Evangelical Fellowship of the Church in Wales Statement on Same-sex Marriage
Firstly, EFCW recognises that churches have often failed in our pastoral care of people with same-sex attraction.
We recognise that the way we have spoken about this issue has at times been unloving and judgemental, and that this has caused personal hurt and left people feeling unable to be honest about their sexuality.
We repent of these failures, and commit to doing all we can to ensure our churches
are fully welcoming and inclusive of all.
We welcome the Bishop’s wish to offer pastoral support and care for all same-sex attracted people
and commit to doing so with Christ-like love.
However, we believe that God’s revelation to us regarding the nature of marriage and proper place of sex is beyond doubt, and that this must be what guides our teaching and practice as an apostolic church.
Throughout the whole of Scripture, beginning with God’s creation of humanity and marriage in Genesis 1 & 2, and continuing until the beautiful picture of the marriage of the Lamb to his bride the church at the end of Revelation, the following things are consistently affirmed:
-That marriage is between a man and a woman.
-That the appropriate place for sexual activity is within marriage.
-That any sexual activity outside of that between a married man and woman
is outside of God’s will and therefore sinful.
Jesus affirms this understanding of marriage in Matthew 19:4-6.
We therefore do not believe that it can possibly be right for the church to bless what God has clearly said he does not bless, nor to say that what God has said is sin is not sin.
We are all sinners who fall far short of the glory of God, and who stand before him
only by his grace through our faith in Christ.
This faith challenges all individuals and all cultures in different ways,
and all are called to live counter-cultural lives, being in the world but not of the world.
The difference between the church’s teaching on sexuality and the views of modern Western society is just one example of this.
In this, we stand with the large majority of the Anglican communion and the large majority of the world-wide church in affirming what the church has always believed and practiced regarding marriage and sex.
We urge our Bishops not to encourage the CiW to take steps that would lead to impared communion with our Anglican brothers and sisters in the majority world.
We do not believe that it is “pastorally unsustainable” to teach what our good and loving Creator says
is the right way for his creatures to live,
which is how Christians have lived for almost 2000 years across a world-wide diversity of cultures.
We affirm Living Out, True Freedom Trust, and other organisations providing support for same-sex attracted Christians, showing the plausability of living according to the biblical teaching on marriage and sexuality, and challenging churches to be loving families where all may find deep, loving, supportive relationships.
We commit to doing all that we can in our teaching, personal actions and church communities to ensure that the two gifts of marriage and singleness are equally affirmed and supported as good ways of life in which all can flourish and be the fully authentic selves God has created us to be.
Rev Mark Williams
01792 459449/01792 470532
St James' Church, Walter Road, Swansea SA1 4QF Tel: (01792) 459449
The Church in Wales
Yr Eglwys yng Nghymru
©The Parish of St James is part of the Diocese of Swansea and Brecon in the Church in Wales