But Anglican Ink carries an article by him which responds to the train wreck that was the most recent English General Synod. I find this article somewhat disturbing. For example, in capital letters, this is written:
"THE CHURCH RUNS ON MONEY ALONE AND HAS DONE SO SINCE JUDAS GOT THOSE 30 PIECES OF SILVER. IT WAS MONEY THAT CRUCIFIED JESUS AND DON'T YOU FORGET IT."
That comment, and others offer a highly cynical, denigratory view of the people who offer their ministries as servants of the Church of England, to say nothing of denigration of people who stand for General Synod (at least some of whom must have voted for an outcome which lines up with Gerald Bray's relentlessly negative opposition to women bishops). I question an ecclesiology which finds little good to say about those with whom one disagrees. But worse is to come, as we might expect when the title given the piece is, 'Evangelical supporters of women bishops are "liberals in disguise".'
Gerald Bray writes this:
''One side-effect of all this is that whereas twenty or thirty years ago most Evangelical organisations contained a mixture of people for and against women's ordination, battle lines have now hardened. Today, an Evangelical who claims to be an 'egalitarian' in such matters is simply a liberal in disguise.
Anyone who doubts this need only look at the Fulcrum Anglican website. Fulcrum is a tiny pressure group that exists only in the blogosphere but claims to represent the 'Evangelical centre', for which read 'slightly right-wing liberal'. (It is officially against gay marriage but in favour of 'dialogue' - you get the picture.)
Evangelicals cannot be defined by the women's issue, which remains secondary to their chief interests (evangelism, mission, teaching the Bible and other things that the rest of the church only talks about once in a while), but after the most recent events I would be surprised if anyone who supports women bishops would be welcome in most Evangelical circles. As happened before, the extremism of those people is alienating the Evangelical constituency and causing the latter to close ranks against them."
On the one hand this is simply libellous (meaning an unwarranted claim) in the way it generalises across the ranks of evangelicals who support women bishops to impute a lack of integrity and dishonesty to fellow evangelicals: we are not what we seem, Bray says, indeed we are deceptive because what we truly are is disguised.
On the other hand this is confusing in its logic. Those evangelicals who support women bishops are liberals in disguise, yet evangelicals "cannot be defined by the women's issue." What?
The best I can offer in charitable response to a brother in Christ is that the plot is being lost here. [Later: I accept, in the light of comments below, that another charitable response is that Gerald is focussed on 'the English scene' rather than the international evangelical scene, and, perhaps, within that scene, particularly zoned in on Fulcrum. I still think that it is unfair to impute 'disguise' to fellow evangelicals, even though Fulcrum has raised many questions for non-Fulcrum, English evangelicals.]
The simple fact is that it is true that "evangelicals cannot be defined by the women's issues." Logically this also means that evangelicals who support women's bishops cannot and should not be judged to be liberals in disguise. Perhaps, Gerald, if you read this, you would considering withdrawing this description of your fellow evangelicals.
PS Nice touch here from Annabel Crabb in the SMH.