Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Leaders of Britain's black-majority Christian denominations speak out against same-sex marriage

Rev Yemi Adedeji
Yesterday The Telegraph published a letter (see full text below) from the leaders of Britain's black-majority Christian denominations, in which they spoke out against the government's bill to enact same-sex marriage (see The Telegraph's report). The letter is also signed by the leaders of Chinese and south Asian Christian denominations. Among other things, they say:
"By changing marriage from its historic foundation they would be creating a legal fiction, and consequently devaluing this vitally important social institution."
This sentence from the black-majority Christian leaders reminds of Martin Luther King Jnr's famous "Letter from Birmingham Jail" about which I blogged in January last year. He wrote:
"[T]here are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that "an unjust law is no law at all."

Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of Harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.. [and] ends up relegating persons to the status of things."
I pray that many people will rise up and join the Christian leaders in speaking out against the unjust law of same-sex marriage which the government is moving to enact. Please email me today at johnsmeaton@spuc.org.uk to find out how you can help.

Vote on gay marriage

SIR – The Government is forcing through fundamental changes to the nature of marriage, and has failed to think through the consequences properly. We are leaders of large, ethnically diverse denominations in Britain – growing churches. Instead of hearing our concerns, the Government is taking direction from tiny faith groups to infer backing for its plans.

If the Government gets its way, it will not be a victory for equality. Equality requires diversity, and diversity requires distinctiveness, and marriage is and always will be distinctively a union between a man and a woman. By changing marriage from its historic foundation it would be creating a legal fiction, and consequently devaluing this vitally important social institution. The Government is not respecting difference, and it is not promoting a plural society.

The people of Britain need to have their say. These plans were not in any party’s manifesto, and if the Government had any respect for democracy it would allow a referendum before making fundamental changes to the nature of marriage.

Rev Yemi Adedeji
Director, One People Commission

Rev Kingsley Appiagyei
Senior Pastor, Trinity Baptist Church

Bishop Eric Brown
National Overseer, New Testament Church of God

Rev Dr Daniel Chae
Executive Director, Amnos Ministries

John Glass
General Superintendent, Elim Pentecostal Church

Pastor Agu Irukwu
Senior Pastor, Jesus House

Dr Tani Omideyi
Senior Minister, Love & Joy Ministries

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