The Christian Institute

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‘Pollsters don’t determine doctrine’: Christian Institute responds to survey claiming to show Anglicans support same-sex marriage

‘Pollsters don’t determine doctrine’: Christian Institute responds to survey claiming to show Anglicans support same-sex marriage

The Christian Institute’s Director has rejected the notion that Christian doctrine should ever be determined by public opinion.

Colin Hart was responding to a survey for the pro-LGBT Ozanne Foundation claiming nearly half of Anglicans support same-sex marriage.

In an uncompromising response, Mr Hart said: “You can’t abandon Christian teaching because some people don’t like it.

“The faith once delivered to all the saints didn’t emerge as a result of polling or focus groups. Neither will it emerge from following secular trends.

“The Bible’s message is clear. Marriage can only ever be between one man and one woman, to the exclusion of all others, for life.”

The survey was conducted in February by YouGov. It questioned 1,171 adults in England who described themselves as Church of England, Anglican or Episcopal.

But Mr Hart questioned the robustness of the YouGov figures.

“The YouGov pollsters didn’t ask people whether they actually attend a Church of England church.

“We cannot draw any conclusions from the poll about the beliefs of communicant members of the CofE.”

A spokesperson for the Church of England told The Daily Telegraph: “By learning from and listening to one another, guided by Holy Spirit, the Church will find ways forward rooted in scripture and the Christian faith.”

But Mr Hart said this was “the wrong way round”.

“It is by learning from and listening to the voice of God in Scripture, guided by the Holy Spirit, that the CofE will find the way forward intended by God.”

In January, the CofE reaffirmed that sex should only take place within a heterosexual marriage.

The House of Bishops said marriage between one man and one woman has always been regarded as “central to the stability and health of human society”.

It added: “Sexual relationships outside heterosexual marriage are regarded as falling short of God’s purposes for human beings”.


Notes to editors:

The YouGov survey is available here

The Christian Institute is a non-denominational registered charity which seeks to promote the Christian faith in the UK.

It was founded in 1991 by Christian church leaders and professionals and it currently campaigns on a range of issues including marriage and the family, child protection, pro-life concerns, drugs, religious liberty and education, as well as Christianity and the constitution.

For media enquiries, please contact Alistair Thompson on 07970 162225, or The Christian Institute’s Deputy Director for Communications on 07736 957579.