The Rev Dr Bernard Randall—who is a University of Oxford graduate and former chaplain of Christ’s College Cambridge—preached a sermon in June, 2019 at Trent College in Long Eaton, England […]
The Rev Dr Bernard Randall—who is a University of Oxford graduate and former chaplain of Christ’s College Cambridge—preached a sermon in June, 2019 at Trent College in Long Eaton, England in which he affirmed the classic Christian doctrine that marriage is between a man and a woman. The Diocese of Derby launched a formal investigation, conducting a “risk assessment”.
Two months later Rev. Randall was not only sacked from his position but also classified as a “moderate” risk—since he might cause children “anxiety” if they came to him with “a sexuality or relationship issue”—and was also reported to terrorist watchdogs. Randall told The Telegraph (UK):
If it wasn’t so serious it would be funny that the church is being alleged to have discriminated against one of its officers on the basis that that officer holds its teachings. It shouldn’t be possible but here it is and that’s why it’s for the long-term good of the Church to deal with these things.
The Bishop of Derby has not defended Randall who has always held too, and continues to teach nothing contrary to theofficial doctrinal position of the Church of England. In a statement to Christian Concern, Randall said:
It has been a hostile, traumatic and deeply stressful experience. I had always wanted to give the Diocese a chance to see sense and to sort this situation out properly internally. I have always been so loyal to the Church, but sadly that has not been reciprocated. I have been marked as a ‘risk to children’ by Church officials for expressing, moderately, the C of E’s (Church of England) own teaching on human sexuality in a C of E chapel.
I do not believe delivering a sermon can be a safeguarding issue. I did not think anything I said was wrong. I certainly didn’t make personal attacks. I was told by the safeguarding team at Derby diocese that my sermon and my views, based on C of E teaching, could potentially cause someone anxiety, as if that is abuse.
If the Church of England believes that its own teaching based on the Bible is a safeguarding risk, then what does this say about what state it’s in? Safeguarding’ has been weaponised against what they believe to be a difficult voice. The Bishop of Derby has shown moral cowardice in refusing to stand up for the goodness of the Church’s own teaching, and totally failed to support and vindicate me. Sadly, the C of E seems to care more about its reputation in the secular world than showing spiritual leadership – it has become ‘managerialised’.
The woke activists who have captured much of the C of E cannot tolerate any opposition to their agenda, even moderate and considered opposition which encourages debate. This has been a huge test of my faith. What has happened has never made me think about not being a Christian, but it has made me profoundly question the C of E and my place in it.
How can I think the C of E loves God when it is walking so far away from where it should be? Woke activists are eating away at the C of E’s guts. Instead of following Jesus, who calls us to radical change, it becomes just about‘being nice’ to people.
If you hack away at one section of teaching, where does it stop? Jesus did not promise an easy life. But the modern world says anything that gets in the way of the easy life is a risk. The human cost on me has been immense. The lows have been very low indeed, and I have no idea what the future holds.
People ask me why I have not left the Church of England, and I can only say because it is a deep part of who I am. The behaviour of the school is wrong, but the Church should have known better and done better. How I have been treated by the C of E has hurt me more than anything.
I have had no protection at all and have faced no choice but to pursue justice. The day comes when you have to stand up to bullies. I am appalled that it is the Church that has forced me to do so. I have never had any wish to leave the C of E, I believe it has turned its back on me.
This is an incredibly serious moment for the Anglican Church, not only in England, but also throughout the rest of the world. It is also further confirmation as to why the newly formed Diocese of the Southern Cross was so need. Indeed, the current Moderator-General, the Rev. Dr. Peter Barnes, recently took the unprecedented action of offering church buildings belonging to the Presbyterian Church of Australia to be used by the fledging diocese.
[A full copy of the letter—signed by every other previous moderator-general as well—can be viewed at the end of this article]
The shocking sage involving Rev. Dr. Randall, though, raises the question, “How long before we see something like this happen here?” Remember when they said before the meaning of marriage was redefined that nothing would change? Well, they clearly lied. And they actually told us that were lying at the time. As the lesbian political activist, Masha Gessen, said back in 2012 at the Sydney Writer’s Festival:
Fighting for gay marriage generally involves lying about what we are going to do with marriage when we get there. Because we lie that the institution of marriage is not going to change. And that is a lie. The institution of marriage is going to change and it should change, and again, I don’t think it should exist.
The case involving Rev. Dr. Randall is currently in the hands of the Employment Tribunal in the UK.