Nonconformist Thoughts on the General Synod Vote

Nov 21, 2023 by

By Steve Kneale, Building Jerusalem.

If you follow these sorts of things, you may have picked up that the Church of England have passed another of their oft well received motions at synod. This time (just like last time) is really (just like last time) it! Everyone (just like last time) is totally mad. Everyone (just like last time) is packing up and going home. So (just like last time) I await with bated breath the now absolutely-for-definites-we-promise-this-time-its-totally-different slew of supposedly sound evangelical types leaving the Church of England.

The Church of England Evangelical Council – which speaks for a lot of Church of England evangelicals on these things – really made their feelings clear by stating they were “saddened”. They go on to insist, ‘This is, however, more than just a departure from the biblical understanding of sex and marriage. Sadly, today marks a “watershed” moment, in that it appears that the Church of England no longer sees Scripture as our supreme authority.’ Which sounds serious until they go on to say, ‘CEEC is committed to supporting the ministry of orthodox evangelical lay people and ministers across the dioceses… to ensure evangelical life and witness in the Church of England continues for years to come.’

If I understand them rightly, they seem to be saying their communion has departed from biblical understanding on a significant ethical issue which is so serious the church no longer sees scripture as its supreme authority. But the issue nevertheless is not serious enough for them to actually do anything significant about it, like leave such an errant communion. Indeed, they will be doing all they can to ensure their folks stay in! Which, for all the rhetoric of ‘watershed moments’, sounds very much like we’re just going to do the same as we have done before; namely, make some sad noises, fire off a few missives and then carry on as normal with perhaps a fresh set of red lines repainted a bit further down the road. I await the announcement of their “series of provisions” – and am quite prepared to be roundly surprised – but let’s say hope remains muted at best.

Read here.

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