July 9, 2014

The Failure of Mission

There has been a new development in the case of Canon Jeremy Pemberton, a Church of England priest and chaplain who had the temerity to marry his beloved of many years, Laurence Cunnington. Jeremy works as a chaplain for the National Health Service (NHS), and was up for a promotion; but because the promotion requires a license (or licence, as the English spell it) and the bishop has denied the license, his promotion is on hold. Laurence has written an eloquent summary of the situation.

This is a sad example of what happens when a church loses sight of its primary ministry and mission, and allows secondary (or tertiary or even more remote "concerns") to deflect the implementation of ministry.

For there are few ministerial offices with the weight of dominical force; but among them is the commandment to minister to the sick. There is no dominical command either to marry or to refrain from marriage, though Jesus clearly held that there are requirements placed on those who do marry.

So in this case, the Church of England is not only confecting a discipline, but perverting the course of ministry by applying it.

I offer my prayers for both Jeremy and Laurence, and more particularly for that benighted institution the Church of England, of which I rejoice in not being a member, else my own ministry would be offered up on the altar of a false gospel.

Tobias Stanislas Haller

4 comments:

JCF said...

Amen.

Georges Staelens said...

God has an iron rod. Inwood and all those other people who are trying to stumble on gender-neutral marriage issues will see the power of God.

But, in the meanwhile, people like Jeremy and Laurence are suffering the consequences of the wolves in sheep's skins.

Tobias Haller said...

Thank you, JCF, and Georges. Pray for wisdom and grace to shine through...

Erika Baker said...

Thank you Tobias,
these two are personal friends of ours and we are deeply shocked by just how far the CoE has sunk in its dealing with the "problem" they represent. It is so good to hear voices like yours!