Declaration pledges to 'resist' Church of England gay blessing plans

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The Church of England Evangelical Council (CEEC) is inviting like-minded Anglicans to sign a declaration upholding the biblical view of marriage and sexuality and calling on them to "resist" plans by the Church of England to introduce same-sex blessings. 

The declaration says that the proposed blessings are "a departure from the faith which is revealed in the Holy Scriptures and set forth in the catholic creeds and to which the historic formularies of the Church of England bear witness".

The plans were announced by the House of Bishops after several years of Church-wide discussions as part of the Living in Love and Faith process, and approved by the General Synod in February.

The CEEC was among the Anglican bodies that condemned the move at the time.

In its declaration, the CEEC agrees that the Church must "apologise and repent" for its failure to welcome LGBT people but says it is "compelled to resist" the proposed blessings, which it calls "a denial of biblical teaching".

"We believe these deny the authority of Scripture and, despite their stated desire not to do so, depart from the received historic understanding of the Church," the CEEC says.

"Jesus offers not only welcome and inclusion but the transforming power of his Spirit experienced through responding to his call to repent, take up our cross, and follow him.

"Commitment to living in love and faith means that our love must always be shaped by and embedded in the faith we have received."

The declaration asks that the Church of England "keep faith with its biblical inheritance and reaffirm its current teaching on marriage and sexuality that marriage is a lifelong exclusive commitment between one man and one woman, and that sex outside of that should be met with a call to repentance".

If the bishops or General Synod move forward with implementing the blessings, the declaration pledges to resist the plans and "remain in full communion with those Provinces of the Anglican Communion who also maintain the biblical and historic teaching of the church catholic".

The declaration can be signed here.