Skip to comments.Bible supports homosexual partnerships, says bishop
Posted on 05/27/2006 9:45:47 PM PDT by fgoodwin
Bible supports homosexual partnerships, says bishop
By Jonathan Wynne-Jones (Filed: 28/05/2006)
One of the country's most senior bishops has reignited the Church of England row over homosexuality by claiming that same-sex partnerships are supported by the Bible.
The Rt Rev Richard Harries, the Bishop of Oxford, said that traditionalists in the Church needed to be "converted" to see that homosexual unions are confirmed by the scriptures.
He reaffirmed his controversial belief that an openly gay man should be allowed to be appointed a bishop.
His remarks have angered traditionalists and are set to rekindle the debate on homosexual "marriages" that has left the Church's House of Bishops deeply divided following the introduction of the Civil Partnerships Act last year.
Bishop Harries said that the Church of England faced a split if the liberal and conservative factions did not come to an agreement on how to be more inclusive towards homosexuals. In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, Bishop Harries, who retires this week, expressed his regret that Canon Jeffrey John, now Dean of St Albans, had been forced to withdraw as Bishop of Reading after it emerged that he was in a long-term homosexual -relationship.
His decision to promote Canon John to bishop caused an outcry in 2003. But last night Bishop Harries stood by his action.
"I'd still like him to become a bishop," he said. "He has all the gifts to be a bishop, but there is still a process of discernment going on. For there to be change, evangelicals have to be convinced that a permanent, faithful same-sex partnership is congruous with biblical truth."
America became the first province of the worldwide Anglican Communion to promote an openly gay man to bishop, when Canon Gene Robinson was elected in New Hampshire in 2003, plunging the worldwide Church into a crisis that still engulfs it.
Bishop Harries said: "It's difficult to have gay partnerships fully accepted by the Church, a Church in which evangelicals are a valued part, if they are so strongly opposed to it. There has to be a conversion to a new way to see that gay partnerships are not contrary to biblical truth. They are congruous with the deepest biblical truths, about faithfulness and stability."
The House of Bishops last year issued pastoral advice on the Civil Partnerships Act, allowing clergy to enter into relationships on the condition that they assured their bishop that they would abstain from sex.
However, the Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, has denounced the guidelines as "unbiblical" and unworkable. The bishop, who is a potential successor to Bishop Harries, said the policy had undermined Church teaching and unity.
Gay clergy have already defied the bishops' statement by saying that they will not give assurances that they will be celibate. A number have registered their partnerships and had the relationship blessed in Church despite guidelines recommending that they not be offered formal services.
Reform, an influential evangelical group that represents more than 1,000 parishes, has written to bishops urging them to reconsider the guidelines.
Its chairman, the Rev David Banting, expressed dismay at Bishop Harries's comments, arguing that the bishop was wrong to want them to be "converted" to his position.
"He thinks that he has the weight of culture and the weight of the majority of the Church in the West behind him, which convinces him that he's right," said Mr Banting.
"Same-sex partnerships are not congruous with the Bible," he said, adding: "Sexual relations outside of heterosexual marriage are not blessed by God.
"We need to be pastorally supportive of those who struggle in this area, but we shouldn't be trying to change the teaching of the Church. No amount of calling black white will make black white."
As the House of Bishops prepares to discuss the Anglican homosexual crisis at its meeting next week, liberals in the Church will be encouraged by the comments from so respected a figure.
The Rev Dr Giles Fraser, the chairman of Inclusive Church, a liberal group, said: "His comments will be received with joy by the majority of ordinary churchgoers. It is absolutely clear that the Church needs to have a more welcoming and loving attitude to gays."
Bishop Harries, who was made a life peer last week, said that the Jeffrey John affair had made people think about the issue in way that they never had before.
"I knew that it would be divisive within the diocese of Oxford, but I thought that that could be contained within two years. I hadn't realised the effect on the Anglican Communion and the pressure put on the archbishop as a result of that."
Dr John, 53, is still in a relationship with another cleric, the Rev Grant Holmes, which he says is celibate. Dr John is the author of the controversial book Permanent, Faithful, Stable, which argues for overturning the Church's ban on the ordination of practising homosexual clergy.
What is his argument based on for him to state that the Bible supports homosexual relationships?
Everything is totally relative to these liberals!!
Let me try one now: The Bible allows everyone to kill anyone they want and to steal everything they might like whenever they want.
A truly loving God would support my premise, right??
The bishop is wrong.
A truly loving God would support my premise, right??>"
Only if your gawds name is (b)allah!
Then it's commanded of you!
I'm fairly certain the bible doesn't condone homosexuality, being an agnostic, I won't presume.
I'm certain that nature abhors it.
Yeah, I suppose that bishop has a pretty solid grasp on the Bible. Definately no condemnation of homosexuality here! Go for it, fellas, live it up!
I believe that is patriarchy...might not be spelled correctly, but I am a mere woman. ;-)
Yeah, I noticed the good bishop conveniently left out any specific Bible verses that condone homosexuality.
The bishop is an idiot. How did he ever manage to become a bishop?
Probably in the same way that John Spong became one.
It's really a matter of translation :) (you do know that the Bible wasn't written in english... and was revised several times during the middle ages, to fit the requirements better)
and for the other part the Bishop might have been referring to this:
I'm sure you know the story... but read the interpretations :P (I'm a bit too busy these days to go into depths of christian mysticism so wikipedia will have to suffice)
This is a weak tool of the ungodly. To quote wikipedia - "Some scholars (a strong minority) insinuate innuendo in David's "bowing three times" before Jonathan and David's subsequent "exceeding". It has been suggested this is a reference to oral sex and ejaculation. "
Perverts see perversion in everything. Those who know Hebrew know better.
and for the other part the Bishop might have been referring to this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_and_DavidThe Bible, in Leviticus and by the Apostle Paul, clearly and unambiguously condemns same-sex intercourse as an abomination.
I'll take that clear language over an insinuation about David & Jonathan any day. Show me even one clear and unambiguous verse in the Bible in which God blesses such sex, and you might have a case.
Otherwise its just speculation, unlike the outright condemnation of gay sex.
Yes, that's one thing I have not done well is my spelling.
As I said... don't have much time :) so others will have to advocate my case. It deals with everything that some misguided people usually quote.
You might want to find some time in your busy schedule to study the Bible and get the truth for yourself. Watching or reading The DaVinci Code and googling up a wikipedia article certainly will do wonders to find the latest screed against the Bible, but little to actually shed any true light. Take the time to read the Bible for yourself, and come to your own conclusions.
Sooner or later, you'll have plenty of time. You might want to go beyond a web search, and read the Bible. In other words, don't Ask Jeeves, Ask Jesus!
LOL!!! Amen...my wife bought me his book, "the Sins of Scripture"...I didn't know who he was and so to be kind to my wife I read it some...I got thru a chapter and felt dirty then I read another and became angry and the last words I read in that filthy book was that the Apostle Paul was gay and it was clear so when he said that he does what he does not want etc in one of his letters (I forget now which)...At that point I told my wife I can't read another page of this clowns perverted writings...
"Let me try one now: The Bible allows everyone to kill anyone they want and to steal everything they might like whenever they want.
A truly loving God would support my premise, right??"
Actually, I belive that would be the conclusion... and the only way for them to get the conclusion they got (that is, that the Bible condones homosexual "partnerships") was:
a) They ignored any parts they disagreed with.
b) They took some passages horribly out of context.
c) they haven't even read the Bible and/or understand nothing of its message.
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