Apostasy ⎼ the abandonment or renunciation of a religious or political belief or principle
The Church of England announced last week that Stephen Knott is to be the new Archbishop’s Appointment Secretary. No, this does not mean that he will be overseeing Justin Welby’s diary – as, from the job title, one might be excused for imagining. Rather this is one of the most senior appointments in the Anglican Church, carrying responsibility for the appointment of bishops, deans, and other senior posts in the Church of England, and involving close collaboration with the Prime Minister’s Appointments Secretary (https://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/news/news-and-statements/stephen-knott-be-new-archbishops-secretary-appointments). In fact, it can with justification be said that whoever is appointed to this task holds the key to all future appointments in the Church of England and the direction that it takes. What is of primary significance in Mr Knott’s appointment, however – albeit unmentioned in the official announcement – is that he is ‘married’ to Major General Alastair Bruce of Crionaich, Governor of Edinburgh Castle. The pair were apparently married in July last year in St John’s Episcopal Church, Edinburgh, with the ceremony conducted by no less a personage than the Rt Revd John Armes, Bishop of Edinburgh (https://virtueonline.org/lambeth-deputy-become-archbishops-appointment-secretary-married-homosexual). From his clear commitment to the social normalisation of same-sex relationships, it is to be expected that Mr Knott’s recommendations will support the promotion of greater ‘diversity and inclusivity’. His appointment is, therefore, a clear challenge to those who uphold traditional doctrine as set down in the Bible and, whether intended or not, is a laying down of battle-lines. While asserting God’s love for all, the website for the Anglican Communion states unequivocally that homosexual practice is incompatible with Scripture. It stands on the commitment of the Church to ‘uphold faithfulness in marriage between a man and a woman in lifelong union’. It further states that abstinence is right for those who are not called to marriage’ (https://www.anglicancommunion.org/resources/document-library/lambeth-conference/1998/section-i-called-to-full-humanity/section-i10-human-sexuality). Yet, in sanctioning the appointment of Mr Knott ⎼ a man who is not just same-sex attracted but in a ‘marriage’ celebrated in direct contravention of existing guidelines – it would appear that Justin Welby has chosen to override the clear doctrinal position of the Church of which he is the de facto leader, preferring to promote so-called diversity. By this one action he has nailed his colours firmly to the mast of secular inclusivity, and betrayed his oath of obedience to the teachings of the Church. Mr Knott is free to follow whatever life-style he so desires, but the choices he has made disbar him from holding office in the Christian Church. By making this appointment, therefore, the Church of England proclaims that it is apostate and that it has rejected the clear teachings of Christ. It says it is no longer the Church of God – but, truly, a Church of England. Those who believe in the Bible can no longer, with integrity, follow these warped and blasphemous teachings, that make a mockery of Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross.