Proving that it is constantly transforming with the times, the Church of England has announced it will now offer baptism-style ceremonies for transgender persons, people who deny their biological sex -- e.g., a man who claims he is a woman -- and want to be "re-baptized" in their new sexual identity and new name.
The Scripture teaches that God made us in His image, male and female, but the Church of England believes it can do better.
The decision to offer the new "Affirmation of Baptismal Faith" was decided by the House of Bishops in England on Monday, Dec. 3. The ceremony is not a second baptism with water and the invocation of the Holy Spirit. But in the ceremony, "the minister lays their hands on the candidate or candidates, addresses them by name, and prays for them," reported The Telegraph.
The Affirmation of Baptismal Faith enables people to "renew the commitments made in baptism and in a public setting and provides space for those who have undergone a major transition to re-dedicate their life to Jesus Christ," according to the bishops.
Guidance for the Affirmation states, "For a trans person to be addressed liturgically by the minister for the first time by their chosen name may be a powerful moment in the service."
The guidance also clarifies that "clergy are being told to call men by their new female names, and women by their new male names," reported LifeSiteNews.
"This new guidance provides an opportunity, rooted in scripture, to enable trans people who have ‘come to Christ as the way, the truth and the life,' to mark their transition in the presence of their Church family, which is the body of Christ," said Bishop Julian Henderson, chairman of the House of Bishops delegation committee.
Andrea Minichiello Williams, a lay member of the Church of England's General Synod and executive director of Christian Concern, said the new trasngender "guidance continues the Church of England’s devastating trajectory towards an outright denial of God and His word, by undermining what it means to be baptised and to identify with Him through baptism."
"The point of baptism is to identify a person with Jesus as they begin a life of following Him," said Williams. "Using an affirmation of baptism to celebrate a gender transition turns this upside down by encouraging people to follow their own feelings and live in identities contrary to how God created them."
She continued, "Very sadly, the guidance colludes with the unproven and untrue notion that a person can be ‘born in the wrong body,' rejecting the truth that God saw His own creation of humans as male and female as ‘very good.' As God is eternally the God of truth -- not lies -- Christians cannot and must not fall over themselves to accommodate transgender ideology."
"It is not loving to mislead people -- and wider society -- into the falsehoods and myths of transgender ideology," she said.
The Church of England was established in 1534 when King Henry VIII broke with the Roman Catholic Church because he could not secure an annulment for his marriage to Catherine of Aragon.
Today, the supreme governor of the Church of England is Queen Elizabeth II. The highest ranking churchman is the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.
Dr. Paul R. McHugh, the former psychiatrist-in-chief for Johns Hopkins Hospital and its current Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry, said that transgenderism is a “mental disorder” that merits treatment, that sex change is “biologically impossible,” and that people who promote sexual reassignment surgery are collaborating with and promoting a mental disorder.
“’Sex change’ is biologically impossible,” said McHugh. “People who undergo sex-reassignment surgery do not change from men to women or vice versa. Rather, they become feminized men or masculinized women. Claiming that this is civil-rights matter and encouraging surgical intervention is in reality to collaborate with and promote a mental disorder.”