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Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has come under fire for handing pro-LGBT singer Vicky Beeching an award for her "outstanding service to the church."
The archbishop presented Beeching, a lesbian and avid supporter of same-sex marriage, with the Thomas Cranmer Award for Worship.
She was honored alongside other Christian musicians, including Rev. Tim Hughes and Stuart Townend.
Colin Hart, Director of The Christian Institute, said he was "shocked" that Justin Welby had given an award to someone so outspoken in her promotion of homosexual marriage.
"Vicky Beeching rejects Christian teaching on sexual ethics by advocating for same-sex marriage. I'm shocked that the archbishop should choose to honor someone so out of step with the biblical understanding of marriage and sexual morality."
After receiving the award, Beeching told homosexual news site PinkNews that the ceremony was a "very positive step", adding that she wants the church to affirm LGBT people.
She said, "I hope that including someone like me in this year's Lambeth Palace Awards is a positive sign that inclusivity is on the horizon".
In 2014, Beeching announced that she was a lesbian and had come to celebrate it, after years of resisting her same-sex attraction.
The news shocked many Christians who recognized her as a Christian worship singer and songwriter.
Beeching's most well-known songs include 'The Wonder of the Cross' and 'Yesterday, Today and Forever'.
Since her announcement, Beeching has pursued a Ph.D. in theology and claims that the Bible can be interpreted in a way which affirms homosexual practice.
Truth of the Bible
After Beeching announced she was a lesbian in 2014, Christian talk show host Michael Brown commented: "If 10,000 pastors declared they were gay tomorrow, it would not change the truth of the Bible one iota."
He added, "No new textual, archeological, sociological, anthropological or philological discoveries have been made in the last 50 years that would cause us to read any of these biblical texts differently".
Brown was echoed by Robert A. J. Gagnon, associate professor of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, who said same-sex attraction "contradicts the intentional handiwork of our Creator".
"Western culture", he added, "has become skillful in suppressing the truth about the way God made us."
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