CHURCH OF ENGLAND: House of Bishops upholds canon law on Marriage
Marriage is lifelong union of one man and one woman, they said
Bishops allow wiggle room
GAFCON and REFORM see loopholes in law
By David W. Virtue, DD
February 1, 2017
The Church of England's House of Bishops have upheld canon law on marriage declaring that marriage is the lifelong union of one man and one woman.
Hold the congratulations. Why? Because that is what they should have said and believed all along. No qualification, no ifs ands or buts. Just a simple declaration that this is what the Bible teaches, has always taught, that God has not changed his mind and that no LGBTQI sexualities permitted.
That should have been an end to it. Not so fast. This is the Church of England where fudge, prevarication and subtle interpretations are needed to parse what they passed.
The document they produced to come to this simple conclusion came to 8500 words. (I'll get to that shortly.)
In biblical terms that's the equivalent of the Book of Romans and the Book of Colossians put together (8693) words. OR, the books of I & II Thess, I & II Timothy, the books of Titus, Philemon, James, Jude and II and III John, put together total (8333) words, a tad less than 8,500.
The Great Apostle summed it up like this in Romans 1: 24 -- 27 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.
St. Paul achieved this in 110 words.
According to the deep thinkers, the Church of England's law and guidance on marriage should now be interpreted to provide "maximum freedom" for gay and lesbian people without changing the Church's doctrine of marriage itself, bishops are recommending. It also calls for a "fresh tone and culture of welcome and support" for lesbian and gay people and those attracted to people of the same sex throughout the Church of England.
There you have it. To obtain "maximum freedom", (they needed 8500 words to enlighten us) a theologian who holds a Ph. D. from Cambridge University says the Synod decision is, "Complete BS! Outrageous! Hypocrisy of the highest order! It means you can screw the sodomizing hell out of another person and the church will say a few 'informal' prayers while you do it; and you can have heterosexual marriage at the same time and you carry on this charade until the pansexual lobby have a majority in Synod and then vote the conservatives out--and they can then bugger off, thus ushering in a new world order celebrating gay marriage in the Church of England."
Strong words indeed, but regrettably true.
The Rt. Rev. Graham James, Bishop of Norwich said there was a necessity for the creation of a substantial new teaching document on marriage and relationships, replacing or expanding upon the House's teaching document of 1999 on marriage and the 1991 document Issues in Human Sexuality.
There you have it. Whittle away at what the HOB has just passed and perhaps Archbishop Justin Welby who has been busily preparing the ground for a complete volte-face on human sexuality can try and bamboozle the GAFCON primates into believing that nothing has substantially changed in the Church of England. Just how stupid does he think they are?
And then there was this choice morsel: "...And it calls for new guidance to be prepared about the kind of questions put to candidates for ordination - irrespective of their sexual orientation - about their lifestyle."
In other words, we won't ask if you don't tell. Bugger away old chap but keep the lodger in the attic so no one knows what you are really up to.
The 8500-word document does not mention the word SIN once. Not once. This leads one to believe that homosexual behavior (not to be confused with orientation) is still acceptable and it shall not be called sin, because that would make CofE pansexualists cry and weep in their warm beer and leave them feeling unloved.
Pansexual church campaigners immediately denounced the report as "cruel" and an "utter failure" that could herald an increase in clerical disobedience over issues around sexuality.
Of course, what would you otherwise expect! Changing Attitude - the British sodomist organization took its cue from the American Episcopal Church's Integrity organization which learned a long time ago that you push and push till you get what you want and the bishops, who have about as much orthodox theology as the left leaning Tower of Pisa, will roll over in the name of inclusion and diversity.
Furthermore, if you did call it sin, Jayne Ozanne, a once-upon-a-time evangelical and now a leading Church of England lesbian will call you a hate monger and call the police. But first she will cry a lot. You can do that in Merry Old England because they don't have the equivalent of our First Amendment on free speech and establishment of religion. So, if you disagree with someone, even respectfully, it can now be labelled hate. Free speech is now hate speech and the Police can arrest you because you dared to say that sodomy is forbidden by God and Scripture and the Church should never endorse it.
Two organizations were not fooled by the HOB statement. REFORM condemned the proposals the House of Bishops made with regard to permitting maximum freedom within this law. They accused the bishops of "theological incoherence and hypocrisy will prevail for the foreseeable future, with all the hurt and confusion that will cause. In so doing they have failed in their primary pastoral duty to teach truth and drive away error."
GAFCON-UK in a longer denunciation said, "We see the document as giving a rationale for maintaining the current position, but along with many faithful Anglicans in England we believe that the current position is not at all satisfactory, as it involves a lack of clarity about our message, openness to revisionist theology and practice, and further conflict within the church. We do not agree that the holding of contradictory views in the same church while avoiding rancour and separation is somehow a sign of the Kingdom of God (para 8). We are concerned that the emphasis on freedom given to clergy in terms of pastoral practice, and the possibility of further revision to the church's teaching in future, will do nothing to prevent a trajectory which aligns with the ethics of contemporary culture rather than the challenging but life-giving teaching of the Bible."
So there you have it. Meantime you can meditate on your alleged homophobic attitudes, even if you don't have any. Now that might be SIN, and God knows we don't want to talk about the real sin in the church, it might just continue to keep 98% of Brits away from the church and that would be unthinkable.
On the Mainline
Worship with us:
Sundays at 4:00pm.
210 S. Wayne Ave, Wayne, PA