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Well-known evangelist leaves Church of England over same-sex views

by Premier Journalist
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David's Church, Moreton-in-Marsh YouTube

Evangelist Rico Tice has split with the Church of England, saying it has abandoned its Biblical views on sexuality and he needed to “demonstrate some clear separation” from it.

The Anglican clergyman, who is perhaps best known for co-writing the evangelism course Christianity Explored, said he still considered himself a “cradle-to-grave Anglican”, and found the current situation utterly heartbreaking. However, he said he could not remain while the church’s views about same sex marriage and repentance clash with his.

The 57-year-old, who has now started attending an International Presbyterian Church near where his sons go to school, said “the church’s onward trajectory toward affirming same-sex marriage, specifically the new Prayers of Love and Faith” had left him and others with a heavy heart, and he needed to do something about it.

He told Evangelicals Now: “I was one of six evangelical leaders … who wrote to Justin Welby and all the bishops explaining our deep ‘heaviness of heart, soul and mind’ about the Church’s onward trajectory toward affirming same-sex marriage, specifically the new Prayers of Love and Faith. We called upon the archbishop to resist the influence of cultural values when they are in opposition to those of the Bible, and did this because it was harming our ability to work with orthodox people from other denominations … We received no substantive response from him, and that was a key moment in my decision to leave.”

He said that he had been “naïve” about the Church of England’s current culture, never thinking he would see “such a clear, pervasive denial of the Christian’s need to repent of each and every sin they commit.”

The former senior minister at All Souls, Langham Place, London, was born in Chile and grew up in Uganda and Zaire. He has spoken publicly about his disagreement with the Church of England’s sexuality teaching before, stepping down from the Archibshop of Canterbury and York’s evangelism task group in 2018. He told the Billy Graham Association that he clashed with the Bishop of Liverpool, who called Tice’s attitude to sexual sin pharisaic.

Tice said he wanted people to know he’s for them as he speaks. He added: “The Lord will honour those who are found faithful. There is a group of Anglican clergy who struggle with same-sex attraction, but they know they must be celibate in order to follow Christ. I think it is very important that their story be heard. I direct people every day to their website,”

The evangelist retains his Permission to Preach, and can still speak in Church of England churches.

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