You Bless It, You Bought It

You Bless It, You Bought It

Written by R. Albert Mohler Jr. |
Thursday, February 2, 2023

The real point of all this is that the Church of England is now to bless same-sex unions in clear defiance of both the Bible and the tradition of the Christian church. It will do so even as many of the more conservative churches in the Anglican Communion threaten to break from Canterbury. It will do so even as those identified as LGBTQIA+ in the bishops’ statement are outraged that the church is so tepid. It will do so even after evangelicals rightly call the move outright rebellion against the Word of God.

After years of study, bishops of the Church of England have announced that they will not allow same-sex marriages within their churches, nor allow their clergy to perform them, but they will allow their priests to “bless” same-sex unions after a civil marriage. In other words, they lack the courage to go ahead with same-sex marriage as a rite of the church, but their backup plan for now is to allow clergy to bless the unions they cannot approve.

The Church of England was famously born in compromise, but at least it once produced bishops like J. C. Ryle, definite statements of doctrine like the Thirty-Nine Articles, and theological achievements like the Book of Common Prayer. I am an unrepentant Anglophile, though certainly not an Anglican. Nevertheless, a portrait of 16th century Archbishop Thomas Cranmer hangs in my library. I can only imagine what bishops like Ryle and Cranmer would say to their contemporaries today. It might not be polite.

The bishops’ most recent statement is almost majestic in its obtuseness and political correctness. The bishops express regret and sorrow and apologize to those they identify as “LGBTQIA+ people” for “homophobic response in our churches” and “for this we repent.” But this is the language of the self-congratulatory apology that so characterizes the moral confusion of our day. What, pray tell, is homophobia, exactly? Would preaching on Romans 1 qualify? Do the bishops repent of once holding to biblical truth?

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