|Recently two apparently unconnected events were reported in the media. One was a letter to The Times written by a handful of Church of England Bishops. The other was an interview of Nadine Dorries by the BBC for a television programme.
The first was an attack on the universally accepted definition of marriage by men whose covenanted declaration of Christian faith at ordination should have precluded such scribbling. The second was an expression of contempt by a Conservative MP for the leaders of her party. She described the Prime Minister and his Chancellor as “posh boys who don’t know the price of milk”
What is the connection of two apparently disparate outbursts that generated controversy and debate of varying intensity? Betrayal! Mrs Dorries will be seen by some as having stepped over a line that will forever brand her as a traitor. Others will applaud her candour, praising such a rare and devastatingly honest appraisal of what she perceives to be the deeply flawed leadership of her party. The question now is what will be the result of her somewhat shrill denunciation of Cameron and his sidekick? Will the party unite in their defence or will “Mad Nad’s” head be the first of many to appear above treachery’s parapet? Will the longer-term result be a weakening of the party or will all good men (and women) come to its aid?
In the ecclesiastical matter it is the “posh boys” who are the traitors. They are the ones who have no idea of value, but their foul betrayal of the Christian faith has nothing to do with anything so mundane as the price of milk. Their collective act of treachery has its roots in utter disregard for an infinitely greater price paid nearly two thousand years ago at a place called Calvary. There, God measured the price of man’s salvation from the guilt, power and penalty of sin as the cost of the precious blood of His Son.
All who dare to call themselves Christian must stand by that valuation. The atoning sacrifice of Christ’s death and the victory of His resurrection constitute the rock on which Christianity stands. Biblical teaching, Christian doctrine and the manner of a Christian’s life must be in agreement with its profound and eternal message for humanity.
These posh Bishops strut their stuff, arrayed in the religious bling of their ceremonial finery that would feed needy families for months, whether in the poverty of inner city Britain or a famine-ravaged part of some repressed African state. In stark contrast to their professed Master who had nowhere to lay His head, they live in palaces of sumptuous grandeur and elegance. If they ever claimed to have visited the cross of Christ in a journey of personal repentance and faith, witnessing for themselves God’s righteousness and love meeting there to make salvation available to all, they have long since abandoned the pretence.
They commend a lifestyle that God’s word condemns. They go further! They advocate the redefinition of marriage, contradicting the Holy Scriptures whose sacred truth they covenanted to uphold, by deliberately transposing the Bible’s definition of love with lust.
Those who are not Christians may strongly disagree. I understand that but their beliefs are not my concern. The lordly Bishops are another matter. They attack the church from within and weaken its testimony to those of other faiths, or no faith. The denomination in which they shelter, nurturing their heresies, should discipline them, as is its duty. If such a proposition meets with hierarchal refusal individual members of that church should separate from the apostasy.
Faithful followers of Christ must examine themselves and their chosen fellowship in constant vigilance against such a spirit of betrayal. The Christian church in its biblically defined status has survived and prospered for nearly two thousand years and will do so as long as God leaves it here. In its history, persecution and ridicule from those who reject Christ as God’s only offer of eternal salvation have always encouraged prosperity, growth and revival, but the spirit of Judas the arch-betrayer is an ever present threat. It has sought out the comfort of the Bishops’ palaces and taken up residence there. The Church of England is not its only lodging place. The threat of a Jenny Geddes-like protest may still deter episcopalianism but the betrayal of the faith of Christ has appeared in both the public assemblages as well as the secret cabals of Scotland’s Kirk. The same virus of betrayal, the same deadly intent to attack from within has made its malign presence felt. Any who acquiesce in such treachery, stubbornly refusing to condemn its prevarication, even by the act of remaining silent should consider the solemn facts. When Jesus addressed Judas for the last time he called him “my friend” but previously had described him as a devil. What he was outwardly belied the evil that was within his heart. Tormented by remorse without repentance, his end was violent and self-inflicted.