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Sunday, April 14, 2024
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HomeCulture WarThe C of E’s helter-skelter plunge into heresy  

The C of E’s helter-skelter plunge into heresy  

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THERE are many good men and women in the Church of England who simply want to worship and serve God as best they can in the way their parents did. There are ministers whose preaching and teaching has enriched us and whose books Christians read with profit. Such Christians have been betrayed by their denomination.

Sadly today the C of E, an institution which has been of inestimable benefit to Christians across the globe, has been captured by woke ideological extremists who appear determined to set it on a course leading to gross doctrinal error and institutional suicide. All this with the support of the liberal bishops and the middle-of-the-road clergy.

We have seen helter-skelters and pitch-and-putt in ancient cathedrals. There have been ‘Rave in the Nave’ silent discos in cathedrals, including Canterbury where revellers sipping cocktails danced to hits by artists such as Eminem and Britney Spears yards from the site of Becket’s murder. All in the name of ‘being relevant’ and raising money. These activities demonstrate at the least a lack of respect for Christianity and Christians, and at worst a casual blasphemy.

The C of E’s own church law says the use of church buildings for any other purpose, such as a play, a concert or an exhibition, should be such that ‘the words, music, and pictures are such as befit the House of God, are consonant with sound doctrine, and make for the edifying of the people’. (Canon F16)

The Islamic call to prayer was heard inside Gloucester Cathedral in 2017. This is an explicit call to worship another god, as well as the proclamation that ‘There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet.’ In 2015, St John’s Church, Waterloo, hosted an Islamic jummah salah, or Friday prayer. This included prayers to Islam’s false god Allah. Inter-faith worship is clearly prohibited by the law of the C of E (Canon B5), yet it still occurs. More importantly it breaks the first commandment, ‘You shall have no other gods before me.’ (Exodus 20:3)

We see Pride flags flying over and hung within churches, even draped on the altar. One of the seven deadly sins honoured in houses supposedly built for the worship of God, while they celebrate what God unambiguously terms an ‘abomination’ and which excludes people from salvation.

The leadership of the C of E seem determined to give the appearance that what matters most to them is today’s zeitgeist. It is apparent that institutionally the Church has abandoned Christianity to become a woke lobby group. They would far rather turn their backs on God’s Word than disappoint the Pink News.

This is merely the external manifestation of downplaying Christianity in the C of E; much more serious is the doctrinal decline. When in 1963 Bishop John A T Robinson published Honest to God, its denial of orthodox Christian doctrine caused a storm of controversy. Today his conclusions would be considered mundane, not to say old-fashioned. Sound doctrine has been jettisoned in favour of woke ideology.

The C of E has drifted so far from the faith that it has come to renounce what was once held and which made it a church. Many of the leaders of the C of E pretend to be something they are not: they profess adherence to a creed in which they no longer believe.

The C of E has bought into the cultural tide over the question of slavery. Last year the Church Commissioners published a report calling for a fund of £100million to be earmarked for reparations to atone for historic slavery. For a church which is failing to keep its buildings open, is amalgamating parishes and cannot supply clergy to run its remaining parishes, this was a huge investment. But apparently not huge enough. The Oversight Group for the Church Commissioners recently asked for the sum to be multiplied by ten, to £1billion.

This caused such outrage that even more telling matters have been largely unnoticed. It recommended that an official apology was in order for ‘denying that black Africans are made in the image of God’. If the accusation were true, the C of E should acknowledge their error as it is a denial of Scripture. Yet search the writings of colonial-era missionaries and you will not find any such assertion about African humanity. In their blind adherence to woke ideology the Church Commissioners have accused their predecessors of being heretics, of denying a core doctrine of the faith, that all mankind is made in the image of God. The Oversight Group’s report also called for the C of E to apologise for ‘seeking to destroy diverse African traditional religious belief systems’ and replace them with Christianity. When they welcomed this, the Church Commissioners welcomed and embraced heresy. In effect they called upon the Church of England to repent for having preached the gospel.

Heresy is the formal denial or doubt of a core doctrine of the Christian faith as defined by one or more of the Christian churches. It is beyond doubt that salvation through Christ alone is a core doctrine of the Church.

At this point they have moved well beyond promoting woke ideology. As well as repudiating the many faithful C of E missionaries who spent their lives and sometimes died in the service of the gospel in Africa, they actually deny the gospel itself.

When on trial for his faith the apostle Peter said that he would continue preaching Christ, ‘And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.’ (Acts 4:12) Throughout the New Testament there is an unrelenting insistence that Christ is the sole Saviour and anything else is to be utterly rejected.

When Paul wrote: ‘For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes’, (Romans 1:16) he outlined the foundational commitment for the mission of the church. By welcoming this report, the Church of England has declared itself ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the message that he is the sole way of salvation.

With this action, and without any move to discipline the Oversight Group or the Church Commissioners, the Church of England stands open to the accusation of having become a spiritually infertile apostate institution. The long process of liberalisation has reached its inevitable conclusion.

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Dr Campbell Campbell-Jack
Dr Campbell Campbell-Jackhttp://www.agrainofsand.co.uk/
Campbell is a retired Presbyterian minister who lives in Stirlingshire. He blogs at A Grain of Sand.

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