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CHURCH OF ENGLAND: Transgender people encouraged to become priests in diversity drive

CHURCH OF ENGLAND: Transgender people encouraged to become priests in diversity drive
Is this the final sexual straw in the Mother Church?
GAFCON leaders will view this as yet further evidence that the CofE is firmly in the progressive camp and Welby cannot be trusted

COMMENTARY

By David W. Virtue, DD
www.virtueonline.org
May 28, 2018

Transgender people encouraged to become priests in Church of England diversity drive, screamed a headline in The Telegraph newspaper. Last year, the Church of England's ruling body voted to provide special services for transgender people to mark their transition.

This would hardly have been news in either The Episcopal Church or the Anglican Church of Canada, but when the Mother Church entertains such a notion it will be viewed as the final straw for Global South leaders who view such sexual innovation as a violation of scripture, history and the church's traditional moral teaching on sexuality.

It will cement in the minds of some 2,000 Anglicans meeting in Jerusalem next month that the gig is up and Archbishop Justin Welby can no longer be trusted to lead the communion in the way of [sexual] righteousness. Impaired or broken communion is now a full reality.

While the CofE does not recognize or allow same-sex marriage, it has given its blessing to recognizing civil partnerships and for wedding-style services for such couples in civil partnerships. This is the thin end of the wedge which will only widen in time as CofE LGBTQ sexual interlocutors like Jayne Ozanne (who still calls herself an evangelical), push for greater acceptance. After all, they have watched and learned from TEC pansexualists how to play the long game. That they are allowed to enter into same-sex relationships only on the understanding that they will remain celibate, is unproveable.

This past week, bishops in the Diocese of Lichfield issued new guidance to parishioners and clergy reminding them that LGBT people "can be called to roles of leadership and service in the local church".

The guidance, titled "welcoming and honoring LGBT+ people", warns that the church's reputation as being unwelcoming towards gay and transgender people is stopping young people attending.

With weekly church attendance having fallen below one million out of a population of 66 million, this would be 0.01% LGBT of that one million even remotely interested in attending a parish church.

"We very much hope that they, like everyone else, feel encouraged to serve on PCCs, or as churchwardens and worship leaders, for instance, and are supported in exploring vocations to licensed lay and ordained ministries," the guidance says.

"Nobody should be told that their sexual or gender identity in itself makes them an unsuitable candidate for leadership in the Church."

The group, led by diocesan bishop, The Rt Rev. Dr. Michael Ipgrave, also warns against "intrusive questioning about someone's sexual practices or desires, or their experience of gender", saying it is "almost always inappropriate".

Really. Hardly in the vein of St. Paul who told the Corinthian Church, "Do you not know that the immoral will not inherit the kingdom of God? You were cleansed of all this in the name of the Lord Jesus and in the Spirit of our God." (1 Cor. 6:9)

The 1662 Book of Common Prayer drives the point home with its command, "to drive away all erroneous, and strange doctrines, contrary to God's word..."

Last year, the Church's general synod voted to call on the Government to ban so-called "conversion therapy", which is aimed at helping gay people change their sexuality.

Reparative (conversion) therapy is a non-coercive therapy that allows people who voluntarily wish to rid themselves of same-sex attractions (SSA) to obtain help in doing so. The Archbishop of York, anxious to please Welby, endorsed the prohibition which VOL wrote about here. https://tinyurl.com/y8mnm3ky

However, reparative therapy has proven itself a powerful tool for change, as many can testify to. By denying the possibility of conversion, or reparative therapy, Archbishop John Sentamu is saying that change is not possible, but sexuality we know is malleable, expandable and reconstructable and not always easily classifiable.

By saying that one is against any kind of therapy to reduce unwanted same sex attractions (SSA), then one must believe that SSA is normal, natural and God-given. This would mean that Welby is against any kind of effort to help a person conform himself to our God-given design; in fact, encouraging such persons to identify with their brokenness!

The Lichfield Diocese also voted to support the introduction of a new liturgy for transgender people, though bishops announced earlier this year that one was not needed and that people in this circumstance could instead use the existing liturgy for affirmation of baptismal faith.

Either way, it affirms sexual brokenness.

Then the bishops guidance said this; "If they are approached by someone unhappy with their sexuality, they must "be alert to the power relations involved in such prayers and conversations, and the possibility of spiritual or emotional abuse."

What they are saying is that if a person is even challenged about their sexuality it would be deemed abuse and reportable to authorities. This is to turn sexual immorality completely on its head with far reaching consequences for evangelism and discipleship. It also sends a loud message of rejection to those who have undergone "conversion therapy" and who now enjoy being heterosexual, with many now married with families.

"As Archbishop Justin has made clear, the perception that the Church is homophobic and transphobic is harming our mission, especially to young people."

Really. Recently, German Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, former head of the Vatican's doctrinal office, denied the existence of "homophobia," asserting that it is an invention of the gay lobby for "totalitarian domination" over the minds of others.

"The homosexual movement lacks scientific arguments and therefore they have built an ideology that seeks to dominate, seeking to construct their own reality," the Cardinal said.

The prelate tied strategies of the gay lobby to those employed by Marxists, in inventing a "phobia" for those that oppose them. The Cardinal might well have included transphobia, another equally bogus sexuality.

"We need to challenge this perception by reaching out to LGBT+ people with the good news of God's love, modelling God's welcome and care for all people."

That is not what scripture teaches. The Bible nowhere channels sexual immorality as good and right in the eyes of God. Lambeth resolution 1:10 (now mostly ignored) said that in view of the teaching of Scripture, [we] uphold faithfulness in marriage between a man and a woman in lifelong union, and...that abstinence is right for those who are not called to marriage. We commit ourselves to listen to the experience of homosexual persons...while rejecting homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture..." The resolution concluded that "we cannot advise the legitimizing or blessing of same sex unions nor ordaining those involved in same gender unions." Will this be raised as landmark teaching when bishops meet at the next Lambeth Conference in 2020? Don't hold your breath.

Sticking the knife in on anyone who dare oppose such "guidance", the organization's chair of Trustees, Canon Peter Leonard, said: "...to those who seek to treat us as a problem, to harm and dismiss us and deny our gifts and callings -- that their behavior will no longer be tolerated." That's intimidation. Cultural Marxists would be proud of such a statement.

The organization added that it "understands that other dioceses are doing work along similar lines to Lichfield".

The "long game" of creeping acceptance of pansexuality has now begun in earnest. Church of England pansexualists will not rest till they are triumphant.

When 2000 orthodox evangelical Anglicans gather in Jerusalem next month, they may well want to seriously consider new GAFCON bishops for London and York.

After all, what have they got to lose if they don't think Justin Welby is their spiritual father in God any longer.

END

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