Those wobbling bishops


The Ugly Vicar explains the dynamics of how church leaders come to undermine the very beliefs and values they are called to uphold.

Note the public silence of key moral issues until they build a consensus to change rules and regulations.

The only effective response to this undermining of the Christian faith? — radical principled action. Sometimes "nice" can be a health hazard.

Here are some edited highlights.

When a system — or a person — is under stress, collapse may be a long time coming, but when it comes, it tends to be abrupt rather than gradual.

What we are now seeing in the House of Bishops on the matter of homosexuality is an increasing number of ‘wobbling plates’. When they fall, though, I predict they will do so both dramatically and abruptly.

Richard John Neuhaus observed, the crucial damage is done not when orthodoxy is overthrown, but when it is included as an option.

Thus traditionalists are held together with revisionists until, such time as revisionists can “build a consensus to change rules and regulations”.

Of course, the traditionalists will never be rubbed out or ruled out — not until there are too few of them for anyone to care any longer — but the very act of establishing the consensus between orthodoxy and change establishes that only those who accept the consensus will henceforth be allowed centre place in the institution.

Why don’t wobbling bishops take a stand and openly challenge the Church, instead of sneakily undermining it?

The answer, I would have thought, is obvious. They are biding their time. But the time will certainly come.

When it does, and it cannot be far off, there is only one possible way that traditionalists can respond effectively — the way that has always most affected and changed the Church of England — and that will be radical principled action.

Issues in Human Sexuality: the bishops begin to wobble

HT: Dave Price