C of E: Evangelical Bishops speak out

Oct 22, 2018 by

Letter from evangelical Bishops to the ‘Living in Love and Faith’ Coordinating Group, posted on the website of the Church of England Evangelical Council (CEEC)

We believe that this vision of (1) sexual intercourse as “an act of total commitment which belongs properly within a permanent married relationship” (Lambeth 1988), (2) marriage as a union of a man and woman in a covenant of love marked by exclusivity and life-long commitment, and (3) faithful, sexually abstinent love in singleness and non-marital friendships, is the teaching of Scripture. It therefore expresses the character and will of God which is our guide in ordering our lives and in addressing public global ethical issues.”

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Evangelical Bishops hint at split if marriage teaching is changed, from Church Times

The 1800-word letter, posted on the website of the Church of England Evangelical Council, is addressed to the Bishop of Coventry, Dr Christopher Cocksworth. Dr Cocksworth chairs the co-ordinating group of the Living in Love and Faith (LLF) project, set up by the House of Bishops in an attempt to look more deeply into matters of sexuality after earlier attempts failed to heal divisions… The letter advises Dr Cocksworth and his colleagues against any sort of Anglican fudge, urging them to go beyond an evaluation of different perspectives. It calls instead for a “coherent, single ethic for all of us as people whose fundamental identity is not something we define for ourselves”.

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Bishops reignite church disputes over sexuality, from Church of England Newspaper

They outlined three key demands: that sexual intercourse only take place in married settings, that marriage is defined as between one man and one woman and outside of that abstinence was the only stance the Church should recognise.

If Church leaders adopt these three positions, they can ensure church unity, they claim.

However…Former Bishop of Thetford, David Atkinson, said that Lambeth resolution 1.10 is ‘too blunt an instrument for an appropriate pastoral response to those for whom this is a pressing personal question’, and ‘too unclear an instrument for forming any constructive Christian mission to gay communities, and too insensitive an instrument for affirming and accepting what is of God in the lives of many Christian gay people’.

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One Body One Faith responds to eleven evangelical Bishops

“…it will be for the other members of the House of Bishops, in all their diversity of opinion, to hold these eleven of their sisters and brothers to account.”

Responses from leading ‘affirming evangelicals’ on Via Media

Response to affirming evangelicals:

Same-sex marriage: critiquing and countering the arguments of evangelicals in favour of affirming homosexual relationships, by John Stevens:

The fact that these techniques are so subtle, cloaked in the disarming language of humility and supported by reliance on respected academic opinion, is precisely why they are so deceptive and liable to mislead ordinary evangelical believers. We will increasingly have to challenge and deconstruct such false teaching to protect the flock from being led astray.

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