Eucharistic Signalling

Sep 13, 2018 by

by Lee Gatiss, Church Society:

You may not have heard of a Rainbow Eucharist. But the idea has been around for a while, and is celebrated in the gay press. Sometimes it might be called a Pride service, and the Lord’s table can be draped in the Pride flag. The associated rhetoric is usually of inclusivity, diversity, and equality (and who wants to argue against those nowadays?).

There is a service like this planned for 22nd September at Wells Cathedral. A new group is being formed there, we’re told, “to celebrate and promote greater inclusion for gay people.” It is clear what the cause being supported here is, not least because the speaker is to be Jayne Ozanne, a leading lesbian member of General Synod and a prominent campaigner for revising the church’s doctrine and practice in an extreme liberal direction. So anyone who wishes “to support this cause” is invited to the service. Indeed, “All members of the Cathedral community who wish to signal support are invited to the service (and lunch).”

What this says to those who don’t support this cause, is clear: this Eucharist is not for you.

It’s not for you if you believe what the Bible teaches about sex and marriage. It’s not for you if you are part of the vast majority in the Anglican Communion which holds to the traditional view of sex and sin and salvation. It’s not for you if you experience same-sex attraction but think that Christians should only have sex within heterosexual marriage. You should stay away.

This is part of a worrying trend towards using services of Holy Communion as a cheap and easy way to signal the virtue of those who attend. Virtue signalling is a way of showing support for a politically-correct cause, demonstrating your righteous character and the moral goodness of your position on a particular issue. It usually consists of some public gesture intended to convey to others around that you hold to the socially-approved view (whatever that might be), though critics have pointed out that these gestures can often be superficial and come with very little associated risk or sacrifice.

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