Shitting in the well.

It’s fairly obvious to regular readers that I’m Presbyterian. The new logo comes from a Victorian Presbyterian Sunday School magazine, and I have reformed theology. I’m quite comfortable with the Scottish Book of Order. I love my church.

But I also love Anglicanism. I worshiped with them for a while — they were the local church — and I was married in an Anglican church, by an Archdeacon I knew from childhood.  Anglicanism has given us the Book of Common Prayer (and all the revisions to this have made it worse). The Anglicans are the most active and evangelical group in parts of Australia and Africa.

In the USA, however, the liberals are shitting in this well.

The Washington National Cathedral, where Americans gather to mourn tragedies and celebrate new presidents, will soon begin hosting same-sex marriages.

Cathedral officials have told the Associated Press that the church will be among the first Episcopal congregations to implement a new rite of marriage for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender members. The church will announce its new policy on Wednesday.

As the most prominent US church, the decision carries huge symbolism. The 106-year-old cathedral has long been a spiritual center for the US, hosting presidential inaugural services and funerals for Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford. The Rev Martin Luther King Jr delivered his last sermon there in 1968. The cathedral draws hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

In light of the legality of same-sex marriage in the Washington district of Columbia and the adjoining state of Maryland, the Rt Rev Mariann Edgar Budde, the Episcopal bishop of Washington, decided in December to allow an expansion of the Christian marriage sacrament. The diocese covers the district and four counties in Maryland. The change is allowed under a “local option” granted by the church’s General Convention, church leaders said. Each priest in the diocese can then decide whether to perform same-sex unions.

Now many of the commentators use the methods of political analysis to see what will happen in the Anglican church. Particularly in the UK, where they are established and run by parliament.

This is an error. For the church is not the Queen’s. It is not owned by Parliament, but by Christ, and the Queen in Parliament act as the servants of the almighty in a compromise suggested by that great pragmatist Hobbes. Parliament may leviathan, but leviathan is supposed to be a servant for good.

And if it is not, it will die.

Revelation 3:1-6

 

1“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars:

“I know your works; you have a name of being alive, but you are dead. 2Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is on the point of death, for I have not found your works perfect in the sight of my God. 3Remember then what you received and heard; obey it, and repent. If you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you. 4Yet you have still a few persons in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes; they will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. 5If you conquer, you will be clothed like them in white robes, and I will not blot your name out of the book of life; I will confess your name before my Father and before his angels. 6Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.”

Now, the same issues occur in my church. I’m conservative, and the statement of the Affirm movement which is against this — civil unions have been legal and have the same status in law in NZ for some time — seems reasonable. However there are opposing views — particularly from the partner of the minister of the capitals most liberal Presbyterian church, the minister of which may be breaking the book of order as it appears she is neither celibate nor living in a loving relationship between man and woman.

But this will lead to death. Sorry, folks. You are deviating from scripture and any talk about this being reality based theology or moves to get the requisite votes to legislate things will not matter. Christ judges his Church. If a church fails, the remnant are preserved but the bulk fall away.

Besides, this high tide of queer theology is making men leave. The people who preach it are repulsive — not .because of what they do in bed (for we all sin) but because of their sanctimonious effete model of the world that cannot handle the hard bits of scripture. They have no rigor. They refuse discipline. And they camp everything up. They are shitting in the well of salvation, and as leaders of the flock, this layman holds them accountable for the poor health of the church and the dying of the light.

  • ukfred

    In a similar vein to something on another blog, if and since “all Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” then perhaps it is a need to apply Romans 12:2, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” that is missing from the lives of those going down this path.

    If your church gets involved with arguments about the sinfulness or otherwise of homoerotic behaviour, there are a couple of good articles by Prof. Robert Gagnon on “Theology Matters” and he has written a book on the subject, “The Bible and Homosexuality ~ Text and Hemeneutics”

    • http://pukeko.net.nz/blog chrisgale

      My church has clear standards re affirmed in the last general assembly. A minister shall be celibate or in a loving and faithful marriage. If single, celibate. Living together is not on: sex outside marriage is not on.

      However, the liberals ignore this. They claim to belong to the kirk, but teach against kirk doctrine, and live with their partners.

      And those churches attract those like them.

      • ukfred

        The reason for listing the information was that I have been in a church which had been sound in its teaching, but its senior minister decided that this was the way to go and we had numerous church meetings in which the matter was discussed. It helps to know in advance the arguments and the counter arguments before the debates start. What happens in your church if someone changes their view during their appointment. Not all would be honest enough to come to the church to say, “You appointed me when I believed X but now I believe Y, I know this matter is important for you. Do wish me to stay or do you wish me to resign”.

  • Pingback: The remnant must and will hold.

  • http://pukeko.net.nz/blog chrisgale

    UKFred: I am aware of the problems of hermeutics. I do not see that as the issue most of the time because I take a fairly orthodox stand (as do you).

    The problem is not our understanding of scripture. It is our active disobedience to it. For political reasons or others.

    Such as cowardice among the elders.

  • http://pukeko.net.nz/blog chrisgale

    Oh, and I have either those books or similar. I lost half my library when I divorced, and have not got everything back — it takes a while to restore a 20 year book collection.


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