New Church of England archbishop says Bible must bend to modern sexuality

Stephen Cottrell, the current Bishop of Chelmsford and the soon-to-be Archbishop of York (Image: Getty)

The UK’s incoming Archbishop of York is firmly entrenching the whims of mankind ahead of the word of God, saying that he believes biblical teaching on sexuality should come second to the cultural whims and tastes of the 21st century, reports The Christian Institute.

Stephen Cottrell, currently the Bishop of Chelmsford, will take over from John Sentamu next year to become the second most senior clergyman in the Church of England.

Bishop Cottrell made his comments on the Bible in 2017 as he welcomed the Archbishops of Canterbury and York’s plea for a “radical new Christian inclusion.” He said it would be wrong to ignore the “damage” that is done by not embracing Western society’s current, permissive, wildly inclusive view of human sexuality, in which no deviation seems to rise to the level of perversion.

He also claimed, in the same address to leaders in his own diocese, that taking a biblical view on same-sex relationships “can legitimize homophobia in others.”

While Bishop Cottrell did acknowledge biblical passages spoke about the issue, he said they were merely “part of our story and our inheritance,” implying that they should be discounted as any kind of moral guide.

“But what we can do is recognize that what we know now about human development and human sexuality requires us to look again at those texts to see what they are actually saying to our situation, for what we know now is not what was known then.”

The future Archbishop also said there was “no reason” why thanksgiving prayers or a communion service could not be offered for civil partnerships.

The doctrine of the Church of England, as enshrined in a 1987 General Synod Motion, is that homosexual acts are something to be repented. This is further underlined by the 1998 Lambeth Conference Resolution which opposes the “legitimizing or blessing of same sex unions”.

Bishop Cottrell said he was “humbled and excited at the prospect of becoming the 98th Archbishop of York”.


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