jQuery Slider

You are here

Disappointing Welby

Disappointing Welby

Fr. Ed Tomlinson
July 12, 2013

A few comments this weekend from people shocked by the Archbishop of Canterbury when he told his synod that a "revolution" is under way regarding human sexuality and that Anglicans must embrace this sexual revolution even if they do not "like it." He then proudly told synod of his plan to invite homosexual lobby group- Stonewall -to enter Church of England schools to combat any homophobic bullying that might exist. So much for those who have assured me that this Archbishop is an evangelical who will stop the liberal slide of this national institution. It looks like business as usual to me...

Compare these words of Archbishop Welby with the Eastern Orthodox theologian, Rod Dreher, who recently warned that same sex marriage "signifies the final triumph of the Sexual Revolution and the dethroning of Christianity because it denies the core concept of Christian anthropology," He also wonders if "our modern concept of human rights and other fundamental goods of modernity" based on a "Christian cosmology" can survive:

Too many...think that same-sex marriage is merely a question of sexual ethics. They fail to see that gay marriage, and the concomitant collapse of marriage among poor and working-class heterosexuals, makes perfect sense given the autonomous individualism sacralized by modernity and embraced by contemporary culture-indeed, by many who call themselves Christians.

Defending a Christian cosmology, and deploying natural law, sometimes seem beyond the comfortable range of even many of the best orthodox Protestant and Evangelical thinkers. Of course, liberal Protestants fully embrace "autonomous individualism" and whatever it brings. And squishy neo-orthodox Protestants, typically devotees of Karl Barth, often reject or minimize natural law, full scriptural authority, and the robust witness of the universal church, leaving them few tools to withstand the prevailing zeitgeist.

See how one voice calls us to recognise the current push for gay rights as a direct assault not only on Christian ethics but, more importantly, on the very anthropological cornerstone on which all Judaeo-Christian philosophy stands. It is to undermine the very notion that God created us male and female for a purpose.

The other voice, from Canterbury, suggests things are not so important. It calls instead for a future of compromise and eventual acceptance of secular belief. It must trump the claim of scripture. And worst of all is the (totally unnecessary) involvement of Stonewall- a group whose history involves open attack on Christian leaders who dare defend the family. We might consider the "bigot of the year" dinner at which a Catholic bishop was mocked and humiliated for daring to uphold Catholic teaching. (That he himself was subsequently shamed by a scandal is beside the point). Why can't the church bring its own people in to combat bullying from a Christian perspective? Why must disciples of a secular creed and very different system of belief instead be given this incredible opportunity to promote their own ideology which blatantly contradicts Christian anthropology? It is something a minority of Catholics sadly need to ponder too but fortunately not our head.

Make no mistake we are coming to a point in time when the true faith and prevailing culture reach an impasse. The last time this happened, of course, was when a lusty monarch decided to break from Rome. Obviously there will be, as there was then, the voice which calls people to an easy life and willingly bends the knees to enemies of the faith. But there will also be those who, like Thomas More and Fisher, hold to the faith with courage and witness to truth for Jesus.

Understand this issue is not about to go away. Many will be those who, for the good of "the club" and a quiet life, opt to cosy up to the state and act as though Christian faith can stand on secular foundations built on an anthropology negating everything the church has ever taught. but it cant and this Christianity-lite will fail. Others, for the good of Christ's church, will accept a more difficult path to witness to the truth as clearly explained in Scripture. Let us pray it doesn't come to this but- if it does- who will you stand with? The church of the ages or the thinking of this age?

Get a bi-weekly summary of Anglican news from around the world.
comments powered by Disqus
Trinity School for Ministry
Go To Top