Church Issues

This section of the website deals with controversial and denominational matters in the church. Having become deeply concerned about the development of doctrinal and moral compromise in the Church of England, Tony founded Action for Biblical Witness to our Nation (ABWON) in 1984. Initially ABWON witnessed to the truth of the Virgin Birth and Bodily Resurrection of Christ when David Jenkins became Bishop of Durham and denied the former and cast doubts on the latter.  It also took up the issues of Church toleration of sexual immorality; and interfaith worship which undermined the uniqueness of the person of Christ.  Tony’s second book Our God Reigns dealt with these and other issues.  

Tony was an elected member of the Church of England General Synod from 1985 until 1999. In 1987 his private member’s motion led to General Synod reaffirming (by a 98% majority) traditional and biblical views on sexuality. He wrote articles, and for many years wrote a regular opinion column in the “New Christian Herald”.  He was re-elected (with greater support) to the Synod in 1990 and even greater support in 1995.  He was often approached by the U.K. media (press, radio and T.V.) to comment on matters of Christian concern.

He also campaigned on the issue of interfaith worship which undermined the uniqueness of the person of Christ (see the Interfaith section of this website).

In 1997 Tony circulated all 10,000 English clergy with a Study Guide for Leaders and a popular Study Course for churchmembers on the subject of homosexuality. He suggested wording for motions on the issue which parishes could pass and send to their archbishop, bishops and General Synod representatives.

Then In 1998 Tony wrote a book Prophesy! about this experience and the lessons he had learnt from his 14 years of outspoken “prophetic” ministry within the Church of England.

If you have questions or comments, feel free to write to my blog.

Articles are arranged according to subject and to whether they are:
1. Short popular articles for the general reader
2. Longer popular articles for the general reader
3. More academic articles where relevant

Teaching about Baptism 

Short popular articles for the general reader.

Teaching about the Church of England 

Short popular booklet for the general reader.
Short popular article for the general reader.

Teaching about Evangelicalism

Short popular article for the general reader.
Long popular article for the general reader.

Teaching about Liberalism

Short popular article for the general reader.

(See the books in this and the Interfaith section for more about Liberalism)

Teaching about Homosexuality

My attitude to homosexuals

God commands us to love our neighbour whatever his/her sexuality, race, religion, nationality social standing. We are called to love all our neighbours equally. The Bible is clear that not to do so is a serious sin. In fact, God says that if we don’t love them, we don’t love him. We must love and respect our homosexual neighbour as ourselves.

I have always sought to show love and respect for homosexuals. I have had extensive dialogue with them and two experiences confirm my respect.

I once spoke at a meeting at Birmingham University about the biblical teaching on homosexual practice. There was a demonstration against me outside the venue. I spoke and answered questions in my normal respectful way. Some of the questions were from demonstrators who had come into the meeting (wearing their campaign badges). I was very encouraged when, towards the end of the evening, one of them (whose questions I had answered) said publicly “You’re not such a bad bloke are you.” I took that as a strong approval of my respectful approach.

On another occasion I was involved in a TV debate in Norwich with a number of homosexuals. I caught the train back to London and sat with a number of them. We chatted at length and eventually one of them, who had a leading role in a gay church in London, invited me to take a Communion service at that church. I didn’t feel able to accept but that is another approval of my respectful approach to homosexuals.

However, loving our homosexual neighbour does not mean that we have to agree with him/her.  Love is consistent with respectful disagreement. I believe in the biblical teaching that sex is a wonderful gift of God to be fully enjoyed within the context of heterosexual marriage. Nevertheless, I believe homosexuals should be given strong support to face the emotional pressures on them (including facing hateful reactions from some people).

Longer popular articles for the general reader

Books

Christians at the Crossroads (pdf)
by Patricia Higton 

Chapter headings:

  • Revival or judgment
  • New Age deceit
  • Evangelical compromise
  • Experience-centred Renewal
  • Parting of the Ways (the interfaith issue)
  • God and the Nations (God’s dealings with the nations, including Israel)
  • Prophecy and the Last Days

Our God Reigns (pdf)
by Tony Higton

Chapter headings: 

  • Part I: God’s Sovereignty in Revelation:
    the God who intervenes; the God who speaks
  • Part II: God’s Sovereignty in Creation:
    the God who created; the undermining of human dignity
  • Part III: God’s Sovereignty in Salvation:
    the historicity, person and work of Christ; interfaith issues
  • Part IV: God’s Sovereignty in the Church:
    characteristics of the local church: obedience and holiness, power and praise, prayer and discernment, commitment to one another, commitment to mission 
  • Part V:  God’s Sovereignty in Judgment:
    the kindness and sternness of God, church discipline, teaching on Judgment.

Prophesy! (pdf)
by Tony Higton

Chapter headings: 

  • A prophetic call
  • Outgrowing the Nice Guy Syndrome (including the sternness of Jesus at times)
  • Communicating the Prophetic Word (including issues taken up in ABWON and General Synod)
  • Discerning Prophetic Issues (how to exercise a prophetic ministry, avoiding pitfalls).
  • Prophesying in Faith (preparing to exercise a prophetic ministry).
  • ‘Prophetic’ Deviations – The Doom and Gloom Brigade (love, negativism, judgmentalism).
  • Pitfalls – The Flight of the Foo-Foo Bird (separation, “pure church syndrome”, legalism, mercy)