Is there a positive case for the ‘traditional’ sexual ethic?

Nov 18, 2020 by

by Ian Paul, Psephizo:

This morning the Church of England Evangelical Council (CEEC) have released a video entitled ‘The Beautiful Story’ which seeks to set out the case, in accessible terms, for the ‘traditional’ sexual ethic that sex belongs in marriage between one man and one woman, as currently taught in the doctrine of the Church of England. I have contributed to the video, but I was not involved in its design or production.

There are several things I really like about the video.

The first is that it locates the whole current discussion of sexuality in the wider question of what has been happening in society at the moment, and our call to share the good news about Jesus. And, in the opening comments by Jason Roache, it highlights the fact that the Church’s teaching is not something we just improvise, but something we both inherit and pass on, just as Paul comments in 1 Cor 15.3 that he is passing on what has been passed to him.

Secondly, it is clear that the teaching of Scripture that the Church of England has received is counter-cultural, and so might not be well received—but it is good news nevertheless.

Thirdly, there is a really good diversity of both people and issues in this area. The speakers include those from single-parent families, those who are married, those who are heterosexual and single, and those who are gay (or would call themselves same-sex attracted) but accept and live by the teaching of the Church. There is up-front ownership of the failings of judgementalism and moralism that the Church has fallen into, but the speakers want to reject these approaches and move on to something more positive. One striking thing is the way that the video involves evangelicals from different viewpoints on issues which are seen to divide them, particular on the question of the ordination of women. A number of speakers do not agree with the Church’s current position on that issue—but are working with women in leadership and women bishops on this subject.

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