In the culture wars which have ravaged Europe since the seventeenth century, the principal tactic of the Left (to use the term broadly) has been entryism. This has been particularly so in the Churches. More recently WOKENESS in the guise of ‘inclusion’ has sought to replace the Christian virtues of tolerance, hospitality and forgiveness. This was never more true than in the cases of women’s ordination and the approval of gay marriage. (Bishop Michael Adie’s assertion in the women priests debate that the innovation was ‘required by the tradition’ comes readily to mind.)
Seldom have orthodox Christians called the bluff of the liberals. They have been prepared to acknowledge that the innovations were church-dividing issues; but they have – with few exceptions – stopped short of dividing the Church.
Step forward the evangelical Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Glen Davies, who called for gay marriage supporters to leave the church, provoking from liberals the expected response: ‘he seems to want to exclude people rather than to engage with them’.
What liberals want is endless conversation, dialogue without terminus. What they cannot stomach is a blunt recognition of their own apostasy. Davis has called their bluff: it is open to them to found a new church. What they cannot legitimately do is to claim fellowship in the Body of Christ, the Church Apostolic.