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Bullied by Canterbury and the Church of England

Bullied by Canterbury and the Church of England

By Bruce Atkinson PhD
Special to Virtueonline
www.virtueonline.org
July 5, 2017

In his recent Viewpoints report (June 30, 2017), David Virtue quoted the words of Oxford vicar Sam Allberry, which I will repeat here and then expand on Allberry's and Virtue's excellent points.

"The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will get the biggest push back to his call for "radical inclusion" when the Church of England Synod meets next week. An Oxford vicar by the name of Sam Allberry, self-described as same-sex attracted, is on record that despite his attractions to men, he believed that to be a true follower of Christ then one had to be celibate, just as our Lord was. He said that his sexuality was not a matter of identity and that has become news.

"Jesus Christ never married or had a romantic relationship and never had sex. If we say sex is intrinsic to human fulfillment then we say Jesus was sub-human. My church has not become a safe place for me, I was bullied at school and am now being bullied by Synod." He said the CofE was in the process of pastorally undermining the church's official teaching. The vicar got a standing ovation."
https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/two-minute-clip-homosexuality-every-christian-should-watch

My initial response was this: Well said, Rev. Allberry. First, no one is guilty for the particular directions of attack (temptations) from the world, the flesh, and the devil. Even Jesus "was tempted in all ways as we are but without sin." Temptation is not sin. We are only guilty of sin when we feed these temptations by lustful fantasies (internal behavior) and act upon them (external behavior).

Most of those who take on a sense of sexual identity due to their homosexual temptations (coming out as "gay") have already rationalized their sin away, that is, they have accepted the sinful behavior as reasonable ("not really sin because I was born this way and can't help it"). Of course, this is merely self-deception. Science has proven again and again that sexual attraction is quite mutable (it changes over time) and that all sexual behavior (indeed all behavior) is a choice.

On the other hand, those who struggle with same-sex temptations but are totally committed to chastity are in a different category altogether. According to my understanding, they are NOT 'gay', NOT homosexual. They are essentially no different from a person who might be tempted toward heterosexual lust and/or acting out with someone not their spouse -- but who fight off these temptations successfully. We do not call them adulterers or fornicators just because they are tempted, only if they sin. So why call people homosexual or gay simply because they are tempted? Why exclude them from ministry just because they are tempted?

In earlier times, when everyone considered homosexual behavior a grievous sin, those who were tempted never told anyone and often never acted on the temptation (thus never sinned in this particular way). But we live a time and culture where sexual acting out is virtually worshiped, and thus homosexual behavior and lifestyle is accepted by the secular culture... and by radically liberal Anglicans. Those who are tempted to sin in this way are also tempted to so identify with the desire ("I'm gay") such as to justify to themselves that the behavior is OK. But it does NOT make it OK. The mere presence of a sinful desire (temptation) has never made it acceptable to act it out. Such an idea is patently irrational as well as immoral. But this is the modern deception that the LGBT agenda has successfully perpetrated on our culture and on nominal Christians. We know exactly the type of people Rev. Allberry was referring to when he spoke of being bullied by the Synod.

The bullying began a long time ago in terms of propaganda and changing the language. All the evidence about the high incidence of depression and suicide among self-identified homosexuals totally reveals the deceptive language in calling homosexuals "gay." They are among the least happy and gay of all human beings. And the invented and unscientific idea of sexual orientation as genetic and immutable was an outright lie. Same sex attraction is merely one temptation among many.

This messing with our language is exactly what the LGBT lobby did to make homosexuality (and same-sex marriage) acceptable in our culture. This is what happens when some small faction gains significant power in the media.

Professor Budziszewski in his classic essay "The Revenge of Conscience" (First Things, June/July, 1998) expresses this truth succinctly: "Things are getting worse very quickly now. The list of what we are required to approve is growing ever longer. Consider just the domain of sexual practice. First we were to approve sex before marriage, then without marriage, now against marriage. First with one, then with a series, now with a crowd. First with the other sex, then with the same. First between adults, then between children, then between adults and children. The last item has not been added yet, but will be soon: you can tell from the change in language, just as you can tell the approach of winter from the change in the color of leaves.

As any sin passes through its stages from temptation, to toleration, to approval, its name is first euphemized, then avoided, then forgotten. A colleague tells me that some of his fellow legal scholars call child molestation 'intergenerational intimacy': that's euphemism. A good-hearted editor tried to talk me out of using the term 'sodomy': that's avoidance. My students don't know the word 'fornication' at all: that's forgetfulness."

The frog-in-the-pot metaphor truly fits what we are seeing happen today in the western churches. While the CofE has not technically changed its canons, it is allowing blessings of civil same sex marriages in some dioceses. This is an insidious deception, a con game perpetrated by the liberals in the church. In a sneaky and even satanic way, the LGBT agenda is being finagled into the church. It seems to be that winter is coming soon.

British blogger Don Benson has accurately written: "There's a warning here for all of us. LGBT activists have been so successful at promoting their own eccentric notions on mainstream society that their particular interests now take precedence over those of the vast majority of people (including a disastrous withdrawal of the right of children to both a mother and father).

But these interests are so patently out of line with the natural order that they are clearly irrational. They involve a fundamental dismantling of what experience tells us goes to make for a well-balanced and stable society. And because they are irrational, they cannot exist without coercion... In this case, irrationality involves looking at facts in the natural world and dismissing them or 'reinterpreting' them so that they are in line with [cultural Marxist] LGBT prescriptions of 'equality' and 'inclusion'." Bullying indeed!

The mainstream media, the church leaders, and the governments are all choosing to live in denial. As long as they refuse to look at the overwhelming scientific data regarding the destructiveness of this behavior (to life and health, both mental and physical), then these disordered people will be allowed to continue to do their damage to themselves, their partners, their children, and thus to the society's future. All for the sake of a little illicit and perverted momentary pleasure. The issue is most certainly not about love. Love does not require sexual acting out. Sexual self-control has always been a virtue (chastity and celibacy among the single and faithfulness among the married).

Benson goes on: "We are well aware of the coercion that has changed language, withdrawn rights to free speech, is 're educating' young children, excludes dissenters from employment (not least in politics and journalism), and shut down intelligent debate. That's just in secular society. What about the Church of England? ...
Well here's the warning: Your national church, led by Justin Welby along with his LGBT activist friends, is about to ditch any pretense that it will fight for your freedom to think and speak and act for the truth. At the General Synod [they] intend to vote away the right of people who wish to be freed from same sex attraction from seeking help. It will do so on a thoroughly dishonest and already discredited basis, at the behest of militant activists, all for the purpose of virtue signalling (the Welby way) to make friends with its enemies: total capitulation."

The bottom line reality here is that the Archbishop of Canterbury is squarely on the side of the heretical LGBT agenda bullies.

It is time for all orthodox, Bible-believing Church of England clergy to personally disestablish themselves from this Canterbury and state influenced organization. There are better options out there, and since the consecration of orthodox Bishop Andy Lines, these options will only continue to grow and flourish.

Dr. Atkinson is a graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary with a doctorate in clinical psychology and an M.A. in theology. He is a licensed psychologist in clinical practice in Atlanta and also works as a clinical supervisor training Christian counselors for Richmont Graduate University. He is a founding member of Trinity Anglican Church in Douglasville, Georgia.

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