Yesterday marked the start of the Sydney Diocese Synod. In his presidential address [pdf] (video available here) Archbishop Glenn Davies covered a range of areas, including our combined reponse to the Syrian refugee crisis and the challenge of a growing metropolis. But the section that the media picked up on (and understandably so) was when he turned to the current debates about marriage in our culture.

“The antagonism of the world to the Word of God is perhaps seen nowhere more acutely than in the virulent challenge to the definition of marriage which pervades conversations in the media, the workplace and even in our places of leisure.” Dr Davies said. “It is time that all Christians, especially Anglicans, should enter the discussion and graciously and sensitively explain the reasons why our good Creator has made marriage the way he has.  We need to be courageous in our discussions both in private and in public, yet we also need to be sensitive and loving in our defence of biblical truth.”

Davies also had a word concerning internal debates in the church.

Yet what was accepted and endorsed by the major parties a little more than a decade ago has now become anathema to the majority of the Labor Party and to several influential members of the Liberal Party. It would also appear that an Anglican Bishop in our country believes it is inevitable, and has even opined that it could be compatible with the teaching of our Church!

I think it’s fair to say that public comment upon what another diocesan bishop (John Parkes of Wangaratta) has said is a significant step for Archbishop Davies to take. Wednesday night will see the consideration of a number of related motions on the floor of synod, including an engagement with the recent actions of Parkes and Bishop Kay Goldsworthy in Gippsland.

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