Ridley College in Melbourne have issued a statement in the form of an open letter affirming the Biblical doctrine of marriage.
The statement marks a significant contribution to the current Australian Anglican conversation on marriage brought about by the unilateral decision of Wangaratta Diocese to approve a liturgy for the blessing of persons in a same-sex marriage. It outlines the three alternative approaches to the topic (“Traditional/Revisionist/Progressive”), concluding,
We are convinced that the biblical vision for human sexuality is clear. We also believe that it is beautiful, and that God’s commands are for our good as well as for his glory. The traditional path may be a hard one to travel, but it is the one we are called to take.
We rejoice with the many gay, lesbian and same-sex attracted men and women in our churches who love Jesus and are quietly committed to following him on this path, trusting him with their whole lives – even, and perhaps especially, with their sex lives.
In the body of the argument there is robust criticism of both the “revisionist” (revising the long-understood meaning of Scripture) and “progressive” (rejecting the authority of Scripture) positions:
…when we move from narrow linguistic questions to consider Christianity’s theological and ethical vision of human relationships, only two ways of expressing our sexuality are celebrated. The first is faithful lifelong marriage between a man and a woman which embodies the creation mandate to fill the earth. The second is chaste singleness within a community of deep love which embodies the kingdom to come, where marriage will be replaced with a new kind of intimacy. The revisionist path has an uphill battle to find space for other types of sexual activity within these two biblical visions of human relationships.
…we do not agree that we should privilege our own cultural views on the purpose of sexuality over the theology of creation and marriage which is consistently developed from Genesis to Jesus and has been championed by Christians everywhere throughout history. We hold grave concerns about rewriting those parts of Holy Scripture we find challenging. Walking away from Scripture as the authoritative word of God does not lead us closer to God.
The entire 4 page document is set out below: