Archbishop's silence on same-sex 'marriage' is weak leadership

Archbishop's silence on same-sex 'marriage' is weak leadership
Dec 2022

Archbishop's silence on same-sex 'marriage' is weak leadership


(Photo: Getty/iStock)

Andrea Williams, chief executive of Christian Concern, comments on the Archbishop of Canterbury's silence on matters of marriage and sexuality.
"It is not a solution; it is a mistake, and it will be a failure."
These were the words of Justin Welby last week to bishops and other peers in the House of Lords. The Archbishop of Canterbury was referring to the government's immigration policy in Rwanda. But he could just as easily have been speaking about his church's current deliberations on marriage.
The Church of England is on the precipice of radical, anti-Biblical change. In just a matter of months, it could formally bless sexual immorality.
It should be clear to Church of England leadership how much of a mistake this would be - indeed, a failure. If the CofE formally approves of sin, not only will it make true mission more difficult, it will become far easier to label faithful Christians 'extreme'.
But this week, bishops have been meeting (in an undisclosed location) to "discern and decide" the next steps for its Living in Love and Faith guidance. Six bishops - that's six overseers within the Church of England, the very people who are tasked with being "above reproach" (1 Tim 3:2) and to "hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that [they] can encourage others by sound doctrine" (Titus 1:9) - have openly deserted sound doctrine and begun calling for the church to allow same-sex 'marriage'.
This itself beggars belief.
Of course, on the one hand, it's nothing new. Even Justin Welby has previously erred on the issue of marriage, stating back in 2012 at his appointment as Archbishop of Canterbury that he needed to "examine [his] own thinking carefully and prayerfully" on LGBT issues and lending his support to civil partnerships, as defined by the state. More recently, the Church of England guidance on LGBT in schools has already tragically been used to discredit faithful Christians.
Within certain circles and over years, the CofE has been gradually carving out a path that leads to sexual immorality - by failing to speak truth on matters of utmost importance (such as 'marriage', sexuality, the roles and value of men and women) and, as a result, allowing liberal and false ideology to work its way in.
But one would at least hope that, as the 'first bishop' of the Church of England, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, would speak reason and truth, calling his bishops to order and disciplining those who have forsaken their vows to "teach the doctrine of Christ" and "banish and drive away all erroneous and strange doctrine contrary to God's Word."
Instead, the Archbishop of Canterbury remains deliberately silent on the issue of same-sex 'marriage'.
"It is not a solution; it is a mistake, and it will be a failure."
His words above were not to call out the revisionist, anti-Biblical bishops. They were not meant as discipline for those within his own ranks, calling bishops to truth and order.
Rather, they were used to admonish the government and its current policy on immigration and asylum.
It appears that the highest leader in the Church of England isn't actually interested in church discipline - or even doctrine. His silence on matters of Biblical truth reveal that he is far more interested in the approval of the world over the approval of Christ
In his speech to the House of Lords on 9 December on immigration and asylum policy, the Archbishop claimed to want to "examine some of the moral considerations that should drive our policies." The irony is, he is failing to examine the moral shortcomings within his own church.
The Archbishop also flagged to the House that "recognition of human dignity is the first principle that must underpin our asylum policy." But the reason we have human dignity in the first place is because God made us male and female, in his image. Male and female, for one-man, one-woman marriage, to reflect the glorious character of God. Anything else is a sham.
Finally, he made reference to Matthew 25, with the parable of the sheep and the goats. But what Archbishop Justin Welby is failing to act on is the fact that there are wolves dressed in sheep's clothing within his own house.
In addressing the introduction of sexual immorality in the church, his response was far more non-committal: "The role of archbishop is to be a focus of unity. That isn't just convenient or pragmatic. In Christian thinking that is part of God's call to church leaders. Therefore I have to be convinced before God that it's the right moment to [express my own view]-- and not just politically."
Heed this warning, Archbishop: never has there been a more opportune moment to express the truth. Now is the moment to act, to speak truth, to lead as you were appointed to. Now is the time to drive out the wolves and pastor the flock.
This silence is no "source of unity." It is weak leadership, pure and simple. If the Archbishop really cared about uniting the church, he would unite it around Scripture by speaking truth.
And Scripture is clear - on God's pattern for marriage; but also on the consequences for church leaders who abandon their flocks.