88 evangelical leaders have in a letter cautioned bishops of the Church of England not to stray from the Bible’s teaching regarding same-sex marriage.

According to The Christian Institute, the letter precedes the Church of England’s General Synod which will take place in February and will address the Church’s stance on issues of gay marriage.

The letter states that “the Bible is clear” that marriage is defined as between one man and one woman and that this truth should not be considered of “secondary importance.”

Additionally, the letter cautions that embracing same-sex marriage would be “a significant departure from our apostolic inheritance and the authority of the Bible in matters of faith and doctrine.”

Western Anglican churches, along with the Anglican Church of South Africa, tend to be more lenient regarding same-sex marriage, but Anglican churches in other areas of the world–which make up the majority of Anglicans–tend to take a more conservative view.

“The Church cannot condone same-sex unions as a form of behaviour acceptable to God,” said a statement from the Global Anglican Future, or GAFCON.

Despite condemnation of same-sex marriage and a call to follow the Bible’s teaching on the issue, the statement also called for “sensitive and compassionate ministry to those who are sexually broken.”

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