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Jesus and homosexuality: a reflection
Anglican Mainstream ^ | 7/08/2005 | Bishop Peter Lee

Posted on 07/08/2005 8:02:24 AM PDT by sionnsar

Provincial Synod, Pinetown, KwaZulu Natal
7th July 2005

Your Grace and leaders in the Church of this Province: Thank you for giving me this opportunity.

I am billed to give a biblical exposition and I will try to do that with a broad brush in the context of wider theological and pastoral concerns, focussing mainly on the attitudes and words of our Lord Jesus Christ as far as we can know them. I will not quote every passage in full but you will find the references in the text to be distributed. We must always ask what the meaning of a biblical study is for today and I will need to do that later if we are not to leave the text dangling entirely without context.

Let me suggest that there are three ways in to this subject: firstly, the search for a sound moral theology for Anglicans; secondly, discerning and following the mind of Christ; and thirdly, what the Holy Spirit of God is saying now.

1. A moral theology for Anglicans

Moral theology is about how we travel from what we believe - theology - to how we behave: morality. It is about deciding what is right and wrong, better and worse, how we make decisions and how we follow them. It is not true of every faith in the world, but it is true of Judaism and Christianity that the link between what we believe and how we behave is not accidental. The links are entrenched in the very nature of how we understand reality. For example the CPSA has long declared that racism is incompatible with our Christian profession. That is a statement about behaviour which rests on a theological understanding of human society and human identity, deriving from the doctrine of the creation. Very few of us here in this Synod would find it difficult to defend that belief because we could all say something from the Bible about human beings as created by God which would lead us to treat all people with dignity.

We spend a great deal of energy thinking and speaking into moral theology even if we do not call it that. For example we entrench in the Canons and Pastoral Standards of the church certain principles about how people should behave in ministry and we devote plenty of pulpit time to talking about how people should behave in regard to their financial giving, their interpersonal relationships or their political orientation. Clearly we think it important to link what we find in the Bible, the creeds and our confirmation classes with how we expect Anglicans to conduct themselves from day to day.

Our normal method has been to begin by taking the witness of the Bible and the early church fathers with profound seriousness, then to reflect upon and debate ethical issues with the greatest mutual respect in light of the best scholarly and scientific input, then seek to arrive at consensus while mapping out possible areas for legitimate personal discretion or conscientious disagreement. Then (unlike churches which feel that they can lay down a single moral code for everyone), we try to help individuals to arrive at mature conclusions which they own and follow in practice. As the Windsor Report points out, some of these dimensions have been sadly lacking in dealing with the present dispute.

We have to follow this process sensitively, seriously and unhurriedly in the CPSA.

2. The mind of Christ

A second way of describing what we are about here, is to say that we are in search of the mind of Christ. Nothing can be more profoundly important for any of us in the church than to discern that mind and bend ourselves to follow it. It is profoundly important because for us Christ is the supreme and infallible channel of revelation for the divine being and creator of the universe into the consciousness of contemporary humanity. As Bishop David Russell has said in his study, "Jesus is the key to all interpretation of Scripture"; or as Ignatius of Antioch would have put it, "Christ is himself what the Father says".

We have always believed that the mind of Christ for today is continuous with the mind of the historical Jesus - which is why what theologians call "the quest for the historical Jesus" continues to be so crucial to the church's understanding of reality. Difficult as it may be through textual complications and battles of interpretation, we have to continue that exercise if our talk about the mind of Christ for today is to have any meaningful content.

The reason why this is so crucial and so controversial is because of the significance of the issues which hang on it. There is nothing like the passion among scholars to discern what Julius Caesar thought, because no one thinks that his views have any bearing upon how we live our lives. On the other hand if the teaching of Jesus reflects the opinions of God, and God thinks thoughts which affect what we do daily about money and corruption, about marriage and relationships, about race or poverty or politics, then we had better be listening. It is for this reason that there is such sharp dispute about the translation of New Testament vocabulary, the weight to be put upon a textual variant in the Gospels, and the theological understanding of how we get from the time in which Jesus lived, to where we are now.

Let us then talk about our Lord Jesus Christ, because knowing his mind and following it are the heart of the issue.


2.1 Unconditional acceptance?

Firstly people say that Jesus welcomed and included everyone unconditionally. That statement requires unpacking if it is not to mislead.

Jesus does appear to have welcomed all kinds of people with ready acceptance, easy access to forgiveness, unfailing respect and a capacity to restore dignity and evoke passionate loyalty to himself. That applies notably to women, many of whom in his acquaintance appear in today's language to have been abused, exploited and exposed. The way in which the accounts of the crucifixion and resurrection especially in Luke's gospel refer back no less than three times to the personal history of the abused women whom Jesus brought with him from Galilee is perhaps the most forceful example. (Luke 7:36 - 8:3, 23: 49 - 24:11). But it is not true that Jesus "accepted everyone unconditionally"; in some cases the conditions were upfront and some met them while others did not; these are recorded as "going away sorrowing" (Luke 18: 18 - 23). In other cases the conditions were implicit but very clearly understood: "repent, believe, follow, give, go and do likewise" (Mark 1: 14 - 17, Luke 10: 25 - 37, 18 - 22). The very warmth of Jesus' welcome appears to have facilitated the radicality of the change in people's lives. Those changes could involve embracing justice, including outsiders, terminating an immoral lifestyle, restitution of stolen goods and various other fruits of repentance (Luke 19: 1 - 10, 16:37, John 8: 1 - 11). In many cases - as was clearly understood and is explicit in the text - the change involved Jewish people (Zacchaeus in Luke 19 for example) realigning themselves with the fundamental principles of their own historic teaching, the Torah and the prophets, from which they had in one way or another departed.

Mike Higton in his book, "Difficult Gospel: the theology of Rowan Williams", summarises the view of the Archbishop of Canterbury in these words: "If this was an acceptance without conditions, it was not an acceptance which made no demands . the Gospel's gratuitous acceptance always brings with it disarming crucifixion".[1] As Dr Williams told the ACC last month, some "may have to recognise .that there is a difference between including all who came to Christ and being indifferent to how human lives are actually challenged and altered by him". [2] In almost all the recorded interviews in the Gospels, change was an essential ingredient of meeting God in Jesus. In other words, the notion of inclusivity is a newcomer to theological discourse and the suggestion that total and unqualified inclusion of all persons regardless of behaviour is necessarily a Christian value is both novel and highly debatable. (In passing we might note that the current emphasis on diversity as universally desirable or as a moral absolute is also recent and may owe its prominence to unrelated ideological debates in North America; it also requires to be theologically interrogated.)

None of this prejudges how Jesus might have reacted to active homosexuals, requiring transformation from them or not; it merely serves to confront a rather facile argument which sometimes appears in this debate. Grace, yes; cheap grace, no.


2.2 Jesus' teaching on sexual matters

Secondly, Jesus appears to have been quite rigorous in applying what we would call Old Testament teaching or Torah, often called `the Law', in matters of sexual behaviour. According to Matthew, Jesus quoted and affirmed the seventh commandment, "thou shalt not commit adultery", parallelling it with murder and theft; he intensified that commandment in the Sermon on the Mount; he generalised about the culture of his day as "an adulterous and sinful generation"; he appears to have used the term "adultery" inclusively to refer broadly to sexual immorality; and he was specific in spelling out his view on divorce and remarriage in the context of his time. (Matthew 19:18; 15:19; 5:27 28; 5:32; 19:9.)

Therefore when our Lord Jesus Christ spoke about adultery, we should not limit his teaching only to extramarital heterosexual intercourse but assume that he was speaking about sexual immorality in general (including the particular breaches of morality referred to in the Old Testament), unless he is shown clearly to be doing otherwise.

In the debate between the rabbinic schools of Shammai and Hillel about the grounds on which a man may divorce a woman (Mathew 5:31, 32; 19:3ff.), Jesus transcended the debate by taking his hearers back to first principles and reaffirming the divine plan of male/female complementarity cemented and expressed in lifelong marriage.

"Have you never read that in the beginning the creator made them male and female? . That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and the two become one flesh" (Mt 19:4f)

But it is also true that the effect of Jesus' teaching was a rigorous reaffirmation of the traditional place of marriage in Judaism. While Jesus' teaching does not completely exclude either divorce or marriage after divorce, it forcefully deprives men of the easy option. Perhaps that is the secret, because the tension between Jesus' apparent personal warmth towards those entangled in immorality and the rigour of his teaching about divorce and adultery is only resolved if the effect of his teaching is to protect the weak and the abused especially in the area of sex and relationships - especially women.


2.3 Jesus and homosexuality

Thirdly, we hear it said that Jesus made no reference to homosexuals or homosexuality - although that is questionable in light of the fact that he seems to have commended two and only two possible ways of life for his followers: lifelong heterosexual marriage, or consecrated celibate singleness (Matthew 19: 10 - 12). "While some are incapable of marriage because they were born so . There are others who have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let those accept who can".

It is always dangerous to argue from silence but we must surely say that the reason why much of Jesus' teaching is preserved in the Gospels at all is because it was striking or novel, and aroused controversy. If Jesus had wanted to say something as novel and challenging about homosexuals as he did about women, we should certainly expect to find some trace of that in the records. The fact that there appears to be none would suggest either that the matter was not of great interest to him, or that he was entirely comfortable with the moral stance inherited from his ancestors.

On the evidence, the least probable scenario is that our Lord Jesus Christ would have legitimised homosexual conduct.


2.4 Jesus and the Old Testament

Fourthly then, we must face the thorny issue of Jesus' understanding of the Torah and especially the Book of Leviticus. The question for us as Christians is not about literal observance of levitical prescriptions, nor about ridiculing those who would take the Torah seriously. It is about dominical guidance - that is to say, whether our Lord Jesus Christ accepted, modified, or rejected the stance of the Old Testament.

Dismissing the Old Testament lightly or facetiously runs into a number of problems.

2.4.1 Leviticus and the "Holiness Code"

Some say that we can dismiss the book of Leviticus and especially chapters 17 - 26, where the strongest prohibitions against homosexual behaviour appear, on grounds that "it is just the Holiness Code of ancient Israel".

However the Holiness Code is largely a commentary and exposition of the Decalogue. If we want to retain the Ten Commandments in the life of the church, we are not wise arbitrarily to cut out the Bible's interpretation and understanding of its own contents. In particular, the seventh commandment prohibiting adultery seems to be broadly understood as condemning sexual immorality in general - and thus operates as a virtual synonym for the New Testament term porneia. In Leviticus 18 incest, homosexual behaviour and bestiality are named as three parallel breaches of that commandment - sub-paragraphs of the meaning of adultery - two of which still evoke moral revulsion today. Using the argument of the irrelevance of the Holiness Code as a whole for today in order to excise one of these and not the others does smack of special pleading - especially as long as we want to retain the Table of Kindred and Affinity direct from Leviticus in our Prayer Book and Canons.

2.4.2 The Prophets

The prophetic tradition - notably Ezekiel - appears not to treat Leviticus as a sealed compartment which we can dismiss, but to link its understanding of sexuality explicitly with the Book of Genesis both in the creation account and in the much-debated story of Sodom and Gomorrah. Ezekiel in particular uses the language of `abomination' to refer to both social injustice and sexual immorality in a way which is strikingly parallel to that of Leviticus.[3]

The book Genesis sets forward an account of creation which not only commends heterosexual marriage as part of the divine intention for humanity, but does so because the creation of male and female as complementary to each other, and as revealing God's nature through that complementarity, is fundamental to understanding humanity as God created us.

"God created human beings in his own image; in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them." (Genesis 1:27). Contrary to many cultures, ancient and modern, this seems to be saying that God's image is not only visible in men, but also in women, and especially in men-and-women complementing one another in society at large - not only in marital relations.

That understanding appears to be the point of departure for much of the Law and the Prophets.

2.4.3 Paul and `nature'

The same understanding is the basis for Paul's language about what is, and is not "against nature" [4]- language which is not only Paul's but is shared by all the known rabbinic schools for 100 years before and after the time of Jesus and Paul. That is to say, homosexuality was not "against nature" because of some personal prejudice of Paul's which we now know to be a first-century anachronism, but because "nature" was defined (not by observation or personal experience, but) by being made by God in a particular way. Being in or out of accord with nature meant being in or out of accord with the purpose and activity of the divine. Sexual morality was ordered by God precisely to affirm what God had woven into the fabric of creation, and to discourage that which unravels it.

The fact that Jesus and Paul both took the creation account in Genesis 2:24, 25 as the basis for their teaching on marriage, divorce and adultery -

"For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh" -

is highly significant for Christian moral theology (Matthew 19:5,6 and parallels, Ephesians 5:31).

2.4.4 Sexuality and justice

We should be wary of an over-easy disjunction between sexual morality and questions of justice. It is easy to say "Christians should stop being obsessed with sex and give their minds instead to issues of justice". But the Old Testament sees social injustice and sexual immorality as parallel symptoms of the same disease, i.e. disregard for God and God's teaching. The two go together. In my view, Jesus' opposition to easy divorce was about the abuse of women by men - a justice issue - and surely if we have learned anything in our discourse about HIV and AIDS, it is that issues of sexuality and issues of justice hang together. That is so whether we are talking about poverty or exploitative male behaviour.

2.4.5 The woman taken in adultery

If we take John chapter 8 as authentic , the very fact that Jesus was prepared to question the continuing appropriateness of levitical penalties (in this case, stoning) without in the slightest softening the accompanying behavioural demands re-inforces the view that we are on doubtful ground if we want to move the moral goalposts and claim our Lord Jesus Christ's support for doing so.


3. Where is the Holy Spirit of God leading us today?

So far I have argued that in discerning what is right and wrong around homosexuality, there is no room to drive a wedge between the teaching of the Old Testament and the mind of our Lord Jesus Christ. We must now address the question whether there is room to drive such a wedge at any point between his day and ours. It goes without saying that the testimony of the early church Fathers appears to have been unanimously in line with the mind of Jesus - but have things changed with modern understandings of either sexuality or scripture? Here we have to wrestle contextually with how the Bible relates to our day.

I began by saying that there were three possible ways into this discussion. The third is to ask where the Spirit is leading us, because some would argue that as God's Spirit has persuaded us to change our minds on other issues, so he is seeking to change our minds on this issue today.

Those who are old enough to remember a thing called charismatic renewal will recall that we have heard this before. In that movement, God's Spirit was indeed seeking to refresh our spirituality and worship as a church by a touch of the living God. But there was also a kind of subjectivism in which at times the spiritual insights of an individual came to be imposed without critique upon others. We started to say that it is not sufficient to claim that the Spirit is leading us; we need some objective criteria for what the leading of the Spirit looks like. Indeed we are instructed by the very same Spirit, in the scriptures which the Spirit inspires, not to be na‹ve but to test the spirits and the claims of others. Of course we want to be led by the Spirit but that Holy Spirit will not lead us outside the mind of Christ, or outside the holy, or across the boundaries of moral theology. We have no wish, in the search for obedience to be led astray - and there are sound theological ways of knowing which is which.


3.1 Innovation?

Here we must examine claims of Spirit-led innovation with some care. For example I do not regard the ordination of women as an innovation but as very tardy obedience to something which our Lord Jesus Christ advocated and commended from the outset in regard to the dignity of all women (although the notion of ordination as we understand it probably never entered his mind). The same is true of the example of slavery where it is said that Paul supported the institution and the church later came to oppose it. But Paul could never have written the letter to Philemon or uttered the stunning words of Galatians 3:28 or Colossians 3:11, "in Christ there is no such thing as slave or free", if that were true. It was the New Testament itself which sowed the seeds of the destruction of slavery. In other words the whole argument from innovation is inherently questionable.


3.2 Homosexual orientation?

If we cannot believe that the Holy Spirit is leading us to innovate, we are left only with the possibility that the world has discovered something new about humanity and sexuality in recent times which fundamentally shifts our moral theology. In view of the central place which the Bible gives to the complementarity of male and female (so often buried in male chauvinism), this is not a marginal issue but a demand that the church adopts an entirely new anthropology. It really is about whether we understand humanity better than our first-century forebears, or not. To make that change is not necessarily wrong, but it is hugely substantial theologically and morally. As the Windsor Report says, we should not be pushed into going there lightly or hastily without long and profound consideration.

To do this responsibly, we have to wrestle again with the well-known issue of what causes a person to be homosexually orientated.

As most of us know, there have traditionally been two theories, or what is commonly called the "nature/nurture" debate. The argument from nurture suggests that the tender green shoot of a person's emerging sexuality can easily be influenced or (depending on your point of view) damaged by abuse in childhood, seduction in adolescence, upbringing by a single parent of one sex without the balance of the other (or even by a same-sex couple) or some other combination of emotional and psychological influences.

The alternative, the nature theory is that homosexual orientation is inherent in a person genetically or as an accident of birth. Of course if this case came to be accepted, it would strengthen the parallel with race and gender as a justice issue and argue for a change in the church's historic moral stance.

However there are difficulties with the "accident of birth" theory.

3.2.1 It continues to be seriously questioned scientifically.

3.2.2 The argument from nurture remains extremely persuasive.

3.2.3 For every person who couches their life-story in terms of having always experienced themselves as homosexually orientated, there is another person who has withdrawn from homosexual relationship and lifestyle for whatever reason, and who will account for their entry into that lifestyle on grounds that they were influenced, persuaded or seduced by others, often in a vulnerable moment. This is why we need to listen carefully to people's stories from all perspectives, not just one or the other.

3.2.4 We increasingly find young people forcefully protesting that both nature and nurture theories turn them into victims of heredity or environment, whereas they take it as a right to make their own choices about what sexual behaviour to choose and where to sleep. This too is a kind of moral theology which we have to assess over against both of the deterministic theories, "nature" and "nurture".

3.2.5 It is difficult to square with the anthropology embedded in the Scriptures.

It may well be that the truth lies in some combination of these influences. The CPSA has said that homosexual orientation is not in itself sinful, but has also said, "It is not clear what forms our sexual orientation".[5] We have no agreed stance on that question. Because the case remains not proven either way, we should exercise caution about adopting gay propaganda wholesale. In doing so we might not only involve the church in a logical fallacy, but demean the great moral causes of our lifetime such as race and gender justice by tagging on an issue of an altogether different moral order.

What then can we say by way of conclusions?




4.1 Church and Culture

First we should realise how very far we are from the presuppositions of our surrounding culture or cultures, perhaps especially that of the West. As Christians, we need to be shaped by our faith, not our environment. If we derive our values around corruption, racism or sex from questions like, "what does God think about this?", we are light years from the systems of thought assumed by many of our contemporaries and the media. Adultery, promiscuity and abuse are so widely assumed in the media and in the life styles of many, that we can only begin to engage in conversation if we go back to the assumptions on which we make our judgements and form our habits. As Gagnon says, "The relation of church/synagogue to culture is . supposed to be reforming rather than conforming". [6]


4.2 Pastoral

Secondly, pastorally, if I am right that the way to reconcile the pastoral warmth of Jesus' welcome and the apparent firmness of his sexual teaching is to hear the heart of a pastor trying to shepherd the flock into both truth and safety, we cannot tolerate insensitivity, homophobia (if the term is used correctly and not just as a smear word), or any abuse or neglect of church members or our neighbours. Nor can we abandon the struggle to understand the nature of the wholeness into which God wills to draw us.


4.3 Civil rights

Thirdly, and again if I am right that the motive of Jesus' compassionate stance was in part to protect the vulnerable (such as women in marriage or widows in society) there should be no tolerance for the civil rights of homosexual to be infringed, though some room for debate remains.

However the issue of rights and the vulnerable cuts both ways. To be consistent, there can be no toleration for the few who might excuse predatory homosexual conduct (any more than heterosexual) and we need to be sure that the pressure to accept lifelong faithful partnerships is not, as some groups advocate, merely one step to so-called `full inclusion' of assorted other behaviours.[7]


4.4 Windsor Report

Fourthly, we should stand squarely with the Windsor Report in its indignation at quite small groups in the North American churches which have forced this issue onto the agenda of the Anglican Communion in a manner which has been experienced as not only insensitive but racist. They have turned a necessary pastoral discussion into a crisis.


4.5 The Bible and the Church

Finally as Lambeth 1998 clearly said, our understanding and use of the Bible in the church is essentially connected with our understanding of morality in general and sexuality in particular. The church must continue to wrestle with the guidance of the scriptures if our sexual mores are to be part of our obedience rather than being guided by subjective or cultural pressure.

It must be said frankly that a great deal of argumentation around the Bible in favour of the homosexual agenda does seem like special pleading, both in the negative - when scholars seek to minimise the force of either Torah or the teaching of the apostles - and in the positive - where search for support for the homosexual agenda in the scriptures has yet to produce anything very substantial or persuasive.

For this reason, the central question of whether homosexual behaviour can or will be legitimised in the Anglican Church - or indeed in most churches - will not be resolved by biblical exegesis. This is why I have strayed a little beyond biblical exposition as such. The debate over the ordination of women was essentially conducted as a discussion around the exegesis of the New Testament, and it was resolved when Anglicans globally became convinced that it is essentially in line with the teaching of the Bible. The tide of persuasion in that regard is still flowing not least in Africa. This issue by contrast will not be settled in that way because everything that can be said on biblical grounds has probably been said, and the balance of argument is fairly clear. The fault line on this issue lies between those who consider the New Testament authoritative virtually as legislation in their daily living, and those for whom scientific, cultural or broader theological considerations greatly moderate the force of what the Bible seems to say directly, in the way they live their faith. This is a fault line which existed in the Anglican Communion before the issue blew up but which remained largely concealed or was politely ignored. It has now come to the fore as a clash of cultural and theological perspective in which one party sees the other as irreverently sidelining the foundation documents of the faith, and the other tends to dismiss the first as uneducated and simplistic. The storm is now out of the bottle and who knows how it may be brought to peace?

There is presently no prospect of coming to a common mind, anywhere in the Christian church. Many of us however must remain un-persuaded that faithfulness to Christ can include approving of homosexual sex, even while we honour and affirm those of our brothers and sisters who experience themselves as homosexually orientated. 

[1] Pages 23,36

[2] 20 June 2005, my emphasis

[3] Ezk 16:49f,18:10-13,22:11,33:26; see the full study in Robert Gagnon, The Bible and Homosexual Practice, p79f

[4] Rom 1:18-32, esp 26 - `exchanging the natural for against-nature'

[5] PSC 2003. Bishop David Russell agrees - The Bible and homosexuality, p37, footnote 8

[6] Robert Gagnon, The Bible and Homosexual practice, page 117

[7] eg Claiming the Blessing, an ECUSA group based in California which advocates legitimising transgender and bilateral relations; others want to add `intergenerational attraction'.

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant
KEYWORDS: ecusa; homosexualagenda; peterlee

1 posted on 07/08/2005 8:02:24 AM PDT by sionnsar
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To: ahadams2; anselmcantuar; Agrarian; coffeecup; Paridel; keilimon; Hermann the Cherusker; ...
Traditional Anglican ping, continued in memory of its founder Arlin Adams.

FReepmail sionnsar if you want on or off this moderately high-volume ping list (typically 3-7 pings/day).
This list is pinged by sionnsar and newheart.

Resource for Traditional Anglicans:

Speak the truth in love. Eph 4:15

2 posted on 07/08/2005 8:02:45 AM PDT by sionnsar (†† || Iran Azadi || Kyoto: Split Atoms, not Wood)
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To: sionnsar
Since when did the word "unconditional" become so important to the Christian lexicon? It seems to me that Christ was VERY conditional in explaining how God's grace could be obtained, i.e. telling the adulterous woman he saved from stoning "go and sin no more," or the rich man who wanted to be holy "give up everything you possess," or the Pharisees to "do unto others as you would have done to you."

Since when did Christ become 'unconditional'????

3 posted on 07/08/2005 8:41:01 AM PDT by Alkhin ("Oh! Oh!" cried my idiot crew. "It's a ghoul - we are lost!" ~ Jack Aubrey)
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To: sionnsar; newgeezer

It is a very huge error to filter out everything from the bible that Jesus didn't say and separate if from what He specifically did say. People who make this error show that they really don't know very much about the overall Word of God.

4 posted on 07/08/2005 8:44:38 AM PDT by biblewonk (If you don't get the bible, how can you be a Christian?)
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To: sionnsar
On the evidence, the least probable scenario is that our Lord Jesus Christ would have legitimised homosexual conduct.

And wouldn't you know that this would be exactly the sinful state today's left is going for.

5 posted on 07/08/2005 9:08:26 AM PDT by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
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To: Alkhin

I totally agree. Salvation is conditional. It is dependent on one obeying the commands of Christ, and is not a matter of "faith only".

6 posted on 07/08/2005 9:32:45 AM PDT by jkl1122
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To: wagglebee

Homosexual behavior is almost an exact prototype for sin: a willful behavior that invariably leads to sickness, suffering, unhappiness, and death. Why do I not want children to be exposed to it? Because "gay" people are not happy people. It is not a "happy" lifestyle. Honest people in it wish they could be normal family people. Who would want the weight of societal disapproval bearing down upon them? And you can change the laws, you won't change peoples attitudes about this.

Why? See sentence One: It is a willful behavior that invariably leads to sickness, suffering, unhappiness, and death.

7 posted on 07/08/2005 9:53:00 AM PDT by johnb838 (A chill wind.)
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To: sionnsar

This is generally a persuasive analysis, but apparently I've missed a very important debate. That would be the one where everybody searched Scripture and found why women should be ordained. The good Bishop here apparently takes agreement for granted, which is very much the pose that ECUSA and ACC are taking with regard to homosexual ordination. Sounds like the one has led to the other but Bishop +Lee is entirely deaf to that.

Are we going to be forced across the Tiber?

In Christ,
Deacon Paul+

8 posted on 07/08/2005 10:35:50 AM PDT by BelegStrongbow (St. Joseph, protector of the Innocent, pray for us!)
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To: BelegStrongbow
That would be the one where everybody searched Scripture and found why women should be ordained. The good Bishop here apparently takes agreement for granted, which is very much the pose that ECUSA and ACC are taking with regard to homosexual ordination. Sounds like the one has led to the other but Bishop +Lee is entirely deaf to that.

Deacon Paul+, when reading this I was wondering whether people were going to pick up on this (to me) discordant point. I'm glad you did. My understanding was that the ordination issue was introduced as a "trial" issue, one that just never quite got a review. The only explanation I would have for this is that, if I have it correctly, Bishop Lee comes from a rather liberal diocese/province (South Africa).

Are we going to be forced across the Tiber?

Or the Bosphorus? I don't know.

9 posted on 07/08/2005 12:46:26 PM PDT by sionnsar (†† || Iran Azadi || Kyoto: Split Atoms, not Wood)
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To: sionnsar

Prohibition on adultery, amply evident in the Bible, is sufficient to condemn homosexual behavior, because a homosexual act is ipso facto an adultery.

It takes an extrabiblical view on marriage as an arbitrary union of consenting adults to miss this simple truth.

10 posted on 07/08/2005 1:01:42 PM PDT by annalex
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To: little jeremiah


11 posted on 07/08/2005 1:05:10 PM PDT by scripter (Let temporal things serve your use, but the eternal be the object of your desire.)
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To: biblewonk
It is a very huge error to filter out everything from the bible that Jesus didn't say and separate if from what He specifically did say. People who make this error show that they really don't know very much about the overall Word of God.

But, isn't that the very reason we have those Red Letter Editions of the Bible (to emphasize the words of Jesus)?</bigtime_sarcasm>

12 posted on 07/08/2005 1:30:06 PM PDT by newgeezer (fundamentalist, regarding the Constitution AND the Holy Bible, i.e. words mean things!)
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To: sionnsar

Thanks for a very thought-provoking post. He lost me when he got to the nature vs nurture argument. Just because we are "born" a certain way does not legitimate it. We are born with the propensity to sin--that doesn't excuse it. I would argue that homosexuals are indeed "born that way," but also that that orientation is the result of Adam's sin introducing sickness and death to us all. Adam and Eve, who were made perfect, were not "born' homosexual. After the fall, however, we have those who are "born that way," just as we are all born with proclivities to sin.

13 posted on 07/08/2005 4:04:31 PM PDT by pharmamom (Did you steal my tagline? I seem to have misplaced it; I know it was here somewhere...)
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To: pharmamom
Thanks for a very thought-provoking post.

You're welcome. I try to bring you all the best of what I see Out There; feedback helps me tune the filters.

14 posted on 07/08/2005 4:38:47 PM PDT by sionnsar (†† || Iran Azadi || Kyoto: Split Atoms, not Wood)
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To: pharmamom
Regarding born that way, you may find the following of interest: "Born that way" theory.
15 posted on 07/08/2005 4:50:12 PM PDT by scripter (Let temporal things serve your use, but the eternal be the object of your desire.)
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To: scripter

Whether genetically based or "epi-genetically" based, I believe that most homosexuals same sex urges have their origins if not in the womb, then in early childhood. Nonetheless, I am not arguing that point. I am simply saying that even if that is true, it does not legitimate the behavior. One could equally argue that our murderous urges have their basis in our "reptile brains" (the limbic system)--that does not make them morally acceptable. We are born with proclivities to sin--for some, the proclivity to sin may include homosexuality. Being "born that way" only demonstrates our fallen nature, not our God-given nature.

16 posted on 07/08/2005 5:18:16 PM PDT by pharmamom (Did you steal my tagline? I seem to have misplaced it; I know it was here somewhere...)
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To: pharmamom
Part of the problem in using Christian arguments against homosexuality is that some folks won't listen or think we only have religious arguments against homosexuality. That's one of the reasons I started putting together a database sorted by category on the subject. Checkout my profile for the categories and their respective links.

If you checkout the genetics and ex-homosexual categories, you'll soon realize environment is key to this cultural issue. There are some great books on the subject as well - I just need to update that part of the database.

17 posted on 07/08/2005 5:32:12 PM PDT by scripter (Let temporal things serve your use, but the eternal be the object of your desire.)
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To: scripter

I appreciate all the work you have done. I read through some of it--I liked the argument against animals being homosexual.

Because my brain is of limited ability, I default to a religious basis for morality. I don't see what other basis there is, actually, since without a Divine Being all morality would have to issue from humans, and then who is to say what is ultimately right or wrong?

18 posted on 07/08/2005 5:56:01 PM PDT by pharmamom (Did you steal my tagline? I seem to have misplaced it; I know it was here somewhere...)
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To: pharmamom
I don't see what other basis there is, actually, since without a Divine Being all morality would have to issue from humans, and then who is to say what is ultimately right or wrong?

Understood. Many will waste time arguing otherwise but they're only wasting time.

19 posted on 07/08/2005 10:21:51 PM PDT by scripter (Let temporal things serve your use, but the eternal be the object of your desire.)
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