May 18, 2015

Tossed to and fro

Michael Coren has crossed the Tiber. Again. He first converted to Roman Catholicism as a young adult in 1985, then converted to evangelical Christianity in the early 1990s, then returned to Rome in 2004. Now, he has announced that a year ago he left the Roman church again and began worshipping with the Anglicans. (If this trend continues, he is due to re-convert to Catholicism in approximately 2024, by which point his personal swimming lane in the Tiber River will be marked off with pool ropes.)

The reason for Coren's departure from Rome is all too predicatable these days, as he notes in an op-ed published Saturday in the Toronto Star:

I gradually came to embrace the cause of same-sex marriage, more liberal politics and a rejection of the conservative Christianity that had characterized my opinions and persona for more than a decade. . . .

The change was to a large extent triggered by the gay issue. I couldn’t accept that homosexual relationships were, as the Roman Catholic Church insists on proclaiming, disordered and sinful. Once a single brick in the wall was removed the entire structure began to fall.

In other words, like so many, he's capitulated to the spirit of the age, and it looks like he's found a church that won't challenge his assumptions: "I quietly and privately drifted over to an Anglican Church that while still working out its own position on many social issues, is far more progressive, open, relevant and willing to admit reality."

Not that it's difficult. The Anglican Church of Canada has been drifting toward the left on this issue for years. Currently ten dioceses are authorized to "bless" same-sex unions, including the Diocese of Ottawa where I live. The 2016 General Synod will vote on whether to authorize same-sex "marriages." Meanwhile, Canon XXI of Anglican church law, as well as the marriage ceremony in the Book of Common Prayer, still presuppose that a marriage consists of a man and a woman.

If you go to a wedding ceremony, you are likely to hear such biblical passages as Genesis 1:26-28, Genesis 2:15-24, or Ephesians 5:21-33 read. Marriage is not merely a license for guilt-free sex. It is a powerful symbol of the relationship of Jesus Christ and his church. That's why, notwithstanding whoever the world says can be married, within the church a same-sex "marriage" is a theological absurdity. It would be interesting to know what Bible verses about marriage are going to be read at Anglican same-sex ceremonies.

I viewed Coren's TV show from time to time and have read some of his books, and found them worthwhile. But this bouncing back and forth from Roman Catholicism to Protestantism and back again every decade is symptomatic of a deep spiritual immaturity. His denominational affiliation is driven by his current likes and dislikes; he is the very definition of one "tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes" (Ephesians 4:14).

Pray for Michael Coren that he finally grows up in his faith and stops swimming.