The Church is being true to its teaching on sex and marriage, so why the outcry?

Jan 29, 2020 by

by Will Jones, The Conservative Woman:

LAST week, the Church of England’s bishops issued a ‘pastoral statement’ responding to the introduction in the UK on December 31 of opposite-sex civil partnerships.

It restates Anglican teaching on marriage and sexual relationships, explaining that

‘for Christians, marriage – that is the lifelong union between a man and a woman, contracted with the making of vows – remains the proper context for sexual activity … sexual relationships outside heterosexual marriage are regarded as falling short of God’s purposes for human beings. The introduction of same-sex marriage … has not changed the church’s teaching on marriage or same-sex relationships.’

More pastorally, it adds: ‘In its approach to civil partnerships, the Church seeks to uphold that standard, to affirm the value of committed, sexually abstinent friendships and to minister sensitively and pastorally to those Christians who conscientiously decide to order their lives differently.’

The response to this statement in the Press and on social media in the past week has been extraordinary. Most have been some combination of hostile to this restatement of traditional Biblical teaching and incredulous that the C of E has not moved with the times.

A number have accused the Church of being ‘obsessed with sex’ – which is rich coming from a society saturated in it. In fact, the Church of England almost never makes public interventions on the subject, doing so almost entirely in response to major legal developments, the last time being in 2014, with the introduction of same-sex marriage, which is partly why this one has caused such a stir.

I suspect what people mean, though, is that the Church has a teaching on sex which is much stricter than their own beliefs and the prevailing norms. But if the Church makes a simple statement clarifying its teaching for a new context, and the media and internet erupt in indignation and scorn and keep on writing about it for days on end, who are the obsessives?

We should also note the obsessives in the Church of England itself who want to see change and don’t want to stop talking about it until they get what they want. 

Read here


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