- (Photo: Sky News video screencap)
A conservative Christian campaign group has called Sir Elton John's comments that Jesus would support same-sex marriage if he were alive today "remarkably ignorant and staggeringly arrogant."
Campaigns director Andrew Marsh of Christian Concern told BBC Radio Wales:
"Sad to say, these are remarkably ignorant and staggeringly arrogant comments, presuming to dictate to Jesus Christ what he should think when the reality is He has spoken quite clearly on this subject."
Marsh added that Jesus went "out of His way" to "underline that marriage is between a man and a woman, as God had intended."
He continued: "And the reason that He did that, as the most compassionate person that has ever walked on earth was not to oppress but because He recognized that that pattern of marriage between a man and a woman and the natural family is the means of human flourishing and in the best interests of individuals, of children and of society as a whole."
In June, John said in an interview that he believes Jesus would approve of gay marriage.
"These are old and stupid things. If Jesus Christ was alive today, I cannot see him, as the Christian person that he was and the great person that he was, saying this could not happen," the musician told Sky News, speaking out against Church of England rules banning gay clergy from getting married.
"He was all about love and compassion and forgiveness and trying to bring people together and that's what the church should be about."
John's comments came days after the Vatican released a major new document speaking out against unjust discrimination against gay people, but affirming traditional teachings on marriage.
John, who is a vocal gay rights activist, is planning on marrying his long-time partner David Furnish next year.
In his response, Marsh further added that God has given people "a pattern so that we might flourish," but noted that "all of us fall short of God's pattern, all of us are flawed and failed in every area, not least the area of sexual ethics."
"All of us fail and fall short of God's pattern for sexuality. But the answer to that is not to remove the pattern that God has given, it is to recognize that Jesus laid down His life so that we might be forgiven, restored, there might be hope for the future and that indeed is what God has promised," he concluded.
On its website, Christian Concern says it it has a "passion to see the United Kingdom return to the Christian faith," and has led a number of campaigns in the last couple of years aimed at mobilizing the church.