5 June 2013

CHRISTIAN CONCERN-Awake and Arise, O Church!:

Watch Andrea's message of
thanks and reaction to the
Lords vote (1m 18s) >

BBC Six O'Clock News report,
featuring footage of the prayer
rally (2m 38s) >

"Standing tall" for marriage at
the prayer rally

It was great to see so many
come and join us outside

You've probably heard by now that the House of Lords voted last night to allow the same sex marriage Bill to pass. It will now go to committee stage, where Peers will examine the Bill and suggest amendments, before it is voted on again at the Bill's Third Reading.

I'd like to thank all of you who have been so faithful in prayer over the last few days, especially to all who came and joined us outside Parliament. The atmosphere was fantastic: respectful, colourful and joyful, with a sense of trusting the Lord for the outcome. It was great to see our "bride and groom" on the Six O'Clock News last night!

Thank you too for writing letters, sending emails and making phone calls in the run up to the vote.

We have taken action on this issue because this is the way of Jesus - to act with compassion. Some may try to portray us as "bigots" but we stand for marriage because we believe that God's ways are best for individuals and for nations.

So thank you for all that you've done. We couldn't have done anymore.

I'm not going to sugar-coat this situation; we were hoping for far more votes against the Bill than we got. It's a sad result.

But it's important to note that there are many Peers, whilst very uncomfortable with the content of this Bill, who felt unable to vote it down at this early stage. If you add these to the number who did vote against the Bill, this makes up a sizable group who will argue for amendments to be made at the committee stage. The Bill is not yet law and there is still some way to go before it is.

The Bill could still fail. We've nothing to lose and everything to play for, so it's important we keep up the pressure. Please keep praying as the Bill progresses. 

I believe we're at a stage now when we have to work out what's next for us as Christians who believe passionately in the truth of God's Word. The Lords vote shows that Parliament is largely no longer with us on social issues. Likewise, the courts have not ruled in our favour when it comes to issues of Christian conscience.

So it's time to rethink ways in which we can engage the public with the truth of Jesus Christ. Our society faces many problems. We have been given the answer in Jesus Christ. We are simply jars of clay which contain the treasure of the gospel. It's time for the Church to rise up and share this treasure with the nation!

Let's not lose heart. We're told in Psalm 146 not to put our trust in princes. The last few days have demonstrated why. Our trust is in the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.

Let's not be cowed by the changes going on around us. Let's continue to be visible and vocal for our Lord Jesus Christ.

Thank you once again for standing with us.

In Christ

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