The Gospel Coalition Australia have published my piece “An Eton Mess: The Failure of English Bishops“. Here’s a small snippet to whet your appetite:

For both sides this is a gospel issue. For the revisionist gospel of “inclusion”, it is a disappointment. Expect to see the language of “second-class” etc. being used. In their paradigm this is exactly what is going on. But for the orthodox, as we open our Bibles, this also ought to grieve us. Jesus’ gospel call is “repent and believe the gospel”. The Church of England’s move is a complete rejection of Jesus’ call. It fully removes the call to repent of those things that God warns can lead to exclusion from the Kingdom. It also further undermines the wonderful gospel picture we have in marriage, portrayed across the whole span of the Scriptures. And it subverts that gospel more by replacing it with a false gospel of inclusion wrapped up in a non-descript “love” that is a million miles away from what is intended. 

Go read the whole thing.

You might also be interested in Lee Gatiss’s response at Church Society and a refreshingly clear piece at Fulcrum by Joshua Penduck.

A few years ago I wrote a piece analysing the proposed “blessing” liturgies here. I imagine the same sort of liturgy is proposed in the CofE.

GAFCON have also published an initial response:

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4 comments on “An Eton Mess: The Failure of English Bishops

  1. Rather inevitable David. The homosexual community have been ”on the right side of history” for decades and this decision by English bishop’s cannot be a surprise to you or anyone who has been following the progressive direction of travel in Western society since the 1960’s.

    The metaphor of the boiling frog is often used to describe the movement of society and the Church, from traditional orthodoxy to progressive liberalism and homosexual ‘rights’ has followed a similar path, first being decriminalised, then in Britain given civil unions (not given to heterosexual couples), then given civil marriage and now given C of E blessings, marriage in all but name and clearly to be eventually followed by actual marriage. The inevitable consequence of such significant and influential membership of key Church positions and institutions being populated by LGBT+ activists and ‘allies’, including but not limited to the General Synod. Minority opinion can and often does sway majority opinion, if given sufficient influence and power and time, which seems to be the case here.

    The call to be ‘kind’ and to be ‘inclusive’ and to be ‘tolerant’ (not something practiced by the LGBT community towards those that disagree with them), superficially echoes Christian teachings and the 98% of ‘Christians’ who do not regularly attend services in England cannot understand why biblical teachings against homosexual relationships, cannot also be considered similar to other biblical pronouncements (particularly in the Old Testament) that are ignored by the Church. They see inconsistency and the LGBT community see an opportunity to undermine one of the last key cultural and religious institutions in opposition to what they consider ‘equality’. Orthodox Christians are seen to be out of step with society and the current ‘woke’ zeitgeist, where everything and anything is morally relative, with no absolutes. The C of E is the easiest target, as other major religions would not allow ‘activists’ (practising homosexuals or not) within their structure, to influence from within.

    It would appear the C of E will follow society, which in itself is led by an influential minority, in order to become more ‘relevant’ and ‘accessible’. I for one, will with a heavy heart, have to consider whether my mother Church is actually based in Rome, rather than Lambeth.

  2. Hi Howard,

    Looking at this Eton Mess as a Sydney Anglican outsider, I don’t think that there are any easy and/or perfect options for the orthodox members of the C of E. However, I would argue that “crossing the Tiber” is not a good one.

    Firstly, it presumes that the revisionist forces at work within the Anglican church are not at work in Rome. As someone who’s worked in the NFP (Not For Profit = Charitable) sector in Australia, I can say from experience that they are.

    Secondly, the same factors that drove the Reformation still apply to Rome today. For Rome still does not believe that the Bible is the ultimate source of Spiritual authority, does not believe that we are saved by grace alone through faith alone, and instead of teaching that Jesus is the only mediator between the Father and humanity, keeps promoting other mediators instead.

    All I can do from this distance is pray for the orthodox members of General Synod, that they would have wisdom and courage, and the same for all orthodox clergy and laity as they consider the future. And that we would all remember that Christ is sovereign, even over Eton Messes.

  3. So once again the wokerati in the Church of England are trying to put pressure on orthodox Anglicans to accept practices that are forbidden in the Word of God. They are trying the same old blackmail: lower your standards, give in to sin or be considered unloving, in contempt of the Second Great Commandment.

    It hasn’t worked before and it won’t work this time. The Word of God establishes clear standards that Bible-based Christians will uphold. They will do so without being unloving; they will hate the sin but love the sinner.

    The wokerati will have to realise that Almighty God will not be mocked. Marriage was established by God as between a man and a woman, as it has been since Adam and Eve. That is the standard God set and any who would try to undermine it do so at their peril, whether or not they wear purple shirts. Either we follow God or we do not: there is no middle path.

    We are all sinners and LGBTQIA people are no more sinful than others. What makes the difference is whether or not we are saved sinners, those who have repented and believed. For the woke leaders of the Church of England to try to pretend that sinners do not need to be saved is anathema to God. Rather than trying to put orthodox Anglicans on guilt trips, they should consider how they stand in relation to God’s standards and consider repenting of their own sin and believing in His gifts of grace and salvation to eternal life.

  4. Do any blog contributors know or can speculate with some basis just what are the financial implications of the bishops’ position – and conversely the implications had they decided differently? I cannot believe they did not consider this – nor should anybody in any major decision.

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