Skip to comments.Gays must change, says archbishop (Anglican leader turnaround)
Posted on 08/27/2006 9:53:49 AM PDT by Mount Athos
The archbishop of Canterbury has told homosexuals that they need to change their behaviour if they are to be welcomed into the church, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal.
Rowan Williams has distanced himself from his one-time liberal support of gay relationships and stressed that the tradition and teaching of the Church has in no way been altered by the Anglican Communion's consecration of its first openly homosexual bishop.
The declaration by the archbishop - rebutting the idea that homosexuals should be included in the church unconditionally - marks a significant development in the church's crisis over homosexuals. According to liberal and homosexual campaigners, it confirmed their fears that the archbishop has become increasingly conservative - and sparked accusations that he has performed an "astonishing" U-turn over the homosexual issue.
Liberals who had previously hailed his appointment said they are dismayed that he appears to have turned his back on an agenda that he previously championed.
However, the archbishop's comments have received strong support from traditionalists. The Rev Rod Thomas, a spokesman for the evangelical pressure group Reform, said: "There is no doubt that he is distancing himself from the views that he has previously expressed. He's right to want to see people converted. The fact that he's saying this is a hugely welcome development."
The revelations came in a newspaper interview last week in which the archbishop denied that it was time for the church to accept homosexual relationships, suggesting that it should be welcoming rather than inclusive. "I don't believe inclusion is a value in itself. Welcome is. We don't say 'Come in and we ask no questions'. I do believe conversion means conversion of habits, behaviours, ideas, emotions," he told a Dutch journalist.
"Ethics is not a matter of a set of abstract rules, it is a matter of living the mind of Christ. That applies to sexual ethics."
At the same time he tried to distance himself from a controversial essay he wrote 20 years ago, in which he defended same-sex love. "That was when I was a professor, to stimulate debate," he claimed. "It did not generate much support and a lot of criticism - quite fairly on a number of points."
The archbishop said that he was determined to preserve the unity of the church from being destroyed by the warring factions in the gay crisis. He said he has backed a resolution which says that homosexual practice is incompatible with the Bible.
The Rev Giles Goddard, the chairman of Inclusive Church, a liberal group, said the archbishop's comments revealed an "astonishing" change in his position. He added: "The implication is that there is no justification in scripture for the welcome of lesbian and gay people. It appears that he has moved into the conservative camp."
Chris Bryant, a homosexual Labour MP, said that many people would feel betrayed by the archbishop's comments. "The Church of England wouldn't survive without gay clergy in inner cities.
"People will feel this is a huge betrayal. Rowan has refashioned the Church of England into a narrow-minded, conservative sect."
Liberals, meanwhile challenged the archbishop's attempt to downplay his involvement in the homosexual movement, claiming that he had in fact played a significant role in spearheading moves to make the Anglican Church more tolerant.
In 1989, while professor of divinity at Oxford University, he founded the Institute for the Study of Christianity and Sexuality - a group that set out to combat bigotry towards homosexuals, this newspaper has learnt. At the time it was launched, he said: "The pressure that some church figures put upon people of differing sexual identities is a greater disgrace than anything else seen in the church."
A Lambeth Palace spokesman said of the archbishop's latest comments: "They do not represent a departure from the Christian understanding of sexual relationships."
The archbishop must have looked at the numbers. If homosexuals are less than 5% of the population, and a majority of people don't approve of homosexual marriage, the math is easy.
Thank you sweet Jesus! My Episcopal church was empty this morning. The ones around town that have begun a period of discernment to potentially break away from the EC USA are exploding in numbers. I think the Archbishop gets it, finally. The lamo namby-pamby mainline churches that preach the same old multicultural crap you hear at college basically kills a church. The ones that actually stand for something are exploding big time. Let's hope the radicalized Anglican clergy get Williams' message. Let's hope that hte radicalized Anglican clergy open a damn Bible once in a while.
"Ethics is not a matter of a set of abstract rules, it is a matter of living the mind of Christ. That applies to sexual ethics."Nice to hear!
Homosexuals don't have children. No church will be supportive of gays if there is no possibility to obtain the children's denomination.
Homosexuality is a mental disease driven by low self-esteem. Churches do themselves proud by providing support and guidance to help fags and lesbians cure themselves, but this is definitely NOT, and rightfully should not be, acceptance of a completely unnatural 'learned' behavior.
Another stolen moment on FR - haven't even read the article. Don't trust Rowan Williams anyway but at least it sounds as though he's making kind of the right sounds.
"Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. - I Corinthians 6:9-11"
I have no problem with that. Those folks can change too. I am also a sinner saved by grace.
I knew you wouldn't have a problem with it. I just wanted to put things into perspective for the "non-sinners". :)
Not for a second do I believe Rowan has changed his feathers. I think he's being peevish at the "gay lobbyists" who are, as many of us know, prone to totalitarian tactics. And Rowan, as any who know of him can tell you, immensely dislikes being ordered around.
The Rev Rod Thomas, a spokesman for the evangelical pressure group Reform
This is a pressure group.
The Rev Giles Goddard, the chairman of Inclusive Church, a liberal group
And this is simply a group. Why wouldn't this be a liberal pressure group? I am wondering if the writer has not shown his bias.
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Speak the truth in love. Eph 4:15
It must be awfully hard backpedaling once you've gone that far down the slippery slope.
Rowan Williams seems to fully understand the difference between what he once offered as a personal opinion when he was a professor (and thus was allowed to do so), and what the Archbishop of Canterbury can and cannot say. In another words, while he has and is entitled to his own views, he knows that the Primate of All England and Head of the Anglican Communion cannot support certain ECUSA innovations. Thus we see him increasingly siding with Archbishop Akinola.
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