Across the Pond
Key Aide to Archbishop of Canterbury Resigns, Citing “erosion of faithfulness”
By The Rev. Dr. Peter Mullen
The writer is a Church of England priest. He is the former Rector of St. Michael Corn Hill in the City of London. Dr. Mullen is Chaplain to the Honourable Company of Air Pilots, one of the Livery Companies of the City of London, and the Anglican Chaplain to the London Stock Exchange.
Lorna Ashworth, a close colleague and adviser of the Archbishop of Canterbury, a member of the Archbishop’s Council, has resigned from both the Council and the General Synod. In her resignation letter, she wrote: “There is an agenda of revisionism masked in the language of so called ‘good disagreement’ and an ongoing and rapid erosion of faithfulness. ‘Good disagreement’ and ‘unity’ have trumped the saving gospel of Jesus Christ.
“We have a liberal agenda because the church is not anchored in the Gospel. There is no longer conversation about heaven, hell, sin, forgiveness and judgement.”
The biblical notion of sin is rejected by the bishops and the Synod because, as Mrs Ashworth explains, “if we talk about sin, then we have to talk about bad behaviour and people don’t want to be judgmental.” So they talk about the fantasy of “good disagreement” instead. But this means equivocation and contradictoriness: for instance if one person says homosexual marriage is right and another says it is wrong then – according to the principle of “good disagreement” – both of these opposed views can be right. And that is plain nonsense and it just means we can’t talk about right and wrong at all. They don’t like to be, as they say, judgemental; but there is a judgement and it is God who defines the terms of his judgement.
If God speaks, then presumably it is in order to say something. God has said many things, including that he created male and female and, whatever the views of the heretical bishops, he intended this distinction to be permanent. God also declared that marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman. Christians are not at liberty to disagree – even if they call their disagreement “good” – with God’s will for humankind as recorded in the Bible. How many straws does it take to break the camel’s back? The Church of England authorities have loaded up the poor beast with a great many. They have initiated special services for the transgendered. They are to debate blessings in church for those contracting civil homosexual “marriages.” The straw that broke the camel’s back is the most recent proposal – enthusiastically supported by the Archbishop of Canterbury - to encourage primary school children to “explore their gender identity and be afforded freedom from the expectation of permanence.” So we have the travesty of little boys in tiaras and tutus and little girls as cowboys and Viking warriors. To encourage such things – as the Church leaders do in their latest proclamation – is to perpetrate child abuse.
Mrs Ashworth describes the Church’s “revisionist agenda” as “heretical.” And she is right. When it comes to gender – look, let’s get the word right and use the word we’ve always used, “sex” – the Church says it is against “permanence.” Therefore it is against the Bible where it is written, “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Genesis 1:27).
Since the social “reforms” of the 1960s, the Church has determinedly gone along with secular policy. But such secularisation has gone far beyond tinkering at the edges until today it is undermining the core beliefs our society derived from the Bible and 2000 years of Christian tradition. It must be recognised and stressed: the so called British values are not Christian values. They are part of the Europe-wide agenda which aims to dismiss the Christian faith from public life. I am not making this up. It is a fact. The EU has removed all reference to Christianity from its insignia and documentation. Bible-believing Christians are persecuted, criminalised and losing their livelihood for remaining true to what their faith commands.
The newspapers have responded to Mrs Ashworth’s resignation by declaring that it has “opened a split” or “created fissures” between traditionalists and modernisers. The newspapers are behind the times. What now exists is not a split or fissures, both of which might be repaired. The reality is that a great gulf is fixed between faithful Christians and enthusiastic secularists and there can be no doctrinal or moral commerce between these two parties. The bishops have made it clear that they are on the side of the secularisers. Thus they are apostates and they have created an atheistic establishment.
When I so accuse them, they will reply, “Ridiculous! Of course the bishops believe in God.” Perhaps they do, but who is this God in whom they believe? Not the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ. He is a god they have made in their own image, in other words an idol. There can be no compromising with this idol and his episcopal devotees. Mrs Ashworth’s clear and courageous statement draws a line in the sand. Let her speak for herself then:
“Until we have a House of Bishops full of shepherds who stand only for the truth, our work can offer only confusion and plurality to a lost and dying world.”