Saturday, 4 March 2017

The wrong side of history

March 2017

On 15th February the General Synod of the Church of England voted not to ‘take note’ of the Bishop’s report on ‘Marriage and Same-Sex Relationships’.   Some opposed it because the report re-affirmed that marriage can only be between a man and a woman, others wanted it thrown out because it gave room for ministers to flout the church’s teaching.

And some people, I am sure, on hearing the news, shook their heads and wondered why the church was even discussing this.  In 2017, who still cares if a man wants to act like a woman or a woman like a man?  Can’t they be what they want to be?  As David Cameron once said (on another issue) the church should “get with the programme”.

Here are three reasons why Christians cannot fall into line with the direction our so-called liberal culture is travelling:

1.  The commonly-accepted wisdom is that the Bible must be measured against today’s standards.  Christians cannot agree with this; the Bible had human authors but by God’s design they wrote living words from God himself for all people in all ages.  The Bible is not out of date; rather it is human ideas that come and go like driftwood while God’s Word remains as unmoveable rock.

2.  ‘The programme’ (as David Cameron put it) is by no means certain to continue.  The political upsets in Britain and America in 2016, which may be repeated in other western countries, remind us that what seems orthodoxy one day can be overturned the next.  It is not ‘the wrong side of history’ to resist today’s fleeting obsessions.  Take the long view.

3.  God speaks not to destroy our freedom but to keep us from miserable slavery to confusion.  When we reject his words we suffer.  Even worse, our children suffer.  Jesus had stern words for those who cause ‘little ones’ to stumble.  To take away from our children their certainty about being created by God as male or female is cruel mistreatment.

Jesus called a spade a spade, but those whose lives were in sexual turmoil sought him out for help and were warmly received.  If that describes your life too, then I would be very willing to talk to you.


Graham Burrows