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Rev Julian Mann: Liberal bias against orthodox Anglicans creeps into leading website Christian Today


Clear evidence of editorial bias against orthodox Anglicans has now emerged on the influential UK news and comment site, Christian Today.

Christian Today has a classic evangelical statement of faith. This declares: “We believe that the Bible, consisting of Old and New Testaments only, is verbally inspired by the Holy Spirit, is inerrant in the original manuscripts, and is the infallible and authoritative Word of God.” It still has evangelically orthodox commentators such as David Robertson, minister of St Peter’s Free Church, Dundee, Scotland.

But analysis of two news articles by recently-appointed contributing editor Ruth Gledhill, former religious affairs correspondent of The Times, demonstrates clear editorial bias in favour of liberal Anglican campaigners.

The first article, headlined “Dean of St Paul’s David Ison calls on CofE to consider gay marriage”, was published on February 27th. Given the editorial space given to Dr Ison’s liberal musings, one would expect in a balanced news story a quote from an orthodox Anglican refuting the Dean’s prospectus.

But none was forthcoming apart from a passing reference to the fact that the Anglican evangelical network Reform is not participating in the CofE’s facilitated conversations on human sexuality and who had the last word?

Jayne Ozanne, director of homosexualist campaign group Accepting Evangelicals: “I think we would also do well to remember that although the gospels make no mention of Jesus addressing the issue of homosexuality directly, they make plenty of references to his confrontations with those who lived by the letter rather than the spirit of the law.”

According to Ms Ozanne’s theological reasoning, Jesus must therefore be seen to be in “confrontation” with the New Testament writer, the Apostle Paul, who did address the issue of homosexuality directly.  Such an approach to Holy Spirit-inspired Scripture clearly goes against CT’s statement of faith.

Whilst there is nothing wrong with CT reporting Ms Ozanne’s view in a news story, in the light of the site’s statement of faith one would expect a subsequent editorial comment robustly engaging with her theology and defending the Apostle Paul as a divinely inspired biblical writer and faithful servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The second article by Ms Gledhill, headlined “Possible ‘parallel Anglican Church’ set to highlight divisions”, heralded the meeting last week in London of orthodox Archbishops in the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans and was published on April 12th. This news story did give space to orthodox Anglican opinion and one would expect a liberal comment somewhere.

But compare the last liberal word in this piece from Father Ron Smith in New Zealand with no orthodox word in the other: “The Anglican World watches – and waits – for the Archbishop of Canterbury’s response to this act of piracy in his own jurisdiction.”

The publishers of Christian Today should surely now be very concerned about the liberal bias of its new contributing editor and about the upholding of CT’s statement of faith.

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

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