B.C. Anglicans back same-sex marriages

From here with additional ‘editorial’ (and yes I know this is fast becoming old news, but you do have the dubious benefit of my editorial, so read on):

B.C. Anglicans back same-sex marriages

The majority of the Anglican Diocese of B.C. representatives are in favour of the church blessing same-sex marriages, and have urged their delegates to the national conference that will decide the issue to approve the controversial topic which is splitting the church.

A survey of delegates yesterday at Christ Church Cathedral in Victoria comes at a sensitive time in the Anglican church worldwide. Schisms have developed between countries with large Anglican populations over whether the church should bless same-sex marriages.

One hundred and two delegates at a special session for representatives from Vancouver Island and Gulf Island churches said they are in favour of same-sex unions being blessed. They want the issue dealt with in Winnipeg June 19-25 at the national synod, an assembly of church leaders or delegates that discusses and decides upon church affairs.
Funnily enough, this is something I can agree with, let’s have this issue dealt with. Like many folk, I really do not want to go on with years and years of this stuff. Not that it matters too much what I want or anything. 😉

“It’s clear the church is moving forward,” (it’s certainly moving somewhere) said the Very Rev. Peter Elliott, a keynote speaker at the meeting here and the highest-ranking openly gay cleric in the Anglican Church of Canada. “The Anglican Church is a big tent mess. We love and celebrate diversity , and people have the freedom of expressing their convictions.” (Welcome to the Church of Anything Goes. I rather think the charge of Anglicans becoming universalists who dress funny is not entirely without merit.)

The 102 people who voted in favour of same-sex marriages being blessed and wanted the issue dealt with at the synod represented 51.7 per cent of the delegates. Hmm, not as solid as one might think in a predominantly revisionist diocese.

Another 27 people voted in favour of same-sex unions being blessed, but thought the issue should wait. And wait, and wait and wait……….

A total of 45 people said they should never be blessed, and 19 delegates were unsure.

The survey was taken so that the 10 delegates representing the area at the national conference would know local thought on the issue.

“It is useful for us to know the mindset of the synod delegates as a whole,” said Martin Henry, one of the delegates.

Same-sex blessings came to the forefront of Anglican debate in 2003, when the diocese of New Westminster on the Lower Mainland gave parishes the option of blessing same-sex marriages. (The couple is married, and then receives a church liturgy.)

Elliott is the dean and rector of Vancouver’s Christ Church Cathedral, in the diocese of New Westminster, the only church in Canada to give same-sex blessings to already legally married couples. Info on Dean Elliott here.

Several other parishes took exception. Eight conservative Vancouver-area parishes quit the diocese. Four of those joined the anti-gay Anglican Church of Rwanda. ‘Anti-gay’ is used in this context as a slur.

The issue also caused a stir in the church worldwide, particularly in more conservative countries, such as parts of Africa where it is still a crime to be gay, even punishable by death.

Worldwide, the church is grappling with how to move forward with such strongly held disparate views. Some fear the church will split, or that there will be full membership and associate membership, depending on the stance on same-sex blessings.

Pray for those who were at that synod seeking to restore the B.C. diocese to the better path – I have it on good authority that it was deeply painful time for them. While you’re at it, mindful of the last post, let’s pray for all those at the BC synod, that God may bless and guide them.

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15 Responses to B.C. Anglicans back same-sex marriages

  1. Pauline Bettney says:

    You are right Peter – 51% in a totally revisionist Diocese is not very high. I would have expected well over 60%.

  2. faithwalk says:

    Peter, you have a way of injecting truthful humour into a very serious subject. Works well and keeps one from pulling hair out eh?
    I agree it is time to do something and not drag things out, and believe this is actually Gods agenda. It is time to get on one side of the fence or the other .

    And yes we will pray for them.

    And I did respond to your email for whatever it is worth. 😉

    Blessings to you!

  3. Peter,

    I appreciate your comments and prayers for the faithful. Thank you.

    Whether the Anglican Church of Rwanda is “anti-gay” depends entirely on one’s understanding of God’s take on homosexuality. If homosexual behaviour is not problematic in the eyes of the Almighty, then one could view Rwanda as anti-gay for calling homosexuals to repent of their sinful desires (and deeds, if they act on those desires). On the other hand, if homosexual behaviour is sinful, then Rwanda is doing the most living thing possible in appealing to homosexuals to live, with God’s help, in submission to God’s will.

    So, to call the Anglican Church of Rwanda “anti-gay” is to prejudge the issue in question. Maybe the Victoria Times-Colonist needs to assign a more dispassionate reporter to cover Anglican affairs.

  4. Dan says:

    Peter, I feel for you. One thing I have learned in my own situation [Lutheran] is that fighting a system that does not want to be reformed is absolutely exhausting.
    those who seek to engage the powers iwthin such systems need to be blessed with special grace for this work, or else it can easily poison the soul. Hope deferred makes the heart grow sick. This is why I think its more practical and humane for there to be other options; associations such as AMIA for Anglicans and similar groups for other denoms. are a more positive option if the fighting causes bitterness and hatred. These groups can offer a place to do ministry without fighting a system that has turned into a Frankenstein monster destroying the foundational values that the system was created for in the first place.

  5. white rabbit says:

    The Very Rev. Peter Elliott lied when he said that the Anglican Church loves and celebrates diversity and that people have the freedom to voice their convictions. But if I am wrong perhaps someone could point me to the White Episcopalian club or the Holocaust Denier emporium. The point being that the only diversity allowed and the only freedom of expression allowed is to celebrate the male sexual organ.
    Heterosexuals have lived quietly in sin for centuries and have quietly gone to church to worship God without expecting the congregation to fall down and worship them. Only recently has the sex obsessed bishops and clergy taken our church down the Hollywood path to perdition. Its a real shame that Kenneth Anger isn’t around to update his Babylon Hollywood book with the inclusion of our beloved bishops.
    Rwanda is too f

  6. white rabbit says:

    The Very Rev. Peter Elliott lied when he said that the Anglican Church loves and celebrates diversity and that people have the freedom to voice their convictions. But if I am wrong perhaps someone could point me to the White Episcopalian club or the Holocaust Denier emporium. The point being, that the only diversity allowed and the only freedom of expression allowed is to celebrate the male sexual organ.
    Heterosexuals have lived quietly in sin for centuries and have quietly gone to church to worship God without expecting the congregation to fall down and worship them and why the homosexuals can’t practice the same discretion is beyond me. Only recently has the sex obsessed bishops and clergy taken our church down the Hollywood path to perdition. Its a real shame that Kenneth Anger isn’t around to update his Babylon Hollywood book with the inclusion of our beloved bishops.
    Rwanda is too far away for me so I’ll be staying to enjoy my swim in the sewer but I promise to practice safe swimming. Speaking of swimming its funny (in a manner of speaking) that BC Anglicans would vote in favour of same sex in a week when so many BCers are discovering that they live on a flood plain.

  7. Peter says:

    Pauline – Certainly an interesting makeup, yes?

    Susan – I have your email, and will try to find time to respond soon – only my life is booked up until Sunday! :-O
    Think you are right about time to choose – I was reading an interesting website that I’ll probably blog on at some point: http://www.markmallett.com/blog/. Lots on there that speaks to my heart and I suspect your also. The problem I have is with the Marian bits.

    Scott – Thanks for your comments, and you are absolutely right. I was going to dissect further, but it didn’t fit well within the body. Also it seems to me that the people who are using those words often don’t want to understand anyway. Either you get it, or you don’t, it seems….

    Dan – Thank you! I’m hoping that this particular ‘fight’ will be concluded so very soon. Apparently GS in Winnipeg has a whole day with Lutherans – though I rather suspect it will be only with the correct type of Lutherans, I know you have just the same problem as we do.

    White rabbit – It seems to me that diversity is only a good thing until it achieves the aim for which it is set. Once the new zeitgeist is firmly entrenched, diversity will inevitably give way to a new orthodoxy, and those not subscribing will find their freedoms to voice convictions a little less free than they used to be.

    I think there will come a time when staying in the ACC simply is not an option anymore. That time will be very soon IMHO.

  8. mcalmond says:

    I find myself wanting to write some thing of value here, however, all of this does my heart not the least bit of good, at all. I wonder how there can be any question about these kinds of issues, when indeed the Word of God is so very clear.

    It tragically only continues to reveal the power of deception and delusion both within the world in which we live and the professing church and churches of this day and hour.

    How can we stand apart in the righteousness and holiness of God while making every effort to be and become such a part of the world around us, so mush so that we are indistinguishable from the world around us, except maybe, in our god talk?

    History seems to reveal that redemptive change very rarely comes from within the system itself, especially when that system has given itself so completely to such a deception and delusion of self importance and arrogance. Such a system can and will only become more and more bound to its delusions and lies… apart from that divine intervention that lays beyond the scope and capacity of man, for which we may believe and pray for. However, if History is a teacher in these things, it more readily seems that true change comes more from those who have broken away from these institutional apostasies and have begun anew.

    While this whole thing literally grieves me, over and over again, it seems that the Anglican Church within the USA and now, it appears, even Canada, has and is continuing to make it’s choices to follow the lies and delusions of the enemy, even to the twisting and abuse of the Scriptures.

    While what I have written is not in any way new or profound, I still believe there is a kind of hope that remains. This hope is found only in the Lord Jesus Christ, alone and not in the institutions of men.

    I, increasingly do not believe that the Lord is interested so very much in the institutions of men, no matter how noble or even ignoble their beginnings. No, I believe that He is concerned with the hearts of men, women, children and youth, marriages and families, etc. I am not saying the Lord is indifferent concerning these institutions, not at all, However, I believe that we place far more value on them that He does. I believe that His values concerning them is found in the hearts and lives of those within these institutions, not the structures themselves.

    There was a time when I would have not believed what I just wrote, however, after all of these years of working in and with the church, I have come to see and believe this to be true.

    Well, I will cease from my ramblings and move on. I do pray for the church and churches that are Anglican, where ever they are. However, my heart goes out more and more to those who are trapped within this institution and believe that some how it holds some kind of eternal and even domestic answers for them, as an institution. Lord have mercy upon them, I pray and set them free from the delusions and deceptions of this season and age.

    Every Blessing in the Lord Jesus Christ, Peter, to you and your wife.

  9. Pauline Bettney says:

    Mcalmond – I absolutely agree with everything you have written. The Institutional Church can be a vehicle for the Gospel, but when the Institution is worshipped instead of Jesus Christ then the fall begins. I have no problem with multiple expressions of “church” if the basis is the Gospel of Christ. God speaks and attracts us in different ways and this is expressed in the many ways of doing church. If the world sees that as a negative then so be it. If I were a Bishop in the Anglican Church, I would be less worried about an invitation to Lambeth than an invitation into the Kingdom of God. May there be many opportunites in this mess for the Gospel of Christ to be heard.

  10. white rabbit says:

    Be of good cheer Mcalmond for the gates of hell shall not prevail against Christ’s church (Matthew 16:18). True we live in sad times as we see the scribes and pharisees of our church turn people into twice the child of hell that they are(Matthew 23:15). Sad and pathetic and tragic as it is there isn’t much we can do about it. Jesus warned us that when he left the night would come and no man could work (John 9:4).
    It is the times we live in folks. There are many warnings in scripture to the believers about false ministers and that discernment was to be used. Sure I disagree with Ingram and company on a few topics but they are right in other areas; afterall, the man is married and has two daughters so by not practicing what he preaches he is not all bad (I’ll have to think about that one). The laity also have bibles so can read it for themselves. As Jesus said, the sheep will hear my voice. Anyway, no one said that living in the last days would be boring!

  11. Connie G. says:

    I look at it this way ….If you choose to follow the God of the Bible then you know what sin is!…….If you chose to make your own rules then you don’t need God…yes he still loves us all but, realize he expects us to turn from sin even if it hurts! Jehovah God changes not! Today many churches are making their own rules…not living by Gods. If you CHOSE to follow God you must follow HIS will!

  12. Peter says:

    Hello Phil – It is very clear as you say, tohugh not clear to everybody. This is what we are struggling with. As far as the Anglican Church here in N America goes – as far as I can perceive it is instutionally ‘ichabod’. The glory has departed, and sooner or later so must we.

    However there is a time for everything, and everything has its time. There is a place for a prophetic witness. However, when the time comes, we will leave. I grieve for those stuck in this churhc, sheep lead astray by false shepherds (and note that, it is predominantly the shepherds that are revisionist, the laity as a body significantly less so).

    Hi Pauline – “If I were a Bishop in the Anglican Church, I would be less worried about an invitation to Lambeth than an invitation into the Kingdom of God”. Just so!

  13. Peter says:

    Hello white rabbit. I don’t know Bp Igham personally, but I do see what he has perpetuated in the church – and I don’t like it. We’re told that teachers and the suchlike are held to a higher standard, so it seems that he must answer to what he has said. As must we all for that matter, but teachers / bishops even more so.

    Hello Connie – It’s a package deal indeed, we don’t get to mix and match according to our taste. Better be changed into his likeness than be deluded that He can be changed into ours.

  14. chris says:

    the subtlety of satan needs only suggest doubt. “Hath God said” , I mean, “Hath He REALLY said?” and for those of His flock who are unsure, well thus begins a roller coast ride descent into hell.

    This is happening on soooo many levels. Two weeks ago, a woman of prominence was asked to deliver at the Sunday service. She was poised. confident. A leader. Influential. Aha, and there it was. Subtlety. Planting the words of doubt. Not really coming right out and saying it. Just laying the tracks for our doubt in “Hath God really said”. But what about our Christian values?? Are we not to love those who are different. I mean who are we to be the judge. Should we not practice tolerance.

    Just one slick turn. Just one more butter coated popcorn.

    I left, sickened.

  15. Peter says:

    It is sickening sometimes, that subtle smooth coated evil.

    Like I said elsewhere though – the gates of Hell will not prevail!

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