Oh, That Crafty Bishop Croft of Oxford

Nov 4, 2022 by

By Rollin Grams, Bible and Mission:

The Anglican bishop of Oxford, Steven Croft, has this week produced an argument to extend marriage to same-sex couples. Whatever his reasons for this, his justification involves an appeal to Matthew 7. Revisionists of orthodox Christianity ‘use’ Scripture, they do not interpret it, and so their Scriptural justifications are not their actual reasons for the views they advocate. Be that as it may, consider his use of the following passage:

Matt. 7:15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.

Croft focusses on the notion of fruit in the passage. He says that ‘the view that it is wrong to bless same-sex unions, to allow clergy to marry their civil partners, and to prohibit clergy and ordinands from an active sexual relationship’ produces bad fruit. The bad fruit he has in view are: shame and unworthiness for LGBTQ+ people in the Church; attempts to change oneself or others; ‘failed or damaged marriages for those trying to be something that they are not’; dishonesty for those who deny the reality of sexual identity. More bad fruit is the Church’s being viewed as lacking love and fairness in the eyes of society. Croft then lists what he believes to be the good fruit of those in same-sex relationships. He continues on for a while about good and bad fruit.

So, what are we to make of this?

Read here


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