Wednesday 29 August 2012

A tale of two Churches

On Sunday the Roman Catholic Bishops in Scotland circulated a letter to all Catholic priests directing them to read it out to their congregations, in which the Church’s opposition to same sex marriage legislation currently planned by the Scottish government is outlined. This was based on their belief in the traditional understanding of marriage and that set out in Scripture as being between a man and a woman.

This commendable stance taken by the Catholic Church is not apparently welcomed by Alex Salmond the First Minister, who seems to see himself as an alternative to the Almighty, and realises the stance of the Church is both a nuisance and an embarrassment when the Cardinal Archbishop is so vocally opposed.

Now compare that approach to Bishops in the Church of England. The official Church response to the Prime Minister’s passionate urgency to introduce same sex marriage in England is that marriage can only be defined as being between a man and a woman, and this has been endorsed by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Would it not have been a great encouragement to those who are striving to retain the traditional view of marriage in this country (England) if the Church of England took a similar course to the Bishops in Scotland, and had a supportive statement read out in all our Churches. Unfortunately not all the Bishops would have agreed.

Whilst I have never been a fan of Rowan Williams, I do pay credit to his integrity. He was known for his support for homosexual clergy, but in respect for his position as holding high office in the Church, and the need to avoid creating division and a fractured Church, honourably considered the unity of the wider Church and made no further comments.

A report in the Daily Telegraph last week told of a statement issued by the Bishop of Buckinghamshire, one Alan Wilson, in which he is alleged to have said that the Church must get its head around this problem of gays and God; not see gays as sick or criminal, nor see God as an angry old man. This Bishop joined other signatories recently in a letter to the Times newspaper to protest at the Church’s opposition to same sex marriage, and like the Bishop of Salisbury is an active campaigner. I consider this total disloyalty both to the Church and the Archbishop, and I suggest if anyone holding clerical office in the Church, especially high office, makes public statements contrary to official policy, they should as a matter of honour offer their resignation.

This statement by Bishop Wilson is emotional hysteria. There is no suggestion by the Church that homosexuals are criminals or sick, and it is ridiculous to state that same sex marriages will enrich ‘marriage’. Marriage is clearly defined in Scripture as being between a man and a woman and was for the procreation of children. Let us also be clear, the majority of people in civil unions have no desire to push for the term ‘marriage’. It is only activists in the homosexual lobby and liberals opposed to anything traditional.

In the service at which a man is consecrated a Bishop, he makes certain vows. One is to be determined to instruct people, and teach out of Holy Scripture wholesome doctrine and banish all doctrine contrary to God’s Word and encourage others to do the same. A similar commitment is made by all priests at their ordination.

Holy Scripture, which is God’s Word, lays out His will and commands for us to follow, and is unequivocal in its definition of marriage and also God’s intention for the moral conduct of men and women in sexual behaviour. No amount of verbal gymnastics can refute what is so clearly written.

If it is not liked or desired to be accepted, then one should be honest and say I don’t agree to abide by such and wish to re-write Scripture to make it acceptable to modern morality.(and at the same time obtain some plaudits for being ‘cool’ and ‘with it’ which might advance my career)

Some thought might be given to those who are earnestly seeking to bring people back into Church whose efforts are thwarted when the Church is seen to be in such disagreement with itself. Well has it been said that often the enemy within is more trouble than the enemy without.

No comments:

Post a Comment