‘Admit your sins to the Lord, priest tells gay judge’

Posted on April 10, 2008 
Filed under News

Sydney Morning Herald“A senior minister of a Sydney Anglican parish has made an extraordinary attack on the High Court judge Michael Kirby, warning he would face the wrath of God if he remained unrepentant as a gay man.

The rector of St Stephen’s Church in Bellevue Hill, the Reverend Richard Lane, denounced the judge for calling himself a Christian Anglican while living in an openly gay relationship and warned as a ‘messenger, watchman and steward of the Lord in the Anglican Church of Australia’, he faced God’s judgment. …”

– From The Sydney Morning Herald.

This story raises the question – how should a minister understand his ordination vows? Here are the words of the Bishop to the Candidates in the 1662 Ordinal –

“Ye have heard, Brethren, as well in your private examination, as in the exhortation which was now made to you, and in the holy Lessons taken out of the Gospel, and the writings of the Apostles, of what dignity, and of how great importance this Office is, whereunto ye are called.

And now again we exhort you, in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye have in remembrance, into how high a Dignity, and to how weighty an Office and Charge ye are called: that is to say, to be Messengers, Watchmen, and Stewards of the Lord; to teach, and to premonish [i.e. warn], to feed and provide for the Lord’s family; to seek for Christ’s sheep that are dispersed abroad… that they may be saved through Christ for ever.

Have always therefore printed in your remembrance, how great a treasure is committed to your charge. For they are the sheep of Christ, which he bought with his death, and for whom he shed his blood. …”

(Full Ordinal is available here.)

Part of the background to this exhortation is the warning to the watchman in Ezekiel 33:1-20. Food for thought.