Gay Bishop

| | Comments (0)
The gay bishop of the Anglican church story isn't a new one, but as more church leaders from the U.S. and around the world speak out against it -- and the official consecration of Rev. V. Gene Robinson comes up -- the story is once again in the news.

Robinson was on This Week this weekend. Every time I've heard him, I've liked him and agreed with almost all of what he's said. For example, I think is right about reaching out to the gay and lesbian community, which seems to be his primary focus in this discussion. But I can see absolutely no justification for making the leap from that to "homosexuality is not a sin."

It's one thing to say that gay people should be accepted in the church, should not be treated as outcasts. It is another to say that there is nothing wrong with homosexuality. Robinson talks about how Jesus reached out to the outcasts of the world, like prostitutes and tax collectors and drunkards. But Jesus didn't say these people should be leaders in the church.

One similar example in today's church is a divorced person. Many churches traditionally will not ordain people who have divorced and remarried, as that is considered to be living in sin, because marriage is for life. We've seen a lot more acceptance of divorced people in the last few decades, but many churches still will not ordain them (coincidentally, Robinson is also divorced), because that would be a sign from the church that divorce is acceptable.

To be consecrated as a bishop, as a homosexual, the church is saying that there is no sin in homosexuality. Now, I am not an Anglican. And I am not here making an argument about truth, whatever that may be. I am not trying to tell you that homosexuality is, in fact, a sin. I am making an argument about what the Bible says, and about what that means in the context of the Christian religion.

There are many sections of scripture that speak out against homosexuality, including in thw first chapter of Romans, where Paul describes homosexuality as "(not) natural", "indecent" and an "error", something that is penalized. This is listed among other sins, such as idolatry, unriughteousness, wckedness, greef, envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice, disobedience to parents, etc. (NASB)

Robinson is correct when he says that God's truth is continually revealed through the ages. But that doesn't mean God contradicts himself. Christianity states that the Bible is God's Word, including this clear statement that homosexuality is a sin. I've not heard Robinson do anything to say how he can dimiss this scripture, and others. I've not heard alternate explanations that both accept the inerrancy of Scripture, and allow for homosexuality to be not sinful.

Again, I am not an Anglican. I really have no horse in this race, it's just an interesting subject to me. But I am a Christian, and when I see a leader of a Christian sect asserting that the Bible doesn't say what it does say, I admit it does bother me, on both an intellectual and personal level.

But beyond saying homosexuality is not a sin, I've never really had serious problems with Robinson or what he says ... until this week, anyway, when he said that the people who are threatening to leave the church are saying this one issue that pushes them apart is "greater" and "more important" than other issues that bind them together, like the Trinity, the various creeds, etc.

That is completely illogical. What if the one issue they disagreed with was that "killing babies for fun is OK?" I wouldn't say that issue is more important than the Trinity, but it certainly is justification for a split. The issue is not whether this issue is "more important," but whether it is fundamental enough that it amounts to a different belief system, such that a split is logically required. If your church says that a section of the Bible is incorrect, and you say that the Bible is inerrant and that this idea is fundamental to your faith, how can that not justify a split?

As the sixth chapter of 2 Corinthians says, "Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?" The question is not what issues are more important than others. Again, the question is if this issue constitutes a different system of beliefs. I am not an Anglican, so I cannot answer that question for the Anglican church, and I am not saying Robsinon represents lawless or darkness. I am just saying that if it were my church, I would cease attending if a majority, or the leaders, of the church started claiming things that went against what I saw as the fundamental precepts of the church, fundamentals of my beliefs.

It's not about truth, it's about fellowship between people with like beliefs. The Anglican church in America has changed its stated fundamental beliefs, and people who still hold to those fundamental beliefs are fully justified in leaving -- and in light of 2 Corinthians, arguably required to leave.

Leave a comment

<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by pudge published on October 29, 2003 8:05 PM.

Mac-AppleEvents-Simple-1.07 Released was the previous entry in this site.

Stupid Mac::Glue Tricks is the next entry in this site.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.