February 25, 2005

The Anglican Church

Note this entry is aimed at Christians ... not everyone.

The Anglican Church (that’s Episcopals in the US) is in an up roar over their stance on homosexuality. The crux of the issue is US Anglicans appointing an openly gay priest, Gene Robinson, as bishop of New Hampshire, further ‘Canadian Anglicans also approved a service of blessing for same-sex unions.’

Many Anglicans and the Church’s leadership or ‘Conservative and traditional Anglicans’ as they are labeled in the media are against this appointment sighting the Bible's condemnation of homosexuality. On the other hand ‘liberals and modernists’ say ‘people should be free to live as God made them, gay or straight or whatever.’

Don't even get me started on the silliness of the ‘be free to live as God made them’ statement ... for one I don't see where in Jewish or Christian doctrine you'd get the idea that God would have formed someone from birth sinful, it is true that we are all born under a curse of sin that I'll address later --- and no we should not be allowed to live that way! We should not be allowed to live in any kind of sin be it murder, or abusing children, or lying, without some sense of wrong.

The points have been presented in may articles as follows ...

Click the read more link ...

1) Many conservatives say the Bible is an infallible guide to human conduct, which must be followed strictly.

2) The liberals say the Bible must be interpreted in the light of modern knowledge.

3) They also point out that some conservatives are selective in choosing which injunctions to obey: nobody now takes the Bible seriously on the treatment of slaves, for instance.

4) And Jesus himself is not on record as saying anything about homosexuality.

Okay, first off this whole thing is stupid, given that some of these Episcopal’s claim Jesus is the only way for them … but can’t say he’s the only way for everyone. That alone disqualifies them from professing Christianity. In response a number of Southern California Churches withdrew from the Episcopal Church. In response to their withdraw Los Angeles Bishop John Bruno said: “I will not let the Holy Scriptures be compromised by those who seek to make their literalist and simplistic interpretation the only legitimate one.” Oh yeah ... you're right, everyone gets their own complicated and PC'd out interpretation ... sure sure.

However, I digress. Let me quickly address a few points.

As to the ‘Conservative’ assertion that the Bible is ‘infallible guide’ and ‘must be followed strictly.’ Believe it or not, I don’t think this is relevant to the dialog. There is no reason anyone would have to think the Bible is perfect, without error, and wholly inspired to use it as a guide in life, and to follow its teachings. However the idea that ‘the Bible must be interpreted in the light of modern knowledge’ is foolish.

First of all what ‘modern knowledge’ are they talking about? I can only assume that they are referring to the idea that homosexuality is genetic, that you are ‘born that way’ and therefore homosexuality is ‘natural’ and surely we can’t call what is natural a sin. Let’s look at one of the first places the Bible talks about sin …

“If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”

Since sin entered the world, we are sinful from birth, sin is natural we all have a problem with it … but we must try to rule over it, as Jesus said:

“And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell.”

However, it has of course never been empirically proven homosexuality is genetic, there have been studies leaning toward genetic, and/or psychological causes. To claim at the moment that homosexuality is genetic is to state a theory, not a fact, nor a sustainable accusation. In our era of Political Correctness any research on the topic is highly subjective, and rarely done in a fashion that would actually help us truly understand the issue. Mean while some in the Church ignore the Bible’s teachings in light of Man’s theories … and proudly smile in defiance to ‘intolerant’ orthodoxy. (Read more about it here ...)

“For the look on their faces bears witness against them; they proclaim their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! For they have brought evil on themselves.” (Isaiah 3:9)

The matter here is not if it’s natural, as sin itself is natural, if it is genetic, that’s no reason to assume it’s therefore perfectly legitimate and moral behavior. Does that mean its any worse then other sins? No, they are no worse sinners.

As to the point ‘some conservatives are selective in choosing which injunctions to obey: nobody now takes the Bible seriously on the treatment of slaves, for instance.’ Well this is just ludicrous; nobody takes the Bible ‘seriously on the treatment of slaves’? This is complete red herring, mention slavery and the argument’s won!

The Bible’s teaching on ‘slavery’ was in most part rules to enforce as humane as possible treatment of slaves, and on that point the slavery of the past few thousand years was wholly common place, and it bared little similarity to American Slavery in the 1800s. In fact, American slave traders and masters repeatedly violated the Bible’s commands on slavery, and indeed did so by proclaiming Africans to be some how sub-human, and therefore claimed they did not fall under the rights afforded them by the Scriptures.

Further the abolition movement was founded by Christians, propelled by Christians, and finished by Christians. It’s not logical to say ‘you don’t apply that rule’, when the person has no situation to apply that rule, if the person were presented with that situation, no doubt they would apply that rule.

The worse judgment no doubt falls not on the gay priest, but the one’s appointing him … and acting as if their religion doesn’t condone his actions.

And he said to his disciples, “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! (Luke 17:1)

Lastly as to the idea that ‘Jesus himself is not on record as saying anything about homosexuality.’ No he isn’t on record for that, but does he need to be? He’s on record with much more stringent statements then that!

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:28)

And further when asked about marriage and divorce Jesus said …

And Pharisees came up and in order to test him asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” He answered them, “What did Moses command you?” They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce and to send her away.” And Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Mark 10:2-9)

And as for sin and sexual immorality, sensuality, etc …

And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” (Mark 7:20-23)

I’ll add in Paul’s instructions on the matter to Timothy:

As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith. The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions.

Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the glorious gospel of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted. (1 Timothy 1:3-11)

The worst part about all of this is the Church is fighting over this matter, and not doing what it’s suppose to do, what it was commanded to do … to peach the Gospel, to aid the poor and sick. What better way to distract the Church from this calling then to inject needless dissent, disruption and disunity. No, I don’t think that means turn a blind eye to members of the Church preaching a different, incorrect doctrine, but it’s sad we’ve fallen so easily into the trap of the Enemy.


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