|The Golden Calf, with apologies to Poussin|
"Church of England to discuss same-sex blessing" - BBC
"Synod’s ‘welcoming’ transgender motion asks Bishops to consider liturgy" - Church Times
The pressure to accept blessings leading to same sex marriage on a par with the marriage between a man and a woman is everywhere but is it justified? The Church of England is to debate holding services for same-sex couples for the first time.
The plans have been put forward by the diocesan synod in Hereford, which voted in favour of an "order of prayer and dedication" following a marriage or civil partnership, in response to couples who said they wanted it.
This is how "a gay member of the Synod", Jayne Ozanne, explained the move to PinkNews:
She was “thrilled” at the “overwhelming support the motion has received”.
“It provides an important step on the road to ensuring we are all treated equally by the Church of England.
“I know that many are incredulous at the time it is taking for the Church to understand that we are all loved equally by God, but things are changing and given the strength of support we know that exists I hope this will be debated as soon as possible by the General Synod.”
The Bishop of Hereford, the Right Reverend Richard Frith, said:
"Clergy are already encouraged to respond pastorally and sensitively when approached.
"The motion which is part of a much wider debate asks for guidance on materials to be used in affirming and praying with same-sex couples."
The general synod will now debate a form of service described as "neither contrary to nor a departure from" the doctrine of the church.
Individual churches and priests would be able to opt out of holding the services if they wished.
The pressure is summed up in Church Clarity: "an online database that 'scores' (mainly) US churches according to whether they are 'affirming' or 'non-affirming' of LGBTQ persons, and how clearly they communicate their policy. Its stated aim matches its name: it wants to challenge evasiveness and obscurity on what is to many a central, and personal issue." The group comprised mainly of progressive leaning Christians, says: "No person should have to wonder the limits of their 'welcome'."
It is difficult to see how people can claim to be unwelcome when they are established members of a church which permits them to propose a motion which is contrary to biblical teaching. An Introduction to General Synod and how the parish and deanery relates to it can be found here.
The tactics are familiar. If you are not for us you are against us. Such words as equality, love and affirming imply the moral high ground when the object is, in biblical terms, immorality. What they demand in the name of love is the seal of approval no matter what the consequences for the Anglican Church.
Marriage is the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others. "It is the very basis of the whole fabric of civilised society." That is it. To claim that members of the Church of England will be treated equally only if same sex blessings are affirmed is absurd.
To expect others to sanction that which is contrary to church doctrine is an act of utter selfishness modeled on the movement for the ordination of women. The liberalism they brought with them was based on the notion that there was no biblical objection to their ordination.
They cannot use the same argument in favour of same sex marriage or blessing gay relationships. That bishops of the church can think it acceptable shows just how far the Anglican Church is sinking below the waterline since women were ordained.
The Church of England lost another 34,000 worshipers last year, far more than all the regular worshippers in the Church in Wales and they still fail to see the problem!