Friday 4 May 2012

The Church Do you ever feel depressed at the failure of the Church to make an impression on society? Do you further feel frustrated when you see where opposition comes from? There are numerous factors which can affect people’s attitude to the Church; some come from outside the Church, but the most damaging come from within. Just as people are reluctant to vote for a political party when it is divided and cannot state positively what it believes and stands for, so the same analogy applies to the Church. Much discussion is in progress at the current time regarding the government’s determination to legalise same sex unions as marriage. The Roman Catholic Church is resolute in its opposition, and is supported by Muslims, Sikhs, Jews, and some Protestant Churches, but with only qualified support from the Church of England. In fact a vociferous group of clergy are calling for the legislation to go ahead, and an appalling situation has developed in the notoriously liberal Diocese of Southwark. A lay reader of many years experience, holder of a degree and teacher of theology, has been suspended because he spoke against legalisation and invited the congregation of a Church to support the petition upholding marriage. Two women and a retired bishop complained and the archdeacon suspended the man. Yet, the two women who went on to speak in support of ‘gay marriage’ had no action taken. This Diocese prides itself on its ‘inclusivity’, with the Dean pompously proclaiming this. The senior appointments by the Bishop have excluded evangelicals. (Such is its practice of inclusivity). An article in the Daily Telegraph recently contained a thinly veiled attack on the Archbishop of York by two retired Bishops opposing his chances of being appointed Archbishop of Canterbury, purely on the grounds of his conservative belief and his views on sexuality, in other words he opposes gay marriage. Neither would allow themselves to be identified which shows how disgusting and cowardly they are. In a letter to another national newspaper, the Deans of St.Albans, Norwich, Portsmouth and Guildford, together with the Bishop of Buckingham, all rejoiced at the prospect of such legislation. When you add the constant campaigning of the Archbishop of Wales and the Bishop of Salisbury, you can see how disloyal to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, and faithless to the Bible, prominent figures in the Church are. When the Church is striving to get the gospel message to an increasingly sceptic society, who needs to fear the devil?

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