Clergy in revolt over bishops’ LGBT capitulation

Jan 20, 2019 by

by Will Jones, TCW:

WHAT happens when bishops start telling their clergy to act contrary to the teaching of the Bible? We’re about to find out, as more than 100 serving clergy in the Diocese of Oxford have written to their four bishops registering their concern.

The cause of their disquiet is recent ‘guidance’ issued by the bishops to their clergy on the matter of LGBTI+ people which called for ‘above all, an attitude of inclusion and respect for LGBTI+ people’. The bishops also instructed clergy not to concern themselves with a person’s sexual practices.

For years now, clergy have been trained to handle such matters sensitively and to respect all people; but there is no getting away from biblical teaching on sexuality. Christians are called to have lives of purity in sexual as well as in other matters, which means abstaining from sex outside the married state. The bishops’ guidance, however, studiously avoids mention of this biblical and doctrinal standard. It is no surprise that the absence of any reference to it, alongside the instruction to be fully inclusive of LGBT people, no questions asked, has been widely understood to be undermining of the core Christian belief.

The bishops have now responded to their clergy’s concerns, and their letter makes grim reading for anyone who cares about the integrity and fidelity of the C of E. Standing by their action, the bishops explain that the guidance ‘was written primarily to address the significant sense of hurt and exclusion felt by LGBTI+ Christians and their families, whom we all recognise as our sisters and brothers in Christ’. The implication: the biblical code of sexual ethics hurts and excludes, and clergy need to be told to ignore it.

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