Monday 6 October 2014

Anyone reading the week-end papers could have wondered if the Christian Church has gone made.

We have the story of a Catholic bishop who strayed from the dictate of his Church by having a normal relationship with a woman and has been obliged to resign his Office. Such refusal by the Catholic Church to accept priests may marry is indefensible to Scripture as we know the Apostle Peter, who was so close to Jesus, was married. Such edict is purely a Church one without any proper foundation.

We have the story of a bishop in the Church of England who has written a book (it states in the paper) who is advocating relationships, which are an offence against God, against the policy of his Archbishops and the Church, and wants to encourage same sex marriage, and for all homosexuals to declare their feelings. He even goes as far as alleging one in ten bishops as being homosexual.

The general public will not differentiate between denominations and will rather see it as the Christian Church uncertain as to what it believes. Mind you they would not be far wrong.

A person’s sexuality is a matter for them personally and as such they are not expected to be the source of criticism. Criticism is justified against those who practise or advocate same sex relationships, when holding a position within the Church which disapproves, thus reneging on one’s vows to acknowledge Scriptural teaching.

Even a person with half a brain can understand the Bible’s statements that homosexuality is against the will of God; the verses are unequivocal and cannot be misunderstood. (Lev.18v22;Romans 1.v27; Jude v7) Of course, if a person does not accept God's Word as authoritative none of this matters, but if not then one should not hold Office within the Church.

For a bishop to attempt to justify homosexuality on Scriptural grounds is shameful. If the bishop advocated the gospel as forcibly as he does homosexual rights, there would be a mini-revival in Buckinghamshire.

Unfortunately many people will think here is a bishop writing, so he must know what he is saying, and so accept his remarks. Those of us who aware of the bishop of Buckingham will consider him as a man of disloyalty, who has openly and strongly opposed his Church’s policy; a man of dishonour in that he must have taken vows to recognise the authority of Scripture both when being made a priest, (‘to be ready with all faithful diligence to banish and drive away all erroneous and strange doctrines contrary to God’s Word’) and similarly later as a bishop, (‘same vow, plus ‘to deny all ungodliness and worldly lusts and call upon God for the TRUE understanding of the same holy Scriptures’).

Those who love and cherish the Church look with anguish at the state of the Church today. There was a time when the Church was viewed as a respected and indeed holy institution, and the clergy were similarly treated with respect and reverence. Most of such attitudes have dissipated as the public read of Vicars engaging in unseemly pornography, and behaving in a way less seemly. We see Vicars with bright coloured shirts and earrings, and that is before we get to the women. We had dancing and rap music at one wedding (at least) and at another a man dressed as a cowboy.

Our services are meant to be holy; God said ‘be holy as I am holy’.

Is it any wonder numbers in the pews are falling when we cannot even have bishops being true to their calling?

However, let me end on a very positive note with a quote from a very distinguished cleric who was both Catholic and Evangelical in his ministry. Here is a quote from Pope Benedict

"In those situations where homosexual unions have been legally recognized or have been given the legal status and rights belonging to marriage, clear and emphatic opposition is a duty. One must refrain from any kind of formal cooperation in the enactment or application of such gravely unjust laws and, as far as possible, from material cooperation on the level of their application. In this area, everyone can exercise the right to conscientious objection."

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