Will Jones: The C of E’s same-sex marriage of convenience

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, was in Moscow last week delivering a lecture on the subject of ‘theology, anthropology and Christian hope’. This wouldn’t normally be an occasion for comment, save that in this lecture the Primate of All England and leader of the global Anglican Communion broached the flashpoint issue of family and marriage. His purpose, however, was not to present a challenge to Western society for its ever greater deviation from biblical standards and norms, but to challenge Christians and the churches to be more accepting of the ‘reality’ of modern families. Here’s the relevant excerpt:

The place where most people forge their first relationships is within the family. It is easy, however, to define what makes up the family very narrowly . . . The reality is that family life is and always has been complex. In the United Kingdom in the last forty years there has been a great shift in the understanding and the reality of family life . . . In recent years in a number of nations, including the United Kingdom, same-sex, or as it is called in law, equal marriage is now understood to be normal, acceptable and unchallengeable in many countries . . . The speed of change has led many constituencies such as churches and other faith groups to find themselves living in a culture that they have not even begun to come to terms with . . . The family, however it is experienced, is the place where we can be at our strongest and most secure . . . It is a gift of God in any society, bearing burdens, supporting the vulnerable and stabilising both those who believe themselves autonomous and those who feel themselves to be failures.

Now, there are obviously a number of serious problems with this (including the factual error that same-sex marriage is ‘legally’ equal marriage). But almost all of them stem from one fact: that it is far too deeply earthed in the ‘complex’ reality of modern family life, and far too weakly related to biblical norms of marriage and family. The basic message here, also evident in the Church of England’s recent highly controversial guidance on homophobic and transphobic bullying, is that modern forms of family and identity are simply realities which the church needs to come to terms with and accept. The absence in both cases of any theological, biblical or ethical evaluation of these realities is very striking, and deeply concerning.

This omission is particularly disappointing coming here as it does in a lecture on theology and anthropology, where despite multiple mentions of the fact that humankind is created in the image of God, not once do we find a reassuring reference to the creation of human beings as male and female. That’s a pretty pertinent piece of theological anthropology to pass over right now.

It does appear, then, that the Archbishop is indeed meaning to suggest that the orthodox biblical doctrine of marriage leads churches into unduly ‘narrow’ definitions of family, and that churches need to expand their definitions to enable them to come to terms with the complex realities of modern life.

If this is in fact the case, then from a traditional Christian point of view it is baffling, not to mention seriously endangering Christian moral living and integrity of witness to the revelation of God in Christ. For in what other area of life, other than this one of sex, gender and family, would it be thought appropriate to encourage the church merely to come to terms with contemporary realities, and not to evaluate them, challenge them, and point to a better way in closer conformity with the Creator’s designs? There are many complex realities, alongside broken families and wounded childhoods, with which modern people live – drug addiction, alcohol abuse, the sexualisation of children, corruption, destitution, slavery – yet for how many of them would the church counsel, or even appear to counsel, Christians merely to accept them and come to terms with them with no further comment or analysis? The apparent surrender of the church to the world’s ideas in this particular area of sex, marriage and family is deeply disturbing to observe – not unlike watching a car crash in slow motion.



It has often been said that he who marries the spirit of the age will be a widower in the next. I fear for the Church of England that under its current leadership it is sliding ever deeper into this marriage of convenience – not changing its doctrine (yet), but doing everything but, accommodating, affirming, apologising, challenging the church rather than society on its attitudes and approaches. You don’t need a gift of divine insight to see where this is headed. And, despite what many seem to think, it isn’t into growth – no denomination has yet to reverse its fortunes by adopting the revisionist agenda. With these dynamics at work in the church’s national leadership, it is little wonder that Lorna Ashworth, a prominent evangelical member of the Archbishops’ Council, resigned last month in protest and despair of her involvement being a worthwhile use of her time.

Will the archbishops and bishops charged with the care of God’s church recognise any of this before it’s too late? I’d like to hope so, but I wouldn’t count on it.

Will Jones

  • JabbaPapa

    Any theologian who thinks that Church doctrines should be swayed by the political opinions of the public, or indeed by the diktats of some Houses of Parliament, is practising the Americanist Heresy.

    see :

    Pope Leo XIII, Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae : The underlying principle of these new opinions is that, in order to more easily attract those who differ from her, the Church should shape her teachings more in accord with the spirit of the age and relax some of her ancient severity and make some concessions to new opinions. Many think that these concessions should be made not only in regard to ways of living, but even in regard to doctrines which belong to the deposit of the faith. They contend that it would be opportune, in order to gain those who differ from us, to omit certain points of her teaching which are of lesser importance, and to tone down the meaning which the Church has always attached to them. It does not need many words, beloved son, to prove the falsity of these ideas if the nature and origin of the doctrine which the Church proposes are recalled to mind. The Vatican Council says concerning this point: “For the doctrine of faith which God has revealed has not been proposed, like a philosophical invention to be perfected by human ingenuity, but has been delivered as a divine deposit to the Spouse of Christ to be faithfully kept and infallibly declared. Hence that meaning of the sacred dogmas is perpetually to be retained which our Holy Mother, the Church, has once declared, nor is that meaning ever to be departed from under the pretense or pretext of a deeper comprehension of them.” -Constitutio de Fide Catholica, Chapter iv.

    • Simon Platt

      How I wish Francis would listen to the great Leo!

  • Phil R

    If you want to influence the Cof E you have to learn to speak a language that they understand.

    The language they understand is

    Money

    Starve the beast and it will either listen or die.

    Either option is a good, the status quo is not

    • RobertRetyred

      The language is POWER, of which money is a fragment, as any Post-modernist Marxist will tell you. Fit a few facts around the agenda and attack any disenters, not with reasoned argument, but with slurs: racist, misogynistic, facist, islamophobic, climate denier, abuser.

      If you haven’t been called any of these, you haven’t lived.

  • paul parmenter

    If you choose to abdicate from leadership to become a follower, then why would anyone listen to you?

    • Groan

      One supposes the truth of his is in the miniscule actual church attendance. No one is listening, and we only really get to here it nationally because as the established church it has a “voice” out of all proportion to its actual adherents.

  • ancientpopeye

    This man is willfully attempting to destroy the Christian faith.

  • Pozieres

    I am not a Christian but whenever I see one of these frock wearing fantasists in full virtue signalling mode, I am minded of the words of the man they claim as the founder of their belief system; ‘But in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men’.

  • When a nation abandons belief in God they necessarily abandon belief in objective right and wrong. The “death of God” in society is the death of objective morality, and no amount of atheist obfuscation can hide this unavoidable truth. This is the bed the New Atheists have made and Welby is trying to jump in it with them! Without God, morality is nothing more than a subjective opinion about behaviours you like and don’t like, akin to your favourite flavour of ice-cream. Just as you can’t tell everyone they “should” prefer strawberry over vanilla nor can an atheistic worldview say marriage “should” only be between a man and a woman.

    Moral truths are true regardless of whether people agree with them or not. To change the judgements and commandments of God because atheists have decided they know better is to admit that you do not believe God dictates morality and that you are in fact not a Christian.

    • Steve

      What utter twaddle.

      YOU may not be able to have morality without your God crutch but most of us do so easily

      Morality is absolute. That is why all the different flavours of god have the same morality. The Golden Rule existed long before the carpenter’s son went hill-walking.

      • Malcolm Marchesi

        You attempt to strengthen your argument by ridiculing those whom you disagree with but the fact remains that OUR present morality is based on the Christian faith .
        It is under serious challenge at the present time but any objective observer would be hard pressed to claim that present day standards of behaviour are an improvement on what has gone on in the past . It’s easy to pull out individual examples of how modern life is “better” than it used to be but in general terms many people are not particularly content with their lives , notwithstanding the virtual disappearance of real poverty and the material prosperity that we now enjoy.Their discontent is almost certainly a result of , for example , the breakdown of the traditional family , the casual availability of abortion , the general sexual promiscuous behaviour of the young with the consequent misery it can bring and the widely held ” do it to them before they do it to you ” attitude that is so prevalent in some areas of our society . It’s very easy to appear self-righteous and smug but the truth is that many of the rules and morals of our society had a very practical reason behind them and we discard them at our peril . Before the carpenter’s son went hill-walking , life was short , hard , cruel and gave little satisfaction to most people , afterwards there was a least a new model to follow .

        • Steve

          It’s been pretty rough for lots of people ever since.

          And the godless modern young can get very prim and proper.

      • Phil R

        Morality is absolute

        Of course it is.

        That is why countries that abandoned God for Reason were such lovely places……

        • Simon Platt

          Perhaps immorality is absolute.

      • Nick

        If you can demonstrate the validity of what you say you will walk into a professorship of philosophy

        • Steve

          I have to make things simple so I can understand them. So I lack skill at recomplicating them

      • You are completely missing the point. To continue your flawed analogy, God actually is an ESSENTIAL “crutch” to the entire concept of objective morality. If you believe there is a higher moral standard to which we should all adhere, independent of the opinions of man, then you must believe in God to ground that belief. Objective morality is a property of a theistic universe. You cannot have your proverbial cake and eat it too! Atheism or objective morality – your rebellion against God is far more costly than you realise!

        • John Rollins

          Yes, read C S Lewis Mere Christianity.

          • Steve

            I have a part read copy somewhere. Heavy going IIRC

        • Steve

          I don’t believe that my morality comes from some higher person or place. Just that it is innate to persons of good will thinking properly.

          I have never rebelled against God. Just become clearer and clearer that He is made by Man and not v-v!

          • I understand what you are saying – I am saying your reasoning is impossible. You cannot have an objective standard of morality and deny that it comes from some higher person or place. You say that it is “innate to persons of GOOD will” which is circular (smuggling in the notion being defined into the definition) and thus fallacious. You then add that morality comes by “thinking properly”. You cannot think your way to being moral. Your “thinking properly” assertion is again circular, “properly” being a substitute word for “rightly”.

            So I say again, your rebellion against God comes at a very high price, both for you and for society – are you really so sure that God does not exist?

          • Steve

            I am as sincerely convinced that God does not exist as you are that He does. Perhaps more so if you admit of doubt.

            I cannot rebel against nothing.

            I admit there are people who seem to lack a sense of morality. I could do little else having just read the reports of the trial of a friend’s murder; attacked with hammer and machete

            http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-north-east-wales-42182227

            If your God exists he runs a spectacularly evil creation.

          • JabbaPapa

            God’s existence is unaffected by your own personal, individual beliefs against Him.

            I admit there are people who seem to lack a sense of morality

            So the Golden Rule is NOT “self-evident” then, is it …

          • Steve

            I agree that if God did exist my failure to believe in Him would not stop Him existing. I would of course argue that He only exists insofar as you and others believe in him.

            The fact that some people fail to follow the Golden Rule hardly makes it invalid. I regularly exceed speed limits – yet they still exist.

          • JabbaPapa

            I question your claim about it being “self-evident”, you reply to me as if I had claimed that it were “invalid”.

            tum te tum …

          • Firstly, if I read you right, then I am truly sorry that a friend of yours was murdered.

            The reason I first challenged the false worldview (atheism) into which you have been indoctrinated is precisely because this world is evil and I seek to see you saved out of it. God offers you a better way than the cruel, heartless, “evil creation” of which you speak. All you have to do is end your rebellion against Him. What human pride stoked by the lies of atheism have hidden from you is that the evil in the world (that you acknowledge) is the result of rebellion against God, a rebellion that you are currently involved in. You are blaming God for the fruits of a rebellion that you are promoting through your atheism. Surely you can see that this is completely wrong-headed? God hates murder – murder is an act of rebellion against Him.

            Atheism is a horrendous worldview precisely because as I have already explained to you, if there is no God there is no objective evil. People who murder obviously think murder is morally permissible. Without God who is to say that they are wrong, not legally wrong but objectively wrong? Without God you cannot say that murder is evil. So when you claim that the world is evil you are in fact denying your “sincere” belief that God does not exist. “The problem of evil” is a problem for atheism not theism!

      • JabbaPapa

        Morality is absolute

        An idea, without God, that is liable to lead only to absolutist totalitarianism.

        • Steve

          Jabba do you follow, or at least attempt to follow, the Golden Rule because it says you should in your rule book?

          I don’t. I do it because I hold it self-evident that it is so. I’m sure Dawkins has some long complex explanation why it is evolutionarily beneficial for us to DUOAYWHODTY

          • JabbaPapa

            The Golden Rule is NOT “self-evident” (just look at North Korea, Saudi, or even just Wall Street if you don’t believe me) — it belongs to our Western Culture as a basic moral principle from its origin in the West as a teaching of Christianity.

          • Steve

            I’m sure North Korean people apply the Golden Rule amongst themselves. And Kim Jong Il would doubtless explain that his nuclear programme is precisely to apply it to the Americans who threaten his country and him personally with their vast arsenal of nuclear weapons in ships along his coastline.

            Saudi certainly follows the rule even if we dispute their choices.

            And Wall Street only exists on the basis of reciprocal morality. “Dictum meam Pactem”

            As for your belief that Jesus invented the Golden Rule, as wiki tells us He already knew it from the Torah.

            And (ibid.) so did many BC cultures.

            Ancient Egypt

            Possibly the earliest affirmation of the maxim of reciprocity, reflecting the ancient Egyptian goddess Ma’at, appears in the story of The Eloquent Peasant, which dates to the Middle Kingdom (c. 2040–1650 BC): “Now this is the command: Do to the doer to make him do.”[12][13] This proverb embodies the do ut des principle.[14] A Late Period
            (c. 664–323 BC) papyrus contains an early negative affirmation of the
            Golden Rule: “That which you hate to be done to you, do not do to
            another.”[15]

            Ancient Greece

            The Golden Rule in its prohibitive (negative) form was a common principle in ancient Greek philosophy. Examples of the general concept include:

            “Avoid doing what you would blame others for doing.” – Thales[16] (c. 624–546 BC)

            “What you do not want to happen to you, do not do it yourself either. ” – Sextus the Pythagorean.[17] The oldest extant reference to Sextus is by Origen in the third century of the common era.[18]

            “Do not do to others that which angers you when they do it to you.” – Isocrates[19] (436–338 BC)

            Judaism

            See also: Judaism and Jewish ethics

            A rule of altruistic reciprocity was first stated positively in a well-known Torah verse (Hebrew: ואהבת לרעך כמוך‎):

            You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against your kinsfolk. Love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.

            — Leviticus 19:18

            Hillel the Elder (c. 110 BC – 10 AD),[23] used this verse as a most important message of the Torah
            for his teachings. Once, he was challenged by a gentile who asked to be
            converted under the condition that the Torah be explained to him while
            he stood on one foot. Hillel accepted him as a candidate for conversion to Judaism but, drawing on Leviticus 19:18, briefed the man:

            Buddhism

            See also: Buddhism

            Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama, c. 623–543 BC)[48][49]
            made this principle one of the cornerstones of his ethics in the 6th
            century BC. It occurs in many places and in many forms throughout the Tripitaka.

            Comparing oneself to others in such terms as “Just as I am so are
            they, just as they are so am I,” he should neither kill nor cause others
            to kill.

            — Sutta Nipata 705

            One who, while himself seeking happiness, oppresses with violence
            other beings who also desire happiness, will not attain happiness
            hereafter.

            — Dhammapada 10. Violence

            Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.

            — Udanavarga 5:18

            Putting oneself in the place of another, one should not kill nor cause another to kill.[50]

          • JabbaPapa

            As for your belief that Jesus invented the Golden Rule

            oh good grief, did I suggest anything of the sort ? No.

            I pointed out that its introduction into the West was through Christianity and the Church.

            As for your seeking of excuses for North Korea and Saudi, in order to shore up your clearly wrongful claim … pathetic. And those are hardly the worst examples I could have given, which of course you already know full well.

    • David R

      As an atheist I say that ‘marriage “should” only be between a man and a woman’ as a simple matter of linguistics. That is what the word has meant for centuries and to change it arbitrarily by Act of Parliament is ludicrous, you may as well ensrine in law that “work” is anything anyone happens to be doing at any time and that “play” is a meaningless noise..

      • I’m glad to hear that! Just so we don’t get crossed wires, your “should” is not a moral “should” but a linguistic “should”, and is thus an entirely different issue.

        I completely agree that parliament should not be legislating on the meaning of language.

  • Murial2468

    How could the signs be any clearer? It’s time to come home to the one true Church, flawed sinners but faithful and united to Christ:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgOfN1f_gpY&t=554s

  • Flaketime

    The Church of England has moved from worshiping God to worship of the devil. Alastair Crowley the Satanist wrote ‘Do what thou wilt this shall be the whole of the law’ and this is the doctrine the Church of England has adopted.

    We now see the desecration of the Cathedral of Manchester with a devil worshipping fair with divination, cartomancy, witchcraft, and all manner of anti Christian activities, all done claimed the Bishop in the name of tolerance and inclusion.

    The paradox of tolerance and the clear obvious wrongness of his actions seem to have wholly passed the Bishop by, and his intolerant response to any criticism would be what those de-moralised by ideological subversion always is, that there is something morally wrong with the critics, and that they must be somehow intolerant, because his self belief is total.

    Meanwhile in Scotland the Very Reverend Kelvin Holdsworth Provost of the St Marys Catherdral in Glasgow has asked Christians to pray that Prince George would be Gay as he feels that would force the Church to allow same sex marriage.

    https://ashenden.org/2017/12/01/the-use-and-abuse-of-prince-george-by-gay-activists/

    What on Earth do these crazed loons think is going to happen around the world if they do this? Well we can see the answer from the actions of other crazed loons at the BBC who produced Doctor who in their own image alienating viewers all across the world. From Muslim countries where it has been banned, to African countries where is banned, to South America where it has offended traditional Catholic values. The only places where it is appreciated, by a small number are those which have been affected by ideological subversion.

    The upshot of the C of E surrendering all pretence at religion is that ALL Christians would be tarred with the same brush of immorality and used as an excuse to visit more death and violent on the infidels who have totally left the path of righteousness. Not that people in the CofE in Britain would care, because like all lefties its never their fault when it all goes wrong they just run away and blame someone else.

    • JabbaPapa

      Meanwhile in Scotland the Very Reverend Kelvin Holdsworth Provost of the St Marys Catherdral in Glasgow has asked Christians to pray that Prince George would be Gay as he feels that would force the Church to allow same sex marriage

      That would be worth an automatic excommunication latae sententiae in the Catholic Church …

      What on EARTH has gotten into all of these people’s heads ? (apart from the obvious “smoke of Satan” answer …)

  • PierrePendre

    The Roman Catholic church believes the sanctity of life is inviolable. It forbids birth control and abortion for this reason and does not give up the principle despite the fact that many Catholics ignore it. The CoE believes that core principles are unnecessary and that it should adapt to the behaviour of its adherents. The Catholic church says that what it teaches is what is right. Catholics may choose to behave differently out of the sight of their priests but defying what is right does not make what is right any the less so. The CoE says that it will adapt to whatever passing fashion grips parishioners who dislike the inconvenient discipline of principles that stand in the way of self-gratification. It thinks that this is a means of survival. In fact it is a guarantee of eventual extinction. Welby says the family is a gift from God but, perversely, in order to preserve it he is willing to let it destroy itself. The concept of the family gifted by God is hedged with rules and restraints that are always under challenge from human fraility. Welby will never save the family by indulging frailties that in the end are inassuageable; he can only save the family by insisting that the church upholds its historic values whatever people do in practice. It may be that the tide of secularism, dynamic Islam and the demand for individual rights will doom both the Judeo-Christian churches but at least the Catholic church will go down believing to the end in its basic tenets whereas the CoE will go down believing in anything.

    • Ed McA

      It’s laughable when Welby uses the word ”normal” but the RC church has nothing to gloat about when you study its transgressions through the centuries, including the many abuse scandals which in a way are understandable in the light of celibacy – an abnormal way of life for mankind. As for RCs ignoring the rules of the RC church, as you state, is this not the ultimate hypocrisy?

      • PierrePendre

        I’m a heathen myself but my point, whether in relation to the church or to individuals, is that our personal failure to live up an ideal in no way detracts from the ideal. The Catholic church for all its temporal crimes adheres to the ideal; the CoE says that when it’s too hard, give in.

      • JabbaPapa

        As for RCs ignoring the rules of the RC church, as you state, is this not the ultimate hypocrisy?

        Why on EARTH do you think that Catholics should be singled out for “hypocrisy” if some of them should profess Christianity and do its contrary ??? Are these Anglicans and others who behave similarly not so much to blame ?

      • Simon Platt

        I don’t think you know what “hypocrisy” means.

    • Is not the RC Church moving the same way? I get the impression that the present Pope would like changes to follow the lead of protestant churches to be more PC in this age. Certainly he doesn’t see the threat of Islam, inviting various Islamics to the Vatican in the belief he could reach an understanding with them instead of preaching against the horrors of Islam.

      • I think he would, but too many in the RCC are cognizant that dogma is dogma and unchanging. The gates of hell may not stand against the church, but the pope is not the church, only a sinful man like the rest of us. Good for them, the rest of us should be so constant.

        • I used to admire the RC church for sticking to its beliefs (although I couldn’t agree with all of them), but things seem to be changing.
          My view is that many people want a church to be stable and unchanging to give them some stability in a life were nothing seems to stay the same for very long. The RC church has changed over centuries and it is scarcely visible in an individual’s lifetime; I believe this is what we all want, stability, and this is one thing that the church should offer.

          • Agreed, and so do many. Here the conservative churches (Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, and others) are holding their own, and gaining quite a lot of adult converts, especially from other liturgical churches, including Rome. Why? Because they teach what Luther taught, which was actually quite close to what Rome said they taught at the time. The others are going the way of the CofE. No great loss, in my opinion

          • Regrettably our non-conformist churches seem to have also been infected by the same PC disease.

          • Many of ours as well, amongst other horrible things, that’s where the so-called ‘prosperity Gospel’ came from.

      • JabbaPapa

        Is not the RC Church moving the same way?

        Not really, no. Some Catholic theologians and Bishops might want it, but that’s a long way away from getting it.

        • I was under the impression from the media that in some areas there had been changes and congregations were unhappy.

          • JabbaPapa

            Well, there are the same problems with some fairly widespread ghastly liturgy, and trendy pro-gay & “feminist” & pro-adultery preaching and so on, but it is important to keep these things in context — these sorts of of crises have been ongoing, on occasion, in the Church since the times of the Apostles !!

            The Church however (which is all Catholics) has a great deal of inertia, and is not puffed this way or that by the mere whim of the participants in this or that Synod.

            Should the Holy See attempt anything actually unacceptable by the ordinarily orthodox majority of Catholics, all that it would achieve would be to create the conditions for a schism.

          • The RC Church isn’t changing at the speed of the CofE but as an outsider it would seem to me to be changing faster than it ever has in the past. It also seems to me that the change is coming from the top rather than from the congregations wanting change.

          • Simon Platt

            There is a real crisis in the Church. Many Catholics are deeply distressed by the behaviour of the present pope. The particular focus of this is a document he issued about 18 months ago, called “the joy of sex” in Latin, supposedly reporting on synod of bishops, supposedly on the family, which he and his supporters manipulated, or tried to, but, when he didn’t get his own way, he misrepresented in this “post-synodal apostolic exhortation” in such a way as to cause scandal to faithful Catholics worldwide. (The particular point at issue relates specifically to marriage, so I’m very definitely sill on topic.) For over a year he has refused to answer “dubia” on this document from four prominent cardinals, two of whom have died waiting for an answer.

            I could go on.

            And, yes, I am more Catholic than the Pope.

          • JabbaPapa

            The particular focus of this is a document he issued about 18 months ago, called “the joy of sex” in Latin

            Really ?

            Can you please then point me to this “Sexus Laetitia” document ?

          • Simon Platt

            Please don’t joke about it. That’s dangerous. If the Pope were to read it he might get ideas. We could end up with an encyclical on 57 varieties.

          • JabbaPapa

            I’m not joking about it, you’re the one peddling a joke about the title of the exhortation as if one were meant to take it seriously. Amoris Laetitia does NOT mean “the joy of sex” in Latin.

            I keep on having to point out to people that not only are the divorced-remarried not even mentioned in the footnote that everyone is so excited about, but also that the Argentine Bishops that everyone got so worked up about denounced as being particularly scandalous the idea of giving Communion to unrepentant public adulterers, and that Cardinal Vallini, Vicar of Rome and the man tasked with dealing with day-to-day affairs for the Pope in his own Diocese, established that Communion in cases of divorce and remarriage is to be reserved to those making a serious commitment towards abstinence.

            Of course some others elsewhere are causing scandals, notably in Germany, in some nonsensical and deeply damaging actions towards admitting those in states of notorious public sin to the Sacraments, and one is very unhappy that the Roman Pontiff reprimands not these sorts of grotesque abuses and blasphemies.

            But personally, as far as the Pope himself is concerned, I try and keep a sense of circumspection.

            We had three great Popes in a row — John Paul I, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI. And now we have a more average one, not a Pius XIII but a Paul VII.

            But as for Germany, and the grotesque abuses there, until the extremely corrupted system of church taxes in that country is done away with (and well done those people BTW, after all their complaints about the “corruption” of Rome !!), there will be men in charge of the local church there who are in thrall to the very World that it is their job, their duty, and supposedly their vocation to warn people about.

          • Except on the issues of birth control and abortion, I suspect that I’m more in tune with the present RC church than the Cof E. I certainly don’t agree with the CofE views on marriage and divorce and as for my views on gay marriage, I certainly wouldn’t want to express them here. I fail to understand why the CofE allows unmarried parents to bring their child for baptism and still tend to think of such children as illegitimate.
            So I just continue in my own way, attending Sunday Service when I know that a traditional priest will be taking the service.

          • Sharon

            Your English ancestors, pre-Reformation, were Catholics. Many resisted the changes in Church leadership implemented by King Henry VIII as a consequence of the Pope’s declining to grant Henry a divorce from his faithful queen.

            Please consider returning to the Catholic Church…to the faith and Church of your fathers.

            Our Lord has promised that the gates of hell will not prevail against His Church.

          • As I said, I can’t agree with their teachings on Birth Control, not that affects me personally, but I believe it should be encouraged in poverty stricken countries. On abortion, I believe in certain limited abortion, much as was originally legalised in this country, but has now been stretched to abortion on demand which I certainly oppose. To me contraception is the lesser of the evils.
            Now I’m reaching the point where I’m beginning to believe that Church and Priests are not necessary as an intermediary between me and my God.

          • JabbaPapa

            Birth Control … should be encouraged in poverty stricken countries

            So you think that the God-given Grace of pregnancy and childbirth should be restricted to the wealthy ?

            Now I’m reaching the point where I’m beginning to believe that Church and Priests are not necessary as an intermediary between me and my God

            So you’re contemplating becoming an out-an-out Deist ?

            I take note of the “me and my” — so is He your personal butler or something ?

            See instead : Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

            There is no Christian without brethren, and there is no Christianity outside the Church — though there’s less and less of it apparently inside of the CoE itself …

          • I’m not advocating that birth control should be compulsory, but should be available and not discouraged by the RC church. Many ‘Greens’ would go much further as they wish to see a reduction in the world population to ensure that there will be enough resources to meet all our needs.
            By “My God”, I refer to my vision of the God that I believe in; it is clearly different to the God of some other religions such as Islam and, it would now seem, some CofE clergy.

          • JabbaPapa

            I’m …t advocating that birth control should be … available and not discouraged by the RC church

            So in other words you think that the Church of Christ should actively encourage fornication.

          • If you regard sex in marriage as fornication, yes.

          • sharon

            English-pensioner, please read this piece issued by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops which explains, so much better than I am able to articulate, why contraception is so inimical to the loving and intimate relationship which is marriage.

            See, http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/what-we-believe/love-and-sexuality/index.cfm

            One wonders whether the fifty percent divorce rate is not directly related to the widespread use of contraception by couples both before and during marriage.

            Used for its intended purpose, contraception converts a sacred and beautiful act between a husband and wife to a sterile and recreational hook up.

            It’s widespread use has produced a loss of innocence among the young and an exponential increase in sexually transmitted diseases.

            But then Pope Paul VI predicted many of these consequences in his prescient encyclical “Humana Vitae”.

            See, http://w2.vatican.va/content/paul-vi/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae.html

            I think you will discover much truth and goodness in the aforementioned writings of the Catholic Bishops and Pope Paul VI.

          • One could argue the divorce rate could be due to men being refused sex without contraception by wives who don’t want any more children.
            There are so many arguments, that I believe it is now a matter for one’s own conscience. At my age they are personally irrelevant!

  • Royinsouthwest

    What is the Archibishop’s view of polygamy? It is sanctioned by Muslims and is also practised by some non-Muslims in Africa. Polygamy is also more natural than same-sex marriage having been practised in many societies at various times in history.

    Will we soon see a campaign to legalise polygamy in Britain or will the law prohibiting it simply be allowed to fall into disuse in the same way that the police in many areas do not enforce the law against some drugs?

    • JabbaPapa

      What is the Archibishop’s view of polygamy?

      — “I am also aware – a view deeply held by tradition since long before Christianity, within the Jewish tradition – that marriage is understood invariably as being between a man and a woman. Or, in various times, a man and several women, if you go back to the Old Testament.”

      Were you expecting anything else ?

      • Royinsouthwest

        It is perfectly obvious what I was getting at. It would be more logical to legalise polygamy than same sex marriage but I am against both.

    • Simon Platt

      I think it’s safe to assume that Mr Welby has nothing against polygamy.

  • Groan

    “car crash in slow motion” Looking at the CoE from the “outside” I’d have to agree. Its drivers appear to have let go of the steering wheel and hope that AI will step in. Sadly for them they appear to be at least decade premature to rely on a robot led church.

  • Mark Downham

    Justin Welby is citing the “In The Image
    and Likeness of God: A Hope-Filled
    Anthropology” known as ‘The Buffalo Statement’ – Agreed by the International Commission for Anglican-Orthodox Theological Dialogue 2015 ‘ – but when they reprogrammed him they essentially hacked his hermeneutical grids….so he has come under the sway, programming phenomena and control data of a distorted [post] Liberal progressive theological perspective – it is called “bait and switch” – they created a Manchurian Candidate.

    Bait and Switch.: a sales tactic in
    which a customer is attracted by the advertisement of a low-priced item but is then encouraged to buy a hgher-priced one.

    They got to Justin Welby like this. It was Toby Howarth who decided “cultural relevance” (cf.Hofstede 1984) was the prime determinant to the survival of the Church of England (“the bait”) – but he had to work out how to sell the “bait and switch” to Justin Welby who was already in the early stages of “cognitive dissonance” and ecclesiological PTSD after some of his House of Lords encounters (where he was reported to be “shaken”) so he invited LGBT Human Rights Activist Peter Tatchell to Lambeth Palace to an audience with a man who was already in a very fragile cognitive [and suggestible] state and very programmable (cf.Denny Burk – ‘Four stages of evangelical affirmation of gay marriage’) (“the switch”) . He went for that “bait and switch” and then quickly came up with the apologia of “good disagreement” exactly like Mao Zedong “On Contradiction” – he was programmed by that “bait and switch”….he is still following the programming. It is the programming is talking…..they programmed him.

    Colossians 2:8 New International Version
    See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.

    That is why he has bouts of depression….he has two warring cognitive centres – mind and heart. As Evangelicals, we can help him but it would be extremely radical. We are Heart Doctors and we can cure him using experimental pneumatology and a radical approach to Aristotelian Eudaimonia – “human flourishing” and he would be changed into a very different man (cf. 1 Samuel 10:6).

    Vladimir Mikhailovich Gundyayev (Kyrill – the Patriarch of Moscow) is interesting because as a Russian Orthodox he will understand “soul mending” – Justin Welby needs soul mending.

    • JabbaPapa

      Colossians 2:8 New International Version
      See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.

      Not a bad translation, for once, though the word “spiritual” certainly shouldn’t be there … “material” maybe, instead.

      • Mark Downham

        What do you think of this translation?

        Colossians 2:8 AMPC See to it that no one carries you off as spoil or makes you yourselves captive by his so-called philosophy and intellectualism and vain deceit (idle fancies and plain nonsense), following human tradition (men’s ideas of the material rather than the spiritual world), just crude notions following the rudimentary and elemental teachings of the universe and disregarding [the teachings of] Christ (the Messiah).

        Essentially it comes down to this:

         “you may not be interested in psychological warfare, but psychological [and spiritual] warfare is interested in you” – Xu Hezhen (he adapted that from Trotsky and I added the pneumatological dimension cf. Ephesians 6:12).

      • Mark Downham

        What do you think of this translation?
        Colossians 2:8 AMPC See to it that no one carries you off as spoil or makes you yourselves captive by his so-called philosophy and intellectualism and vain deceit (idle fancies and plain nonsense), following human tradition (men’s ideas of the material rather than the spiritual world), just crude notions following the rudimentary and elemental teachings of the universe and disregarding [the teachings of] Christ (the Messiah).

        • JabbaPapa

          yeah

          • Mark Downham

            I am using phenomenological and pneumatological categories although it essentially comes down to this:

            “you may not be interested in psychological warfare, but psychological [and spiritual] warfare are interested in you” – Xu Hezhen (cf.Xu Hezhen, Major General, PLA – Psyops: ‘Psychological Operations in the Context of Grand Strategy’) (he adapted that from Trotsky and I added the pneumatological dimension cf. Ephesians 6:12).

          • Mark Downham

            Andrew Nunn, the Archbishop’s correspondence secretary, has stated in writing that Archbishop Welby had been “shaken” by the reaction in the House of Lords to the Bishops’ opposition to the same-sex marriage legislation…..

            We know how they got to him and what they have done and we know how to fix it.

  • David

    Very true. I believe that, as far as the institutional C of E goes, The Spirit has now departed. There are just a few faithful, conservative, Biblically led local churches where the minister has not sold out to the spirit of the age. Such churches are holding onto their congregations or even growing gently, as is mine. But the bulk of the denomination is dead and will soon collapse as numbers plunge, given the age of the congregations.

  • Don Benson

    “Will the archbishops and bishops charged with the care of God’s church recognise any of this before it’s too late? I’d like to hope so, but I wouldn’t count on it.”

    I think it is indeed too late – well, too late for the Church of England; too many of the shepherds have turned out to be wolves, they have the upper hand, and the sheep are already scattering. But of course it’s not too late for individual bishops to repent of their rebellious folly and one would hope that they do.

    The real question now rests with individuals and congregations: whether and when to stay or leave. For most of us that probably depends on the local situation; the machinations of bishops and archbishops are irrelevant to most people until the nonsense filters down, by which time it’s far too late to do anything about it.

    In fact the rot probably started in theological colleges and cathedrals decades ago – places where privilege and intellectual pride gave rise to an attitude of detachment from any personal faith, and indifference to the social and spiritual realities of life for ordinary people.

    It’s exactly the same as what sealed the fate of the baby whose birth we shall soon be celebrating. And because he went through that for us, and prevailed, our faith rests in him and not in the debauched wisdom of far too many CofE bishops. And that’s why the end of the Church of England as we knew it (if that happens) is simply the beginning of another chapter for the true church in England.

  • brexit must be stopped

    Equal marriage is here to stay.

    Anyone who disagrees has no place in modern Britain.

    Deal with it.

    • JabbaPapa

      Another day, another mindless slogan from grrrrlllllpowah !!!

      Why, those Romans lolling around in their decadence had nothing to fear either did they, in their superbum and their blinkeredness, ’til one day they looked out of the window to see the streets lined with pillaging barbarian warriors and filled with the screams of the dying effeminates …

      And what, is marriage not “equal” between man and wife, did we really need some men and women engaged in sterile relationships not conducive to the founding of a family to destroy this foundation of civilised life and have it replaced with the worst manner of self-indulgent paganism ?

      The hatred against mothers, and fathers, and their children is certainly pervasive — but no society can be founded upon the natural imperatives of basic biology and the naturalness of simple family life within marriage. No sexual perversions necessary …

    • Flaketime

      So when will this fabled ‘equal marriage’ be introduced into ‘modern Britain’?

      When Gay marriage is actually the same as normal marriage then you might have some justification to call it equal.

      What do you propose happens to those people who disagree with you, who you claim have no place in this country?

      Once around ninety years ago there was a man in Germany who convinced an entire nation that certain people who disagreed with him had no place in the country. You might want to take a look at his legacy and how close you are becoming to those same beliefs.

      As a colossal racist yourself you appear to be able to pick the smallest criticisms out of the white people you clearly HATE so much while leaving other nations to carry on murdering homosexuals without any critical attention at all. In fact you go so far as to defend them murdering Gays by throwing them off rooftops !

      I think perhaps you need to have a lie down in a darkened room, the contradictions of modern Fascism seem too much for you to deal with !

  • Spartacus

    Same sex marriage is an oxymoron..introduced by an idiot to make himself look good. at this rate you will be able to marry what ever you fancy.

  • Flaketime

    One of the biggest complaints against same sex marriage is the way in which Cameron introduced it.

    In order for Blair to get civil partnerships onto the statute books he made a promise that civil partnerships would not lead to Gay marriage. My view is that if politicians make promises to the people then they and future administrations should be bound by those promises and only allowed to change them with a referendum clearly in favour of doing so.

    On top of that it was never in the Tory manifesto, and I don’t care what Cameron apologists say putting it in with 6 hours before the polls opened is NOT including it in a manifesto.

    So in a nut shell Gay marriage was never legitimately introduced onto the statute book.

    Having said that I doubt you would win a referendum if you wanted to reverse it now.