The Anglican Church this morning has paved the way for the blessing of same gender relationships.
At 11:20 this morning, by majority vote, General Synod/Te Hinota Whanui passed Motion No 7 – which is the motion which accepts the report and recommendations of the Motion 29 small working group.
That acceptance is subject to the appointment of a select committee which will consider and report back to General Synod – before it finishes today – on a range of detail which the Synod must be sorted before the passage of the constitutional and canonical changes necessary to give the decision effect.
The decision, nonetheless, is clear – after almost 50 years of debate about human sexuality, the Anglican Church has created a pathway for the blessing of same-gender couples.
The debate has been long and difficult. Motion 7 purports to support two integrities on marriage which opponents claim are contradictory. Further complexity is added by the fact that all clergy in the Province must promise submission to the General Synod.
FCA NZ have issued the following response:
It is with deep sadness that the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans New Zealand (FCANZ) receives the news that General Synod/Te Hinota Whanui has passed the Motion 29 Report allowing the blessing of same-sex relationships. While we are thankful for the gracious spirit in which the debate was held, we disagree with the final outcome. We believe the General Synod has acted in a way which leaves behind biblical authority, the apostolic tradition, and the doctrine and practice our church has always held. Upon the passing of the motion General Synod members Rev. Jay Behan (Chair of FCANZ) and Rev. Al Drye immediately resigned.
FCANZ believes that God loves all people, from all walks of life, calling each of us to repent and have faith in Jesus Christ. Sometimes speaking of this love involves saying difficult things that run counter to the culture of today. However we remain convinced that it is good for all humanity and the only place for the church to stand.
In light of the decision of the General Synod we are ready to support people and parishes that cannot remain within this changed Anglican structure. We will work together nationally and internationally to provide fellowship and support as we look towards new ways and structures of ministering the unchanging good news of Jesus.
The resignation letter of Behan and Drye [pdf] reads as follows:
Dear Archbishop Philip, Archbishop Don, Archbishop Winston and members of General Synod Te Hinota Whanui.
It is with sadness that we (Rev. Jay Behan and Rev. Al Drye) wish to advise you of our immediate resignation from General Synod in the light of passing the Motion 29 report. As stated yesterday the passing of this report finds us left behind and unable to move forward with you in good conscience as we seek to honour the Lord and love His people.
We leave with no anger or bitterness in our hearts and we wish you the best as you seek to serve the Lord Jesus Christ. You are in our prayers and thoughts.
Rev. Jay Behan
davidould.net understands that FCANZ’s stated desire to “support people and parishes that cannot remain within this changed Anglican structure” could involve assistance from bishops in other Provinces. In their recent April 2018 communiqué the GAFCON Primates stated,
As Primates of Gafcon we are ready to support and encourage orthodox Anglicans in the province [of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia] in any way we can in the days ahead.
image: Anglican Taonga