From Virtue Online: Alan Jacobs has the scoop
The Dog Collar or the Cross? The Church of England’s Vendetta Against the Barnabas Fund
Dr. Sookhdeo target of pro-gay-pro-Muslim-multicultural agenda of St. Paul’s Dean
By Alan Jacobs
Special to VIRTUEONLINE
June 30, 2016
Paul’s opening challenge to the Galatians is probably even more deeply felt and more damning for us in the sort of Church we have become today, “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel – which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!” (Galatians 1:6-8).
A couple of verses later he goes on to ask rhetorically, “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10).
Therefore, among the key messages from this crucial Scripture are that the glorified status of the preacher of a lying gospel, even were it to be uttered by an angel from heaven, counts for nothing. A lie is not truth however eminent the worldly credentials of the teacher, however much they “look the part”. In just the same way, a lie to please people by conforming to society’s predominating trends and mores, no, that’s still not truth either.
And yet, Christians have still to respond to the urgent question that is asked of them by non-Christians, and will one day be asked of them before their Maker, “Which do you follow, the dog collar or the Cross?”
For the fact is in the cancer of “clericalism” that is strangling Christianity in places such as the Church of England, the lying spirit that “looks the part” can vividly be seen in the grand photo albums of the Anglican Primates Meetings and Lambeth Conferences; all those tall mitres and flowing clerical robes, the colorful paraphernalia of religious authority. High councils and conclaves and fine clothes to cover apostate hearts, and if ever there was a religion of this world rather than the Kingdom of God, it is this.
I would add also that, in my mind and in the perception also of many of my black Christian brothers and sisters, these Roman vestments manufactured and conventionally imposed by a white Anglican Establishment do hang rather awkwardly on the African and other more orthodox Christian leaders from the Global South. Just as awkwardly in fact as the whole made-up Anglican bureaucracy and political language under which they are forced to work. The vestments, the committee structures, the Anglican political language of never-quite-telling-the-truth-not-ever – all of these are of Anglo-Saxon origination, and so when a black face peering from under a bishop’s mitre tries to pronounce a Christian teaching, it simply doesn’t “look the part” in the same way, nor do his words carry the same weight as if it were being said by a white man in the Queen’s English.
I often hear quiet complaints from fellow white Evangelicals who feel genuinely uncomfortable at the “thinly veiled racism” directed at African bishops who are trying to defend biblical teaching against the advancing gay agenda in the Church, and the whole Anglican appeasement of Islam’s rising political power. But I have to say to them that the Church of England hierarchy has always with an iron rod maintained control of “language”, and ruthlessly punished those who don’t speak “Anglican” the way they should, or play the C of E’s political game under the rules these people have written – rules which are from the very outset stacked against the prophets. It is these gatekeepers of the Anglican polity speaking Frankincensed High Anglican, not the Bible’s words, which stand as final arbiters of what the Church is or is not. I doubt Paul and his troublesome Gospel would stand a chance.
Take the example of the way that senior figures in the Diocese of London and Lambeth Palace have taken to utterly destroying the Barnabas Fund, such as Bishop Richard Chartres, Dean David Ison and his alleged Sookhdeo assault victim wife, Hilary, and the Alison Ruoff cabal of the former Barnabas Fund trustees including Ivar Hellberg, Grianne McDonald, and the Revds. Robert de Berry and Nick Wynn Jones. Barnabas Fund is the only Christian organization in the field which has fearlessly spoken out against Muslim persecution of Christians and warned of how the Church’s homosexual agenda directly threatens the safety of Christians in places where the anti-homosexual Muslims have the upper hand and use it as a stick to beat Christians with – something about which the African bishops have repeatedly spoken.
What we have now is a shocking situation where white, pro-Muslim, pro-homosexual churchmen have the whip hand over the Barnabas Fund’s black former International Director, Dr Patrick Sookdheo, whose Pauline penchant for “telling it as it is” is just intolerable to them. How ironic, even comedic it is that a Christian organization dedicated to speaking out for persecuted Christians is itself the object of persecution by others who claim to be Christian, but the simple, crystal-clear fact is that recent events are merely the natural culmination of decades of racism, smear and mockery directed at troublesome and intemperate Barnabas, driven by a Diocese of London and a state Church of England whose true vested interests lie not in Christ but in maintaining political power in Parliament (where the bishops sit) through Britain’s multicultural-multifaith, gay-friendly diversity agenda and maintaining the flow of millions of dollars of government money to the Church and the Diocese to support it. “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people”.
The troubles faced by the Barnabas Fund in the Diocese of London have been many over years, and include the case of Dr Sookhdeo being marginalised and eventually booted out of an initiative on Christian persecution at St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace, which is a pet project of the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, and highly feted and heavily funded by the UK government for representing the “right kind” of Christianity. Other sources report how Lambeth Palace apparently decided Dr Sookhdeo was “the most dangerous man in Christendom” for his robust narrative on Islam and Muslim persecution and so ensured he was eliminated. A quick glance at the website of St Ethelburga’s and its various syncretistic projects on Christian-Buddhist-lesbian-feminist-spiritual-ecology is self-explanatory as to why this kind of Anglicanism would find Barnabas a difficult fit.
Then we have the targeting of Dr Sookhdeo by the pro-gay-pro-Muslim-multicultural agenda of the Dean and Chapter of St Paul’s Cathedral. While this alliance may seem just a bit odd given the habit Muslims have in their own countries of throwing homosexuals off tall buildings and the parallel habit in our countries of gunning them down in gay clubs, in both the US and UK Muslims have bizarrely found common cause with LGBT, atheists and other “victims of society”, something demonstrated by the post-Orlando launch of the “LGBT Against Islamophobia” campaign as part of London Pride. The pro-gay-agenda-pro-Muslim-agenda Dean of St Paul’s, David Ison who has gone out of his way to slander and vilify Dr Sookhdeo, has as his very close friend and right hand man Canon Mark Oakley, a homosexual man who lives with his male lover in cathedral housing, and publicly declared his longstanding sexual relationship earlier this year. Oakley is a patron of “Tell MAMA”, a shocking project run by an unscrupulous and bitter Muslim foe of Dr Sookhdeo called Fiyaz Mughal. Mughal’s project essentially operates as a vigilante organisation which scours Twitter, Facebook and elsewhere for criticism of Islam and Muslims which it then promptly reports as a “hate crime” to the UK authorities. With no First Amendment in Great Britain, the draconian laws which criminalize and silence open debate about Islam in the name of “Islamophobic crime” find an obvious parallel with the “homophobia crime” thought policing, under which Christians are thus doubly suckered. That Mughal’s project has received millions of dollars from the UK government which has engaged this Muslim as a favored consultant, has been angrily condemned in the British press, but still the prevailing culture of political correctness edges ever towards an Orwellian silencing of those like Sookhdeo.
Meanwhile, the Church of England in its greed for worldly power and state money and sponsorship through cosying up to the interfaith-intersexual harmony agenda has given us the scenarios of the gay vicar of St John’s Church, Waterloo in London hosting a Muslim mosque service where he praised “Allah”, and David Ison himself along with Canon Andrew Nunn, the outspoken homosexual activist who is the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Correspondence Secretary, vocally campaigning for full homosexual unions within the Church, and their signing a letter in advance of the Primates Meeting calling on the Church to “repent” for its treatment of gays.
At the same time, in response to a previous article of mine for Virtue Online about how the Church of England has allowed its priests to engage in homosexual clergy abuse, a response was received from Rev. William Campbell-Taylor, the Hackney vicar turned City of London politician and councilor who tried and failed to prosecute his vulnerable male victim for revealing at a survivors meeting in the British Parliament that the priest had asked him for oral sex – on the grounds that by exposing these true allegations of abuse this had caused Campbell-Taylor “distress and alarm”. In his correspondence, Campbell-Taylor listed his own expansive titles and authority as an Anglican cleric, and cited the vulnerable male’s ethnic-cultural background and disabilities as grounds why the establishment vicar should be believed over the non-establishment abuse survivor. Again, it was the question of which of the two best “looks the part”. What Campbell-Taylor failed to mention was that, as reported first-hand by journalist witnesses, the Judge described his conduct as “at the very least, bad taste” and that he is currently being investigated by the City of London Standards Committee for allegations of “stalking” and “abuse of power as a Councilman”.
The City of London is widely known as a magnet for gay clergy, whose beautiful and largely empty Christopher Wren churches are resplendent with high Anglican liturgy, lovely frocks and incense and theatre, and generally empty of both congregants and the Bible. That it should be extremely hostile territory to Barnabas and to the Gospel is an inevitable result of the vast flows of corrupt money from oligarchs and dictators, gay saunas frequented by clergymen, and Roman culture in the City which financial wrongs have been condemned by anti-corruption groups like Transparency International. Here in Babylon is inevitably where religion is become a tamed lifestyle accessory re-modeled and domesticated to the obedience of what society is prepared to hear and for the pleasing of people. And so, with his stubborn and extremely inconvenient voice of Christian orthodoxy in the face of sexual deviation in the Church and the brute force of other religions, Barnabas and Dr Sookdheo really do need to be wiped out entirely.
In the subsequent articles in this series, we explore in greater detail something of the prior history and activities of the Diocese of London and how this spiritual war against Barnabas and Christian orthodoxy began to take shape.
Alan Jacobs is a frequent commentator on various religious blogs and sites. A retired American Petro-Chemical Engineer from Dallas, Tx. He is focusing his attention on the Church and its future in both the US and UK.