The Church of England voted this week in favour of special services of blessing for same-sex couples. This is a response to the legalisation of gay marriage in the UK and the call of many Anglicans to ‘end discrimination’ against the LGBTQ+ Community.
In these politically correct or woke days it’s hard to justify the rationale for one type of couple to have a church wedding and another type to be excluded. The happy compromise seems to be these services of blessing for same-sex couples.
The archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby abstained from giving his vote to try and keep the peace in the Anglican Communion worldwide where many Anglicans in other countries do not approve of gay marriage. However he is happy with the outcome.
While the LGBTQ+ community have not always been treated with love and respect by Christians and homophobia is something that we must stand against. However we as believers also have a responsibility to guard the integrity of God’s Word and His instructions as to how we ought to live.
This decision marks a sad day for the Church of England as it takes the Anglican Church one step closer to apostasy. This decision will obviously be welcomed by gay politicians like Ben Bradshaw who believe the State Church should reflect the laws of the nation. ie. Given that gay marriage is legal in the UK the Church must marry same sex-couples. That is if they wish to retain Bishops in the House of Lords.
So this recent agreement to hold services of blessing for same-sex couples is just the start of an eventual acceptance of gay weddings in the Anglican church. It is obvious that this is what will start to happen soon. And while that may well be the case, the question we must ask today is whether God’s blessing for same-sex couples is even possible?
We have all heard the beautiful song, The Blessing which helped get so many of us through Covid. The words come from the Aaron blessing in the Bible. It is a general prayer of blessing over the Children of Israel, asking God to bless and keep them, be gracious to them and give them peace. This is why as believers our most common salutation is ‘God bless you’. We truly want to see everyone blessed.
However God’s blessing is conditional and God cannot specifically bless what he has actually cursed. God doesn’t bless sin or our sinful choices. He offers us a choice. In Deuteronomy 30:19 we read these words, which could not be more clear. “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Therefore choose life…”
In the New Testament we are taught that the wages of sin is death and the free gift of God is eternal life. It’s the same choice, whether we will accept God’s way and walk in His blessing or go our own way and move out of God’s protection on our lives. God is merciful and He can deal with us graciously as He wills however we will not have a life of ongoing blessing if we go against His Word.
It’s important to understand what sin is here and to to say that homosexual sin is no worse than heterosexual sin. However it is still sin and sin separates us from God and therefore from His blessing.
Blessing for same-sex couples cannot go beyond God’s Word
In the story of Balaam in Numbers 22, we read how the king pays Balaam to curse Israel but he cannot go beyond the Word of the Lord. One cannot curse what God has blessed and we cannot bless what God has cursed. Now I am not saying that LGBTQ+ people are cursed. What I am saying is that we cannot ask God to specifically bless a union that goes against His express design for creation.
As Benjamin John rightfully pointed out at the Anglican Synod where services of blessing for same-sex couples was voted on, it comes down to the question, “Did God really say?” This is the question the devil asked of Eve in the Garden and he continues to ask it implying that there is some leeway to negotiate our own personal interpretations of God’s Word and what we will and won’t allow. However God’s Word is clear, with many Bible references warning against sexual sin which includes homosexuality.
The only conclusion Bible-believing Christians can come to is that, God doesn’t withhold blessing from those who walk uprightly. Homosexuality is unrighteous like any other sin and the wages of sin is death. You cannot bless something in God’s name that He has cursed. You can pray for Gods’s mercy on people but this is a call to repentance.
“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give favour and glory, for no good thing will He withhold from the one who walks uprightly.” (Psalm 84:11)
Also read: Not my Gay Way, But Your Will be Done!