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Last spring, I wrote about a new book, put out by British publisher Darton, Longman, and Todd: Transfaith. The book is a collection of seven experimental liturgies for “transgender” use composed by a Church of England priestess and a former Metropolitan Community Church minister who “retrained” for ministry in the United Reformed Church.
The story is again relevant because the Church of England in early December 2018 approved adapting liturgies to make them “celebratory” in marking “transgender transitions.” What they did is even stranger. Rather than introduce new liturgies per se, the Anglican divines try to bend the Baptismal liturgy to new ends.
Transfaith - Renaming - Ceremony - Gender - Rite
Transfaith sought to create a “Renaming Ceremony” to mark gender “transitions.” Rather than adopt a special rite, the House of Bishops instead seeks to adapt for the occasion an “Affirmation of Baptismal Faith” (something akin to what Catholics would call a “Renewal of Baptismal Vows”). The Transfaith liturgy is theologically bizarre; the Anglican bishops couple bizarre with confused.
The original Transfaith “Renaming Ceremony” was a parody of baptism. The bishops’ product tries to use baptism itself (at least in terms of its “reaffirmation”) to mark the occasion.
Renaming - Ceremony - Theme - Rebirth - Tradition
The “Renaming Ceremony” seized on the theme of “rebirth” and the tradition of conferring a name in Christian Initiation. “Change of name” is treated as tantamount to change of sex. The authors assure us that there are “echoes in the Bible” for such a practice, as when Abram became Abraham, Sarai Sarah, Jacob Israel, and Saul Paul. None of them apparently noticed that Abram did not become Sarah nor Jacob Rachel.
The name-change is justified because it “is a recognition of a pre-existing truth that has been obscured.” Transgender ideology puts huge weight upon culture, but in this instance, the “pre-existing truth” is not “male and female [God] created them” but some hidden, self-discovered reality...
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