Last week, the Archbishop was heavily featured in the papers. I thought it would be helpful to print an excerpt of his reply:
Many in society think that I should “update the faith” rather than “guard the faith”. But that is not up to me or, may I say, up to any bishop of the church of God. The Bible tells us that Jesus is the author and perfector of our faith. We are not at liberty to change what he said, drop out bits that don’t suit us, or mould Jesus into what we would like him to be. When Christians in the first century, who had the person of Jesus in living memory, first started to speak, they were met with a mixture of disbelief, suspicion and violent opposition. Yet they persevered, despite the pressure to reshape Jesus into a more appealing image …
When I stated publicly that God defines marriage as an exclusive and permanent union between a man and a woman, I was merely restating what God has said and Jesus has affirmed. Everyone is free to believe what Jesus said or not. Everyone, that is, apart from me or any bishop because all bishops promise to teach nothing but what may be found in the Bible. When I said ‘Please, leave us’, my words were directed at bishops of the church, and those who wish to change our doctrine, and I stand by those words. The words were not directed at members of our congregations, especially those who identify as gay, whether single or married. It is regrettable that some have misrepresented my words, whether intentionally or unintentionally. In our churches, people are being nurtured in community. Some may have only recently come to know of Jesus or may be struggling, as we all do at times, in following his ways. We must be careful not to over-reach or under-value either Jesus’ compassion or his commands. Yet for we who wish to follow Christ, commit themselves to him in faith and obedience, then it is his teaching we must seek to follow.
This is why I stand where I stand.
Loves Jesus and loves telling people about Him.