Or as the old headline put it:
“Bishops Split by Gay Sex”
*gets coat and leaves*
If a church that was once one can become two, where does that leave the eternal verities? Who is right? They can’t both be right. Doesn’t that, then, make them question who is right in the wider world of religion? Is Islam the right path? Judaism? Buddhism? Again, I emphasis, only one can be truly right. So what exactly does the Bible say about it? And, if it’s left to the interpretation of mere mortals, where has gone the assertion that it is the inviolable word of God? Religionists of all hues have a lot of questions to anwer.
That’s very revealing…is the Bishop suggesting that the Church of England’s mandate is to uphold conservatism, rather than minister to the needs of gays and woman in general?
The article implies that the pending split is about sexual issues (woman ordination and homosexual marriage), but this not the case. It is about a difference in approach to religion.
The “revisionists” are trying to change the Church to better fit in with secular society. The “conservatives” want the Church to follow the example of Jesus Christ, that being reaching out to secular society, and encouraging secular society to change to better fit in with the Will of God.
Obviously these are two completely different approaches, that go in opposite directions, and that will innevitably result in two different churches. One puts the horse in front of the cart, the other puts the cart in front of the horse. The revisionists that have left God, and the conservatives that have remained with God.
The revisionists will fail. 1st, they will not be obeying the first and greatest commandment, that being “love the Lord you God, with all your heart, and all your strength, and all your mind”. They will instead being loving something other than God. With that being the case, they will not have God’s blessing, and thus no longer be a “Holy” (the 2nd of the four Marks of Faith) Church. 2nd, they will be hypocrites. As they claim to be a Church that supposedly worships God, their actions will show that they choose to follow something other than God. They will pick and choose only those parts of God’s Holy Word to obey, and ignore or outright dissobey those parts that they do not like. In effect treating the Faith like some sort of a buffet lunch. But how can anyone say that they believe chapters one through seven, but not chapter eight? If chapter eight is not valid, than how can chapters one through seven be valid? Inevitably, this leads to the complete removal of the Holy Bible from the Church, and without the Holy Bible what is left is little more than a community service club.
The conservatives will survive, and likely fourish. Although they will not be politically correct, and be persecuted in the popular news media, and be rediculed by secular special interest groups. None-the-less, the conservatives will be Faithfull followers of God, will be a Church of integrity and not hypocritical, and will continue to be consistent in proclamation that the Holy Bible is the Word of God, ALL OF IT, including those parts that are difficult.
Remember that Jesus Christ saved a prostitute from being stoned to death. In so doing he did not change the fact that prositution is a sin. What he did do was say to this woman (and to all of us) “give up your sinful ways, and follow me”.
Ivan asks the age old question “Who is right?” Of course each denomination (and each Faith, i.e. Christian, Judaism, Islam) will all claim to be the one true Faith. Consequently, no one person can be turned to for the answer. For how can anyone determine who is telling the truth, and who is not. Instead, Ivan, you must do a personal search for God.
Begin by attending a Church that you are comfortable with. You don’t need to formally join. But do get to know the Priest, and listen to what the Priest preaches. Compare that with the Holy Bible. If you find the preaching frequently contradicts what the Bible says, than something is amiss, and you should than attend a different Church. Or if you want, go to a Synagogue, or a Mosque, or a Temple. Search where-ever you think you might truly find God.
One thing though. Be prepared to be personally challenged. You secular notions of “right and wrong” will almost certainly not comply with any religion. This will not mean that religion is wrong. It will mean that you have drifted away from God, and somehow need to find your way back. The challenge will be daunting. The changes that God will ask you to make of yourself will be difficult. Your friends and family may not understand, and perhaps even criticize and ridicule you. At times you will feel lost and confused. But so long as you are honestly seeking God, you will not be alone! Your journey will take days, weeks, months, years, perhaps even a lifetime. It will be long and arduous. And you will discover that the journey was worth every moment.
Don’t bother searching for god he/it is just a Myth/Fairytale.
Religion truly is the Opium of the People
John Sexton claims that God does not exist. Of course I am not going to ask him to prove a non-existence. That would be ridiculous. But it should be noted that atheists for thousands of years have challenged the Judeo Christian Faith to prove itself. Every effort conceivable has been employed to discredit the Faith. Reason and logic included. Yet the Faith survives all of these attacks. The Faith also survived the systemic capital punishment imposed by pagan authorities. In fact, the more severe the persecution, the more the Faith grows and spreads.
The evidence of the existence of God is everywhere for everyone to see. Only those who refuse to open their eyes are blind to it. Religion is not science. In science, a scientist thinks up a theory, designs and conducts experiments to test the validity of the theory, and the results either support (but never prove) the theory, or disprove the theory as being in error. But with religion, no-one can design an experiment to find evidence of the existence of God. Instead, religion is a personal experience. And this experience is different for everyone. That over 90% of the people in this world believe in a single divine God speaks to the power of God. Surely, this many people could not be deluded or tricked. Also, these people come from all walks of life, rich and poor, educated and un-educated, modern and primitive. What’s more, the more the Church remains Faithful to the Holy Bible, the more it grows. And those Churches that drift away from the Holy Bible decline and eventually die (unless they repent and come back to God). It is this way every time, without exception. In science, such a statistical trend would be considered conclusive.
The Love of God is offered to everyone. All that is asked of you is that you be willing to change yourself into something better than what you are.
AMP – It’s sad to see you reverting to the old reactionary tactic of attacking your opponents’ motives/character/integrity. I don’t always agree with progressives in the church (or, as you call them ‘revisionists’ – some might say ‘Reformers’), but I don’t doubt the sincerity or good intentions of either side. To approach the debate with a “hermeneutic of suspicion” is hardly consistent with the second Great Commandment. Nor do I think it is particularly Christ-like to assert a monopoly on divine truth (although, as you rightly point out, everyone tends to think that their own opinions are the only correct ones). I don’t have either time or inclination to take on all of your points, but one in particular deserves attention; your claim (popular with conservative evangelicals) that ‘liberals’ ‘pick and choose’ which bits of Scripture to believe. Nothing could be further from the truth; all serious Christians take the integrity of Scripture seriously. But all intelligent Christians must approach Scripture critically too and be willing to accept that it cannot all be interpreted in the same way. It is in this – the question of exactly how we accord authority to Scripture – that I think the biggest division between “revisionists” and “conservatives” can be found. And if “conservatives” think “revisionists” and cherry-picking bits to believe, then “revisionists” might well think “conservatives” are falling into unChristian Bibliolatry, and worship of the Letter of the Law over the Spirit. And some of us view this as a terrible, fearful sin indeed.
This is good: “However, where the teaching and actions of a bishop promote an unbiblical way of thinking, then we simply have to look elsewhere for a bishop.
In other words. If one Bishop doesn’t agree with you keep trying until you get one that does.
The second Great Commandment is exactly that, second. God comes first, always. This is taught by Jesus Christ numerous times. Yet the second Great Commandment is so important that Jesus Christ made sure to include it in his answer. And so, Faithful Christians are challenged with what is it, that we should “do unto others”. Is it just let people do as they like? Tell them that God loves them anyway, and don’t worry about judgement day? Or is it to intervene when we see someone going the wrong way?
That you think that I am “attacking” anyone is unfortunate. Expressing what I have personally seen and experienced is in no way an attack. It is a simple statement of fact. Be well assured that I did not begin with any “hermeneutic of suspicion”. I have spiritual wounds and scares that are the result of attacks that were initiated by the so called “inclusive” revisionists.
This article is regarding the Church of England, and by extension via Communion, relates to what is happening in the Anglican Church of Canada (ACoC). So let us not be diverted into talking about other denominations. As a former member of the ACoC I can personally testify to the following
The revisionists in ACoC:
Openly question the Divinity of Jesus Christ, questioning whether or not He is the Son of God, and suggest that He really was nothing more than a great prophet.
Have publically stated that Jesus Christ is “a” way to salvation, and no longer refer to Him as “the” way to salvation.
No longer accept that the Holy Scriptures are the only authority and source of our Faith. They teach that other things must now also be considered when it comes to figuring out just exactly what we believe. This is a blatant violation of Article 6 of the 39 Articles of Religion of the Church of England (and also the Global Anglican Communion). Additionally, they say “that because times have changed, what was originally written in the Holy Scriptures may no longer apply, or may be open to re-interpretation” (I have personally heard this said on several occasions). This is also a violation of Article 6. (I have personally been in Church Council meetings in which revisionists have publically stated that they no longer consider certain passages to be part of the Faith.)
Teach that we no longer must agree with, or even actually believe, everything that we state when we recite the Creeds (Nicene, Apostolic, and Athanasian). They teach that we can just ignore those parts that we do not agree with.
Openly question the “Virgin Birth”, and suggest that Jesus Christ was not resurrected (for at first the Risen Lord was not recognized by the Apostles). I have even heard some revisionists state that they believe that the Crucifixion never really happened, and that Jesus lived as a married man (married to Mary Magdalene) for many years after the “alleged” Crucifixion (apparently some other poor soul was nailed to the Cross).
If this is not “picking and choosing” what to believe, like some buffet lunch, than what is? Furthermore, how can someone who does those things that I have witnessed and listed above, claim, with any integrity, to be Christian?
I suggest that you go to biblegateway.com and on the Topical Index do a keyword search for “false prophet”. You will see twenty-two passages, dispersed throughout both the Old and New Testament. Read these for yourself, and make your own conclusion.
AMP, go away! Nobody is interested in your proselitism here.
In the other news, I guess the name of the new church will be Homophobic Anglican Church?
Maybe Cliff Richard and his “companion” could help. He is certainly doing wonders for the RC church.
All the best.
Let me see if I understand this…
1. Your “Pink News” publishes an article about my Church, an article that contains errors.
2. I submit a posting to correct the errors.
3. Other people subsequently post their comments.
4. I respond to these comments, all the while trying to be factual.
5. Now Alex tells me “go away! Nobody is interested in your proselitism here.”
There are several of points that I would like to make.
First, that others have responded to my posts clearly indicates that there is an interest. That the “Pink News” published this article, also indicates an interest in this topic.
Second, that the “Pink News” published this article about my Church gives me every right under Freedom of Expression to participate in the resulting debate, even if you do not like what I have to say. If you do not want to hear what people like me have to say, than perhaps you should tell the “Pink News” to stop reporting things about the Global Anglican Communion.
Thirdly, your reaction is very similar to the behavior that I have witnessed of the “inclusive” revisionists. Anyone who does not agree with them is quickly told to “go away!” So much for the “inclusive” revised Church being tolerant of differing opinions.
I would like to reiterate that the schism within the Global Anglican Communion is not about sex. The issues of woman ordination and homosexual marriage are nothing more than symptoms of a far larger, and Communion breaking difference in Theology. That Theology being the Divinity of Jesus Christ, the exclusive authority of the Holy Scriptures, the Historic Teachings of the Church, the literal meaning and importance of the Creeds (I could go on, but I hope you get the point).
In closing, please understand that being Faithful to God is in no way homophobic. I remember an episode of the TV series “M*A*S*H”, in which the pastor asks a patient who thinks himself to be Christ “does God answer all prayers”. The patient answers “He does. Sometimes His answer is ‘no’”. Thus Faithful Christians will not deviate from the Holy Scriptures, and will continue to say that certain things people do are sinful. There is a saying that goes “hate the sin, love the sinner”. That is exactly what Faithful Christians try to do. And so to accuse Faithful Christians of being homophobic is very insulting. We are not homophobic. We care so much that we are compelled to say what we honestly believe must be said.
It never ceases to amaze me how people use ‘scriptures’ (of whatever religion/denomination) to bring security and certainty to their own lives. Then engage in competitive battles to defend their own life-picture/conception of……..Faith, is surely just that, a personal uncertain picture of hypotheses relating to our personal place in the cosmos. Nobody knows, because we are human – we can’t be certain – we can only believe. So – either, ‘the message’ is clear and certain – and therefore there is no need, or room, for faith. Or, the truth is revealed – then what is the point of debate? Neither of these convince me, I prefer that issues of spirituality require a very personal, and humble approach – able to be constantly revised along a life-long spiritual journey – with no arrogant claims to ‘have the answer’. It seems to me that the more fundamentally-held the position – the more inner-turmoil exists: building a rigid structure for thinking about issues of place and meaning only alienates us from contacting our purpose.
AMP is entirely right in his first post. The conservatives are following their beliefs (there are some, however, who say that Jesus never spoke out against homosexuality). However, as someone once said, and I forget whom or the exact wording, the most heinous crimes in the world are carried out from a sense of total sincerity. Hitler no doubt thought he was right. That is not to compare the conservative Anglicans to Hitler, merely to make the point that sincerely believing in a cause can make you do unpleasant things, as Islam can cause gays to be execuited in rather interesting ways in Muslim theocracies. Sincerity. Our way is right. Perhaps I should capitalise that: our Way. Or, even, better, the Way. My point is that they’re nutters and it’s ot be hoped they will only ever be ridiculed and never be in a position of influence over our lives.
As for women, when it comes to their employment, by an employer – which the church is, no matter how it’s dressed up, if it pays stipends – then the secular law should simply step in and tell it that it must treat them equally, and let’s see a few employment tribunals brought by women priests who find it impossible to join the ranks of the episcopate because bigoted males who think they’re not up to the job – because Jesus chose twelve men – won’t let them progress in their chosen career, when most of them would probably do a damn sight better job than most men. Jesus would not have been able to choose women back then.
Which “Holy Bible” are you actually talking about APM as there are hundreds of them with all sorts of variations let alone interpretations? Not to mention all the stuff that has been “excluded from the Bible(s)” by church authorities that considered this material to be heretical. All those corrections, notes in the margins by scribes, and invested variations on “events”.
Don’t go on about a “pick and mix / buffet faith”, because that’s exactly what these faiths operate already, though they choose to deny it.
I think you need to study more about the actual origins of your “Holy Book(s)” rather than take it for granted that the one you have on your coffee table is the actually authentic
Remember those “Holy Book(s)” were written in the times of exclusively patriarchal societies (some of which still exist, Saudi Arabia to name but one) and the “believe-every-word-in-them-brigade”, not surprisingly have great troubles at present because women, gay and lesbian people are no longer prepared to “sit at the back of the bus” and allow “men” to control their thinking and their “faith”.
These two groups challenge the “right of men” to decide and as the “Holy Book(s)” are written only from the perspective of “men being in control”, this challenge extends to the validity of the “Holy Book(s) themselves.
Make way women and gay and lesbians demand a share of the pie, so move over.
And Finally – The Church of England (Anglican Communion with all its current variations) was created by a split, so frankly, “who gives a rat’s arse” it splits yet again?
Hello Andy Armitage and J Geetas
I assume that as “Pink News” has a UK address, that you a most likely are in the UK. You will be most familiar with the Church of England (CoE) and possibly less familiar with the situation in other “Provinces” (i.e. Anglican Church of Canada [ACoC]).
Regarding Woman Ordination, ACoC has had woman Priests for several decades now, and some have moved up the ranks to the office of Bishop. Similar situation in The Episcopal Church in the United States (TEC) which currently has a woman as its most senior Bishop. As each Province in the Global Anglican Communion is independent and make their own decisions, the rules over numerous issues vary from Province to Province. But up until recently, the Global Anglican Communion has been able to keep itself together, and much like a fleet of ships have everyone going in mostly the same direction. But now several of these ships have changed course. In time the distance between these ships will be so great that they will have disappeared over the horizon.
Regarding which Holy Bible a person is to use is an incredibly important question. For Christians, the Holy Bible is literally the Word of God. Not words authored by men. Words that God Himself instructed people to record. I do not expect heathens (non-Christians) to accept this belief, but please understand that this is what Christians believe. Consequently, ever since the first King James version, there has been an ongoing and often heated debate over which version is most accurate. Many Christians will have several different versions and look at each of them as we try to more fully and accurately understand what it is that God is saying to us.
As to the origins of the Holy Bible, the early Church did expend what could be described as a herculean effort to decide which books would be in and which books would be out. As a Christian I have Faith that God guided the early Church in this action, and on a practical side also accept that the people who were involved in this process were the most learned Theologians of their time. If anyone group of people could get it right, it would have been these people.
There are a lot of people, 70 million or so around the world, who are counted as part of the Global Anglican Communion. There are millions more who consider themselves to be “Anglican” but that are not included in the 70 million (i.e. the 700,000 people of the Traditional Anglican Communion). For these people (about half being woman, and undoubtedly many being homosexuals) the splitting up of the Communion is an issue. Additionally, as the CoE is still the “Established Church” in the England, there are political consequences which will affect the British Parliament. Thus the British people (regardless of their personal religious belief) have a stake in this also. A worst case scenario could find the British Parliament in a Constitutional crises, and thus paralyzed.
the actual root of this is more power and politics rather than faith and belief (subjects I don’t want to touch).
One faction wants to hold onto the assets when the inevitable schism comes, and the seats in the HoL and the privileged access to politicians, while the other wants to do the same.
As far as the CofE is concerned the quicker it is totally out of British Politics the better. But it loves having Power, a relic of the times when the “Church(es) / Faiths” ruled the roost, almost everywhere. A complete separation of “Church(es) / Faiths” and State and if that means a Parliamentary Constitutional Crisis, then so be it. Long overdue.
You obviously have more faith in your ancestor’s abilities than I do, given that many of these considered the world was flat long after it was proved otherwise and took up many other ridiculous stances in order to preserve what they had cobbled together from ancient manuscripts. Christians and others may “believe” that these books contain the “Words of God” but in reality they contain nothing more than the words of man. Could their beliefs constitute nothing more than a variation on the “flat earth theme”, which was another “belief”?
And while there may be pockets of Anglicanism where strides have been made to include women and gays by and large the organisation is reactionary and “patriarchy is alive and kicking”
I realise that facts in the context of irrational beliefs ore irrelevant.
Hello J Geetas
I agree with you on the separation of Church and State. Religion and Politics don’t mix very well. Currently, I think this official relationship is worse for the Church than it is for the Government. For example, only in the past few weeks was the government’s law changed that restricted in which Parish a couple could be married. Even the Archbishop of Canterbury (and several other senior Bishops) are at least partially determined by the secular government. If the people of the United Kingdom want disestablishment, then so be it.
Your suggestion that the Bishops of the early Church were too uneducated (by your using the flat earth argument) is at best ill informed (I would not want to be insulting you by going so far as to say ignorant), but is most certainly insulting to me. Anyone who has studied history would be aware that all of the educated people would have known that the earth is not flat. The flat earth idea was a superstition held by the uneducated masses. The Church does in fact have a long history of trying to be open to science and objectively considering where science and doctrine can agree. For example, the Roman Catholic Church some time ago issued an official statement in which it said that the big bang theory and the Creation as told to us in Genesis do not conflict. Additionally, Bishops within the Church of England have recently stated publically that how the Church treated Darwin was wrong (perhaps a bit late seeing as Darwin has been dead for some time, but better late than never, and the good intentions to set things right is there). When there have been problems is when the Church accepted something that science said, only to have science change its theory sometime later.
It is interesting to observe that your comments are worded in a manner that leaves the impression that have no problem with saying to me “you are wrong, I am right, and you are foolish for having certain beliefs”. Whereas, if you were to look objectively at my comments, never do I imply that you are wrong. I have only tried to offer an explanation of what is going on in the Global Anglican Communion, with statements such as “this is what Christians believe”, and have never said “you are wrong”. For you to state “in reality they contain nothing more than the words of man” indicates a certain amount of arrogance on your part. It is this same arrogance that the liberal/revisionist/reformer (use whatever label you like) treat the conservative/traditional/orthodox (again use whatever label you like). As a person of the latter, I can tell you from personal experience that I have personally been treated by the former in a manner that can accurately be described as “we are right, you are wrong, if you refuse to change your mind to agree with us than you are also stupid”. Is there any wonder left as to why the Global Anglican Communion is breaking itself apart?
1. As far as Church and State are concerned the evidence is that Faiths will cling to their influence in Politics and Power and will only reluctantly give it up when they are forced to and even then they fight a formidable rear guard action. Faiths everywhere love their historic privileges.
2. The Faiths with considerable kicking and screaming eventually have to accept the finding of science as the evidence becomes so overwhelming that if they do not then believers risk being seen as complete fools even by small children but of course the dyed-in-the-wool traditionalists bury their heads well and truly in the sand, preferring to “believe” something that has no factual basis whatsoever, except insofar as it is their interpretation of what is written in a Holy Book. What makes these books Holy? Well various God’s guided man to write down this stuff. So it must be right. End of discussion. Examples of kicking and screaming: Church says, the earth is the centre of the Universe, anatomical study is an excommunicable offence, the world is 7,000 years old, Darwinism is beyond the pale, blood transfusions are against biblical belief etc. etc. etc. The list goes on forever.
3. What is written was written by men and they wrote many versions of events, corrected them, embellished them, added to them, exaggerated them and wrote them within and historical context. Presumably if Holy Books were capable of being written in antiquity then they must be still being written now or has this God Guiding process stopped and there are never to be any more Holy Books? These books are like looking at fossils, they tell us something about the past (as do many books) and some things have bearing on our present but they are in no way definitive and with time, over and over again they have been constantly reinterpreted. Just as now. Genesis and the Big Bang are compatible. Well, they have to be, don’t they? Otherwise Genesis is in great error and no way can Chapter One be in error, as that would raise serious questions about all the following chapters. Hence the creationist cult: The-for-God’s-sake (literally) we-have-to-keep-that-chapter-in-tact-at-all-costs, brigade. Maybe Science books are some for the new Holy Books?
4. As for science. The fact that science theories are constantly changed and updated is because day by day we learn more and more about our surroundings. If science theories were not to be dynamic they then too would become fossils too and their validity would decline. Science is a process of discovery.
5. Faiths in general terms deny facts in favour of beliefs, hence the reason why women are not welcome. They were subjugated in years gone by as it is written and so that should be the way now. As for Gay and Lesbian Peoples well they are an abomination; the Holy Books tell us so. Or they are “Objectively Disordered”, whatever that means. Presumably sub-human, Jews were Christ killers, they actually killed God, there could be non worse, ditto slaves and black people (heathens) and allsorts of other groups.
6. Holy Books? Word of God?
I seem to have touched a nerve with you. Please accept my apologies for any offence that I may have caused.
That being said, I would like to respond to some the comments that you most recently posted.
Re.1. You paint with a very broad brush when you portray Faiths in the manner that you did. I will of course comment about only my own Faith Group as it would be inappropriate for me to comment on those things of which I have limited knowledge and experience. My group of Anglicans is not trying to retain power nor influence secular politics. We are trying our best to be Faithful to God, and to obey the teachings that He has given us.
Re.2. Science and Religion are not the same thing. Science tries to answer the question “how”, as in “how did the universe come into existence”. Religion answers the question “why”, as in “why did the universe come into existence”. These are obviously two different questions, and thus it is only reasonable to expect two different answers. As they pertain to the same topic, there will most likely be the perception that the answers talk to the same thing, and could overlap, compliment, or even contradict each other. Science theorizes that the universe is millions of years old. But God created everything is six days. This is an apparent contradiction. But even the most studied scientists can’t agree on how old the universe is, and the estimate is constantly being revised. As far as God creating everything in only six days goes, this is a theological debate. Are we talking “days” as we people define them now, or are we talking about what would be 6 days for God? Is the amount of time God took important? Or is the point that the universe was not an accident, but in fact something deliberately made by a greater power? I am not sure if I am clearly making my point here. What I am trying to say is that for Christians is that the “how” is just simply not that important, but the “why” is meaningful. Keep in mind that the account of the Creation takes up less than ½ of a page in a collection of writings that are approximately 1,000 pages long. That fact provides a perspective on how big, or how small, an issue this is. Basically it’s like this. “God did it, now on to the next topic.”
Re.3. I of course disagree with your opinion that that the Holy Scriptures were corrected, embellished, added to, exaggerated, or any other way distorted that you could possibly imagine. As an Anglican I do believe that what you describe as a “God Guiding process” has been fulfilled. Article 6 of the 39 Articles of Religion specifically states that everything in the Holy Scriptures are required for salvation, and also specifically states that only the Holy Scriptures (nothing else) is to be included in our Faith. Religion is not a Harry Potter book or movie, and we do not expect there to be a sequel to what God has already given us. As far as your comment pertaining to Genesis and the big bang, don’t you find it incredible that over 5,000 years ago the Hebrews already knew that this universe started with “let there be light”? That it took science these 5,000 years to come to the same conclusion? Is it not incredible that the Hebrew religion had the creation of people as being the last thing that God created, and not the first? (Would an ancient cult invented by men have the that order reversed?) That science is now confirming the order of events in the Creation as chronicled in Genesis to be correct is for me a confirmation of the truth of my Faith. I suppose that you would be quick to discard this as nothing more than a coincidence.
Re.4. You are of course completely correct about science, and I think that I have already spoken to the point of the scientific process. However when you state “would become fossils too” implies that you feel something else, presumably my Faith, is already a “fossil”. Perhaps for you, personally, this may be the situation. But just because you may feel that religion has nothing to offer you does not in any way mean that it is meaningless for absolutely everyone else.
Re.5. That you feel that “women are not welcome” and that “gay and lesbian peoples well they are an abomination” indicates to me a lack of understanding. As I have stated in an earlier post, everyone without exception is welcome, so long as they are willing to make an honest effort to obey God. I think that you may have misinterpreted this encouragement to obey God as being “you’re not welcome”. Allow me to offer a comparison. When I say to a kleptomaniac that he/she should try to not steal, I am encouraging this person to obey God (and coincidentally also the laws of secular government). I am not telling that person that they are not welcome. I understand that kleptomania is a disorder that the afflicted struggle with. But I do not accept that “God made them that way”. What I do accept is that there are very real differences between men and women, and that treating men and women exactly the same is therefore inappropriate. Sameness is not equality. Sameness is an injustice that ignores the uniqueness of each person.
Now let me be blunt. Homosexual people are NOT an abomination. Deliberately changing the words of the Holy Bible to better suit the times is the abomination. Giving in to certain, specific temptations and desires, committing certain specific actions that are listed as being against the Will of God, is a sin. Let me stress this point. The temptation is not the sin, the action is. That action could be stealing, lying about other people, murder, etc.
To conclude this point, you are just as much a creation of God as I am, and that makes us siblings. Like it or not, we are family.
Re.6. If you are to have any hope of understanding what is happening in the Church of England, and the Global Anglican Communion, you must acknowledge that Anglicans have religious beliefs. I acknowledge that you may not (and it seems obvious that you don’t) have the same religious beliefs that I have. But the article is not talking about you. It is talking about me. And for me the Holy Bible is a compilation of Holy Books, and yes that does mean that every word within the Holy Bible is literally the Word of God. Agree or disagree if you like, but you will not understand what is going on in Anglicanism, and you will have no hope of comprehending why, until and unless you accept the fact that people like me have these beliefs.
In conclusion (I do have a tendency to go on and on and on) the breaking up of the Global Anglican Communion is not about woman ordination and homosexual marriage. It is entirely and exclusively about two groups within the Communion that now have divergently different Theologies that has made it impossible for these two groups to agree on the most basic and fundamental aspects of our faith.
I have made an honest decision based on the complete absence of any rational evidence therefor and the complete lack of any personal experience thereof that there is no God. This is a common, more or less majority, view amongst the educated of the UK, perhaps a bit less amongst the less well educated. It’s certainly usual enough. I am not going to try to convince you that that view is right but it is honestly and reasonably held.
What is your belief in what happens when I die? Do I inherit eternal life because I am a good and honest person or do I not because I honestly took another view? I suspect you will answer the former, which shows to me that if he teaches it too(asuming for th emoment that he is still around) your Christ person is a bit of a s**t.
Secondly, do you expect us to take you seriously when you suggest that, for example, my sexual expression of my monogamous love for the man to whom I am married is akin to kleptomania? Do you think like certain extermists that we are suffering from a disease that needs to be cured?
I am writig with a level of courtesy, which your bravery in coming to a gay site and telling us our actions are evil sort of deserves. But in the real as opposed to the cyber world I have always found ridicule an effective weapon against religion and if you campaing against gay marriage in the secular sphere that is what you deserve.
Now tell me how this conforms with The Big Bang Theory?
God creates light and separates light from darkness, and day (to my knowledge the educated theologians / scribes who wrote this were perfectly aware of what constituted a day) from night, on the first day. Yet he didn’t make the light producing objects (the sun and the stars) until the fourth day (1:14-19). 1:3-5
God spends one-sixth of his entire creative effort (the second day) working on a solid firmament. This strange structure, which God calls heaven, is intended to separate the higher waters from the lower waters. 1:6-8
Plants are made on the third day before there was a sun to drive their photosynthetic processes (1:14-19). 1:11
In an apparent endorsement of astrology, God places the sun, moon, and stars in the firmament so that they can be used “for signs”. This, of course, is exactly what astrologers do: read “the signs” in the Zodiac in an effort to predict what will happen on Earth. 1:14
“He made the stars also.” God spends a day making light (before making the stars) and separating light from darkness; then, at the end of a hard day’s work, and almost as an afterthought, he makes the trillions of stars. 1:16
“And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth.” 1:17
God commands us to “be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over … every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” 1:28
“I have given you every herb … and every tree … for meat.” 1:29
Even God gets tired sometimes. 2:2
It is very interesting that it is the positions of women and gays in today’s world, which is causing the current rethinking of the texts of Holy Books. It will probably cause schisms in the religious institutions but the vast majority of people couldn’t’ care less. Only those insiders will have need to naval gaze. Meanwhile the world moves on.
As to kleptomania being comparative to being gay! Well that is astonishing! I thought the people who believed that being homosexual was being equivalent to having a disease had completely died out. Clearly I was wrong!
Gay men, Lesbians, Straight Men and Women, Transsexuals, Transvestites, Bisexuals can all be kleptomaniacs but Straight Men cannot be Gay Men or Lesbians cannot be Straight Women.
No family that I know of anywhere on the planet brings up their children to be homosexual, in fact quite the opposite. All children are first TAUGHT to be straight and fit in. Yet homosexual peoples exist in ALL societies everywhere on the planet. So if teaching were the cure and it were a learned behaviour then there would be no gays.
What “actions” is it that gay people do that is a sin?
Looking at each other? Holding hands? Sharing a meal? Kissing on the cheeks? Kissing on the lips? Using tongues when kissing? Lying in the same bed together in pyjamas? Lying in the same bed together naked? Setting up home together? Touching each others naked bodies? Hugging nakedly or clothed? Touching one another’s private parts? Being aroused by one another? Mutual ejaculation? Sucking and kissing private parts? Penetrative sex?
At what point do these actions become sinful according the Hole Book?
One presumes that other Holy Books have different points?
I would genuinely like to know. And no you have not offended me though you are a sweet talker with a message that does need challenging.
“Now let me be blunt. Homosexual people are NOT an abomination. Deliberately changing the words of the Holy Bible to better suit the times is the abomination. Giving in to certain, specific temptations and desires, committing certain specific actions that are listed as being against the Will of God, is a sin.”
I am almost 70 and I don’t know if you are aware but the distinction you draw above between homosexuals NOT being an abomination only their actions being sinful is of itself a revisionist positions. When I was young there was no such distinction; Homosexual people were an abomination (many Fundamentalists in ALL faiths hold the same view today – The God Hates Fags Brigade). It is precisely these quotations which give license to punishment beatings, curative tortures and death to gay people – (stoning or being thrown from the top of a mountain I believe is the Holy Books prescribed method)
And no such subtle / nuanced interpretation exists in the minds of the thugs (governmental, institutional, religious or just plain nasty people) who still follow the rough and ready guide that it is OK to beat the crap out of Gay people and do what ever you like (including murder) because The Holy Book(s) say they ARE and abomination.
This is the real world and the effects of these strictures not the finer interpretations placed upon them by theologians