Isaiah 56:10: “His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.”
Two recurring themes within the Church of Ireland is its deafening silence on issues which should appal any true child of God and its utter inactivity when presented with a minister who openly defies God.
Both of these matters came sharply into focus recently with the sad case of Rev Andrew Rawding, one of its ministers in County Tyrone.
His apostate actions in leading a procession in celebration of sodomite ‘Pride’ are frankly outrageous, but the Church of Ireland steadfastly refuses to do anything about it.
A number of weeks have passed since Rev Andrew Rawding’s outrageous act of rebellion against his church’s teaching and, most importantly, against God and His Word.
However, still there has been no response or action taken in relation to his shameful behaviour, as they remain silent in the face of grave, brazen sin.
As a quick reminder, Rev Andrew Rawding led a sodomite ‘Pride’ parade through Cookstown in County Tyrone last month in a celebration of that which God calls an “abomination” (Leviticus 18:22).
The parade had originally been due to be held in June, but the Covid lockdown saw it rearranged to September.
Despite it being clear that mass gatherings would still not be permitted come September, the organisers, Mid Ulster Pride, were so determined to go on in their sin, they organised a parade anyway, with 15 people (with Rev Andrew Rawding very much to the fore) carrying placards in support of their ungodly cause through the town centre on a Saturday afternoon.
Praise God there was a protest mounted against this wickedness, but sadly not so much as a squeak of opposition from Rev Andrew Rawding’s denomination, the Church of Ireland.
In the weeks that have passed since his outrageous, God-defying actions, there has been nothing said by the Church of Ireland’s Diocese of Armagh against it, nor has there been a word said by the Church of Ireland body as a whole, nor, to the best of our knowledge, has a single Church of Ireland minister made a public statement to repudiate Rev Andrew Rawding’s actions.
The Church of Ireland Diocese of Armagh has been able to publish a number of statements on their website in the meantime, including an article headlined ‘Letter from UK Anglican Primates on Internal Market Bill’, because the likes of Archbishop Right Eejit John McDowell’s views on the EU are sure to make a huge difference.
There was also a fascinating and, no doubt much valued statement thanking teachers for, well, teaching. Inspirational stuff.
But there is nothing about one of its ministers supporting dreadful wickedness, they are but dumb dogs slumbering, as the verse at the top of this article states.
What use is a watchman that does not watch and what use is a guard dog that does not bark?
The Diocese of Armagh has a duty of spiritual care to its members and parishioners and, indeed, to its ministers like Rev Andrew Rawding.
This is a man so clearly in error as he stands up to promote grave sin, yet the Church of Ireland is making no effort to correct him.
Last year, when asked by the Belfast Newsletter if they planned to do anything about his brazen defiance of God’s Word, this is what the report regarding their response said:
“The spokesman said that church teaching is agreed in a “democratic” process; Many clergy and laity disagree with church teaching “and may continue to hold their point of view, but it will not be the official position of the Church”.”
The Church of Ireland is perfectly content for Rev Andrew Rawding to continue to promote that which God calls an “abomination” (Leviticus 18:22) and “vile”, “against nature” and “unseemly” (Romans 1:26-27).
Yet surely if they have a love for his soul and a love for the souls of the people over whom he has spiritual authority, they would want to sound a warning?
Alas, no, they are too busy speaking into the air on Brexit and offering pointless words of praise to teachers in bland statements.
Sadly these dumb dogs are far too prevalent in church hierarchies today, not just in the Church of Ireland.
May God save us from such dumb dogs and rather give us dogs that bark in this wicked day and generation.
May we even be blessed with a generation of religious leaders who are as those in Daniel 11:32, who “do know their God”.
Let them “be strong, and do exploits”, not be weak, and do nothing.