20 September 2022
It is becoming increasingly evident that there are some disturbing divisions developing within the Church we love so deeply on the matter of blessing same-sex unions.
My own feeling about same-sex marriage is that it will go on happening no matter what the Church does or does not do. Whilst I feel that marriage between persons of the same sex is seen by many to be wrong, including myself, what cannot be denied is that millions of gay people world-wide marry another of the same sex for pure love. I certainly do not condone marrying same-sex couples in Church, as that is contrary I would think to Christ’s teaching. However, I have no real complaint if a same-sex couple marry in a civil ceremony and then ask for a blessing, not a marriage ceremony, to seal their union.
Christ loves everybody whether they be gay or not gay and He tells us that we are to love everyone, and for me, that includes gay people. Gay people are just as capable of loving others as those who are not gay. Nowhere have I seen anyone in the Church mention the difference between a “blessing” and a “marriage”.
I have no doubt that this debate will carry on for quite some time and I pray that some sort of solution can be found that will resolve the dilemma that our Anglican Church finds itself in.
GAFCON is not helping the gospel
The view of many researchers that same-sex attraction in most cases is genetic raised doubts about the biblical condemnation of homosexuality which were written by people who had never heard of genes. Scientists tell us that same-sex behaviour is a natural part of our diversity as a species.
Like many Christians, I’ve always found CS Lewis a good guide. In his view the ultimate question is whether the doctrine of the goodness of God or that of the inerrancy of the Scriptures is to prevail when they conflict. Lewis states that: “The doctrine of the goodness of God is the more certain of the two. Indeed, only that doctrine renders this worship of Him obligatory or even permissible.”
Christians impede their message if they deny or denigrate the findings of science. Many of the “barnacles” on the gospel result from a literalistic interpretation of the Bible or of church doctrines. Educated congregations need reassurance that they are not expected to believe, as was the queen in Alice and Wonderland, six impossible things before breakfast.
Joel McFadyen in September’s Melbourne Anglican provides a motto for Australian Anglicans when he says that to reject tolerance is to accept irrelevance. GAFCON’s move to establish yet another church is no help in promoting the gospel in our modern society.