NEW

Letter to the Editor: Response to the Last Editorial

Letter to the Editor Response to Last Edition’s Editorial Dear Editor, Thank you very much for your Christian charity and spirited editorial, Friday 8th October 2021, ( E.C. No.8090).  Also thanks are due to you for reprinting so much excellent reformed evangelical...

Letter to the Editor: The Murder of Sir David Amess

Murder of Sir David Amess Dear Editor, I grieve at the loss of a friend and former Party colleague Sir David Amess, MP who was murdered in an increasingly dangerous world. In the 70s I worked with David in the Young Conservatives before he became an MP and he was...

Reformation Sunday Advert

LETTER TO THE EDITOR:                        15 October 2021. My ‘Advert’ titled “Reformation Sunday 31 October” said, “The Church of England should still celebrate this 500th year since Martin Luther declared at the ‘Diet of Worms’ in 1521, “Here I stand. God help...

Leicester Diocese Illogical

Letter to the Editor Leicester Diocese Illogical   Sir, Leicester Diocese’s decision on 9 October to replace its traditional Parishes with ‘Minsters' is both spiritually and financially illogical.  The Church of England’s own growth report ‘From Anecdote to...

Barnabas Fund Reports: Turkey Escalates Airstrikes Against Christians in Syria & Iraq

Barnabas Fund Reports Turkey Escalating Airstrikes Against Christians and other Minorities in Syria and Iraq Turkey has escalated a supposedly anti-terrorist military campaign in Syria and Iraq which appears to be targeting Christians and other minorities. A spate of...

Should I Stay or Should I Go? Gospel-Driven Anglicanism Part 4

Should I Stay or Should I Go? By the Revd Dr Mark Pickles Part 4 Gedaliah is appointed governor and we read that Jeremiah purposely chooses to live amongst “those of the poorest of the land who had not been taken into exile in Babylon” (40:7). Things have taken a turn...

466th Anniversary of the Martyrdoms of Latimer & Ridley

466th Anniversary of the Martyrdoms of Latimer & Ridley Saturday, 16 October marked the 466th anniversary of the martyrdoms of Bishops Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley.   They were burned at the stake after being found guilty of heresy due to their refusal to...

Clive West Memorial Trust Lecture: John Yates III to Speak

Clive West Memorial Trust Lecture  Revd Dr John Yates III to Speak The annual Clive West Memorial Lecture will be held on Thursday, 11 November at 19:30 at St Nicholas’ Church, Lisburn Road in Belfast.  This year’s speaker is the Revd Dr John Yates III, Rector of Holy...

Book Review: Bleeding for Jesus

Bleeding for Jesus John Smyth and the cult of the Iwerne Camps Andrew Graystone Darton, Longman and Todd, 2021 (ISBN: 9781913657123, 250pp, £12.99) This book is the latest instalment of a long-running tragedy. It comes six years after the author was first made aware...

School Pupils Across the Country Memorise Passages from BCP for £1,000 Prize

School Pupils Across the Country  Memorise Book of Common Prayer Passages  £1,000 Prize for Winner By Tim Stanley Hundreds of school pupils across the country are busy this term studying prayers and readings from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer in a bid to win a prize...

Editorial -Times Are Confusing Enough

Times Are Confusing Enough

We live in perplexing times.  However, we are consistently taught in the Scriptures that this is the norm rather than the exception for us as Christians.  Against the turbulence of the world, we are taught not to despair because God does not change.  He is totally immutable, that is to say, unchanging in his nature.  We are reminded in Malachi 3, “I the Lord do not change” and in Hebrews 13 that Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  The Third-nine Articles begin by affirming this unchanging nature of God, “There is but one living and true God, ever- lasting, without body, parts, or passions”.

The immutability of God along with other divine attributes, such as omniscience and omnipotence, should thus be reflected in the teaching and public pronouncements of those entrusted to ministry within the Church.  When that does not happen, confusion results and the teachings of the Scriptures are supplanted by emotions du jour benefitting no one.

Take, for example, the defence of the Church of England made by the two Archbishops regarding the role the Church has played during the last year of the Covid-19 pandemic pandemonium.  This defence appeared in The Spectator, an especially useful publication, but not the routine delivery vehicle for archepiscopal announcements. It was not framed in biblical language, but biblically-minded people would have been hard pressed to find fault with it.

“One thing is abundantly clear: the Church of England has been a bedrock of faith, love, hope and compassion in this country for centuries through wars, plagues and pandemics — we still are, and we will go on being just that.  

There are rascally voices around who want to undermine the church — it was ever thus. But the real story is that we so believe in that vision of serving every inch of the country, and every person in it, that we are having to expand what it is to be the church.”

Such words as so warm and engaging that they would not have been out of place in the 1942 romantic war drama, Mrs Miniver.  You could almost hear There’ll Always Be an England playing in the background when reading them.

The Archbishops appear to have been stung into action in response to criticism of the lack of visible public leadership through the crisis – ‘rascally voices’ from outside. But will they take the same stand against rascally voices undermining the church from within? The ongoing LLF discussions are being commended to the Church of England, giving a platform to those who would wish to bring a new doctrine on marriage and undermine biblical teaching on sex and sexual morality.

However, the same two archbishops also came out in support of LGBT+ History Month celebrations.  It is right that all people live their lives free from hate and violence, as the Archbishops affirm. But many members of the church may well ask, why do England’s two most senior churchmen feel compelled to issue a statement commending this event at all? Why did they have to jump on this particular bandwagon?

Why not at least issue a caveat that the Church’s teaching on marriage, rooted in the mystery of the relationship of Christ and his Church, remains unchanged? Where is the challenge to our culture against reducing people, made in the image of God, to merely one ‘label’, or a string of letters? Where is the warning against encouraging people to revel in their hyphenated sexual identities du jour?  Canon A5 is not a blank piece of copy paper of a particular size, rather it is an inherited body divinity containing the revealed propositional truths binding upon all clergy.

Faithful clergy and laity are left scratching or shaking their heads in disbelief.  How could these two, entrusted with faithfully leading the people of Christ, be so confused?  Why the mixed messages? Do their Bibles read differently than ours?  Do they not remember that vow to ‘banish and drive away all strange and erroneous doctrines’ from the Service of Consecration? How can one take issue with ‘rascally voices’ from outside undermining the church, when one is echoing the ‘rascally voices’ within, undermining the church’s teaching?

Sadly, such public declarations of the two archbishops do not reflect the immutable nature of God.  

Pray they might come to a better mind.

Previous

Next