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Why "deep listening" in The Church of England will fail

Why "deep listening" in The Church of England will fail
Living in Love and Faith will manipulate many, enlighten none and continue to empty the Church


By David W. Virtue, DD
November 16, 2020

Once upon a time in the Land of Nod, AKA the Episcopal Church, "listening" to the experiences, aka the whine of homosexuals we were told, would help us orthodox folks feel the pain of those excluded from pulpits and the hallways of ecclesiastical power.

If we were prepared to listen to pain-filled homosexuals and their feelings of exclusion, we would welcome them into the warm accepting embrace of the Church, offer them full access to the sacraments, bless their relationships, ordain them to the ministry, thence to the episcopacy, and cap it all with the erotic joys of homosexual marriage. Their backers succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.

Episcopal church leaders raised holy hands and lifted up V. Gene Robinson, a married heterosexual turned homosexual, once married to a woman, then married to a man and later divorcing him; then making him a bishop in God's One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

I remember the night all too well. I was there. The crowd jubilantly roared its approval; the sexually conflicted Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold beamed his approval as Robinson publicly embraced and kissed his partner. It was a night to forget.

It had now finally dawned on me that "listening" was never designed to arrive at the truth, its primary mission was to dumb down, neutralize, and eventually broker in a behavior that scripture gave no sanction to. With Resolution B012, the circle of homosexual life was now complete. The fix was in, the intolerance of the tolerant completed the circle.

If we listened and listened and listened, we would be worn down by all the listening, throw up our hands in surrender and admit that God was doing a "new thing".

The belief was now that God had changed his mind; that men who wrote the Bible could rewrite it to our (sexual) satisfaction. The Almighty would simply have to approve the Church's General Convention resolutions. 'Father accept me for I have not sinned.'

It was bold in its assertions and claims, and it worked. The Episcopal Church got what it prayed for, a church filled with rich diversity and inclusion but not, of course, for everyone.

Orthodox Episcopalians were promised that their stances and position would be welcome and honored, that the necessary compromises would be made to hear their voices to keep them at the table. Many who had heard this before over the ordination of women had their doubts. They would later be confirmed.

That, of course, is not how it turned out. Next month the Episcopal Church will kick the last godly orthodox bishop to the curb. Bishop William Love will no longer be welcome to express his biblical view on marriage to his priests and people. He will be persona non grata. He is out, gone...all in the name of tolerance that is no more, and inclusion that is not.

The orthodox learned too late that you don't negotiate with a lion when you have your head in its mouth. The orthodox Communion Partner bishops have their heads firmly in the lions' mouth and they know they will be decapitated if they should dare change their minds.

And now we are seeing a repeat in the Church of England. A report released this week by the Church of England titled "Living in Love and Faith" (LLF) will confirm to all orthodox Anglicans globally, that the Mother Church is now embracing a variety of sexual behaviors including homosexuality and transgenderism in defiance of Scripture. That action will further link the CoE more closely to the American Episcopal Church and alienate it even further from the Global South and GAFCON.

"Living in Love and Faith" will attempt to reinvent the world of inclusion for Brits. It will be little more than a repeat of what the Episcopal Church has done. It is pansexuality redux. It is deja vu all over again to quote Yogi Berra. The Church of Tolerance will hold a historic vote on homosexual marriage as early as 2022 where it is expected to pass, aided by Jayne Ozanne, whose cry for female booty apparently has yet to be realized.

The deep thinkers say the mother church is in a period of "deep listening" over pansexuality. This will be the new norm because the highly intelligent, nice, feel your pain, Bishop of Coventry, says so.

Groups of concerned brows will be furrowed; focused eyes will bore in on those telling their stories of exclusion. Heads will wisely nod, hands will wring, eyes will water over the Church's failed inclusion for a small coterie of men and women whose distorted, but allegedly hardwired sexuality must now be accepted in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

The Church's two archbishops have already apologized for the "damage and hurt" caused to the homosexual community. They have seen the light and felt their pain of their exclusion and atonement is on the way.

Of course, reparative therapy will never be discussed except scornfully; "how dare you think to change us" mindset. The voices of those healed of same sex attractions will not be heard either because they dared to suggest that their feelings and behavior were intrinsically disordered and God could actually change and heal them. God, forbid!

But the voices of homosexuals and lesbians will be heard. Those clerics who identify as transgendered will tell their stories of how they went from male to female and vice versa.

Of course, we know how all this will end. There are really no bishops left in the CofE with an evangelical spinal column. Compromise and niceness are written into the warp and woof of bishops today.

As Oliver O'Donovan in a piece on the LLF writes; "there is the question of 'feeling,' which our document frequently acknowledges and not infrequently displays. There is no need to apologize for feeling these days. The reign of the clear-thinking rationalist and his icebox brain has long gone; all philosophers today interpret feeling as a way of knowing." I doubt John Stott's "icebox brain" or that of the apostle Paul would agree with him. One can only imagine Jesus standing up in the temple and announcing, "I feel therefore I am." The money changers would still be doing their business.

For Bishop Cocksworth and his gang, it is now copulo ergo sum - I screw therefore I am.

And Jesus wept.


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