Evangelical Anglicans Warn Bishops Of ‘Fundamental Disunity’ If Church Changes Teaching On Gay Relationships

The letter was sent to every bishop including the Archbishop of Canterbury recently as they consider whether to introduce some form of acceptance or blessing for gay couples.

The signatories include major church leaders as well as heads of Anglican networks and some of the Church’s largest theological colleges. Any shift in teaching that sex should only be within marriage between one man and one woman would “cause a break not only with the majority of the Anglican Communion, but with the consistent mind of the worldwide Church down many centuries,” they warn.

 

Nearly a hundred evangelical leaders have written to Church of England bishops warning that any change in teaching or practice over same-sex relationships would cause “fundamental disunity”.

The letter was sent to every bishop including the Archbishop of Canterbury on Tuesday as they consider whether to introduce some form of acceptance or blessing for gay couples. It warns the smallest change would “trigger a process of division and fragmentation among faithful Anglicans”.

The signatories include major church leaders as well as heads of Anglican networks and some of the Church’s largest theological colleges. Any shift in teaching that sex should only be within marriage between one man and one woman would “cause a break not only with the majority of the Anglican Communion, but with the consistent mind of the worldwide Church down many centuries,” they warn.

“Responses would vary, but the consequences for the life and mission of the Church will be far-reaching, both nationally and globally.”

Beneath the question of same-sex relationships were deeper “tectonic issues” including the authority of the Bible, the Church’s “apostolic inheritance” and how it relates to wider culture, the letter said.

“Any change in the Church’s teaching or practice – such as the introduction of provisions that celebrate or bless sexual relationships outside of a marriage between one man and one woman – would represent a significant departure from our apostolic inheritance and the authority of the Bible in matters of faith and doctrine,” the letter read.

“It would also, inevitably, be a further step on a trajectory towards the full acceptance of same-sex sexual partnerships as equivalent to male-female marriage.”

The 88 signatories include representatives from four major Anglican theological colleges, which train new vicars for the Church. Although signing in a “purely personal capacity” the figures cover Wycliffe Hall, St Mellitus College, St John’s School of Mission and Oak Hill College.

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