Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Church of England Splits Hairs.
VirtueOnline - News

Three fish swimming in a circle - the Trinity?
I thought it was a United Nations symbol at first -
he has the whole world on his head -
but no, three fish.



VirtueOnline - News:

Archbishop Welby Throws Celibate Gays under the Bus

News analysis

By David W. Virtue
www.virtueonline.org 
July 10, 2013

In order not to appear a hate-filled bigot and homophobe, Archbishop Justin Welby began his illustrious career by saying he stood by civil partnerships, but opposed gay marriage, a distinction with little difference bearing in mind the Church of England's Gaystapo who have taken a leaf out of The U.S. Episcopal Church playbook for total inclusion.

By acknowledging civil partnerships, Archbishop Justin Welby (and York Archbishop John Sentamu) have betrayed thousands of celibate gays and lesbians who believe that scripture is absolutely opposed to such behavior and, by indulging in it, risk their eternal salvation (I Cor. 6:9-11).

Church of England homosexuals see the debate as the thin end of the wedge or foot in the door to full inclusion, in time, of both gay marriage and the full acceptance of gays and lesbians ordained to all orders of ministry.

It is a done deal. Only time stands in their way.

Witness what the married openly gay priest, the Rev. Colin Coward of Changing Attitude, had to say. He accused the ABC of living in an Alice in Wonderland world. He said Welby's remarks that a bill before parliament would create "different and unequal" forms of marriage that would undermine family life and that its "awkward shape" would undermine marriage as the basis for rearing children. He also said that "The concept of marriage as a normative place for procreation is lost. The idea of marriage as covenant is diminished. The family in its normal sense predating the state and as our base community of society is weakened."

Not true, said Coward, an advocate for full inclusion. He said it was sad that Canterbury was repeating the fearful anxieties about which evidence from countries with equal marriage demonstrate the contrary. He said the bill could set back recent progress on gay rights by inflaming public opinion and warned that the bill lacks support in the population as a whole, and is likely to antagonize, or even inflame, public opinion.

Coward went on to rant about "God's evolutionary outpouring of energy and new life in creation, new life for LGB&T people and for women, for the poor and outcast and marginalized as well as for the rich and powerful." This is all theological rubbish of course, but the ABC has failed to deal with these issues head on.

So where is the win for the ABC?

The truth is by endorsing civil partnerships, he has thrown thousands of faithful celibate gay Anglicans under the bus. What he has said them, in so many words, is that it is okay to have anal sex in a committed relationship because I say so and God must agree with me because I am the ABC. Really. The last archbishop who tried that found out the hard way from Global South leaders and left office nine years early, deeply frustrated that he could not persuade the Okoh's, Wabukala's, Nzimbi's et al of the Church that he had it right. The African archbishops lost all respect for him and ignored his primatial gatherings. Williams resigned. History, it would seem, is repeating itself.

Witness now the words of a Church of England vicar who wrote a stinging rebuttal to Welby headlined: DISAPPOINTMENT.

The Rev. Graham Cotter, vicar of St. Andrew's, Buckland Monachorum, said Welby's speech to General Synod in York caused distress as it continued to erode and compromise a Christian understanding of marriage. 

He said we should expect to feel uncomfortable as we engage with the world and espouse and promote Christian understandings. "Are we not called to take up the cross and to even be prepared for martyrdom in our following of the Master?" Strong words indeed.

Cotter had written to Welby on behalf of consecrated Christian believers who may have same-sex attraction, but who are committed to refusing temptation in this arena. "How are you pastorally helping them in this debate, other than to capitulate to sin?"

Indeed. The truth is Welby can't. He has caved into a shrill minority (less than 2% of the population) out of fear of being called names, which we all know are lies from the pit.

Cotter ripped Welby. "Is this not how we received the Gospel ourselves, on the shoulders of the martyrs? How did speeches in the House of Lords come near the bone? Why should we be shaken by hostility?

"Is this a time to so quickly throw in the towel? Jesus told us to anticipate just such a reaction, but that he would equip and resource us to remain faithful to him, graciously, and truthfully explaining the beautiful purity of the teachings of the Lord Jesus. 

"Because you have now commended civil partnerships, you will find yourself under tremendous pressure to sanction these within the church, even though they are unrighteous relationships, and outside of the holy will of God."

He accused the ABC of failing pastorally to help them and letting them capitulate to sin.

He opined that there has been a sexual revolution, which began in the sixties, and is now reaping a bitter fruit. "If you had been debating the wrongness of sexual relationships outside of marriage in the Lords you would have been ridiculed and pilloried. But you would have been right. Why has this debate shaken you, when you have so many courageous and godly allies, who are prepared to stand with you?"

Bishops are called to be prophetic spokesmen not only in the House of Lords, but in churches and in every public venue, speaking the word of God into the very heart of the nation. He might have drawn on the Ugandan martyrs who refused the homosexual advances of a king and died for their faith. Why didn't Welby call up the sound writings of Dr. Robert Gagnon whose book, The Bible and Homosexuality, has never been soundly or even unsoundly refuted?

Welby's less than robust commitment to the word of God in support of clergy who have not and will not bow the knee to the pansexual goddess of our times will be his undoing. In fact, he may prove to be more dangerous than Williams.

With Williams and his book The Body's Grace, we knew where he stood. He recently jumped in on the possible break-up of the Church of Scotland urging them not to split over gay priests. He should mind his own business. Welby is an ALPHA-driven evangelical who knows better or should. Why won't he be clear about homosexual BEHAVIOR and declare it ungodly, unbiblical and could get you kept out of the Kingdom? Is the salvation God promises to those who repent and are faithful (or try to be) to be compromised for a Colin Coward, Gene Robinson, Mary Glasspool or a Louie Crew...for Christ's sake.

Most recently Kenya Archbishop Eliud Wabukala weighed in on the situation in the Church of England blasting that institution saying the historic mother church of the Communion seems to be advancing along the same path. "While defending marriage, both the Archbishops of York and Canterbury appeared at the same time to approve of same-sex Civil Partnerships during parliamentary debates on the UK's 'gay marriage' legislation, in contradiction to the historic biblical teaching on human sexuality reaffirmed by the 1998 Lambeth Conference."

Is Welby listening to his Global South brothers and sisters who make up the vast bulk of the Anglican Communion? Do his PR and media boys and girls alert him to the quicksand he is walking into with his views? Will he appear at GAFCON II if invited to Nairobi and will he sign the Jerusalem Declaration in order to appear? Inquiring minds want to know.

One astute North American Anglican clergyman with roots in the Church of England commented, "If Welby had been perceived as a threat to the liberal establishment he would never have been nominated. I think it is all a ploy to placate a very superficial evangelical constituency that simply reacts to slogans. We all entertained hope at his appointment, especially with his Holy Trinity Brompton (HTB) credentials but that institution does not represent the soundest version of evangelicalism. Welby brings a smear of evangelicalism that will soon fade. It is not rooted in the Reformation but skims the surface of a rather aimless pietism. I think the intellectuals in the CofE see this and rejoice in it. I think we shall soon see buoys in the ocean marking where the TEC and the C of E both sank. The rest of us are manning lifeboats."

The question now becomes, where is Welby leading the Church of England? If he defies the clear teaching of Scripture on human sexual behavior, if he dilutes and muddies the waters of God's word within this debate, and sounds a very uncertain note, the Holy Spirit will not honor his ministry. Furthermore, the Global South will distance itself from him, to his loss.

If England wants a Christian awakening, it must accept the possibility of the persecution that will follow in its wake, just like the B & B couple that refused a bed to two sodomites, or the Christian baker who refused to make a wedding cake for two queers. This is just the beginning. "Anyone," said the apostle Paul, "who would live a godly life in Christ Jesus will face persecution."

END

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