Christian Concern has attacked Sir Elton John for claiming that if Jesus were alive, he would support gay rights.

Sir Elton said last week: “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… he was all about love and compassion and forgiveness and trying to bring people together and that is what the church should be about.”

The charity’s spokesperson Andrew Marsh responded: “In terms of Sir Elton’s comments about Jesus, 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.

“The reality is that Jesus is alive… and when he was asked questions, he went out of his way to underline that marriage is between a man and a woman, as God had intended.

“The reason that he did that, as the most compassionate person who’s ever walked on earth was not to oppress but because he recognised that that pattern of marriage between a man and a woman and the natural family is the means of human flourishing.

“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 recognise 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.”

Last month, the head of Christian Concern, Andrea Williams, called on David Cameron to apologise for introducing “destructive” same-sex marriage.

In April, Ms Williams commented on the resignation of a gay teacher in Birmingham by claiming that school children were being indoctrinated into homosexuality.