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Hobbling Christ’s Church: Hollowed out Bishops in a House of Betrayal February 9, 2017

Posted by Phil Groom in Church, Life.
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27 January: it’s a date that’s etched permanently in the minds of anyone who has connections with the Jewish community. It is, of course, Holocaust Memorial Day.

But this year, 2017, the date gained a new twist, and it is now etched—perhaps just as permanently—in the minds of the UK’s LGBTI community: it’s the date the Church of England chose to publish its much-vilified report GS 2055: Marriage and Same Sex Relationships after the Shared Conversations (Full Report, pdf | Press Release). Was the date chosen intentionally, a subtle act of defiance by someone inside the C of E’s communications office, or was it simply a case of crass insensitivity? We shall never know, but the grim irony has certainly not been lost on the Church’s lesbian and gay members  or their families and friends.

The report begins innocuously enough, a gentle and gracious tone, reaching out from “wellsprings of prayer” in gracious humility:

This report is offered from the wellsprings of prayer, careful thought, and, mindful of our calling as bishops, listening, both to the Christian faith as we have received it, and to our Shared Conversations. We affirm the integrity and value of each person affected by what we say here. We recognise our deficiencies and offer this paper with humility. (Preamble)

It acknowledges “the core missiological issue” that is at stake, that was highlighted so well by Canon Mark Russell in his foreword to Amazing Love:

I try to be an evangelist at my local gym. The guys I work out alongside know I am a Christian and they are interested in spiritual things. I would love them to know God’s amazing love in their lives but despite my best efforts they are not church attenders (yet!). When I talk to them about Church they ask me why the Church doesn’t like people who are LGBT…

So also the Bishops:

If we are heard as lacking in love, our ability to proclaim the God of love as revealed in Jesus Christ is damaged or negated. No Church that is committed to God’s mission can live comfortably with that situation. (Introduction, para.2, p.2)

They recognise the challenge of holding together the wide range of theological traditions that exist within the Church, but whilst the difficulty for “those holding a conservative view of scripture” is spelt out,

the underlying issue at stake is that of faithfulness to God’s word and this raises “first order” questions in relation to the heart of the gospel

the difficulty for “others” is reduced to an “imperative to read scripture differently” that “stems from a parallel conviction” — a conviction that, bizarrely, is never spelt out. Nonetheless, the report continues,

It is our present determination to remain together as witnesses to the unity of the Triune God that forces us to try to hear the scriptural, theological and missiological arguments of those with whom we disagree profoundly. (Introduction, para.8, p.3)

It is clear by now who has the upper hand, who is hearing but not listening, and it is not long before that opening tone of humility is lost under an avalanche of assertion and legalese:

The House hoped to sustain the atmosphere of careful and respectful listening that had marked the Shared Conversations, but was clear that the current situation requires some clearer assertion of where the Church now finds itself. (Beyond the Shared Conversations, para.14)

Note that phrase: the current situation requires not further exploration but “clearer assertion” — and that is precisely what comes as Canon B 30.1 is drawn upon:

‘The Church of England affirms, according to our Lord’s teaching, that marriage is in its nature a union permanent and lifelong, for better for worse, till death them do part, of one man with one woman, to the exclusion of all others on either side, for the procreation and nurture of children, for the hallowing and right direction of the natural instincts and affections, and for the mutual society, help and comfort which the one ought to have of the other, both in prosperity and adversity’ (Beyond…, footnote to para.18, p.5)

Why, one might ask, is the whole Canon relegated to a footnote? Simply this, I venture to suggest: to facilitate a selective reading, a reading that homes in on the description of marriage as being a union “of one man with one woman” but conveniently disregards those parts which describe marriage as “a union permanent and lifelong” which is “for the procreation and nurture of children”.

O my Lord Bishops, what have we here? “Little support for changing the Church of England’s teaching on marriage” in a House of Bishops that has already changed the Church of England’s teaching on marriage in order to accommodate heterosexual divorcees (not to mention those heterosexuals who are incapable of procreation). “Our Lord’s teaching” indeed, my Lords, for well you know what our Lord—your Lord and mine—said about divorcees who remarry whilst their spouse is yet alive; and well you know that he did not declare that marriage is for procreation; and equally well you know that he said not one word about same-sex relationships.

But all of this you ignore, set aside, taking hold of the Canon to support a view of marriage as a privilege and a rite that belongs exclusively to heterosexuals, the very people whose adulterous liaisons and promiscuity have brought the institution into such disrepute down the years.

You also know what our Lord says of those who take man-made rules and turn them into doctrines:

He said to them, ‘Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written,
“This people honours me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching human precepts as doctrines.” (Mark 7.6-7, NRSV)

Terrible words, my Lords; but see what comes next:

From there he set out and went away to the region of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know he was there. Yet he could not escape notice, but a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him, and she came and bowed down at his feet. Now the woman was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin. She begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. He said to her, ‘Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.’ But she answered him, ‘Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.’ Then he said to her, ‘For saying that, you may go—the demon has left your daughter.’ So she went home, found the child lying on the bed, and the demon gone. (Mark 7.24-30, NRSV)

You who know Scripture so well, who live and breathe our Lord’s teachings, know also that this is no accident. Mark did not throw his Gospel together at random. The contrast between the hypocrites with their exclusive teachings and the rank outsider who wins Jesus’ approval could not be made more clear.

An Open Table: Rublev's Icon of the Trinity

An Open Table: Rublev’s Icon of the Trinity

This, my Lords, is the contrast between your House of Bishops and the LGBTI members of the Church writ large; and as I sit here writing these words, on the wall facing me hangs a print of Rublev’s famous Icon of the Trinity, an Open Table inviting the viewer into the table fellowship of our triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

This is Church as it should be, for where you see demons, where you see sin, where you see cause for exclusion, our Lord sees the broken, wounded hearts of those who seek only to be welcomed as equals. Our Lord sees faithfulness and resilience, and tears of both joy and sorrow run down his face as he says, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matt 11.28, NRSV)

Our Lord’s message is welcome. Yours is welcome, but—and that ‘but’ drains all the joy, all the hope, all the expectancy of the Shared Conversations away. It is as if the Syrophoenician woman had met the challenge, given her answer and Jesus had merely patted her on the head like a dog and said, “Of course, dear.”

The “underlying issue at stake”, my Lords, is not so much “faithfulness to God’s word” as faithfulness, period. You choose to honour and dignify unfaithfulness amongst heterosexuals by permitting remarriage of divorcees—in a blatant disregard of both our Lord’s teaching and the Canon you claim to be upholding—whilst refusing any dignity, any honour for the faithfulness of LGBTI people. All your fine words, all your talk of meeting “in a context of prayer and meditation”, all your promise of “a fresh tone and culture of welcome and support for lesbian and gay people” rings hollow, rings false in this light: you are Hollowed out Bishops in a House of Betrayal and you are hobbling Christ’s Church.

I urge you, my Lords: look not to the conservatives in your midst but to the faithful in your flock. Be faithful to your calling as Bishops, as Chief Shepherds of the flock, to tend the poor and the lame, to reach out to those on the margins. Do not be exemplars of the hard-hearted Christ before his encounter with the Syrophoenician woman, as if the Shared Conversations had never taken place: be rather examples of the transformed Christ who not only heard but listened and went on his way to yet another encounter:

Then he returned from the region of Tyre, and went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. They brought to him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they begged him to lay his hand on him. He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue. Then looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, ‘Ephphatha’, that is, ‘Be opened.’ And immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. Then Jesus ordered them to tell no one; but the more he ordered them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. They were astounded beyond measure, saying, ‘He has done everything well; he even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.’ (Mark 7. 31-37, NRSV)

No coincidence that this comes next either, my Lords: our Lord heard and listened to the voice of an outsider then went on to give both hearing and speech to a deaf mute. This is what you are being called to do, to give freedom and joy to the LGBTI community who took the risk of the Shared Conversations only to find themselves shut out of the subsequent discussions, rendered deaf and speechless until you—given the opportunity to reset the table and welcome them in—deigned only to offer them further crumbs.

This, my Lords, is not the way of our Lord. You have followed the way of the Scribes and Pharisees by building walls, creating a gated community, planting a hedge around the Law—and worse, the Law which you uphold is not Christ’s Law of Love but man-made law presented as if it were God’s Law.

Faithfulness has never been about following rules but honouring relationships. Take note, therefore, my Lords: not of your report but of our Lord’s calling upon your lives. Be Good Shepherds like Christ himself, who was drawn by love to self-sacrifice, lest you find yourselves face to face with God addressing you as Israel’s False Shepherds of old and saying,

I will take your Shepherd’s Crooks and your fine robes and mitres and give them to others more worthy of my Calling.

Is this the Word of the Lord? May it not be so, my Lord Bishops, may it not be so…

~~~

DLT Books: Affirming LGBTI People and Relationships

DLT Books: Affirming LGBTI People and Relationships

What now for the rest of us?

I, as a lover of books, have but one gift to offer both to and on behalf of my LGBTI friends: read more. Be informed. Equip and renew your minds for the conversations, debates and struggles to come. To that end I give you, courtesy of DLT Books, 50% off their entire sexuality range* with the discount code LGBT50 – simply apply it in the online shopping basket.

All the recent titles are included, as well as all the backlist: 119; Amazing Love; Fierce Imaginings; More Perfect Union, Nomad; Permanent, Faithful, Stable; This Is My Body; and many, many more. Whether you buy them for yourselves, for your Bishops, for your General Synod Reps, they’re yours at half-price throughout this month, February 2017.

Dare to imagine a Church transformed and be ready to play your part.

*eBooks and Print-on-Demand titles excluded.

~~~

For the Avoidance of Doubt…

  1. The views and opinions expressed in this post are mine and mine alone. My wonderful wife has not been consulted or collaborated with me in any way whatsoever over what is written here.
  2. I am well aware there are a number of Bishops—diocesans, retired and suffragens—who are actively engaged in reaching out to and supporting the LGBTI community. Those I know of include: +Paul Bayes, Liverpool; +Nick Holtam, Salisbury; +Rachel Treweek, Gloucester; +David Walker, Manchester; +Alan Wilson, Buckingham; and +Ruth Worsley, Taunton. There may be others similarly engaged: I salute you, each and every one, and I apologise to any I have missed out.
  3. I personally fully support the remarriage of divorcees as practiced by the C of E (and the availability of marriage for those who do not wish to or are unable to procreate). I simply raise these issues to highlight the inconsistency of the House of Bishops’ stance on marriage and their selective reading of the Canons.

~~~

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Petition by Revd Mark Kenny to @C_of_E’s House of Bishops to rescind their opposition to equal marriage and take back their recent Pastoral Guidance March 10, 2014

Posted by Phil Groom in Christianity, Church, Current Affairs.
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FOLLOWING ON from my recent Open Letter to the House of Bishops, I have signed and wholeheartedly endorse the Revd Mark Kenny’s petition via change.org calling upon the Bishops to:

  • Rescind their opposition to equal marriage
  • Take back their recent Pastoral Guidance
  • Create a Church where all are welcomed

If you share these concerns and haven’t already signed Mark’s petition, please sign it today:

Petition to the Church of England's Bishops by the Revd Mark Kenny

Petition to the Church of England’s Bishops by the Revd Mark Kenny

Heaven is Weeping: An Open Letter to the House of Bishops @C_of_E @JustinWelby @JohnSentamu March 1, 2014

Posted by Phil Groom in Christianity, Church, Current Affairs.
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40 comments

MY LORD BISHOPS,

Greetings in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, your Lord and mine in our common journey of faith: to him be the glory for ever and ever!

I am writing this letter hesitantly because, as a member of a clergy household myself, I am aware of the immense pressure that you live under and of the immense burden of responsibility that you shoulder as the Lords Spiritual in our land: may the Lord give each and every one of you the courage, grace, strength and wisdom you need as you carry out your duties in his service.

First of all, I would like to thank you for all the time and effort that you put into so many different and often conflicting areas of life, especially on matters of injustice here in the UK and elsewhere in the world. Thank you, in particular, to those who put their names to the letter recently published in the Mirror newspaper challenging the government over the impact of its welfare reforms; my thanks also for the work that went into producing the Pilgrim Course, which has been well received and appreciated in the parishes I belong to; and for all the other work you carry out, so much of it unseen and unheralded by media attention.

My further thanks for the time, consideration and careful reflection that went into your recent Pastoral Guidance on Same Sex Marriage: this brings us to my main purpose in writing as I add my voice to the many others expressing concern and dismay over this matter.

I’d like to start by sharing something of my own faith journey: I was brought up as a free-church, conservative evangelical. The Bible, prayer and church were the bedrock of my early life: I read the Bible and prayed daily, more than daily; I attended the Christian Union at school and at college; and I became a Sunday School teacher and a street evangelist whilst still in my teenage years. I knew the Bible better than any of my contemporaries and was referred to as ‘the living concordance’, such was my enthusiasm; and I knew — or rather, believed I knew — what the Bible taught about sexuality. Homosexuality and Christianity were mutually exclusive: to be gay was a lifestyle choice that set a person at odds with Scripture and the revealed will of God. This did not mean that I hated gays: they were no worse sinners than anyone else and I followed the mantra of ‘love the sinner, hate the sin.’

I know, then, how some of you and some the churches under your care feel about homosexuality in the Church, for I too once felt that way; and in those days, not surprisingly, I had no dealings with gay people: why would any gay person want to know me, a person who would claim to offer them Christ’s unconditional love whilst simultaneously condemning that which lay at the very core of their being?

That was to change, however, not overnight or by any dramatic experience, but over time as I began to encounter gay people; and not simply gay people but gay Christians; and it became clear that God was as much at work in their lives as mine. Without any sign of repentance for their ‘lifestyle choice’, God was blessing them: the fruit and work of the Holy Spirit was as evident in the lives of gay Christians as it was in the lives of straight Christians!

What was going on? Was God a liar, saying one thing in Scripture yet doing another? Was God the ultimate hypocrite, playing games with people’s lives and sexuality? Surely not! So I revisited the Scriptures and by God’s grace my eyes were opened: it became clear that faithfulness was the key. From beginning to end, from Adam and Eve’s betrayal of God’s trust in the Garden of Eden, through the Law, the Histories and the Prophets and all the way on to Judas’ betrayal of Jesus’ trust in the Garden of Gethsemane and beyond into the book of Revelation, God’s call to his people has been to be faithful: faithful to God, faithful to our neighbours and faithful to one another. God loves faithfulness!

Everything fell into place: the condemnations of same-sex activity that we see in Scripture all represent betrayals of trust. The world of the Bible, of ancient Israel and of the Early Church, was a world where heterosexual relationships formed the bedrock of society, where homosexual activity could only represent a betrayal of trust; and so homosexual behaviour was condemned in the same way as other promiscuous behaviour such as adultery. This, however, is not the world we live in today: today we find ourselves in society where long-term, faithful same-sex partnerships co-exist and thrive alongside straight relationships; and against such relationships there is neither law nor biblical prohibition. Loose living, promiscuity and adultery are out, for all of these betray both human and divine trust; faithfulness is in, for this echoes the very heart of God.

Like St Peter in prayer on the rooftop, who found himself confounded by God’s apparent change of attitude towards the things and people he believed that God had declared unclean, I too was confounded; but also like Peter, seeing God transforming the lives of those whom I once regarded as unclean, I am set free and I ask, “Who am I — who are we, the Church — to deny blessing to those whom God is blessing?”

This, then, has been my journey of understanding and this is why I support equal marriage; this too is why I believe the Church of England should support equal marriage; and this is why I now find myself dismayed by your Lordships’ Pastoral Guidance on the matter when I see you making such a prohibition. Gentlemen, you are the Lords Spiritual: you yourselves commissioned the Pilling Report, which included the following amongst its recommendations:

… we believe that parishes and clergy, who conscientiously believe that celebrating faithful same sex relationships would be pastorally and missiologically the right thing to do, should be supported in doing so. […] Consultation and agreement between clergy and PCC on the policy would be essential, although the decision whether to conduct such a service in individual cases should be for the priest alone. (Pilling, paras 391-2, p.112)

Yet rather than accept that recommendation, rather than offer priests that support, rather than allowing them to follow their conscience, you advise that any prayer with a same-sex married couple should “be accompanied by pastoral discussion of the church’s teaching and their reasons for departing from it” then state unequivocally that “Services of blessing should not be provided.” (Pastoral Guidance Appendix, para 21).

How did this come to pass? How have you managed to turn that which is supposed to provide pastoral support into a blunt instrument that can only serve to drive a further wedge between the Church of England and LGBT people? How has welcoming a same-sex couple to prayer for their ongoing relationship become an opportunity to berate them for departing from church teaching? For make no mistake about it, that is how such a so-called “pastoral discussion” — no matter how sensitively broached — will be perceived by those on the receiving end. This approach, your Lordships, is a betrayal of trust that flies in the face of all that has gone before, that undermines almost all of your introductory remarks about gay people being children of God, loved and valued as full members of the body of Christ.

In your early paragraphs you cite Part 6 of the Dromantine Communiqué of 2005, stating that “The victimisation or diminishment of human beings whose affections happen to be ordered towards people of the same sex is anathema to us” — but then you go on to do precisely that very thing, victimising and diminishing LGBT people by excluding their relationships from the possibility of affirmation or formal recognition by the Church, even going so far as to declare that “it would not be appropriate conduct for someone in holy orders to enter into a same sex marriage” (Pastoral Guidance Appendix, para 27).

So you place both gay clergy and gay laity in a double-bind, in a Catch-22 situation, caught out by the Church’s proper teaching that sexual activity belongs within the context of marriage but, when presented by the State with a lawful opportunity to marry, either denied that opportunity altogether (clergy) or denied the opportunity to celebrate that relationship (laity) by the Church.

You cite the Canons in support of your position; but you cite them selectively, for the Church’s Canons in the Thirty Nine Articles (Article XXXII) stipulate quite clearly that the call to the Priesthood within the Anglican tradition is not a call to celibacy: the clergy are free to marry at their discretion. So as the law of the land changes, you override one canon at the expense of another, making that canon which describes marriage as being between a man and woman more important than that which grants clergy freedom to marry, at the same time as denying the validity of state-sanctioned marriage in any case.

Which is it to be, your Lordships? Is the state sanctioned marriage in fact valid, such that it carries sufficient weight to threaten canon law? Or is it invalid, in which case it carries no weight whatsoever and is no different to a civil partnership?

As so often happens in theological disputes, your Lordships, you are right in what you affirm, but wrong in what you deny. You affirm the sanctity of marriage, but deny it to gay people. You affirm God’s love for gay people but deny them full inclusion as God’s people. You open the door to the sacraments of baptism and communion, but close it to marriage: you weigh the sacraments and say, “Thus far and no further!”

You are right when you say that Jesus affirmed male/female relationships; but you are wrong when you say that by that affirmation he denied same-sex relationships: for you know full well that Jesus did not say a word either for or against such relationships. He did, however, speak of the sanctity of marriage and declared that anyone who divorces and remarries, except in the case of their partner’s unfaithfulness, commits adultery — yet you allow priests discretion over whom they will remarry. Thus you not only pick and choose which aspects of Christ’s teachings you follow, but you make an area in which he gave no specific teaching more important than one in which his teaching is clear. If a priest’s discretion is permitted over remarriage of divorcees, upon what basis is it not permitted over a public act of worship which recognises a same-sex marriage?

A song from Boy George/Culture Club comes to mind and I’ve rewritten the lyrics for you:

You are men of deep conviction,
You are men who surely know
How to tell a contradiction?
You surely know, you surely know!

Your Lordships, you surely know! You surely know how Jesus responded to those whose lives were riddled with such contradiction, the religious leaders of his own day, men who swallowed camels whilst straining at gnats. I appeal to you, do not be like them! Do not say of LGBT people that the Church welcomes them as equals but deny that welcome in what you permit or prohibit!

You speak of ‘facilitated conversations’ but rather than pave the way for them, you make such conversations futile by issuing a statement that reinforces barricades instead of taking them down. You say, “[…] we are all in agreement that the Christian understanding and doctrine of marriage as a lifelong union between one man and one woman remains unchanged.” What, then, is the point of these conversations when you have unanimously predetermined their outcome? Forgive me, my Lords, but I find it difficult to believe your declaration that you are all in agreement on this: was there truly not even one dissenting voice, not one person open to the possibility of change?

More than this, gentlemen, I find your choice of words here less than helpful: the Christian understanding… — what? Is there but one definitive Christian understanding and doctrine of marriage? Do you really set your understanding over and above that of other Christian churches? By all means speak of the Church of England’s traditional understanding, but please do not presume to speak for the entire Christian community!

Your approach to this matter, your analysis of it and your response to it are not the way of Christ, the living door, who opens the Kingdom of Heaven to all who will come in. I appeal to you, as a fellow pilgrim on the way: do not close the doors that Christ is opening. Do not seek the way of the law when we are saved by grace: heed the warnings of St Paul, that those who choose to live under the law are obliged to obey the whole law — do not return to slavery but accept the freedom Christ offers!

Listen also to the wisdom of Gamaliel: if what is happening here is of human origin, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to stop it — in which case you may even find yourselves fighting against God!

At the beginning of this letter, I thanked those of you who spoke out recently about the disastrous impact of the government’s welfare reforms: you protest injustice on the one hand whilst you practice it on the other, for that issue and this are both matters of injustice. Thus we have a government that is pro-equality in one arena but blind to its obligations to the poor, whilst we have a Church leadership that has a clear vision of its obligations to the poor but appears blind to injustice here: can you not see, then, why the media cry out and people castigate the Church as a haven for hypocrites?

May the Lord grant you, the leaders of his Church, the vision of our government to see that equal rights require equal rites; and may the Lord grant our government, the leaders of our nation, the compassion for the poor that you see so clearly.

And may he further grant you, as Bishops in his Church, grace and wisdom to facilitate conversations — as some of you are doing — rather than close them down, and so ensure that the gospel of Jesus Christ is indeed good news for all people in all times and situations.

As I draw to a close, the sun is shining in our garden, the sky is no longer weeping; but heaven is weeping, weeping over every lost sheep driven away from the Church by this failure of love. You are the Chief Shepherds appointed over Christ’s Church: I urge you, then, to behave as the Good Shepherd himself and follow where his Spirit is leading to help bring heaven’s tears to an end.

Yours sincerely in Christ,

Phil Groom


This letter was notified to the Church of England’s Communications Dept and to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York via twitter at the time of publication here, 1st March 2014. I have also sent it directly to both Archbishops and to the Administrative Secretary to the House of Bishops, Ross Gillson, with a covering letter inviting individual responses as well as a formal — and hopefully open — response from the House. If and when such responses are forthcoming, they too will be posted here.


For further reading, reflection and information

There is, of course, much more out there: these are simply a few links to material that I personally have found most helpful and interesting…

Thank you for supporting Equal Marriage: An Open Letter to the Rt Hon Alistair Burt, MP February 5, 2013

Posted by Phil Groom in Current Affairs, Watching and Waiting.
Tags: , , , , , , ,
3 comments

Dear Mr Burt,

Thank you for supporting equal marriage.

I was delighted to discover recently that you are one of the signatories to the Freedom to Marry launch letter, a letter which I, as one of your constituents, wholeheartedly endorse.

No doubt you have received many messages urging you to reconsider your position. I, however, would like to encourage you to stand firm and vote in favour of the legislation, to ensure that LGBT people are recognised as equal members of our society and allowed to share the same freedom to marry as everyone else.

As you are no doubt aware, there are many Christians and members of the Church of England such as myself who support this measure despite the official opposition of the Church, which we say does not speak in our name: allowing gay couples to marry does not undermine the institution of marriage; to the contrary, it can only help to strengthen society and marriage itself as more people commit to lifelong, faithful relationships.

I will be publishing this letter on my blog (address below) and, with your permission, please, would also like to publish your response.

Thank you once again for your support; I look forward to hearing from you soon.

With all good wishes,

Phil Groom

Phil Groom
https://philgroom.wordpress.com
www.facebook.com/philgroom
http://twitter.com/notbovvered

CC. Colin Coward, Changing Attitude; Freedom to Marry.

Welcome… everyone October 7, 2011

Posted by Phil Groom in Christianity, Church, Life Issues.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
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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