June 23, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The Church of England is considering the creation of a liturgy to affirm transgenders in their sex “change that could aggravate its own internal divide and further sunder Anglican Communion worldwide.
An official said that while no one can be “re-baptized,” the church founded by King Henry VIII may decide to “re-christen” transgenders with their new name and opposite sex “identity.”
“It is a fundamental belief of the Church that baptism can only be received once,” Synod Secretary General William Nye affirmed.
The ancient Nicene Creed of universal Christendom delineates that there is “one baptism for the remission of sins,” reflecting the Apostle Paul’s declaration in Ephesians 4:5 and the Apostle Peter’s exhortation in Acts 2:38.
Nevertheless, Nye says there may be a way around re-baptism for men who want to be women, and vice versa. The Church of England could simply re-fashion a liturgy of “welcome” and allow a man-turned-”woman” to “reaffirm their baptismal vows” under their new, opposite sex name.
The church’s General Synod will discuss the idea of establishing a service to celebrate a person’s gender transition “to meet this pastoral need” next month at their semi-annual meeting in York.
Blackburn diocesan priest Chris Newlands said the idea came from a transsexual who was “wrestling” spiritually during his “transition” and felt he needed “to reintroduce himself to God with his new name and gender identity.”
Conservative members are against the idea. “We are sensitive to people who feel uncomfortable with their sex, but Christian teaching is that God made us man and woman,” Synod member Andrea Williams of Christian Concern told The Blaze. “The Church should help people to see the beauty of their God-given sex instead of confusing them.”
But many progressives in the church say the time has come to affirm gender theory. “Trans people feel powerfully called to be recognized in their ‘chosen’ name,” transgender priest “Rachel” Mann explained to Christianity Today. “This liturgy is a welcome move to affirm trans people.”
In 2016, a Church of England parliamentary committee recommended eliminating any Christian principles that might discourage people from changing sex.