Anglican Covenant

Why is there so much controversy about same-sex partnerships?

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Many Anglicans, probably most, are suspicious of the campaigning, whether or not they approve of homosexuality. Some find it disturbing that Christians seem so obsessed with sexual ethics. When we ask the campaigners why they are so determined to treat it as a matter for schism, we get two answers. The first is that it is contrary to scripture: that is, there are texts in the Bible which condemn it. The second is that the Church has formally declared homosexuality immoral and that therefore if you think it isn't, you can't be an Anglican.

One of the astonishing features of this controversy is that all the threats of schism, the consecrations of rival bishops, and the Anglican Covenant proposals, boil down to just these two arguments. If you come across any other arguments, please let us know.

Liberals are unconvinced on three counts.

Firstly, the biblical texts do not really justify this condemnation.

Secondly, despite many statements to the contrary by church leaders who should know better, Anglicanism has not formally declared it contrary to Anglican teaching.

Thirdly, even if we were convinced that the Bible and the Church condemn it absolutely, what makes this issue so much more divisive than the many hundreds of other issues we disagree about? To liberals, it looks as though there is only one reason: that this is currently the issue on which conservative evangelicals can galvanise agreement across the evangelical spectrum.

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