Archbishop of Wales: We ‘have evolved’ from the Bible’s teaching on divorce, why not gay ‘marriage’?
LLANDUDNO, Wales, (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Anglican Church’s “views have evolved and changed” on the nature of marriage “a subject which Jesus pronounced very clearly,” the head of the Anglican Church in Wales said this week; therefore, it can also change its teaching on homosexuality.
In an address to the governing body of the Church in Wales, Dr. Barry Morgan, the Anglican Archbishop of Wales warned of the danger of the Anglican Churches being “seen as homophobic.” Morgan said that the Church’s views “evolve and change” as it responds to the changes in the secular world.
“The State allowed the possibility of divorce and remarriage for a long time before we did as a Church. Not only do we now bless such unions, we actually remarry divorced people in our churches,” he said.
“Some people have changed their minds for example on women’s ministry and same-sex relationships when they have experienced the ministry of a woman priest in the one case, or discovered their own son or daughter to be gay in the other,” he said.
“Will we, as a Church, eventually adopt the same approach as far as same-sex relationships are concerned, as we have done about remarriage after divorce, or is gay marriage in a different category from the remarriage of divorced people?” He added that whatever the answer, he hope the Church’s “discussions can be charitable.”
There is not just one Christian viewpoint on “same-sex relationships” or “assisted dying,” he said. Instead our attitudes are shaped by upbringing, education and which texts of the Bible one prefers.
“Holy Scripture itself is far more nuanced, subtle and complex than we often realize...We cannot just quote Biblical texts on different subject matters and think that that settles an issue. It is easy to opt for prohibitions in Scripture and regard them as the word of the Lord and forget that the Bible contains stories which also convey God’s word to us.”
Jesus, he added, “had nothing to say about gay marriage” as the archbishop counseled homosexuals to be patient with regard to the Anglican Church’s attitude towards homosexuality.
The speech is being taken as encouragement by homosexual activists, who were disappointed by comments last week from Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury who said that it will be “almost impossible” for some Christians to accept “same-sex marriage.”
A Welsh homosexual political lobby group, Stonewall Cymru, said Archbishop Morgan “has been consistent in his support for LGBT equality. The discussion the Church in Wales are about to enter involves real people, real lives. We know that it will be followed intensely by many same-sex couples in Wales, their families, friends and communities.”
Archbishop Justin Welby warned that Christians in Africa would suffer “abuse” and “hatred” if they were to accept homosexual unions. He said that the Church has done “great harm” to homosexual groups “in this country and around the world.”
Last year, the Church of England, in the face of impending “gay marriage” legislation, voted not to allow same-sex “marriage” ceremonies.
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“We must both respond to what we’ve done in the past and listen to those voices extremely carefully. Listen with love and compassion and sorrow. And do what is possible to be done, which is not always a huge amount,” Welby said.
But he added that African Christians would face violent repercussions should the Anglican Church universally accept homosexual partnerings. “Why can't we just do it now? Because the impact of that on Christians in countries far from here, like South Sudan, like Pakistan, Nigeria and other places, would be absolutely catastrophic, and we have to love them as much as we love the people who are here.”
“I’ve stood by a graveside in Africa of a group of Christians who’d been attacked because of something that had happened far, far away in America,” he said. “That burns itself into your soul, as does the suffering of gay people in this country.”
Welby’s comments followed a scathing attack on Western Anglicans by Nigerian Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, who said the Pilling Report, a Church of England proposal to accept homosexuality could never apply to Nigerian Anglicans.
Okoh said nothing about possible repercussions from Islamic militants, which is an ongoing threat in Nigeria, but strongly asserted that the Church of Nigeria will continue to adhere to the Biblical moral injunctions against disordered sexual practices. He reaffirmed that marriage can only be a lifelong union between one man and one woman.
The Pilling Report, and a subsequent letter from Welby and the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, praising the “ministry” of homosexual clergy, “is not and will not be applicable in Nigeria,” Okoh said in February.
“Our understanding is that it is not Christianity; it is a new colonial philosophy at work,” Okoh said. “We must further say that the position of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Church of England House of Bishops has increased the difficulties in the relationship between that Church and ours. We call on all African Church leaders to reject the letter and to lead their people without any foreign moral imposition.”
On March 30, the Anglican Archbishop of Kenya warned his flock against the incursions of the Western homosexual lobby, which he said attacks marriage and human identity as male and female, made in the image and likeness of God. At All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi, Archbishop Eliud Wabukala spoke against laws passed in England legalizing same sex “marriage” calling them “a profound rejection of the law of God,” that “strike at the heart of family life.”
Archbishop Wabukala said marriage is under attack from outside the nation and within the nation. “From outside, we are being pressed by the West, and even parts of the Anglican Communion, into treating homosexuality as a human right, but this is to cheapen rights so that they become a demand that we tolerate individual preferences that are destructive of our moral fabric.
“We must be vigilant for the future of our nation, so that our children may grow up in the fear of the Lord in loving, godly and caring families where they are protected from moral confusion and able to build their lives on the solid foundation of God’s Word,” he said.
Wabukala joined Okoh in reiterating the teaching of Christ that marriage is the lifelong union of one man with one woman for the raising of children. “We have no other position than the teaching of the Bible,” he said.
“In his teaching about marriage, Jesus reaffirms that marriage is the coming together of a man and a woman in accordance with the pattern of creation itself when he says ‘from the beginning of creation God made them male and female,’” he added. “For the health and well being of both church and society we must promote this great God given gift of marriage without compromise and ambiguity.”