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Thank you for supporting Equal Marriage: The Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP responds February 6, 2013

Posted by Phil Groom in Current Affairs, Watching and Waiting.
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TODAY, as those of us who support equal marriage rejoice at the outcome of yesterday’s vote — 400:175 in favour — it gives me great pleasure to be able to follow up my last post with the Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP‘s response, and I thank Mr Burt for his prompt, courteous and carefully considered reply, received within a matter of minutes of my message to him:

From: BURT, Alistair
Subject: RE: Thank you for supporting Equal Marriage: An Open Letter
Date: 5 February 2013 12:21:28 GMT
To: Phil Groom
Cc: Colin Coward, Changing Attitude; Freedom to Marry

Dear Phil

Thank you for your email on the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill coming before the House today.

As you would expect I have given a great deal of thought and consideration to my position.

I will support the Bill being put forward by the Government because I believe fundamentally in the equality of all UK citizens before the civil law. I also believe that Churches and those of all faiths should be able to make their own decisions over who is blessed by marriage as a religious rite.

I do not believe the Bill interferes with that rite, and indeed every effort is being made to ensure that it is protected.

On the issue itself I do not agree with arguments which suggest that marriage is being devalued. Marriage is not threatened by extending the right to two consenting adults who wish to make a commitment to long term stability. Marriage is more threatened by the prevalence of break up and separation which society should be trying so hard to avoid.

As a Christian, I believe that God created us all equal, and whilst I fully understand the issues of interpretation in the Bible, this is not a matter which should require Parliament and Civil Law to comply with. This is even more the case when issues of interpretation are challenged and where there are many other Biblical instructions which are not part of the law of the land.

I have given this very careful and serious thought and I trust that in time we will all appreciate the opportunity for individuals to experience what marriage means to so many.

I hope you have a clear sense of my opinions on such an important issue, and I am very grateful for your supportive email. I am very happy for it to be published on your blog.

Kind regards
Alistair Burt

Office of Alistair Burt | Member of Parliament for NE Bedfordshire | Minister for the Middle East, North Africa & South Asia | Foreign and Commonwealth Office

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If God does not withhold blessing from gay people, upon what basis does the church? January 18, 2013

Posted by Phil Groom in Christianity, Church, Watching and Waiting.
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3 comments
The Blog of Kevin, 17/1/2013: Plucking Blackberries

The Blog of Kevin, 17/1/2013: Plucking Blackberries

FROM THE BLOG OF KEVIN, Plucking Blackberries:

Where I see genuine love, commitment, and a desire for a covenant relationship, I see God. Where I see people who love God, who serve God, who God speaks to and through as much as the next person, I see God. And to deny them equal status, to keep them at the edge like women at the synagogue, is wrong. If God does not withhold his Holy Spirit from gay Christians, how can we withhold anything?

It’s the same question the early church faced when the challenge was whether or not Gentiles could be baptised:

While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard the word. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astounded that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles, for they heard them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter said, ‘Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?’ So he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they invited him to stay for several days.

— Acts 10: 44-48, NRSV

Who amongst us dares argue with the Holy Spirit? Wake up, O Christians!

Welcome… everyone October 7, 2011

Posted by Phil Groom in Christianity, Church, Life Issues.
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16 comments

Originally posted back on May 14th, I thought I’d bring this post back to the top since it’s attracted some interesting comments recently. Please feel free to join in and let me know what you think: is the Bible “the Word of God” as Jonathan believes? If it is, do “we” — does anyone — have a responsibility to “submit” to it, as Jonathan contends?

In either case, what does the phrase “the Word of God” mean, and what would the process of “submitting” to it involve? Is God a tyrant in the sky who issued a series of once-for-all dictats from above but who, for reasons best known to Godself, stopped issuing them 2,000 years ago and now we just have to go along with them, no questions asked?

Over to you, my splendid friends…

–Original Post–

Believe Out Loud: the ad Sojo wouldn’t run

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