Group of judgmental clergy
The Church of England believes that sex is a great gift from God and a means of his grace. However, God's grace is apparently only meant to be experienced in heterosexual marriages.

Sorry, unmarried people and gay people. Sex isn’t for you, at least according to the Church of England.

The C of E just reaffirmed its dusty belief that sex in any context other than a heterosexual marriage “falls short of God’s purpose for human beings.”

The recent pastoral guidance issued by bishops is sure to please particularly conservative followers displeased with the 2005 Civil Partnership Act, which afforded English same-sex couples the same legal status and rights in relation to property, inheritance and tax entitlement, and the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2013.

The church’s justification for re-upping their views? They’ve always held them, no reason to change now. In the new pastoral guidance, they say that “it has always been the position of the Church of England that marriage is a creation ordinance, a gift of God in creation and a means of his grace…. For Christians, marriage – that is, the lifelong union between a man and a woman, contracted with the making of vows – remains the proper context for sexual activity.” 

The church’s statement comes at an interesting time, as churches around the world grapple with the issue of how far to go on the LGBT acceptance front. The debate is even causing some to split apart entirely.

Critics React

To be fair, the Church of England has commissioned a large study of human sexuality entitled Living in Love and Faith, which is due to be completed sometime this year. According to the Church’s website, “The Living in Love and Faith project is propelled by the Church’s desire to learn how relationships, marriage and sexuality fit within the bigger picture of a humanity that is liberated by Jesus Christ and infused by the Spirit to reflect the image of God in which we are created.” 

And the church does seek to “affirm the value” of same-sex civil partnerships... So long as those civil partnerships are “committed, sexually-abstinent friendships.” It does not permit same-sex marriage, and will only allow clergy to be in same-sex civil partnerships so long as they remain sexually abstinent.

“I’m sadly unsurprised by the content of this statement but I’m deeply saddened by its tone," said Jayne Ozanne, who serves as both a member of the C of E’s ruling body and an LGBT-rights campaigner. “It will appear far from ‘pastoral’ to those it discusses and shows little evidence of the ‘radical new Christian inclusion’ that we have been promised. I look forward to the day when the C of E sets its house in order, extends a proper welcome to all and makes confused ‘pastoral statements’ like this redundant.”

Although the church has promised to “minister sensitively and pastorally to those Christians who conscientiously decide to order their lives differently,” Linda Woodhead, a professor of politics, philosophy, and religion at Lancaster University, isn't buying it.

“The C of E is unable to get over its fixation on homosexuality, which is driving the national church into a position more like a fundamentalist sect and does not speak to the vast majority of younger people today.”

Should the Church Change?

With the recent affirmation that the church believes sex is only for straight, married couples, it is clear that modern society and the Church of England are pulling in very opposite directions. And even some of the church’s own members take issue with the standards. An open letter from an Archdeacon in the church called the church 'a laughingstock’ for their ‘obsession with sex.’

With membership dropping precipitously, these bishops need to ask themselves what is the point of standing for tradition and protecting the past if the future generations keep abandoning their pews. The Church of England is certainly an interesting case-study on whether or not churches should change with the times. Their membership has halved since 2002, in no small part due to their refusal to fully accept LGBT people. And yet, they’re sticking to their proverbial guns.

Should churches modernize their views on sexuality as society changes? Or should they double-down on outdated views, no matter the cost in membership?

48 comments

  1. Minister Mike's Avatar Minister Mike

    During my last talk with God, it told me it was misquoted and his words were taken out of context when the people it tasked with writing all those laws for the Jews. He said, "I don't give a hoot about my creations' sexual orientation or identity. I am concerned, however, how people treat each other, and you ain't doing a very good job."

  1. Dan Anderson's Avatar Dan Anderson

    Given how the Bible, culturally and historically, does NOT even bring up homosexuality, unless you are talking about more recent books than the KJV1611, it is ludicrous to claim it should only be for heterosexual people.

    Many will use, for example, Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13. If you look into the historical aspects, you would learn quickly that these were the condemnations of the Canaanite religious ceremonies which used male temple prostitutes. It was NOT anything about two people of the same gender who love each other.

    Romans 1:26-30 is another used quite often, in great error. This is Saul's/Paul's writings about his poetic observations of a Roman fertility ritual to the Goddess Diana in hopes for increased crops and more calvings & lambings. This ceremony ended in a massive orgy. Again, nothing about two committed people of the same gender who share their love.

    As mentioned early, it is the more recent versions of 1Cor 6:9-10 which use the term "homosexual" of those people who would "not enter the kingdom."

    How about the story of Sodom & Gomorrah? That was about inhospitality and rape. It had nothing to do with homosexuality. The story also mentions that God warned the citizens of those communities that they should be much more hospitible.

    1. Mariette Suzanne Hill's Avatar Mariette Suzanne Hill

      YES, it most certainly does...I see your a man that just wants "easy sexual encounters" without working on a commitment to a female....I know, most all men dont like rejection, so they turn to homosexuality...And yes, its God's command to Moses!!! READ FOR YOURSELVES!!! LEVITICUS CHAPTER 1 KJV - kingjamesbibleonline.org Search domain www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Leviticus-Chapter-1https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Leviticus-Chapter-1 Leviticus chapter 1 KJV (King James Version) sacrifice ended with Christ he was the unblemished lamb of God, he came not to do away with the law but to fulfill it by going to the cross, He died for all our sins, but he did not die for us to continue in sin thinking we are cleansed.

    2. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

      Sorry but it does. Jesus clearly stated that a man shall not lie with a man as he would a woman. Please reread your scriptures.

      And unless you are a member of the Church of England, then you have nothing to say about how they run their church

      1. Robert Edward Szekely's Avatar Robert Edward Szekely

        Actually, criticism of public-facing organizations is how societies grow and mature. It's a necessary part and parcel of their existence.

      2. Minister Mike's Avatar Minister Mike

        Hmmm. Jesus did not say that. And he never said anything for or against LGBT or other acronyms describing gender or gender identity. Not one syllable is recorded. Unless you're privy to a bible the rest of us aren't?

        What does being a member of a group have to do with commenting on their public actions? It's alright to comment on Parliament, Muslims, Neo-Nazis and other groups, so why not Church of England?

        And what the heck does "a man shall not lie with a man as he would a woman" mean? Physically it's impossible. One would think, if it meant what so many think it means, the guy that thought it up would have been more explicit. Seriously, any intelligent examination of the phrase shows it to be meaningless.

        🌈

        1. Mariette Suzanne Hill's Avatar Mariette Suzanne Hill

          YESSSSS....God's was very specific! Your personal opinion will not erase the truth! Read the whole book of Leviticus...God's command to Moses! And he "repeated" what NOT to do as an abomination against the relationship between man and God.

          1. Minister Mike's Avatar Minister Mike

            Jesus never said a word about it. That is not an opinion. And his simple existence, if accepted as what christians claim, supports the fact that god doesn't care who you sleep with.

            How's the inside of your closet today?

        2. flugo's Avatar flugo

          'mini-steer': You said Jesus " . . . never said anything for or against LGBT . . .. " I recommend you extract your head from you know where, and read Matthew 19:4,5. Jesus DID address the man/woman marriage relationship. From the very beginning in Genesis, God instituted the man/woman marriage arrangement. You wrest the Scriptures to your own very eternal peril.

          1. Minister Mike's Avatar Minister Mike

            Jesus said nothing for or against LGBT relationships. Pointing out a heterosexual relationship does not preclude acceptance (or denial) of other kinds of relationships.

            And why are you taking the verse out of context? He gave that answer when asked about divorce - not gender identity or sexual preferences.

            Your personal interpretations of the bible are ensuring YOUR eternal peril, flugo.

      3. Tom's Avatar Tom

        Could you provide us with those scriptures you are referring to?

        1. Alyxander Grim Fraust's Avatar Alyxander Grim Fraust

          Even though this is from the old testament and thus from my schooling to be taken as history as the coming of Christ changed the laws, the vs they are referring to is Leviticus 18:22 "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination."

  1. Robert Edward Szekely's Avatar Robert Edward Szekely

    It is most certainly true that the C of E can support what position they wish, as they continue to make themselves increasingly irrelevant and continue to hemorrhage as a result of their thinly-veiled homophobia. I think that the underlying point is that the argument that homosexual sex is an "UnChristian Act" rests on shaky ground.

    Please tell me: where in the Bible did Jesus explicitly condemn homosexual love? Did he not minister to whores, and lepers and criminals? The downtrodden, the ostracized: the rejects of society--would this group then, not have included the homosexuals that homophobes are so fond of proof-texting from Scripture to claim Divine Sanction for the condemnation of those very persons who threaten them only by virtue of being different in whom they may love? Again, let us remember that no one "chooses" to be LGBTQI+--for all of the persecution that has--and can come with it--that's a disingenuous argument. Also, let's also remember that the same God we claim that condemns they, has made them as they are. If we argue that God loves all of his children, then we must conclude that God therefore suffers from multiple-personality disorder, or else he cannot hate his LGBTQI+ children, as HE MADE THEM THAT WAY.

    This smacks to me of the fundamentalist pastor who tried to claim that "animals have no souls". This is in spite of the fact that in Genesis--in the original Hebrew--a single word--"nephesh" is used to refer to both man and animals--identifying them as "living things". It translates to "souls"--as when we say that "xx many souls were lost when the Titanic sank at sea."

    So if the C of E wants to condemn LGBTQI+ couples to platonic/celibate relationships, some of the younger clergy may want to consider moving on to a different denomination should the C of E--due to their unenlightened moral vacuousness--implode into nothingness during their current tenure.

  1. David Rios's Avatar David Rios

    Outside of the Catholic Church the Roman Catholic Church with it’s visible head there is no salvation. For she alone is the only true bride of the Lamb.

    The Bible clearly condemns homosexuality. The scripture clearly speak of the conjugal act for the procreation of children between a man and a woman in a sacrament of marriage. Period.

    What is more important. Unlawful Lustful sexual desires of Heaven.

    All of this is heresy. Thus entire discussion. This entire group. You have all deviates very badly and your souls are in grave danger.

    Through the Immaculate Heart if Mary may Christendom de restored in the United States and in the world. Sacred Heart of Jesus thy Kingdom come.

    St. Thomas of Aquinas pray for us. St. Peter and Paul pray for us. St. Stephen pray for us.

    In the Name if the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

    1. John D. Partin's Avatar John D. Partin

      David Rios, you can't possibly be that backward or narrow-minded...or can you?!! Even Cardinals and councils in the Catholic Church, as well as priests in parish churches, say that people will be saved according to the light that they have responded to. Your view would leave all Methodists, Baptists, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Seventh Day Adventists, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, and people in every other denomination out in the cold and out of Heaven, which is just ridiculous!!! Billy Graham certainly made it into Heaven!! Mahatma Gandhi was certainly one of the most Christlike non-Christians who ever lived and didn't believe in the Resurrection or Ascension or the Virgin Birth or Jesus' dying on the cross to redeem the world or any other dogmas of Christianity, and yet he certainly made it into Heaven, if anyone ever has!! This opens the possibility of even atheists' getting into Heaven, who also don't believe in any of those dogmas, either, because God is love and even atheists, hopefully, can believe in love and that is as "theological" and "doctrinally correct" as they need to be. Only men condemned homosexuality in the Bible, but God never condemned it, and so gay people will certainly make it into Heaven, too!! If there even is a Hell, it is reserved for just such small and narrow-minded people as yourself!! The way may be narrow and the gate straight that leads to life, but not so narrow or straight that it is only for Catholics or straight people and their exclusive domain and club!! God loves everyone!!!

  1. David Rios's Avatar David Rios
    Father Mark Goring
    1. Sofo manass's Avatar Sofo manass

      are we insulting God or something ? please support my gospel foundation by contacting +233247714629 (and is very powerful)

  1. Dorothy E. Cogswell's Avatar Dorothy E. Cogswell

    But many churches have pediphiles, who break there vows to celebacy, ect.. who are those to judge a loving same sex couple

    1. Chaplain Burgess 's Avatar Chaplain Burgess

      Woe, woe, how very terrible is this place. 3 And those men said to me: This place, O Enoch, is prepared for those who dishonour God, who on earth practice sin against nature, which is child-corruption after the sodomitic fashion, magic-making, enchantments and devilish witchcrafts, and who boast of their wicked deeds, stealing, lies, calumnies, envy, rancour, fornication, murder, and who, accursed, steal the souls of men, who, seeing the poor take away their goods and themselves wax rich, injuring them for other men’s goods; who being able to satisfy the empty, made the hungering to die; being able to clothe, stripped the naked; and who knew not their creator, and bowed to the soulless (and lifeless) gods, who cannot see nor hear, vain gods, (who also) built hewn images and bow down to unclean handiwork, for all these is prepared this place among these, for eternal inheritance.

  1. Clayton Beardmore's Avatar Clayton Beardmore

    Just because man changed his opinion about something doesn't mean God changed His.

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      That’s if a god really does exist.

      🦁❤️

  1. flugo's Avatar flugo

    'mini-steer': You said Jesus " . . . never said anything for or against LGBT . . .. " I recommend you extract your head from you know where, and read Matthew 19:4,5. Jesus DID address the man/woman marriage relationship. From the very beginning in Genesis, God instituted the man/woman marriage arrangement. You wrest the Scriptures to your own very eternal peril.

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      Please try and be pleasant Mr Flugo. It’s okay to disagree but if you made your points in a gentlemanly and intelligent manner I’m sure it would be appreciated by all.

      🦁❤️

    2. Minister Mike's Avatar Minister Mike

      flugo, repeating your rants and lies does make them any more valid than the first time.

      Jesus said nothing for or against LGBT relationships. Pointing out a heterosexual relationship does not preclude acceptance (or denial) of other kinds of relationships.

      Jesus gave that answer when asked about divorce - not gender identity or sexual preferences.

      Your personal interpretations of the bible are ensuring YOUR eternal peril, flugo.

  1. Tom's Avatar Tom

    Respectfully...recalling how the Church of England was started, , and the sanctions against all who did not swear allegiance, it is clearly an argument for a lack of spirituality, and the best thing it can do is wither away...Peace...Tom B

  1. Robert Walters's Avatar Robert Walters

    Any serious study on why church membership and attendance are on the decline would include more factors than a church's position on acceptance or rejection of homosexuality. Because of firm but opposite views, any discussion about the right or wrong of the Church of England's position would probably not result in a consensus but would provide an opportunity to expound individual views.

    I think it therefore follows that we are left with the question of the Church of England's right to have this position. If numbers are the only measure of success, their position may be unwise. I can't see, however that it would not be within their rights.

    RVW

  1. Brien's Avatar Brien

    Just a question here, if any church doesn't provide what you need spiritually then why do you wish to belong to it? And if you don't, then why do you give one damn what that cult believes in?

    1. Minister Mike's Avatar Minister Mike

      Just an answer, here; if people don't speak out against such bigotry, the bigotry becomes the accepted norm for all society and not just the group perpetuating it. Human society hasn't gotten to where it is, vis a vis gender issues, without speaking out against the bigotry.

      1. flugo's Avatar flugo

        'mini-steer': It is not 'bigotry' to abhor, speak against, find repugnant or denounce the unnatural, degrading, and abominable life style of the LGBTQxyz-ers. 'Bigotry' is the stubborn, intolerant attitude toward the CREED, BELIEF, or OPINION of these misfits. . . . NOT their sinful LIFE STYLE. (Merriam Webster Dictionary) To preclude further embarrassment to yourself and others, you ought to do your homework.

        1. Minister Mike's Avatar Minister Mike

          flugo, you lie again. That or you have a dictionary none of the rest of us have. Bigotry is defined as "obstinate or intolerant devotion to one's own opinions and prejudices" (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bigotry).

          I'll always speak out against your bigotry and never be embarrassed by doing so.

          But keep grinding your ax - your lies and bigoted remarks make grand entertainment. 🤣

  1. Howard Pippin's Avatar Howard Pippin

    One of the problems that seem to appear here, is that those that write on here aren't satisfied to let people live they want to live or follow the religion that they want to follow, but unless they conform to their own specifications, is something to howl about. If they are satisfied live in that way, why isn't anybody else's business?it's like the belief by those in America that if they don't like guns, then you don't have a right to own one either.

    1. Minister Mike's Avatar Minister Mike

      So, we should let the neo-nazis , the religious terrorists, and other hate groups act any way they want? And, yes, a church sticking its collective nose in anyone's bedroom is the result of hate. But mostly fear.

      Advertisement:

      And gun ownership has nothing to do with it. However, that does bring up a new and important issue. If gun owners aren't willing to find alternative means of stopping gun violence, then maybe it is time to repeal the second amendment.

      We no return ya'll to the regularly scheduled brouhaha.

      1. Clayton Beardmore's Avatar Clayton Beardmore

        I have an alternative means of stopping gun violence. Stop violence altogether. Guns aren't violent, people are!!!

        1. Minister Mike's Avatar Minister Mike

          What a shame you have to be led by the hand like a child. You know that gun violence is any violence performed by a person using a gun.

  1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

    Get married in another faith, or no faith at all, if you disagree with the C of E.

    🦁❤️

  1. Stewart's Avatar Stewart

    The only issue I have with any church setting a policy of this nature... Is that Matthew, Chapter 22, and Verse 36 through 38.

    "A lawyer asked Jesus, Master, which is the greatest commandment in the law?

    "Jesus said onto him, Thou shalt love the Lord Thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. "

    "Jesus had more to say to the Pharisees:

    "And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

    Jesus came to fulfill the Mosaic Law, the law handed to Moses. When Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, 'Do not think I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.' Once Jesus fulfilled them through His sacrifice, He had already given us the two commandments to follow.

    Love God with all your heart, soul, and mind and love the rest of God's children, your neighbor, as you love yourself. Think about it for a moment. If you love someone, would you steal from them? If you love someone, would to lie about them? If you truly love someone, would you kill them? No, you would not. I'm not referring to anyone's beliefs, but rather the actual practices of the denominations themselves. I'm just stating the position of my Church's beliefs when I was a child. I want you to keep in mind that no one holds a monopoly on the truth. Very few people in the world hold exactly the same impression of God and His will.

    "If we follow these two commandments, and accept Jesus as the Son of God, then we are right with God. But I say to you, my brothers and sisters, how can we be right with God if we do not love our neighbors as ourselves? For if we hate a man because of the color of his skin, we have not the love of God in us, because that man is our neighbor, and we are breaking one of the two great commandments.

    I'm not referring to anyone's beliefs, but rather the actual practices of the denominations themselves. I'm just stating the position of my Church's beliefs. I want you to keep in mind that no one holds a monopoly on the truth. Very few people in the world hold exactly the same impression of God and His will.

    I believe that all churches that follow Jesus' teachings are all good places to worship God. Just as it is with some hospitals being better at treating some conditions than others, it's the same with churches. Yet we are also more liberal in things like dancing and music. Some churches do not allow youth to dance, and some churches do not allow music. I, myself, am even more liberal on some subjects than my church is, perhaps it's due to my youth."

    Much of this is a paraphrase from several sources with just a touch of myself in it ...

    Dose anyone know the 10,000 names of God can we say that God doesn't appear to each of us as the best for our circumstances and place Remember the depiction of Jesus in the paintings started with the son of an artist with him being a Jew of the middle east would have looked like everyone else from that area short black haired and brown .

    Its wrong to condemn another for their way of life after HE Who IS WITHOUT SIN CAST THE FIRST STONE !!

  1. Nathaniel Robert Hunt's Avatar Nathaniel Robert Hunt

    Thing is the Church of England , while it has a right to do as it sees fit, was founded on divorce by a womanizer , Jesus said nothing about gays , unless you count the natural eunuchs, but he did say no divorce...yet that church was founded to give a king a divorce

  1. Richard Lee Cornell's Avatar Richard Lee Cornell

    Back long ago in England before WW1. Women did not have the right to vote. So they took to the streets, got arrested, stone and beaten up. They fought back by attacking men and police at night. Burning pubs. Even attacking (burning) the church and castrating the pastors. Soon it became a problem that men when seeing women marching would vacant the streets. Police would line their route so as no one attacked them. Pastors who used to damn these women now only praise them as doing God's work. If said pastors in England were reminded that their speech against others lifestyle is offensive only to bring upon them hurtful harm they might find other words that are not seen as a physical threat upon their souls.

  1. David Rios's Avatar David Rios

    Here are some resources to get people to start learning about Modernism-the synthesis of all heresies.

    Our Lady of Fatima -October 13.1917 Find the Latin Mass in your area and make every effort to go! Sensus Fidelium Father Chad Riperger Regina Prophetarum Start praying the Rosary ASAP.

    May our Lord Jesus Christ and the Father of Mercy have mercy on us all.

  1. David Rios's Avatar David Rios

    Almost forgot. Dr. Taylor Marshall Hex was an Anglican Priest and Him and his wife are now Traditional Catholics. He can speak perhaps more directly to some of you.

  1. SibylTheHeretic's Avatar SibylTheHeretic

    It is pretty clear that God told them not to do it. I for one really don't care. I have always found gay men to be good neighbors and have really nice houses. If the church is looking for some one to criticize they should look in the mirror.

  1. Paul Dolk's Avatar Paul Dolk

    It's regression plain and simple. The next step would obviously be a separation of colours with a grading of them, white better than black of course. And no inter-faith marriages allowed. Chopping blocks and pyres are just around the corner and the Bishop of Bath and Wells will soon be eating children for breakfast again.

  1. William Cureton Fox's Avatar William Cureton Fox

    If you don't agree with your religion, look for another one, or live without a religion.

  1. Chaplain Burgess 's Avatar Chaplain Burgess

    Chaplain Burgess Times Change GOD doesn't!

    Bartholomew said: “A man who hath intercourse with a male, what is his vengeance?”

    Jesus said, “The measure of the man who hath intercourse with males and of the man with whom he lieth, is the same as that of the blasphemer.*

    “When then the time is completed through the sphere, the receivers of Yaldabaoth come after their soul, and he with his forty-and-nine demons taketh vengeance on it eleven years.

    “Thereafter they carry it to the fire-rivers and seething pitch-seas, which are full of demons with pigs’ faces. They eat into them and take vengeance on [?] them in the fire-rivers another eleven years.

    “Thereafter they carry them into the outer darkness until the day of judgment when the great darkness is judged; and then they will be dissolved and destroyed.”

    1. Minister Mike's Avatar Minister Mike

      What chapter and verse of the bible is that Jesus quote taken from? (HINT - it ain't in the bible)

      1. Chaplain Burgess 's Avatar Chaplain Burgess

        It's not in your version of the Holy Bible.

        1. Minister Mike's Avatar Minister Mike

          I know it isn't. Ain't it grand when "christians" can't use the bible to support their fantasies so make up different bibles? 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

          But, you ARE entertaining. 🤡

  1. Angel's Avatar Angel

    And since you are NOT God, your opinion does not matter to me!

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