Monday, June 14, 2021
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Can the Christian flock survive these Marxist wolves?

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THE newly-launched Movement of Supporting Anglicans for an Inclusive Church (Mosaic) has a clear political motive: to win power on the Church of England’s governing body, the General Synod.

One of the patrons of this neo-Marxist umbrella organisation is the Dean of Guildford, Dianna Gwilliams. She chairs the lobby group Inclusive Church, which has a section on its website devoted to the ‘Synod Campaign’: ‘In 2015 some dioceses only had one inclusive candidate, who topped the poll, but the other places were taken by conservatives. The more inclusive candidates we have standing, the more inclusive representatives we can elect.’

Revealingly for a woke pressure group, Mosaic gave considerable prominence to ‘leaders’ in its launching press release ahead of this weekend’s General Synod. Rather than talking about trying to serve the Church, the group boasted: ‘Leaders from across the full breadth of inclusive networks have united to create a “Movement of Supporting Anglicans for an Inclusive Church” that will campaign together for a more inclusive church. The movement aims to have a presence in each diocese of the Church of England, where it will work with local clergy and laity on projects that promote inclusion for all those who are currently marginalised by the Church of England – whether that be due to race, ability, sexuality, gender or gender identity.’

The blanket blaming of the entire denomination for marginalising people as if every church-going Anglican (apart from the enlightened members of The Party) is guilty of this sin is of course typical of Left-wing utopian rhetoric.

Another Mosaic patron is Jayne Ozanne, a member of the General Synod and the government’s LGBT Advisory Panel. She is a campaigner for the criminalisation of ‘gay conversion therapy’. Thus, the UK would become a country in which the killing of unborn children is protected by the full force of the law whilst counselling for consenting adults wanting to change their sexual attraction so that they can be heterosexually married and have children is banned.

The General Synod elections were due to be held this year, but have been postponed until next year. If Mosaic is successful in gaining majorities in the Houses of Laity and Clergy, same-sex weddings in parish churches in England could be under way by 2025. Whilst in theory the House of Bishops could veto the move, surely that would be very unlikely if the House of Laity representing the volunteers on whom the C of E increasingly relies financially were strongly in favour of it?

The consequence of the C of E forsaking the traditional Christian sexual ethic would be catastrophic for its mission and ministry to the nation. If the General Synod votes to ditch the commitment, expressed very clearly in the Book of Common Prayer, to the heterosexually married family as the foundation of society, the national Church would become no more than a woke pressure group dressed up in religious garb.

Whilst for me it has been a spiritual relief to have left the C of E, the village parish church where I was vicar for 19 years in Sheffield diocese is still part of it. The church is in a stronger position due to an influx of committed Christian people with a younger minister from a large evangelical church nearby. But it would be spiritually and indeed legally vulnerable in a C of E dominated by social Marxists. How long could a small flock of sheep in a denomination overrun by wolves survive as an authentically Christian community?

Another Mosaic patron is the Archdeacon of Sheffield and Rotherham, Malcolm Chamberlain. Can conservative C of E churches in Sheffield Diocese mount an effective Christian resistance movement against the onslaught of political correctness? On the evidence I saw when I was in the diocese, wisdom would have to go with pessimism on that question. But it would be wrong to rule out the possibility of the Lord, in his sovereign grace, intervening to fire up his people.

Apart from Mosaic’s attempt to present itself as a colourful and exciting group through its acronym, it may also be trying to identify itself with Moses – leading the C of E into the Promised Land of diversity, equality and inclusion. But this group has nothing to do with the biblical Moses. For all his human failings, he was humble and faithful in his Lord’s service.

How many of the so-called ‘leaders’ of Mosaic would be able to recite the Ten Commandments if quizzed, let alone the Apostles’ Creed?

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Julian Mann
Julian Mann is a former Church of England vicar, now an evangelical journalist based in Morecambe, Lancashire.

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