Gay mar­riage

The Church of England - - CHURCH OF ENGALND -

Sir, Hav­ing re­flected on the mo­men­tous de­ci­sion of Par­lia­ment to pass the Bill to re­de­fine mar­riage, with some de­spon­dency I might add, I have come to the con­clu­sion that there is a much deeper, much more fun­da­men­tal is­sue at stake: and that is the re­jec­tion, by Par­lia­ment, of a Chris­tian life­style – which is symp­to­matic of the postChris­tian so­ci­ety in which we live, where peo­ple give lit­tle cre­dence to the teach­ing of the Bi­ble and can’t be ex­pected to fol­low its teach­ing. If peo­ple choose to live a life that is out­side of God’s best for them, then we must al­low them to make that choice and, fol­low­ing the ex­am­ple of the early Church, show them an alternative and vi­brant way to live.

One thing that strikes me very strongly, in the midst of the in­tense de­bate and dis- cus­sion, is that we can no longer, as the state Church, im­pose Chris­tian mo­rals and ethics on a Par­lia­ment who vote so favourably for some­thing which we, as an in­sti­tu­tion, op­posed.

Fur­ther­more, I want to sug­gest that se­ri­ous con­sid­er­a­tion should be given, once again, to the dis­es­tab­lish­ment of the Church of Eng­land so that we can be re­leased to fo­cus our en­er­gies on spread­ing the Gospel of the Good News of Je­sus with­out the hin­drances of po­lit­i­cal ac­tivism which, un­doubt­edly, weak­ens our po­si­tion. I have to ad­mit that, for many years, I op­posed dis­es­tab­lish­ment on the grounds that ‘be­ing’ Angli­can pro­vided many op­por­tu­ni­ties for mis­sion through the oc­ca­sional of­fices and the ac­cept­abil­ity which we en­joyed in the eyes of many in our com­mu­ni­ties. How­ever, and un­for­tu­nately, I’m not con­vinced that is true to­day.

Like many oth­ers, I am acutely aware that the Church of Eng­land is not cur­rently looked upon favourably by many mem­bers of our so­ci­ety.

The dilemma, frus­tra­tion, and re­al­ity, is that our mis­sion fields are be­ing taken away from us be­cause we are in­creas­ingly seen to be in­con­sis­tent and hyp­o­crit­i­cal and are known for be­ing anti-women and anti-gay, and not know to be pro-Je­sus and be­lieve in a God of love and com­pas­sion and for­give­ness and heal­ing and whole­ness, who can trans­form our lives through faith and trust in him in Je­sus. The Rev Paul A Carr, Bil­ler­icay vans@talk­talk.com 258791.Thank you. Bishop David Evans, War­wick

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