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The word ‘holy’ used to strike awe and fear into Christians, especially those aged 80 and over.

My parents and grandparents used the word rarely and only when appropriate.

Now it seems as if ‘holy’ equates to ‘Christian love’ which equates to ‘accepting everything going’.

The Ugley Vicar from England’s Essex (Ugley is the name of a town in that county) recently posted on a rationale from Synod for women bishops. His readers took this, rightly, as a call for an all-inclusive God — meaning a ‘she’ — and mused that this is often a dog whistle for LGBT rights in the church.

The document which the vicar cites — ‘A Health Report on the C of E Following York Synod’ — features the following quote from Colin Coward. He is the Director of Changing Attitude within the Synod.

If that isn’t a 1984-ish title — particularly for the Church — what is?

Anyway, here are a few sentences from Mr Coward (emphases mine):

The Church of England knows it has a crisis on its hands. It thinks the crisis might be solved by gently persuading enough conservatives to overcome their convictions and vote yes for women bishops. I am convinced the problem is far deeper than that … I believe in a God of love. They believe in a nasty, rule-bound, vindictive God who despite everything they say, hates gays. Until they overcome their prejudice, they will continue to drive the church towards a precipice.

How does he arrive at such a spurious conclusion?

More importantly, has Mr Coward read the New Testament, especially the Book of Jude?

There is a modern day confusion between holiness and accepting every sin around us. One has only to read the Epistles to learn this.

Yet in Modernist and Postmodern Christianity, we must ‘love’ not only the sinner — quite rightly — but also accept, if not encourage, his sin. Where is that in the New Testament?

Carl Jacobs made an excellent point in the comments (emphases mine):

They believe in a nasty, rule-bound, vindictive God who despite everything they say, hates gays.

Translation: “They believe in a God of Holiness.”

The Love of God in liberal conception is reconstructed into an expression of human autonomy. It begins with the assumption that man is basically good, and that therefore his autonomouus desires are basically good. Justice becomes an effort to enable people to act upon their autonomous desires. The “God of Love” becomes an ex post facto divine justification of human desire – a means to functionally deify autonomous man. This is the essence of liberal religion.

“Holiness” by contrast begins with boundaries, the transgression of which produces divine wrath. Justice is a correct alignment reward and punishment with behavior. Man being a natural trangressor faces wrath for the sake of justice and the whole of the Gospel falls out. This is the essence of orthodox Christianity.

Two very different religions indeed. Why be unequally yoked?


God is, indeed, love. However, He asks us to become holy, as He is holy. He wants as many of us as possible to share eternal life with Him and His son. This precludes our deliberate sinful behaviour. Why would it be all right for the chosen of Israel in the Old Testament to be chastised for their sins and not us?

It seems as if many Christians — Protestant and Catholic — are falling into a me-centred Christianity, which is no Christianity at all.

Love your neighbour, by all means, but let’s not allow our sins to universally defile Christ’s holy Bride, the Church.

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