In an Aug. 26, 2003, op-ed piece in The Wall Street Journal, Peter Mullen, Rector of St. Michael’s Church in Cornhill and chaplain of the London Stock Exchange, writes, “The issue of homosexuality is only one prominent aspect of a failure of nerve on the part of the church in the West. We have ceased to believe our ancient God-given authority.

“Western theologians have ‘demythologized’ the Bible, given up believing in the miracles of the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection, and abandoned those biblical teachings felt uncongenial to the modern ‘liberated’ lifestyle. As an authoritative institution with its traditional morality rooted in the Ten Commandments and in the teachings of Christ, the Western church no longer exists. It is as if it has resigned.

“Gone utterly is its distinctive, hierarchical character. Nowadays, it simply follows secular fashion in all matters of morality and public and private conduct. Such a church, having denied its divine role, has become useless as a teacher of social morality. What on earth, one wants to ask, is such a decadent, spineless church for? All the prohibitions have been abandoned. Divorce, once disallowed, now often is celebrated in new rites created especially for it, as what God joined together the church puts asunder. Adultery, promiscuity and every sort of sexual orientation are now ‘affirmed.’ Hundreds of thousands of abortions each year merely as a means of contraception raise no protests — not even from a church which is commanded: Thou Shalt Not Kill. Homosexual bishops? How long before we see pedophile bishops, necrophile Deans of Cathedrals and cannibalistic Archdeacons?

“Paradoxically, out of this wholesale collapse some good might come. There are still, here and there in the U.S. and Britain, communities of traditional, conservative, believing Christians. Many of these are exceedingly devout, and they are wealthy. If they decide to split off from the Episcopal Church as now constituted, these groups have an excellent opportunity to survive and prosper…

“This might turn out to be very good news indeed — the first bit of good news the church has brought for at least 50 years. The revival of traditional Christianity would not only provide a haven for real believers, but it would prove attractive to outsiders and to those millions who have left the secularized, liberal church in disgust and despair. There would once again be a source of authority and tradition for serious Christians and for millions of God-seekers.”

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