C of E at its best
The Church of England is to be commended on its robust and articulate response to the government consultation on same-sex ‘marriage’.
It has provided an opportunity to graciously but firmly speak of the importance of marriage being between one man and one woman, just as my colleague Andrew Marsh was able to do on BBC World News last night.
It takes a lot of courage to speak up on this issue but the C of E has bravely defended Biblical teaching on marriage.
This is the Church of England at its best; providing a clear lead to government and society on an issue of utmost importance and explaining to the country what is at stake if the proposed redefinition of marriage goes ahead.
This discussion is not about scaremongering, as some in the British media have suggested. Taking a stand like this provides Christians with a golden opportunity to explain how Jesus and his commandments are good for us.
The teaching of Scripture and of the Church through the ages has always held that marriage has been instituted by God as being between one man and one woman. This response from the C of E stands firmly in line with orthodoxy.
The C of E’s response also clearly shows how changing the law would bring Church and State into conflict. As the Bishop of Leicester explained:
“If the civil law of the state redefines [marriage] you have got a situation in which civil law and canon law are at odds.
"That would need to be resolved – presumably in due course by changing the law of the Church because there are statutory provisions which provide that the canon law of the state cannot be contradictory to the statutes of the realm.”
Making this point about Church and State being at odds is what many in the media have taken issue with but I for one am so glad that they put this in because it shows what is really happening at a fundamental level.
Jesus said that we are either for him or against him. The nation must consider well whether she wants to continue down the road of opposition to him and go her own way, or whether to return to him so that we can get on the road to recovery and restoration.
It really is that stark. In a way I am glad that the issue of same-sex marriage is coming to a head so that the Lordship of Christ can be proclaimed and people given an opportunity to turn to him.
It is so encouraging to see our established church making such a clear contribution, which then provides a platform for churches and Christians across the country to speak more about Jesus and the good news that he is for our country.
We must continue to pray for the C of E and its leaders at this time, that they would continue to have the courage to stand for truth and that God would give them wisdom as they defend the faith.
We should also pray that the government listens carefully to the points raised by this consultation response. This is not the C of E simply ‘defending its patch’ – the proposed redefinition of marriage has huge implications for the whole of British society.
|Andrea is the CEO of Christian Concern and the Christian Legal Centre. She is married with four children.|
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