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Opposition to Church of England proposals for same-sex blessing prayers is gaining momentum under the banner 'Compelled to Resist'.

EN staff
March 28, 2023

The Church of England Evangelical Council (CEEC) is spearheading a petition called 'Keeping faith -- why we are compelled to resist' which says current proposals from bishops 'deny the authority of Scripture' -- whatever their protestations to the contrary.

London evangelicals as well as Anglo-Catholics turned out in force to air their deep unease to a 'shell-shocked' diocesan episcopal leadership.

And well-known minister William Taylor, of St Helen's Bishopsgate, is warning that there can be no long-term security for Church of England evangelical churches or clergy in the current situation.

A statement accompanying the CEEC petition (which went online last week, at declaration.ceec.info) says: 'We cannot accept central features of the bishops' proposed way forward. We believe these deny the authority of Scripture and, despite their stated desire not to do so, depart from the received historic understanding of the Church.

'Jesus offers not only welcome and inclusion, but the transforming power of his Spirit experienced through responding to his call to repent, take up our cross, and follow him. Commitment to living in love and faith means that our love must always be shaped by and embedded in the faith we have received.'

'We will... resist all attempts to introduce any of these changes or to marginalise those who, in their own teaching and practice, uphold the received doctrine of the Church of England and the teaching of Jesus on marriage. We are compelled to resist.'

William Taylor says: 'The bishops of the Church of England have walked away from us.' St Helen's annual clergy review will now be led by Archbishop Foley Beach of the worldwide orthodox Anglican grouping, GAFCON.

Meanwhile, Richard Moy, Resource Church Lead at 'Christ Church W4,' says of the meeting between 180 clergy and their London diocese bishops: 'It was extraordinary. The meeting was called with expectations that [just] the "usual suspects" would turn up but had to be relocated when it was clear that there were more than a couple of dozen people coming.'

Moy says the bishops were told that the whole leadership of one charismatic church plant had told their minister: 'Of course we're leaving the C of E.' This was echoed by four or five other charismatic churches with Global Majority Heritage congregations from across several networks.

A clergyman believed to be the longest serving in the room said he had been ordained 47 years, in the diocese for 40 years and that there had always been rogue or renegade bishops. However, this was the first time that the House of Bishops had collectively gone against the majority view of the Anglican Communion, Anglican doctrine and Biblical authority, Moy reports. At this, those present erupted into 'rousing applause' after which the bishops were reported to look as though they were in 'shell shock'.

Several young ministers said that they were likely to leave the C of E. It was also reckoned that the churches there represented 70--80% of the churchgoing children and young adults in the Diocese, Moy adds.

Matthew Sleeman, vice principal of Oak Hill college, who was also present, says: 'I'm praying like crazy that [those present] might find, in God's grace, some leaders to hold them together, to lead them together, in days ahead... I do wonder where it will come from. The human signs are not good. But the Lord is good.'

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