Backing gay marriage rewrites Bible, warns senior Anglican

A senior figure in global Anglicanism has said churches that accept same-sex marriage are rewriting the Bible and therefore the Christian faith.

Speaking at an event in Belfast earlier this month, retired Archbishop of Sydney Dr Peter Jensen highlighted the “stark” contrast between the position of the Scottish Episcopal Church, which is moving towards embracing same-sex marriage, and that of the Church of Ireland.

He raised concerns about the view that when it comes to same-sex marriage, “sincere people will differ over the interpretation of the Bible”.

Crystal clear

He said, “let me offer a very serious warning: the cost of taking such a position is unacceptably high.

“It is to say that the Biblical testimony is so unclear that it can be read in several ways, whereas in fact the Biblical position is crystal clear.

“When the testimony of the Bible is rendered so murky, the authority of the Bible is fatally compromised.

Unacceptable compromise

“The middle position is a vote for an unacceptable compromise.”

He said: “It is a choice to rewrite the Bible and so the Christian faith”.

Earlier this month leaders of the Scottish Episcopal Church, part of the worldwide Anglican Communion, voted to start a process towards omitting the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman from its legal framework.

Firm support

In contrast, the Church of Ireland, also part of the Anglican Communion, showed firm support for traditional marriage in response to Ireland backing the redefinition of marriage in last month’s referendum.

Dr Jensen made his comments during a meeting of church leaders at Willowfield Church in Belfast.

He is the General Secretary of GAFCON (Global Anglican Future Conference).