An influential conservative archbishop is warning 'neo-pagan sexual morality' in the Church of England is at risk of spreading throughout the global Anglican Communion.
Most Rev Nicholas Okoh, head of the traditionalist GAFCON grouping, describes increasing calls for the Church to soften its stance against gay relationships as 'distressing'. He says the 'confusion' over the issue is 'now at greater risk of being spread' throughout the global Anglican Communion.
Deep rifts exist between conservative Anglicans in the global south and the liberal Episcopal Church in the USA which permits gay marriage.
The CofE is seen as the heart of the Anglican Communion and a recent report by bishops that held a conservative view on marriage was rejected by its ruling general synod.
The report, Okoh said, 'tried to face two ways' while not permitting any change in marriage but calling for 'maximum freedom' for gay couples within existing laws.
The Archbishops of Canterbury and York, heads of the CofE, issued a letter following the report's defeat calling for 'a radical new Christian inclusion in the Church' based on a '21st century understanding of being human and of being sexual'.
Okoh said: 'The Archbishops' talk of radical inclusion and a 21st century understanding has given great encouragement to those who want to bring the Church of England into line with the values of secular society.'
The result was traditional views had been downgraded to 'provisional and secondary' he claimed.
'In these troubled times it is good to recover the biblical perspective that 'here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come' (Hebrews 13:14). Our defining centre is not a place, but a person, the Lord Jesus Christ and our ultimate authority is not a human institution, but the Word of God. We gathered in Jerusalem in 2008 in the place that witnessed the mighty acts of God in the death and resurrection of his Son and from where the Apostles were sent out to all the world. We shall return next year with great thankfulness to God for his continued favour, but our eyes will be upon the heavenly Jerusalem, the City of God, of which we are members by grace and we eagerly look forward to its full revealing when Jesus returns.'