Thursday, February 02, 2017

Queen's Former Chaplain Warns 'Dying' Church Of England Is Capitulating To Liberal Culture

The Queen's former chaplain has warned the Church of England is capitulating to culture, days after he resigned for opposing a Quran reading in a cathedral service.

Canon Gavin Ashenden told Christian Today the C of E would collapse within decades because of its refusal to stand up for conservative Christianity.

"There is no sign the Church of England is going to reconsider its policy of accommodation with the secular culture," he said.

"It has abandoned certain key and apostolic norms."

He contrasted the C of E's year on year decline with the rapidly growing churches in Russia and China and said the difference was they had "not made an accommodation with the culture".

Ashenden quit after nine years as one of the Queen's Chaplains after he voiced opposition to a decision by St Mary's Cathedral, Glasgow, to have recitation of the Islamic holy text that denied Jesus was the son of God.

"After a conversation instigated by officials at Buckingham Palace, I decided the most honourable course of action was to resign," he said in a blog post.

But he accused the Archbishop of Canterbury of remaining silent over the issue.

"The fact is the Archbishop had an opportunity to speak out on behalf of the integrity of Christianity," he told Christian Today.

"For reasons known only to him it is an opportunity he has not taken."

The controversial priest is not currently not licensed to hold office within the Church of England and hinted at the prospect of coming under the authority of a different Anglican church.

"There are two kinds of Anglicanism," he said. "A secular Anglicanism and a traditional biblical Anglicanism.

"I see myself and others as very soon having to make a choice."

He described himself as "in limbo" between the C of E and other Anglican churches around the world.

"I certainly look at worldwide Anglicanism and I associate myself with some parts of the Anglican church that has kept the biblical faith. And I increasingly disassociate myself with parts like the Church of England."

The conservative Anglican body GAFCON has offered "alternative oversight" to priests who are in dioceses with more liberal leaning bishops. The possibility of practising under the licence of a different bishop is similar to the arrangement for clergy in the UK who oppose the ordination of women.

Vicars all over England can opt to come under the authority of the Bishop of Maidstone, Rod Thomas, who opposes women priests.

Ashenden's comments came after he hinted at leaving the C of E in an earlier interview with The Conservative Woman.

"I'm not sure I see much point in a Church that just wants to be accepted as a sort of not too irritating chaplain to a secular and hedonistic culture, which is what it seems to be becoming," he said.

"I want to remain a faithful Anglican, but increasingly it looks like that is only possible outside the C of E."

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