December 18, 2022
The retired Bishop of Birkenhead and National Director of the Church of England Evangelical Council, (and chair of EFAC Trustees) the Rt Revd Keith Sinclair has spoken clearly as to the position of the organisation regarding LGBT issues. It has come under fire for having engaged in the recently revealed secret “St Hugh’s Conversations” with those promulgating purely unscriptural positions in regard to sexuality within the Church
Bishop Sinclair said,
“The voice we listen to above all other voices is God’s voice and that voice is heard in “God’s word written, in Holy Scripture”… God has spoken through his Word and his voice is the decisive voice to be heard in the Church of England.”
Sinclair’s statement is in clear agreement with the Scripture, Creeds, Canons, Ordinal, Book of Homilies, and the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion of the Church of England.
His statement was released during the meeting of the House of Bishops. It stands in stark contrast to the recent announcement from the Bishop of Oxford and other bishops advocating the Church adopt the LGBT arguments that defy the standards of the Bible and Church of England.
Q – Why is CEEC making such a ‘big thing’ about what might happen post Living in
Love and Faith? And why is it so important right now?
Throughout its history the Church of England (C of E) has seen a number of debates,
tensions and disagreements threaten its vitality and even existence. But never before have
we found ourselves at a place where there is a very real possibility that the foundation
‘deeds’ (ie the Book of Common Prayer, the 39 Articles and the Ordinal) might be changed
following next February’s General Synod. It is this possibility that concerns CEEC since they
contain the biblical foundations upon which the C of E is built.
Q – What might happen at General Synod in February 2023 ?
In short – it is very difficult to answer this question while the College and House of Bishops
are still discerning what they believe should be the outcome of the Living in Love and Faith
process. However, it is likely that they will bring to the February 2023 General Synod a series
of proposals to ‘test the mind’ of General Synod. These could include a proposal to introduce
affirmations or blessings of same sex marriages.
Q – How can we help to maintain the Church of England’s current biblical position on
issues of marriage and sexuality?
1. It might sound obvious — but pray! Pray that God enables the bishops to see that any
departure from our biblical foundations will be bad for the C of E, bad for our gospel
witness and bad for all the communities in which we serve.
2. Please write to your bishop(s) and ask them to hold on to the C of E’s current and biblical
position on issues of sexuality and marriage. Do explore the ‘Keeping Faith’ page on the
CEEC website for further information (www.ceec.info).
Q – What will happen if the General Synod gives a green light to change?
If the General Synod in February indicates support for a change of either doctrine, liturgy or
practice then concrete proposals could be brought back to the Synod in July for formal
approval. Alternatively, the House of Bishops might be able to introduce some changes
through what is called ‘pastoral guidance’.
Q — When will this all end so that we can focus entirely on mission and evangelism?
Those wishing to see the C of E change regarding what it accepts/affirms around human
sexuality are not going to stop pushing for it. And if the Generals Synod indicates that it
would welcome change — then CEEC will be asking evangelicals up and down the country to
pursue a series of steps by way of ‘protest’ to indicate to the House of Bishops that we will
not accept such changes. In other words — it does appear that there is a very real possibility
of an absolute stalemate going forwards — in which no one is content with where we are.
It is because of this that CEEC is asking the House of Bishops and General Synod to explore
the idea of differentiation.
Q — What, in a nutshell, is CEEC’s proposal for differentiation?
In the event of a change to either the doctrine, liturgy or practice of the C of E many
orthodox people (both clergy and lay) might find it difficult to remain in the C of E UNLESS
some kind of ‘silos’ can be created such that the change is not universal but applies only to
part of the C of E — the other part(s) remaining biblical. This is what is meant by
differentiation. For a fuller exploration of this please read ‘Guarding the Deposit’ — a CEEC
paper to be found on the ‘Keeping Faith page on the CEEC website (www.ceec.info).