“God should not necessarily be seen as a masculine figure, according to the UK’s first female bishop to sit in the House of Lords on Monday. ‘God is not to be seen as male. God is God,’ said Rachel Treweek, bishop of Gloucester, who is to be inaugurated in parliament.
While acknowledging that many Anglicans would profoundly disagree, Treweek said the Church of England should use both male and female pronouns when referring to God…”
See also: Is God a She?
“In February 2014 the Bishops’ post-Synod statement reiterated that the Church of England cannot bless same sex relationships nor change its doctrine of marriage.
Specifically an appeal was made to clergy in same sex relationships (which were supposed to be “celibate” anyway) not to take advantage of the forthcoming change in law (March 2014) to get married, because this would cause confusion about the Church’s teaching.
Two clergy who defied this ruling became focal points for media interest: Jeremy Pemberton and Andrew Cain. What are we to make of the fact that the latter has become part of the decision making and governing body of the organisation whose teaching and practice on a crucial matter he has rejected?”
– Read it here.
“On Wednesday [23rd September], in a service led by Justin Welby at Canterbury Cathedral, Rod Thomas was consecrated as the Bishop of Maidstone. … He has been appointed to enable conservative evangelicals to flourish in the Church of England…”
See also: Rod Thomas responds to questions for the ReNEW Conference last month (video).
Related: Andrew Symes of Anglican Mainstream warns Synod voters: some ‘evangelicals’ are not as they seem.
We are heartened that MPs have decided not to change the law on assisted suicide.
‘We believe that the proposals contained in the Assisted Dying Bill would have exposed already vulnerable people to increased risk. The vote in the House of Commons sends a strong signal that the right approach towards supporting the terminally ill is to offer compassion and support through better palliative care. We believe that all of us need to redouble our efforts on that front.”
– The Church of England responds to the rejection of the Assisted Dying Bill.
See also: MPs overwhelmingly reject flawed assisted suicide bill – Care. (h/t Anglican Mainstream.)
Proclamation Trust’s Adrian Reynolds shares that Dick Lucas has stepped down as a Trustee of PT.
“Dick is 90 this year. Amazingly, he is still preaching, still sharp. But the time has come for him to step down as a PT trustee and I, for one, am enormously grateful for his wisdom and counsel. Once a week he stops by to sit on my sofa and chew the cud and, in characteristically humble mode, he listens patiently whilst I pontificate.
Join me in thanking God for this remarkable and continuing ministry.”
Here’s the audio of one of Dick’s most recent sermons.
July 8th 2015
“As the Steering Group of Reform met last week, the events surrounding the blessing of the Gay Pride march in York could not be ignored.
Whilst the Reform Steering Group stands opposed to homophobia, nevertheless they were unanimously of the view that it was an offense to all bible-believing Christians for the Minster to endorse, without qualification, the activities of York Pride with the intention of ‘affirming the LGBT community’.
They appreciated the Archbishop of York’s statement affirming the ‘traditional Christian understanding of human sexuality, orientation, and behavior’ and agreed with him that God loves and values all people, whatever their sexual orientation, and that that same love should be shown by Christians. They hope that the Archbishop of York is prepared to stand by the whole of Lambeth Resolution 1.10, which rejects ‘homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture’ and the Dromantine Conference of Anglican Communion Primates Communiqué which affirms this teaching.
Susie Leafe, Director of Reform, said ‘We long for all churches to model Jesus Christ’s welcome to all people – a welcome that loves us enough not only to walk with us in self-sacrificial love but also to warn us of God’s judgment and call us to repent of our rejection of God’s ways.’
They therefore wish to express their unequivocal support for the stand that Rev Melvin Tinker, a founder member of Reform, has taken and they applaud his courage in being prepared to speak graciously and clearly of the Church’s responsibility to teach and act according to biblical principles.”
– See the Reform page for the list of members of the Steering Group.
Related: The Archbishop of York’s statement, 22nd June 2015.
“In writing to Timothy, Paul implores Timothy to live and teach in keeping with the gospel he has taught (1 Timothy 4:12-13) and indicates his never failing prayerful support for Timothy (2 Timothy 1:3).
It is our conviction that the Church of England needs evangelicals to pray afresh, and with this Pauline commitment, for her leaders, and in particular for those who are called to ordained leadership and the public ministry of preaching and teaching…
Recently there have been a number of public pronouncements and actions that undermine or are a direct challenge to the authority of Holy Scripture and the faith revealed in it and expressed in the tradition and teaching of the Church of England…
We therefore invite evangelicals in all the English Dioceses to renew a commitment to praying for those who lead God’s church.”
It would be good for Australian evangelical Anglicans to pray similarly.
– David Ould has the details.
“This week began with Katherine Jefferts Schori, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church (TEC) of the USA, preaching in Westminster Abbey; it will end, we are told with Canon Michael Smith of York Minster blessing the York Gay Pride March. In between we have seen the Bishop of Buckingham describe doctrine that he swore to teach and pass on as ‘lousy’.
Nowhere in any of this has there been the clear message of the Gospel that despite our rejection of his ways we are all loved by God and can find forgiveness through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is not surprising, then, that the majority of the world’s Anglicans now look to the Primates of Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) for Leadership – the only question is whether after weeks like this one, those in the Church of England who wish to proclaim this Gospel will be forced to follow the same path…”
Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori preaches at Westminister Abbey. – Abbey website.
York Minster Joins in with Gay Pride – Minster FM.