Posted by: stpowen | December 23, 2013

Time to Remove the Diadem?

Ezekiel 21:25-27, A.V. ‘And thou, profane wicked prince of Israel whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end, thus says the LORD GOD; “Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him who is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn it: and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I shall give it him.”‘

My overseas readers may be unaware that the Church of England has recently published a report which suggests that the Church should have a special service for the blessing of homosexual couples. This is the so-called Pilling Report’

The key to making a report such as this which is so clearly so clearly opposed to the teaching of the Bible is to bury the whole matter in a vast cloud of verbiage. Those who attempt to wade through it will understand what I mean. The report is a sort of ‘softening-up’ process for evangelical Anglicans. It suggests a two-year consultation, following which a vote will be taken in Synod to introduce a ceremony of blessing for homosexual couples. Doubtless it is assumed that at the end of the two years, evangelicals will have been either seduced or bludgeoned into accepting such a ceremony, just as they have been on the subject of women priests and bishops.

In Numbers 23:8, Balaam asks, ‘How shall I curse whom God has not cursed?’ The opposite situation also applies. How can Christians bless what God has not blessed, but of which He has indeed proclaimed His detestation. Homosexuality is strongly condemned in both the Old and New Testaments. In Lev. 18:22, God describes it as an abomination. Now it needs to be said that homosexuality is by no means the only thing described in the Bible as an abomination, but no one seems to be suggesting that Anglicans should have special services of blessing for liars and those who shed innocent blood (Prov. 6:16-17). Perhaps it is only a matter of time.

The Pilling Report suggests that the Bible is ‘unclear’ on homosexual practices. It tries to do this by suggesting that the condemnation does not apply to homosexual acts altogether, but only to the ritual sexual practices of certain pagan cults. OK. Let’s look at 1 Cor. 6:9-11 (NKJV).

‘Do you not know that the unrigheous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolators, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of God.’

The suggestion is that the two words which the NKJV translates as ‘homosexuals’ and ‘sodomites’ only apply to ritual homosexual prostitution. The first word is malakos, literally ‘soft to the touch,’ and refers here to ‘catamites,’ those who take the passive part in male homosexuality. In ancient times it also referred to boys kept for such practices. The second word, arsenokoites is the word used in the Greek translation of the Old Testament to render Leviticus 18:22; in the context it probably refers to those who take the active role in male homosexuality. There is no linguistic or contextual reason to confine the words to prostitution of any sort. Once again, we see that homosexuality is not put by itself in a class of especially evil acts, but no one is suggesting that services of blessing should be arranged for thieves and extortioners. Paul follows up (v.18) by exhorting the Corinthians, ‘Flee sexual immorality!’ The word here is porneia and is a blanket word covering all illicit sexual acts. The Bible condemns in the clearest terms all sexual practices outside of marriage, which of course the Bible regards as exclusively between men and women (Gen. 1:27-28; 2:24; Mark 10:6-9 etc.). It calls on men and women to repent of such sins, and assures them of forgiveness if they will do so.

If the Church of England starts these blessing services, is it not proclaiming that homosexuality is acceptable in its eyes? If that is so, whatever can be the objection to holding same-sex ‘marriages’? Government legislation is supposed to have prohibited the C of E by law from performing such ‘marriages’ but such edicts can quickly be changed as surely they will be once Anglicans start blessing unmarried homosexual couples. The anomally will be too obvious to be ignored.

Readers from overseas need to understand the special position that the Church of England occupies in this country. It is the State Church; its Archbishop crowns the monarch, who is in turn its ‘Supreme Governor.’ It has a church building in every village in England. Its Bishops and other luminaries have an access to the media for their crackpot pronouncements that is denied to the free churches; the man in the street regards them as the spokesman for Christianity, and their nonsense as Christian doctrine. There are other denominations which are equally wicked in their abandonment of God’s word, but they do not come equally to the notice of the secular public.

On this blog I have several times defended evangelical Anglicans who have remained in the Church of England. Only a few miles from where I live there is a fine C of E church where the Gospel is faithfully preached week by week, and I know there are many others. But how can evangelicals say that they are ‘in it to win it’ when they keep on losing all the time? How can they keep meeting up at Diocesian meetings with those who hate God’s word and are determined to ignore it, and pray with them and call them ‘brother’? Perhaps Lot thought he could change the people of Sodom for good, but in the end he had to flee that city for his life. The time is past for the Church of England; no one can say that the evangelicals have not done their best to reform it in a godly direction, but they have failed.

Let it be said at this point that is not ‘homophobia’ {1} to preach against homosexuality any more than it is kleptophobia to preach against theft or harpagmophobia to preach aginst extortion. Christians are required to love homosexuals, and it is love, not hatred, to warn folk that their behaviour is leading them to judgement. Likewise, it is hatred, not love, to cosset men in their sins and send them to hell with a pocket-full of false prromises in their hands. ‘….They [false prophets] continually say to those who despise Me, “The LORD has said, ‘You will have peace'” And to everyone who walks according to the dictates of his own heart, they say, “No evil shall come upon you.”……But if they had stood in My counsel, and had caused My people to hear My words, then they would have turned them from their evil way and from the evil of their doings’ (Jer. 23:17, 22).

I came across the Ezekiel 21 passage, quoted above, in my daily reading recently. Originally it referred, no doubt, to King Zedekiah. Those who have read Men of the Covenant by Alexander Smellie will recall verse 26. The Scottish covenanter Donald Cargill preached on it at an open-air conventical in 1680 and having done so, he solemnly excommunicated Charles II, his brother, the Duke of York and sundry others for their gross immorality and opposition to God’s true church. Cargill was an outlaw, he had no power to enforce his words- indeed, within the year he was captured and executed- but he pronounced the sentence of God against wickedness in high places (2 Cor. 10:4-5). I claim no gift of prophecy for Cargill, but within five years, Charles was dead, striken down in the midst of his debaucheries. Three years later, James was forced to flee and by 1715, the House of Stuart was finished on the throne of Britain.

If the recommendations of the Pilling report are implemented, who will declare the excommunication of the Church of England? Perhaps it needs someone to stand outside Lambeth palace or Canterbury Cathedral and declare the judgement of God upon that denomination and her wicked ministers who have connived at her apostasy. ‘Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached up to heaven and God has remembered her iniquities’ (Rev. 18:4-5).


{1} I have written elsewhere about the nonsense of the word ‘homophobia.’


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