Skip to comments.Evangelicals to shun Bishop of St Albans
Posted on 07/08/2004 8:10:05 PM PDT by ahadams2
Evangelicals to shun Bishop of St Albans
Number: 5725 Date: July 8,
Evangelical clergy are making plans to keep the Bishop of St Albans out of their parishes following last Fridays controversial installation of Jeffrey John as Dean of St Albans.
The service to install Dr John last Thursday took place with only minor protests outside but many evangelical clergy boycotted the service.
The Bishop of St Albans, Christopher Herbert remained defiant, declaring in his sermon that the reality of the call to Christian service is confused.
Moses was a murder, he pointed out, and St Paul a religious thug before his conversion. The calling, he said, hung on a word yes or no.
The consequences of the call he argued were a daily struggle with the questions that trouble all of us about purpose and meaning, about whether what we are doing is really Gods will.
Bishop Herbert said that his own role in the appointment of Dr John "third in the combination of Prime Minister, Crown and bishop, also rested on the word yes or no.
Jeffrey Johns courage in saying his yes should never, ever be underestimated knowing what the reactions in the Church and media might be.
He said he was aware that reactions to the appointment would be mixed. There are very, very many who are absolutely thrilled; and there are some of my fellow Christians who have been (and remain) deeply upset, angry and dismayed.
Bishop Herbert suggested that the answer was to listen deeply and patiently to each other.
But evangelicals in the diocese complained this week that the Bishop wasnt listening and hadnt even replied to a recent letter from a group representing the Diocesan Evangelical Fellowship which met with him last month.
They believe that he is intent on downplaying the strength of feeling in the diocese believing that the controversy will die a natural death. To this end, according to sources in the diocese, Jeffrey John has been ordered not to give any interviews to the media.
Canon John himself made an unscheduled plea for a return to "normal Christian service" at the service of installation to a 2,000-strong congregation. He said: Over the last year or so I have sometimes hardly recognised myself in some of the things that have been said about me. So, I would like to say what a huge privilege and joy it is for me to be here. This is where God hopes and intends me to be and this is now home for me.
He added: I hope that from this point on, normal Christian service can be resumed in my life and in the life of this place.
Canon Nick Bell, the Vicar of St Marys, Luton, and leader of the Diocesan Evangelical Fellowship, said that there was a great deal of anger in the diocese. He said: Its incumbent on us having made a stand for Biblical orthodoxy to continue on this line.
But he called it a dreadful distraction. He said: Were not in a position of strength anyway, but what has happened has reduced even further the standing of the Church of England in the community, especially in a multicultural situation like Luton.
Dr Philip Giddings, the convenor of Anglican Mainstream, said that the installation had intensified the sense of alienation from Church of England structures which an increasing number of parishes and clergy are feeling.
This growing estrangement of parishes from dioceses will, sadly, impair the Church's wider mission to our society and make the task of leadership at all levels of church life all the more demanding.
He added that evident disunity was always a hindrance to mission and evangelism, at a time when the need was even greater than ever.
Look in the mirror.
And Dr. John is a homosexual and in the past, by his own statement, been involved in a sexually active same-sex relationship.
Questions: which of these three recognized that the acts referenced above were sins? Which of these three did not? Which of these three repented of that sin and asked for forgiveness? Which of these three did not?
I don't know what the answers for the above would be for Dr. John. If he did recognize that his behavior was sinful and repented, then in my opinion he is qualified for his new post.
Dr. John has not only refused to acknowledge that homosexual activity is a sin, he's actually made statements to the effect that he doesn't think there's any real reason for commitment in homosexual relationships...at least not in the sense of requiring active homosexuals to be involved with anything resembling 'marriage'.