LGBT inclusion
Church of England

Sex and the Church: how does a “radical new Christian inclusion” differ from the world’s?

You know that church that’s seemingly in crisis and turmoil? Well, today it’ll carry on praying, worshipping, visiting the ill and bereaved, loving one another… (and re-stocking food-banks). And it’ll be doing it all very calmly. It was one vote on one report on a specific question of sexuality: anybody would think the Archbishop of Canterbury had just crossed the Tiber. Honestly, there is no crisis and no turmoil. The majority of the General Synod actually voted by to “take note” of the Bishops’ report on marriage and same-sex relationships by 242 votes to 184 (with six abstentions). But there had been a formal request to vote by synodical houses – Bishops, Clergy and Laity – which required a simple majority in each house. The report failed to obtain a simple majority in the House of Clergy.

The House of Bishops voted 43 in favour and 1 against (this was a mistake by the Bishop of Coventry) .

The House of Clergy voted 93 in favour and 100 against with 2 abstentions (we don’t know how many mistakes).

The House of Laity voted 106 in favour and 83 against with 4 abstentions.

So the Clergy had no confidence in their Bishops.

With the “take note” motion rejected, the Bishops will reflect (again) on the diversity and strength of views expressed (again), and then decide (again) the best way to proceed. Responding to the vote, the Rt Rev’d Graham James, Bishop of Norwich said: “I can guarantee that the House of Bishops will consider carefully and prayerfully all the contributions made in the debate today. When reports come to the General Synod they often come at the end of a process and contain recommendations. This wasn’t that sort of report. The Bishops came to this debate committed to listen. Our report did not bring proposals, it brought a framework and a request for Synod to tell us what they thought. We have listened to those who have spoken, and those others who have made contributions to us directly. Our ongoing discussions will be informed by what members of Synod and the wider church have said as a result of this report.”

Introducing the debate on behalf of the House of Bishops, Bishop Graham said that the report did not make formal proposals but was rather suggesting frameworks where areas needed attention: “The point of a ‘take note’ debate is that it enables other voices to be heard, including those who believe the framework for further consideration is mistaken or wrongly constructed and needs modification. It is not a vote for approval but an invitation to comment and engage, and the House is listening.”

Setting out the difficulties facing both the House of Bishops and the wider Church in considering the report, he added: “There is no simple and easy answer to this issue beyond committing ourselves to engagement with each other when the views on what we should do are profoundly contested.”

The bizarre thing is that certain activists are trumpeting this as some sort of victory for progressive LGBT equality. It really is nothing of the sort. The report was simply a statement of where the Bishops are at on this matter: this report was the very means by which progress (however framed) could have been made. It was a step, a rung, a furtherance of the argument. The vote not to “take note” means that it dies: it cannot now be brought back to Synod, and so those who agitate for full inclusion and marriage equality will now have to wait (years?) for another report.

The point was articulated by the Rt Rev’d Pete Broadbent, Bishop of Willesden: “As I said at the launch of the Report such a debate is on a neutral motion. It allows Synod to discuss the content and recommendations contained in the report. The Synod has declined to take note and so the report in its present form cannot come back to Synod for discussion, though we will still have to find a way forward for the wider discussion.

“We will find this debate a continuing source of disagreement because we haven’t coalesced around an end point. When we legislated for women to be bishops, even those opposed came to the view that the Church of England had to make it possible for women to be bishops in the Church of God according to our canons and formularies. In this debate, we haven’t even begun to find a place where we can coalesce. The Bishops’ Report acknowledges a place of starting. More conversation is needed. We don’t yet know the next stage – nor yet when and whether we can bring any further report to Synod.”

Note the “whether”. The liberal wing of the Church of England might just have made it much harder to secure its ultimate inclusion.

In response to the vote, the Archbishop of Canterbury issued a brief statement, which included this:

To deal with that disagreement, to find ways forward, we need a radical new Christian inclusion in the Church. This must be founded in scripture, in reason, in tradition, in theology; it must be based on good, healthy, flourishing relationships, and in a proper 21st century understanding of being human and of being sexual.

What is a “radical new Christian inclusion” in the area of marriage and sexuality? How does it differ from the old model(s) of inclusion advanced by the world? The Archbishop clings to the Anglican formula, “in scripture, in reason, in tradition”, which were the very components which informed the theology of the rejected report. So what now might change? And when?

Or is it whether?

If the Church is defined by its adherence to Christ, there are necessary limits to inclusion, for there are those who follow false christs, false gods, anti-christs and heresies, by which idolatry and dogma they exclude themselves from Christian fellowship. It may be a tautology, but disciples of Christ must be disciplined: there must be rules which govern membership of the Anglican communion, and so there must be beliefs, professions and actions which are forbidden – ‘red lines’, if you will; the crossing of which demands exclusion, which some might term excommunication.

Now, the severity of the penalty is for the judgment of spiritual leadership – the Bishops. The history of all denominations of the Church is strewn with examples of ‘tough love’ meted out to recalcitrants and recidivists who hardened their hearts to grace and turned their minds from truth. But what does discipline mean in a (post)modern liberal age where ‘inclusion’ has become the touchstone of common civility? If we are to be friends with all and the enemy of none (ie ‘tolerant’; no ‘hate’), then formalism and spiritual rigour must give way to ever-expanding freedom and humanism.

Of course, the way must not be narrower than Jesus made it. And yet he made it narrow: there is salvation and damnation; heaven and hell; sheep and goats. Should the “radical new Christian inclusion” extend to damnation, hell and goats? What is to be the threshold of tolerance? In the pursuit of a “proper 21st century understanding of being human and of being sexual”, dare one begin with a 16th-century Cranmerian formulary?


When marriage ceases to be about the sacramental conjunction of a man and woman, knitted, united, and made one flesh and one body, not only for mutual aid and comfort but also procreation – the preservation and continuance of mankind – why does it not then become an institution for the inclusion of all consanguinity and any affinity; all fraternity and sorority without discrimination? If God is love, and marriage is simply the celebration of His gift of love, why should two brothers or two sisters not marry? Why should a son not marry his mother, or the daughter her father? Why, indeed, may the father not marry his son? Why, indeed, might a man not marry his girlfriend and his best man-friend, for does not this fixation with couples discriminate against the bisexual?

A “radical new Christian inclusion” must necessarily be Christian, which is already the most radical inclusion, for the way of salvation is open to all. But on the theology of marriage, there really is nothing new under the sun.

  • Anton

    These bishops have the job of running an Established church in a secular society. If the task is proving impossible, was it ever intended by God that the collective of His called-out people, called out from the world, should be yoked to it in this way?

  • Paul Greenwood

    Tatchell doesn’t look well and that Giles ? was formerly in Advertising and from Wadham College, I think, which makes him dubious on several grounds. Frankly I don’t want to be in a Church with people like Giles ? because I don’t think we share the same Faith.

  • Albert

    I haven’t got time to read this yet, but I see our own Dr C has a mention in the Telegraph!

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/02/16/bishop-apologises-accidentally-pressing-wrong-button-crucial/

    • Anton

      The Telegraph actually refers to a man unknown to me called Archbishop Cramner.

  • len

    ‘The Church’ is going to have to be defined or even re- defined.
    What is the church? Is the church a building, an institution, a business, a philosophy,?.
    Or is the Church an assembly of’ called out’ believers . Believers ‘called out’ of this present [corrupt] World system.
    It seems that there are some who want the Church to be ‘ AS’ the World, and definitely IN the world system, and to DO as the world system does.
    IF the church bows to secular pressure, the church will cease to be salt and Light and will be trampled underfoot by secularist forces.

  • Mrs S wilson

    Excellent article, Archbishop, especially the penultimate paragraph, which seems to be the argument suppressed by and large, by so many. But the statement from Jay Ozanne, I think it was, who said that LGBTs had much farther to go, shows that marriage is not the ultimate aim, but rather th suppression of any and all ideas which dissent from that. I do wish people would realise that.

    • bluedog

      We do. The repression of dissent was initially incorporated in Cameron’s SSM Act too. But things have changed, the electorate is standing up and rejecting orders to think as they have been told. Activists like Jay Ozanne need to be given maximum possible exposure to highlight the risk she presents.

  • dannybhoy

    “Introducing the debate on behalf of the House of Bishops, Bishop Graham said that the report did not make formal proposals but was rather suggesting frameworks where areas needed attention: “The point of a ‘take note’ debate is that it enables other voices to be heard, including those who believe the framework for further consideration is mistaken or wrongly constructed and needs modification. It is not a vote for approval but an invitation to comment and engage, and the House is listening.”

    He’s our Bishop. A nice enough chap. But the body of the Church of England, aka “The Laity” look to the professionals, aka “The Clergy” to give a lead based firstly on the Gospel and Scriptures.
    Sure, listen to people’s opinions, but either they have a calling from God to be spiritual leaders, Overseers of the Church, or they are elected representatives of a democratic/religious club..

  • Martin

    One wonders, your grace, what it will take for you to admit the CoE is in a terminal mess.

    • Anton

      The accession of a monarch whose theological thinking is similarly confused?

      • Paul Greenwood

        You mean we get Charles III to complete the Stuart Trilogy ? Not exactly a successful period

        • Anton

          You actually mean the Caroline trilogy as there were four Stuart kings. Moreover It is rumoured that the Prince of Wales wishes to reign as George VII.

      • Martin

        Anton

        Do we not already have one?

  • As I do not think there are many among bishops that will be saved, but many more that perish … . The loss of one soul carries with it a penalty which no language can represent. For if the salvation of that soul was of such value that the Son of God became Man and suffered so much, think how sore a punishment must its loss bring! And if in this present life he who is cause of another’s destruction is worthy of death, how much more in the next world! Do not tell me that the priest is at fault, or the deacon. The guilt of all these comes perforce upon the head of those who ordained them.

    http://www.symeon-anthony.info/onBishops/ChrysostomOnBishops.html

  • Marriage is what every sane person knows it is, and have done for millenia. End of. Let’s move on.

    • Sarky

      A bloody nightmare???

      • Anton

        There is no better demonstration of the biblical claim that human nature is fallen than the fact that two people who make an informed choice to marry and are madly in love often find that they are subsequently unable to live together.

        • carl jacobs

          There is no “in love”. It’s not a state you enter (and exit) by some mysterious undefinable process. It is a choice – an act of human will.

          • CliveM

            Ehh? You cant fall in love with someone you find unloveable. Did you just decide to love your wife? Your daughters?

            When my son arrived, i felt no choice, no act of human will. I just did.

          • carl jacobs

            “In love” is not a Scriptural concept. Love is always associated with action as an active verb. “In love” is passive and therefore beyond control.

          • Martin

            Carl

            The command is to love your wife, not to be in love with them.

          • carl jacobs

            I almost included that exact example but was short of time.

          • CliveM

            You have a very mechanistic view of love Carl. Love as it applies to people is an emotion. When my son was born I could no more have chosen not to love him, then fly,

            Love as it applies to our relationship with God is active. It is a decision, but it also isn’t the same love as I have for my wife and son.

          • Anton

            I know what you mean, and you will probably debate it with Clive below, but it is peripheral to the point I am making.

          • carl jacobs

            No I probably won’t. I have to get ready for work. “In love” is a verbal trick people use to distance themselves from responsibility for their decisions. The phrase has always annoyed me.

          • You old romantic, you.

          • Love is a verb as well as a noun.

            “I, ______, take you, ______, for my lawful wife/husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part.”

          • carl jacobs

            So you say you can’t take it, the price is too high
            The feelings have gone it seems the river’s run dry
            You could never imagine it could turn out so rough
            You given, given, given, still it’s never enough

            Your emotions have vanished that once held the thrill
            You wonder if love could be alive in you still
            But that ring on your finger, was put there to say
            You’ll never forget the words you promised that day.

        • Sarky

          Thats why you should always try before you buy!

          • magnolia

            And how much did you pay for your wife? Was it through the nose? Was it a BOGOF? Hope not! Is she happy to be bought and paid for???? Just asking!

          • Sarky

            I didn’t pay through the nose at the time, but i have done ever since!!

          • William Lewis

            How many did you have to discard before you found your bargain?

          • Sarky

            Loads.

          • bluedog

            Are you incredibly attractive to men and equally successfully with them too?

          • Sarky

            ??????

          • bluedog

            Well, you seem inordinately proud of your skill at using women as sexual spittoons. It seemed natural to ask if you had penetrated further in the world of sexual licence.

          • Sarky

            Nope.

          • Anton

            The breakup rate is higher for those who have cohabited.

            Marry at leisure, repent in haste?

          • Sarky

            Well, 18 years and still going.

          • carl jacobs

            Foolish advice. Shacking up is nothing like marriage.

          • Sarky

            Worked for me!!!!
            2 years shacked up, 16 years marriage.

          • God tells Moses to instruct the people to “remember all the commandments of the Lord, to do them, and not to follow after your own heart and your own eyes, which you are inclined to go after wantonly.”

            [P]opular wisdom tells us to experiment sexually until we find the right click with the right person. If we go into marriage without this click, we face a dark future of frustration and unhappiness. This is an example of how a partial truth—the importance of chemistry in a relationship—can make a lie appear credible. Many young people go on a quest to find this perfect click; rather than coming to a quick conclusion, this ambition often becomes a life-long journey. More often than not, the people I meet have experimented until they are incapable of feeling that click. The pursuit of the perfect sexual partner is a veiled excuse not to commit just as any pursuit of perfection on this earth.

            http://www.catholicstand.com/the-case-for-chastity/

      • Merchantman

        I believe the LGBT agenda is a massive breakdown.

  • Dominic Wright

    But the whole church of England did drop Cranmer’s prohibition against marrying your deceased wife’s sister in 1907. This prohibition caused a huge amount of pain for a small minority of people. The institution or sanctity of marriage didn’t fall apart when it was lifted and I think we’re all glad that we’re not still debating it in synod. Future generations will see the current resistance to equal marriage in a similar light.

    • Paul Greenwood

      Your last sentence contains a self-confident statement predicated on nothing more than your own self-confident assertion

    • ChaucerChronicle

      Your lot should’ve voted for the Report (‘maximum freedom’)!

      You lost! You’ve set your own cause back!

      28 And they having heard, and having become full of wrath, were crying out, saying, `Great [is] the Artemis of the Ephesians!’
      29 and the whole city was filled with confusion, they rushed also with one accord into the theatre, having caught Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians, Paul’s fellow-travellers.
      30 And on Paul’s purposing to enter in unto the populace, the disciples were not suffering him,
      31 and certain also of the chief men of Asia, being his friends, having sent unto him, were entreating him not to venture himself into the theatre.
      32 Some indeed, therefore, were calling out one thing, and some another, for the assembly was confused, and the greater part did not know for what they were come together;

      Tonight, is a night, for champagne and cigars!

    • magnolia

      More likely they will regard with incredulity the fact that there was any debate whatever about the fact that it has always since time immemorial been sensible to have a word that described societal recognition of male-female pair-bonding and natural copulation that may produce children that semantically excludes homosexual horseplay.

      The melodramatic self-advertising hysterical stupidity at normal semantic necessity will appear exceptionally dense.

      I should think they will have also worked out the social mosaic, the affluence, and the school background, and sometimes the Marxism, of those who pushed the agenda.

      Things always swing from one extreme perception to another. What happened to the bathhouses of ancient Room and Greece? Put aside for many centuries..May it be so again.

      • Anton

        Do you know who “Bathhouse Barry” is?

        If not then google him…

    • carl jacobs

      Oh you think there will be future generations? Well then perhaps you could figure out a way to convince this current self-absorbed self-centered generation to form stable families, conceive and raise children. Because this libertine quest for sexual freedom is failing miserably at the task and has been for 50 years now.

      50 years.

      Mr Owl. How long can a civilization survive with a fertility rate below replacement?

      I don’t know. Let’s find out.

      • Anton

        It’s not about the fertility rate, it’s about the loss of cultural confidence which underlies it. In the mid-14th century the Black Death passed through Europe and within a month at any one location somewhere between one-third and one-half of the population vanished. Yet Western Europe dusted itself off and carried on.

        • carl jacobs

          That’s like saying “It’s not about the blood loss. It’s about the severed artery.”

          • Anton

            Economically speaking, a decline in population over many decades is much less calamitous than in one month. Yet the West recovered from the latter and is, for those with eyes to see, in a worse decline now. If you dismiss my argument then you have to explain that discrepancy.

          • carl jacobs

            I didn’t mean to imply dismissal. I simply thought you went one step back in the causal chain. ☺

    • @ Dominic Wright—equal marriage

      ● Heterosexual marriages can produce children. Homosexual marriages cannot. Where is the equality?

      ● Tables 5-1 to 5-4 of the Fourth National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect detail the neglect and the physical, sexual and emotional abuse suffered by children in various permutations of family. In every instance, children fare best when raised by their married biological parents. This article reviews an academic paper which compared the outcomes of children raised by homosexual parents with those raised by their married biological parents, ‘with the outcomes for children of homosexuals rated “suboptimal” in almost every category.’ Again, where is the equality?

      • Dominic Wright

        You mean the article written by the Family Research Council whose executive director in 2013 was Josh Duggar. I guess he knows quite a lot about child abuse!

        • @ Dominic Wright—The author of the review is Peter Sprigg and the author of the original study is Mark Regnerus.

    • William Lewis

      “Future generations will see the current resistance to equal marriage in a similar light.”

      To say that “equal marriage” is the same as marriage is not logical, rational or Biblical.

  • A ’21st century understanding of being human and of being sexual’? You mean, the idea that each of us is a non-relational, self-defined, self-creating will-o’-the-wisp hidden behind an illusion called Flesh? Oh, that understanding.

  • The latest blasphemy:

    A New York-based advocacy group called Parity is asking Christians who favor LGBT equality — “queer positive Christians,” in their parlance — to show their support by wearing “glitter ash” on their foreheads to mark Ash Wednesday (March 1).

    Ash Wednesday kicks off the six-week somber season called Lent that leads to Easter, and is usually marked in churches with the color purple. Traditionally, plain grey ashes, blessed by a minister or priest, are smeared on the foreheads of Christians to symbolize repentance.

    Not all Christian denominations welcome openly LGBT people. The Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, The Presbyterian Church (USA), the United Church of Christ and Metropolitan Community Church all ordain LGBT clergy, and every mainline Protestant and Catholic denomination has some organization that supports openly gay members, though those organizations are not officially sponsored by the denomination.

    Edmonds-Allen hopes “Glitter Ash Wednesday” will make support for those groups visible in a way usually reserved for princesses and unicorns.

    For some traditions, it is true” that Christians are not supposed to draw attention to their piety, Edmonds-Allen said. “The ashes go on and the ashes go off — it is a private thing. But glitter ashes are still appropriate. It is a recognition of the reality of queer Christians in the world and the beauty LGBTQ Christians bring to faith.”

    Parity is mixing professional makeup-grade purple glitter with traditional ashes. The organization will send glitter ashes at no cost — though a donation is suggested — to any congregation or individual that requests them.

    http://religionnews.com/2017/02/14/glitter-ash-wednesday-sparkles-for-lgbt-christians-and-others/

    Princesses and unicorns ….. says it all.

    • magnolia

      Next thing a picture of Christ on the cross with the blood seeping from his wounds mixed with red glitter to show how he particularly suffered for the injustices served out to the princess and unicorn gay Roman soldiers with a penchant for SM in 1st Century Palestine, no doubt.

      I can see no end to the tasteful innovations potentially meted out.

      Well, an end will come, but they are ill-prepared for it…

      • Martin

        Magnolia

        Please don’t give them ideas.

        • Merchantman

          Why the C of E persists with such ‘gay garb’ for bishops etc beats me. Its the Gay clothes, the candles, the beautiful buildings, and the wishy washy religiosity without the true gospel. Simple.
          Salvation and turning to Jesus is the essence. No Repentance No Go. But who am I to judge?

          • So ritual, beauty, vestments, candles and incense are “gay”, are they?

          • Martin

            HJ

            They’re not something Paul would have recognised.

          • Not the question Jack asked.

          • Martin

            HJ

            But what you deserved.

          • Merchantman

            No but these attract certain people and in my opinion can be a distraction from the beauty of holiness.
            We are told for instance Jesus’ raiment was simple.
            I am not dogmatic about this.

    • CliveM

      Its difficult to see in what way this adds credibility to their position. Its self indulgent, self regarding, border line blasphemous.

    • This is ridiculous. They are polluting the waters, and making Ash Wednesday all about them. It’s not a gay pride event!

  • carl jacobs

    “Inclusion” has nothing to do with inclusion. It’s a dogma of the new religion of human autonomy. “Inclusion” is an assertion of the right of man to define his own moral boundaries after his own image. This is why Christians fall afoul of it. They play a tune and demand we dance. But we cannot.

    There is no longer any point to this fight over homosexuality and the larger issue of human autonomy that lies just underneath. Let one go to the right and the other to the left. The revisionists will lift up their eyes, behold the whole plain East of the Jordan, and pitch their tents near Sodom.

    And the end is known from the beginning.

  • “When marriage ceases to be about the sacramental conjunction of a man and woman, knitted, united, and made one flesh and one body, not only for mutual aid and comfort but also procreation – the preservation and continuance of mankind – why does it not then become an institution for the inclusion of all consanguinity and any affinity; all fraternity and sorority without discrimination?”

    Indeed.

    The Lambeth Conference 1930 effectively broke the link between sex and procreation and opened Pandora’s Box.

    Pope Paul VI in Humanae Vitae made four general “prophecies” about what would happen if the Church’s teaching on contraception were ignored.

    Infidelity and moral decline
    The Pope noted that the widespread use of contraception would “lead to conjugal infidelity and the general lowering of morality.” There has been a widespread decline in morality, especially sexual morality, in the last 40 years. The increase in the number of divorces, abortions, our-of-wedlock pregnancies and venereal diseases shows that sexual morality is not the strong suit of our age.

    Contraception has made sexual activity a much more popular option that it was when the fear of pregnancy deterred a great number of young men and women from engaging in premarital sex. The availability of contraception has led them to believe that they can engage in premarital sexual activity “responsibly.”

    Lost Respect for Women
    Paul VI also argued that “the man” will lose respect for “the woman” and “no longer (care) for her physical and psychological equilibrium” and will come to “the point of considering her as a mere instrument of selfish enjoyment and no longer as his respected and beloved companion.” The Pope realised that the Church’s teaching on contraception is designed to protect the good of conjugal love. When spouses violate this good, they do not act in accord with their innate dignity and thus they endanger their own happiness. Treating their bodies as mechanical instruments to be manipulated for their own purposes, they risk treating each other as objects of pleasure.

    Abuse of Power
    Paul VI observed that the widespread acceptance of contraception would place a “dangerous weapon… in the hands of those public authorities who take no heed of moral exigencies.” The history of the family-planning programs in the Third World is testimony to this reality. In Third World countries many people undergo sterilization unaware of what they are doing. The forced abortion program in China shows the stark extreme toward which governments will take population programs. Moreover, few people are willing to recognize the growing evidence that many parts of the world do not face overpopulation, but underpopulation. It will take years to reverse the “anti-child” mentality now entrenched in many societies.

    Unlimited Dominion
    Pope Paul’s final warning was that contraception would lead man to think that he had unlimited dominion over his own body. Sterilisation is now the most widely used form of contraception in the U.S.; individuals are so convinced of their rights to control their own bodies that they do not hesitate to alter even their own physical make-up.

    The desire for unlimited dominion over one’s own body extends beyond contraception. The production of “test-tube babies” is another indication of the refusal to accept the body’s limitations; so too are euthanasia and the use of organs transplanted from those who are “nearly” dead. And now “sex change” operations. We seek to adjust the body to our desires and timetables, rather than adjusting ourselves to its needs.

    Positive Prophecy
    In Humanae Vitae Pope Paul made some positive predictions as well. He acknowledged that spouses might have difficulty in acquiring the self-discipline necessary to practice the methods of family planning that require periodic abstinence. But he taught that self-discipline was possible, especially with the help of sacramental grace.

    …the discipline which is proper to the purity of married couples, far from harming conjugal love, rather confers on it a higher human value. It demands continual effort yet, thanks to its beneficent influence, husband and wife fully develop their personalities, being enriched with spiritual values. Such discipline bestows upon family life fruits of serenity and peace; and facilitates the solution of other problems; it favors attention for one’s partner, helps both parties to drive out selfishness, the enemy of true love, and deepens their sense of responsibility..”

    • Anton

      Your obsession about contraception is showing. It would be better if you emphasised the dangers and immorality of sex outside marriage than of contraception within it, instead of parroting the opinions of a group of unmarried churchmen who don’t live up to St Paul’s exhortation that an episkopos should be a “man of one woman”.

      On the previous thread you described homosexual acts as mutual masturbation. Is that also your view of (a) marital sex using a condom when the woman is fertile; (b) marital sex without artificial contraception timed deliberately when the woman is infertile? If your answers differ, why?

      • All fornication and selfish sex, aimed at self-pleasure and in rebellion of God’s will, is objectively speaking immoral. However, Jack isn’t about to judge the subjective culpability of individuals raised in these times and misled by those who should be teaching Christian values. That’s for God.

        • Anton

          Jack sees the danger in the question!

          • Not at all. Do you deny sex within marriage can be selfish, lustful and sinful – with or without contraception, during fertile times or infertile periods?

            Instead of playing word games, address the substance of Pope Paul VI’s predictions and put forward a defence of artificial contraception.

          • Anton

            I’ve done that defence many times here. Prohibition of barrier contraception within marriage by a church is to add the word of man to the word of God, ie scripture.

            Of course marital sex *can* be those things. Can it be anything other when a married couple use a condom? And when they time their intercourse so as not to conceive?

          • Ah, scripture alone, according to your interpretation, ignoring natural law and 2000 years of Christian teaching, as well as redefining the Sin of Onan.

          • Anton

            Contraception did not appear in the Law of Moses.

            Onan’s sin was to use his sister-in-law, who was expecting to be made pregnant, for his own gratification and then pull out at the last moment. It’s not difficult to see why God took a dim view of that.

            Tradition is conditioned by the fact that contraception formerly went with prostitution.

            Do not add the word of man to the word of God.

            You are ducking my questions again, I see, as well as dragging another Cranmer thread to your obsession.

          • Your “question” has been answered.

            It’s fashionable in the twentieth-century to maintain that the Bible condemns Onan’s coitus interruptus only insofar as it in effect violated the so-called Levirate marriage custom endorsed by the law of Moses. Onan’s sin is presented here as consisting only in his selfish intent to deny offspring to his brother’s widow Tamar, and not the unnatural method he employed in doing so.

            This reading of Genesis has become popular in recent decades due mainly to the modern prejudices of theologians and exegetes who see intrinsically sterile types of sexual activity as morally unobjectionable in themselves, even as necessary at times, and who have a strong vested interest in minimizing whatever biblical evidence there may be against these practices.

            The classical Jewish commentators – who can scarcely be accused of ignorance regarding Hebrew language, customs, law, and biblical literary genres – certainly saw in this passage of Scripture a condemnation of both unnatural intercourse. As a typical traditional Jewish commentary puts it: “[Onan] misused the organs God gave him for propagating the race to unnaturally satisfy his own lust, and he was therefore deserving of death.” (Bereshis: Genesis – A New Translation with a Commentary Authorized from Talmudic, Midrashic and Rabbinic Sources (Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 1980, Vol. 5, p. 1677)

            Genesis 38: 9-10 includes disapproval of Onan’s lack of piety toward his deceased brother, but it is the unnatural sex act in itself which is presented as the most gravely sinful aspect of this man’s treatment of Tamar – the aspect for which God cut short his life. If the inspired author, while knowing the same historical facts, had evaluated them in the way most modern exegetes would have us believe he did (i.e., with complete moral indifference toward Onan’s contraceptive act as such), then we would expect quite different wording: “spilling the seed,” would probably not even have been mentioned. Instead, we would expect to be faced with an account stating more discreetly that even though Onan took Tamar legally as his wife, he refused to allow her to conceive, so that God slew him for his “hardness of heart,” his pride, or his avarice in wanting his brother’s property.

            The traditional interpretation of this passage has always been as a Divinely revealed condemnation of contraceptive acts – as a manifestation of Divine will for the entire human species which had been revealed through nature ever since the Creation. This has always been the witness of Christian as well as Jewish tradition on this point. That Onan’s unnatural act as such is condemned as sinful in Gen. 38: 9-10 was an interpretation held by the Fathers and Doctors of the Catholic Church, by the Protestant Reformers, and by nearly all celibate and married theologians of all Christian denominations until the early years of this century, when some exegetes began to approach the text with preconceptions deriving from the sexual decadence of modern Western culture and its exaggerated concern for ‘over-population.’

            These preconceptions have now become entrenched as a new ‘orthodoxy’ which can no longer see a trace of indignation in this passage of Scripture against intrinsically sterile forms of genital activity.

          • Anton

            We might discuss Onan inconclusively for a long time but the fact is that in the Law of Moses from Sinai to Deuteronomy, the corpus of law given by god to ancient Israel, there is nothing in the word of God. Your prohibition is the word of man.

            You ducked two specific questions I put to you at 2:00pm.

          • Jack has answered your casuistry. You’re the one avoiding 2000 years of orthodox Jewish and Christian understanding of Onan’s sin. The Word of God includes Genesis too.

          • Anton

            The books of Moses start at Genesis but the Law of Moses starts at Sinai in the Book of Exodus, of course. And no you have not answered the very specific questions I put at 2pm, viz:

            Of course marital sex can be selfish, lustful and sinful. Can it be anything other when a married couple use a condom? And when they time their intercourse so as not to conceive?

          • So do you ignore all revelation and morality in scripture pre-Mosiac Law?

          • Anton

            Where did I say that?

            You are so extreme that I reckon you would refuse to live in a condominium.

          • No answer then? You are fixated on the written law of Moses without understanding its intent or purpose.

          • Anton

            The Law of Moses is a corpus that began with the 10 Commandments. Do you agree?

          • Not interested, Anton.

          • Sarky

            Love watching you lot tie yourselves up in knots over sex. And you wonder why Churches are emptying.

          • The Church Jack attends isn’t emptying.

          • Anton

            The one I’m in isn’t. And you can join it without giving up contraception.

          • You can also join various churches where homosexual “marriage” is acceptable.

          • Anton

            And ones where you address prayers to Mary.

          • Anton

            You were until you started losing!

          • What a silly comment. This isn’t a pissing contest.

          • Anton

            When you get in a hole, stop digging! I was just pointing out an inconsistency.

          • Watchman

            Jack, why should we be interested in the musings of a collection of foreigners in Rome, when we can all seek the mind of Yahweh Himself by reading the book that He caused to be written? What is natural law? Is it not likely that in 2000 years the truth may have drifted slightly off-centre to encompass what men would have liked Yahweh to have said?

          • Because, until recently, this was the universal Christian view about contraception, held by the Fathers and Doctors of the Catholic Church, by the Protestant Reformers, and by nearly all celibate and married theologians of all Christian denominations until 1930, when some exegetes began to approach the text with preconceptions deriving from the sexual decadence of modern Western culture and its exaggerated concern for ‘over-population.’

          • Anton

            No, it is because the link between contraception and prostitution no longer prevailed.

            You have contraception on the brain to keep importing it to these threads about homosexuality.

          • What utter nonsense! Where is your evidence that Christian objections to contraception were based on prostitution?

          • Anton

            The fact that when respectable married monogamous couples rather than whores started using it, the more sensible churches had to rethink.

            But everything you post shows your obsession. This thread was about homosexuality, not hetero, until you brought in this subject. As you did on the previous thread.

          • You agree then the “rethink” was driven by the culture. Study the history. The main concern was eugenics and reducing the population of the uneducated and poor.

            At the root of the “Christian” acceptance of homosexuality is the separation of sexual acts from its ordained purpose – procreation in cooperation with God. Once you artificially separate this out, sex can be reframed as “bonding” and “expressions of love”. That you cannot or will not see this demonstrates either blindness or wilfulness.

          • Anton

            I consider that you have to blind yourself to all counter-arguments no matter how good or else you would have to admit that your Magisterium was mistaken. As, of course, it is, being comprised of a group of men who know (officially) nothing about the subject.

          • You’ve made no arguments! Now you’re reduced to ad hominem attacks on the clerical clergy.

            Jack repeats:
            This was the universal Christian view about contraception, held by the Fathers and Doctors of the Catholic Church, by the Protestant Reformers, and by nearly all celibate and married theologians of all Christian denominations until 1930, when some exegetes began to approach the text with preconceptions deriving from the sexual decadence of modern Western culture and its exaggerated concern for ‘over-population.’

          • Anton

            I’ve given my argument and an explanation I find plausible of why you cannot accept it. I’m not going to repeat myself. I’m happy for readers to judge this exchange for themselves.

          • Albert

            As, of course, it is, being comprised of a group of men who know (officially) nothing about the subject.

            So a male doctor can never know anything about pregnancy.

          • Anton

            False analogy, of course.

          • Albert

            Why?

          • Anton

            Material vs spiritual issues.

          • Albert

            What? So sex is a spiritual issue but pregnancy is a material issue?

          • Albert

            I think you completely misunderstand. The teaching against contraception was directed towards all couples not just those involving prostitutes.

          • Anton

            I think *you* completely misunderstand. Theologians saw “contraception” and thought “prostitution” until the 20th century when decently married protestant couples used it monogamously. They’ll explain it to you in heaven.

          • Albert

            No that just isn’t true. And you haven’t given any evidence for the connection. If you look at what the fathers say they are talking about husbands and wives (some of time at any rate).

          • Anton

            What you mean by “no evidence” is “no evidence I’d accept”, but you never give your criteria, allowing you to shift the goalposts.

          • Albert

            Not at all. By “evidence”, I would like to see quotations from theologians proving your claim that opposition to contraception was because of prostitution not married couples.

          • Anton

            No doubt you would, because you are now limiting yourself to direct evidence and refusing to make obvious inference. Under the guise of advocacy, your position is really a defensive one of trying to keep the Magisterium from looking silly. That’s a tall order.

          • Albert

            You are kidding surely? I never expected you to be so feeble. This sentence just needs to be repeated to be answered:

            because you are now limiting yourself to direct evidence and refusing to make obvious inference.

            Apart from the embarrassing awfulness of that response (that inference is more powerful than direct evidence (what on earth is inference based on, if not direct evidence?)), can you not see that if you can play at that game, we can from the point of view of scripture? From Onan, from Paul’s condemnation of homosexual acts, you refuse to make the obvious inference that acts which are deliberately not open to conception are disordered. Alternatively, why can the homosexual not say that you are refusing to make the obvious inference that if contraceptive sex is permissible then same-sex sex is permissible?

          • Anton

            It is not an obvious inference at all. Male and female genitalia complement each other regardless of the instantaneous state of fertility. The anus, in contrast, is given to both sexes, and its use in acts of sex lead to the spread of dangerous infections not found among heterosexuals.

          • Albert

            Two problems here:

            Firstly, the implication seems to be that homosexual acts are okay provided they aren’t penetrative.

            Secondly, by appealing to the shape of the male and female genitalia you appeal to natural law. But stopping there makes no sense. Just as the penis is made for the vagina, so the sperm in the semen are made for the ovum. So your own logic condemns you.

          • Anton

            Natural law? You chaps are obsessed by law. You even phrase your arguments using legal terms, something Jesus never did. It’s more sensible to call it an argument from design. Your penis/vagina analogy with sperm/egg fails in many relevant ways. God did not intend every sperm to meet an egg. A couple is not aware that sperm meets egg in the same way they are aware that penis encounters vagina.

            Going back a bit, you say that “acts which are deliberately not open to conception are disordered”. In that case you should condemn a married couple who time their intercourse to avoid conception. In using phrase “open to” you are trying to cover over an incoherence.

          • Albert

            Natural law? You chaps are obsessed by law.

            We’re just being biblical Anton:

            When Gentiles who have not the law do by nature what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law.

            Jesus never did.

            Don’t be ridiculous:

            And Jesus spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath, or not?”

            Did not Moses give you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law. Why do you seek to kill me?”

            If on the sabbath a man receives circumcision, so that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me because on the sabbath I made a man’s whole body well?

            It is to fulfil the word that is written in their law, `They hated me without a cause.’

            You just consult your own Protestant assumptions and assume them to be the Bible!

            You then say:

            It’s more sensible to call it an argument from design.

            Design is fine, but as well as design there is also order – that is what has God directed something towards? We know this is scriptural, for the Psalm says:

            Thou hast made the moon to mark the seasons;
            the sun knows its time for setting.

            Now order is preferable in a moral argument for design does not necessarily imply morality. A screwdriver may be designed to screw things, but it is not a violation of the screwdriver to use it to open a tin. But if God has ordered something in one way then it follows that to use it in a different way is to disorder it.

            God did not intend every sperm to meet an egg.

            No but he created the act to be naturally open to that possibility. If it were not so why would you use artificial contraception to disorder what he has given order to?

            A couple is not aware that sperm meets egg in the same way they are aware that penis encounters vagina.

            No, but they are clearly aware that they are disordering the act when they use artificial contraception, else why would they do so? It’s because they know what God has ordered and they want to disorder what he has ordered.

            In that case you should condemn a married couple who time their intercourse to avoid conception.

            Not in the slightest. The act remains open to procreation. They have done nothing to hinder it (e.g. by using artificial contraception or ejaculating elsewhere than the vagina.). Morally, the act remains open to conception for they have performed the right act and have not disordered it with artificial contraception.

          • One man’s “obvious inference” is another man’s obvious obfuscation.

          • Albert

            What is the evidence that opposition to contraception was really about prostitution?

          • Anton

            Jack asked that; keep reading the thread.

          • There is none …

          • Anton

            Not if you refuse to make obvious inference. Your position is really a deeply defensive one, to try to keep the Magisterium from looking daft.

          • Albert

            Not in the slightest. I came to the view that artificial contraception was wrong long before I came to the view that Catholicism is the true Church.

          • Lol …. you’re the one being defensive.

          • Anton

            Let readers decide.

          • Do you have a wife and children, Anton?

          • Anton

            I don’t answer personal questions on blogs.

          • Then what “experience” are you relying on? You’ve condemned the views of unmarried, celibate clerics. So it’s a relevant question. After all, you may have a vested interest in promoting the acceptability of the contraceptive mind-set and for refusing to consider Pope Paul VI’s predictions about where it leads for individuals and society.

          • Anton

            As I don’t answer personal questions I’m not going to answer what experience I am basing my comments on; and you are not free to conclude what my experience is or isn’t. You will have to go on what I’ve said; sorry.

            “Contraceptive mindset” is a wild phrase. What I am interested in promoting is a biblical view of things. Not the view of a bunch of episkopoi who are “men of no woman”, cf 1 Tim 3.

          • Jack repeats:

            This was the universal Christian view about contraception, held by the Fathers and Doctors of the Catholic Church, by the Protestant Reformers, and by nearly all celibate and married theologians of all Christian denominations until 1930, when some exegetes began to approach the text with preconceptions deriving from the sexual decadence of modern Western culture and its exaggerated concern for ‘over-population.’

            Jack has posted the 2000 year old orthodox biblical view of “things”, which you dismiss as what? Some weird suggestion/inference it is a condemnation of prostitution until “respectable” married couples began using contraception in the 1920’s.

            Jack has to conclude, since you continue to criticise the celibate, non-married Catholic clergy’s lack of “experience”, that you are married and have, or do, use contraception. Hence, your defensiveness and denial.

          • Sounds like you’re in denial about the link between the two.

          • Watchman

            No, Jack, that is not the issue. You repeatedly quote these chaps in Rome as an authority for whatever issue you wish to address. I know the difference between right and wrong because the promise given through Jeremiah “I will put My teaching within them and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people” has come to fruition and the Holy Spirit now leads us. “(for the law perfected nothing), but a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.”

            God’s covenant with the ekklesia makes these guys redundant.

          • The “law” Jeremiah was referring to was the external Mosaic Law. Are you suggesting each man is now a law unto himself and capable of discerning God’s will without the guidance of God’s Church?

          • Watchman

            Exactly, man’s relationship is with the Father made possible through the sacrifice of Yeshua at Calvary. He is our Great High Priest and we are a royal priesthood.

            1 Timothy 2:5-6 HCSB
            [5] For there is one God and one mediator between God and humanity, Christ Jesus, Himself human, [6] who gave Himself-a ransom for all, a testimony at the proper time.

          • And, of course, all of that has been passed to by the Church, its theologians and early Fathers.

          • Anton

            The Fathers squabbled among each other over theology; don’t suggest that they were unanimous.

          • Albert

            What did the Protestant Reformers say?

          • Anton

            They said Read The Scriptures.

          • Albert

            And in their commentaries on scripture, on this point? What do they say?

          • Anton

            They never set up a rival authority, did they?

          • Albert

            Sorry, don’t change the subject. You made a claim that historically the reason for Christians opposing contraception was because of prostitution. Of course you are going to say that Protestant theologians are no authority, but that is not the point you made. You made a historical point and you have failed to provide any evidence for it.

          • Anton

            I have, on this subthread, to Jack, but it is evidence that you refuse to accept. So I’ll leave it at that for readers to decide for themselves.

          • Albert

            Well that’s a good ruse. How on earth am I supposed to find the evidence on a thread as long as this? And in any case, I know prima facie that you haven’t succeeded in what you are saying here, for your claim is a general one: theologians opposed contraception because they associated it with prostitution. You cannot provide evidence to support so wide a claim. At best you would be able to show examples of theologians who said that. But I already know of theologians who thought what I am claiming, and therefore I already know you haven’t provided evidence to defend your position.

          • Anton

            Theologians? Who needs theologians?

          • Albert

            I am just using the word “theologian” so as not to use the word “fathers” which is too restrictive in terms of time and obviously only applies to Catholic writers. Now where’s your evidence to support your bold claim?

          • Watchman
          • Already responded to this. There was no disagreement over contraception.

          • Watchman

            Perhaps you ought to read the remarks made in a speech by one of your own bishops at the Vatican Council of 1870 to really appreciate the inconsistencies of the theologians and early fathers.
            http://www.bible.ca/cath-joseph-georg-strossmayer.htm

          • So they disagreed which just goes to emphasis Jack’s point that <i<man alone is unable to comprehend the mysteries of scripture. The Holy Spirit does not support contradictory positions. At times of critical disagreement the Magisterium of the Church resolves issues so unity and orthodoxy is maintained .

          • Watchman

            what is the point in unity and orthodoxy if it is based on error. Unity was achieved in the early church ( Paul expressed it as “being of one mind”) through the ministering of the Holy Spirit by acknowledging Yeshua as Head of the church. Unity is not something that can be engineered, it occurs when the ekklesia are listening to what the Head of the church is telling them. Your way demands another authority, a worldly authority which recreates the law of mere men.

          • Well, Jesus did give the Keys to the Kingdom to Peter and, as His steward, authority to loose and bind and forgive sin. Christ communicates through His Church, laity and clergy, but we all have different roles, as Paul teaches.

          • Watchman

            That old chestnut! Jack, you keep bringing other people into this relationship that God has with a redeemed people, those born again through the power of Yeshua’s blood. You are creating an artificial barrier between God and those With whom He wishes to have a direct relationship. As head of His church Yeshua has no substitutes, no go-betweens, He doesn’t need them. He has not given authority of one man over another. Even if you were correct about Peter, he did not have authority over other men.

          • Martin

            HJ

            The Church is the assembly of believers, not some authority,

          • “Believers” need to know what they actually “believe” in.
            The Apostles’ Creed, the product of the Roman Christians around A.D.180 to critique the Marcion heresy, and Nicaea Creed, the product of the first Ecumenical Council addressing the Arian heresy, didn’t spring from individuals or from independent churches. It was the Church as a collective Apostolic body, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, that established the Christian doctrines and defended and developed these

          • Martin

            HJ

            Wasn’t the earliest copy written to someone in Rome from what is now Turkey?

          • Martin

            HJ

            Well it’s pretty easy for Christians to know what they believe in, they have the Bible and the Holy Spirit to guide them. They don’t need some guy in a funny hat to make pronouncements which might either be true or might be just his opinion.

            Actually the council at Nicaea was a meeting of independent churches, that is a meeting of the representatives of individuals, the Church. The apostles were dead so it wasn’t apostolic, except in the sense that they continued in the apostles teaching.

          • Albert

            Do you also know the teaching:

            So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures.

          • Watchman

            Thanks, Albert, the whole of Peter’s second letter seems to be warning against being led astray. If it could become so distorted in such a short time how much more could the distortion become in the next 2000 years as men did “what was right in their own eyes” although I suspect it was not so much “doing right” as seeking precedence and power.

          • Albert

            Precisely. Which is why Christ guides his Church, for individuals are too easily unstable or lacking in the gift of interpretation (1 Cor.12.30).

          • Albert

            It seems to me that Catholic teaching on contraception makes sense of the what the Bible says about homosexuality, in a way in which the Protestant contraceptive mentality does not.

          • Albert

            To add the word “sola” to “scriptura” is to add a word of man to the word of God.

          • Anton

            We protestants are powered by sola power.

            One would hope it is obvious that the word of God is uniquely authoritative.

          • Albert

            Of course, but that does not mean that word of God is only to be found in scripture, nor that the person who believes in sola scriptura correctly interprets scripture, nor that any old context is sufficient to interpret scripture. The Protestant belief on all this is, ironically a human tradition.

          • Anton

            Based on precedent: Jesus accepted the Law, Writings and Prophets that were the scriptures of his day as uniquely authoritative.

          • Albert

            Not so, for he was more authoritative than they, and what he gave was not a scripture but a praxis, a community and the Holy Spirit. And such scripture as was produced (and canonised by this community) does not teach sola scriptura, but warns against individuals who misinterpret scripture.

          • Anton

            And against individuals who add to it.

          • Albert

            Yes, like those who throw the word “alone” about the place.

          • Anton

            Sola power.

      • Albert

        I wouldn’t want to say that morally homosexual acts and contraceptive married heterosexual acts are equivalent. However, there is also a difference between case (a) and case (b). In case (a) the act is deliberately distorted from the natural order that God gave it. In case (b) the act remains open to that order, even if it is foreseen that conception is unlikely.

        Now as to whether Jack’s obsession is showing, it worth remembering that around the discussion of Humanae Vitae was the idea that the contraceptive mentality legitimises homosexuality.

        Which is funny isn’t it? Because it’s exactly what has happened. But that can’t be right because what would a group of unmarried churchmen know?

        • Anton

          Trouble is, Albert, a phrase like “the contraceptive mentality legitimises homosexuality” is so general as to be undisprovable – in which case it is also unprovable.

          • Albert

            It is precise: once you accept that sex doesn’t have to be open to procreation, it doesn’t need to be between a man and a woman.

          • Anton

            Then debar the elderly from marrying or accept the charge of inconsistency.

          • Albert

            If they cannot consummate the relationship, then the marriage is invalid.

          • Anton

            And if they can but the woman is known to be beyond childbearing age? Remember what comment of yours my previous one was replying to…

          • Albert

            Don’t think I don’t know where you are going with this. You’re walking down we walked road. Yes, if she is beyond childbearing age, the marriage is valid, provided they can consummate. Your questions seem to suggest you still haven’t understood the position I am defending.

          • Anton

            What you like to think is my misunderstanding is simply disagreement.

            You wrote: “once you accept that sex doesn’t have to be open to procreation, it doesn’t need to be between a man and a woman.”

            If, then, you accept that an infertile couple, in which the woman makes clear that she is past childbearing age, can marry (assuming they can consummate), then by your own words you accept SSM !

          • Albert

            No – you really ought to read the philosophy on which this is based. By “open to” is meant an act which is of the type of act that procreates and that has not been deliberately closed against. The fact that it is certain that procreation is accidentally impossible (i.e. it is the right kind of act, and no contraception has been used, but as it happens conception will not take place) is irrelevant. The couple are not choosing an act which is contrary to nature, they are choosing an act which is open to it.

        • “I wouldn’t want to say that morally homosexual acts and contraceptive married heterosexual acts are equivalent.”

          They are both intrinsically disordered, gravely sinful and harmful to the common good..

          • Albert

            I’m not disagreeing with that, but there can be extra levels of disorder.

          • There can and there are different degrees of personal culpability.

    • Anna

      There is a lot of truth in this; the consequences of contraception have been dire –
      1. In the past when a child was conceived out of wedlock, the father had to take an equal share of the blame. Now it is all the fault of the mother ‘who did not take the proper precautions’.
      2. All over the world, the idea of having smaller families has been embraced whole-heartedly by educated middle class and professional families, but with less enthusiasm by poorer, less educated families. A shrinking population of the educated with respect to poorly educated cannot be a good thing for any society.

      • Anton

        Perhaps they couldn’t have afforded to educate their children to that standard if they had a dozen of them.

        • Perhaps having more than two nowadays means foregoing two vacations a year, or means not having two cars, or living in a less upmarket area, or cutting back on Sky TV, or not being able to eat out regularly, or …………….

          • Anton

            Given that we were talking about the pre-war era, your comment seems a little anachronistic.

          • It’s how evil develops once given an opportunity – read Humanae Vitae.
            Do you deny the accuracy of Jack’s statement?

      • Pubcrawler

        That wasn’t Marie Stopes’ plan:

        Stopes also campaigned to get eugenic ideas adopted by those in
        power. In 1920, she sent a copy of “Radiant Motherhood” to Prime
        Minister Lloyd George’s secretary and drew attention to the chapter on
        eugenics (Chapter XX)[65] In 1922, she sent a declaration to the candidates in the upcoming parliamentary election, asking them to sign it. It read:

        I agree with the present position of breeding chiefly from the C3
        population and burdening and discouraging the A1 is nationally
        deplorable, and if I am elected to Parliament, I will press the Ministry
        of Health to give such scientific information through the Ante-natal
        Clinics, Welfare Centres and other institutions in its control as will
        curtail the C3 and increase the A1[66]

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marie_Stopes#Eugenics

        The situation you describe antedates the widespread availability of contraception.

        • You’re overlooking the fact Stopes campaigned for contraception to become widely available and her clinics targeted working class areas.

          A conference of Anglican bishops was due to be held in June (1920); not long before the conference, Stopes had a vision. She called in her secretary and dictated a message addressed to the bishops which began: “My Lords, I speak to you in the name of God. You are his priests. I am his prophet. I speak to you of the mysteries of man and woman.” In 1922, Stopes wrote A New Gospel to All Peoples. The bishops were not receptive; among the resolutions carried during the conference was one aimed against “the deliberate cultivation of sexual union” and another against “indecent literature, suggestive plays and films [and] the open or secret sale of contraceptives” The Catholic Church’s reaction was more strident, marking the start of a conflict that lasted the rest of Stopes’ life ….

          Options included the cervical cap—which was the most popular—coitus interruptus, and spermicides based on soap and oil. Stopes rediscovered the use of olive oil-soaked sponges as an alternative birth control. Olive oil’s use as a spermicide dates to Greek and Roman times. Her recipe proved very effective. She tested many of her contraceptives on patients at her clinics ….

          She founded the Society for Constructive Birth Control and Racial Progress, a support organisation for the clinic.[30] Stopes explained that the object of the Society was:

          “…to counteract the steady evil which has been growing for a good many years of the reduction of the birth rate just on the part of the thrifty, wise, well-contented, and the generally sound members of our community, and the reckless breeding from the C.3 end, and the semi-feebleminded, the careless, who are proportionately increasing in our community because of the slowing of the birth rate at the other end of the social scale. Statistics show that every year the birth rate from the worst end of our community is increasing in proportion to the birth rate at the better end, and it was in order to try to right that grave social danger that I embarked upon this work.”

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marie_Stopes#New_Gospel

          A prophet of God?

        • Anna

          Marie Stopes’ eugenic ideas actually requires a totalitarian government to force sterilisation on unwilling couples.

          In China where the one-child policy was uniformly enforced on everyone, it is unlikely that the population of better off classes was affected in the way I described. When couples are given the choice, poorer classes tend to be more cautious about adopting modern family planning methods, for obvious reasons. They plan their families keeping in mind the possibility of losing 1 or more of their children in early childhood. Having more children ensures that at least a few of them are around to care for you in your old age.

  • TIME to CTRL ALT & DEL

    Somebody should tell Peter Tatchell
    All are equal – all should abstain from sin – sexual or any other sort.

  • John

    Whatever the technicalities of last night’s vote, and I have to say the minutiae are somewhat lost on me, the debate that preceded it removed any remaining doubt in my mind that momentum towards apostasy and terminal decline in the Church of England is now unstoppable.

    • TIME to CTRL ALT & DEL

      Are you discounting the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit?

      • carl jacobs

        No he’s discerning the reality of judgment. The door to the Ark is shut, and only now does it begin to rain.

        • Albert

          You have a marvellous way of replying to things! 🙂

      • Dominic Stockford

        For too long people have depended on the Holy Spirit to step and do something when the people in it who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit have not taken any decisive action to stand up for the Word of God.

    • Albert

      I was talking to an Anglican friend today who rather felt the same way as you. But he said that the vote meant the issue couldn’t be brought back to Synod for five years. If so, that gives you lots of time to pray and discern. God bless you in that.

      • Hi

        The women’s bishop vote was initially defeated. It didn’t take five years for them to take another vote …

  • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

    Will Giles now hold up a sign that says. “Muslims repent your homophobia?” No? Thought not…

    • Anton

      Or Baptists? Or Catholics?

      The demonstrators target the *Established* church.

      • CliveM

        Well isnt this Giles an Anglican Priest. He may feel as such he has a right to pŕess for this in the CofE, where he doesnt for the Baptists or Catholics.

        It should also be noted, it did take place at the CofE synod and he was addressing an Anglican audience. It would have been a bit out of place if he had targeted Baptists!

        • Anton

          Let’s see if he does when they hold a convention at which the subject is raised.

          • CliveM

            Well, my first point would still stand.

          • Dominic Stockford

            The position of the Baptist Union is already quite vague, so you may well get your interest piqued!

      • A hatred of homosexuals – not just the sin of homosexuality – does exist in all Churches. No point in denying it. That’s why this tactic is so effective. It plays on a collective sense of shame.

        • CliveM

          Yes good point.

    • The Explorer

      When the Taliban debate the subject of gays it’s whether to throw them off cliffs or crush them under rocks.

      They have strayed far from Muhammad’s original humane injunction: which was merely to flog them heavily before sending them into permanent exile.

    • dannybhoy

      “Will Giles now hold up a sign that says. “Muslims repent your homophobia?”
      Especially not from a high building he won’t…

    • Inspector General

      Perhaps those two slipped off for a drink together afterwards. The toast…”To buggery”

    • grutchyngfysch

      No, but that doesn’t matter. Islam is not, nor should it ever be, the yardstick by which Christianity should determine its response to the demands of the world.

  • Anna

    An interesting article on SSM from a Catholic website –
    http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Item/1367/gay_marriagenothing_new_under_the_sun.aspx

  • Maalaistollo

    Will need ecumenical air traffic control to avoid risk of collision with flying spaghetti monster.

    • Hi

      I thought it sounded like a type of cheddar cheese…. or a beer from a microbrewery.

      • Martin

        HOL

        Are you perhaps thinking of stinking bishop?

        Seems the clergy think they’re stinkers.

        • Pubcrawler

          Or Bishop’s Finger (Shepherd Neame, passable) or Bishop’s Tipple* (formerly an excellent brew when made by Gibbs Mew; now bog-standard Wadworth’s slop, an embarrassment to the name — like another ruined beer I mentioned a few weeks ago).

          * In my home-brewing days I used to make a version of this, but darker and stronger. I called it Archbishop’s Tipple.

          • Anton

            I once lived in Munich for a few months which included the early spring festival of Starkbierzeit. Starkbier is double strength and fine stuff. I was told that a Pope heard the Bavarians were drinking it during Lent and demanded a sample to see what was going on, but the barrel went off while being rolled over the Alps and the Pope, upon tasting it, said words to the effect of More Fool Them – so they carried on. A story worth checking, perhaps.

          • dannybhoy

            How on earth you could walk in a straight line…….
            Unless you worked from home?

          • Pubcrawler

            Practice, old chap. Plus, I didn’t drink it for breakfast. (Well, not every day.)

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            We offer a facility to brew your own small batch at our place. Very popular. We’ll even design the pump clip for you.

          • Pubcrawler

            Tempting prospect, one day — I do sometimes miss brewing. When you say ‘small batch’, what is that in barrelage?

            But I also have a smallish-scale brewer, who is incidentally a good friend (from before he started brewing, that is), not three miles away, and his stout is tuned pretty much perfectly to both our tastes. So I’m generally happy to leave it to those who know what they’re doing.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            4 barrels but you only have to buy 2 firkins. You can do as much of the brewing as you want.

        • Hi

          We could set up a whole new brand here, on that cheese and ale front . And if you are a non alcoholic drinker type , maybe a grape juice .

          • Pubcrawler

            “cheese and ale”

            Cambridge, w/b 22 May.

  • The Explorer

    New poster caption for Giles Fraser. God: repent your homophobia.

  • magnolia

    Thank you, your Grace for that passage, which is tremendous, and says so much so beautifully. On seeing the wider passage I cane across the word “conglutinate” too which is marvellous, and certainly says it as it is; refreshing in a context where many say it as it isn’t!!

  • The Explorer

    ‘Anglicans repent your homophobia.’ You repent of something you know to be wrong, and contrary to the clearly-expressed will of God. So where in the Bible is God’s clearly-expressed approval of homosexuality?

    Obviously, where it says God is love. A loving God would not condemn homosexuality (or any other form of sexual expression), any more than a loving God would consign anyone to oblivion, let alone Hell.

    • grutchyngfysch

      I know you completely know this but it’s worth stating all the same: they use those words because whereas to them, they are words which they can use as they see fit, to us those words are meaningful and demand obedience (in their original and proper context).

      They grasp the power of them even as they deny the Power behind them.

  • William Lewis

    Anglicans

    Read
    your
    Bible

  • len

    ‘Equality’ seems to mean today, “we are all fallen beings accept that, do not strive to another level ,come back down with us or that means you hate us”.
    Well, I have seen that this world ‘is not it’ and I am heading for somewhere else, somewhere far better , I have glimpsed what God intended when He created all things and this present world is definitely not it. You can either stay or start the most wonderful journey you will ever take….

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      We are equal before the law, but we are not all equal. I share humanity with the Queen, but I am not her equal. I am not the equal of one who commits murder – I may have the potential within me to murder, but would not. He or she that does has stepped over into darkness.

      • Anton

        The word “equal” is meaningless until it is specified in what way.

  • dannybhoy

    LOL!!

  • ChaucerChronicle

    Your Grace

    You’re now being quoted in Australia: http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/gay-marriage/church-of-england-gay-marriage-vote-thrown-into-chaos-after-members-press-wrong-button/news-story/f63d590c09fa9632d0938897a31617d9

    The opposition is saying that it was confused over issues just like the rioters at Ephesus – troublemakers didn’t know why they were there.

  • Not Friedrich Nietzsche?

    Actually, talking of Nietzsche (we were, weren’t we?), he said this:

    “It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.”

    • carl jacobs

      Nietzsche was waaay too positive to be a Calvinist. He’d be more of a Pelagian.

      • He certainly appreciated music, the arts and natural beauty. Oh, and dancing.

        “We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.”

        • carl jacobs

          No. Let’s just back up a second. I want the effusive praise I am owed for my brilliant joke.

          • Was it a joke?

          • carl jacobs

            YES! Yes, it was a joke! Philistine!

            Nietzsche was waaay too positive

            Now would be a good time to refuse praise.

          • Compared to Calvin, Nietzsche was positive.

          • carl jacobs

            [Condescending sigh]

            Go look up Positivism and comprehend my genius.

          • You missed Jack’s little joke there, Carl.

          • carl jacobs

            As the Sun obscures the stars, so the greater light of my comedic genius overwhelms everything around it.

          • Now that is funny …..

          • bluedog

            Actually very funny. Since when did Calvinists do self-deprecating humour? Have you swum the Potomac and converted to TEC?

          • carl jacobs

            A comedic genius such as myself buries humor within humor.

  • The Cranmerian formulary doesn’t even include prohibition of a man marrying a man – so inconceivable was the concept to them. That’s how obvious this matter should be.

  • Inspector General

    Behold, the Inspector’s Anglican brothers and sisters in Christ, for there in today’s picture you will find your new spiritual leaders. The shepherds of the flock gigantic. Christ’s very own (updated for the ‘modern ‘world’) vicars supreme. His presence on this earth which separates us from heaven.

    Yes, alright, don’t go on about it. Tatchell is an atheist, but he is gay. So he’s sort of an Anglican. Or at least, what an Anglican should be, and if the rotten house of clergy get their way, bloody well will be.

    The deviant sex reformation is galloping forth. It’s only a matter of time now. Prepare ye all the way of the Lord way of man, for the time has come. Man throws off God. From this moment, or one in the near immediacy, God will be invited over to worship at man’s feet in his Anglican churches. Won’t God be thoroughly pleased with us for that! We’ve grown up, toddled outside, fallen over and rolled in the dogshit and now we’re standing before God grinning…

    —————-
    {It was then that the typing stopped. The Inspector was helped from his stool, the froth gently wiped from his mouth, and a whisky placed in his hand. He was led away growling. It’s getting a bit much for him, you know. All this madness in the air. But he doubts he is the only one thus affected…}

    • William Lewis

      “Behold, the Inspector’s Anglican brothers and sisters in Christ, for there in today’s picture you will find your new spiritual leaders.”

      They look more like Laurel and Hardy getting us into another fine mess.

      • Inspector General

        It is said by some that when Tachell feels he’s being forgotten about, he will drop an article into Pink News, who duly publish, just to remind everyone he’s still very much around. Now, here’s a thing. A good proportion of the communicants on that site loathe the man. He’s seen as a shameless self publicist who will think nothing of riding on the backs of the UKs terribly persecuted gays to reach for a greater glory. And they tell him so!

  • Inspector General

    The bi-sexual is a curious animal.

    Let’s say he / she joins up with a member of the opposite sex, and marries. That’s it then, a mate for life with fidelity in marriage. Christian marriage we are talking about. The kind of thing the Anglican church does.

    Not quite the end of the story. In the new faith (brought to us by LGBT) the individual is still a bi-sexual. And thus entitled to the same uber rights and privileges the rest of that crowd now expect.

    Interesting, that.

    Maybe, just maybe, LGBT doesn’t really do fidelity. Or doesn’t advise it. “Love conquers all” is the LGBT mantra. And if you find a new love…or reach for your phone app and go looking for one…

  • Inspector General

    A bit more on the subject Blasphemy Jack highlighted…
    ———
    Some LGBT-inclusive churches are mixing glitter into Ash Wednesday ashes
    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2017/02/16/some-lgbt-inclusive-churches-are-mixing-glitter-into-ash-wednesday-ashes/
    “However, some liberal US churches are mixing in glitter with their ashes this year, as a statement of LGBT inclusivity in the predominantly-Catholic ceremony.
    New York LGBT Christian group Parity is behind the push, which it says is “an inherently queer sign of Christian belief, blending symbols of mortality and hope, of penance and celebration”.
    It adds: “Offering glitter ashes will present an opportunity to breathe fresh life into your liturgy, recapture the surprise in the Christian message, and draw new people into your worship.
    “God insists that we look for the spark of life, of hope, in ourselves and one another… this Ash Wednesday, we will make that spark easier to see.”
    Parity head Marian Edmonds-Allen said there have already been orders from churches in California, Missouri, Massachusetts, Alabama and Georgia.
    She added: “This is a way for queer Christians and queer-positive persons of faith to say ‘We are here’.
    “It is also a way for other people to be a witness to that and be in solidarity with them….”
    ———
    …otherwise they’re hateful hurtful homophobic bigots, by any chance?

    • Dominic Stockford

      There is no ‘spark of hope’ – either people are dead in sin, or alive in Christ. None of this spark nonsense.

      • Peasant Farmer

        It takes a spark to light a fire….

        • Dominic Stockford

          We were ‘dead in sin’ = dead people do nothing (save ‘stinketh – Lazarus). We cannot save ourselves. The life-restoring-spark is the working of the Holy Spirit to bring the gift of faith into our hearts. “We are saved by faith, and that alone, lest we should boast”.

    • betteroffoutofit

      Remember, Queers, that thou art just as dusty as everybody else — and to dust thou shalt return.

      Thinking you make dust look pretty is vanity of vanities … and all is vanity. Not to mention narcissism.

  • Albert

    all fraternity and sorority without discrimination? If God is love, and marriage is simply the celebration of His gift of love, why should two brothers or two sisters not marry?

    The irrationality is greater still, for marriage is an inherently discriminatory institution, and it is not less so if same-sex couples buy into it. Marriage is an institution that privileges the married relationship above non-married relationships. Thus the idea of equal marriage is oxymoronic.

    • Dominic Stockford

      I’m not sure the Apostle Paul says that – or should I say, the Bible says that.

      • Albert

        Says what? I made a few point in there!

        • Dominic Stockford

          Sorry – does not say that marriage privileges the married relationship above non-married relationships. 1 Corinthians 7:8.

          • Albert

            Being unmarried is not a relationship.

          • Dominic Stockford

            When I was unmarried I had plenty of relationships. Not sexual ones, or ones that pretended at living together, but they were certainly relationships.

          • Albert

            Yes, and they were less than marriage. Being unmarried is not a relationship, but it is consistent with other relationships, it’s just that those relationships will be less than marriage. I think I’m not being clear, I’m not saying being single is inferior to being married (if anything scripture says the opposite), I’m saying that, amongst the relationships entered into marriage is superior in the eyes of society. And in scripture, we have that amazing teaching in Ephesians 5: what other relationship could be able to be used interchangeably with the relationship between Christ and his Church/body?

          • Martin

            Albert

            Actually Scripture implies we are designed for marriage. Scripture certainly doesn’t say that being single is superior.

          • Albert

            I didn’t say that it did, I said if anything it says the opposite. This cautious statement is easy to defend. Clearly we are created for marriage, but grace is greater than nature.

          • Martin

            Albert

            So defend it. It is quite clear that remaining unmarried is not a benefit but a sacrifice.

          • Albert

            To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain single as I do. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion.

            I.e. marry if you must, but better if not.

            I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried woman or girl is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit; but the married woman is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord. If any one thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed, if his passions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes: let them marry — it is no sin. But whoever is firmly established in his heart, being under no necessity but having his desire under control, and has determined this in his heart, to keep her as his betrothed, he will do well. So that he who marries his betrothed does well; and he who refrains from marriage will do better.

            Also,

            For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to receive this, let him receive it.

          • Martin

            Albert

            Your interpretation is the opposite of what Paul says. And with respect to Romes’s teaching that their clergy should not marry, clearly the lack of self control experienced shows they should have married.

            To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion.
            (I Corinthians 7:8-9 [ESV])

            He points out benefits to remaining unmarried but also points out the danger. Rome needs to be more aware of the danger.

          • We’re all capable, by the grace of God, of exercising self control.

          • Sarky

            If we were willing to evaluate things not according to the opinion of the crowd, but according to nature itself, how is it less repulsive to eat, chew, digest, evacuate, and sleep after the fashion of dumb animals, than to enjoy lawful and permitted carnal relations?

            Erasmus 1519

            He was one of yours i believe.

          • Erasmus condemned sodomy and praised sexual relationships between married men and women – the clue is in the phrase: “lawful and permitted”“.

          • Sarky

            And not one mention of contraception

          • You’ve read all of Erasmus?

          • Anton

            He might do well to read Julius Exclusus de Caelis.

          • Or Jack Chick comics.

            Erasmus was a reformer and critical of the state of the Catholic Church at the time – as was Thomas More and many others. Erasmus disliked Julius II because he did not embody the characteristics of a Vicar of Christ. He was shocked by Julius’s personal leadership of armies in full armour and the work of a worldly, unscrupulous and ambitious man. Julius had an illegitimate daughter, at least one mistress and it was also suggested that he may have had homosexual lovers.

            Erasmus was critical of the abuses within the Catholic Church and called for reform. He continued to recognise the authority of the Pope and had a deep respect for traditional faith, piety and grace, rejecting faith alone. He remained a member of the Roman Catholic Church all his life, remaining committed to reforming the Church and its clerics’ abuses from within. He also held to the Catholic doctrine of free will. In all his criticism of clerical follies and abuses, he had always protested that he was not attacking the Church itself or its doctrines, and had no enmity toward churchmen.

          • Sarky

            No…i have a life.

          • Martin

            HJ

            Not quite what Paul says.

          • Albert

            What you say is true, except for this bit:

            Your interpretation is the opposite of what Paul says.

            I gave only one line of interpretation. I said:

            I.e. marry if you must, but better if not.

            Whereas Paul says:

            So that he who marries his betrothed does well; and he who refrains from marriage will do better.

            Where’s the bit where I am the opposite of Paul?

          • Martin

            Albert

            Can you show where that passage is in the Bible? You’re making claims without references again and such are invalid.

          • Albert

            But my penultimate post was several quotations from scripture with one short sentence that barely added any words to those scriptures? Are you losing the thread?

          • Martin

            Albert

            I don’t see an Scripture.

          • Albert

            You don’t see any scripture, or you don’t recognize scripture when you see it? Here it is again. The bits in italics are scripture:

            To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain single as I do. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion.

            I.e. marry if you must, but better if not.

            I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried woman or girl is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit; but the married woman is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord. If any one thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed, if his passions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes: let them marry — it is no sin. But whoever is firmly established in his heart, being under no necessity but having his desire under control, and has determined this in his heart, to keep her as his betrothed, he will do well. So that he who marries his betrothed does well; and he who refrains from marriage will do better.

            Also,

            For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to receive this, let him receive it.

          • Martin

            Albert

            No references, so how do I know where it’s from?

          • Albert

            Are you serious? You’ve never read 1 Corinthians 7 or Matt 19! You really are a good reason why Protestantism doesn’t work. You’re sure you know what scripture means without even reading it (or perhaps, you read scripture and then forget it like a man who observes his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like, that’s from James 1 BTW).

          • Martin

            Albert

            I’ve read lots of things, but I try to always give references.

          • Albert

            Yes, but what you said in response to several famous passages of scripture:

            I don’t see an Scripture.

            and

            No references, so how do I know where it’s from?

            So I can only assume that you do not know your Bible.

            Now that your playing for time has presumably come to an end, would you kindly explain to me what you mean by:

            Your interpretation is the opposite of what Paul says.

            Because my comment on what Paul says was evidently simply a rewarding of Paul, using words of the passage itself.

            Here it is again – for the third time. Remember that you need to show that my interpretation is the opposite of what Paul says. The bits in italics are scripture:

            To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain single as I do. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion.

            I.e. marry if you must, but better if not.

            I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried woman or girl is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit; but the married woman is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord. If any one thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed, if his passions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes: let them marry — it is no sin. But whoever is firmly established in his heart, being under no necessity but having his desire under control, and has determined this in his heart, to keep her as his betrothed, he will do well. So that he who marries his betrothed does well; and he who refrains from marriage will do better.

            Also,

            For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to receive this, let him receive it.

          • Martin

            Albert

            I’ve asked you again and again to give references and yet you still do not bother. I don’t have the time to look up your unreferenced references, sorry.

          • Albert

            So if I quote “God so loved that world that he gave his only Son” you won’t accept that as scripture unless I give the reference? In any case, I gave the references to the previous post in an earlier post. I think you just can’t keep up with Biblical argument.

  • bluedog

    Wider still and wider, shall thy bounds be set. Positive press coverage for your thoughts, Your Grace.

  • Anton

    Bishops might fly.

  • layreader

    Peter Tatchell and Giles Fraser – do you have any sexual ethics at all in the LGBTxxx community? If so, I’ve never heard them. Some therefore have sexual ethics, others don’t, or am I misunderstanding something here?

    • Inspector General

      My dear fellow. The word you are looking for is morality. A word you won’t find in LGBT literature, because it is not applicable to them. Hetronorm morality, that’s all they see it is, and it’s not for them, you see.

    • Anton

      Perhaps the Inspector could inform us from his online reading whether gay incest is a taboo.

  • Anton

    The Catholics hold a chair with the Pope sitting on it!

  • Dominic Stockford

    I note Bp Broadbent’s comment – “even those opposed came to the view that the Church of England had to make it possible for women to be bishops in the Church of God” – he is simply wrong. Many in the CofE still refuse to accept that the CofE ‘has’ to make it possible, no matter what the conditions. Such thinking is why the CofE is headed towards trouble. It doesn’t have to do anything that opposes the clear teaching of Scripture.

    • Albert

      You’re right Dominic, but isn’t the key thing where the logic of Bp Broadbent’s comment is heading:

      even those opposed came to the view that the Church of England had to make it possible for people of the same sex to be married in the Church of God

      • Dominic Stockford

        Yes, which is what I was cackhandedly trying to point out. It ties to what the woman said about coming to an ‘accommodation’ on this issue too.

  • Dreadnaught

    What a cock-up.

    • len

      Couldn`t trust these Bishops to run a whelk stall in the market let alone teach christian principles to anyone.

  • !Church of England gay marriage vote thrown into chaos after members ‘press wrong button’”

    The Holy Spirit at work?

    • chefofsinners

      Surely “members press the wrong bottom”?

    • William Lewis

      Let’s hope so.

  • chefofsinners

    There is no logical reason why people should not divorce and remarry as often as they wish, nor why marriage should not be between close relatives so long as procreation is not involved. There is no reason to exclude bigamy, or marriage between two men and three women, or even one man and his dog.
    There is no logical reason for marriage at all: it discriminates between one relationship and another.
    Marriage is not the product of human logic. It is God-given. To redefine it is to destroy it.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Exactly so.

    • 1642+5thMonarchy

      There is on purely secular terms. The familial chaos that results results in huge liabilities which fall on the tax payer.

  • Albert

    I’m sorry to be picky about something irrelevant, but shouldn’t Giles’ poster say “Repent of your homophobia”? I keep hearing this expression “repent your X”, and it sounds like bad English to me. Can someone with a better grasp of English than me clarify the matter, please?

    • Inspector General

      Actually, the thing should read “Repent of your anus abuse” but one doubts Fraser would agree with that…

      • Jack has concluded you must have had trouble potty training and, consequently, you are fixated on your bottom. He recommends a short course of colonic irrigation, followed by regular enemas. These may be available on the National Health Service so you should discuss this with your GP.

        • Inspector General

          It’s a fascinating structure, the anus. There are two, yes two, sphincters. They only work the one way. A one way set of valves then, otherwise we would all drown in the bath. Then there is the next door neighbour, the rectum. For what these things have to do is quite smart. And get this, they are not made of leathery material, and are surprisingly easy to injure. How’s that for bigotry on our creator’s behalf…

          • You must stop examining your bottom, Inspector, and Jack trusts you avoid all temptation to conduct exploratory experiments.

          • carl jacobs

            Double eck!

          • Eck – the German theologian and defender of Catholicism during the Protestant Reformation?

          • len

            And again…

        • carl jacobs

          Eck!

        • len

          Resisted the impulse to comment.Must be improving on my response time?.

      • Albert

        Oh Inspector…

        • Inspector General

          Shut up you. You think you are the Holy Spirit on this site.

          • Albert

            I may be mistaken about a lot of things, but that isn’t one of them.

          • Inspector General

            Yes, you are mistaken about a lot of things…

          • Martin

            Albert

            Um, that reads as if you are saying you are the Holy Spirit.

          • Albert

            I was kind of hoping that the Inspector would realise that that is not what I meant!

          • Martin

            Albert

            That was what he was accusing you of.

    • Martin

      Albert

      Most snowflakes lack the ability to properly express themselves. It comes on not being able to stand correction.

      • Pubcrawler

        “the ability to properly express themselves”

        Some (not I, I know better) would be tempted to take you to task for splitting an infinitive there.

        • Martin

          PC

          I believe in boldly going where no man has gone before. Although I now see it should be person.

          • JBQ21

            Women make better space travelers because of their weight mass distribution. However once they get to Mars, who is going to do the work?

  • grutchyngfysch

    The peril of pretending that any institutional outcome is the working of the Holy Spirit by virtue of it arriving ex institutio. I’ve no doubt Ahab’s ministers argued the same in their day, just as the Priests of Baal felt sheltered by the fact they were royal appointments.

    • Albert

      Elijah was such a bigot, he really wasn’t open to new things.

  • jmshigham

    The Church of England is now in error, sin and apostasy. Time for the actual Christians to come out of this organization which has gone over to the other side.

    • Martin

      JM

      The dark side?? (sorry)

  • Anton

    Pressing the wrong button? Does 1642 believe that Synod could organise a booze-up in a brewery…?

    • Albert

      Poor 1642.

      • Anton

        You do remember he runs a brewery?

        • Albert

          I didn’t know that. I’m just guessing he’s been having a bad 36 hours.

        • Albert

          Which brewery?

          • Anton

            Aha… he left enough clues about beer for me to figure it out and write to him. If you want to find out, you must do the same (although he has given further clues since).

          • Albert

            Where are the clues? Doe she have an answer to ESB called BCP?

          • Anton

            On this blog. That’s all I’m saying.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            But you are a Scripturally diligent Protestant Anton and therefore used to analysing and understanding textual evidence for yourself as opposed to just being told what to think by authority.

          • bluedog

            One trusts you are not suggesting that the Roman Church is Christianity for Dummies.

          • len

            Lol.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            No, I respect the Catholic intellectual tradition but dislike its distrust of normal people’s scriptural qualities. It’s too elitist.

          • bluedog

            One can’t imagine a situation in which one is too elitist.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            Jesus came for the common people – the elite who rejected him. The New Testament is written in Koine Greek, everyday Greek, not the academic Greek of the elite. I beg to differ Sir.

    • 1642+5thMonarchy

      I believe that the leadership of every major (and many many minor) western institution and organisation is rotten, corrupt, devious, incompetent and arrogant. The CoE is no different from any other.

      And I wouldn’t allow most of the Bishops in the brewery as they couldn’t be trusted not to fall in a mashtun or copper, and spoil the beer, although the thought of pushing one or two through the grist mill does appeal to my darker side.

  • Albert

    Greene King is it not?

    • Hi

      Yes. And for once I got the spelling right. Or maybe not. I could start purplee brewery. Teh, he.

  • Peasant Farmer
    • David

      Agreed, an excellent clear report from Andrea M-Williams of Christian Concern, an organisation I support.

  • Inspector General

    What a bowl of sick it all is. We were better off when male homosexuality was illegal. Sign this man up for a new petition that way…

  • Pubcrawler

    I am aware of the concoction, and its producer. As for my opinion of it… I’d rather have somethng else, thanks.

    • CliveM

      I’ve had worse!

    • Hi

      Yorkshire has, along with the Czech republic , the best ever beer. Like the queen mother liked theakstons old peculier (according to spitting image) and black sheep , Riggwelter.

  • NortyNina

    “The House of Bishops voted 43 in favour and 1 against (this was a mistake by the Bishop of Coventry) .”
    Lol.

  • What did the Archbishop of Canterbury mean when he called for a “radical new Christian inclusion in the Church …. founded in scripture, in reason, in tradition, in theology; … (and) based on good, healthy, flourishing relationships, and in a proper 21st century understanding of being human and of being sexual.”?

    Did God not understand these things when He inspired the authors of scripture and guided His Church for 2000 years to understand His revelation, develop doctrine and apply this to changing circumstances?

    It seems to Jack the driver of these “progressive” changes is the supplementation of scripture and doctrinal authority by appeals to “human experience” and the supposed “evolution” of knowledge about people. Some sections of the Church are claiming they have arrived at a richer understanding of sexuality.

    God’s laws are objective and immutable; and human nature hasn’t changed. Sexual morality is the same in the 21st century as it was in Eden; as is human nature after the Fall.

    In the name of God bishops, do stop apologising for upholding Christian morality, even though it seems “old fashioned” and out of tune with our sex obsessed Western culture.

  • The Explorer

    Gay Anglicans: repent your heterophobia.

  • CliveM

    Well you’ll be pleased to know I had two pints of that last night!

    I expect your dividend to be suitably shared!

  • David

    This rejection of the report maintains the continuation of the historic teaching of the Church, for 2000 years, that marriage is between a man and a woman. However this rejection is not a victory for anyone, because it continues the tension between two opposed factions, locked together in the one man-made institution. The rejection offers some comfort to the traditionalists, but not much, and even less to the “progressives”.

    Both sides will continue to be frustrated, and both sides will continue worshipping in their very different local churches. Conservatives will continue worshipping the God of the Bible and preaching the eternal Gospel of Christ crucified and now risen; the liberals will probably become ever more extreme because of their frustrations. But time is not on the side of the liberals whose numbers are dwindling, whilst the conservatives see their numbers gently rising and new churches planted.

    Because of this impasse I don’t believe that there will be a schism. Why should conservatives like myself walk away from the institution built and paid for by our ancestors when we see the liberal’s numbers decreasing at an accelerating rate and our numbers increasing; after all we continue to evangelise and preach the gospel as much now as we could if we left ? If anything this event increases pressure on the liberals to leave.

    The challenge now for conservatives is to press for more conservative bishops for that is where the liberals are strongest. Church history shows that, time and time again, heresy withers, whilst God’s eternal unchanging truths, which includes those rules and bounds that he sets for our behaviour, for our own flourishing, always wins through, succeeds, to flourish again. Truth always outs !

    • Dominic Stockford

      Many so-called conservatives within the CofE are anything but. For instance, the whole Alpha movement, based on getting bums onto seats, and erroneous teaching such as ‘I had a warm feeling, so I knew I was saved…’. The liberals in the CofE have succeeded in one thing, making people think that others are conservative/orthodox, when in fact they aren’t. Some people (including the MSM) still call Steve Chalke a ‘leading evangelical’, when he is anything but. This is just as in politics where the Conservative Party is far from conservative (it brought in this appalling same-sex marriage nonsense).

      • David

        Well I certainly agree that there is much false teaching abroad and therefore many are confused. Yes there are “evangelicals” who pick and choose which bits of the Bible they deem acceptable. However surely you don’t expect truth and accuracy from the MSM do you ? The important point is that Church has been there before hasn’t it, with confusion, self interest and worldly forces seemingly obscuring God’s enduring Truth. there is nothing new under the sun. However as always The Holy Spirit will ensure that only the Truth endures in the longterm. Read, pray, trust and Fear Not !

      • Anton

        About a quarter before nine… I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone, for salvation… – John Wesley

    • 1642+5thMonarchy

      I agree with your every word David. In some ways what happened reminds me of the Australian referendum a while back where enough hard core republicans voted to keep the monarchy because the republic being offered wasn’t radical enough. Almost 20 years late and Aus is still a monarchy and there appears precious little appetite for another referendum.

    • ChaucerChronicle

      Excellent.

  • Anton

    On another subject briefly, has anybody seen the good news that Tony Blair is calling for people to “rise up” against Brexit and saying that he will fight it relentlessly?

    This is tremendous news for Brexit, because Blair is so unpopular – and so vain as not to accept that he is.

    • chefofsinners

      He claims the people did not know what they were voting for, which is in some ways true:
      They believed the U.K. Would be ‘at the back of the queue’ for a trade deal with the US.
      They believed a recession would be triggered and we would need an emergency budget.
      They expected falling house prices, spending cuts, tax rises and plummeting stock markets.
      All because they were assured these things would happen by the Prime Minister, Chancellor, IMF, Bollock Obumma… and a certain Mr Blair.

    • len

      I cannot even be bothered to listen to Blair,best plug your ears and walk away from that man…

  • ChaucerChronicle

    Your Grace

    I have tried to imagine a dialogue between two 1st century Jewish-Christians.

    St Paul:

    “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! The sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, passive homosexual partners, practicing homosexuals, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, the verbally abusive, and swindlers will not inherit the kingdom of God. Some of you once lived this way. 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.”

    ‘Now Gracchus, it’s a plain as daylight. I’m not talking about the practice; I’m being more radical than that, radix, you know, getting to the root. What we need to do is ask Him to wash away those very desires from our hearts. He did say that’s where it all begins.’

    ‘Look Antonious, to deal with that disagreement, we need to find ways forward, we need a radical new Christian inclusion in the Church. This must be founded in scripture, in reason, in tradition, in theology; it must be based on good, healthy, flourishing relationships, and in a proper 1st century understanding of being human and of being sexual.’

    ‘Gracchus, the way has already been found since Moses received the Law from the Almighty Himself. For 2,000 years we’ve applied a radical approach based on His word, theology, reason and tradition, marking His people as distinct and radical from the surrounding world-views.’

    ‘Antonious! My dear brother! This is the 1st century! Times have moved on! The theology of the Body has developed making it more attractive to Greek and Roman alike. I take it you do want more bums on the seats? Can’t you see that in the long run, if we keep up all this stuff about being radically different we’re going to simultaneously lose converts and fail to attract even Epicureans? Don’t you want the Senate’s ear? Caesar has already advised: ‘Get with the programme!’.’

    ‘No! No! No Gracchus! You suggest that we move on and keep up with the times. Just because something is old, tried and tested that somehow it’s outlived it’s usefulness.’

    ‘Of course it has Antonious! Why even nature and natural law tells us! Does not a puddle of water go mouldy after a while? Meat go rotten? Sandals and togas wear out? The difficulty I have with your point of view, inter alia, is that it is divorced from context, times and culture! The difficulty with you is that you’re pointing to things that are self-evident. That’s what we call a tautology.’

    ‘Gracchus, my dear brother, I take it that when your slave fills the bath tub, he’s mindful of Archimedes’ principle; that when you add two and two together, and multiply two by two, you accept the resulting tautology; that the square on the hypotenuse, after centuries of use, has not gone mouldy?’

    ‘I must go to the market, Antonious – to hear the latest news. We need to engage, for the sake of fellowship, more with each other, so that we can coalesce on a common conclusion. That’s development; the way forward; a long journey requires us to take the first step – for how else can we complete it?’

    ‘Gracchus?’

    ‘Yes, Antonious?’

    ‘Fare thee well, my brother.’

  • “The Anglican civil war began at the Lambeth Conference of 1930.”

    http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2017/02/17/if-catholics-are-not-faithful-to-doctrine-we-will-face-anglican-style-divisions/

    Interesting series of resolutions in 1930. Note the concession made to the world in Resolution 15. The rest have since fallen.

    Life and Witness of the Christian Community

    (1) Marriage and Sex: Resolutions 9-20

    Resolution 11 recommended that “the marriage of one, whose former partner is still living, should not be celebrated according to the rites of the Church,” and when “an innocent person has remarried under civil sanction and desires to receive the Holy Communion,” the case should be referred to the bishop.

    Resolution 15 allowed “in those cases where there is such a clearly felt moral obligation to limit or avoid parenthood, and where there is a morally sound reason for avoiding complete abstinence, the Conference agrees that other methods may be used, provided that this is done in the light of the same Christian principles.” The vote for this Resolution was 193 for it, 67 against it, and 47 not voting. This was the only Resolution for which a record of the numbers voting was required.[15]

    The London Times of June 30, 1930, predicted that the Lambeth Conference would change the “social and moral life” of humanity. This was done by the Conference’s Resolution 15 in which in contradiction to earlier Resolutions (1908 Resolution 41 and 1920 Resolution 66) allowed the use of contraception in marriage.[16] William Carey, Bishop of Bloemfontein, withdrew from the Conference in protest and even sent a petition to the King on the subject.[17]

    Resolution 16 expressed “abhorrence of the sinful practice of abortion.

    “Resolution 18 reckoned “sexual intercourse between persons who are not legally married” to be “a grievous sin.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lambeth_Conference#Seventh:_1930

    • ChaucerChronicle

      The interesting question this raises is: which factors (philosophic, cultural, intellectual and ‘scientfic’) influenced Christians in those days? We know that German Christianity also came under assault from liberalism (a liberalisation in medical ethics leading to a culture of death).

      All this raises further questions: to what extent were the clergy influenced by Darwin and the power philosophies?

    • len

      Didn`t think the Anglicans had the energy for a civil war, thought they just surrendered if a rainbow flag was waved , then retired home for tea and crumpets.

      • The Anglicans waged a successful war against Catholicism, remember?

        • len

          Was that a red herring I saw being dragged across the blog?

  • ChaucerChronicle

    Your Grace

    Thank you for the link to the archbishops’ letter.

    Let’s be clear; archbishops York and Canterbury intend to move the Church towards a formal acceptance of homosexuality. The first step being ‘maximum freedom’.

    God sees the individual as a whole; St Paul too; so does the liberal (‘the personal is the political’): all three parties see it as legitimate to remove a person in unrepentant rebellion. The only people I see as demonstrating a modicum of tolerance are the traditionalists: ‘hate the sin love the sinner’.

    ‘There are no ‘problems’, there are simply people’, say the archbishops; no thieves, no swindlers, no drunkards, no homosexuals, no perjurers, no adulterers, no paedophiles. In other words, they disconnect from reality by redefining ‘reality’ in the abstract. The same device is used in legislation (and undergraduate essays) to impose the legal fictions of homosexual ‘marriage’ and the transgendered.

    Synod voted against ‘maximum freedom’ and voted for the defence and maintenance of traditional marriage.

    Like the European Union wants any nation to have a another vote if the will of the people is expressed against it; like the Remainers want another vote; the archbishops, rather than accepting the result that they are in office to uphold traditional marriage they want, in effect, the vote overturned:

    ‘The vote today is not the end of the story, nor was it intended to be. As bishops we will think again and go on thinking, and we will seek to do better. We could hardly fail to do so in the light of what was said this afternoon.’

    What was said that afternoon was this: we reject homosexual marriage and instruct you to defend the faith of our fathers.

    The archbishops reject that; it is they who persist and work for the destruction of the Church of England without mandate from Synod.

  • ChaucerChronicle

    Your Grace

    I may be incorrect but, I believe that the text of the archbishops’ letter has been changed. I believe the original referred to passing on instructions to a ‘Business Committee’. Query.

  • ChaucerChronicle
  • ChaucerChronicle

    It gets stranger and stranger.

    Pink News links to the original letter from Canterbury and York; whilst Canterbury’s website displays the letter with major parts withdrawn.

  • maigemu

    Has there ever been lobbying to bless heterosexual cohabitation?

  • mollysdad

    It all started when Swiss Reformer Huldreich Zwingli abandoned the faith as he decided that the book of Revelation was not divine Scripture . . . . . . .

  • David Baker