It’s getting crowded over here on the “wrong side of history”

February 22, 2014

Bishops from the Church of England offer clear and compassionate guidance on this hot-button issue, even as Great Britain legalizes same-sex marriage. Imagine that? (This excerpt comes from Scot McKnight’s blog.)

As members of the Body of Christ we are aware that there will be a range of responses across the Church of England to the introduction of same sex marriage.  As bishops we have reflected and prayed together about these developments.  As our statement of 27th January indicated, we are not all in agreement about every aspect of the Church’s response.  However we are all in agreement that the Christian understanding and doctrine of marriage as a lifelong union between one man and one woman remains unchanged.

The Church of England’s teaching on marriage

1. The Church of England’s long standing teaching and rule are set out in Canon B30: ‘The Church of England affirms, according to our Lord’s teaching, that marriage is in its nature a union permanent and lifelong, for better for worse, till death them do part, of one man with one woman, to the exclusion of all others on either side, for the procreation and nurture of children, for the hallowing and right direction of the natural instincts and affections, and for the mutual society, help and comfort which the one ought to have of the other, both in prosperity and adversity.”…

4. The Lambeth Conference of 1998 said ‘in view of the teaching of Scripture, upholds faithfulness in marriage between a man and a woman in lifelong union, and believes that abstinence is right for those who are not called to marriage’ (resolution1.10) This remains the declared position of the Anglican Communion….

12. When the Act comes into force in March it will continue not to be legally possible for two persons of the same sex to marry according to the rites of the Church of England. In addition the Act makes clear that any rights and duties which currently exist in relation to being married in Church of England churches do not extend to same sex couples….

27. The House is not, therefore, willing for those who are in a same sex marriage to be ordained to any of the three orders of ministry. In addition it considers that it would not be appropriate conduct for someone in holy orders to enter into a same sex marriage, given the need for clergy to model the Church’s teaching in their lives.

8 Responses to “It’s getting crowded over here on the “wrong side of history””

  1. Gary Bebop Says:

    This is the statement that should be replicated by UMC bishops standing together. The clarity and precision and historical resonance of the Anglican statement is astonishing.

    • brentwhite Says:

      Absolutely it should! Given that the Church of England faces the same pressure to conform to the culture’s view of sexuality as we do—but maybe even worse because the Established Church is now officially at odds with the nation it serves!—it’s remarkable that they defend church doctrine so clearly. “Astonishing” is the right word. These bishops prove it can be done. It is possible to set aside your personal convictions and submit to the authority of the church you represent—the church that actually exists, as opposed to the one that you wish existed. Either get in line or leave—go start your own Methodist church, if you want.

      Whatever remnant of faithful Methodists that are left on the West Coast can’t do any worse than the liberals who are running things right now!

  2. pinkagendist Says:

    Do you mean to say you’re not a Catholic? If you want to play numbers games, that’s a dangerous choice.

  3. pinkagendist Says:

    Indeed. After all, statistically speaking, what are the chances you were born to the ‘correct’ religion?
    Do the math. Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, Hindus, Zoroastrians- homosexuality is the least of your worries.


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