The Church of England has been cowed. We’ve known this for years, but it is rapidly capitulating and scrambling to “origami” itself into something that will appease the sensibilities of the culture. Rev. Chris Newlands is proposing a motion to the General Synod next month to debate the issue of “rechristening” for transgender-benders. After he was approached by one of his congregants–who was born a girl, baptised as a girl and now had undergone reconstructive surgery and was now masquerading as a man–who wanted to be re-baptized as a man. Newlands decided it would be worthwhile for the Church of England to perhaps create a special service in their liturgy for those who have transitioned and to, and I quoth, “introduce [the transgender] to God with his new name and his new identity.”
My suggestion, for what it is worth, is that the Church of England should come out in stronger support for the GQBLT community. In fact, they should do something that no other Christian denomination has done thus far in showing acceptance and tolerance to that community. When a man believes he’s a woman he can seek reconstructive surgery to align his anatomy with his feelings. The Church of England should be the first Christian denomination to undergo “Religion Reassignment Surgery.” After all, if you’re a pagan organization trapped in a Christian body, by all means…
The Church of England appears to be standing by the traditional Protestant position that someone who has been baptized doesn’t need to be re-baptized; however, what is being presented and advocated for here, is to begin performing ceremonies where they sanctimoniously validate the fact that one of their congregants freely chose to have their genitals mutilated. They want to have a liturgical ceremony in which a previously baptized congregant is “reintroduced” to God. Even in marriage ceremonies we aren’t silly enough to think that now that the bride has a new last name we need to make introductions between her and the Almighty. As if He might have missed the union He just created.
One irony here is that the nearest liturgical practice I can think of is a backslidden sinner under church discipline is brought before the congregation to repent of his sins, acknowledges his error, asks forgiveness from those he’s wronged, and is restored to fellowship. In this instance, we have a church encouraging and facilitating repentance; however, with the Church of England’s proposed liturgical addition, we have a church celebrating unrepentance.
To think of ordained bishops and clergy failing to acknowledge and obey the clear Words of Scripture is appalling. But to see them literally bending scripture to accommodate their fanciful dreams of being welcomed by the children of this world is sickening. The transgender community is a fractionally small portion of the population, but the Church of England is embarrassingly using this issue as a means to curry good favor with the sinful notions of this world.
How could a Church of England pastor preach that God is good, wise, and sovereign over all things, and then perform one of these ceremonies? Would it not be a clear mockery of the doctrines he just proclaimed to then “re-christen” a transgender––in essence, admitting that God made a mistake with this one, he was supposed to be a she? “Good Lord, we thank you that you know and rule all things by the Word of Your power, and we just want to let you know you overlooked giving Jim here the right anatomy, so we are clearing things up now.”
The Church is to be a refuge for the sinner, not in order to coddle his sin but to confront his sins that he may be free. The Church of England has already bent to the pressure to somehow preserve the traditional definition of marriage, while at the same time trying to placate same-sex unions. In this proposal, however, we witness the fact that the Church of England is not interested in standing up for anything. Rather, they simply want to get along with the programs proposed by the world.
For all the faithful clergy and laity in the Church of England, this is the hill you must die on. If you do not succeed here, soon enough you will not have a Christian church on your hands anymore. You cannot claim to be a wing of Christianity without being Christian. God made us male and female for a glorious purpose. He made no mistake; capitulation to the transgender community paired with unwillingness to address the sins of jealousy, discontentment, and envy is a sad excuse for Christian courage and confidence. We know that what the transgender-bender needs is to be pointed to the glorious Gospel. They must be made mindful that it is their baptism into Christ which gives them the only identity that ever matters. Transgenderism is a false gospel that promises if you enter the surgery room you will emerge a new creature. Sadly, the suicide rates amongst those who have undergone gender reassignment are staggering, and indicate that despite “getting what they wanted” they were still left wanting.
The Gospel tells someone who is desiring to be a different gender that they will not find joy in mangling their bodies in an attempt to suit their feelings. It tells us that our feelings are terrible liars. Our feelings accuse us, blame us, deceive us, and use us. The Gospel proclaims that only God can make us new and invites us to place our faith in His wisdom. God knit us together in our mother’s womb and assigned us our gender, for His glorious purpose. He ordained the circumstances of our birth. Attempting gender reassignment is like attempting to hop in a time machine and change history. This is telling God He doesn’t know what circumstances are best for us. Now, the Church of England endeavors to coddle and “sanctify” this rebellion against God. So, to all the faithful in the Church of England: fight. This is a battle you cannot afford to lose.
Surely the hill for Christians in the ministry of the Church of England to die on was the battle for the gospel: that people who do not preach the Biblical gospel should not be tolerated in the Christian ministry (for without the gospel, it is not the Christian ministry at all, but a blasphemous sham). But, that hill was passed a very long time ago. Evangelicals in the C of E have accepted for decades that gospel believers are simply a ‘wing’ of the church, and that they must learn to co-exist with other ‘wings’. The Church is, for them, not defined by the gospel, but something else.
And from that fateful acceptance, all else follows; including that, ultimately, there will be no hills to die on. When you’ve passed on the gospel, you can find a way to pass on everything else too. A toast to Satan could be proposed at the General Synod, and the representatives of the faithful band of Bible-believers would still turn up to make sound speeches and vote against it, comprehensively lose, and then carry on the next day as if nothing of any particular significance had happened.
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