Monday 17 February 2014

An irrefutable fact is that Church attendance in Britain is going into decline. Jesus said He would build His Church and clearly meant that He would do so through the work of His followers; but such followers would have to act in accordance with His teaching and example. The Church is not living up to such expectation.

The recent action of the Church of England is more comparable to that traditional image of the used car salesman. We have seen manipulation, obfuscation, hypocrisy.

Last year General Synod held a vote on whether the Church should appoint women as bishops, and this was held in accordance with the democratic process of the Church. The vote was not as desired, but instead of continuing in the laid down procedure of delaying any further vote until a new Synod was created, that was by passed. This month a vote was pressured through with indecent haste, ignoring all normal procedures to hurry the matter through.

We are told that society is mocking the Church because it doesn’t appoint women as bishops and ordain homosexual men as priests. Does anyone seriously imagine appointing women will make any noticeable difference? Those people outside the Church making so much comment are not seriously interested in the good of the Church and will not be persuaded to suddenly attend; but in the process we will alienate other Churches in the Anglican Communion, the Roman Catholic Church and Orthodox Churches, as well as the small matter (apparently) of ignoring Scripture.

We are letting minorities dictate procedure. We have had women priests for years, yet Church numbers have not risen but gone the other way irrespective. The Church has had senior clergy calling for same sex marriage to be approved, in direct contradiction of Scripture to satisfy a minority, and now the Church is desperately and with breathtaking duplicity trying to give the nod to same sex blessings without formally doing so.

I read of one senior woman cleric who stated being a parish priest was all she desired and didn’t want her name to be put forward for consideration as a bishop, but didn’t want to let people down, and would have to think hard whether to accept if asked. All she need say are three words, ‘count me out’, but what she is in fact saying in double speech is, I desperately want to be appointed.

The Methodist Church conducted a survey recently amongst its members and one of the questions asked was should the Methodist Church change its declared policy that marriage is between one man and woman, in order to meet the change in society’s thinking. Could you visualise how John Wesley would have responded? He and Charles Wesley always saw the Church leading society’s thinking, not the other way around.

Now we have the leader of the Roman Catholic Church displaying his strong political leanings and speaking against welfare reform when the country is so overwhelmingly supporting Ian Duncan Smith’s efforts, a devout Christian man. These reforms will counter those who wish to live an idle life at the expense of others, something Paul condemned in his Letter to the Thessalonian Church.

Not very strong foundations for building ; more like sand than rock.

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