Skip to comments.Uniting Church in Australia Changes Marriage Definition to Include Same-Sex Couples
Posted on 07/20/2018 9:07:29 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
The Uniting Church in Australia's Assembly voted Saturday to change the denomination's definition of marriage and allow ministers to officiate weddings for same-sex couples.
In a statement posted on the Church's website, Uniting Church in Australia President Deidre Palmer announced the changes that were made by the 265-member assembly that gathered in Melbourne, saying: "To honor the diversity of Christian belief among our members, we will hold two equal and distinct statements of belief on marriage."
The first statement of belief regarding marriage is one that the Uniting Church has been following for a long time.
"The existing statement of belief that 'marriage for Christians is the freely given consent and commitment in public and before God of a man and a woman to live together for life' has been retained," Palmer said before added that "a new additional statement of belief has also been adopted."
"That statement reads 'marriage for Christians is the freely given consent and commitment in public and before God of two people to live together for life,' Palmer said.
Uniting Church in Australia is the third-largest Christian denomination in the country.
According to the pastoral letter written by Palmer, the issue of same-sex marriage has been talked about by the church for over 30 years and it "has been a difficult one, as it has been for many people of faith."
The Uniting Church now following two statements of belief regarding marriage means that it will be up to ministers to decide how they want to proceed.
Palmer assured members of the Uniting Church that their beliefs regarding marriage will continue to be "respected and protected." And ministers who decide to adhere to the biblical definition of marriage won't be forced to officiate same-sex marriage ceremonies.
During a Sunday service at the St. Andrews Alphington Fairfield Uniting Church, the Rev. Alexandra Sangster commented on the decision. According to Sangster, "It was a compromise, not going far enough for many and going beyond the pale for others," ABC News Australia reported.
Sangster also called the decision one that "has opened the final official door."
Meanwhile, the Bathurst Uniting Church is currently trying to determine which position it will hold. Speaking on the matter, the Rev. Claire Wright said she will first meet with the members of her congregation before issuing a decision, the Western Advocate reported.
A majority of Australians, 61.6 percent, voted in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage in November 2017. Many Christians have expressed concerns over their ability to live out their beliefs without being penalized.
Earlier this year, Hillsong Church and a number of other top Christian organizations in Australia asked the government that they be exempt from anti-discrimination laws, including in the case of hiring and firing employees.
"We've never needed to protect religious freedom before, but now we do," said Patrick Parkinson, a professor of law at the University of Sydney and a board member at Freedom for Faith, the think tank that submitted a religious freedom act proposal.
Parkinson said in his over 100-page submission to the Ruddock Review (which was created to examine whether Australian law protects freedom of religion) that there has been a "persistent campaign to remove religious exemptions in anti-discrimination law."
"Our society is changing: hostility toward people of faith is increasing, exemptions in anti-discrimination laws necessitated by religious beliefs are being increasingly challenged, and people of faith are experiencing increasing discrimination and attacks on their freedom of speech and association," he wrote, noting that there is "almost no legal protection for freedom of religion in Australia."
And while religious freedom has broad support in the country, many confine it "to be nothing more than freedom of belief and worship (which is not under threat)," he added.
God has not changed His mind. He doesn’t look at the polls to see what sins are popular with fallen man.
Next for silly pretender churches: “You can kill anyone who p*sses you off.”
Blood Moon in a week visible over Jerusalem (The Lord’s Capital), rumors of war between Israel & Hamas plus Syria and Iran, and the depravity of man knowing no bounds.
Nope, God is holy ... and wholly unimpressed with the righteousness of man.
I’m convinced that the knowledge of God that people refuse to hold onto that leads them into a Romans 1:18-32 state has a lot to do with 1) them thinking their stuff don’t stink and therefore 2) God’s holiness isn’t an issue ... ever.
That they literally do not talk into account or recall that He is Holy.
If you believe you are good, that people are good, you start looking around you for your righteousness rather than look up.
It’s as if people’s these days think that were they to suddenly find themselves in Isaiah’s shoes with God manifesting Himself before them they would feel like they should get a pat on the back for being just hoopy froods.
But Isaiah, who was not just a morally and ethically upright man but who had the benefit of all the official holiness that a ministering priest could gain, when he saw Him his reaction was to despair.
But God sent an angel to take a coal from the altar and purify his lips.
Speaking of lips, maybe we should think about what it means to be a man of unclean lips among a people of unclean lips to see how well all these really great guys (just ask them) hold up.
My personal opinion: Isaiah was a LOT closer to an amazingly together guy than any of these modern posers. But when confronted with the Holiness of God he realized that there were things in his life, common among his people even when they were among the best, that were far far from righteous. He, a ministering priest, was unclean in ways he’d never before even considered could be unclean.
And for what had seemed a minor issue to him before that, once he saw God, he despaired of life, not that he would die but that the SHOULD die, he realized that he deserved to die.
To be thrown into the presence of Holy, Holy, Holy God without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit has to be an utterly traumatic experience. Even with the Holy Spirit it has to convict of sin and convince of Grace.
People think they are okay.
But this is an age overrun with dull, mealy mouthed, unfaithful and unmanly men ... that’s who thinks they are okay. But they are not JUST men of unclean lips among a people of unclean lips, no, but men of unclean “what have you got?!” (say it out loud as in great enthusiastic expectation to get the intended effect)
The men of Sodom might be scandalized by this generation, not because so many are very much worse than they were but because so many, professing themselves to be good, trample on the Grace of God and the opportunity to repent that the men of Sodom had no knowledge of.
The old hymn goes: just as I am, without one plea, but that your blood was shed for me, and that you bid me to come to thee, oh Lamb of God, I come!
But the version that too many these days would seem to believe goes instead: just as I am, I’m changing not, how dare you say my soul has got spots? I’m okay with me and that should be enough, oh Lamb of God I’ll come, but only just as I am.
The second version does not end well for the proverbial singer.
And another denomination bites the dust and tosses out Christian morality.
“And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Matthew 19:4-5
“take into account”
Not “talk into account” ... I hate typos.
Probably the reapers when they come to separate the wheat and the tares.
...and never mind God's word...
Sounds like the U2 gang in the US: Whatever you believe is cool, unless it’s not progressive.
Another group that has departed from the Faith.
Too bad they didn’t ask God.
The whole same sex BS is pathetic.
Bet that First Amendment thingy would come in pretty handy right about now, eh, mates?
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