Both the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) and the Anglican Church in Canada (ACC) met in convention this past week. Each elected a national bishop (or “primate” as the ACC calls it) and each voted on the blessing of same-sex unions. The motion was defeated in both denominations.
But not by much.
Laity - 78 aye / 59 nay
Clergy - 63 aye / 53 nay
Bishops - 19 aye / 21 nay
So, if one bishop’s mind was changed, there would have been a tie. And a crisis.
It’s clear that this issue if not going away. But I find the whole debate discouraging. Personally, I don’t think that authority pf scripture hinges on this one issue like many other church folks.
30 years ago many of the same people said that the ordination of women contradicted the bible, yet here we are with almost half our clergy and three of our bishops being women.
50 years ago, divorce would get you kicked out of the church. Today, in direct opposition to Mark 10 and Matthew 19, we perform weddings for divorced people wanting to be re-married. Yet no one threatens to leave the church over this, or cries that we’ve sullied biblical purity.
So it makes me wonder what the real issue is.
What I think we need is God’s Spirit of peace to hover over us. The division in our wider church is a terrible witness to the gospel of reconciliation.
Even if some of us believe that blessing same-sex unions is contrary to scripture, so is creating a spirit of disunity within the body of Christ. None of us can claim biblical purity. And our common impurity must be our starting point for any discussion we have over this issue.