Thinking Anglicans

Church Pastoral Aid Society announces its sexuality policy

The Church Pastoral Aid Society is an evangelical mission agency which amongst other things is a major provider of training courses and a significant holder of patronage within the Church of England.. See these Wikipedia pages for more background on the CPAS and on Patronage in the Church of England.

In relation to the recently commended Prayers of Love and Faith, CPAS has issued the following:

The CPAS trustees are listed here.

The second of these two documents is attracting considerable criticism. For example

MOSAIC Cof E has posted on X:

Inclusive Parishes with CPAS as their patrons may not be aware of this change in their position on sexuality.  Parishes may want to ask CPAS why this change was made without them being consulted or informed and how this will affect future appointments

The document in full:

CPAS trustees have endorsed the Evangelical Alliance’s affirmations on human sexuality.

We are conscious that different evangelicals might apply some of these points in different ways, but we believe that, taken together, they reflect an authentic, mainstream evangelical response to human sexuality in general and sexually active same-sex partnerships in particular:

1. We recognise that all of us are sinners, and that the only true hope for sinful people – whatever our sexuality – is in Jesus Christ. Our earnest prayer is that his love, truth and grace would characterise evangelical responses to debates on homosexuality, both now and in future

2. We affirm God’s love and concern for all human beings, whatever their sexuality, and so repudiate all attitudes and actions which victimise or diminish people whose affections are directed towards people of the same sex. We are encouraged many Christians now recognise and deeply regret the hurt caused by past and present failures in their responses to those who experience same-sex attraction.

3. We affirm that marriage is an institution created by God in which one man and one woman enter into an exclusive relationship for life. Marriage is the only form of partnership approved by God for sexual relations and homoerotic sexual practice is incompatible with his will as revealed in Scripture. We do not accept that holding these theological and ethical views on biblical grounds is in itself homophobic.

4. We encourage evangelical congregations to be communities of grace in which those who experience same-sex attraction and seek to live faithfully in accordance with biblical teaching are welcomed and affirmed. Such Christians need churches which are safe spaces where they are able to share and explore their stories with fellow believers for mutual encouragement and support as we help each other grow together into maturity in Christ.

5. We oppose moves within certain churches to accept and/or endorse sexually active same-sex partnerships as a legitimate form of Christian relationship and to permit the ordination to ministry of those in such sexual relationships. We stand prayerfully with those in such churches who are seeking to resist these moves on biblical grounds.

6. We oppose church services of blessing for civil partnerships and other forms of gay and lesbian relationships as unbiblical, and reject any redefinition of marriage to encompass same-sex relationships.

7. We commend and encourage all those who experience same-sex attraction and have committed themselves to chastity by refraining from homoerotic sexual practise. We believe they should be eligible for ordination and leadership within the church, recognising that they can bring invaluable insights and experience to the sphere of Christian pastoral ministry.

8. We welcome and support the work of those individuals and organisations who responsibly seek to help Christians who experience same-sex attraction as in conflict with their commitment to live in accordance with biblical teaching. This help will involve counsel and pastoral support to live a chaste life and, as part of this process, some may seek and experience changes in the strength or direction of their same-sex attractions.

9. We believe both habitual homoerotic sexual activity without repentance and public promotion of such activity are inconsistent with faithful church membership. While processes of membership and discipline differ from one church context to another, we believe that either of these behaviours warrants consideration for church discipline.

10. We encourage evangelical congregations to welcome and accept sexually active lesbians and gay men. However, they should do so in the expectation that they, like all of us who are living outside God’s purposes, will come in due course to see the need to be transformed and live in accordance with biblical revelation and orthodox church teaching. We urge gentleness, patience and ongoing pastoral care during this process and after a person renounces same-sex sexual relations.

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peterpi - Peter Gross
peterpi - Peter Gross
1 month ago

“they [the CPAS points on human sexuality] reflect an authentic, mainstream evangelical response to human sexuality in general and sexually active same-sex partnerships in particular: 1. We recognise that all of us are sinners,… ” — CPAS statement on human sexuality ** very long sigh ** To quote American baseball player Yogi Berra, “it’s déjà vu all over again”. In 2004, US president George Bush, jr, running for re-election, was asked at a news conference about his views on same-sex civil marriage, and his very first response was to say, “all of us are sinners before God” before saying he… Read more »

Rev Colin C Coward
1 month ago

The theological, ethical and moral positions taken by the CPAS Affirmations of Sexuality claim to be Biblical. They affirm God’s love and concern for all human beings, whatever their sexuality, and so repudiate all attitudes and actions which victimise or diminish people whose affections are directed towards people of the same sex. They do not accept that holding these theological and ethical views on biblical grounds is in itself homophobic. This is disingenuous and dishonest. Friends in CPAS, your Biblical theology is homophobic and prejudiced and abusive of LGBTQIA+ people in church and society. I do not recognise your theology… Read more »

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  Rev Colin C Coward
1 month ago

“I do not recognise your theology as Christian – Biblical maybe, but not Christian – not all Biblical theology is Christian”.

Colin – Thank you. That needed saying.

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
Reply to  Simon Dawson
1 month ago

An intelligent and reflective hermeneutic would not necessitate a separation of the two.

John Davies
John Davies
Reply to  Rev Colin C Coward
1 month ago

Colin – have the CPAS really thought this through to its logical conclusion? What they are insisting on seems to be a literal rendering of certain verses in Romans, 1 Corninthians and elsewhere which condemn same sex relationships. As several people have already pointed out, Jesus never actually said anything about that. But in Matthew he was pretty clear that whoever married a divorced woman (with one proviso) committed adultery. He also said that anyone who looks on a pretty girl and fancies a romp commits adultery. And adulterers are booked for the furnace shift. Now as I understand Galatians,… Read more »

peterpi - Peter Gross
peterpi - Peter Gross
Reply to  John Davies
1 month ago

Mr. Davies, Thank you. There are times when I read some statement by some conservative Christians that they seem even more Pharisaical than the caricature of the Pharisees in the Gospels (written at a time when Christianity and Judaism were separating and it was an acrimonious divorce). Of the four main Jewish traditions or denominations in Judaea at the time of Jesus of Nazareth’s life and ministry — Pharisee, Sadducee, Essene, and Zealot — Jesus more closely identified with the Pharisee tradition, in my opinion. Jesus didn’t condemn the idea behind Pharisaism, but he condemned those who were hypocritical in… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by peterpi - Peter Gross
John Davies
John Davies
Reply to  peterpi - Peter Gross
1 month ago

Peter, just call me John. Ceremony, formality and I are mutally incompatible. Thanks for confirming my understanding of Jesus and the Pharisees. And, as I’ve said before, I value your insights. We seem to share a lot of outlooks in common.

Richenda
Richenda
Reply to  John Davies
1 month ago

Thank you for your thoughts John. I too am divorced and in a second marriage to someone (a man) who has also been divorced. And I was more than a little upset by point 3 in the declaration, especially as I had talked with trusted Christians after my first marriage failed and had been assured that I would be permitted a second chance. This second marriage has I think been a source of blessing and healing for us both. At the same time, I have met much more conservative couples who have been able to square this particular circle as… Read more »

peterpi - Peter Gross
peterpi - Peter Gross
Reply to  Rev Colin C Coward
1 month ago

Thank you, Rev. Coward, for your statement

AnneEyre
AnneEyre
Reply to  Rev Colin C Coward
1 month ago

Thank you. I have been a confirmed Anglican for 72 years. I was so passionate at 9 that I had special permission to be confirmed so young. I Rremain passionate about faith in God the Trinity , in Jesus as revelation to us, in the Holy Spirit as indwelling of a loving, merciful God. When asked about salvation, Jesus replaced the 10 commandments with simple instruction to love the Lord our God and our neighbour as ourself. When asked who was our neighbour, Jesus told a story that spelt out that it was a person outside. Those obeying the “rules”… Read more »

John Bunyan
John Bunyan
Reply to  AnneEyre
1 month ago

Jesus, as a practising Jew, did not replace the Ten Commandments and he has a notable reference I think to the last six and I believe he would have sought to obey them all. (For me, Geza Vermes in his many books is my best guide to the historic Jesus as far as we go. From what we know of his teaching I think he was certainly not a liberal protestant )

Simon Bravery
Simon Bravery
1 month ago

St Luke’s West Holloway asked for a new patron because CPAS would not appoint an incumbent who shared the congregation’s (or a substantial proportion of the congregation’s views.

Jeremy Pemberton
Jeremy Pemberton
1 month ago

The more I look at the CPAS Affirmations on Sexuality the worse they get. I can see them giving license to all kinds of people who take a lead from these people to pressurise, marginalise, stigmatise and ghettoise LGBT+ people who find themselves unfortunate enough to belong to a church where this material is taken seriously. Of course, because CPAS say so, all that behaviour is classed as ‘pastoral’, and ‘patient’, whether it is or not, and those doing these things will be able to console themselves with the thought that what they are doing is ‘faithful’ and ‘not homophobic’.… Read more »

Realist
Realist
1 month ago

This is an extremely concerning development, given the position of CPAS as both Patron, and provider of training – including in quite a few theological colleges. There’s another potential concern that may or may not turn out to be an issue. One of the recently appointed staff at CPAS, who has previously worked for them in a different role alongside parish ministry, is married to the new Director of Ministry for the C of E. I have friends and colleagues who know both of them, and speak very highly of them, not least of their ability to work with and… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Realist
Simon L
Simon L
1 month ago

I read with some dismay the initial comments on TA criticising the CPAS statement and affirmations. As soon as we start saying that such and such a view is unChristian we are I think in very dangerous territory. I prefer the term ‘valid though not aligning with my understanding of the bible/church teaching’ to describe theological positions not aligned to one’s own. For example, I have always supported women’s ordination at all levels so disagree with those taking contrary stances, but nonetheless see them as fellow Christians with a valued place in the CofE. Ditto with ministers who refuse to… Read more »

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Simon L
1 month ago

Homophobia, like racism, speaks to character and indeed to Godliness. Now, if someone is able to manage these flaws then they shouldn’t in themselves be a barrier, but when they’re celebrated and declared as normative such people represent a danger to the targets of their prejudice.

Simon L
Simon L
Reply to  Jo B
1 month ago

Interesting point Jo. Well so much depends on how one defines homophobic. Is it fundamentally homophobic and unChristian to oppose SSM? By some valid definitions from a progressive position then clearly yes. By other valid tokens then no. My point is really, that I see both sides of the argument as being valid and compromise within existing structures will only prolong the agony. If we use the language of matrimony, then separation not divorce is sadly the only way ahead if the CofE is going to have any chance of weather this particular theological, cultural and pastoral maelstrom in a… Read more »

Geoff McL.
Geoff McL.
Reply to  Simon L
1 month ago

I’m sure that not all LGBT people would consider opposition to same-gender marriage homophobic in itself. Indeed for some activists, especially of a certain age, marriage is necessarily a capitulation to the hetero majority, which should be resisted rather than fought for.

But I suspect that view has become distinctly marginal at least in “western” countries, and I don’t think any blanket opposition to same-gender marriages, especially if it also extends to other conjugal relationships, could be excluded from any sufficiently broad-based definition of homophobia, not least if rooted in an appeal to religious scripture.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Simon L
1 month ago

Simon, I agree. I deplore the CPAS statement with its intolerance and homophobia, and its thinly veiled threats of conversion therapy and church discipline. Nevertheless, it’s not fair to denounce them as not Christian, when they are pursuing a line which would have been recognised as Christian by most Christians any time these last 2000 years.

However sharply we differ from others, and however passionately we argue our cause, we shouldn’t unchurch them. No good will come of it.

Tim Chesterton
1 month ago

Imagine this: “We encourage evangelical congregations to welcome and accept people who make their living by lending money at interest. However, they should do so in the expectation that they, like all of us who are living outside God’s purposes, will come in due course to see the need to be transformed and live in accordance with biblical revelation and orthodox church teaching. We urge gentleness, patience and ongoing pastoral care during this process and after a person renounces their investment banking career.” And if they don’t repent? “While processes of membership and discipline differ from one church context to another,… Read more »

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
1 month ago

Well said Tim! I would go further and bring in those sinners who have money deposited with banks, building societies and in the UK, NS&I. Premium Bonds which are widely held in the UK are particularly sinful as the holders are gambling with their notional rate of interest. In a deanery chapter meeting I invited a colleague who was spouting homophobic nonsense to divest himself of all his garments that were made of mixed fibres. I hastily changed my mind once we had established that he would have been sat there in the buff. It goes without saying that I… Read more »

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
Reply to  Fr Dean
1 month ago

The reaction of the Church of England to the introduction of Premium Bonds would make a good undergraduate dissertation. I remember the bishop of Rochester ( Dr C Chavasse) fulminating about the immorality of it. And an archdeacon saying to a friend of mine, ” Well the C of E better take its money off the Stock Exchange then”

Charles Read
Charles Read
1 month ago

This development is indeed very worrying and i know there have already been one or two people resigning from being trainers with CPAS. CPAS patronage parishes which affirm same sex partnerships may well ask about changing patrons – I suspect this is nightmarishly hard and I’d be interested to see some expert advice here about how it can be done. Some parishes will stop their charitable giving to CPAS (ironic I know…). Some dioceses and TEIs will no doubt no longer invite CPAS to provide training.All of this because CPAS could have taken the line that they would support any… Read more »

Fr Dexter Bracey
Fr Dexter Bracey
Reply to  Charles Read
1 month ago

My understanding is that patronage is legally a property right. If that is the case, then I don’t see how a parish can change its patron.

If dioceses were to cease inviting CPAS to run courses that would be no bad thing. I attended one in my last diocese and it was awful.

John Davies
John Davies
Reply to  Fr Dexter Bracey
1 month ago

Vague memory of church history here – in Victorian times the CPAS bought up patronages which fell vacant, to ensure an evangelical presence in the CofE. I don’t know anything much about patronage, but believe you’re right, Father. Wasn’t this the cause of the great schism in the Church of Scotland around that time?

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  John Davies
1 month ago

With respect to the Church of Scotland, the issue of patronage was indeed the proximate cause of the ‘Ten Years’ Crisis’ (1834-43) and the ensuing Great Disruption (1843). However, this had been brewing for generations. Patronage had been abolished in 1690: the terms of that legislation gave heritors (landowners paying teinds [i.e., tithe]) and elders the right to present candidates, but it also gave congregations the right to endorse the presentation. Patronage was restored (controversially) in 1711, and persisted because, until 1834, the ‘Moderate’ party in the Kirk controlled the General Assembly. Under the Moderate regime the 1690-1711 right of… Read more »

Simon Kershaw
Reply to  Froghole
1 month ago

That patronage in the Church of England should be reformed, I would agree. But what should it be replaced with? Congregationalism? Episcopal dictat? Patronage committees?

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
1 month ago

Well in Ireland there are boards of nomination, and in Wales it is episcopal dictat. For me, a board of nomination (perhaps a national board) would be preferable, as my vision for bishops is that they should only be pastors to the pastors, and should be stripped of all, or almost all, administrative functions and powers. However, I do think that the 18th century Kirk had it right when prospective clergy were required to preach to, and meet with, the applicable congregation by way of a taster, and the congregation had a final veto. Unfortunately, I have seen too many… Read more »

James H
James H
Reply to  Froghole
1 month ago

I retired from Church in Wales ministry two years ago but my experience of appointments in it were a long way from Froghole’s assertion of “episcopal diktat”. That is, at best, an oversimplification.

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
1 month ago

i don’t know how it’s done in other provinces of the Communion, but my former parish has just begun the search process for a new rector. It goes like this: The Vestry appoints a Search Committee. The SC talks with the congregation, creates a parish profile, and forwards it to the bishop. The bishop advertises the parish profile, receives applications, vets them (mainly regarding safeguarding issues), and forwards them to the Search Committee. The SC chooses which candidates it wants to interview, does the interviews, and then chooses its preferred candidate and informs the bishop of its choice. The bishop… Read more »

dr.primrose
dr.primrose
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
1 month ago

In TEC, there are probably differences from diocese to diocese but they’re similar to what you outlined as the Canadian practice. In our diocese, the parish profile is prepared by the search committee but is then approved by the vestry before it is sent to the diocese. There’s a diocesan office that handles deployment on behalf of the bishop. That office does the vetting and then forwards a number of names back to the search committee, which does the work you indicated. After doing the initial interviews, the search committee then forwards (generally) two or three finalists to the vestry.… Read more »

Charles Read
Charles Read
Reply to  Fr Dexter Bracey
1 month ago

Yes indeed- patronage is property and can be bought, sold and given away (and bequeathed). Our patrons recently passed the patronage of our church to CPAS. Passing patronage on is no problem but I do not see how a church can change patrons as initiated by the church itself. I’d be interested to hear how St Luke’s West Holloway got on!

Peter Owen
Admin
Reply to  Charles Read
1 month ago

Patronage can no longer be bought and sold. See section 3 of the Patronage (Benefices) Measure 1986.

Charles Read
Charles Read
Reply to  Peter Owen
1 month ago

Shame. I was looking for investment opportunities.

Simon Bravery
Simon Bravery
Reply to  Charles Read
1 month ago

https://religionmediacentre.org.uk/news/liberal-church-wants-split-from-patron-over-differences-towards-sexuality/

There was some talk of a swap but I don’t know if it came to anything. They are in a vacancy again so it could be a case of deja vu all over again!

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  Charles Read
1 month ago

This is how the Church Times reported on the matter at the time: St Luke’s clashed with the CPAS in 2018 over the appointment of a new incumbent. Two rounds of interviews ended in an impasse when the patron and the PCC electoral representatives were not prepared to shortlist the other’s candidates. The parish believed that nothing would be gained by going for a third round. After a year passed and the patron had failed to present a candidate, the right of presentation lapsed and passed to the diocesan bishop. The Bishop of Willesden, the Rt Revd Pete Broadbent, conducted… Read more »

Simon Kershaw
Reply to  Anthony Archer
1 month ago

Ah, not a change in patronage, but the inability of the patron to present a candidate acceptable to the two parochial representatives. The patron will get another go next time.

Of course this is one of the ways to frustrate the patronage system — for the parish reps to exercise their veto, in which case patronage falls to the bishop, and if thy fail to get past the reps, to the archbishop.

Jonathan Chaplin
Jonathan Chaplin
Reply to  Charles Read
1 month ago

Our parish extricated itself from CPAS patronage a couple of years ago without too much difficulty, ahead of a new appointment process. If there is a strong and united desire in the leadership and congregation for that, it’ll be hard for CPAS to insist on retaining it.

Shamus
Shamus
Reply to  Jonathan Chaplin
1 month ago

At least once an incumbent is appointed, then he/she can ignore the patron. That’s what I did with CPAS. They have become more active in recent years in trying to engage with their parishes where they are patron. Before that I hardly ever heard from them, which was preferable.

Jonathan Chaplin
Jonathan Chaplin
Reply to  Charles Read
1 month ago

Of course, the whole patronage system is in need of complete overhaul. But that’s another story.

Barrie McKenzie
Barrie McKenzie
Reply to  Jonathan Chaplin
1 month ago

The system of having patrons is more needed now than at any other time in the CofE. Anything that dilutes corrupt Episcopal power and their insatiable desire to control and centralise is a good thing in my book. Mr Coward’s remarks on the Bible I’m afraid are a classic example of liberal heresy. To chop up bits of the Bible and say you believe this or that because Jesus said it, but not this bit because Paul said it, is to deny that all scripture is ultimately Spirit breathed and that therefore we can ignore the parts we don’t like… Read more »

Mark
1 month ago

Colin Coward is quite right to point out in his comments that bibliolatry is not the same as Christianity. The religion these people are peddling has little to do with Christianity, and nothing at all to do with historic Anglicanism, which has always been a place for the broad-minded and tolerant, the intellectually respectable, and those casting their nets widely by connecting across society. That is our strength, our niche in the market: if you want to be a witch-hunter or a Pharisee, well, other, narrower, denominations are available. It’s sad to see a noble ecclesiastical tradition, our wonderful Anglican… Read more »

Susanna ( no ‘h’)
Susanna ( no ‘h’)
Reply to  Mark
1 month ago

The CPAS statements being quoted above come across as so oppressive- and repressive- they seem to belong to another era and it is impossible to see any good coming from the situation as Mark says. The wholly understandable anxiety generated over this thread has also eclipsed attempts two topics ago to consider the role of Secretary General in light of the Wilkinson report into the sudden disbanding of the ‘Independent Safeguarding’ body. This is unfortunate because consideration of the power and financial reward given to the current postholder must surely also have bearing on the positions being assumed in respect… Read more »

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Mark
1 month ago

‘…historic Anglicanism, which has always been a place for the broad-minded and tolerant…’

This is a rather romantic view of Anglican history. I’m not sure I see William Laud, for example, in quite those terms.

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
1 month ago

I stopped donating to CPAS during the Dunnett era. It will cease to have influence. It will be unable to replace its Royal Patron, and no longer has a serving diocesan bishop on its trustee board. The only former diocesan as President or Vice-President is the Dean of Windsor. Shame really as it used to resource the whole evangelical community.

John Darch
John Darch
1 month ago

In the past CPAS wisely kept out of evangelical disputes, maintaining its influence and respect across the evangelical spectrum. Now, like CEEC before it, it has thrown in its lot with the conservatives who only admit of one interpretation of Scripture on same-sex relationships. Like CEEC it has abandoned its wider influence to become a partisan organization for the inceasngly strident conservative fringe. Only time will tell the wisdom of this ill-considered move.

Paul
Paul
Reply to  John Darch
1 month ago

Let’s be honest: ThinkingAnglicans will not be happy with anyone who chooses to sit this out – silence in the face of evil is complicity with evil. One side or the other is engaging in monstrous evil: either driving LGB people away from Jesus by their crazy phobias OR assuring them they are at peace with God when they are not. This is a much bigger issue than other church debates – one side is doing eternal damage. You can’t sit this one out. My own impression is that CPAS are simply reiterating the position of the vast majority of… Read more »

Charles Read
Charles Read
Reply to  Paul
1 month ago

I’d hardly call IE strident! You should see some of the comments we receive from some of the conservative (self-appointed) spokespeople! It is also debateable whether ‘inclusive’ evangelicals are such a small minority as you imply!

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Paul
1 month ago

I agree that this is an important issue, but not a ‘much bigger issue than other church debates’. Misogyny, racism, abuse and re-abuse of survivors are equally important and at least equally capable of ‘doing eternal damage’. Some would add debates on the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection, and Penal Substitutionary Atonement to the list.

Paul
Paul
Reply to  Janet Fife
1 month ago

Apologies for my lack of clarity – I agree that all of those things are of deep significance. I did not mean that this issue is much bigger than *all* other church debates; rather I meant that it is much bigger than *many* other issues.

I find it confusing that some seem to say that this is a deeply important issue, but that organisations like CPAS should take no view on it.

I don’t understand that argument.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Paul
1 month ago

Thanks for the clarification, Paul. The argument for CPAS not taking a stand re LGBT+ issues would be that there is legitimate difference between evangelical Christians as to interpretation of the relevant Bible texts. For evangelicals everything depends on what the Bible teaches – in theory at least. As Tim Chesterton and others have pointed out, we are all selective in what Bible texts we pay attention to: there is much more in the Bible about usury; looking after immigrants, widows, and orphans; and the wrongs of eating a bloody steak than there is about homosexuality. I suspect CPAS will… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Janet Fife
1 month ago

Thank you for mentioning usury, where I note that there are about 15 references in the OT (by way of admonition) and two in the NT (which appear to indicate that it remained common practice). The issue was of great interest to scholastic (especially Spanish scholastic) theologians, and perhaps because of that provoked a reaction by reformers (notably Calvin: https://web.mit.edu/aorlando/www/SaintJohnCHII/CalvinUsury.pdf), who felt that OT thinking was no longer appropriate. However, the more liberal approach of Geneva did not gain traction in England, at least definitively, until the first half of the 19th century, although the usury laws gradually became almost… Read more »

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Froghole
1 month ago

There are a number of references in the NT, including several of Jesus’ sayings recorded in the Gospels, criticising those who charge interest when making loans and praising those who don’t. This is far more, and far clearer, than what the NT says about homosexuality.

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  Froghole
1 month ago

When it comes to the study of same-sex sex within same-sex relationships in historical times, one has to accept of course that in the vast majority of cases the evidence is simply not there to make any conclusive case. Those of us on the pro-LGBT+ side of the argument will of course say that in many of these cases, but by no means all, there was a physical sexual element. Those on the other side of the argument will say that these were simply deep friendships and the physical sexual element was absent, either due to lack of desire, or… Read more »

Charles Read
Charles Read
Reply to  Simon Sarmiento
1 month ago

I suspect complaints have come in! I wonder who signed the statement off and if the trustees agreed it? Enquiring minds want to know…

Anglican in Exile
Anglican in Exile
Reply to  Charles Read
1 month ago

The CPAS statements certainly don’t sit very comfortably with the the Chair of Trustees’ biog celebrating the fact that she is the ‘Champion Bishop’ for more diversity in the Church of England!

Lorenzo Fernandez-Smal
Lorenzo Fernandez-Smal
Reply to  Simon Sarmiento
1 month ago

Maybe their legal people pointed out that declaring one’s support for conversion therapies in all but name is unwise. I simply won’t believe evangelical organisations when they tell us this does not happen any longer.

Kate Keates
Kate Keates
Reply to  Simon Sarmiento
1 month ago

So far as I am aware they also never posted it to their X account.

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  Simon Sarmiento
1 month ago

There is now this addendum to the original statement, which has been uploaded again:

[08.01.24] For the avoidance of any doubt, CPAS is opposed to any form of conversion therapy. In response to concerns, we have removed reference to the Evangelical Alliance document referred to as ‘Affirmations of human sexuality’ whilst we work further to express the CPAS position more clearly.

Last edited 1 month ago by Anthony Archer
Lorenzo Fernandez-Smal
Lorenzo Fernandez-Smal
Reply to  Anthony Archer
1 month ago

Bingo!

Lorenzo Fernandez-Smal
Lorenzo Fernandez-Smal
1 month ago

They’re flirting with illegality here: “We support the work of those individuals and organisations who responsibly seek to help Christians who experience same-sex attraction as in conflict with their commitment to live in accordance with biblical teaching. This help will involve counsel and pastoral support … as part of this process, some may seek and experience changes in the strength or direction of their same-sex attractions.”



Alwyn Hall
Alwyn Hall
Reply to  Lorenzo Fernandez-Smal
1 month ago

The statement in the first link above has been amended to state that CPAS does not support conversion therapy and to remove the link to the EA’s document.

Revmel
Revmel
1 month ago

It’s very noticeable that CPAS have taken the Evangelical Alliance statement and copied word for word

Steve Tilley
Steve Tilley
1 month ago

I worked for CYFA at CPAS 1992-2002. At that time it was regularly emphasised that CPAS existed to serve the C of E and had no separate campaigning agenda or policy. Notwithstanding the Society’s pull-back from supporting week by week youth work, I couldn’t work there now as it seems to be supporting a thinner and thinner tranche of church life based on sexuality issues alone

T Pott
T Pott
1 month ago

The Rector of Wallasey, Thomas Byrth, was involved in the founding of the Evangelical Alliance in the 1840s. He opposed aspects of the draft Statement of Faith with which he strongly agreed. He also opposed statements against American slavery, for Sunday Observance and against Roman Catholicism. With the possible exception of the latter he strongly agreed with everything he opposed. The reason he opposed these statements was because every time they did this they lost support and he, like the King of Prussia, wanted the Evangelical Alliance to be as inclusive as possible. (With regard to the latter, he actually… Read more »

Kate Keates
Kate Keates
1 month ago

We are in strange territory. If CPAS insist they are not homophobic then obviously they can’t believe that same sex relationships are morally wrong, despite believing that they are sinful.

One of the rainbow
One of the rainbow
1 month ago

I commend this statement and whilst I recognise that it may seem to some as homophobic, personally do not believe it to be so. With love to one and all in Christ. No matter theological understanding or perception. All have fallen short of the glory of God. Each and every one. And yet each and every one is beloved of God and called to costly discipleship in each and every way. Each one of us is accountable to God and God alone. But we are called to be irons sharpening each other. One and all. On each and every perspective… Read more »

Kate Keates
Kate Keates
Reply to  One of the rainbow
1 month ago

Could you explain why you don’t see it as homophobic? It seems that LGBT Christians are being singled out disproportionately compared with those for instance who remarry after divorce, have lustful thoughts about a woman before marriage (including their fiancee), those women who speak in church etc.

Peter Reiss
Peter Reiss
1 month ago

There is a much longer history of Anglican evangelical tension – the desire to stay within the church and influence, or the call to be more separate. There is a link here to an article which traces this back to the 1980s and which is part of a muchbigger set of articles tracking and tracing the Evangelical Anglican Way” from pre-Reformation. It reminds us of the splits within evangelicalism as well as the divides from the wider C of E. In some ways it is already out of date or has been overtaken by events, but it gives a useful… Read more »

Tim Evans
Tim Evans
Reply to  Peter Reiss
1 month ago

Thanks for the link to this fascinating article, Peter. The range of topics which the evangelical constituency can split over is remarkable: authority, scripture, atonement, ethics, ecclesiology, sacraments, ministry, charismatic gifts, male headship, to mention just the first ones that come to mind. And historically some have continued to be significant in the long term and others not, but there’s no certain way to tell which is which when the debate is raging. In 100 years will the current fault lines still be divisive or will they have become irrelevant to be replaced by others? I’ m reminded of the… Read more »

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
Reply to  Tim Evans
1 month ago

Or in the C of E ( though they never led to an actual split just acrimony) the use of the Athanasian Creed, the eternity of Hell, marrying deceased wife’s sister, contraception, re-marriage after divorce……… disagreement seems part of institutional church life, I suppose as you will always in a church of any size have a middle, a left and a right.

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