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Church of England Says Same-Sex Couples Cannot Marry, But Will Receive ‘God’s Blessing’

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Shawn Akers

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In what appears to be a blatant contradiction of the truth of God’s word, the Church of England released a statement on Wednesday announcing it will allow congregations to bless same-sex unions but will maintain a traditional definition of marriage.

The subhead for the release on the churchofengland.org website says, “For the first time, under historic plans outlined today, same-sex couples will be able to come to church to give thanks for their civil marriage or civil partnership and receive God’s blessing.”

The Bishops of the Church of England, the release says, will issue an apology later this week to LGBTQI people for the “rejection, exclusion and hostility they have faced in churches and the impact this has had on their lives.”

Furthermore, the Bishops will “urge all congregations in their care to welcome same-sex couples ‘unreservedly and joyfully’ as their reaffirm their commitment to a “radical new Christian inclusion founded founded in scripture, in reason, in tradition, in theology and the Christian faith as the Church of England has received it based on good, healthy and flourishing relationships and in a proper 21st century understanding of being human and of being sexual.”

Note the key phrase “a proper 21st century understanding of being human and being sexual.”

Never mind what Jesus said in Matthew 19:4-6: He answered, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh? So, they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no man put asunder.”

Not surprisingly, there may be a connection between this new edict and the 2021 Census, which late last year revealed that Christianity had become a minority in the UK with only 46.2% of people identifying themselves as Christians, a 13-point percentage drop over the past decade.

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said in response to the proposal, “I am under no illusions that what we are proposing today will appear to go too far for some and not nearly far enough for others, but it is my hope that what we have agreed will be received in a spirit of generosity, seeking the common good.”

The proposals by the Church of England come after a six-year-period of “listening, learning and discernment known as ‘Living in Love and Faith’ and will be outlined in a report to the Church’s General Synod, which meets in London next month.

In the United States, some denominations have affirmed same-sex marriage and it has caused division within the denomination, most visibly in the United Methodist Church. The LGBTQ debacle has caused hundreds, perhaps thousands of UMC churches to leave the denomination within the past year.

It will offer the fullest possible pastoral provision without changing the Church’s doctrine of Holy Matrimony for same-sex couples through a range of draft prayers, known as “Prayers of Love and Faith,” which could be used voluntarily in churches for couples who have marked a significant stage of their relationship such as a civil marriage or civil partnership.

There will be a commitment to produce new pastoral guidance in relation to the discernment of vocation, replacing the 1991 statement “Issues in Human Sexuality“, to which all clergy currently are asked to assent.

To emphasize its point, the Church of England attempts to back up its new policy by citing 1 John 4:16, which reads, “God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.”

The “Prayers of Love and Faith,” would be part of reflecting the denomination’s “theological diversity.” Following the debate at Synod, the House of Bishops will then refine the prayers and then commend them for use, officials said.

Andrea Williams, chief executive of Christian Concern and former lay member of the General Synod, said in a statement on Wednesday the apology to the LGBTQ community could also prove to be a “turning point” and signal the decline of the CofE.

“Christianity teaches that sexual expression is reserved for marriage between one man and one woman. Any other form of sexual relationships are sexually immoral.

“The Bible calls it sin. The Church of England is now encouraging the celebration of sexual immorality,” she added. “Let’s be clear this is a critical moment and will go down in history as a turning point in the decline and fall of the Church of England…unless these proposals can be decisively resisted by the faithful in Synod.”

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Shawn A. Akers is the online editor at Charisma Media.

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