To the Anglican Church in Australia
I am having some difficulty in regard to the current position of the Anglican Church on marriage. Because whilst I can see that same-sex relationships are neither biblical nor part of the Anglican tradition, I can also see that there is much unhealthy support for the Marriage Act as it existed prior to the 2018 amendment.
1. From my reading of the bible, the gift of marriage is a universal gift. As a consequence, it should not be restricted to only those who go through a ceremony sanctioned by the State (for whatever reason the State and church feel the need to regulate such practice); and
2. The people who can marry (and those who can’t) under the Marriage Act, even before the 2018 amendment, is at odds with the lists of excluded relationships in the bible, and the “Table of kindred and affinity” in the book of Common Prayer.
So, whether the issue is the Marriage Act before or after the same-sex marriage amendment, the issue is the same — neither reflect either biblical or Anglican values. And as a consequence whichever version of the Marriage Act is being upheld, one side of the church is being just as unbiblical (and un-Anglican) as the other.
Now I had hoped that when same-sex marriage was originally up for debate, the church would have taken the opportunity to re-evaluate its stance on marriage. (To revert to a more biblical and more Anglican model.) But that clearly didn’t happen.
As a consequence, whether any particular Diocese votes for same-sex marriage, and whether any “new expressions” (which uphold a pre-2018 definition of marriage) arise from any such decisions, is largely irrelevant. Because the “new expressions” would be no more biblical or Anglican than the Diocese from which they spring.
Perhaps a better response from those who are trying to uphold the “traditions” of the church should be: To take the plank out of its own eye, before trying to remove the speck from those who are keen to promote the same-sex debate.
Posted 30th November 2019
© 2019, Brian A Curtis