October 28, 2013
Peter Ould provides an excellent example of Christian courage in what, it seems, will soon be a quite hostile environment:
I have now confirmed from a number of sources what the Pilling Report is going to recommend. The final draft is ready and it will propose that the Church of England introduce some form of liturgy that will bless same-sex relationships. There is absolutely no doubt that this is what the outcome of the committee’s deliberations will be – This is not spin, it is not trying to influence the outcome, it is the real deal. Whilst the committee will not recommend adapting our services of Holy Matrimony to include same-sex marriages, I am led to understand that it will propose a formal rite that will provide an alternative for those in a formal same-sex union (Civil Partnership or Marriage) on the basis that we cannot presume such a relationship is sexual. Once that happens we will have formally declared same-sex unions to be holy. In the Church of England our liturgy is our doctrine and the moment we have a rite that in any way affirms same-sex relationships then we will have fundamentally changed what we believe.
This means that the Church of England is at a cross-roads. For the first time ever we will call that which is evil holy. We will bless sin. There are no two ways about it – we are at a defining moment for the Christian witness in this country…a point of reckoning. It is the junction at which we contemplate the possibility that the Church that sent missionaries around the world, that evangelised peoples and nations and tongues, that had its leading lights martyred in every century for preaching grace and holiness, that same Church now blaspheming the Holy Spirit, calling that which is evil, holy. It is almost inconceivable,and yet here we are…more
It will do you no good to click on the ”more’ link in this article on the oddly-named ‘STAND-FIRM’ web-site (from which it is taken) – probably because it contains more material that would further point to the insensitive maunderings of Peter Ould, the author, who was present at the recent GAFCON in Nairobi, whose prelates have barely stopped short of condemning the Church of England for its perceived following of a ‘false Gospel’.
Mr Ould, presumably a priest of the Church of England, obviously is one of the radical followers of the Gafcon movement – largely composed of disaffected Anglicans in Africa and other countries – who are currently riding high on a wave of bigotry and name-calling about the polity of those Churches in the Anglican Communion that have relaxed their decades-old culture of hatred against homosexuals and the world-wide LGBT community in the Christian Church – and in the world outside of the Church. Some of the Gafcon prelates – notably in Kenya and Nigeria – have cooperated with their local governments in their imprisonment and persecution of known homosexuals – and their friends and relations – in their own provinces of the Communion.
Dissident organisations like ‘Standing Firm’, ‘Reform’, ‘Gafcon’, ‘ACI’, ‘FCA’, ‘Anglican Maintream’ (another oxymoronic title); and schismatic church organisation like AMiE, ACNA, AMiA – together with other acronymic ‘Holier Than Thou’ sodalities; have met together in order to proclaim their united front against what they have diagnosed as the promotion of a ‘False Gospel’ by the Church of England, TEC, The Anglican Church of Canada, and other more liberal Provinces of the Anglican Communion that are seeking to bring justice to those whose innate sexual-orientation is different from the mainstream heterosexual binary.
Here is a typical statement by Mr. Ould, quoted from the above article, that indicates his depth of prejudice:
” the Church of England is at a cross-roads. For the first time ever we will call that which is evil, holy.”
With such a view, about those in society who have no other way of being – other than how they have been created from the womb – people like Mr. Ould and his ‘sola-scriptura’ friends at Gafcon, are giving society more ammunition to demonise and ill-treat one of the most vulnerable sectors of modern society. It is this endemic, institutionalised hatred of Gays – and to a certain extent, Women in Ministry – that informs the hearts, minds and consciences of those in the Church that causes a great deal of anxiety and distress to the people they target. This is not ‘Gospel’ behaviour. Nor is it typical, thank God, of most Christians in today’s world.
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand