The Australian Church Record laments the regrettable decision of the Church of England to pass a motion to proceed with further steps towards the blessing of same-sex unions. This decision is contrary to the clear teaching of the Holy Scriptures on human sexuality and dishonours the gracious God who so loved the world that he sent his only-begotten Son for us and for our salvation.
The ACR considers the approval of liturgy to bless same-sex unions as tantamount to a change in the Church of England’s doctrine of marriage. What a church prays demonstrates what a church believes, and the Church of England now believes that it is right to bless behaviour that Scripture deems to be sinful and, if not repented of, will exclude people from the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).
Article XIX states that the churches of Jerusalem, Alexandria, Antioch, and Rome have erred, not only in their living and manner of ceremonies, but also in matters of faith. The Church of England has now also erred in this way and exists in contradiction to the fundamental formularies which were forged in the fires that once consumed the faithful Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer.
This decision will have far-reaching consequences. It will further impair the fellowship of the Church of England with other Anglican Churches around the world, it will further accelerate the realignment of Anglicanism away from Canterbury and towards the Global South, and it will further complicate the witness of faithful Anglicans who, following in the footsteps of Christ, call all people to “repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15).
While this development in the Church of England is deeply distressing, the ACR is grateful for all faithful Anglicans who stand together to contend for the faith which was once for all entrusted to the saints (Jude 3). Those faithful and courageous Church of England bishops, clergy, and laity who voted against the motion are to be commended for their stand. Those faithful Anglicans who remain in the Church of England protesting this decision and those who believe it is now necessary to seek alternative episcopal oversight are both to be encouraged in their conscientious stands. Those faithful Anglicans associated with the GAFCON and the Global South are also to be supported in their costly stands. Just as the Apostles’ took up their crosses and followed Christ, so too would all faithful Anglicans prayerfully seek to please God and not man (Act 5:29; 1 Thess. 2:4; Gal. 1:10).