Toon article displayed at society table

Published September 1, 1998

The Prayer Book Society of Canada is not just about “the little red book” says the society’s national director, Graham Eglington.

As well as protecting and defending the Book of Common Prayer, the society is concerned about any attempt to dilute “traditional Trinitarian doctrine,” Mr. Eglington said in an interview.

The traditional marriage service stressing the sanctity of holy matrimony is part of that, he said.

That explains why an article by Rev. Dr. Peter Toon, a controversial conservative U.S. Anglican theologian, appeared at the society’s booth at General Synod.

Entitled, Why get married?: An authentic Anglican answer, the article begins: “Before anyone can oppose any form of homosexual partnership (marriage) and its blessing by the church, he needs to be clear as to what is a Christian marriage.”

The description of matrimony as a relationship, the widespread use of contraception, the development of radical individualism in terms of self fulfilment and the general weakening of traditional moral standards have brought major challenges to the Judeo-Christian doctrine of marriage, states Dr. Toon.

Those challenges have led many churches to make immediate compromises with secular culture.

For a traditional view of marriage, readers are advised to turn to the preface of the marriage service composed by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer for the first Book of Common Prayer in 1549 and retained in the Book of Common Prayer of 1662 which, the article notes, is still the Church of England’s official prayer book.

The purpose of marriage is said to be: for the procreation of children who are to be raised in the fear and nurture of the Lord; for a remedy against sin and to avoid fornication; and for the mutual society, help and comfort of the marriage partners.

Because marriage today is often a contract between two persons for mutual satisfaction until one breaks it through no-fault divorce, Dr. Toon argued it should be no surprise homosexuals claim the right to marriage for mutual pleasure.


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