Anglican Mainstream: A response to Changing Attitude’s letter to the College of Bishops

The Christian Church as a whole, a body of which the Church of England is one branch, has held a consistent position with regard to sexual ethics over the past two millennia, with a remarkable degree of unanimity. That is, marriage is defined as an exclusive, permanent union between one man and one woman, and that sexual activity outside this union cannot be considered holy. The Church has always sought to uphold this principle while at the same time applying appropriate pastoral practice at the local level, both where the principle has been breached “through weakness and through deliberate fault”, and where men and women despite temptation aim to conform their lives to the historic understanding of Christ’s teaching in this area. But the principle of Christian marriage, deriving from the clear teaching of Scripture, Church tradition, and fellowship with the worldwide body of Christ, cannot be overturned or redefined without a serious fracture in the church today, and a severance from what ties us to authentic Christian faith.

In view of this, Anglican Mainstream, representing the views of many faithful members of the Church of England, lay and ordained, views with dismay the recent statement by Changing Attitude, urging the House of Bishops to rescind the February Statement on marriage, and to allow couples in same sex relationships, especially clergy, to marry, and be blessed in church.

The Changing Attitude statement is unhelpful and should be politely rejected, for the following reasons:

a) the Shared Conversations of Sexuality, Scripture and Mission are about to begin, and the process will last more than two years. After the conversations are over, motions and resolutions can be put before Synod by those on different sides of the argument, and debated. The Bishops have no authority to make the kind of changes demanded by Changing Attitude before this time. In the meantime, Bishops have responsibility to promote and defend the teaching of the Church, and should not be bullied by lobby groups to do otherwise.

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

2 comments on “Anglican Mainstream: A response to Changing Attitude’s letter to the College of Bishops

  1. Jon R says:

    I hold my license to marry from our federal Government, as I submitted to their enquiry into this matter. If I as a Christian minister am required to “marry” same sex coupes I will hand in my licence. I will however, continue to bless couples who marry in accord with Christian doctrine. This will save my conscience, and also (added bonus) save me from quite a lot of onerous paper work. If I do not hold their licence to marry, they can not attack or persecute me.

  2. SC blu cat lady says:

    I am glad Anglican Mainstream is pushing back against the secularists’ *agenda* for Same Sex “marriage”. I discussed this with a friend here in the US. We think the US is probably headed to two categories of marriage- secular/civil and Christian. Now, ALL marriages whether in church or somewhere else must be accompanied by a marriage license from the state. I wonder….. if in the future those who want to get married in church will not have to get a license from the state but simply have to abide by the church’s rule for marriage. Could simplify things for everyone.