The Church of England has come together for an important meeting of clergy and other denominational leaders from around the globe. Key decisions about the future were to be considered and decided upon.
And there was a really bizarre development along the way.
Let’s begin with the question whose answer so many were expectantly awaiting.
Church at a crossroads
For quite some time now, the Church of England has been like a guy standing with one foot on either side of a crack in an ice flow. At some point you need to decide which side you’re standing on before you fall in the water below.
This pretty much describes the uneasy peace between two camps within the Church of England.
Most of us are familiar with the leftwing sympathies of many clergy members in England and America, as well as other Western countries. This is mainly seen in parts of the world where secular culture has run roughshod over the church while Seminaries were falling sway to the left’s Gramscian long march through the institutions.
Meanwhile, in places like central Africa, where people are still frequently martyred for faith in Christ, a far greater premium is placed on such things as holiness, tradition, and the authority of Scripture.
First, what the heck is a Synod?
Needless to say, such groups have sharp disagreement over modern ethical questions like same sex marriage and questions of how to correctly understand gender. What has been affectionately termed the ‘Church’s Parliament’ has wrestled with the first of those questions and come together with a position.
The way the Church of England settles such questions is a coming together of leaders for a vote. This is a tradition that can be traced all the way back to the Ecumenical Councils, beginning in Nicea in 325 Anno Domini.
Handling the housekeeping business of doctrinal questions is only one of the aspects of Synods. They also come together in prayer, worship, and fellowship. Although, to be honest, that last category has been somewhat strained in recent years.
Voting members at Synod draw from three constituent groups of the Church, with designates representing each category or ‘class’ of voter having their yeas and nays tallied up individually, so there is a record of what each group’s vote looked like.
We were not entirely without any clues as to what the will of some organizers of this event hoped would be the result of a vote on how to proceed with respect to same-sex couples.
The thorny question
The Archbiship, knowing that if he leaned too hard into one side or the other, saw there was a real possiblity of having the church split over this issue, and he underscored his need, for pastoral reasons, to remain somehow balanced in his position so that he could continue to have a good working relationship with whichever side vehemently opposed the decision.
“As Archbishops, we are committed to respecting the conscience of those for whom this goes too far and to ensure that they have all the reassurances they need in order to maintain the unity of the church as this conversation continues.”
They eventually came to a decision
After eight hours of wrangling, they decided how they wanted to thread this needle.
The Church of England has determined they will permit priests to offer ‘blessings’ of same-sex couples, but the church will not go so far as to solemnize such relationships as ‘marriage’.
In a vote broken down by houses, the House of Bishops voted 36 for and four against with two abstentions.
The House of Clergy voted 111 in favour, 85 against and three abstentions, while the House of Laity saw 103 votes for, 92 against and five abstentions. –News Letter
The traditionalists will see this as a public endorsement and approval of sin that was specifically condemned by God’s Word, one that, if texts like 1 Cor 6:9-11 are to be taken seriously, endangers the hearer’s very soul.
How they will respond to the new direction remains to be seen.
That was NOT the part of Synod that got really weird
A member of the Church of England’s general synod claims his bishop reported him to the police for tweets in opposition to “queer theory” and the sexualization of children.
Sam Margrave, 40, of Warwickshire, England, told Fox News Digital that he lives in fear of “a knock at the door” after being reported to authorities by Archbishop of Coventry Christopher Cocksworth.
Margrave, who said he was elected to the general synod on a platform of “upholding biblical values,” says the archbishop was reportedly inundated with complaints about his tweets in opposition to gay pride. Margrave likened pride to “the next Jimmy Savile,” an English DJ who faced hundreds of sexual misconduct allegations in his life.
He said he was also accused on social media of “kink-shaming” after he tweeted photos of a child interacting with Pride March participants decked out in BDSM outfits.
“But I also promised to stand against the sexualization of children,” said Margrave, who has been a member of the general synod for 10 years. “And I feel that there’s a genuine issue here. And so, I raised the issues about queer theory. I raised the issues about the sexualization of children and pride and that we need to really address it.” — FoxNews
Here’s the Tweet: