The Church should stand with Maria Miller in championing gay marriage. Why? Because Jesus proclaimed that God's love is for all, especially for the excluded, and furthermore, that even God-given institutions like the Sabbath should be refashioned in the light of that. So I'm not alone as a Church of England bishop in championing women bishops and the refashioning of our God-given institution of marriage to include and support gay couples.What do you notice about the argument presented for "gay marriage" in that letter?
Within a few years of Jesus' death, the Church tried to exclude non-Jews from membership, but the Bible records their final decision – to judge questions of exclusion by primary reference to God's overwhelming love. That's why the Church can now accept me, a non-Jew, and even ordain me bishop. Church leaders should therefore proclaim what many in the pews already know for themselves, that if God is prepared to accept "me", then God is certainly prepared to accept "them".
The Rt Revd Dr Laurie Green
I notice that it has no reference to the nature of marriage, and no discussion of the nature of homosexuality. According the author, who has an awful lot of titles, the whole matter is resolved by God's love. That consideration over-rules all to such an extent that nothing more needs discussing. Inclusion!
The argument made means that either God's love makes everything, no matter how illogical or perverse possible - even desirable and inevitable - or it means that the author is at least a bit confused. If you can argue for "gay marriage" without needing to discuss either marriage or gayness, then what else? If God has some absolute attribute of "inclusivity" (and that term is to be interpreted just like a modern Western liberal, how convenient!), then why are we arguing about "gay marriage"? Why stop there? Why not take the matter to its logical conclusions?
(P.S. Note that the sentence "Within a few years of Jesus' death, the Church tried to exclude non-Jews from membership, but the Bible records their final decision – to judge questions of exclusion by primary reference to God's overwhelming love" is simply false. Acts 15, where the record is found, shows firstly that one faction in the church took this position but that the official leadership disagreed, and that they judged the question by examining God's actions of which they as apostles were eyewitnesses, and the teaching of Scripture. The word "love" does not even appear in the discussion. Love in Scripture is not an vague absolute which is used to close down discussions, but is revealed in its practical outworkings in God's enscripturated commandments).
When I studied mathematics, the kind of reasoning in this letter was known as "proof by hand-waving". You didn't need to show that the premises and the conclusions lined up in consecutive stages. You just said agreaable things, jumped up and down, and then pulled the rabbit out of the hat at the end. We can all do that...
The Church should stand with Denzil Drogbert in championing the existence of feline dogs. Why? Because Jesus proclaimed that God's love is for all, especially for the excluded, and few beings are more excluded from existing than feline dogs. Furthermore, even God-given institutions like marriage should be refashioned in the light of that. So I'm not alone as a Church of England bishop in gifting the pass to anything that secular liberalism demands, and the refashioning of our God-given institution of marriage to include and support invisible visibility, living dead people, black whiteness and LOOK! A SQUIRREL!
Many years after Jesus' death, his followers were still discussing matters primarily in terms of revealed truth. But history records how things have gone in the "mainline" churches in recent times – to judge questions by primary reference to prevailing societal whim. That still leaves the question of how the Church can now ordain me, though I care little for what the Bible, Jesus and the apostles actually taught about marriage, and even make me bishop. Church leaders should therefore proclaim what many in the pews already know for themselves, that if my denomination is full of people like me, running amok with no reasonable prospect of any church discipline being exercised, then it's time for you to exercise some godly wisdom and find a different church where godly Biblical discipline has a practical possibility of being enforced.
The Rt Revd Dr Dr Revd Wright.