE Day is already in the bag. It is only a matter of time, they reckon, before the Church of England fully capitulates to their agenda.
These skirmishes surely provide a wake up call to evangelicals ahead of July’s Synod sessions. Can they really settle for a tolerated accommodation within such a church, dependent on liberals’ goodwill for their continued existence? Can they not already see the shape of things to come?
The liberals have done their bit in the henhouse. One hope is that they have overreached themselves in promoting their progressive agenda, and will face stronger and wider resistance as the Church recognises the full ramifications. We must pray to the living God that their eggs do not hatch as they anticipate. Shakespeare (Hamlet Act V, Scene 2) understood this wider perspective on life: “There’s a divinity that shapes our ends, Rough-hew them how we will.” Judgment Day will demonstrate whom has been rough-hewing whose ends.