The Church of England’s Bishop of Liverpool, James Jones, has said he is “in sympathy” with a recent vote in Parliament to allow the use of religious elements in same-sex civil partnerships. Jones, a leading evangelical, appeared to show a significant shift in his own views on sexuality. Speaking to the Times ahead of a speech to his diocesan synod today (6 March), he urged the Church to accept “a diversity of ethical convictions”, allowing “a more humane pastoral theology”. The Bishop has not explicitly abandoned his longstanding view that same-gender sexual relationships are unethical. However, he appeared concerned not to condemn same-sex couples when, in his words, “in a world of such little love, two people sought to express a love that no other relationship could offer them”.
Such a stance implies, doesn’t it, that anyone objecting to gay marriage is somehow a little bit less than humane. How that connection is made I don’t understand. Opposing behavior understood to be unbiblical and being described as ‘inhumane’ for it simply serves to demonize those with differing views.
I can’t recall supporters of gay marriage being called inhumane- so why does an evangelical – or anyone – level that charge at persons simply because their reading of Scripture is more ‘scriptural’ than theirs?