Archbishop Justin Welby has told The Guardian: ‘I think the Church has reacted by fully accepting that same-sex marriage is the law, and should react on Saturday by continuing to demonstrate in word and action, the love of Christ for every human being.” He added on this morning’s Sunday programme that the government was “perfectly within its rights to make this law.”
Two things then.
First, we know that Christians should continue to demonstrate the love of Christ for everyone. Welby’s words are just cliche, cant and touchy-feeliness. Secondly, while we might agree with him that the government was within its rights to pass this law, does this entail that Christians must accept it? Whatever happened to the Scheltrede and the Drowert – the prophetic word of judgement? Marriage is a Christian Sacrament instituted of God in the time of man’s innocency for, among other things, the procreation of children and the avoidance of fornication. Neither of these two things is possible in same-sex “marriage.” A same-sex “marriage” is not a marriage. The Book of Common Prayer directs us to the second chapter of St John’s gospel which tells how Christ “ordained and beautified with his presence” the wedding at Cana. In The Book of Revelation, Christ is the Bridegroom and the Church is his Bride. Thus the Sacrament of marriage – which includes the definition of marriage – belongs to the Church. And the Church says it is between a man and a woman.
This is not to say that there are no other forms of personal and sexual relationships. But whatever they are, they are not marriage. It follows that anyone who declares marriage to be something other than what the Church celebrates and defines thereby desecrates the Sacrament
And it is the duty of the Archbishop to say so.
Christians in New Testament times suffered persecution rather than conform to pagan laws. Christians have been ready to die for the faith throughout the 2000 years of the Church’s history. The Archbishop seems to depart from this model when he announces an accommodation with this new example of sacrilege.
In The Book of Daniel and in the gospels there are the prophecies concerning the Abomination of Desolation – the desolating sacrilege – being set up in the holy place. The new law is just that and nothing else.
The Archbishop’s accommodation merits a little verse:
After lunch at The Athenaeum
He may convene an ecumenical commission
For the late repudiation of Original Sin.
Even at three in the afternoon
Among the members of that yawning Babel
He is much respected for his subtle mind:
An eminent man of tolerant religion,
Of flexible principle and estimable pragmatism,
Unrestricted by the petty syllogism and
As easy in agreement as St Janus himself.