Marriage booklets out
More than 65,000 booklets discussing God’s plan for marriage in light of the current push for its redefinition are being distributed to Sydney churches.
The 20-page booklet opens up the question (which is also its title), What has God joined together? Jesus’ good message about marriage for Australia. The publication outlines the biblical view on marriage and answers some common challenges to that view in the context of the same-sex marriage debate.
“Jesus said that from the beginning marriage has been the result of a man leaving his mother and father, joining to a woman and the two becoming one flesh,” Archbishop Davies says in his introduction.
“Once this was obvious for all Australians. Now Australians are hearing voices say that marriage is not about a man and a woman; that gender doesn’t matter at all to marriage. A new definition of marriage is being put forward, which claims that it is simply about two people who love each other and want to commit to each other.”
The Archbishop has challenged Christians to speak up and Bishop Michael Stead, who chairs the taskforce that produced the booklet, says he hopes it will be used by Christians to prepare themselves to enter the public discussion around this issue.
“There needs be an intelligent public conversation in Australia about this whole question of marriage,” he says. “Although a national plebiscite on this issue was blocked by the Senate, the Government remains committed to its election promise to have a plebiscite, which means that this question will not be decided by a conscience vote in Parliament in the current term.
“Either at the next election or sometime before, we will have to have a debate about the substantive issues, which we really haven’t had so far in this country.”
Bishop Stead adds that the booklet “provides an opportunity for people to inform themselves and to recognise that there are dimensions to this issue that they haven’t heard in the media because they are only getting a very limited story.
“The booklet lays out the issues which need to be explored and shows that there are good reasons not to support same-sex marriage that don’t spring from bigotry or hate or fear.”
As well as printed copies available from churches, the full text of the booklet and further resources are available online at www.sydneyanglicans.net/marriage. Parishes requiring more copies should email.