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Protestant churches which bless same-sex marriages miss “pastoral opportunity to help people discover God’s will”, says CNEF. Evangelicals are 70 per cent of practicing Protestants.
French evangelicals reacted on Monday to the decision taken this weekend by the biggest Protestant denomination, the EPUdF (Eglise Protestant Unie de France), whose ministers will start officiating same-sex marriages.
The CNEF (Conseil National des Évangéliques de France) issued a statement saying: “The National Council of Evangelicals of France feared such a decision, but was surprised by the overwhelming majority the votes in favor at the synodal vote.”
The decision of the Reformed and Lutheran Church is “questionable”, evangelicals argued. In the first place, because the praiseworthy concern to welcome homosexual people in the churches is confused with the blessing of a practice which is clearly condemned in the Bible”.
In addition, reads the text, “the blessing” of a same-sex marriage is not used as “a pastoral opportunity in which we help people discover God’s will.”
“Finally, the decision is promoting cheap Grace which is far away from the gospel of Jesus Christ and His demands regarding the Ethics of life.”
MESSAGE TO THE MEDIA: MOST PROTESTANTS ARE EVANGELICALS
Several media asked the CNEF to give an opinion regarding the decision of the EPUdF. This is why the Evangelical association saw the need to “remind people that not all Protestants agree with the decision, particularly not the evangelical Protestants, which represent more than 70% of all practicing Protestants in France.”
WELCOMING HOMOSEXUALS DOES NOT MEAN GAY MARRIAGE ENDORSEMENT
Evangelical churches “welcome in their churches people from all social, cultural or religious background, and of any sexual orientation. But evangelicals need to specify that welcoming someone does not necessarily mean to endorse their views.”
Evangelical churches “do not simply want to follow social tendencies, but to have a free voice, following the example of the first Reformers.”
“Their main priority is to call every man and woman to convert to Jesus Christ, and then, to walk with them, with sensitivity and respect, helping them to live by the gospel.”
CNEF’s statement concludes saying that the decision of the Reformed and Lutheran churches will probably “affect negatively the relationships with the evangelical Protestants.”