It is as clear, and as absolute, an endorsement of same-sex marriages as anyone could hope to find. Indeed, according to the Bishop, "there is an evangelical imperative for the Church to recognise that covenantal same sex relationships can be Godly and good for individuals and society".
What the Bishop seems to mean by an 'evangelical imperative' is that the maintenance of its traditional stance is making the church's message difficult to get across. And yet, as those of us engaged in evangelism will know, this is nothing new. The message that people are sinners for whom Christ died, and that having been raised by God from the dead, he is Lord of their lives who is coming again in judgement, has scarcely ever been easy to get across. (Although when it is received, the subsequent individual transformation testifies to the truth of what has been proclaimed and believed.)
So I fined myself seriously wondering, does the Bishop imagine that, by condoning same-sex relationships, the churches will suddenly attract people to the gospel? Is it the church's current view of human sexuality that makes it hard today for people to believe in the resurrection? I hardly think so.
Nevertheless, by using the term 'evangelical', the Bishop elevates this to the level of a gospel issue. And thus, although the headline for the conference is given as "Making space for an honest conversation", surely the only 'conversation' possible in his view must be 'When is the rest of the Church going to accept this development?" And this must surely have implications, not least within his own diocese, as discussed here.
This is also why so much effort and energy is being spent on an issue which must end one way or the other -- either with the Church of England endorsing the latest 'new morality', or standing over against it. We have to choose, just as people have to choose regarding the gospel itself.
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