The Sydney archdiocese and marriage vows...
Brother Phil Jensen was here in Bloomington with his wife, Helen, about nineteen years ago. Phil preached and he and Helen were our houseguests. The conversation over three or four days was wonderful and Mary Lee and I learned much that we've copied in our work here in Bloomington.
Over the years we have been grateful for the work Phil, his brother Peter, and the men and women of St. Mattias have been doing in Sydney. More recently Peter has been appointed the Archbishop of the Sydney archdiocese. Not surprisingly he and his brother have been under almost ceaseless attack by the media.
If you keep your eye on the ball, you know sex is the gap in the wall of the church's service to Her Lord as the pillar and foundation of His Truth. And to God's glory, here is where we find Peter, Phil, Helen, and the men and women of Matthias Media standing, particularly. Principially. Which is to say they confess their Christian faith in the aggressively pagan city where God has called them.
As part of that confession, the Anglican archdiocese is in the process of adopting a prayer book which will keep intact the sexual specificity of Christian marriage ceremonies... including not simply that it is heterosexual, but also that its authority is ordered by God's creation order of Adam and Eve. Thus the proposed vows are different, particularly at the point of the wife's promise to live in submission to her husband.
As I've pointed out many times and will continue to point out, those weddings you attend or officiate that do not include the wife's vow to obey or submit to her husband are not Biblical weddings. The Anglicans know this and are governing their liturgy accordingly. Obviously, the watching world is apoplectic and this has given Archbishop Jensen a wonderful opportunity to confess Christian faith in the pages of the the Southern Hemisphere's oldest paper, the Sydney Morning Herald. Read the piece--it's a good example of the work all pastors and elders should be doing in our communities as our Lord's salt and light.
(Thanks to Steve H.)