The Christian Institute in Britain has learned that “biblical marriage” still can be preached and taught in the country’s Methodist churches.
The confirmation comes from Sam McBratney, who heads the pro-LGBT lobby group Dignity and Worth, in the church.
It was only weeks ago the church, at an annual conference, voted to redefine marriage in the church to include same-sex weddings and to affirm cohabitation.
The Institute reported, “Whilst the conference resolution on marriage contained a freedom of conscience clause allowing ministers to opt out of performing or endorsing same-sex ceremonies, uncertainty remained over wider conscience protections.
“When asked during the briefing if lay or ordained Methodists would be free to preach in support of biblical marriage and against same-sex marriage, McBratney’s response was emphatic: ‘The answer is yes, you are free to do that.’”
Rev. David Hull, who heads the Methodist Evangelicals Together organization, was cautiously welcoming.
“It is reassuring to hear it is understood that those who continue to hold to the teaching of the Bible will be free to preach that marriage is, has been, and always will be only between one man and woman and that the Methodist Church was wrong to endorse same-sex marriage,” he said.
But he also pointed out, in an interview with the Institute, that there already have been reports from within the church that there is opposition to “faithful biblical proclamation and teaching on sexual ethics.”
The Methodist Church in Ireland still affirms marriage as being between a man and a woman.
The British branch serves about 165,000 members, at least until the vote changed the Bible’s definition of marriage.
The Christian Institute’s Ciaran Kelly said, he was “greatly saddened” by the move that has the group “abandon the teaching of the Christian Church held throughout history and still held by the majority of Christians around the world today.”
It was at the group’s annual conference where representatives consented “in principle to the marriage of same-sex couples” by a vote of 254 to 46. The representatives also adopted that “informal cohabitation.”
The Methodist Church is Britain’s fourth largest denomination
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