Promoting a gay priest to bishop

Discussion in 'Christianity' started by brian, Jun 20, 2003.

  1. brian

    brian Administrator Admin

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    Well, it's making national headlines now here in Britain. Essentially, a gay Anglican priest in Oxford has been nominated to be the Bishop of Reading. And the gay priest refuses to abandon his long-term gay partner of 27 years.

    It's an issue threatennig to cause a schism in the Anglican Church, which covers other Commonwealth countries as well as England.

    Anyway, does anybody have any thoughts on the matter? As this is a Christian issue I figure this news item is best actually posted here:

    Gay bishop answers critics

    There are more links on the right-hand nav bar for further background information to this issue.
     
  2. Polycarp

    Polycarp Established Member

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    Are you sure you want that much controversy on your comparatively baby board, Brian?

    We American Episcopalians beat you Brits to it by a few days -- the Rev. Canon Gene Robinson was elected Bishop of New Hampshire. Here's an abbreviated version of the AP story. The New York Times story, which was more detailed, is unfortunately now only on a pay-to-read basis. Joseph Farah of dear old World Net Daily weighed in with a diatribe denouncing the election.

    Minor nitpick: Anglicans believe in the threefold ministry: deacon, presbyter (priest), and bishop, each of which is a separate ordination to the job. So it's not a "promotion" in the sense of "working for the old firm but getting a better job there" but rather the two men have been chosen and will be set apart for a different ministry.

    Most of us Episcopalians do not see a gay man in a committed relationship as sinning by virtue of his sexuality or his sex life. Obviously, we're in the minority in this view among Christians.
     
  3. brian

    brian Administrator Admin

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    [quote author=Polycarp link=board=7;threadid=198;start=msg898#msg898 date=1056122276]
    Are you sure you want that much controversy on your comparatively baby board, Brian?
    [/quote]

    It's certainly an opportunity for great controversy - but I cannot keep this place immune from real world issues. Allowing the discussion of religion of any form will be a challenge in itself. The hope is simply that such realities can be dealt with in a constructive manner.

    And this is a fairly important news story in the UK at the moment. Besides, it's also a good way to test the waters and get a better idea of the active members here - not by way of what their actual opinions are, but of how they express them. :)

    Thank's for the info on Rev. Gene Robinson, though - I'll check that out. And feel free to nitpick as well. :)

    Btw - thanks for the info on the Episcopalian position. I just ran a quick search and ended up on episcopalian.org, which looks worth bookmarking.
     
  4. Dave the Web

    Dave the Web Well-Known Member

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    I think we are better reinventing a modern tradition based on compassion as that is what I see as essential to the teachings of Jesus.
     
  5. brian

    brian Administrator Admin

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    I can certainly sympathise with the traditionalists - essentially this entire issue is not one of whether a certain priest may or may not function as, but of the nature of Christian teaching in general. That's a far wider issue than simply referencing the Pauline epistles.

    And as Christian teaching itself is essentially traditionalist at heart, really the matter is one of the most profound significance for the future of Christianity.

    It's also interesting to note that there was due to be a larger debate on the issue of homosexuality within a coming Anglican Synod - or so I'm led to believe. In which case the deciding of this individual case would likely be seen as possibly pre-empting the decision of that later synod. That would more than likely explain the reluctance by Rowan Williams (the new Archbishop of Canterbury) to publicly address the issue - because in doing so he would effectively be seen to undermine the coming synod.

    I guess when coupled with the Episcoopolian appointment we observe the modern Christian chruch at its own Rubicon, where traditional teaching faces the ultimate challenge - exist on the promotion of tradional interpretations, or else exist on the promotion of contemporary societal valiues.

    The danger is that the various decisions will be seen as "pick and choose" approach to scripture. After all, what is the ultimate authority of the Bible? That is where the question being addressed actually lays.
     
  6. kiwimac

    kiwimac God is NOT about Fear

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    This whole debate over the ordination / consecration of homosexuals in loving relationships or who are celibate has missed the point, IMO.

    Instead of this being a way for Christians to address the oppression of the LGBT community in their midst, it has been hijacked into a condemnation of them. We forget at our peril, ISTM, that Jesus showed by his life an example of the inclusive nature of God's kingdom.

    He followshipped with those for whom the religious leaders of his day had no time, they were unclean, sinners, condemned by their mere being to second-class status & yet there was Jesus in their midst, attending their parties, fellowshipping with them & showing them by his life that in God's eyes they were acceptable.

    How far the church has come from that place.

    Kiwimac
     
  7. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Hi kiwimac - and welcome to comparative-religion.com!

    And a very salient point indeed - the Gospels make repeated points of Jesus fighting the doctrinated prejudices of the Pharisees. Isn't that somehow a tragic irony?
     
  8. Polycarp

    Polycarp Established Member

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    I probably don't need to tell you that this issue pushed any number of my buttons. Needless to say, I've followed the issue closely, and can probide a fair amount of background data, as well as theological arguments on both sides. Just ask, or as erroneous data gets cited, I'll provide corrections. (E.g., Bishop Robinson did not "abandon his wife for another man" as several anti-Robinson reports have it.)

    Most recent development, affecting one of our own, is that Siege's diocese is convening a special diocesan convention, with the major agenda item being to effectively withdraw from the Episcopal Church over this issue.
     
  9. dasant

    dasant Member

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    If god has created us all in his own image, and homosexuals, bisexuals exist then why is it thus a sin to be so; when yet they are created out of god’s own image.

    As Pagan-prophet as stated, god knows and can stop us from sinning but continues to let us. Pagan-prophet also proves that god knew eve was going to eat from the tree, but god still creates the tree. It’s the same thing for god knows homosexuals will exist, but still lets them exist. That in itself is a hypocritical statement for he knows that they will live, but then sends them to hell knowing this ahead of time. But doesn’t god love everyone. Is that too a myth in the Christian world?

    If we have free will to choose, then we are choosing to be heterosexual, bisexual, or even homosexual. So if it’s their choice, then it must be your choice to be heterosexual. That proves that heterosexual men and women should also go to hell for god lets both homosexual and heterosexuals exist out of his own image. Why are homosexuals sent to hell and heterosexuals not. But what about bisexual men and women. Do they go to hell? They love men and women. That’s a question I still cannot figure. In my opinion it’s not a matter of choice, it’s a matter of the way you were created.

    But then we have the crusades…kill for god. Has anyone heard the term ‘‘though shall not kill’’?

    another essay i wrote..just my take on christianity and homosexuality

    :D
     
  10. JJM

    JJM Well-Known Member

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    Hi I'd like you to read my response to pagan-Prohet's take on that. I think it will explain my point of view. But I'd like to say that he hasn't "proven" anything. I do think we where made in Gods image but I don't think that that has anything to do with your sexuality. That would be completely genetic and I don't think homosexuality is. This you say it is a choice. People are not born homosexuals they may become that way through no fault of their own but being in Gods image has nothing to do with that. And I don't know if their is truly anything wrong with it but as for why can't we choose to be "Gay" (which is my new word for the rest of the time because Homosexual is far to long), if it is wrong, is just like saying why is it wrong to rob a bank or why is it wrong to choose to rape someone. We can but we shouldn't. That is why I don't think what your saying makes sense. I also think that if it is a sin they will only go to hell if they refuse to give up the practice after they die and find out the truth. As for the "Gay" bishop. I do believe that the Anglican church still believes in abstinence until marriage and if in the US in most places "Gay" people can't get married then they shouldn't be having sexual relationships if they are gay our not. I however do think it is wrong because there is no point to it other than lust. But I as I said don't really know.


    Finally as in regard to the crusades, which by the way I'm neither condoning nor doing what ever the opposite of condoning is. I do however believe that the Original commandment was murder and I don't think all killing is murder and it is pretty much left up to us to decide what murder is.

    ______________________________________________
    I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.
    Socrates
     
  11. dasant

    dasant Member

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    ..

    God can foresee the future, and god is all knowing. Furthering his ability that he will indeed know each and every man and women that thus turns homosexual. Meaning that if by common knowledge gays will go to hell, that god is making a hypocritical act. He knows they will be gay, and then creates them out of his image…
    I do not think it’s a choice. But as many Christians say god gave us freewill to choose, that’s why he does not change our sexuality. I think they are born that way, but I wanted to point out what was wrong with that theory. The fact that we all then would have the choice and that there would be no difference between gays and straights in choosing sexuality.

    that's all
     
  12. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Life is nothing without challenge

    Everyone of us has challenges/obstacles to overcome. We are not perfect, and never was one of us made perfect (those born of natural means). Show me a child who suffered at the hands of adults/older teens who drank alot of alcohol, and tended towards violence, and I can show you a potential alcoholic spouse/child abuser. Show me a female child who was abused by an adult or adolescent teen, and I can show you a potential lesbian, or manipulative woman who hates/loves men, or a person who is sexually dead. Same could be said about boys.

    Then there are those who just seem bent towards sexual interest in the same sex.

    From nature's perspective, a homosexual relationship is a dead end. New versions of DNA can not be introduced into the Human gene pool. Also from nature's perspective, homosexuals can not fulfill the designed function of the penis and vagina (one fits into the other, by genetic/natural design). I'm not arguing for or against the creativity of human sexual nature, just stating the obvious. No two penises can fit into each other, and no two vaginas can fit into each other. So for the purpose of continuing the species, homosexuality is a no go.

    As far as sin goes (from a Judeao-Christian perspective), homosexuality (the engaging in the act), is no greater or lesser a sin than any other. In fact, the only unforgivable sin is blasphemy. Everything else is same rank.

    Sure God can see the future, God also gave us free will, and did so on purpose, which is why we haven't suffered the fate of some of the angels of heaven. For defying God, their retribution was swift and harsh. They excercised self will, without God's permission, and paid a heavy price.

    Homosexuals have problems, but then who the hell doesn't? Now pedophiles, are walking on thin ice (from western man's perspective). God may forgive, but man has a tendency to be much harsher on this kind of person. Even the most hardened convicts in prison look down on a convicted pedophile (I use the term look down, loosely).

    Bottom line is God is perfect, we are not, but we have potential, and He wants us to try to grab the brass ring, and keep trying, and never quit. All the while we learn more and more. Probably because it keeps us from being bored, and we begin to understand the nature of "God" a bit more each time. And man is nothing if not curious and inquisitive...

    my two cents
     
  13. JJM

    JJM Well-Known Member

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    I understand that you believe that People are born Gay. I don't feel that way and before I speak I'd like to say that I don't mean to offend anyone. If people are born gay then it is Genetic. And it only makes sense to me that if it is genetic then at least one of their parents where gay. And why are the children of homosexuals not homosexuals themselves. If it is recessive and their parents are carriers then isn't it safe to say that homosexuality would be a genetic disorder especially because that person would not pass on their genes. (If I'm not writing in what I wrote I'd appreciate if someone told me) I don't doubt that some people are attracted to the same sex and it is beyond their control but I don't think that they have to act on it. I just don't think that they where actually born that way. I understand your point of view but I don't agree with it and we will get no where stating the same thing over and over again.

    As for God knowing the future then if he does it means that the future is preordained and then we have on free will. That means we can't be held accountable for our actions. Because sin is freely choosing to do what we know is wrong and we can't freely choose then no one sins. That is why I don't think he can see the future in that sense. If you do you have to by that logic think that no one sins. I believe that he can predict the future in the sense that he can say at 6:25 AM on January 25 bob will be struck by lightning and then he does it ( not to say god would do that) but to say that he knows what we will do means that Our lives are pointless because we are not in control of our actions. We may not be in control of the results of our action but I think we can choose what we attempt to do.

    ____________________________________________

    I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.
    Socrates
     
  14. dasant

    dasant Member

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    hmm

    I know a friend of mine, who has had no one in her entire family be homosexual…and is bisexual. A question I have is, do bisexual men and women go to hell.
    God is supposed to be all mighty, and all-powerful. Meaning that yes, he can see the future…in my opinion. We are free to choose but then gods know what we will choose, meaning that god has created sin. Making me an un-believer in Christianity.
     
  15. JJM

    JJM Well-Known Member

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    Yes Bisexuals would go to hell if homosexuality is a sin but if it isn't then no. The way I see it if God knows what we will choose no we have no chose but to choose that which means we aren’t actually choosing anything. That is why I believe he doesn't know what we will choose because if he does we aren’t actually choosing. So Because I am a believer in Christianity I can’t believe that God knows what we will choose. By the way is it my imagination or did you change your avatar if so nice chioce don't know what it is but it looks good.

    ____________________________________________________
    I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.
    Socrates
     
  16. dasant

    dasant Member

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    I still don't see why bisexual men and women would go to hell, for they are straight as well.

    Since my thoughts are that god does see the future because he is almighty and all-power fall; I believe that he has created sin. Meaning god himself sins. Which leads me to have doubt in this so called almighty being.

    We are created out of his own image, which we both agree on. If homosexuals exist, and are coming out of his own image, that means god has an image of them. So why would they go to hell, if god knows they will exist and thus creates them…

    If he were almighty and powerful, why wouldn’t he stop all sin…and stop these people from existing…because he can control his own image right?

    And my avatar is Marilyn Manson...
     
  17. JJM

    JJM Well-Known Member

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    I agree with you if God knows what we will do then we don't freely choose to do it. Sin is Choosing freely to do what we know is wrong. So no one sins thus no one can go to hell. So as long as you believe that God knows what we will do you should believe that no one will go to hell. And as long as you believe that homosexuality is genetic then God could very well be attracted to men. And you are right. What we differ on is weather Homosexuality is genetic and if God can see the future if I agreed with you on those things we'd have the exact same point of view about homosexuality being a sin. However the thought that we have no free will means and Gad creates evil is something that I as a Christian cannot believe so that Is the way I think the way I do. I don't know if I'm being naive or what but that is my point of view. I do think that God is all powerful but that doesn't mean he is all knowing. I believe that God knows everything about the present and past and the way the entire universe works but I do not believe he knows what has not happened yet. He very well could but if he does then No one can be held accountable for their actions.

    As for being made from God's image. I don't believe that homosexuality is genetic thus it has nothing to do with God's image but even if it does (and I think this will help with the bisexual thing too) It is not being attracted to the same sex which is a sin it is acting on it by having sexual intercourse with that person that is a sin in the eyes of many Christians. That is why Bisexuality is a sin. I don't know if you already knew that or not but from your last post it accrued to me that you didn't. Maybe I'm wrong and you did know.

    And as for your last question if you go with my theory that God doesn't know what we will do then that means were have free will. In my opinion free will is what causes sin. But taking it away from someone would be a sin. So God allows us to sin to keep himself from sinning. So while God can control our actions thus know what we will do. He doesn’t because he’d be sinning himself. I don't know how much sense that makes but it is what I think.


    ____________________________________________________
    I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.
    Socrates
     
  18. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Maybe free will has something to do with changing the future possibilities. If so, God has a whole lot of outcomes to sort through. Perhaps most are negative, so when we choose a positive one, He is pleased.





    If I put God in a box, do I not put myself in a coffin? Think about it.
     
  19. JJM

    JJM Well-Known Member

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    THat makes perfect sense to me. We choose to do things but we are not in conrol of the outcome of those choices. Is that what you are saying? If so does that still mean that God doesn't know what we will choose?
     
  20. Excelsis Deo

    Excelsis Deo Member

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    What does it mean God made us in His image? God made Adam and Eve in His image. Perfect spotless......then the fall and you know the rest..........So you and I are a corrupted image of God thats the first problem. Mankind is born with a sin nature and this leads to all kinds of vice like homosexuality. Can a homosexual be saved? Yes, we are ALL on our way to eternal seperation from God not just the gays. The only thing that saves our hetero and homo butts is the death of Jesus for our sin. The issue is forgiveness. Of course to receive the gift of salvation one has to repent (turn voluntarily from sin to God). There is hope for everybody gay or straight.

    To address the issue more directly i would say this is not an identity issue as it is a lust issue. I a man, lust after women on occasion. Is it wrong? Jesus says it is. And unless I am marrried to the woman I cant have sex with her or even THINK about having sex with her. Homosexuality is a manifestation of the sinful nature as mine is for lusting after women. Jesus' command is to flee those lusts and depend on God for strength to overcome them.
     

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