Multiple conservative Anglicans and ex-Anglicans claim that the Church of England is losing its members rapidly to be culturally relevant in the West.
According to Andrea Williams, chief executive at the London-based Christian Legal Centre, “They reflect the culture.” It was informed by Williams. “They’re trying to fit in with the culture by looking at the Bible and what the church should be saying, rather than looking at what the Bible says.”
Last month, multiple bishops of the Church of England called for same-sex marriages to be conducted. The church will vote on the matter at their general synod next spring.
Williams’ non-profit has advocated for many people including clergy members who have taken action against Church of England institutions to lose their jobs or face discrimination due to their Christian beliefs about sexuality.
Williams stated that when she started her legal career in the 1980s she wouldn’t have believed she’d be facing the kind of cases she now faces every day. Williams said that she has represented people who were subject to retaliation by the church because they claimed that marriage between one man, one woman, or biological sex was real.
She said, “If any of this had been said to me in the 1980s it would have been like someone speaking to you from Mars.” It was alien, but most people would not have thought of it that way.
“Huge confidence crisis”
Gavin Ashenden is a former Church of England priest and chaplain to Queen Elizabeth II. He said that cultural Marxism has infiltrated the Church of England as well as much of Christianity.
Ashenden recalled his experiences smuggling Bibles to the Soviet Union. He said that the cultural furor raging in Western countries over sexuality and gender reflects the same totalitarian impulse as that regime.
Ashenden, who left the Church of England to join the Roman Catholic Church, believes that Anglicans have experienced a “huge crisis in confidence” since losing faith in the Bible’s authority. He says political correctness has replaced it.
He said that political correctness was introduced just as Protestants began to lose maximum confidence. So they grabbed fairness and equality and included. “This was for them a safety net for all their utopian longings, which they would have put into hell and heaven a generation ago.”
He said, “But now, not being able to talk about hell and heaven, what they had to do was jump on the secular Left’s project to make heaven on Earth.” “The problem is that Marx and Lenin tried making heaven on Earth. They made hell.”
Ashenden stated, “It’s quite remarkable that we could have been here, but everybody is afraid of being accused of thinking crime.” “Whether it is homophobia, racism, transphobia, or all of the other pseudo-phobias that exist.”
Ashenden stated that because legislation like the Equality Act 2010 enshrines gender identity and sexual orientation against discrimination Ashenden believes “nobody can speak out lest they are hateful or homophobic.” This is exactly what George Orwell called it.
“The church is dying”
Calvin Robinson, a separatist Free Church of England deacon, is still Anglican but he is open to the idea of Ashenden and other figures who leave.
He said, “I believe people need to find orthodoxy wherever they can find it.”
Robinson also works as a commentator at U.K. news outlet GB News. He said that he studied in Oxford after he was called to the priesthood by others.
Robinson claimed that his ordination in the Church of England was “snatched” due to his conservative theological views. He maintained that these views had become unacceptable in a church that has become “entirely libertarian.”
Robinson expressed pessimism about the Anglican church in Western countries but noted that the Anglican Church worldwide is in a different situation.
Robinson stated that “The church is trying hard to be relevant to cultural norms but everywhere we see the church trying to be relevant the church’s dying.” Robinson said, “And if you look at places where it remains orthodox such as pretty much all of Africa, a lot more of Asia, and Eastern Europe, then it’s growing.”
He continued, “The church is growing all over the world, but it’s only dying where we try to be relevant since it just isn’t the church’s job being relevant.”
“It is the church’s responsibility to be morally pure and to stay rooted in the Scriptures. It also has to share the Gospel as Christ taught us. It is rightly killed when it becomes distracted by secular matters.
“God doesn’t change”
Robinson’s statement was repeated by Franklin Graham, Samaritans Purse CEO and evangelist who got along well with Queen Elizabeth II.
Robinson and Ashenden both predicted that the Church of England would deteriorate with the departure of the monarch, who has publicly celebrated the Christian faith during her long reign.
Graham said that he doesn’t consider himself to be Anglican but has great respect for Anglican vicars and bishops who continue faithfully preaching God’s Word.
Graham said that God created and intended marriage to be between one man and one woman. Graham added, “God designed and created marriage to be between one man and one woman.” We must continue to hold firm to God’s Word. There’s no room for compromise or debate. God doesn’t change and His Word doesn’t change.”
“In sad shape”
R.T. Kendall is an American who held the pulpit of Martin Lloyd-Jones, a prominent Welsh minister, at Westminster Chapel in London for 25 years. He said that the Church of England had increasingly proven itself to be apostate in recent decades.
Kendall stated that if they keep going the same way, and if they vote to allow gay marriage, the church ceases to be a Christian one. They may call themselves this, but how much more can you add to suggest that they are apostasy?
After being introduced by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Ambassador to the Middle East to Kendall in 2002, Kendall spoke about Christianity with Yasser Alafat, the former Palestinian leader. He said that many believe the Church of England is apostate for at least half a hundred years.
He mentioned how Lloyd-Jones, his predecessor, and John Stott, the famous Anglican cleric, argued publicly about whether Christians should be expelled from the Church of England during the 1960s.
Kendall is concerned about how homosexuality, marriage, and gender are tearing apart churches around the world. He believes these issues are evidence of “the very last days” in the world.
Kendall spoke of the fourth chapter in 2 Timothy, “We are certain that we are in the day when Paul’s
word is being fulfilled. That the time will come where they will not endure sound doctrine but heap to themselves teachers having itching ears,” he said. “That’s exactly where we are.”
Kendall said that the Anglicans are in “sad shape”.