Multiple Church of England bishops publicly called for the institution to start performing same-sex marriages last week.
The Right Reverend Dr. Steven Croft, who serves as the Bishop of Oxford, last week became the first acting senior bishop in the Church of England to affirm homosexual unions, according to The Sunday Times.
Croft’s claim was echoed by the Rev Dr John Inge, Bishop of Worcester, and the Rev Martin Gorick, Bishop of Dudley, who are also senior prelates.
Croft, who sits in the House of Lords, said he once had an “orthodox” Christian view of sex and marriage, but has since “experienced a change of heart and mind, slowly but surely”. .
The bishop said it is “unfair” that the Church of England continues to refuse to marry gay couples, saying the historic Christian position has spawned “manifest injustice, anger and alienation among an entire generation.”
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Croft also called for a change in church law that would allow “the solemnization of same-sex marriage in the Church of England” and backed a move to provide laity and clergy with the “freedom to marry same-sex couples.” . [and] freedom to be sexually active.
In a 52-page essay titled “Together in Love and Faith,” Croft compared homosexuality to being left-handed, writing, “It is not clear to me what harm is supposedly derived from the blessing of unions or marriage between people of the same sex.”
“The current Church of England position on same-sex relationships no longer seems appropriate. Change is needed,” he wrote.
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Inge and Gorick supported Croft’s position in a joint letter, writing in part: “We believe the time has come for the church to honor and celebrate same-sex relationships. Our preferred option would be for same-sex couples to be allowed get marry”. In the church.”
The bishops urged the Church of England to start blessing same-sex unions and asked church leaders to stop “whispering in private” about their support for changing the church’s position on homosexuality.
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Church of England bishops are due to make recommendations to the General Synod in February on whether to revise the millennia-old standard that marriage must be between a man and a woman, which could open the door to an unprecedented vote on the topic. .
“At last we have a senior diocesan bishop who is willing to break the self-imposed collegiate silence of the English bishops and call for an end to the multiple injustices in the way the Church of England treats LGBT+ people,” said Jayne Ozanne. , a homosexual. human rights activist who is part of the General Synod, according to The Sunday Times.
“Bishop Steven is to be applauded for clearly stating what he believes and for being one of the few serving diocesan bishops to risk the wrath of conservatives by saying in public what many whisper in private. I hope this courageous step will encourage others.” to be open about their own views.
Andrea Williams, executive director of Christian Concern, a London-based non-profit organization, criticized Croft, Dudley and Gorick as “revisionist bishops” in a statement provided to Fox News Digital.
Williams’s non-profit organization has advocated for a number of people who have taken legal action against Church of England institutions for what they allege is discrimination against their Christian beliefs regarding sexuality and gender.
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Williams said the bishops’ position poses “a sea change” that threatens to cause “a rupture in the Anglican communion” around the world.
“The official position of the Church coincides with the clear teaching of the Scriptures in saying that sex pertains to the marriage of one man and one woman,” Williams said. “Yet bishops and clergy have been allowed to cast endless doubt on what Christians throughout history and around the world have recognized as God’s pattern for sexuality.”
“His theological arguments have been debunked time and time again by genuine scholars,” he continued. “Jesus himself clearly defended the sexual ethic of the Old Testament as he demonstrated grace and offered forgiveness to all who sought it.”
Williams went on to state that such positions by church leaders are driven by “a relentless desire to reflect society’s values” and that they are exhibiting views that are “rank heresy” and “nothing short of apostasy”.
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“The apostolic gospel calls all people, everywhere, to repent, to turn from their sins and turn to Christ,” he added. “Such a radical change in the nature of repentance, in the doctrine of marriage, alters the gospel itself.”
“This alternative gospel that condones sexual chaos does not love and serve both God and society,” he added.
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“Any move by the Church of England to revise the doctrine of marriage will cause an open rift in the Anglican communion, not just in the UK but around the world,” Williams warned. “Faithful bishops around the world must now stand up and defend the historic and biblical doctrine of marriage between a woman and a man for life.”