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Woke Bishop Boots Faithful Vicar

The Rev. John Parker (Christian Concern video screenshot)

The Rev. John Parker is living out the future of Christians under wokeness:

A vicar has resigned following a bitter dispute with his bishop over the way a Church of England school handled an eight-year-old pupil’s plan to change gender.

The Reverend John Parker, a governor at the school, supported the boy’s wish to become a girl [I’m told by an unofficial C. of E. clerical source that this is not true — RD] but said he was silenced when he raised concerns that parents and pupils would be kept in the dark.

He also feared that staff and governors had been misled by the transgender lobby group Mermaids, which had been invited in to advise the school.

After his worries were dismissed by the bishop, Mr Parker quit the church where he had been a vicar for 14 years, and also the school after seven years as governor.

In an emotive resignation letter to his bishop, Mr Parker wrote of his fear that children were being ‘sacrificed on the altar of trans ideology’, even in Church schools.

Mr Parker said last night: ‘I was basically told by my bishop that if I wished to faithfully follow the teachings of the Bible then I was no longer welcome in the Church. It felt very much like I was being silenced by the Church and the school.’

Read the whole story.  It includes a recording the Rev. Parker made of a school training session by transgender advocate group Mermaids, in which he, as an Oxford-trained biologist, politely tried to question the scientific claims the presenter was making, and was aggressively shut down.

Oh, there’s this:

Mr Parker said this upsetting incident was the final straw and followed his increasing disillusionment with the Church of England’s ‘unquestioning acceptance of a particular kind of politically correct transgender ideology’.

Last December, the Church issued new pastoral guidance encouraging ministers to create new baptism-style ceremonies for transgender people.

‘I have felt growing disquiet about the intolerance to holding different views within the Church,’ he said. ‘But when I raised my worries with bishops about the direction the Church was moving, I was told that if I didn’t accept their approach, I could leave.’

At the end of April, Mr Parker informed the primary school that he would be resigning as governor with immediate effect.

Shortly after this, he informed the Bishop of Chelmsford by letter of his decision to resign as a vicar, concluding ‘there is no longer a place for me in the Church of England’.

Please understand that this Church of England school did not want parents to know what their children were being taught and exposed to there. When the vicar tried to stand up for Christian principles, and even to pose skeptical scientific questions, he was shot down, and invited to leave the Church itself by his bishop. These revolutionaries want to operate in the dark. Why do you suppose that is?

My C. of E. source said:

For American readers, who may not understand the British schools system, this is a “state” school, in that it is funded by the government, and subject to government inspection and control. The governing body for schools is the a board of maybe 12 or 15 governors, who are responsible for managing the school, including hiring staff. They would include the head teacher, an elected member of staff, elected representatives of the parents, and representatives of the local community. In this case, it is also a Church of England school, so the local vicar (parish minister) would be a governor, and the school is expected to maintain a “Christian ethos”. Typically, the vicar would visit the school once a week to lead worship for the children. I did this [once, and] it was the best part of my job, and a wonderful evangelistic and pastoral opportunity.

The Mermaids organisation has issued a press release in response to the Mail’s story: https://www.mermaidsuk.org.uk/press-enquiry-from-the-mail-on-sunday-25th-may-2019.html, and there is a response to the press release here: https://www.transgendertrend.com/analysis-mermaids-press-statement/?unapproved=8719&moderation-hash=1fc04065fb1174ff108d14ff79460ed9&fbclid=IwAR1zY0fvghpOhSDd9lRPGhVX895olIyySwT48LhsXYT6FnpFfGC0j7upGho#comment-8719

Also, your Reformed readers will be very interested to know that the village in question is Fordham in Essex, where the great Puritan theologian John Owen was vicar four hundred years ago.  John Parker is his successor.

The line between good and evil doesn’t pass between the church and the world. These days in particular, it passes right down the middle of churches.

Watch this short clip to hear parts of the training claims, and reflections by the Rev. Parker, who emphasizes that this gender ideology is being imposed on everyone, without the right to question any of it. Says Parker, “We are being told what to think.” He’s right. In cases like this, the institutional church is the enemy of faithful Christians.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQ57zai5Cpk]

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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