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Special Support Needed for Young Evangelicals at King's College Cambridge

Special Support Needed for Young Evangelicals at King's College Cambridge

By Julian Mann
Special to Virtueonline
www.virtueonline.org
Nov. 25, 2017

Young evangelicals at King's College Cambridge are faced with a chaplain who is personally hostile to orthodox Christianity. In this situation, these Christians need particular pastoral support from Bible-believing local churches in Cambridge as well as from the Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship (UCCF).

The Revd Andrew Hammond, who in this Michaelmas term has introduced special celebratory services for homosexual and transgender practices in King's College Chapel, told the Cambridge University student newspaper, Varsity: 'I finally decided to nail my colours to the mast at the beginning of this term...In the end, for me, it's the quality of the love that matters between people, not the gender of the lovers'.

He said the services had received a 'quite extraordinary' response from most students although some members of the Christian Union had raised concerns. Whilst describing these individual students as 'nice as pie', he said they had views that 'can give you the heeby-jeebies'.

He complained: 'There is the particular kind of theology and ethics that they have, which, are actually, for all that they look terribly numerous, are a minority position in the Church of England. The other thing, which is what really gets me, is the effect that it can all have on people who don't feel like they fit this mould of a certain kind of human being.'

The orthodox Christian minority in the college are therefore clearly faced with a chaplain who is hostile to their convictions. It is also important to point out that Mr Hammond is opposed to the official teaching of his own Church, the Church of the England, whose orthodox biblical teaching on the exclusively heterosexual nature of marriage and the wrongness of extramarital sex is expressed in its Canons (rules).

According to Canon B30: 'The Church of England affirms, according to our Lord's teaching, that marriage is in its nature a union permanent and lifelong, for better for worse, till death them do part, of one man with one woman, to the exclusion of all others on either side, for the procreation and nurture of children, for the hallowing and right direction of the natural instincts and affections, and for the mutual society, help and comfort which the one ought to have of the other, both in prosperity and adversity.'

It would appear unlikely that Mr Hammond will be called to account by the Church authorities for his conduct because according to his own admission: 'I've been ordained for ten years, but I've spoken freely in any context except in the pulpit about how I think the teaching should change, particularly on sexuality and gender identity.'

But for how long orthodox Christians at King's College Cambridge will be allowed openly to express their convictions is surely open to question. That is why they need particular pastoral support from outside King's College.

Julian Mann is vicar of the Parish Church of the Ascension, Oughtibridge, South Yorkshire, UK - www.oughtibridgechurch.org.uk

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