Magazine article Anglican Journal

Good Disagreement

Magazine article Anglican Journal

Good Disagreement

Article excerpt

OCCASIONALLY in my travels throughout our beloved church, people will ask where we are in our consideration of amending the marriage canon to allow for same-sex marriages. In all honesty, I have to say that for the time being, all is rather quiet. I do remind them, however, that next year all the provincial synods will meet, and this matter is likely to be on the agenda for each one. I am reasonably sure that the intensity and pace of conversation is likely to pick up then, as we head into General Synod in 2019.

My own read is that many in our church are coming to accept and declare that we will never agree on this matter. There will always be those who favour same-sex marriage and those who oppose it, each from the ground of their own wrestling with the Scriptures and the long-held teaching of the church on the nature of marriage. The challenge is, how do we live with such deep-seated differences of conviction?

At the heart of this challenge are two things--the acknowledging of our fears and the embracing of good disagreement.

Of the fear, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby addressed his own church at a General Synod in 2014, saying, "There is great fear among some, here and round the world, that that will lead to the betrayal of our traditions, to the denial of the authority of Scripture, to apostasy, not to use too strong a word. And there is also a great fear that our decisions will lead us to the rejection of LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender] people, to irrelevance in a changing society, to behaviour that may seem akin to racism. …

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