Thinking Anglicans

REFORM issues statement about "threat to marriage"

Evangelicals in last minute plea to Bishops to mobilise church for marriage

The Council of Reform today urged the Church of England’s House of Bishops not to concentrate exclusively upon discussing the issue of the Consecration of Women to the Episcopate when it meets next week, but to focus additionally on the much more pressing and significant issue of the threat to marriage.

Following a 24 hour meeting in Sheffield, the Council issued an urgent statement that said,

“It is understood that Government proposals for a new law on so called “gay marriage” may be imminent and that the proposals may require consummation for a “gay marriage” to be legally valid. Everybody’s marriage will be affected by the result. In law, marriage is a sexual relationship. Incapacity and wilful refusal to consummate a marriage are grounds for annulment, and adultery is one of the five facts which demonstrate irretrievable breakdown. Significantly, it appears that parliament will leave the crucial and delicate task of defining same-sex consummation to the judiciary. However, when consummation is redefined, marriage and marital breakdown are themselves redefined and accordingly the meaning of marriage will be fundamentally altered for all.

Critical as it is to resolve our current difficulties over women bishops, we urge the House of Bishops, during their meeting, additionally to do all that is required to implement immediately a strategy for the preservation of marriage as it has been traditionally understood throughout history and across cultures. We look to them to mobilise the Church in England and specifically the Church of England to defend marriage.

The first priority must be for the Archbishops to invite the leaders of all Christian denominations in this country to ask the millions of Christians in this country to join together in a national day of prayer.

The Council had a fruitful discussion about options for resolving the dilemma over women bishops and continue to pray for a successful outcome to discussions in the New Year.

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Newfred
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“The Council of Reform today urged the Church of England not to focus exclusively on perpetuating misogyny, but to focus on the much more pressing and significant issue of the threat to homophobia.”

Laurence Roberts
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Laurence Roberts

Ha ha how Very Predictable !

They got in quick and seem to have nothing to contribute about famine, warfare and abuse world wide – but in they come now quick as a flash.

In the providence of the Lord, the whole WB fiasco has paved and smoothed the way for this new news, wonderfully ! Who in the British public and national media will listen to Reform now ? Their homophobic utterance so drowned out by their sexism.

They could just give being mean, for once, and ‘rejoice with them that rejoice’ !

Iain McLean
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Iain McLean

Whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad.

Sara MacVane
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Sara MacVane

On January 1 1863 (almost 100 years ago) the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect. It gave USA citizenship to black Americans whose ancestors had been brought from Africa as chattel. When President Obama’s parents married, inter-racial marriage was against the law in half of the states of the USA. In 1967(45 years ago) the supreme court decision in Loving vs Virginia eliminated racial difference as a bar to marriage in all of the states. I have never understood how anyone can hold that to increase the civil rights of some, diminishes those of others. To increase civil rights to those… Read more »

Bill Dilworth
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Bill Dilworth

“Significantly, it appears that parliament will leave the crucial and delicate task of defining same-sex consummation to the judiciary. However, when consummation is redefined, marriage and marital breakdown are themselves redefined and accordingly the meaning of marriage will be fundamentally altered for all.”

What impressive rhetorical legerdemain! Note how the statement takes “same-sex consummation” and –presto! changes it to redefinition of consummation for ALL couples.

Richard Ashby
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Richard Ashby

Did it really take them 24 hours to come up with this?

Laurence Cunnington
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Laurence Cunnington

I shall be so glad when this legislation is passed (a) so that I can marry my partner and (b) we will no longer be subjected to these nasty little Henny-Penny pronouncements.

JF
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JF

So at the moment, you have to have had full-blown heterosexual sex for adultery to count, but mere oral or anal sex don’t count as adultery? No, comrades, we must preserve the right for people to have oral and anal sex outside marriage without it counting as adultery! This will preserve the traditional understanding of marriage for the betterment of our culture. What a bizarre, weird and sex-obsessed response to gay marriage! My marriage will not be affected in any way by gay couples being allowed to be married. And anyway, isn’t this Reform, who don’t actually believe in divorce?… Read more »

Richard Ashby
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Richard Ashby

I find the obsession with the mechanics and necessity of ‘consummation’ profoundly distasteful and have to ask whether this reflects the obsession with sexual functions observed so often in those who preach and agitate against gay people and their civil rights.

The next few months are going to be really nasty as the conservative evangelicals fight their loosing battle, the looser will not be gltb people but the churches who will be tarred with their homophobia as they have been charged with misogyny after the women bishops fiasco.

peterpi - Peter Gross
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peterpi - Peter Gross

If you can’t scare ’em with women bishops, scare ’em with the thought of gay marriage. Horrors! “In law, marriage is a sexual relationship.” — REFORM statement Once again, conservatives see gay people solely in terms of genitalia. In law, marriage is far more than a sexual relationship between two people. At first, I thought REFORM was confused about the meaning of consummating a marriage, as in the old joke “the marriage was consummated at the altar”. But then I realized they did know what they were talking about. To conservative Christians: When you see women or gay people as… Read more »

Jeremy
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Jeremy

Wow. The theological illogic is matched by the strategic stupidity.

People who fail to pick their battles run the risk of losing them all.

Commentator
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Commentator

History and cultures? How many wives and what methods of divorce are they choosing, I wonder, as the norm.

Cynthia
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Cynthia

It’s always the same. Racism, misogyny, homophobia. Each one can be supported and debunked by the Bible… In the 1860’s in the US, an Episcopal priest wrote a polemic showing the Bible’s support for slavery, another Episcopal priest wrote a polemic debunking the other. While TEC was arguing theology, the Quakers were smuggling slaves out of the South to freedom via the Underground Railroad that they set up. While the CoE works out whether or not to institutionalize misogyny (and make itself irrelevant on social justice), or to support homophobia in its churches (making itself further irrelevant), the Quakers, the… Read more »

James
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James

“The Council of Reform today urged the Church of England not to focus exclusively on perpetuating misogyny, but to focus on the much more pressing and significant issue of the threat to homophobia.” Bravo/Brava! Well Said! I am ashamed to be associated with a church that makes provision for the perpetuation of this sort of blot on the Gospel.

Robert Ian Williams
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Robert Ian Williams

The Reform Covenant states…..

“The rightness of sexual intercourse in heterosexual marriage, and the wrongness of such activity both outside it and in all its homosexual forms.”

Please note how they leave out divorce and re-marriage. That is because they cannot agree what the Bible means on this!

So how can they tell gays what to do, when they have no coherent teaching for heterosexuals?

Richard Ashby
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Richard Ashby

If their proposed national day of prayer is as effective as the decade of evangelism, bring it on!