|Archbishop Justin Welby Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA|
"Welby, an evangelical, is a supporter of female bishops. He is also, like the prime minister and the mayor of London, Boris Johnson, an old Etonian." That was the Guardian's reaction following the news that Justin Welby was to replace Rowan Williams as Archbishop of Canterbury. Perhaps it is because he is an old Etonian that he has been "reassessing his own views" on marriage and sexuality.
Public schools have long had a reputation for same sex activity which may have influenced the thinking old Etonians such as the Prime Minister who (regretfully) forced through the gay marriage legislation and Boris Johnson who supported it although old Etonian Welby voted against it. As the Telegraph put it: Although Archbishop Welby comes from the born-again evangelical wing of the Church and voted against David Cameron’s Same-Sex Marriage Bill, he has recently spoken about wanting to get his “mind clear” on the issue.
The issue is to be top of the agenda at GAFCON in Nigeria later this month when an “action plan” on marriage and sexuality will "reassert a traditionalist interpretation of the Bible" which is seen by some as "a challenge to Archbishop Welby". He told a meeting in August that the Church needed to face up to the fact that most young people, including Christians, thought that its stance on gay marriage was “wicked”. So? That doesn't make them right.
Has the Archbishop also considered that "Ofsted claims that most pupils don’t know who Jesus was"? He should do because he is backing a move in his own Church to introduce what is being likened to “Sunday school for adults” because the Lord’s Prayer, the 10 Commandments and the Beatitudes are now so "unfamiliar to a modern audience".
If Justin Welby is wobbling on marriage and sexuality, he should be sure to wobble in the right direction. Jesus didn't look to the ignorant asking what they should have. He sent his disciples to teach what they had received from Him:
Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” - The Great Commission