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Church of England Reconciliation Attempts Derailed by Pansexualists

Church of England Reconciliation Attempts Derailed by Pansexualists

By David W. Virtue, DD
www.virtueonline.org
November 30, 2020

A theological and ecclesiastical tsunami has swept over the Church of England with a group of homosexuals and lesbians blasting a 'Living in Love and Faith' "reconciliation" report. They are saying they would leave the Church if homosexual marriage is not fully embraced by the Church.

The wave of homosexual fury caught Church of England bishops by surprise, stunning the Archbishop of Canterbury, who had just announced a three-month sabbatical in which he planned to study the concept of reconciliation. The issue of reconciliation has dogged the Anglican Communion, roiled by sexuality issues with Global South bishops defiantly opposed to changing the biblical definition of marriage solely between a man and a woman. They have steadfastly upheld the 1998 Lambeth Resolution 1:10 as the gold standard for human sexual behavior.

This recent wave of anger is a colossal setback for the Church of England, which has been trying to navigate the sexual waters of compromise with the LLF report, a senior church official told VOL.

Earlier, Church of England lesbian activist Jayne Ozanne lashed out at conservatives, likening their views to Holocaust deniers and rapists. Ozanne stated that she and her pansexual friends would not negotiate with the LLF report if they did not accept her sexual preferences.

Conservatives maintain that Biblical teaching reflects marriage between a man and a woman or singleness and celibacy, teaching that 'LGBT lifestyles are sinful.'

This second convulsive wave of outrage comprised a number of LGBT clergy and supporters, who said they will not attend the 'Living in Love and Faith' (LLF) discussions set for 2021 unless a group of 34 LGBT-affirming bishops openly show their support for gay marriage.

The letter, led by Jeremy Timm, former chair of Changing Attitude England, was sent to bishops who are "known to be supporters of LGBTIQ+ people".

This new line in the sand could set the stage for a formal split in the Church of England, bringing about a situation similar to that in the US which resulted in tens of thousands leaving TEC to form the Anglican Church in North America.

The letter was issued in direct response to a film released by the Church of England Evangelical Council (CEEC) - a group founded by the late John Stott. 'The Beautiful Story' is pitched as a "30-minute film that explains how a biblical vision for human sexuality is good for individuals, the church and society as a whole".

While critics have said that it is damning of LGBT people, the makers insist that the film is "intended to galvanize and support discussion in local churches around sexuality and relationships" and "provide the case for what many call a traditional Christian viewpoint".

Following the release of the LLF resources by the Church of England addressing issues of sexuality, the Bishop of Blackburn, Rt Rev. Julian Henderson, who is also the President of CEEC, said that he "will look closely at the materials", He notes that the materials must be evaluated "in the light of Scripture...this is actually about obedience to Scripture."

At one point in the CEEC's film, Henderson floated the idea of leaving the Church of England entirely over the issue.

"I'm not sure there are many of us in the Church of England who want to leave," he said. "But as and when the church gets to the point where it changes its teaching and liturgy and its practice in these areas...is going to be a moment for people to have to reconsider their allegiance to the church."

He added: "At the moment, I want to be in the Church of England, I want to fight for the traditional teaching of the church on these matters.

"But the time may come when it's going to be essential for those who hold to scriptural teaching on marriage and same-sex relationships to say 'we cannot operate under this particular system and support this kind of doctrine and practice within the life of our church.'

"And then may lead to having to look for alternative solutions."

Commenting on this, another senior CofE official told VOL that at the moment, the Synod and all senior appointments are dominated by the revisionists -- and such opposition as there is comes from minorities in the Houses of Clergy and Laity. With one or two exceptions, those counted as "orthodox" in the House of Bishops are saying very little, let alone leading.

"It will be a very bitter and bruising battle from now until the eventual formal debate in General Synod in the autumn of 2022. Meanwhile there are elections to General Synod, which will be very hard fought."

The House of Laity is expected to elect more than the 33% required to block any change to marriage doctrine and discipline at the end of the LLF process and the inevitable legislation put before Synod to enable clergy to solemnize same-sex unions. Orthodox candidates are not expected to fare well in the elections.

"If the Church of England does split, it will be 'Winner Takes All' because it is an Established church, and everything belongs to the controlling party, which is at present solidly revisionist. There is no basis for going to law to try to obtain a division of the assets, either the church buildings or the financial assets. The "losing" party, like the Wesley's, will have to leave without any of the patrimony which morally belongs to them."

If homosexual marriages are approved, they become mandatory, as they have in The Episcopal Church. To do otherwise is to allow "discrimination" and that is verboten.

But an informed conservative CofE blogger noted that if the outcome is conclusively contrary to the final authority of Scripture, it is hard to see how anyone could remain in fellowship with a church which has taken such a decision.

"If there is going to be an Evangelical revival, now is the time for it to happen, before the House of Bishops follows the Swedish and Episcopal path of excluding orthodox candidates entirely from selection and training for ordination."

A former church of England vicar now with an independent Anglican group said this; "There is no need for the progressives to leave since they are on the ascendent with the church leadership pretty well on their side, together with the government and society as a whole. Neither will they be ousted, no matter how obnoxious they may seem to us, it will be read as the degree to which they are hurt and feel threatened. Hopefully it will be a wakeup call to the Evangelicals that being 'nice' (sorry, 'gracious') will make much difference."

As John Webster, a British Systematic Theologian, Professor at Oxford, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, who died 5 years ago, but wrote on the faithful endurance of the church (see Revelation 2:3), noted:

"Such endurance is threatened, both from outside and inside the church. It's threatened from outside by the world because the world finds the Christian's perseverance troublesome. It's not only that the world finds it ludicrous, a sort of ignorant and compulsive pigheadedness. It's also that the world, when it got it's wits about it, realises that the Christian's perseverance shows up the world's own disorder and unrighteousness and instability. Even though these Christians may look a foolish lot, doggedly hanging on to their gospel, their very fidelity is a challenge to the world's ways. And because that is so, the witness of Christian perseverance must be broken in some way. It has to be muted, or softened, or absorbed, or even if necessary silenced, so that the world can be left to fritter away its life undisturbed. And how does the world do this? By charming, or bribing, or cajoling or bullying the Christian community, by seducing or harassing it in some way or other so that the intensity and persistence with which it holds fast to the name of Christ will be breached."

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