Some adherents in the Church of England are starting to see what will invariably be the big issue to divide Christendom. Like the slave issue of our not so distant past, the acceptance of sexually active homosexuals into the life of the church despite the clear prohibitions of scripture, has forced many to draw clear lines of fellowship. The London Times reported Tuesday that two churches are taking shape: one progay, the other strictly biblical.
The schism over gays that has seen two dioceses vote to “leave” the US Episcopal Church is threatening to split the Church of England.
On October 14 parishes were urged to seek alternative oversight from another bishop if their own diocesan bishop expounded “unbiblical” teaching.
But he [Rev. Rod Thomas] continued: “However, where the teaching and actions of a bishop promote an unbiblical way of thinking, then we simply have to look elsewhere for a bishop. If we fail to do this then our congregations will not see us taking New Testament teaching seriously and the process of accommodation will continue.”
Other major denominations in the US are slowly but surely experiencing the outer bands of this growing crisis of faith and doctrine. Wise ones will note what is happening and begin making preparations to deal with the homosexual issue openly, directly and biblically. Those who live in a state of denial because they are pentecostal or holiness oriented stand to be the most impacted and quite frankly already are. Some already have “closeted” homosexual leaders in place waiting for time and opportunity.
If you think that the coming divisions will produce a majority of those who are “strictly biblical” think again. The emergent, postmodernist thinking so prevalent in many contemporary churches will seek compromise with homosexuals rather than stand sole on scripture. Our blog partner at Red Giant wrote that the minority will invariably be subjected to persecution from those who claim to be more “enlightened and progressive.”
At first, most will not recognize it as persecution, since only a handful of Christians will suffer. These persecuted Christians will be a decided minority, the ones who are already dismissed as “right-wingers,” “fundamentalists,” “creationists,” “haters,” “hijackers of the faith,” and the like. The multitudes will delight when a few of these Christians are successfully forced to renounce their backward beliefs and confess their error to the public.
These Bible-believing Christians will be scapegoats. For years, the media and universities have cast them as the number-one supporters of an unpopular administration — with the implication that, ideologically, they share the blame for its perceived failures and offenses. The irrational rage directed at that administration won’t stop after it’s gone. The blame will only be shifted to those religionists who dared to involve (the wrong) faith in the political process.
These Christians will be outcasts among their own. They will be shunned in polite society by the greater body of nominal Christians. When their voices are silenced, their worldly brethren will not lift a finger in protest. The reason? These particular Christians are harmful. They stand in the way of progress, peace, unity, and change. It is for the greater good that they go away.