vicky-beeching-vocation
Church of England

Vicky Beeching, vocation, and the church that exists to serve our selfish ends

There was a piece in the Guardian (where else) this week by Vicky Beeching, entitled: ‘The first openly gay bishop is a huge step forward – but it’s not enough‘. Please don’t attack her personally: she’s been through enough. Consider, instead, the essence of her argument, which is, essentially, that she would become a vicar were it not for the Church of England’s (manifestly unjust) discrimination against the LGBT community: “..despite all my theological training, leadership experience and numerous invitations from senior church leaders, I’ve never taken the leap and become a priest,” she explains, and then justifies:

Why not? One major reason is the current climate around gay clergy. For me, as an openly gay Christian who disagrees with enforced celibacy and believes priests should be able to marry, I fear I’d simply be opening myself up to further damage, discrimination, and heartache. It’s a lot to weigh up.

It does not, of course, follow that “theological training, leadership experience and numerous invitations from senior church leaders” amounts to a priestly vocation (Good Lord, no). One might have all the theology degrees, leadership certificates and peer adulation on the planet, but still not be called to ordained ministry. And if you imagine you are, you may be deceiving yourself. Ordained ministry isn’t about status, training, academic theological qualifications or invitations to speak in pulpits; it’s about a relationship of love with the One who calls you. It isn’t something you choose when the season is right: it is something which chooses you, which you cannot resist, in season, out of season: ‘Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain..‘ (Jn 15:16).

To be called to ordained ministry is a life of sacrifice and service. “The Church of England is changing,” Vicky Beeching observes, and it is, but her vocation is apparently contingent on it changing further. ‘Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, but not yet: I’ve chosen you for when the church changes to suit your selfish ends, so just wait a bit.’ She explains:

It’s a shame that myself, and many others known to me, feel held back from priesthood by the current rules around sexuality. We are passionate about our faith, eager to serve, would bring energy and enthusiasm to the church, yet we’re stuck in a confusing gridlock of whether it would be safe for our own basic wellbeing.

Contrast this with the Bishop of Grantham, who is living a life of sexual abstinence in submission to church (and Church) teaching, whether or not he thinks it just or cruel. There is no inference that he thinks the Church of England represents a threat to his basic well-being. Nicholas Chamberlain’s vocation to serve and love comes first: his deep passions and strong opinions of the church’s teaching and praxis were and are crucified with Christ, in submission to the House of Bishops’ essential catholicity, for the good of the whole. The goal of his spiritual life is to be pure in heart and to seek God. It is not to enter a civil partnership or marry his partner or enjoy a sexual relationship: the Word is paramount, and it demands obedience. Certainly, there are lenses of tradition and experience, but ultimately there is a vision of God which is only attained by a detachment from the appetites and desires of the self. Vicky Beeching may consider the harsh rigorism of bodily austerity to be anti-incarnational, but to live Christianly is to die to self; to live and participate in the church community of the centuries, not to chorus the fleeting fanaticism of the present.

Perhaps it’s the medium: the Guardian is scarcely an organ of spiritual contemplation. But it’s the one she chose, and so the medium becomes the message. Vicky Beeching’s doctoral research in complex matters of academic theology is subverted by the shallowness of this article. If, as she says, her concern is “the complex relationship between the church and rights”, it helps no one to obliterate that socio-theological intricacy with crass questions about whether the church is “safe for our own basic wellbeing”. What manner of Christian witness is that distorting doubt? The Church does not exist to affirm our emotions or meet our physical needs and wants; it is concerned preeminently with salvation and the well-being of the soul, focusing on divine love, as manifested in Christ. It is about sacrifice and surrender, transformation and renewal; not carnal fulfilment or temporal well-being.

Perhaps if we begin with our eyes fixed on God instead of our human identity; perhaps if we think about community instead of lobbying and politicking; perhaps if we think about serving rather than defeating our theological opponents, we might just begin to see that everything doesn’t begin and end with sex and sexuality. Anglican spirituality is steeped in the collects of the Book of Common Prayer: our duty is to live a “godly, righteous and sober life”. We have Scripture, we have experience, and we have reason. When this fragile tripartite dialectic becomes imbalanced, we are more inclined to get it wrong, and we surely will.

Lecturing someone about a deep-seated opinion will rarely change a mind. Wailing in the Guardian will never accost the conservative conscience. It is relationship which makes a difference to our communion, because relationship is communion. You may want to quote Scripture to promiscuous perverts and they might seek to highlight the truth of your homophobic bigotry, but Jesus is concerned with grace, peace, reconciliation and infinite blessing. Let the world see your faith and witness your covenanted love. When you move beyond the limits of your personal experience and selfish obsessions, you will not preach what you feel, but feel what He feels. And when that anguish sharpens the soul, you touch the office of prophet and priest. Therein lies true vocation.

  • The Explorer

    Keeping gay bishops celibate may deter LGBTI from the C of E, but the prospect of allowing them to practise their sexuality deters even more heterosexuals.

  • Darter Noster

    “It’s a shame that myself, and many others known to me, feel held back from priesthood by the current rules around sexuality. We are passionate about our faith…”

    It’s just a pity that faith is actually Christian-based MTD – https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moralistic_therapeutic_deism

  • TIME to CTRL ALT & DEL

    Your message contains much good.
    Spot on on what makes a calling. Calling to ministry also is a call to live the gospel.
    Not sure how you can do that if you live in rebellion to plain teaching of scripture whether that is hetro fornication or homo relationships.
    The call is not to sacrifice to evil desires but to confirm our wills to God’s perfect will.

  • Old men plant trees

    To be amorous, charitable or loving is to choose words drawn from French, Latin and Saxon sources for the same emotion. The genius of English is to impart shades of meaning to each word reflecting our prejudices, the French saucier, the Latin detached and the Saxon just right. Bigots to our literal core, even in charity.

    Being denied words to think or speak without prejudice, I find sexuality and carnal matters beyond my analysis. Did the early church deny itself sex as a more broadly appreciated hair shirt ? Psychologists tell us that to deny the body is to lay emphasis upon that which is denied. Food is all to the hungry.

    Should we leave carnal things at the doors of our church ? Must bodily interactions be defined, positions approved, levels of intoxication metered ? I draw most comfort from agony, doubt and inadequacy in understanding myself and only in glimpses do I imagine the intentions or others.

    Ignorant of deep knowledge, I want to ask a rude ( rustic, uncivilized, untutored) question. I saw Protestants as people who stood before God and Catholics as people who stood before Priests. We divide by our opinion that salvation is from self or another. My Church of England seems torn between offering criteria by which to live and prescriptions of behaviour that it approves. My question; Is every act of man a sin depending upon the spirit in which it is done ?

    • Malcolm Smith

      The answer to your last question is No. Some things are always sins. You can’t murder someone in a non-sinful spirit. Likewise, there are many things which are not sinful.
      With respect to your earliest question: Did the early church deny itself sex as a more broadly appreciated hair shirt? No, the early church did not deny itself sex at all; it limited it to the marriage bond, where it can be most fulfilling. And this, after all, is the default position of most civilisations.

  • One has to wonder whether Vicky Beeching’s god would deny us anything at all.

    “Yesterday, today, and forever, you never change” – except, of course, on issues of women, marriage…

  • Anton

    The gay Christian movement speaks much about the “identity” of its members in their sexuality. This is alarming given that the ultimate identity of a Christian is in Christ.

    • David

      Quite !

  • David

    Christians are called to read the Bible, which is the Word of God, and to strive to understand, internalise and obey it, no matter how difficult and how many times we fail. Good Christian leaders will teach and preach from the Word of God.
    Moreover our deep Church Traditions, teachings and understandings of what it is to live the Christian life, reflects this eternal unchanging wisdom of God, of the Word.
    Of course God endowed us with intelligence, so Reason also plays its part. Everything uncovered by human reason affirms that the basic purpose of sex is procreation; for good order and the proper care, nurture and raising of the natural results of sex, which is the gift of new human life – children, God gave us marriage, lifelong, permanent marriage based on the complementarity between the two sexes.
    These three things Scripture, Traditions and Reason are our sources of God’s authority, with Scripture as the primary guide; it is from these three sources, representing classical Anglicanism, that we gain understanding of God’s plan for our lives. The vast majority of the world’s Anglicans, who now live in the global south, where thankfully all strands of our shared Christian faith are burgeoning, faithfully follow this classical formula, Scripture, Tradition and Reason.
    Those who fool themselves into thinking that a pick and choose religion, influenced by culture, which rejects God’s advice regarding the channeling our sexual energies, represents Christianity, are inventing a new faith of their own making. That faith is not one that is led by the Holy Spirit. Indeed Churches that go their own way will soon shrivel up and die, whilst the true faith, rooted in the Bible and our clear understandings of the natures of God, man and woman, will endure to the end.

  • David

    Gafcon global has just set us a website specifically for orthodox, conservative, Biblically led English Anglicans who, increasingly alienated by the dangerous theological drift of the C of E, wish to reach our to their far more numerous fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Visit it at : gafconuk.org

    • Eustace

      What, you want English Anglicans to join the Church of Africa?

      Nothing intrinsically worse about being African than being English of course, but you’re going to have a hell of a time persuading Mrs Beamish of that. And that’s who you have to persuade.

      Good luck to you.

      • David

        Ha ha – you are being, deliberately, a dolt !
        Clearly it is about fellowship and friendship in a shared understanding of the gospel – an understanding that also reaches back to the start of the faith. National institutions are as nothing to these spiritual bonds. If your Mrs Beamish places a higher priority on Truth than following the shoal she will choose to join of her own accord – the choice is hers, as ever !

        • Eustace

          No, it’s about judgment and exclusion of those you hate. All you share are prejudices and animus.

          Mrs Beamish wouldn’t touch archwizard Okoh with a barge pole. She’s probably not too keen on archwizard Welby either, but for different reasons. Who knows what’s worse in her estimation: Africanness or doubtful parentage? I should think she’s jolly well appalled by both and wouldn’t give the time of day to either.

          Mrs Beamish is the backbone of conservative Anglicanism. Lose her and you’ve lost your foothold in the English Church.

          • Inspector General

            We Christians don’t hate anybody Eustace. But we are censorious…one of our few pleasures in our non-dissolute lives…

          • Eustance,

            Do you hate everyone whose conduct in some area you disapprove?

          • Eustace

            I don’t condemn them to hell if they refuse to sacrifice their lives to my sock puppet of a God. I let them get on with their lives.

            What is it about Christians that makes them think they know everyone’s business better than we know it ourselves? Whenever anyone else behaves that way, doctors call it “narcissistic personality disorder”. But Christians are allowed to pretend that it’s “faith”, which is really just a deep-seated conviction that they know better than everyone else because they’re so superior.

            No wonder everything’s so shiny on a Christian altar. All the better to see your own reflection in. You know, the thing you really worship.

          • So you are not judgemental of those who believe what I believe. You have no desire to exclude me.

            Your description of my God seems hate-filled to me. There’s little love (and live and let live) in your response to Christians. Rather animus seems clear.

          • Eustace

            I can be as judgmental as I like. There’s no God telling me not to be.

            Christians should only be excluded when they try to impose their beliefs on others. That’s the one valid use for exclusion. Live and let live until such point as one party refuses to, which is the moment at which he must be excluded in order to ensure the inclusion of everybody else.

            Stop preaching exclusion and discrimination and there’ll be no reason to isolate you from the rest of society in order to preserve the freedoms of all.

            And no, there is no love in my response to Christians. What’s to love? The narcissism of their faith? Their hatred of all things gay? Their dour and closed-minded rejection of anything that doesn’t model the “perfect” nuclear family where a man reigns supreme over his wife and children, who must obey his every word on pain of eternal damnation?

            There’s no love in Christianity. Along with other religions, it’s a cancer on the face of humanity and the sooner it’s eradicated, the better off we’ll all be.

          • So the characteristics you condemn and abhor in Christians are integral to who you are.

            What are you doing here but trying to impose your beliefs on others.

          • Eustace

            All of us judge. No intelligent being with a critical mind can stop himself from judging. It’s part of how we stay alive in a world where situations and people must be assessed for any threat they pose to our survival.

            I condemn and abhor nobody for judging. What I condemn and abhor is the hypocrisy of Christians who claim not to judge, and then judge anyway. They say one thing and do another. That’s what makes them so abhorrent. It’s the dishonesty, not the judgment that I have a problem with.

            And how, pray tell, do I impose my beliefs on anyone? I state them, but I do not force you to live by them. For example, I support equal marriage, however I cannot and would not force anyone to marry a person of the same sex. Christians on the other hand want to force their beliefs on me by making same-sex marriage illegal. They are the imposers. Or at least they’d like to be.

          • You condemned christians for judging above. Christians don’t condemn judging as such.

            So you do not approve of the democratic process. You do not agree with any attempts to shape opinion and law by the electorate.

            You do not accept the right for governments to outlaw paedophilia, incest or anything else for that matter. You have your own list of things you consider very wrong but you would not want any of these to be made illegal.

          • Eustace

            Laws against paedophilia and incest are perfectly compatible with the principle of freedom of belief. You are free to believe what you like as long as the exercise of that belief does not harm anyone else.

            A paedophile harms the object of his desire via non-consensual sex. Children cannot give informed consent, therefore an adult who engages in sexual activity with them is forcing himself on them. This is rape. Rape is harmful. So no matter what a paedophile may believe, he cannot exercise that belief without violating a child’s right not to be raped. Paedophile acts can therefore be legitimately banned.

            Whether incest between consensual adults should be banned is a matter for debate. One camp says that the likelihood of birth defects in any offspring that results from incestuous liaisons is reason enough to ban them. Another says that individual belief should be respected unless clear and evident harm can be proven.

            Most psychologists seem to agree that incestuous relations between family members whose relationships have been defined by the Westermarck effect is evidence of serious mental disorder and can therefore be identified as causing harm. I tend to agree with this position. Incestuous relations between parents and adult children or adult siblings who have grown up together can therefore be categorized as harmful and legitimately be banned.

            The situation is more complex when considering relatives who may never have met before, or parents who give up their newborn children for adoption only to be reunited with them when the child has reach adulthood. In these situations the Westermarck effect doesn’t have a chance to kick in and sexual attraction can result. I outlined my position about these cases on another recent thread and I have no intention of repeating it here, however I will say that any law banning incest must take the feelings and the consequent suffering of these people into account. Incest can be simple and it can also be extremely complex. The law must be able to deal with both types of case as humanely as possible.

            In any case, the basic principle of respecting all beliefs up to the point at which they try to interfere with other beliefs is not violated by laws against paedophilia, incest, murder, rape, theft or any other harmful behaviour you care to mention. It is violated by the banning of equal marriage.

            So far my beliefs are consistent. Yours are not. How do you reconcile your desire to impose what you say are Christian beliefs on us all, and the Bible’s clear statements about free will and the freedom of conscience?

          • Ah, so you do have a list of behaviour you would ban. The goalposts have moved yet again. You do approve of imposing some behaviour on others.

            Your criterion is whether behaviour harms others. I assume you would ban adultery since it harms others. Lying harms others. But the bigger point is all our behaviour has an impact on others. All our behaviour affects others for good or ill. No man, or couple, is an island. The proper balance between allowing personal freedom and banning what is harmful to society is not an easy one to determine.

            By the way I do not wish to impose Christian beliefs on us all. Marriage has been defined in any culture, Christian or otherwise, as far as I am aware of as a monogamous relationship between a man and woman for life. Homosexual partnerships do not fit this definition. The whole understanding of what marriage is requires to be redefined to accommodate homosexual relationships. From a Christian perspective, such a redefinition is intrinsically impossible. Society may permit the redefinition but God does not. The same applies to divorce. Society permits many divorces that God refuses to recognise. Christians are surely free to contend for a definition of marriage that has been accepted for centuries. In fact, democracy is meaningless if groups are not allowed to argue for society accepting what they believe is important. It is what homosexual pressure groups have been doing successfully for years.

            Where I do wish to impose Christian beliefs is on the Church. The Church is under the direct authority of Christ and his Word. it has a duty to uphold the values of his kingdom.

            I’m not sure which clear bible statements about free will and freedom of conscience you refer to.

          • Eustace

            If you jump to conclusions about what I believe and set the goalposts where you imagine them to be, don’t be surprised to see them move when I explain my position more fully. They’re only moving in your imagination. In the real world they remain firmly where they’ve always been set.

            If you look at the origins of the word “harm”, you will find it comes from an Old Norse word “harmr”, meaning grief or sorrow. There are degrees of grief or sorrow in life, but for the purposes of this conversation, harm can be defined as something that inflicts a level of grief or sorrow on a person that prevents him from living his life freely according to the basic motivating wants and needs of his personality, as long as those wants and needs harm nobody else.

            For society to ban same-sex marriage indisputably causes harm to the LGBT community. It means our relationships are not legally recognized on a par with all others, which is an affront to the concept of equality of treatment before the law, one of the basic concepts of modern democracy. It’s an attempt for one group to appropriate a social and legal custom for itself and deny it to another group, which is discriminatory and prejudicial to the well-being of the group thus targeted.

            Christians are free to believe what they like about marriage. In the exercise of their own personal sovereignty they can choose to abide by Christian concepts of marriage fully. But they can’t prevent non-Christians from marrying according to their understanding of what marriage entails.

            I don’t care if you don’t recognise my marriage as a proper marriage according to your fictitious God’s concept of what marriage should be. But I do care if you won’t recognise my marriage according to civil law, because then you are harming me by denying my equality before the law.

            The law agrees with me, which is why all these Christian bigots who keep refusing to provide goods and services to gay couples on an equal footing with all others are being prosecuted and convicted of discrimination. A Christian hotelier can believe what he likes about the status of the couple renting one of his rooms, but he cannot refuse them shelter on the basis of that status because this would be a denial of their equality before the law. If he believes them to be unequal before the law, he must either subordinate his religious beliefs before the law, or pay the price demanded by the law. That’s the only way a diverse and multi-faith society can operate.

          • Eustance, I do recognise your marriage in civil law I just think civil law has got it wrong. I have some sympathy with your comment re hoteliers. Without considering individual cases, I think you are right that those supplying a public service cannot expect to impose on others their own moral standards, especially where law has legitimised their behaviour civily.

            I may add I have friends who are in homosexual relationships. I hold them in high regard in many areas though clearly I do not agree with their homosexuality. People are so much more than their sexuality.

          • Eustace

            You have gay friends, eh? Now there’s a claim virtually every fundamentalist Christian likes to make. I wonder how your gay friends feel about you though. I doubt very much whether they would qualify a person who thinks they and their relationships are evil and twisted as a “friend”. I know I don’t. You can’t be friends with someone who would sacrifice you to his God if he could in order to buy his own salvation. That’s not friendship. It’s mercenary self-interest.

          • Little Black Censored

            You pitiful, bitter and twisted person.

          • Little Black Censored

            “I let them get on with their lives.”
            Gosh, thanks!

          • David

            Yes do please ignore the facts. You spout irrelevant nonsense. The facts are thus, although it doesn’t suit your narrative.
            The churches that your Mrs Beamish attends are dying, and not slowly either, since Liberalism builds only doubt not strong Christian communities.
            Meanwhile the Biblically led conservative Evangelical churches flourish, as they build a strong spiritual and financial base. It is these churches that associate more with Gafcon, and it is these churches that will continue into the future, leaving the liberal ones to wither. This is exactly the pattern that has already emerged in North America. .

            Mrs Beamish and her friends are totally unconcerned and unaware of both Welby’s parentage or African prelates. Sadly, they are trying to prop up their declining churches, unaware of the theological deadness, imported into them by Liberalism, the creeping paralysis that eventually kills its host.

  • Perhaps if we begin with our eyes fixed on God instead of our human identity

    Around the middle of the last century it became necessary to break white Christian nations, which were consequently hit by Third World immigration and by Jürgen Habermas’ masterstroke: identity politics, the culture of grievance and the atomization of society. Beeching provides a perfect example of the latter the moment she opens her mouth, ‘For me, as an openly gay…’.

    The good news is that the multiculturalism so beloved of the churches will, in time, cure the atomization of society. The bad news is that Britain will become Muslim in the process.

  • Dreadnaught

    I know that the Levitican view of man lying with another man as woman etc, is the immutable foundation of the arguments against same gender relationships or couplings. Marriage and the Church is is a touchy subject (ask King Ed 8): Taboo, some say if between same gender or involving divorce.
    But the Church has historically shifted the goal posts (or re-invented itself to accommodate Popes and Kings) for First Cousins or the approved marriageable of children who were often betrothed in the cradle, or married by arrangement or pressure for political or financial reasons.

    The records show that what was once acceptable to the Church would not be acceptable now: this inconsistency indicates that the rules can be amended by different societies down the ages. And if procreation is seen as the geological foundational argument why do Nuns go through a wedding ceremony complete with wedding ring?

    Sex and procreation came before Christian marriage rules; Why not today just live and let live? The past is no authority.

    Illogically, however, a clandestine marriage – where a couple exchanged vows privately or in a sham ceremony – was illicit, but still valid in the eyes of the Church. Well into the eighteenth century thousands of couples had no idea whether or not they were legally married. Nor did it particularly matter, as long as property and inheritance were not involved.
    Clandestine marriage led to all sorts of abuses, from the kidnapping, drugging, forced marriage and rape of heiresses by fortune hunters to under-age, same-sex, incestuous or bigamous unions. Bigamy was common in a society where divorce was denied.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/6243761/A-history-of-the-English-marriage.html

    • disqus_N9Jawtu8Uw

      Sorry, Dreadnaught, but Leviticus has little or nothing to do with it. The New Testament and the Gospels (e.g. Matthew 19: 4-6) themselves make clear that marriage is between a man and a woman and is the basis of the family (if one is lucky enough to be blessed with a family, the Bible even contains stories of those so blessed late in life when they thought they were barren).

      • Dreadnaught

        I do not hold to any religion, but this quote
        Leviticus 20:13 ►
        “‘If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads”.

        Now, not for the first time have I understood Christians to trot that out as being the law of God. Are you saying it has nothing to do with ‘it’?

        Cherry picking which parts of the Bible suit the argument is as old as the hills. I am not the one doing this but as it is OT, aye you saying its not fundamental for Christians regarding this matter: I can’t understand why you have picked me up on what I posted.
        I extrapolated on other apparent inconsistencies which I think are worth considering when contemplating what the Bible says is right or wrong.

        • dannybhoy

          “Now, not for the first time have I understood Christians to trot that out as being the law of God. Are you saying it has nothing to do with ‘it’?”
          That passage is valid. It comes under the Old Covenant God made with the newly formed nation of Israel. It doesn’t say that’ if a man feels attracted to another man but refuses to give into that attraction he still must be put to death…’
          Also in the New Testament in the context of the Church, it is not the person with homosexual tendencies who is condemned, but rather the homosexual who practices homosexuality, or adultery, or immorality, or thieving ,or violence and so on.
          St Paul says such should be put out of the congregation.

          • Dreadnaught

            There is contradiction here Dan as another poster has introduced the concept of a degree of validity with the expression ‘very little to do with…’ Either it is or it isnt. Either way it’s none of my business.

          • dannybhoy

            There’s always contradictions mon ami. St Paul said it’s okay to have differences of opinion. Here..
            Romans 14 verse 6.
            5 “One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.”
            Y
            And anyway you can’t say you’re not interested…
            After all, what kind of weirdo would be here blogging on a Satterday afternoon, when he could be dahn the pub, necking a pint?
            Your rahnd,Dredder! Mines a pint of Timothy Taylors..

          • Dreadnaught

            You don’t know where I am right now Dandini or what I am drinking … curses,… you do know what I am doing and that I am rather – quite odd. How spooky of you. 🙂

          • dannybhoy

            Danny’s rather partial to Timothys..

          • Inspector General

            Timothy Taylors. That’s a poofs drink, isn’t it?

          • dannybhoy

            Absolutely!
            I’d drink it all the time, but it’s not so popular up here in Norfolk,
            so I have to go down to London
            …quite a lot actually.
            Oops! Just spilt something..
            I’m sure there’s a tissue here somewhere.
            (rummages in hand bag…)

          • Inspector General

          • Danny

            Paul is saying difference of opinion in matters of no moral significance is legitimate. He would rather Christians did not argu with each other about trivial and indifferent things. He is not saying the church can accommodate differences of opinion in basic moral issues. Scripture does not speak ambiguously about these. That some argue it supports homosexual lifestyles does not mean it does. Those who so argue re twisting the Scriptures to suit themselves. Only those ignorant of the bible or with a vested interest in agreeing with them will be persuaded.

          • dannybhoy

            You’re quite right of course, but I was being light hearted, as Dreadders had already picked up on a difference of interpretations and I didn’t want to get into it.
            “Cherry picking which parts of the Bible suit the argument is as old as the hills. I am not the one doing this but as it is OT, aye you saying its not fundamental for Christians regarding this matter: I can’t understand why you have picked me up on what I posted.
            I extrapolated on other apparent inconsistencies which I think are worth considering when contemplating what the Bible says is right or wrong.”

          • Danny

            Generally I agree with your comments (predestination excepted). I felt here you were conceding too much to the opposition.

          • dannybhoy

            It’s sometimes more important to build a friendship than win a point. Dreadders is not a believer but he has an open mind, and actually when it comes to issues of national security, tolerance and freedom I agree with him. .
            The predestination thing is something that Martin and I disagreed over, and in the laying out of our cases I came to acknowledge that it is God who draws us to Him through the agency of Christian witness, prayers and the agency of the Holy Spirit. More than it is us choosing Him.
            I still don’t accept however that God has “made His choices” and you’re going to be saved -whether you want to be or not!
            But you know sometimes these differences of opinion are mere nuances, and in the deepening of our fellowship we come to a better understanding of each other.
            It is Jesus and His wonderful grace that unites us is it not?

        • disqus_N9Jawtu8Uw

          Yes I am saying that the Leviticus verses have very little to do with it (not nothing, but very little).

          I have been at two of the “Shared conversations” in the Diocese and I have never once heard the Leviticus quotation used by Christians – they don’t need to. Yet the media (I see your link is the Daily Telegraph) goes to Leviticus and I even include some Church papers – it is if they wrote it without even ever being there.

          Try instead:
          Matthew 19 verses 4 to 6 for Jesus’ words on marriage (Hence canon law in the CofE has marriage is the ONLY one that begins: According to our Lord’s teaching).

          Mark 10 verses 6 to 8

          Romans 1 verses 24 to 28

          Hebrews 13 verse 4

          Jude 1 verses 7 and 8

          1 Timothy 1 verses 8 to 11

          1 Corinthians 7 verse 2

          1 Corinthians 6 verses 9 to 11

          1 Corinthians 6 verses 18 to 20

          I am not here debating the merits of any one verse on its own, but the point is that you really don’t have to even resort to the Old Testament. The claims that the Bible doesn’t speak about same-sex activities is just nonsense, as is the claim that St Paul, or anyone else, didn’t understand same-sex in the modern sense – that is equally total nonsense.

        • Any who are sensitive to the place the Mosaic Covenant has in the history of redemption will be very slow to base moral demands for the church on it. It is true that the things called ‘an abomination’ or ‘detestable’ in the law tend to be things that the bible universally condemns (and homosexuality is one of these) and are at odds with the basic creation pattern. Nevertheless, the Christian case against accepting homosexual practice is much more robust and clear cut than a reference in levitical law.

          The case begins with God’s design for marriage laid out in creation (Gen 2). Is consolidated by Jesus’ comments about marriage in Matt 19, and carries the weight of the clear NT prohibitions on homosexual practice in Romans 1 and 1Cor 6

          There is no cherry picking. The teaching is unambiguous and clear.

    • dannybhoy

      “for First Cousins or the approved marriageable ages of children …”
      Watch it! I’m the product of first cousins..
      You make the point that the point is no authority, but it is. For example the breakdown in marriage and family is leading to an epidemic of children with mental illnesses and destructive hostilities towards society.
      Why? Because they weren’t loved enough to give them the boundaries, security and role models that they need to develop into healthy adults.
      Even evolutionists should have grasped from studying nature that offspring need to be nurtured and taught, else they won’t survive. That’s how God designed it.
      For human societies to flourish the young need a degree of certainty. To teach that anyone can be (sexually) anything they want to be does not bring freedom. It brings confusion and uncertainty.

  • len

    Homosexuality is an issue that the church must face but it is not the major issue that many seem to assume.

    The major issue with’ Sodom’ was not homosexuality (surprisingly for me as a Christian to find out) but the society there had become self centred (much as our society today) where ‘self’ rules.
    The sin of Sodom;
    ‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were
    arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.(Ezekiel 16;49)

    A self centred society will always produce homosexual lifestyles.

    This is the simple truth as to where we are today a ‘homosexual church’ is an indicator of a society that has moved far away from God and has become self centred.

    • Andrew Price

      You might want to look up Jude 7.

    • Guglielmo Marinaro

      Yes, of course a self-centred society will always produce homosexual lifestyles, just as it will produce heterosexual lifestyles too. Ditto for a non-self-centred society.

      • The Explorer

        Do the percentages of both types vary according to the nature of the society, or are they constant?

        • Guglielmo Marinaro

          I know of no evidence that they vary according how much self-centredness there is in a society.

        • Pubcrawler

          It seems no discussion of homosexuality is complete without a mention of Ancient Greece, so…

          For the Greeks, civic responsibility, even to the point of being prepared to risk your life shoulder to shoulder with your fellow in battle, was absolutely paramount. Anyone who preferred a more private, self-centred life, was termed idiōtēs.

      • Were the inhabitants of Sodom homosexuals? They had wives and children and were offered Lot’s daughters as an alternative to the angels. Perhaps they were bisexual … or just full of lust. They were guilty of the sin of sodomy which reflected their base lifestyles. Get sex wrong and other things tend to follow.

        • Guglielmo Marinaro

          Yes, they were guilty of the sin of “sodomy” – trying to gang-rape visiting angels. That sort of behaviour is no surprise in an uncaring society.

    • I agree Len. I happen to agree too with Peter Hitchens when he points out that what was and is really devastating for society is not its caving in to the demand for homosexual marriage but it’s redefining of marriage a good number of years previous when the doors were opened wide to divorce. Divorce in heterosexual marriages has wreaked more havoc than same sex marriage ever will. Sadly the church has had little stomach for this fight.

  • disqus_N9Jawtu8Uw

    Firstly, Same-sex marriage is not a right and the ECHR (European Court of Human Rights) has ruled that four times. The fourth time they made clear in the ruling that they did not wish to see another case on the matter. So the Church is NOT against “rights”.

    Secondly, the Church displays absolute equality. When St Paul writes in the letter to the Romans (Romans 7: 21-25) that he tries to do right but constantly gets it wrong he lays down the essence of Christianity. Namely we are ALL sinners. If even a saint constantly sins then we are all sinners. That makes us ALL absolutely equal because we are all sinners irrespective of what that sin is.

    • dannybhoy

      We are all sinners because we were/are in rebellion against He who made us, and the One to whom we must answer at the end.

  • Martin

    ” Please don’t attack her personally: she’s been through enough. ”

    Really, enough that the leading astray of young people doesn’t matter?

    I’m afraid the evil preaching of the pro-GLBTxyz perverts is a demonstration of how far our society has fallen. That some, who claim a ‘calling’ yet despise the God they claim has called them, take such positions shows how weak and woolly minded those in the CoE have become. Not, of course, that I do not include other denominations. It seems as if the only requirement to become a ‘priest’* in the CoE is to want to do so. The theology of the CoE is now so varied and remote from what the Bible teaches I doubt that it deserves to be called Christian. What is being taught in parish churches every Sunday? Most of the bishops seem to fail the test for an elder:

    if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.
    (Titus 1:6-9 [ESV])

    How many of them hold to sound doctrine, how many of them hold firm to it and how many of them rebuke those who do not?

    So yes, Vicky Beeching does deserve to be pilloried, since she chose to speak out in support of evil.

    *There is, of course, no office of priest in the Christian Church aside from our great High Priest.

    • Anton

      O yes there is. Every Christian is a priest (Rev 1:6, 1 Peter 2:9). There is no such thing as the laity!

      • Martin

        Anton

        Every Christian is a priest, indeed the Church is every Christian, but there is no office of priest.

        • Pubcrawler

          Polysemy problem. We are all priests (hiereis), but there is an office of priest (presbyteros)..

          • Martin

            PC

            Presbyter is the same office as bishop, as Titus 1:5-9 demonstrates:

            This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you— if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.
            (Titus 1:5-9 [ESV])

            Indeed it would be better to translate those two words into English as Elder and Overseer. Thus there is no scriptural warrant for the hierarchy of the CoE.

  • dannybhoy

    “For me, as an openly gay Christian who disagrees with enforced celibacy and believes priests should be able to marry, I fear I’d simply be opening myself up to further damage, discrimination, and heartache. It’s a lot to weigh up.”
    She never read the Bible did she?
    No, she thought she was joining an inclusive club, not serving a holy God who decreed there should be male and female.
    I stand by my belief that a homosexual who finds salvation and renounces his homosexual lifestyle to embrace celibacy, can serve as a leader in the Church.
    But you can’t have it both ways..,..

    • Guglielmo Marinaro

      To that I would add that a homosexual who finds salvation, and who doesn’t renounce his homosexual “lifestyle” to embrace celibacy, can also serve as a leader in the Church. It goes without saying that the same applies to a heterosexual who finds salvation, and who either does or does not renounce his heterosexual “lifestyle” to embrace celibacy.

      • dannybhoy

        No it can’t,Guggles. Heterosexuality is God’s order, so that we might have children. A man is incomplete without a woman unless God calls him to be celibate.
        Whatever we are in our being, our sexuality is but a part. I am more than my sexuality and so are you, because the real me is spirit, and I relate to the world and express myself through my physical body.

        • Guglielmo Marinaro

          Yes, of course heterosexuality is God’s order so that we might have children – at least for the vast majority – although I don’t believe that to be the sole purpose of heterosexuality, absolutely vital and important though it is. A man is no doubt incomplete without a woman unless God calls him to be celibate – or unless he is gay.

          • dannybhoy

            :0)
            A gay man can serve God as a celibate if he has been born again, just as a randy young heterosexual can serve God as long as he remains celibate until he marries.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            A gay man can also serve God in a gay relationship.

          • dannybhoy

            Can you show any Scriptures to support that, or is there a Church tradition that backs up your assertion?
            I am not a legalist, but it seems obvious that a faith founded on Scriptures would have to measure its authenticity by those same Scriptures.
            Eg I have been married before and as a Christian agonized over the implications of divorce, As my first wife divorced me I eventually married again. I never experienced the joys of fatherhood, but found an outlet for those paternal feelings by working with children..

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            Why should I need any Scriptures to support it, when I know that there actually are gay men in gay relationships who are serving God as clergy?

          • dannybhoy

            That you know such men does not make it right, just as there being adulterous married men in the ministry does not make that right either.
            There have been occasions in my Christian walk when I have been in sin. May be not as dramatic a sin, but sin which the Holy Spirit convicted my heart over. The unhappiness did not lift until I confessed; sometimes to one person, sometimes to many, and was forgiven. That’s how it works,

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            No, that I know such men does not make it right, but I see no adequate reason to believe that it is wrong.

          • dannybhoy

            That’s unsound reasoning Guggles. You don’t accept the teaching of the Bible (on this issue anyway), so you ignore it in order to justify being a part of the Church.
            I have every sympathy. I am truly sorry I cannot offer a solution to a situation many homosexuals find themselves in. But John 3’s, “Ye must be born again” is the only solution the Bible offers, and it applies to all human beings regardless of sexuality.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            I don’t agree with the very few biblical writers who had anything at all to say on the subject – and some of the passages which are frequently quoted are irrelevant in any case, e.g. references to the Sodom legend – but I don’t find that a problem, since the subject is decidedly peripheral to the gospel. Being “born again” will not change people’s sexuality, and I consider it perfectly legitimate for gay people to form sexual relationships congruent with their sexuality. Indeed, I regard the demand that they be celibate, whether they want to or not, as an improper one.

          • dannybhoy

            Well Guggles, from my own experience of being born again I can say it made a profound difference to my whole outlook. But not being homosexual I cannot say yea or nay to your assertion that it doesn’t change your sexuality. I can say that I have worked with Christians who admitted to being gay before they were converted. I have also worked with Christians who returned to homosexuality, even after being married and having a child. I don’t think they found happiness upon their return.
            But it’s not my place to judge them is it. One was a dear friend who with his wife showed me great kindness when I was going through my divorce.
            I would have quite happily kept him as a friend too.
            And that it seems to me is the crux of this discussion; that we value people even if we disagree with them. You must one day stand before God and answer to Him for your life as must I mine, and I wish you no harm.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            Well, on that last paragraph we do at least agree.

          • Don’t loose your hair over what Jack is about to say ….

            Christianity for 2000 years, based on the words of Jesus, apart from the Orthodox Church, held that to divorce and remarry is adultery. Similarly, it has taught universally that contraception and abortion is always grievously sinful. All of these modern “developments” you have from time to time supported. So why not homosexuality?

          • dannybhoy

            Good points Jack.
            You should then remember that I have argued the case for limited abortion in specific cases, i.e. a woman who has been raped, a woman carrying a seriously disabled or deformed child. You may also remember that prior to working with children with serious physical and mental impairments (and I’m not taking Downs Syndrome); I was totally against abortion.
            Regarding divorce in a Christian context, I am also against that in principle, especially where children are concerned. What the world does is another matter.
            Christians do not set out wanting divorce, but it happens. For all sorts of reasons. Some situations could have been worked out, others not.
            So as I have told you before, each Christian person must consider that whatever decision they make, they will one day answer for before the Lord. Having been divorced -not divorcing, noone in their right mind would want to go through the emotional and spiritual turmoil it brings.
            Homosexuality. I accept what the Bible teaches about it. So no unrepentant, practicing homosexuals in leadership positions in the church,
            No promotion of the ‘gay lifestyle’ in the Church or community, especially in education. Explanation -not promotion.
            But for all who struggle with their sexuality or are genuinely devout in their faith -not just Christianity, there should be compassion and understanding without condoning it.

          • What you’re not seeing is that your position opens the door for the Church approving homosexual marriage.

            “You should then remember that I have argued the case for limited abortion in specific cases, i.e. a woman who has been raped, a woman carrying a seriously disabled or deformed child.”

            Once you concede killing life in the womb is acceptable in situations you deem acceptable, you permit someone else to set their own terms for morally justification. You may be against abortion for disabled children – someone else will be able to justify it.
            What moral norm are you applying? That some “greater good”, proportionate to the evil of abortion, must result? Yet, the biblical principle is to do no evil, even when some good may result.

            “Regarding divorce in a Christian context, I am also against that in principle, especially where children are concerned. What the world does is another matter.”

            Yes, divorce happens for all sorts of reasons. However, Jesus was clear that marriage is permanent and the divorced cannot remarry.

            “So as I have told you before, each Christian person must consider that whatever decision they make, they will one day answer for before the Lord.”

            You are setting individual conscience as the measure of correct conduct. And, Jack would agree. But, and it’s a big but, our consciences can be erroneous. There is objective sin, i.e. a breach of the moral law, that we may not be subjectively sinful that we are not culpable for because of ignorance or a compulsion of some sort.

            And here’s where we end up:

            i>”Homosexuality. I accept what the Bible teaches about it. So no unrepentant, practicing homosexuals in leadership positions in the church.”

            Why not? If your conscience allows you to accept abortion and divorce and remarriage, why shouldn’t homosexuals have the same privilege? What if they consider it in conformity with the bible and with what they understand God wants?

            Let’s reword your next sentence:

            “But for all who struggle with their sexuality, with abortion, with divorce and remarriage, or are genuinely devout in their faith – not just Christianity, there should be compassion and understanding without condoning it.”

            Just what are the limits to such compassion and understanding that fall short of condoning it? Except they should be enabled to get their lives in full conformity with God’s truth.

            And this Jack completely agrees with:

            “People are at different places in their lives Jack, and to outright insult , make fun of or condemn a person because they’re homosexual or effeminate or struggling with an issue does not bring them any closer to repentance or faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.”

            One can and should condemn sin.

          • dannybhoy

            “What you’re not seeing is that your position opens the door for the Church approving homosexual marriage.”
            I don’t see how. I have made it clear that the Bible teaches no same sex marriage, no practicing homosexuality in the Church. I think you confuse my attempts to understand a person’s struggles with condoning it. I don’t, but I do understand that many people agonize over personal issues. I don’t see that as condoning a sinful behaviour.

            “you permit someone else to set their own terms for morally justification.”
            this happens anyway, surely.
            Abortion I admit is a more difficult one, as you are right about the abuse and consequent dehumanisation of the unborn baby. At the moment I align my thinking with this ..”The 1993 General Synod stated that “the number of abortions carried out since the passage of the Abortion Act 1967 is unacceptably high.” However, the Church of England also believes that abortion is sometimes morally acceptable such as when a baby is suffering from a serious disability. (Anglican website)” with the emphasis on very early detection.
            Here’s an interesting website for Christians who have been affected by birth defects..
            http://www.christianitytoday.com/women/2013/july/are-birth-defects-really-part-of-gods-plan.html

            What moral norm are you applying?
            Well, a woman who has been raped may well not want her raper to be the father of her baby… She was forced; did God have it happen because it was intended that that little life should come into the world?
            A deformed child often suffers serious pain and discomfort. How do we justify that pain as ‘part of God’s plan’ for that child?

            Divorce. It is not in God’s plan that clergy abuse little boys or girls, or make young womens’ lives hell because the are unmarried mothers (Magdalen Sisters.)
            Could it be argued that it is permissible to abuse the fallen because they have sinned? I don’t think so, because in essence that is passing judgement.
            Can it be right that a divinely appointed ruler urges the death and torture of heretics? What moral norm is being applied?
            Just so with (Christian) divorce. I don’t advocate it, I think we should stand up for the sanctity of marriage,
            but… my first marriage failed and I eventually remarried. My wife and I will answer to the Lord for the whys and wherefores.
            I could have wished it hadn’t been so, but here we are. It is the Lord who knows our hearts. Perhaps some of those clergy who did awful things whether openly or in secret may also have sought forgiveness. But they will still live the knowledge of what they did. How would we wish that other Christians would treat them Jack?

          • dannybhoy

            (I’m reposting this again, as it didn’t appear when I wrote it this morning)
            Good points Jack.
            You should then remember that I have argued the case for limited abortion in specific cases, i.e. a woman who has been raped, a woman carrying a seriously disabled or deformed child. You may also remember that prior to working with children with serious physical and mental impairments (and I’m not talking Downs Syndrome); I was totally against abortion.
            Regarding divorce in a Christian context, I am also against that in principle, especially where children are concerned. What the world does is another matter.
            Christians do not set out wanting divorce, but it happens. For all sorts of reasons. Some situations could have been worked out, others not. Maybe they married for the wrong reasons.
            So as I have told you before, each Christian person must consider that whatever decision they make, they will one day answer for before the Lord. Having been divorced -not divorcing; no one in their right mind would want to go through the emotional and spiritual turmoil it brings.
            Homosexuality. I accept what the Bible teaches about it. So no unrepentant, practicing homosexuals in leadership positions in the church,
            No promotion of the ‘gay lifestyle’ in the Church or community, especially in education. Explanation -not promotion.
            But for all who struggle with their sexuality or are genuinely devout in their faith -not just Christianity, there should be compassion and understanding without condoning it. People are at different places in their lives Jack, and to outright insult , make fun of or condemn a person because they’re homosexual or effeminate or struggling with an issue does not bring them any closer to repentance or faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
            “Speaking the truth in love..”

          • dannybhoy

            Jack you haven’t commented on my reply to you. I’d be very interested to read your response.

          • That’s because you do not regard the bible as authoritative. You are not a Christian ( or a very new Christian not yet fully aware of what the bible teaches and not yet sensitive to the moral impulses of your new nature).

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            I am not a biblical fundamentalist, no. You don’t need to be one to be a Christian.

          • Inspector General

            It’s the role the anus plays, you see. A major stumbling block…

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            What do you want to be when you grow up? Have you decided yet?

          • Inspector General

            A proctologist. There’s money in that – and bits of plastic, metal, beads, straw, daffodils, a dead animal…

          • Normal?

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            Have you decided yet what you want to be when you grow up?

          • I’m afraid he can’t. Indeed, I’m afraid his choice is eternally damning if h does not repent and forsake his sin. Jude v7

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            A condemnation of men who attempted the homosexual gang-rape of angels visiting their city (Jude 7) has Sweet-Fanny-Adams to do with normal gay men in ordinary consensual gay relationships.

          • 1 Cor 6 makes the same point. In any case the Jude text is not referring to the attempted rape of angels. God had decided to destroy it before this event. It was why the angels were in the city in the first place.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            The Jude text most certainly is referring to the attempted rape of the visiting angels. This is made clear by the “mirror image” analogy which the writer draws in Jude 6-7 between the angels of Genesis 6:1-2, who had sexual congress with mortal women, and the mortal men of Sodom and Gomorrah “who went away after different flesh”. The Greek phrase for “different flesh” is “sarkos heteras”. The adjective “heteras” means different, not just in the sense of another, but QUALITATIVELY different (hence the word “heterosexual”). The pretence that it is a euphemism for sexual behaviour of humans with other humans of the same sex is patently nonsense.

            Yes, we are told that God had decided to destroy those cities before that event. On account of ordinary consensual gay relationships? No, they are not so much as mentioned, either in the original Genesis 19 narrative or in any other biblical reference to the story.

            1 Corinthians 6 makes no mention of Sodom (or Gomorrah).

          • Your interpretation is possible but by no means certain; there is no indication the men of Sodom thought Lots visitors were angels. They refer to them as men. It was men wishing to gang-rape men. The sins of Sodom were more than homosexuality. Sexual immorality in general was rampant and cited by Jude as a cause for judgement. Homosexual relationships are one example of this.

            I cited 1Cor 6 as another text which debars practising homosexuals from the kingdom.

            Romans 1 also sees homosexual relations as one of a catalogue of sins that provoke divine anger and judgement (1:18, 32; 2:8).

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            No, there is no indication in the original Genesis story that the men of Sodom knew that Lot’s visitors were angels. The author of Jude, however, plainly thought that they either did know or should have done, hence his analogy with the sexual misconduct of the angels in Genesis 6:1-2 and his use of the term “sarkos heteras”.

            The sins of Sodom are made clear in Ezekiel 16:49-50. God had finally promised Abraham, after some haggling, that he would not destroy Sodom if just ten righteous men could be found there. But when God’s messengers arrived in the city on that final night, not even one righteous man (of the city’s native inhabitants, at any rate) could be found there. On the contrary, we are told that ALL the men of the city, from the oldest to the youngest, gathered around Lot’s house and demanded that he bring out his guests to be gang-raped. That final incident or “abomination” was what set the seal on the decision to destroy the city. It is the only homosexual element in the entire narrative. Ordinary consensual gay relationships? No, they are never mentioned in connection with Sodom either in the original narrative or in any other biblical reference to it.

            The apostle Paul apparently believed that homosexuals were former heterosexuals (he didn’t, of course, use those actual words, which hadn’t then been coined) who had abandoned their former heterosexual “lifestyle” and re-directed their libido to people of the same sex and taken up a homosexual “lifestyle”, and that this remarkable transformation was the result of their abandoning the worship of God and turning instead to the worship of images of mortal men, birds, quadrupeds and reptiles (Romans 1:23). This strange theory does not correspond with reality, and I see no reason why we in 2016 should be constrained by Paul’s clearly limited understanding of homosexuality.

          • GM

            All the signs are you are believing what you want to believe. You have analysed the various texts related to homosexuality but always with the intent of interpreting in favour of homosexuality. Your understanding that the homosexuals of Romans 1 are heteroxuals who have turned is weak beyond belief (your interpretations are of course not new to me). That you happily dismiss Paul when his meaning is hard to avoid shows you have scant regard for the authority of Scripture.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            All the signs are that you are believing what you want to believe. My “understanding” that the “homosexuals” of Romans 1 are “heterosexuals who have turned”, is simply and precisely what Paul wrote. He explicitly said that “their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another” (Romans 1:26-27), representing this change as a punishment which God had inflicted on them for their idolatrous worshipping of images of men and animals (Romans 1:23). I am not aware of having ever encountered a single gay person whose sexual history that extraordinary theory describes. (I need hardly add that it bears not the slightest resemblance to my own.)

            I completely agree with you that Paul’s meaning is hard to avoid. More than that, it is well-nigh impossible to avoid – which is why I have not avoided it. As I have already said, it does not correspond with reality. Paul himself conceded that “our knowledge is imperfect” (Cor. 13:9), that “For now we see in a mirror dimly”, and that “Now I know in part” (Cor. 13:12). I have no reason to suppose that, having now long been in the other world, he is still obdurately clinging to the incomplete knowledge and understanding of homosexuality that he possessed nearly 2,000 years ago, which is at most peripheral to the theme of the gospel that he preached.

          • GM

            As I’m sure you know, Paul is not saying that their homosexual behaviour was against their own inclinations but against ‘the natural order’. That you admit your understanding represents an extraordinary situation you have never encountered ought to alert you to how outlandish your interpretation is.

            When Paul says his knowledge is imperfect he is not suggesting that the instruction he gives is wrong. Rather he regularly insists the opposite. He is simply admitting there is much he does not know; on these he will venture no opinion.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            I didn’t say that Paul was saying that their homosexual behaviour was against their own inclinations, so that’s just an Aunt Sally. What he was saying was that their previously heterosexual inclinations and behaviour were changed to homosexual as a result of their turning from the worship of God to the worship of images of men and animals. What exactly he meant by saying that their behaviour was “against nature (Gk. para physin)” has been the subject of much discussion and dispute, but whatever he might have meant, I find no sense in which homosexual behaviour per se can be meaningfully described as “against the natural order”. What you call my outlandish interpretation is simply what Paul wrote. If it refers to some particular and extraordinary situation known to him but not to us, then it is not relevant to ordinary gay people. If it is meant as a commentary on homosexuality in general, then it is plainly not grounded in reality and I have no reason to take it seriously.

            I agree with the late biblical scholar Professor Robert Carroll’s comment:

            “While Paul’s reading of the sexual mores of his time is a very interesting application of the notion of causality sometimes found among the biblical prophets (cf. Isa. 3.1-5), it is so tied into his general argument in Romans that it must be regarded as a highly tendentious interpretation of social reality designed to underwrite the theology of his letter. … The long history of Christian persecution of homosexual people cannot be justified on the strength of such a slender piece of opinionation.”

          • If you can’t see how homosexuality can be described as against the natural order you are more blinded than I thought.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            Thank you for your comment.

  • Jayne Ozanne

    Am I the only one to find this particular blog highly offensive and hypocritical?

    “Archbishop Cranmer” starts by saying “Please don’t attack her personally: she’s been through enough.” and then goes on to do just that!

    Vicky is shining a light on a cruel situation that affects many of us who have a calling to serve God amongst His people, but who are unable to go forward to ordination in the Church of England because of it’s current stance on LGBTI Christians. Thank goodness she has the courage, grace and wisdom to continue with her ministry despite the institutional (ie man-made) Church. In doing so she has touched and impacted the lives of millions. She continues to follow the obvious call of God on her life, and is responding to it humbly and obediently by speaking out with a voice that carries authority and healing.

    Would that you were able to do the same.

    • len

      Christ is a shining light and the only one a Christian needs.’Vicky’ is leading people away from the light…however’ well intentioned’ she and others might believe themselves to be…Jesus Christ never promised we could follow Him with our present lifestyles intact.

      • Martin

        Len

        I don’t think there is any evidence that she, or Jayne have any intention other than an evil one.

    • Martin

      Jayne

      I find it offensive that you want to change what God has said to suit your lust. There are no LGBTIxyz Christians for Christians leave such immorality behind. You and she are teaching people, in God’s not man’s Church, that it is OK to disobey God, so therefore you are evil and not a Christian. Neither she nor you have received a call from God, that much is obvious, for if you had you would not be disobedient.

    • dannybhoy

      You’re either a saved sinner or a sinner who wants to continue being their own personal god..
      We can feel sympathy for this woman’s confusion, but the Lord Jesus Christ didn’t die on the cross so that we can do our own thing. If you don’t accept who Jesus is and why He died for us, then you want membership of a club, not salvation. In His kingdom there is no LGBTI section; only saved sinners.

    • Inspector General

      Jesus couldn’t use women for his ministry or practising homosexuals. Why?

      Do you think it’s down to men’s greater adherence to the Word. And who in their right mind is going to listen to a practising homosexual!!

      You are born a woman. Find yourself a man. An effeminate type who won’t bother you too much in the bedroom. And have babies. Hurry, though. All effeminate men are converting to fake women for some reason…

      • Gill Cain

        Nothing to do with men’s greater adherence to the Word and everything to do with cultural norms at the time. Tut at your ignorance.

        • Inspector General

          No. It’s to do with men and women’s brains being wired differently. Take it up with God.

          • dannybhoy

            Buckpasser..
            Men and women are definitely different, because they have different roles to play..
            Most men love the women in their life, but I’m not sure that includes understands them..

          • Inspector General

            Jayne, if you’re reading this, the Inspector is prepared to testify against Danny.

          • dannybhoy

            IG one of your funniest oneliners!
            I love it.

          • Inspector General

            Needs must Danny. The Inspector has talked to the DA and has escaped a ‘bum rap’ resulting. Whatever one of those is…

          • Pubcrawler

            Were you required to twerk?

          • Inspector General

            Your name too will go on the list. What is it?

          • Pubcrawler

            Eustace the Monk

          • Inspector General

            “Right Eustace. I will keep this list, and when we have won the LGBT war, and Britain is a gay friendly police state, all on it will be brought to account.”

          • Pubcrawler

            Shoot him, Uncle Danny.

          • dannybhoy

            Steady on Pike!

          • Dreadnaught

            Gawd – I hate that bloody advert of the guy with a fat arse and wearing womens’ shoes; and now he’s brought his Mates (see what I did there?)

          • dannybhoy

            That ad is sick.
            Imo.

          • The Explorer

            If Money Supermarket has increased its sales as a result of that ad, it really is time to worry about our culture.

          • len

            I think that guy has had implants or something that looked like they have gone wrong?

          • Absolutely!!!
            Jack thinks of Linus every time.

        • The Explorer

          Would you say, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ applied to the cultural norms of the time, but has become irrelevant since Darwin?

    • dannybhoy

      You can check on Jayne’s web blog here…
      http://www.jayneozanne.com/

      • Inspector General

        From her biography…

        “She is committed to modelling Good Disagreement with those with whom she holds differing views, and has created a variety of platforms to enable people to discuss their differences – the most recent of which is a weekly blog, ViaMedia.News with a range of senior Anglican guest contributors.”

        hmmm

        • Martin

          IG

          Nothing about threats there then.

          • Jayne Ozanne

            Actually, no there is nothing about threats there. However, the police have asked me to pass to them examples of online abuse and homophobic hate crime that many of us are experiencing, so I have taken screen shots of your posts and will be passing them to them.

          • dannybhoy

            You do your cause no good then. The Church stands for God’s Word, and much as it might cause us problems sometimes, we must stay true to it.

          • Inspector General

            “Ello Ello Ello. Jayne’s in tears again. Been upsetting you again, these people who don’t share the same view as you. Never mind, princess, you show Plod what these rotters are saying and he’ll put them away for a very long time. Mind how you go now”

          • Uncle Brian

            Let us know how you get on.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            To be fair to Martin, I really don’t think that any of his posts could justly be classified as online abuse or as homophobic hate CRIME. I would describe them as mere expressions of self-satisfied anti-homosexual hatred, backed up by a perverted religious ideology, which do no real harm to anyone else. In fact I think that they serve quite a useful purpose by showing him up.

          • Inspector General

            “Sarge. Bad news. Jayne’s turned again. Usual stuff”

            “Oh Lord! More queer grief off that”

            “What we gonna do?”

            “Put her in the small interview room and keep her there for a couple of hours. Tell her we are treating her claims seriously and are on the case. Only let her out for a piss.”

            “Then what?”

            “Simples, son. End of shift. She’s some other buggers responsibility then”.

          • Oh dear Jayne. You talk about “Good Disagreement” but the moment someone disagrees with you you report them to the Police.

            That’s *bad* disagreement in anyone’s books.

          • Martin

            Jayne

            Perhaps you should read what the Bible tells us we should do:

            When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded? But you yourselves wrong and defraud—even your own brothers!
            (I Corinthians 6:1-8 [ESV])

            In any case, unless you define homophobic as simply disagreeing with you, there has been no homophobic hate or abuse here.

          • Palamas

            Your desire to prosecute those with whom you disagree is noted. Please remind me never to come within shouting distance of wherever you might be, lest I say anything you find “homophobic,” and put myself in jeopardy of incarceration.

          • IanCad

            No doubt about it we are in a war. Don’t worry Martin; there are more of us than them.

          • How about this:

            Homosexuality must not only be not tolerated, but it must be condemned and stamped out, according to one Doctor of the Church. He has described homosexuality as a “diabolical” corruption of God’s plan for sexuality between a man and a woman:

            “This vice is the death of bodies, the destruction of souls, pollutes the flesh, extinguishes the light of the intellect, expels the Holy Spirit from the temple of the human heart, introduces the diabolical inciter of lust, throws into confusion, and removes the truth completely from the deceived mind. … It opens up hell and closes the door of paradise. … It cuts off a member of the Church and casts him into the voracious conflagration of raging Gehenna,” (Peter Damian)

            Jack can let you have his contact details if you are interested.

        • dannybhoy

          Maybe read this bit, which you may find enlightning..
          The Apology (written for the Church of Wales, September 2015)

        • Uncle Brian

          Good Disagreement is what we get here at Cranmer’s.

      • CliveM

        She seems to have an absolute obsession with sex. Most unhealthy. Does she not know there are bigger issues facing the Church!

        • dannybhoy

          Well imv this is where it gets difficult. Rejection is a terrible thing, and sometimes we get more wrapped up in our reactions to rejection that we’re just not at a place where we will listen to why we’re being rejected.
          Unfortunately all too often Christians do not have enough of God’s love to make the stranger feel welcomed. I think perhaps that is where Jayne is at. We can’t change our faith to please everyone, else our faith will no longer have meaning.

        • Chris Carnall

          Tell that to the Church! Or rather take seriously the detrimental effect that the Church of England’s attitude to gay people is having on its mission. That is a big issue, especially among the young – and actually, not so young.

          • carl jacobs

            Well, sure. The Christian message will never be popular in a culture of self-worship. They desire to dance, and so we are supposed to play a tune. They desire to mourn and so we are supposed to play a dirge. But the Church is not supposed to shape its message according to the appetites of those who listen.

          • Chris Carnall

            “… which faith the Church is called upon to proclaim afresh in each generation.”

          • carl jacobs

            The content of the faith does not change. The moral law does not change. No matter how much men may desire that it be otherwise.

          • The Explorer

            The Church’s view that God is a trinity (presumably still one of the Church’s doctrines?) is terribly detrimental when witnessing to Muslims. Time to ditch it?

          • CliveM

            You can’t begin to understand how bored I am with this obsession. The issue maybe the most important thing in your life, but it’s not in mine.

          • dannybhoy

            I agree. As Christians we are called to salvation and sanctification, not obsessing about that which the Bible makes clear is unacceptable. There’s much more to life.
            Smartphones for instance.

        • bluedog

          From her website, ‘The greatest journey we will ever dare to make. This is why the love of a partner is so sacred – it mirrors that of the Lover and the Beloved…’. So her lover trumps her belief Christ and yet she presents as a preacher of the Christian gospel?

    • Unbelievable!

      We all have things we have to take up our crosses to follow Jesus – even in the area of self-denial sexually it’s not just gay people who have to “die to self”.

    • Chris Carnall

      This is a deplorable article and a misrepresentation (perhaps willful) of what Vicky wrote.

      It is always easier to urge “purity” on others, and indeed to be careless of the well-being of others. Even easier behind a pseudonym.

      • CliveM

        Well give examples, highlight the misrepresentations.

        Ps everyone knows who Cranmer is. It’s no secret and long ceased to hide anything.

        • Chris Carnall

          Well, clearly not “everyone” knows. I know who Cranmer *was* – I don’t know this impostor.

          The blogger presents Vicky’s article in terms of a complaint that she has not simply been waived through for ordination on the basis of her previous qualifications and experience. This clearly suits his purposes in blogging, but is a misinterpretation of her article and her reasons for writing it.

          • CliveM

            That’s certainly not my reading. Anyone else agree with this interpretation?

          • dannybhoy

            One is led to ordination for service to Christ and His Church, not acceptance under duress i.e. reporting alleged hate crimes to the Police.
            Imagine having your own church and realising that it’s half empty because you dobbed some of them in…

          • Inspector General

            And as you clearly speak for her, her reasons for writing it are…

          • Chris Carnall

            Thank you, “Inspector”, I speak for myself. And I’ve now said all I’m going to say.

          • Inspector General

            Goodbye! A cheery farewell on your way…

      • Inspector General

        Just leave the church. Just walk away. Set up your own LGBTIA-whatever where you can do what you like and nobody will give a damn. Conduct services naked and sacrifice chickens on an altar if you must. What’s stopping you all! Just leave the rest of us be…

    • Joe Stocker

      She could simply apply for job in a pro-gay church

    • Eustace

      No, you’re not the only one to find this blog post – indeed virtually every post on this blog – offensive.

      But then the (twice, I believe) failed parliamentary candidate who wrote it would probably say that he’s under no obligation not to offend.

      If you haven’t figured it out yet, the whole purpose of this blog is to offend. It’s the last stand of the conservative Christian who’s been rendered impotent everywhere else and has no other platform from which to shout his rage and disgust at a world that views him with amused derision.

      Of course from my point of view, by buying into the homophobic cult that is Christianity and trying (in vain, I might add) to “dehomophobise” it, you’re playing right into their hands. They’ll only accept you if you offer them the sacrifice of your sexuality, and even then you’ll be regarded as second best and will only ever be an outsider among them.

      You’re on a losing wicket. Your fellow believers hate you and the LGBT community views you as a sell-out and enabler of Christian homophobia. And all for the sake of worshipping your own ego writ large and calling it “God”.

      What price narcissism, eh?

      • dannybhoy

        “No, you’re not the only one to find this blog post – indeed virtually every post on this blog – offensive.”
        Sez he who can’t stay away….
        You do realise you’ve been commenting here as long as I have Eustace?

      • Inspector General

        Ah bless! You are a ghastly individual. A true rotter. But over the years, we’ve warmed to you…

      • Palamas

        “What price narcissism, eh?”

        Sounds like something you’re well acquainted with, so why not inform us?

        • The Explorer

          He couldn’t tear himself away from the mirror long enough.

    • I think AC intends some of his comments to be ironic in this post.

  • carl jacobs

    she would become a vicar were it not for the Church of England’s (manifestly unjust) discrimination against the LGBT community

    I’m sure she would. Her problem is that there aren’t all that many people who would want to join such a church, let alone pay for it. This is the problem of Liberal religion. It possesses a multitude of would-be social activist clergy, but no laity to finance the cause.

    The Church of England is changing

    Yes, it is. In much the same that a corpse left out in the sun will change. Perhaps something should be done about that.

    • Excellent.

    • James Bolivar DiGriz

      In the context of atheists being just as good, moral, caring, etc as Christina, someone (Malcolm Muggeridge ?) wondered where are all the atheist hospitals, care homes, etc.

      Some charitable (possibly with quotes around that) organisations exist that have been set up by non-Christians but an awful lot of them seem to be funded by the government rather than by willing payments.

      I sense a pattern here.

  • Inspector General

    It is usually forgotten that homosexuality is not the only less than ideal state of the individual. The church is also open to alcoholics, wife beaters, gamblers, bestials (unfortunately), gluttons, idlers, boasters and other unfortunate afflictions of the person. Then there are agoraphobics, claustrophobic, ADHD and a myriad of similar. So why are the homosexuals keen to take over when other groups aren’t…

    It’s not so much that the activist movement see the thing as a soft touch, it’s more that as it stands, the church is the biggest enemy that homosexual enthusiasts have, this side of disease and mental problems.

    If you take over you can change things. The most obvious is to change the bible. (It’s been done before) and to drop any negative references to the condition. No negative references, no objection.

    It really is that simple. SO SEE THROUGH IT!!!

    • The Explorer

      Sir Ian McKellen said that any time he’s in a hotel room, he checks the drawer to see if there’s a Gideon’s Bible. If there is, he heads for Leviticus 18, and rips out the offending page.

      The Bible no longer says it’s an abomination to lie with a man as with a woman. Simples. Adding stuff is, of course, harder than subtracting it.

      • Unbelievable!

        He should have ripped out Lev 20, Romans 1, 1 Corinthians 6, some bits of 1 Timothy and Jude… plus Matthew 15, Mark 10 and Genesis 1 & 2 too? for good measure!

        • The Explorer

          Quite. And, arguably, ‘Revelation’ 21:8. But I think he takes particular exception to the word ‘abomination’. It’s rather uncompromising, and so must be dealt with by a full-on approach.

      • disqus_N9Jawtu8Uw

        You wrote “The Bible no longer says it’s an abomination to lie with a man as with a woman. ” Actually the Bible still says that and you can rip out as many pages as you like. The good news is that if you rip out pages of the Quran you will be executed whereas Christians are surprisingly forgiving.

        • The Explorer

          Yes. I meant in McKellen’s mind the Bible no longer says it. For, of course, it still says it in all the copies he hasn’t managed to get his hands on.

          • Uncle Brian

            Explorer, your meaning was perfectly clear.

      • Anton

        I can think of some denominations that add to it!

        • Luther who slipped in the word “alone”, perchance?

          • carl jacobs

            Well, look who finally showed up. You are late to the party Jack.

          • Anton

            In fairness I was pulling his chain a bit with my preceding comment. I’m not infallible, but then, who is?

          • carl jacobs

            But … that’s why Jack exists on this weblog. So we can pull his chain. It’s part of the created order.

          • Jack is here to bring light into the darkness that is Protestantism.

          • carl jacobs

            Speaking of a light shining in the darkness …

            Heh.

          • ‘… if the light that is in you is darkness, how great…’

          • Indeed ….
            As he said, Jack will continue to shed light on the darkness that is within heretics.

          • God … and His Catholic Church.
            But for the Reformation we’d still have a universally accepted foundation of morality in Christianity based on Saint Thomas Aquinas and Natural Law, enlightened by faith and reason, not the modern moral theology of the proportionalists and consequentialists who believe there are no absolute moral laws. This damned heresy is creeping into the Catholic Church too.

          • Anton

            I prefer to found my morality in Christianity based on the Bible rather than in Christianity based on Aquinas. He got a lot of things right, but God gets everything right.

            Does the Catholic church? Its Holy Office of the Inquisition declared in March 1616 that “the view that the sun stands motionless at the centre of the universe [ie, solar system] is foolish, philosophically false and utterly heretical, because contrary to holy scripture” and on that basis proceeded to persecute Galileo.

          • That wasn’t an infallible teaching and, as you know, Galileo upset the Pope by being rude to him …. Anyway, Jack thought you were a literalist.
            Aquinas based Natural Law on scripture and used the Fathers of the Church to develop his moral theology. Scripture does not contain answers to all the moral conundrums. We have to use our reason and God given consciences to arrive at moral truths based on the revelations contained therein. Even without scriptural revelation, reason uncluttered by sin, would be able to discern God’s will for us.

          • Anton

            “That wasn’t an infallible teaching…”

            You think that such legalistic excuses impress God? A church system that lets its own Inquisition – charged with enforcing doctrine – get doctrine wrong, is totally unreliable, is it not?

            “Even without scriptural revelation, reason uncluttered by sin, would be able to discern God’s will for us.”

            But reason always is cluttered with sin, because reason is deployed by sinful humans. That’s why we need scripture.

            Literalist? Define the term and I’ll tell you if I am one.

          • Reason is not always cluttered with sin.

            Didn’t the miracle of Joshua place the Earth as static with the Sun moving around it? Or is that just figurative, poetic writing and not meant to be understood literally? Joshua commanded the sun to stand still. He did not order the earth to cease rotating nor did he qualify his statement that the sun was merely made to appear stationary. The sun was commanded to stand still – and it did – because it is the sun that moves.

          • Anton

            Indeed, reason is not always cluttered with sin. But it is liable to be, whereas scripture isn’t.

            Joshua actually commanded the sun to stand still relative to Gibeon, and since the earth is essentially a rigid body the command is explicitly for the sun to be still relative to the earth. That can be achieved by causing the earth to stop in its orbit round the sun, of course.

          • Joshua 10:12-13
            Then spoke Joshua to the Lord in the day when the Lord gave the Amorites over to the men of Israel; and he said in the sight of Israel, “Sun, stand thou still at Gibeon, and thou Moon in the valley of Aijalon.” And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the nation took vengeance on their enemies. Is this not written in the Book of Jashar? The sun stayed in the midst of heaven, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day.

            Habakkuk 3:11
            The sun and moon stood still in their habitation at the light of thine arrows as they sped, at the flash of thy glittering spear.

            It was actually the earth that stood still.

          • Anton

            Relative to what, Jack? The sentence “It was actually the earth that stood still” is logically incomplete until you have specified that.

          • Plain English … that’s what scripture says :

            The sun stayed in the midst of heaven, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day.

            The sun and moon stood still in their habitation at the light of thine arrows as they sped, at the flash of thy glittering spear.

            Unless you’re going all phenomenological on Jack.

          • Anton

            Stop pretending not to understand my question, Jack. Despite your best efforts to conceal it, you are an intelligent man. If I am still relative to the train I am sitting in and the train is moving at 50mph then I am not still relative to the earth. This example serves to demonstrate that the notion of stillness is intrinsically relative. So: what was the sun still relative to?

          • The bible clearly states the sun stood still and not the earth. No mention of relativity or perception. As you know, the sun does not move. We know it is the earth that spins on its axis. If it were literally true, it would have stated the earth stood still.

          • Anton

            I have explained that saying something stands still is simply an incomplete statement until it is stated what body it stands still relative to. Only if readers universally understand what body is meant would it be unnecessary.

            So I am asking what the sun stood still relative to, and I suspect you are feigning dumb because the only possible answer is “the earth” and I can then point out that there is more than one way to achieve such stillness…

          • Ad Jack can point out the clear meaning of the verse as understood by generations i.e. the sun stood still. That means it didn’t move. The earth was considered to be flat at the time and unmoveable.

            The geocentric implications of this passage are obvious. Instead of the sun’s motion through the sky being due to the rotation of the earth, here it states that the sun and moon daily move around the earth. The sun is commanded not to move or rise; it is not the earth which receives the commandment to stop turning.

          • Anton

            “the sun stood still. That means it didn’t move”

            Yes, absolutely, Jack. Relative to what?

            Go on. Say “the Earth”. You know you want to. It’s the right answer, moreover. What it doesn’t do is say how God arranged it.

          • It says the sun didn’t move. Not that the earth stopped spinning and orbiting the sun. Things are either static or in motion. The only way God could have arranged this was for the earth to stop. Jack doesn’t understand why you’re going on about this.

          • Anton

            Motion is relative. I can be stationary relative to a train I’m on but moving relative to the earth, if the train is moving. Do you agree? (Please include a clear Yes or No in any answer.) If you agree, what did the sun not move relative to?

          • Not interested, Anton. The bible is clear on this. It’s not talking about relative motion. It’s not talking about perception. The sun stood still. If it were accurate, it would have stated the earth stopped spinning for a day.

          • Anton

            So pleased you know what God would have said.

          • As Jack said, the bible is clear on this. Literalists, not so much.

          • Anton

            Yes, the Bible is clear. The sun stood still relative to Gibeon, and therefore relative to the rest of the earth too.

          • No. God made time stand still and the author of scripture perceived this miracle as Him making the sun stop moving.
            The bible isn’t a scientific manual and it’s authors were constrained in the perception and description of scientific events. Just as the description of the universe, the earth and stars, isn’t exact in Genesis.

          • Anton

            Now you say God did it by making time stand still. Please don’t suppose I’m denying that, but (a) you might at least acknowledge that you are ditching your older explanation that I’ve shown wrong; and (b) stand still for whom?

          • WTF …. Jack is ditching no explanation as he never offered one! His point is that scripture cannot simply be taken literally. As he said, the sun did not stop in the sky – as it doesn’t rise and fall over a disc. In standing time still, which is what God actually did, it would have been the earth that stood still.

          • Anton

            I can’t argue with incoherence.

          • Jack’s position is clear.
            The sun did not stop moving. It does not rise and fall to record days. The earth spins in 24 hour cycles – give or take. God stopped time and this was mistakenly perceived/described by the biblical author as the sun stopping. In fact, it would have been the earth that stopped.

          • Anton

            When you say that God stopped time, suppose that Joshua, someone in England (say) and the sun all have watches attached to them. Which stopped and which didn’t? From the perspective of those on the battlefield, did everybody else ‘freeze’ and stop moving?

            All motion is relative, and to say that something is “still” doesn’t explain what it is still relative to. (For example, I can be still relative to the train I am on but still moving relative to the ground, if the train is moving.) When someone says “I stood still” without further specification it is understood to mean that he is not using his muscles to walk, and is therefore still relative to whatever he is standing on. When the sun stood still in Joshua 10 the writer clearly means it did not move in the sky. We don’t know how God achieved this, and every hypothesis has knock-on effects which need to be considered and perhaps altered as part of the miracle. It is these which you are not taking into account properly.

          • No, I’m just stating what scripture clearly says i.e. the sun stood still. It presents no problem at all for Jack. The observation was obviously based on the understanding at that period of our how our solar system works.

          • Anton

            No, you are not just stating what scripture clearly says. Perhaps without realising it, you are building on what scripture says. And not necessarily correctly; albeit not necessarily wrongly. If you want to see what I mean, ponder the question I just put to you.

          • Evangelicals are not literalists. They believe the text should be read and understood according to the rules of its genre. Literalism is too crude a definition.

          • Evangelical is a very, very broad term. Plus, who decides what genre is being used in a specific passage?

          • Deciding the genre is only occasionally a problem. However, that is another issue. I was merely pointing out that interpretation by Evangelical Protestants is not a wooden literalism.

          • That’s the point. They are there too. The Catholic Church has its liberals too. Praise God it also has its Evangelical Protestants and its Lutherans (though they may not call themselves such or realise that’s what they are).

          • My good man, there are many confused heretics who claim membership of the Catholic Church. We call them CINO’s.

          • Touché.

          • It’s an interesting read, for sure. Been having quite a few giggles. Must say your posts have been rather splendid. Unfortunately, the Inspector has been letting the side down … again. He’s like the embarrassing drunk uncle on the dance floor at a wedding.

          • carl jacobs

            … in a bright blue suit. 😉

          • … with a green tie and pink shoes.

          • Although I agree with Luther, this was an amusing dig.

        • Pubcrawler

          All have, as the entire New Testament is an addition to the Tanakh.

  • Jayne Ozanne

    Thank you for your comments – they are now all being sent to the police.

  • carl jacobs

    There is a very simple solution to this problem that will make everyone happy. It is a two-step process. All CV conservatives have to do is:

    1. Stop giving money.
    2. Walk out the door.

    Vicki Beeching gets to be a priest in the CoE. Enlightened religionists free themselves from those troublesome reactionaries. The March of progress takes a huge step … somewhere. On the other side, Conservatives can free themselves from this war, and get on with the mission of the Church. They will no longer be unequally yoked.

    The hierarchy of the CoE is lost. Stop giving it money and let it fend for itself. It will soon be begging for bread in the streets. Vicki Beeching’s calling won’t be so important at that point.

    • Gill Cain

      Tithes and offerings are given to the Lord rather than the church but as for walking out of the door? Bye bye.

      • carl jacobs

        An offering to Baal is not an offering to God. Why fund the High Places?

        Bye bye.

        See? Didn’t I say this would make everyone happy?

    • Unbelievable!

      Tempting… It would save a lot of time & money spent on all those ancients piles we misguidedly call churches.

    • Indeed.

  • Mercy Judgement

    I think there are a number of interrelated issues here. I do think Beeching is right to raise welfare issues within the church and it is true that, at the very least, LGB priests face a lot more personal scrutiny than straight priests. The CofE could manage this without afirming gay relationships.

  • PessimisticPurple

    Hmm…so, the idea is that one should conform oneself to God, however painful and burdensome that may be, rather than creating a God in conformity with oneself? Well now, that’s an interesting position for Protestants to hold. Next thing you know we’ll have Rosaries at Canterbury and the Archbishop of York will be granting indulgences. How the world turns.

    • Martin

      PP

      So why would you think that Protestants don’t hold to that view? Trouble is, it has to be what God has said, not what men have made up.

      • Fred

        As a lifelong protestant; I recognize PP has tongue firmly in cheek which raises a smile. If the CofE does split: this is issue which will decide where my household goes. For me the book of Job spells it out clearly: we don’t get to renegotiate with God as our worlds fashion change.

        • Martin

          Fred

          I’m not convinced he has. But you are right, we are the creature, we don’t get to negotiate anything.

    • Eustace

      Well how convenient for heterosexuals that God should be straight then.

      And you don’t think they created him in their image?

      Personally I think Beeching is a bleating nutcase. What gay person in her right mind would want to join a homophobic cult and then think that all she has to do to change it is become one of its witchdoctors?

      The woman needs her head examining if she thinks she can alter the basic homophobia of a bunch of homophobes. Their hatred and rejection of us is so visceral they conjured up a god to incarnate it. What better definition of “incorrigible” could there be?

      • disqus_N9Jawtu8Uw

        I am very surprised that you think that you alone know God well enough to describe God as straight! Nobody else knows God that well!

        • Eustace

          Leviticus tells us what God thinks of homosexuality. Jesus tells us what he things of opposite sex marriage. If that doesn’t add up to a heterosexual deity, I don’t know what other clue you need.

      • len

        I thought you must be quite attached to this ‘homophobic cult’ Eustace as you cannot seem to keep away?.

      • Anton

        Well, Eustace, you might not understand Christians but you understand our scriptures better than Vicky Beeching does.

        • Eustace

          Beeching is that most miserable of beings: a gay person who claims she’s happy being gay but who really, (not so) secretly wants to be part of the straights’ club. All she wants is for you to bend the rules so she can join, but you just don’t want to let her sort in, do you? Either she has to admit that she’s your inferior, at which point you might toss her the odd crumb, or she has to go.

          And she, the silly woman, wastes her time bleating about it! Who does she think is going to pity her? You certainly won’t. And the LGBT community at large will just tell her to stop embarrassing herself by begging a bunch of homophobes to love her.

          • Anton

            The church is not “the straights’ club”. It is the Christ club. All else is secondary to that.

          • Eustace

            If everything were secondary to Christ then straights would declare themselves celibate and reject marriage and sexual relations as unnecessary for their salvation.

            Christianity would die out within a generation if it demanded of you what it demands of us.

            Christianity exists to sanctify your way of life and demonize all others. It was imagined by straights, for straights. It is indeed a straights’ club.

          • Anton

            Marriage and sexual relations are indeed unnecessary for personal salvation, but once you are saved Christ has tasks for you. Also some people come to Christ who are already married, and He respects that bond.

      • Nessa

        I think that the early church was created so gay men had somewhere to live free from scrutiny to be quite honest – I certainly don’t see the church as being run just by straight men; it’s more men pretending to be straight a lot of the time from my observations.

        • Eustace

          Gay priests are not representative of the LGBT community. They’re poor, twisted characters suffering from Stockholm syndrome. Uncle Toms in a dog collar, which seems appropriate.

          Once they’ve been pitied, they have to be treated like the miserable turncoats they are. Rejected by their own community and treated like social pariahs by the Church, they’ll reap the fruits of their labours in due time.

    • TIME to CTRL ALT & DEL

      For a Christian to be conformed to God may be painful at first as we let go of our favourite evil
      However it leads us to liberty in Christ which is for forfeited if we return to the bondage of sin.
      There is no bondage in Christ who invites us to come to him for rest.

    • Anglicanism was always a bit of a halfway hous anyway.

      I’ll now hide from the flak.

  • len

    The road to Hell is paved with ‘good intentions’ and I am sure that some people with ‘good intentions’ are attempting to bring the Church into line with ‘modern thinking’.
    But;
    ‘The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith
    and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.'(1Timothy 4;1)

    It was ‘demonic persuasion’ that led the very first couple into rebellion against God done with ‘good intentions’ no doubt in the quest for’ liberation’ which led them not into freedom but into demonic bondage.

  • Phil

    Vicky was right to raise inconsistencies, but as others have said already:
    1. All have sinned
    2.There are standards for leaders to be compared to, if you are not able to live up to them how can you lead a church (paul asks that about being fathers and their children)
    3. If someone insists on physically acting out their desires which the bible forbids, should they be allowed to lead a church? If they resist temptation and “die to their self” not having sex outside of marriage, committing offences against vulnerable others, then their “incarnational” lives can be examples of christ-like living
    4. We will all be called to account on how we spent our earthly lives on judgement day but leaders will be called to account for how they lead or deceived the followers who were made responsible for (a vicar told me he was told that he would be called to account on his parishioners salvation)

    • dannybhoy

      Not only that, but the true Church should be offering friendship and fellowship to all who own and serve the Lord Jesus Christ. There are Christian communities and missions where singles can feel accepted and loved whilst serving God.

      • Phil

        that is what boggles my mind about the existence of LGBT churches they should not exist at all, people should be welcome in any church regardless of their sexual preference, but having groups of people following a deception whilst worshipping God, isn’t conducive either

        • dannybhoy

          Phil, I spent a wonderful five years in YWAM as a member of staff. Christian community living with a focus on discipleship and evangelism is a wonderful experience -not without its moments.
          My point is that a single Christian person who really wants to serve God can find a wonderful level of agape love and fellowship in such a setting. Individual churches are much more difficult. If a church has a core majority of people who love and serve Him, anybody can come into a church like that and find acceptance.
          If however the core of the congregation is more focussed on religion, ritual and outward conformity, forget it.

          • Phil

            if the congregation is more about ritual, rules and religiosity, then it is not a christ-following church its a house of pharisees and saducees. Jesus preached love and not judging, so should we

          • disqus_N9Jawtu8Uw

            Whilst it is true that “Jesus preached love and not judging…” The meaning of love does NOT mean sexual activity. This gross, unreasonable, deliberate misrepresentation needs to stop.

          • The Explorer

            Yes and no. Jesus may have told us not to judge others (whatever that means) but he had a lot to say about judgment. Sheep and goats? Fear Him who can destroy both body and soul in Hell? In fact, He will administer the Last Judgement. “I hold the keys of death and Hades.”

  • Hannah

    Assuming charitably that this blog post is – as it claims – not intended to be a personal attack on Vicky, but a reasoned critique of why you have difficulties with the theology of ordination you think she is advancing, it is a pity that this non-personal attack (so-called) seems to involve an awful lot of making of windows into souls, and judging harshly. It is also a pity that many other contributors are deaf to your plea not to attack her personally. And you judge (from behind your revered dead pseudonym) why LGBTI people in the church are fearful of their basic well-being?

    • dannybhoy

      It’s still Shabbes Hannah. Should you be posting?

      • CliveM

        There is more then one Hannah in this world!

        • dannybhoy

          Hannah’s the only forthright girl I know..

          • CliveM

            Not her Avatar.

          • dannybhoy

            Not know Avatar. Is a friend of Avraham?

          • Dreadnaught

            I do not even think that poster is female.

          • dannybhoy

            Hannah’s a boy – like in Yentl?

          • Dreadnaught

            No – just some saddo who likes to indulge his imagination into thinking all that we read we accept as true and genuine. You must have seen those perv types who groom kids by pretending to talk like them.

      • Hi Danny

        That post you are responding to . Nothing to do with me!

        • dannybhoy

          I do remember it was Vicki Beeching that brought us together Hannah, so I figured perhaps you had broken Shabbat to speak up on the issue.
          Brachim Ravim, I hope you’re all keeping well.

    • carl jacobs

      that this non-personal attack (so-called) seems to involve an awful lot of making of windows into souls, and judging harshly.

      Hannah

      Please present specific instances from the OP to substantiate this charge. I do not see it.

    • Inspector General

      Just leave the church. Just walk away. Set up your own LGBTIA-whatever where you can do what you like and nobody will give a damn. Conduct services naked and sacrifice chickens on an altar if you must. What’s stopping you all! Just leave the rest of us be…

      • Nessa

        I suggested splitting off as a separate sect to the lady this article is about, via twitter – no response – as expected – how very Christian of her!

      • Nessa

        You forget that offending conservative/traditionalist Christians is half the fun for these people

  • dannybhoy

    Smirk.

  • dannybhoy

    big :0)

  • John Pike

    This article is the ultimate in irony. You start by saying that: “Please don’t attack her personally: she’s been through enough” but then launch into one of the most vituperative personal attacks on anyone I have ever seen. You later write about “serving rather than defeating our theological opponents” and how “Jesus is concerned with grace, peace, reconciliation and infinite blessing”. Your article is the exact opposite of all these things. You make no allowance for the fact that a very large number of scholars and clergy would disagree with your view of scripture and that the C of E has been engaged in shared conversations to address the myriad of pastoral issues that arise. You may wish to reflect on your comments in the light of the real Archbishop’s comments recently about the “horror” and sleepless nights he had experienced as a result of the appalling treatment of LGBT people. Your article comes close to the nadir. I suggest you take your views back to 1500, where they belong.

    • The Explorer

      What would God’s view of Scripture be, in your view?

      • John Pike

        Certainly not writing articles like this.

        • The Explorer

          Sorry? You think Cranmer’s article is a piece of scripture?

          I fear I did not make myself clear. Let me attempt to remedy the situation.

          “a very large number of scholars and clergy would disagree with your view of scripture.” Do you think God would also disagree with Cranmer’s view of Scripture? If so, on what basis? What would God’s view of scripture be?

          • John Pike

            Of course it’s not scripture. There are 6-7 texts about homoeroticism in scripture, as compared to numerous references about not judging or oppressing other people. I stand by original claim that this was a nasty and personal attack.

          • CliveM

            Standing by your position is easy. Supporting it seems to be harder

          • John Pike

            See my comment above.

          • CliveM

            See Carl’s comment.

          • William Lewis

            References?

          • The Explorer

            Thank you for responding. Your argument seems to be akin to having a pair of scales. On one side, put the critical statements. On the other, put the statements about loving and not judging. There are more of those, and their combined weight therefore means that we can ignore the homophobic statements.

            Two further questions.

            1. Were the homophobic statements God’s will at one time, but now superseded by injunctions to love one another? (Sort of like the Islamic abrogation principle?)

            2. Were the homophobic statements never God’s will, but human thoughts uttered in the time of ignorance?

          • carl jacobs

            There is to my knowledge only one verse prohibiting people from burning their children in the fires of Molech. Do I need more?

          • The Explorer

            There’s more than one reference to the priests of Baal. So by John’s logic, burn away.

          • Tragically, a few years down the line, you may.

        • Nessa

          Have you written any articles yourself?

    • carl jacobs

      I suggest you take your views back to 1500, where they belong.

      Oh look! More shared conversation and good disagreement.

      • John Pike

        I’m all for shared conversation and good disagreement but this article is not compatible with either of those things.

        • carl jacobs

          Then please explain why. Cite specific examples from the OP to make your case

          • John Pike

            See above

        • Palamas

          So you just reply in kind. How civilized and mature of you.

    • Uncle Brian

      one of the most vituperative personal attacks on anyone I have ever seen.

      No, it isn’t a personal attack at all. Cranmer is writing about what Vicky Beeching has written, not about who she is. He has said nothing at all about her as a person, apart from the information that she herself has already chosen to share with Guardian readers.

      • John Pike

        I object to “carnal fulfilment” and “promiscuous perverts”. This is not what the debate is about at all.

        • carl jacobs

          You may want to quote Scripture to promiscuous perverts and they might seek to highlight the truth of your homophobic bigotry

          He used the phrase as a caricature of the polarized debate. That’s why it was offset with “homophobic bigotry”. Did you really not understand this?

          The Church does not exist to affirm our emotions or meet our physical needs and wants; it is concerned preeminently with salvation and the well-being of the soul, focusing on divine love, as manifested in Christ. It is about sacrifice and surrender, transformation and renewal; not carnal fulfilment or temporal well-being.

          This is a universal statement. The reference to “carnal desire” is a reference that applies to all men. It is not specifically focused on homosexuals. And the statement happens to be true. You are seriously constraining the point he is making in order to find fault with it.

        • Nessa

          You don’t get to define what other people think I’m afraid

        • Martin

          John

          That is precisely what the debate is about.

      • Diane

        A statement such as “to suit your selfish ends” seems very judgemental and personal in my opinion.

      • Veronica Zundel

        Er… nothing at all about her as a person? How about ‘selfish ends’ and ‘promiscuous perverts’?

    • The Explorer

      Why 1500 particularly?

      • Anton

        Because he wrote that at 1615?

        • John Pike

          Because that’s when the original Archbihop Cranmer lived

    • Pubcrawler

      “one of the most vituperative personal attacks on anyone I have ever seen”

      Then you have lived a very sheltered life.

      • CliveM

        I was going to say that!

  • Dreadnaught

    Going by some unfamiliar names, the Hue and Cry has been raised.

    • dannybhoy

      Or the ‘Who and Why?’

    • len

      Well and truly ….the barricades of the church are being stormed and demands are being issued

    • Nessa

      After experiencing the pace of the server hosting this blog, I doubt they’ll be back!

  • len

    Man is re- making the church in his own image….I am sure Christ is not welcome there He is far to radical bigoted and Judgemental.
    No wonder Christ stands at the door and knocks!.

  • carl jacobs

    Many have come to make accusations, but not one – not even one – has bothered to even try to substantiate the charge. It is after all much easier to shout “vituperative” than it is to prove it.

    • dannybhoy

      ?
      Second wind?

    • The Explorer

      I have three questions I posed that are as yet unanswered. I fear they’re going to remain that way.

      • carl jacobs

        If they attempted to prove the charge, they would reveal that it is the theology itself they find “vituperative” and not the way it has been expressed. And that would expose the sham of “good disagreement” for what it is.

  • len

    Telling the truth will become’ hate speech.’…especially if you are one of those Christians who still believe God means what he says…..

    • Inspector General

      Come on Len. You and your sandwich board are both under arrest…

      • len

        Oh no you’re not taking my sandwich board….never..

        • Inspector General

          As Len was led away in chains, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who just happened to be passing, shouted out at him. “Let’s see your God get you out of that then!”

  • len

    I suppose the Church has reached a major point in its history much as it did in the time of the Reformation.

    Man wants to reform the Church to make it ‘more acceptable’ to those defined as ‘sinners’ by the Word of God.So the Church has to become ‘Politically Correct ‘ and dares not call anyone’ a sinner’ .The church give its service users’ a feel good factor’ and lets them leave the church after a gathering feeling a warm fuzzy glow that they are acceptable and loved.
    But this is useless for the purposes of salvation!.

    Jesus said Repent! .Repent of your sinful lives(whatever the sin was) Be changed by the New Birth and Follow Me.
    Jesus died a agonising death on the Cross so that we united in His Death could be raised with Him to New Life with Him.That is Love. ..all else is so much rubbish.

    • If the Church becomes politically correct, warm and fuzzy, then there is no point in it’s being. it might as well shut up shop.

      • Nessa

        it already is to a massive extent in my opinion.

      • len

        God says as much ;
        “You
        are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can
        it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be
        thrown out and trampled underfoot.” Matthew 5:13-16

  • Martin

    Cranmer

    I will say your new incarnation seems incredibly slow to navigate. The slider bar on Chrome just doesn’t seem to work. I’ve just tried Firefox with similar results.

    • dannybhoy

      I shall try it on my iMac.. (smuggo)

    • carl jacobs

      I have had the same experience. But it works wonderfully on my phone.

      • Hi Carl. Can you let me know what browser and OS you’re using? You can normally get the browser version number by going to Help > About in the menu. For example, I use Chrome 53.0.2 on Windows. This will help me narrow down the issue.

        • carl jacobs

          Chrome 52.0.2743.116 m on Windows.

    • Uncle Brian

      … And sometimes, though not always, the comments thread jiggles up and down at a rate of about once a second.

      Not slow to navigate, though. On the contrary, appreciably quicker than the untransubstantiated Disqus.

    • Hi Martin – what version of Chrome are you using? Also, are you using Windows or Mac? You can find the version by going to Help > About in the menu. For example I’m using Chrome 53.0.2 on Windows 10. This will help us narrow down the issue. Thanks.

      • Inspector General

        Don’t know what you’ve done, that chap, but’s alright right now, as the song goes…One presumes a plug wasn’t fully in…plug to socket is correct. Plug to plug is desperately erroneous. And as for socket to socket!

        • Great, thanks for letting me know!

          • Martin

            Mike

            Still slow for me.

          • Inspector General

            It’s always about YOU, isn’t it, Martin…

          • Martin

            IG

            Yup.

          • What flavour of Linux are you using? Any better if you try an alternative browser? Also, as a test, would you try disabling JavaScript for His Grace’s site and seeing if that improves things? With this we are trying to establish if the issue is potentially with the version of the JavaScript engine that comes with Linux.

          • Martin

            Mike

            As I mentioned above, I disabled some Amazon scripts and it is fine.

        • Martin

          IG

          Naughty.

      • Uncle Brian

        Me too — like the Inspector, mine is working fine now. The jiggling hasn’t started again yet, in the half-hour since I posted that comment.

      • carl jacobs

        Me three. Its working properly now.

      • Martin

        Mike

        I’m using Linux, none of this conformist stuff for me.

        As someone else has said, it seems so slow.

        • Martin

          OK, fixed it, blocked some Amazon scripts.

  • Barbara

    Hilarious to hear somebody from the Church of England go on and on about “submission to the church.” I seem to recall a bit of disobedience several centuries ago that actually created the CofE in the first place.

    But certainly THAT was different. Of course…..

    • len

      God works in mysterious ways……Good brought out of bad etc

    • magnolia

      Um…ah….well, it was different actually wasn’t it? Different century, different theological issues, not one single person in that dramatis personae still alive…

      In fact it is harder to see what is the same than the vast acreage of the difference in context…….and I come down to England, though even that is not defined quite the same……

    • Martin

      Barbara

      The Church is the gathering of God’s people. I think you are referring to certain persons who chose to usurp the place of both the Church and the Bible and claim supremacy over both. What you are referring to is the return of Scripture as the authority over God’s Church.

      • Barbara

        No, I’m referring to “obedience to Church authority” referenced in this article – which was exactly what the Church of England didn’t do.

        One law for me, another for thee – and thus shall it ever be. Don’t worry: most people have no interest in the CofE. You’ll be able to enjoy your purity in peace.

        P.S.: “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you.” http://biblehub.com/matthew/21-31.htm

        • Martin

          Barbara

          The only authority is the Bible, of which the 39 Articles say:

          VI. Of the Sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures for Salvation.
          Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation. In the name of the Holy Scripture we do understand those canonical Books of the Old and New Testament, of whose authority was never any doubt in the Church.

  • Brittany Smith

    Vicky is a shining example of what Christ intended for the Church. If anything, the white-man’s view on people as a whole, regardless of color, religion, gender or sexuality, has been far off from what Jesus preached. I see Jesus more in the hearts of those who love than any of those that claim that “love” is a political correctness. Honestly, if people would like to believe that they have been blessed with a sexuality that is “in-line” with God, and that their all loving God would condemn LGBT people because of a tantrum of going “that’s not what I planned for your body parts” then you need to ask yourself what type of God you worship. I believe in a God of love, that sent his son down to prove that love. This love is the same love I see shared amongst many in the LGBT community. Jesus’s love is genderless, and so is the love that many people share. Thank God the church is moving towards love, the church has been in the dark for way too long.

    • Shane Osmond

      Amen. Wonderfully said.

    • Inspector General

      Madam. One expects you benefit from ‘the white-man’s view’ in your day to day life. If you don’t particularly care for his civilisation, then please do go to some country where his influence is nil. And then view everything again…

      • Brittany Smith

        I found the racist!

        • Inspector General

          How incredibly beastly for you, my dear.

    • The Explorer

      “I believe in a God of love, that sent his son down to prove that love.”

      Fair enough. How did the son prove that love? Words? Deeds? Both?

      • Brittany Smith

        Both sir. Both. When logically people can only get down to only that God thinks homosexuality is a sin is because he didn’t make parts fit that way, than you need to wonder if you’re worshipping a God of compassion and love, or a toddler who doesn’t get his way. I literally laugh, yes LAUGH, when people compare homosexuality to any sin. Because obviously murder, obsessive drinking, adultery, all are negative and have negative, logical, consequences ….. loving someone the same way as straight people love their spouse is not a sin. God condemns sexual promiscuity amongst gay or straight people, as well as sexual cult acts, as it was in the Bible. God has NOTHING to say about two loving, Christian gay people.

        • The Explorer

          “Amazing love, how can it be, that thou my God shoulds’t die for me.” What is Wesley getting at here?

    • IanCad

      Brittany,
      As best I recall God created them male and female. Also, to deviate from the created order, is roundly condemned in the written word.
      We are under Caesar’s rule, and in that state, all are equal under the law. The LBGT+!?%£ community is well protected from the primitive assaults of those who wish them harm.
      It seems that equitable situation is not enough? The next step will be an insistence (through the agency of government) to force churches to marry all those of the above persuasions who wish to contract into a permanent state of unity.
      I do hope such will not come to pass.

      • Brittany Smith

        Oh yes, he also said that a woman shall leave and become one with her husband, until God also condoned polygamy and incest. Here’s the thing….it’s not that hard to understand that when you only have two characters at the beginning of the story, that they’re going to be together….does that mean other characters are going to follow in the same footsteps? No. The Bible, yes the BIBLE, has proved that over in tenfold. To think that God could use the love of two gay people in his ministry seems to boggle the mind of many people, it’s like they haven’t even read the Bible…..

    • chefofsinners

      A little study of the various words used for ‘love’ in New Testament Greek will reveal that the love of God for mankind is not at all the same as the love which you see in the LGBT community.

      • Brittany Smith

        Oh yes, it’s impossible for gay people, heterosexuals, parents or teachers to have any agape love. You thought I didn’t know the greek translations…. do you know what love is sir?

        • Joe Stocker

          Yes of course gay people, heterosexuals, parents or teachers can have agape love. Agape love can even be found in the context of same-sex relationships. People are complex beings – but the eros part of same-sex relationships is not a Christian option. It is sin.

          • Brittany Smith

            Can you please point out to me in the Bible where it says that Eros love between a gay couple is a sin? Please, it would just solve everything! Now, don’t get confused with the homosexual references of lust, because that isn’t Eros. Please point out to me where there were two loving homosexuals in a relationship, and God said that is a sin.

          • Joe Stocker

            I could – the usual 6 “clobber verses” – but you would dispute them.

            I know in LGBT rainbow unicorn fairy land a great many gay Christians are all about committed, loving relationships without a trace of the mucky lust stuff – but hey, I’m gay myself, so I don’t pay much attention to that balderdash.

          • Brittany Smith

            You are correct in saying that I would dispute the clobber passages, as so many have done prior. Orgy sex, and sex to worship fertility Gods are very different than the soul bonding that gay people have in a union of love. As someone who is also in your shoes, I would suggest researching and coming to your own conclusion as opposed to the churches. The church has many things skewed, and you can only rely on what the Holy Spirit is telling you.

          • Joe Stocker

            I lived a (never set foot in a church) normal gay life for 20 years and the Holy Spirit told me it was all wrong

          • Brittany Smith

            If that is what you think, than live that way. Many have felt differently. All I can say is that society has an awful way of brain washing our psych. A prime example is the lack of abhorrent confliction between people who have sex before marriage as opposed to being gay. It’s much more concrete not to have sex in the Bible before marriage, but people live their lives freely due to society regardless.

          • Joe Stocker

            I do live that way but I don’t see it as conforming to a personal narrative (i’d happily do the opposite). The traditional Christian sexual ethic is a moral standard that applies to all – irrespective of whether anyone can or wants to live their life in accordance with it.

            Maintaining the teaching is important to me. I do realise that my own experience is atypical and that the majority of people who identify as gay and Christian have very different stories to tell (whether they are affirming of non-affirming)

    • Nessa

      Jesus was a man – stop changing the story to suit your own ends please and set up your own religion if Christianity isn’t to your liking!

      • Brittany Smith

        And God….. and yes, my liking is reading the whole Bible in context. Thanks 🙂

    • Joe Stocker

      Vicky is 21st century, very middle class, white woman so her views must be more progressive than a 1st century Jewish man. Jesus was a nice guy but surely he must have been a typical of-his-age bigoted a-hole?

      • carl jacobs

        No, actually Jesus was a proto-hippee (peace, free love, funny herbs, what’s work) but then Paul got hold of his message. It was Paul who was the “typical of-his-age bigoted a-hole”. Surely you understand that modern scholarship has established this. Just ask any professor of religion. 😉

        • Brittany Smith

          Loud clapping

          • carl jacobs

            Ummm … you understand that was sarcasm. Right?

          • Brittany Smith

            You understand I was being sarcastic? 0_o lol

    • I too believe in a God of love that demonstrated his love in giving his son. I believe in a holy and righteous God who hates sin. I believe in a God who burns with holy wrath as he looks on wilful sin and rebellion against him. I believe in a God whose love gpled him to give his Son to die that he might deliver rebels from their rebellion and enable them to live lives that reflect the holiness he delights in.

      • Brittany Smith

        Oh boy. Sounds like you worship a dictator that will throw you into the pits of a hell if you go against his word. Think about this – if parens who are able to accept their son or daughter who is gay and love them, forgive, and welcome into their home with welcome arms, than what does that say about the type of God that you envisioned in the Bible?

        • But Brittany, this is the God of the Bible. It’s not my misguided understanding of him. Every church confession describes God as I have. There is virtual unanimity over 2000 years on this.

          You are taking part of what the bible says and ignoring the rest. You can’t do this. To refuse to believe the bits you don’t want to believe makes the parts you do want to believe completely suspect. If vast swathes of the bible message are mistaken and grotesque why should any of it be true?

          I have much more respect for the integrity of those who say it is all baloney than those who wish to hold to the feel good bits while writing off the hard bits. To do that is schizophrenic. It is dishonest and derisory.

          • Brittany Smith

            Here’s the thing, there is more than enough evidence that proves that the Bible has been tampered with to push an agenda. Events alone in the Bible contradict, and Paul is by far the most contradictory to what Jesus clearly said. To disagree is to fiend ignorance. I also am human enough, and not arrogant enough to understand that there is a lot of misguided context, and mistranslations in the Bible. I have studied the Greek text and have already seen a copious amount of mistranslated words in our own English texts. This is just simply a fact.

            That being said, there are many Christian denominations, including the one I am in, that understand that message of the Bible, and have “faith” in Jesus that was promised to us. I believe in the message of Jesus, and some of the stories I take with a grain of salt at times because as a Theologian I understand that me and my peers simply dont understand exactly what the heck the text is talking about.

            It’s not being schizophrenic, it’s being a scholar and a Christian. It’s about having faith and not blindly following something. It’s about trusting in pure love and Jesus.

            I fear for people that believe all the mistranslations of the Bible without questioning it. It’s the same people that fought in crusades and murdered innocence in the name of “what the Bible says.”

            I am not one of those people. i do what Jesus asked me to do, which is to love. That was his only commandment. I follow Jesus, not the mistranslated, warped words of men.

          • Sorry Brittany, you’re kidding yourself. If you believe all references to a holy, righteous God who hates sin and is filled with holy wrath towards it are the result of mistranslation or are part of these strange and incomprehensible stories you can with your superior knowledge safely ignore then you have precious little of the bible left. Little wonder you think that jesus’ only commandment was to love; you have excised most of what he says.

            It’s amazing how all these different translations we have today that are virtually the same have all got it seriously wrong and are part of a conspiracy of misinformation and misdirection. Thankfully we have you and a few peers who know better and can enlighten us. Forgive my skepticism Brittany. Forgive me for wondering how credulous you are to believe this. And how credulous you are to believe you have discovered the real Jesus hidden in a book which is largely nonsense and prejudice.

          • Brittany Smith

            Did you read my post about how no one can know this because of all the mistranslations?

            The only thing we can know is that we don’t know, and to rely on faith and faith alone.

            But whatever, believe in the type of type of Christian God that has less love than humans have for one another on this planet.

            I will continue to believe in the God, and the Holy Spirit around us that has thankfully, and will thankfully, push this primitive mindset in the past. Give it a 100 years, and this topic will be viewed the same as slavery. Thanks be to God!

          • So you believe in a Jesus who can only be found (apart from a couple of other fleeting other references) in the pages of the bible. Yet this bible is comprehensively unreliable and untrustworthy. This is folly.

          • dannybhoy

            We weigh up what the Bible teaches in context. There are absolutes and there are Godly interventions, as in the story pf Naaman the leper worshipping an idol.
            If you dilute the the teachings of the Bible so as to make it more palatable. you end up with nothing.

          • SometimesWise

            Brittany – how do you know about Jesus’ command, if not for the Bible. I don’t get it – you can pick out the one most important thing, and choose to reject the rest – how can you know that the One Thing is true if we must question all? My head hurts.

          • Brittany Smith

            Do you not watch or read anything that is based on a real life event and get a message or gist of it without everything being 100% factual?

            The same goes for the Bible, and not that any of it is false, but that it’s been passed through so many hands that the message is the same, but the wording has been altered along the way. Much of the Bible is just historical documentation, and some of the documentation is off because there are several accounts of the same thing with different events happening. Again, the message the same, with a few minor errors here or there.

            Also, one must read the Bible as a historical document some of the time to understand it. There is much symbolism in the Bible that has been either taken literally, or altered to fit a certain interoperation because the reader did not understand the context. No one today is going to argue women speaking out in the church or interracial marriage (despite it saying it directly in the Bible) because we been able to study and understand a little more of the context. But just like this issue, there was a lot of push-back.

            It’s not so much a rejection, but an understanding that some pieces might not fit right, and that it’s okay as a human to not understand 100%

          • SometimesWise

            Oh, I understand what you’re saying – maybe the whole “earth was created in 6 days then God needed a nap” is probably allegorical and all that. I also hear you saying that you accept that Jesus is God, and somehow came to the earth to … teach us to love oneanother, (which is an *outrageous* concept – I mean the whole God coming to earth) but all the other stuff has to be taken with a grain of salt. Just the stuff that you can understand is OK. My question is really,”How do you decide which stuff is OK to believe and which is not?” Frankly, this leads right back to Genesis, with the serpent challenging the word of God to Adam and Eve.

          • Brittany Smith

            Because you study the context and time of the Bible with the understanding of our world. Some things you HAVE to question out of the literal context. For example, one cannot argue that the Earth is only 5,000 years old when we have science. Does that mean the Bible is false? No. It just means that we, as people, have to admit that we don’t exactly understand everything that the Bible was trying to get across. Truthfully, no one can point out what’s okay and what’s not, you have to trust in the Holy Spirit for answers for dilemmas such as this one where there is no clear answer, or if science contradicts.

          • SometimesWise

            OK, so it isn’t the Word of God. If that is your “understanding”, then so be it. Obviously the Holy Spirit tells lots of people different things, so we’ll just leave it at that, I guess. The earth being created in a day is one thing, could be metaphorical, I guess. I don’t think that is important, a vital factor in how we should live our lives. His moral laws, however, were pretty clear – he didn’t dictate polygamy or incest, and most of the time things didn’t turn out well when folks went their own way – did they?
            The whole issue of homosexual sex was not a mystery to the writers of the Bible – Paul was an educated man, quite familiar with cultures who approved of homosexual relationships – even life-long, loving relationships. The Prophets lived among cultures that condoned and approved all sorts of behaviors that God directly spoke against. God said that the behavior was not what he had for us, and was not in line with His will for us as a loving God – and I don’t see anywhere in the Bible or 5000+ years of Judaeo-Christian history where any follower of God said that it was OK – nothing – not a peep. The Bible and Jesus’ life were FULL of counter-cultural things – speaking to strange women, “working” on the Sabbath, declaring that He was God – stuff like that. Don’t you think that if God had a plan for same-sex attracted people to have sexual relationships, if he thought that this was GOOD – He would have found some way to make it clear? I think He would, so I take Him at His Word.

          • Brittany Smith

            Paul also spoke out against women in power or speaking in the Church – do you agree with him? Tricky stuff.

            Thing is, Paul doesn’t condone it either, he doesn’t talk about gay couples, but only ever references to homosexual acts in orgies. It’s pushing it from anyone when we say “he said this” or “he said that”. Paul could have just used the word for homosexuals at the time and been like “hey, any form of this is wrong” but he didn’t. In fact, he made up a word for a particular group of homosexual activity, he coined his own word, instead of just using the Greek word for homosexuals. That to me almost proves the opposite of your statement – why wouldn’t Paul outright just use the word? Why did he need to make his own word for the act? Why wouldn’t he made it clear right there and then – because perhaps, and again I’m equally not one to say I know any better, it’s because there are exceptions and he knew not to outright say homosexuals.

          • SometimesWise

            No, if you indeed study the context and the culture, he mentions that women should not speak in church – but then he also talks about women prophesying and teaching – indeed tricky stuff. Seems contradict himself, doesn’t he. Yes he coined his own word for a person giving or receiving sexual contact from a person of the same sex, and was quite specific about it being a deal-breaker – along with adultery, thieving, lying, drunkenness, and other things that will bar a person from entering the Kingdom. He seemed to equate the behaviors as equally dire. Perhaps he was trying, on purpose, to express that the act itself, regardless of the motivation (ritual sex acts as opposed to a loving relationship) was to be avoided. I’m sure that the culture that he lived in had different words for the behaviors, depending on their motivation.
            The long and the short of it is – how do YOU know – different from everyone else – that homosexual behavior is approved by God? When has it ever been part of the Christian or Jewish culture? Why would God wait 2000 years to let us know – with his children tormented – that oh by the way, this is OK? Are we just ever so much smarter than those folks back then? Wouldn’t a loving God, who breathed live into our bodies and spoke the world into existence, let all those people know that He thought this was OK? I don’t like that idea at all – that He would wait for our enlightened selves to bring in this new revelation.

          • Brittany Smith

            That’s why I said I am not one to state I know, but can only come on a consensus based on what I do know.

            Well, how do you feel about slavery, interracial marriage, women in roles of power, the Earth being flat or the center of the universe? Did God wait for our enlightened selves to come to this understanding? This was part of cultures back then till very recently as well.

            I like to think that yes, enlightened on better understanding what the Bible meant and reading within context.

          • SometimesWise

            No, I don’t think that the scriptures were free of cultural influences, or free from the scientific ignorance of the people to whom He revealed His word. I do believe that things that are “necessary to salvation” are included there, and we are not called to rewrite it to meet our own needs.

          • Brittany Smith

            But that would be picking and choosing what IS culturally or scientifically ignorant at that time versus what is always true.

            That’s also easy for us to say when we didn’t live in a time where if we were born a certain color or class that we would be slaves, and slavers could reach salvation without a bit of remorse for some of the horrific things they’ve done.

          • SometimesWise

            Bless your heart, bringing up slavery, what next, shellfish? I don’t propose to explain why He has allowed the things He does, cancer and birth defects and ordering his people to kill everyone in a city down to the last child. I do know and believe that He said what He meant to say. I am afraid that we will have to agree to disagree. Peace.

          • Brittany Smith

            That might seem like a copout but it’s simply the truth that people need to accept. It’s okay that we don’t know everything, and yes, things contradict in the Bible – this is why having a relationship with Christ and the Holy Spirit is important and why the Bible states so.

  • CliveM

    I have to say some of the people attacking the post, don’t seem to have read it very carefully. It’s as if they’ve been told what’s been said, then didn’t bother to check.

    All a little coordinated.

    • Shane Osmond

      They’ve read it and disagree, don’t be ridiculous and try and make this something that it is not just because you don’t agree with their opinion.

      • carl jacobs

        Now if only they could justify their opinions …

      • CliveM

        Oh and what is my opinion?

      • Pubcrawler

        “don’t be ridiculous and try and make this something that it is not just because you don’t agree with their opinion”

        You might want to point that out to Jayne Ozanne before she goes bleating to the cops about ‘hate crime’.

        Oops, too late…

        • Inspector General

          God news, Pubcrawler. The CPS have decided not to prosecute the Inspector General as it’s not in the public interest to do so. However, they are going to proceed with the names on the list he gave them. Thirty four souls in total, plus one sandwich board…and a site moderator…

          • chefofsinners

            How could it not be in the public interest to prosecute you? They can double my taxes if they need money.

          • Inspector General

            Some people are ga {Ahem} unimpeachable. ‘Get over it!’

    • Pubcrawler

      Twitter may have something to do with it.

    • The Explorer

      Remember that visit from nogods and his coterie? Same sort of thing.

      • Pubcrawler

        Oooo, weren’t they fun!

        • The Explorer

          They were great.

          • chefofsinners

            They were cannon fodder. Bless their tiny minds.

      • CliveM

        Who could forget!

  • Shane Osmond

    Vicky is a far better message of the love of God than is exemplified in this hypocritical article, that is for certain. May God continue to use her as a beacon of love, hope, and light to a very dark world. A dark world that the Church must go out into, as she does, instead of focusing on itself.

    • The Explorer

      As a matter of interest, why do you believe in a God of love? Why shouldn’t God exist, but be vindictive and cruel?

    • Uncle Brian

      No, there is nothing hypocritical in Cranmer’s OP.

    • Nessa

      So she should try and set up her own separate sect for gay people, as I suggested to her on Twitter, but she ignored me. People generally set up Christian sects when their teachings veer off from the mainstream too far. You could get on with it and be as Christian as you like away from the rest if us awful people. I suspect there’s plenty of gay people who are fine with the CofE as it is though – they just tend to be quieter.

      • Pubcrawler

        Ignored, or reported to the fuzz?

        • Nessa

          Try it mate. I’ve got an Asperger’s Syndrome diagnosis – think you’ll find you will end up looking worse for picking on a vulnerable adult! We can all have our fking card to play!

          • Pubcrawler

            Eh?

          • Nessa

            Don’t threaten me

          • Pubcrawler

            Where did I do that?

          • Nessa

            “Ignored, or reported to the fuzz?”

          • Pubcrawler

            How is that a threat?

          • Nessa

            I’ve said nothing wrong; you imply I did with your comment.

          • Pubcrawler

            Did I say you had?

          • Nessa

            the implication was there that I was sailing close to the wind

          • Pubcrawler

            No, it was that some people (such as the person you tweeted) might think that.

          • Nessa

            let him – I find these people never even want to debate a subject, just stop anyone saying stuff they disagree with. Sorry I over-reacted.

          • Pubcrawler

            So do you accept that I did not threaten you?

          • Nessa

            Yes – sorry

          • Pubcrawler

            Thank you. Matter closed.

          • carl jacobs

            Pubcrawler is on your side. Look before you pull the trigger.

          • chefofsinners

            Are you saying she ‘pulled’ my mate Trigger? Take that back.

          • The Explorer

            Linus/Eustace pulled him.

          • chefofsinners

            Linus pulled a horse? Careful. He’ll report you to the police.

          • Inspector General

            Actually, he pulled a young fellow half his age and bummed him. Horrendous business.

          • The Explorer

            Perfectly innocuous statement. He pulled him because he couldn’t ride him.

          • CliveM

            Does anyone remember all his names? We should have a competition.

          • The Explorer

            Eight, I think. Can’t remember the exact order, but Linus, In Perfect Ignorance, Spongebob Squarepants, Tanaka? (Japanese artist, anyway) , Bob: citizen of the world, Tutanekai, Finderato, Eustace.

          • Pubcrawler

            Stop summoning him!!!!

          • carl jacobs

            Trigger was a horse. Is this another example of inscrutable British humor?

          • Nessa

            Trigger is a character out of a sitcom called ‘Only Fools and Horses’

          • dannybhoy

            Trigger was a road sweeper Carl. Only two legs and a broom. No saddle.

          • carl jacobs

            Hey! That was DI Frost!

          • Dreadnaught

            This from the same show may also amuse you.

          • carl jacobs

            That was actually funny. Please tell me people in Britain don’t were suits like that.

          • Dreadnaught

            Only if your name is Trigger 🙂

          • dannybhoy

            Trigger had styyyle…

          • dannybhoy

            Yes, Del Boy aka David Jason went on to star in a screen adaptation of HE Bates “The Darling Buds of May” and then turned to more serious acting as DI Frost. A very talented man.

          • Dreadnaught

            Grow up. This is a blog for grown-ups ffs.

          • Nessa

            I’m 50!

          • Dreadnaught

            Happy Birthday!

          • Nessa

            Lol not today! I meant I’m a grown up in age

          • Inspector General

            I say, what a spirited Boadica you are!

      • dannybhoy

        ” I suspect there’s plenty of gay people who are fine with the CofE as it is though – they just tend to be quieter. Debate the issue – there is probably more common ground than you think.”
        We like to go to church to meet with God and worship Him together. Each other’s sexuality shouldn’t enter into it.

        • Nessa

          Stop making it an issue then.

    • len

      Love is what Christ suffered for us /as us so that we can change.Vicky seems to reject that way and chooses her own way.

  • Uncle Brian

    No, there is nothing hypocritical in Cranmer’s artcle.

  • Anton

    Vicky Beeching’s concern is, apparently, “the complex relationship between the church and rights”. For so long as Christians continue in this heresy that sinful humans have “rights” before a holy God, this sort of problem is going to get worse. And by sinful humans I mean all humans; this is not about any specific action that is deemed to be sinful.

    • carl jacobs

      Entitlement is at the very core of the human heart. You here this kind of argumentation from atheists a lot.

      “If God existed, then X would be true. X is not true. Therefore God does not exist.”

      X is always an assertion of entitlement. The magic of Liberal religion is to make God obligated to human entitlement. It paints a thin veneer of divine sanction over human desire, and that is exactly what natural man wants to hear.

      • chefofsinners

        Yes, but if only the Church would forsake 2000 years of saying stuff like that, it would unlock the infinite blessings of Vicarette Vicky Beeching preaching. How foolish we are.

        • carl jacobs

          You seem stuck in 1500, Chief. Don’t you understand that people in 2016 are much wiser than people in 1500? We’ve progressed and stuff. Well, not you. Maybe if you took off the sunglasses?

          • chefofsinners

            If you were a real, loving Christian you would accept me for what I am.

          • Brittany Smith

            Yes, said the people who stood by when people were taken by Nazis, or blacks taken by the KKK. It’s my human right to intellectually slap people who think that God would ever condone any of the stupidity that man has proclaimed that the Bible says. 2,016 years later and we’re finally going on the love that Jesus preached instead of our own ignorance and prejudice.

          • The Explorer

            “Depart from me, ye accursed, to the fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” Did Christ say that, or did somebody misreport him?

          • Brittany Smith

            Yes, Jesus did say this. Thing is, humans are never referenced to either angels or demons. God has already made a place for them, but not for humans. A huge misconception in the Church is that hell is a fire-pit that non-followers go to burn for all eternity. False. The idea of fire and brimstone was created in the 1500s to scare people into following the Church. Hell is translated from the words “nothingness” and “separation” in Greek and Hebrew texts. Essentially, if you go to “hell” you just cease to exist. There is no everlasting life. There is also the misconception that when we die we go straight to heaven. This is also sadly false because the Bible clearly states that we are dead and will not rise again till the 2nd coming. One can still hope though because I kind of like the idea of dying and seeing loved ones again.

          • The Explorer

            Four important points there.

            1. “Depart from me, ye accursed, to the fire.” Focus on that bit. Christ said it, and it’s not loving. So Christ preached about more than love. He also reached about judgment.

            2. 1500s for the fire idea. The last verse of ‘Isaiah’ talks of the “worm that dieth not, and the fire that is not quenched”. Christ compared Hell to Gehenna, the smouldering Jerusalem rubbish dump. Dives in the parable is “in agony in this flame”. The Lake of fire in ‘Revelation’. Even if you treat this ‘fire’ as metaphorical, as I do, the examples show the idea of fire to have been around long before 1500.

            3. Hell as nothingness. There’s a lot in that. It’s what Boethius said about evil. You’re arguing here for annihilationism for the unredeemed. You may be right: one day, we’ll all find out.

            4. Agreed we do not rise again until the Second Coming, That doesn’t mean we don’t go to the temporary Heaven (Paradise) that precedes the New Heaven and the New Earth. “This day you will be with me in Paradise.”. You’re arguing for soul sleep. It was a view held by William Tyndale, and today by Adventists and JWs. It’s based on Paul’s statement that we are asleep in Christ. The other view is that Paul is not saying we are not conscious and not in Paradise, We simply don’t yet have our resurrection bodies: which we will get at the Last Judgment.

          • Brittany Smith

            Nice to know someone else is educated on the subject.

            Yes, Jesus judges, but my point on that matter is that he judges, and we should not. I understand that there are passages that say we should not lead astray our brothers and sisters, but when it comes to the gray area of homosexuality I leave it between Christ and the person. There are much more pressing black and white issues, such as someone even being a Christian, that I would focus on first, so that person could find truth, whatever that may be, in what the Holy Spirit is telling them.

            Of course the Bible references fire, Im more pushing the whole hell is a fire-pit propaganda that media and pop culture has latched on to today due to the Church, not so much it’s first reference.

            As for that heaven and hell bit, you’re absolutely right, we can’t know for sure, but we can interpret what we will from what Paul said and just hope for the best.

          • Pubcrawler

            “Nice to know someone else is educated on the subject.”

            You’re new here, aren’t you…

          • The Explorer

            Agree with all that.

          • Jus like dat ….

    • Martin

      Anton

      Indeed, we do not have rights before God but duties.

  • chefofsinners

    Jesus said that the kingdom of heaven would be like a mustard seed which grew into a great tree so that the birds of the air came and nested in its branches.
    Vicky Beeching appears to be eyeing the church like a bird, wondering what it might offer her, if only it would change a bit. Vocation is about what you can do for others, not about what they can do for you.
    So, not to put too fine a point on it, she can just sod right off.

  • “Jesus is concerned with grace, peace, reconciliation and infinite blessing.”
    This piece seems to do the opposite, and it makes me ashamed.

    There is a real debate to be had about calling and vocation for gay people, particularly young people, who genuinely want to serve God and feel a call to the priesthood but want to be in a gay marriage/partnership. Let’s remember that the Church of England is not catholic, and if you’re straight, you have the option to marry. I suspect many Catholics may scoff at the CoE decision to have their priests married, and would want to use some of those arguments that you use – sacrifice etc. But we don’t expect that of straight priests. There’s a case to be made for singleness, or celibate gay relationships in the clergy – but preferably from someone who is in that position.

    This did neither; it was just snark. It was a cheap shot at my friend for the sake of controversy

    • chefofsinners

      And her words were a cheap shot at the church for the sake of an article in The Guardian.

    • The Explorer

      “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matt. 10:34). Are we talking about the same person?

      Will everyone be the recipient of infinite blessing in your view? From my reading of the New Testament, God is long suffering, but at some point is going to call time. And then there will be judgement.

    • carl jacobs

      This did neither; it was just snark. It was a cheap shot at my friend for the sake of controversy

      Well, then. Perhaps you – unlike every other commenter on this weblog who has made a similar charge – could actually substantiate the accusation you have just made.

      • Mikhail Ramendik

        You want substantiation? The word “wailing”. Manners, dammit! Get some of those before jumping into THIS fray.

        • carl jacobs

          Do you really have nothing more substantial to offer than that? A complaint about the manners of using the word “wailing”? You have just utterly demolished the case against Archbishop Cranmer by the triviality of your charge. If you had anything significant to bring against him, you would have brought it. But see the poverty to which you are reduced.

          • Mikhail Ramendik

            The “significant” thing is that he says “no personal attacks” then proceeds to launch one. The word “wailing” is simply an obvious indication of the personal quality of the attack, not its sole substance. There is also the fact that he writes about ordination being about service and sacrifice – quite openly implying it is NOT about that for her.

            I am not saying she should be a vicar. She is taking the honourable position of not joining the hierarchy with which she disagrees over a key issue. Is he expecting her to “sacrifice” her disagreement? That sounds totalitarian, not Anglican.

          • carl jacobs

            Oh, for goodness sske.

            In the first place, the word “wailing” was a characterization of her writing and not her person. It was also an arguably accurate characterization. What, is she too fragile to be told when she is whining? In the second place, it wouldn’t constitute a personal attack on her anymore than I would launch a personal attack upon my children should I say “You’re whining.”

            Not one of you has come up with anything substantial.

    • Nessa

      I disagree. People vary a lot in the extent to which they take what the Bible says as sacrosanct. By your argument a person could come along and say it’s ok to murder as times change and murderers should be given more chance. By the time everything has been rejected and modernised there won’t be anything left. People like the church for the very traditionalist attitudes that you appear to dislike.

    • len

      Jesus did not come to earth to tell us we are fine as we are but just try and be good and all would be well….. if that were so Calvary would be totally unnecessary.

      God gives us the opportunity to be’ born again’ born from His Spirit . We either take that and all that it entails or we try and bargain with God and try and make him accept us ‘as we are’.

      • Mikhail Ramendik

        Are you saying that only those free of sin in this life are saved? Or perhaps, not of all sin, but of “some specific” kinds of sin?

        • Any who live in wilful deliberate ongoing disobedience to God have no cause to believe they are saved and every cause to believe they are not. And yes, there are gross sins that if persisted in will debar entrance to the kingdom even for professed believers.

          The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. Gal 5

          Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Cor 6

          Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. Rev 22

          Clearly these lists are not exhaustive but a sample of the more common gross sins that were current.

          • Brittany Smith

            Another mistranslation John! Never says men that have sex with men, it actually is a greek translation for arekensoi that was coined by Paul. Many believe, because of the word use at the time, that it’s in reference to anal sex (between a man and a woman). It wasn’t until 1950…yes, 1950, that the translation turned into homosexual references. The more you know!!!

          • O please.

          • Brittany Smith

            Would you like references?

    • David

      So basically you are saying that these people who demand both a priestly vocation, and same sex “marriages”, whatever that is, want to eat their and still have it.
      Your knowledge of the Anglican faith is also decidedly shaky. For if you look at the Nicene creed, which is the creed most commonly used in standard Anglican services every Sunday, you’ll see that it states towards the end “And I believe one catholic and apostolic Church”.

    • Andrew Price

      Don’t forget holiness.

      • … or perfection.

        • Martin

          HJ

          None of God’s people are perfect here.

          • Didn’t say they were. We are however called to perfection in this life.

          • Martin

            HJ

            No, we are called to fight against the sin that indwells us. Not at all the same thing.

          • Just quoting Jesus, Martin:
            “Be perfect, therefore, as your Heavenly Father is perfect.”

          • Martin

            HJ

            Oh good, I’m getting you to read the Bible. Tel me, how would you accomplish that and has anyone ever been successful?

          • That’s what infusion of grace – as opposed to imputation – achieves. Yes, the Saints of the Church die perfected and ready to enter the Beatific Vision. The rest of us have a spell in purgatory before we are ready to meet our Maker face to face.

          • Martin

            HJ

            Trouble is, under your scheme, there is no way to know if you’ve got there & one little sin can cast the saint back to the beginning.

            What the Bible teaches is that the sinner is saved by the Father drawing them and Jesus will raise that drawn sinner on the last day.

            No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. (John 6:44 [ESV])

          • As a Christian, one receives the gifts of faith, hope and charity. God ensures those who are His will die ready at the very least for purgatory. One little sin will not set you back to the beginning – whatever that is – but grave sin will certainly separate us from Christ. The bible also teaches we should transform ourselves, with the gifts of grace, and make ready to meet God.

          • Martin

            HJ

            There is no place called purgatory. When God saves a sinner their sins are forgiven, past, present and future and they go straight to Heaven when they die. What you believe is not Christianity.

          • The present life is purgatory. It is here we are refined.

          • Martin

            John

            you have a point.

          • len

            Not that old chestnut….

    • Martin

      Tanya

      The Bible is the authority for Christians, if it isn’t you authority you aren’t a Christian.

      The Bible tells us that sex is for a man and woman in marriage alone, anything else is sin.

      There is no office of priest in the Christian Church.

      There is no such thing as sexuality, or being gay, just sexual sin.

      All Christians are called to be holy, as God is holy.

      The gospel is not about political parties or socialism but about the rebel being changed by God to become a child of God.

      If someone feels they have a calling and cannot accept the above, then their calling is not from God.

      • Mikhail Ramendik

        If you say there is no office of priest in the Christian Church, I am not exactly sure what is your point in a debate on Anglican ordination, which is described officially as ordaining a priest https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-worship/worship/texts/ordinal/priests.aspx

        • Martin

          Mikhall

          The Bible speaks of elders/overseers who are of good character and male. Curiously she seems to be excluded on both counts.

          • Mikhail Ramendik

            I am not sure what you know about her character, I have heard of her just today, so can’t comment. I would disagree on the male part (this seems to be little more than a general-use “he” pronoun), but this is not the question I was asking.

            I was asking why you care about someone being ordained, or not ordained, a PRIEST. Called a priest by the official ordination ceremony, no less. And the reason for “priest” is the belief in the Real Presence.

          • Martin

            Mikhail

            Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
            (I Corinthians 6:9-11 [ESV])

            Clearly someone who practices homosexuality is not a Christian, so that deals with the good character part.

            I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.
            (I Timothy 2:12-14 [ESV])

            if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.
            (Titus 1:6-9 [ESV]) (emphasis mine)

            So which part of those two texts do you dispute?

            As for the ‘real presence’, yes Jesus is present where His people meet together to remember His death, but there is no change in nature of the bread and wine. That is a belief of a superstitious sect, not Christianity.

            The CoE is, by foundation, Reformed, that is holding to doctrine that is, at least in part, calvinistic. The 39 Articles say:

            XXXI. Of the one Oblation of Christ finished upon the Cross.
            The Offering of Christ once made is that perfect redemption, propitiation, and satisfaction, for all the sins of the whole world, both original and actual; and there is none other satisfaction for sin, but that alone. Wherefore the sacrifices of Masses, in the which it was commonly said, that the Priest did offer Christ for the quick and the dead, to have remission of pain or guilt, were blasphemous fables, and dangerous deceits.

            It is insufficiently reformed in its government, mostly due to political pressures a long time ago.

      • Brittany Smith

        So…..what about that tricky part in the Bible where there is incest and polygamy…. yeah……

        • Now you want to legalise incest and polygamy? Well why not?

          • Brittany Smith

            The point is Mr. Jack that at a point in time in the Bible it was actually condoned by God. Therefore, the whole one man and one woman in marriage thing is actually null and void in those incidents. Even God made exceptions to this rule….

        • Martin

          Brittany

          Nice vague comment that could mean anything. Would you like to clarify?

          • Brittany Smith

            What I am pointing out, amongst all the other things in the Bible, is that people are so quick to connect homosexuality to sexual sin, without understanding context. Do I support polygamy or incest – heck no, but I understand at the beginning of human history that it was perhaps necessary. The same goes for homosexuality, scholars have repeatedly pointed out that homosexual references in the Bible are to sexual cults and to the worshipping of idols. No one takes the time to understand the context to homosexual references. And the whole argument of God created one man and one woman doesn’t count, because of what I stated above. If God really did intend this to ALWAYS be the case than you wouldn’t have had stories of incest and polygamy – meaning – there are some exceptions to this “rule”.

          • Martin

            Britany

            Those ‘scholars’ who have claimed that homosexual references only refer to sexual cults and the worshipping of idols are dishonest. The Bible is quite clear, sex outside the marriage of one man to one woman is sin, and that includes homosexuality.

        • The Explorer

          Don’t forget the bit where they cut up the concubine.

          • dannybhoy

            And send it Royal Mail…

  • Diane

    A statement such as “to suit your selfish ends” seems very judgemental and personal in my opinion.

    • len

      Christians (and anyone with a grain of sense) are called to judge but to judge ‘rightly.’
      We make judgements constantly throughout the day..every thinking person does.

    • The Explorer

      “A statement such as “to suit your selfish ends” seems very judgemental and personal in my opinion.” seems a very judgemental statement.

    • carl jacobs

      I have noticed a trend on this thread. Those who accuse have not actually made a case. Instead they have thrown out a clause or phrase as if that phrase is itself a conclusive argument. Complete with torn garments and an anguished cry of “What further need have we of witnesses?” The proof is left as an exercise for the reader, but we suspect this is so because the instructor does not know how to finish the proof herself.

      her vocation is apparently contingent on it changing further. ‘Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, but not yet: I’ve chosen you for when the church changes to suit your selfish ends, so just wait a bit.’ She explains:

      It’s a shame that myself, and many others known to me, feel held back from priesthood by the current rules around sexuality. We are passionate about our faith, eager to serve, would bring energy and enthusiasm to the church, yet we’re stuck in a confusing gridlock of whether it would be safe for our own basic wellbeing.

      What is the context? Vicki Beeching is clearing subordinating her call to the needs of her own desires. She cannot go forward unless and until the CoE justifies the desire that she feels. She is placing a condition on service. What then is the focus of that condition? The self. What do we call it when people subordinate the greater good of the call to to desires of the Self? We call it selfishness. This is why the Good Archbishop immediately contrasts this attitude with the Bishop of Grantham who subordinated the self to the call.

      There is no validity in this accusation.

  • David

    It always amuses me the way that “progressives” and liberals bleat that orthodox Biblical views belong in the past. Of course according to their creed everything is always on its upward trajectory of getting better, and better and ever better, as we hurtle towards a human conceived utopia based on successive creeds like Communism, National Socialism or Fascism, and more recently Secular Humanism. Yet all of these systems of belief fail to address our greatest weakness, which is our fallen human natures, which only God can rectify. Ho hum – humanity is very clever but not very wise.

  • Dreadnaught

    Cranmer’s doesn’t need cry-babies
    We have been so restricted by PC that we are becoming unable to hold polar opposite views in open discourse. Screeching Police! Police! or throwing a tantrum and name calling is quite unnecessary. Argue the point; robustly if necessary. Rebut or Concede as you so wish, or live to think again perhaps.
    This Blog is one of the few places left where the opportunity to engage in informal debate still exists.
    If we still have freedom to speak, someone somewhere will disagree .You have a right to express yourself even if your views are fatuous or extreme. Offence can’t be given; its only ever taken.

    I may not agree with you but I will defend your right to make a complete ass of yourself.

    • dannybhoy

      “This Blog is one of the few places left where the opportunity to engage in informal debate still exists. If we still have freedom to speak, someone somewhere will disagree .You have a right to express yourself even if your views are fatuous or extreme. Offence can’t be given; its only ever taken.”

      Well said that man. That’s why I like it. It makes me think, it makes me reconsider, and I learn about others..

      • Pubcrawler

        Likewise.

        • dannybhoy

          Erm,
          yyoouu rreeppeeaatteedd yyoouurrsseellff..

      • Pubcrawler

        Likewise

  • Politically__Incorrect

    The problem with clergy and would-be clergy who want to redefine the church is their complete inability to accept the sovereignty of God and therefore his word. If you go into the ministry because of a social or political agenda then you are just trying to re-create God in your image. if you cannot accept the total sovereignty of God and instead, you mould your faith around social trends then you do not have a religion at all; just a socio-political movement. It seems that many in the CofE do not accept this sovereignty. indeed, many of them regard nothing as sacred. This is why the CofE is largely spiritually dead and tends to use secular grievances as its compass.

  • carl jacobs

    It’s been a strange thread. Many rushed in to accuse. And just as many retreated in haste when confronted with demands for more than an accusation. Not one charge against Archbishop Cranmer has been sustained. Not one of his accusers could be bothered to cite a portion of text and explain how the text established their charges.

    Revealing. But then jackboots and cudgels don’t require logic or reason.

  • Chris

    Love fails to reach the writer of this piece to understand the motive of someone who tried to live up to the standards as written up in the bible but instead lived a lifetime of torment and fear of her own god and felt ashamed of that part of herself. The so called saved and converted have a very bitter undertone that is evident in the way they speak and write. God is not as stagnant as the bible would have you believe: always active, always unconditionally loving and very much would cheer Vicky on in her quest to put an end to the anguish associated with discovering one’s attraction to the same sex. I’ll agree with this fellow on one thing, homosexuality is not who we are but a small part that simply influences who we will come to love, so why are the religious making such a big deal out of it

    • carl jacobs

      so why are the religious making such a big deal out of it

      Because God – Who changes not – makes a big deal out of it.

    • Martin

      Chris

      The problem comes when someone tries to “live up to the standards as written up in the bible” for nobody can. Indeed, to do so is idolatry. The way God has decreed is to rely on Him alone.

      • Chris

        I am not religious but oddly I agree with this, relying on God alone, that is

        • Martin

          Chris

          So you see, the whole concept of being saved by doing something is sub-Christian.

          • Chris

            God has the big picture and yes God saves with it, ‘doing something’ is called leg work for me. He points, I go. I’m like a wind up toy. Sometimes I get stuck and God seems ok with that, just picks me up and points me in a slightly different direction. btw, No disrespect intended on trying to be a little humorous here

    • The Explorer

      “always unconditionally loving ” Where in the New Testament does it say that?

      In your scheme of things, what part does repentance play in our relationship with God?

      • Chris

        I am not religious btw, that may give you some context

        • The Explorer

          That’s fine. Homer makes statements about the Greek gods. I don’t have to believe in the gods to know what the statements about them are, or where to find them.. I’ll rephrase the second question, though.

          “always unconditionally loving ” Where in the New Testament does it say that?

          According to traditional Christianity, what part does repentance play in our relationship with God?

          • Chris

            All I can do is attest to my experience of God, I don’t believe in god as traditionally defined by any religion. I was once horribly lost but found by ‘God’ which is the only name I could appropriately give it. Whatever it is, it does indeed have all of our best interests at heart. Even so I have learned to mingle with others, Christians in particular. You might not see me as belonging to this group of people and so be it but I still see you no differently, you just belong no matter how far you might want to distance yourself from people like myself

          • The Explorer

            All I was querying is the unconditional love. There are conditions attached, and repentance is the first of them. You cannot be forgiven until you concede there is something to forgive. I speak as one once horribly lost myself.

  • ASocialFlutterby

    “The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
    Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
    Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
    Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.”

    ‘Wailing in the Guardian’ … ‘promiscuous perverts’. Take care with your words, Archbishop. You do yourself and your religious sect no honour. “But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.”

    ‘We have Scripture, we have experience, and we have reason,’ you write. I see little evidence of any in the above denunciation of Ms Beeching. You cannot undo the harm of your spiteful words. Perhaps a little humble repentance is in order for your arrogance and prejudice.

    • carl jacobs

      True to form with every other accusation on this thread. Accusations without substance. Phrases ripped from context. Let’s paraphrase, shall we.

      “The man is guilty! Now let us find the evidence to … Wait! What need have we of evidence when we have already judged him guilty?”

      • Anton

        Remind you of any event in the gospels?

        • carl jacobs

          Maaaaaybe.

    • In deference to your transgendered brothers, sisters and undecided, shouldn’t that be Mx Beeching?

      • Inspector General

        Did you know that trannyism is officially the byproduct of psychosis? It’s true! The World Health whatever says so…

  • Biblical grace is, ‘neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more’. Some of us are inclined to forget the first clause and others keen to ignore the second.

    • Martin

      John

      The earliest manuscripts do not include John 7:53–8:11. It is unlikely to be part of this Gospel.

      • I know the debate Martin. But that aside, I think the passage is in harmony with the gospel.

        • Martin

          John

          There is no debate, it clearly isn’t part of John, or any of the other places it is found, and if it isn’t part of John it isn’t part of the Bible. It is unsafe to use it to draw any conclusions.

          • Martin

            Your ‘unlikely’ has now firmed into ‘it clearly isn’t part of John’. I preferred your ‘unlikely’. It is more accurate. There is a debate. The KJV did opt to include it. Personally I am happy to accept the view that it is an interpolation. It is the overwhelmingly accepted position.

          • Martin

            John

            The translators of the Authorised version didn’t have the manuscripts we have. In the main they worked from Erasmus’ work, a product of the church of Rome. If they had had the sources we have they would have produced a very different translation and I doubt they would have included John 7:53–8:11 or Mark 16:9-20

      • chefofsinners

        Not that clear-cut, Martin. Read again.

        • carl jacobs

          It is that clear cut. That section has no provenance before about 400 AD.

          • chefofsinners

            As I’ve said to Martin, it is worth reading around this subject. Upon doing this you will find that it is far less clear-cut that many would have us believe.
            Antiquity is not the only form of provenance, and we know that heresies were rife, even in the first century.

          • carl jacobs

            Did John write it?

          • chefofsinners

            Quite possibly, either as part of his gospel or as a later addendum. Certainly it was accepted by the church for 1500 years.
            The Wikipedia article on this text is actually quite good.

          • carl jacobs

            A later addendum that just appears out of nowhere around 400 AD. Why is it not in the early manuscripts?

            The reason it has been accepted so long is that it appears in the Byzantine text type. Those majority texts are all relatively late – 500-900 AD. By that time, this story had already been included. BUt what evidence is there that is what in the autograph?

          • chefofsinners

            Augustine’s suggestion, around 400, was that it was removed by men who felt their wives needed no encouragement into adultery.
            There are multiple witnesses to the passage from around 370. Didymus the blind (313-398) refers to it. Eusebius of Caesaria (early 300s) refers to it’s use in the writings of Papias (circa 110).
            Some of the early codices regarded as more important omit the passage but retain a blank space after John 7:52. Others have marginal markings to indicate the same. There is also a history of it being moved to the end of the gospel, possibly due to rearrangements for public reading cycles.
            There is much to be said on either side of the argument.

          • carl jacobs

            None of that speculation places the text in the autograph by the pen of John. And that is why Martin was correct. You cannot safely make theological conclusions solely on the basis of that text.

          • chefofsinners

            It is not speculation. It’s fact that multiple early sources regard the text as genuine.
            I’d agree that no theological conclusions should be based on one text, if it can be avoided. That’s not what John Thomson did. He made a statement about the nature of grace, which is consistent with numerous other scriptures.
            My point to Martin and to you is simply that this passage is far more likely to be authentic than is commonly supposed. Modern translations insert a line and a short comment about ‘early texts’, such as Martin repeated, which really does not do justice to the topic. Earlier texts are not necessarily more reliable texts
            .
            This pericope adulterae was either written by John and removed by someone, or it was inserted by someone. That’s an interesting pair of alternatives. It is easy to see why it might be removed, but much harder to form a reason why a person of influence might invent it and insert it. Clearly the early church had this debate and reached its conclusion. Most of the evidence on which they based this conclusion is probably lost to us.
            In the end everyone must be convinced in their own mind. Preferably on the basis of a proper analysis of the evidence. Once convinced, those who conclude it is genuine must integrate it with their doctrine if they truly believe it.

        • Martin

          CoS

          So are you saying it is found in earlier manuscripts? The evidence is that it was added at a later date, to John and other Gospels, it is therefore not safe to assume it is part of the Bible.

          • chefofsinners

            The evidence and its interpretation are nowhere near so clear-cut as some would have us believe. The pericope adulterae, as it is known, has been in various positions in different manuscripts, and its deletion was attributed by Augustine to husbands wary of their wives using it as an excuse for adultery.
            Unusually, the Wikipedia entry on the subject gives a fairly good summary of the debate. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_and_the_woman_taken_in_adultery

          • Pubcrawler

            Interesting read. I like the ‘lectionary’ argument. Will read more carefully later and ponder…

          • Martin

            CoS

            Seems to me that there is no evidence of it appearing in the earliest manuscripts so it’s a later addition.

          • chefofsinners

            So you would take the Dead Sea scrolls as the definitive manuscript for the Old Testament, since they are the earliest available?

          • Martin

            CoS

            No, the definitive manuscript is the original, which can be reconstructed from the manuscripts we have.

          • chefofsinners

            Oh really? Perhaps, while you’re at it, you could reconstruct me an original Picasso from some dodgy copies I bought off the internet.

          • Martin

            CoS

            Do you not understand how the reconstruction of ancient documents works? There are more documents of the Bible than any other ancient documents and we have some New Testament manuscripts that are very near to the date of the originals. We have a better understanding of what the originals aid than any other ancient document.

  • Politically__Incorrect

    There’s a lot of talk on this thread about “love” and how Jesus would have expressed that love, particularly with regard to homosexuals. What I really hear is people craving affirmation of their sin rather than honestly confessing it to God. Remember the story of the woman caught in adultery? Jesus saved her life by exposing the hypocrisy of those about to stone her. He also told her to “stop sinning”. He di not her that because she could fall fowl of Jewish law again, but because of the danger of a more serious judgement. Man cannot redefine what is sin, he can only seek the salvation of God by confession and self-control. Jesus did not deny the reality of sin. He did give us a way out of it though faith.

    • Eustace

      The woman caught in adultery could only have fallen fowl (sic) of Jewish law if she’d chickened out of going to the well in the first place. And then she would never have quailed before the judgment of Jesus.

      She was clearly in a flap that day. Not even the son of God would have been eagle-eyed enough to flush her out of her cover and grouse at her had she only
      had the presence of mind to duck down behind the well-head when he arrived. Poor dumb chook, he certainly plucked and roasted her, didn’t he? Ah the rapacity of birds of pray…

  • Inspector General

    Nobody here actually knows what the Gay Way is. But we do know what the die hard activists think. You’ll find them on Pink News. Will gays taking over the church find an ‘acceptable’ MO. or more likely, will the activists tell them how it’s going to be.

    Go on, have a guess…

    • Inspector General

      A gay run church is unlikely to brook dissent on the subject of homosexuality. After all, the fight was long and hard, and this is how it’s going to be from now on. A gay Synod may well borrow from the RCC and introduce something called ‘excommunication’ for those who cannot accept. You may have heard of it…

  • Resident blog buffoon. We humour him because he’s lonely.

  • bluedog

    Superb post, Your Grace.

    One notes the quote by VB of ‘safe for our own basic wellbeing’ in the context of the CofE and implicitly, its terms and conditions. Close readers of the Grauniad’s terms and conditions of comment will find the injunction that commenters should respect that they operate in a ‘safe space’ where no-one will be threatened or offended, or words to that effect. In practice this is a licence for censorship, if not self-censorship. With unconscious irony, it seems ‘Wailing in the Guardian’ has yet to recognise that the Anglican Communion continues to reflect a Christian message that would almost certainly be rejected by the Guardian moderators if posted as comment.

  • Inspector General

    Your tweets noted, Cranmer. Don’t be beside yourself too much. These early years of social media will go down as the time of the Gay Insurrection. They’ll be brought back down to earth soon enough. One is sure Mrs May can strip them of a few of their highly undeserved privileges and they’ll go back to doing whatever it was they were doing before. Probably. It’s only a few of them, you know. A five figure crowd out of 60 whatever million of us. Lord knows, normal people like ourselves deserve a bit of peace, what!

    This is the Inspector signing off. Having done a grand days posting, or so he’d like to think…

    Pip! Pip!

    • Martin

      IG

      I understand that it was Mrs May that pushed fake marriage through. I suspect God’s judgement on our society has a way to go yet. We shall see persecution before the end.

  • Interested by the quantity of comments that have been deleted on this thread. Archbishop Cranmer, does this mean you have ended your ‘the comments are nothing to do with me’ policy?

    • carl jacobs

      Those comments were self-deleted.

    • Pubcrawler

      As they were all comments against him/his position, I doubt that very much. Probably deleted by the writers themselves out of embarrassment (and rightly so).

    • Please read the commenting policy. Nothing has been deleted as a matter of censorship: nothing has changed since your demands a few years ago, which were politely declined. If you think ‘offence’ should be a cause of censorship, please explain whose threshold should apply. Bless you.

      • Jack’s when Jacobs needles him ….

      • Thanks for replying. (NB I reject your assessment of me making ‘demands’ – that is an unfair and disparaging descriptor of what I said and the courteous questions I asked.) clarifying question: are you saying that you did not delete any comments, or that you did delete some comments, just not for reasons of censorship?

        thank you for pointing me to the policy. It was buried so far down in the ‘about me’ that I had never seen it before. It was helpful to read it. As I said on Twitter, your policy is confusing. You repeatedly claim to not moderate your comments, and that it would be impossible to do so because of the importance of free speech and the impossibility of determining what is offensive. And yet, your policy also says “Comments that are off-topic, gratuitously offensive, libelous, or otherwise irritating, may be summarily deleted”. So clearly you do think that offence should be a cause of censorship – it says so in your policy, and that this policy by implication says that you, as the blog author and moderator, are defining what is offensive.

        You have defined your own bar as ‘gratuitously offensive’, and from some of the comments I’ve seen over the past few weeks, you set the bar pretty high. (The comment a few posts ago that seemed to be encouraging jihadis to murder a prominent liberal Christian just to teach political liberals a lesson comes under my definitions of ‘gratuitously offensive’ – though I assume it doesn’t come under your own? Given our current incitement to hatred/attack laws, it also sailed pretty close to the wind on being legal.)

        My question is, since you have to set the bar somewhere, why keep the repeated (anonymous) offenders who post offensive comments each week? There is a line to be walked between protecting others and making sure people have free speech. It’s your space, and apparently you want to allow people to continue being offensive in the comments. I am questioning (and let the record show I am questioning, not ‘demanding’) where you draw that line of moderation.

        • Your “courteous questions” a few years ago amounted to very specific demands that some comments you found offensive should be deleted. You were referred then, very courteously, to the Commenting Policy, so why you didn’t read it until today is unknown. When it says the comments are unmoderated, it means that they’re not trawled and constantly monitored: this is not a full-time job. People are free to report comments or complain, as you have done and continue to do, and these are considered. The community tends to be self-moderating: they call each other out and challenge the extremes. Some call that dialogue. Whatever, it is impossible for one person to sit 24/7 policing comment threads. It’s a blog – a space for free speech within the law. Therein lies the contradiction you find confusing.

          • Thank you for your reply. I note your sarcastic air quotes. I’m surprised – in previous interactions with you on Twitter I honestly thought we were genuinely communicating.

            I don’t know what you’re referring to with regards to the questions a few years ago about taking down comments. Do you mean my disability article for you when I had a Twitter conversation with you following it (when people were questioning the validity of my illness, and suggesting that disabled people should be corralled together in centres where they could be put to work) or a former post you were writing about Vicky Beeching where commenters were comparing gay people to paedophiles? Or the one where I highlighted someone encouraging jihadis to murder a liberal priest? I do remember being upset by what people wrote about Vicky all those years ago, but I don’t remember having a conversation with you about it. Perhaps I did – do remind me of what you said.

            I just want to make sure my understanding is clear – I think you are saying that if a comment breaks your comment policy, you are not aware of it, because you don’t read all the comments, so can’t be held responsible. But if a comment is brought to your attention through complaint you will examine it, and make a judgement on whether that comment is offensive enough (in your view) to be described as ‘gratuitously offensive’ and then either delete it or allow it to stand. Have I understood it right?

          • “I
            note your sarcastic air quotes” really ends this conversation. There was no sarcasm: your imputation is simply ungracious judgmentalism. Surprising, indeed, as previous interactions with you appeared to suggest generosity of spirit and reasoned communication.

          • Forgive me – I thought you were being sarcastic when you said ‘courteous questions.’ My misunderstanding

          • Hi Adrian – I really am sorry for misunderstanding you re the sarcasm. Tone can be hard to read in the written word. I have also appreciated our courteous interactions before on Twitter, and try to see the merits in each person’s argument. I appreciate that this must be a busy and stressful time for you, but if you did have a moment to just clarify those things about your comment policy, I’d be grateful. I’m still a bit confused about it. Blessings to you as you navigate the media.

          • Inspector General

            “Or the one where I highlighted someone encouraging jihadis to murder a liberal priest?”

            The Inspector steps forward. Taken out of context, one’s sentiment looks bad. Within context, that if a priest MUST be murdered by jihadis, let it be a liberal all-things-to-all-men one, one who applauded the mass importation of Islam into the UK, then it is not so.

            By the way, it might help if you view Cranmer’s site as a private members club. You know, not a news agency laid on by the state for public comsumption. And certainly not a site that panders to the sensibilities of you, of all people.

          • Thanks for clarifying the context. So I think you’re saying that you’re not encouraging jihadis to murder all priests, but if jihadis would like to murder a priest, you’re pointing them towards a suitable target? You’d like them to murder a politically-left-leaning, prominent priest rather than a politically conservative one, so that th pe left can be taught a lesson?

            (If you’re genuinely thinking this, I’d love it if you can confirm. I find it hard to find any sarcasm or humour in what you say, but I’m open to explanations.)

            Re a private members club – wondering if Adrian agrees with you on that analysis – he often compares his comments section to a newspaper’s comments section. And emphasises that it’s public, not private.

          • Inspector General

            No. You’re still not there. One is arguing in the metaphysical, you see. If the gods, so to speak, have decided that a priest in the UK must die at Islamic hands. If that is how it’s already written, then far preferable it be a cultural Marxist one, which we can do without, than a true vicar of Christ, which are somewhat precious. Can’t understand why you can’t accommodate this sentiment even if you disagree with it.

            No one is suggesting any candidates, perish the thought!

            As for Cranmer’s opinion of what his far from supine vehicle has become, even if he does consider his blog at par to the newspapers, then they too are Private Members Clubs which you subscribe to. You might be aware of events in the past few years where this very independence has been threatened by the state which has thankfully failed (so far) to get said publications to come to heel…

          • Thank you for further clarifying. What I think you’re saying now is its othat its not so much an invitation to jihadists, but a prayer to God (or ‘the gods’ that a cultural Marxist (and prominent, you mentioned before) priest be murdered (because they are false vicars and we can do without them.) I think you also mentioned in your original post that it might be useful as a ‘lesson’ to those who don’t vote like you. With the metaphysical tone, I’m not entirely sure whether you mean ‘we can do without them’ metaphorically, or physically. Seeing as you mention death and jihadis murdering, I’m going with physically. I just wonder if your prayer were echoed (and repeated in public) by a jihadi, what that would look like in the eyes of the media. It also gives me pause to think how that reflects upon the church (assuming you are a Christian, which I have no knowledge of).

            Re accommodating your comment – it’s an interesting question, but I do wonder what the limit is for accommodating this kind of language. Th free speech thing comes into play, but blogs are somewhat a liminal space. If you were actually speaking, e.g. in speakers corner, you would be there in person, not disguised as a persona, and people could show their displeasure or pleasure by throwing tomatoes at you or applauding you. If you went to a prominent ‘Marxist’ priest’s house, they could slam the door in your face or welcome you in. You’d actually have to be there, talking, owning your opinions, tying them to your identity. You have the right to think what you think and say what you say – but do you have the right to have it recorded on a blog for everyone to read for now until eternity? Adrian has afforded you that right for now – but it is not yours in the ‘metaphysical sense’, I think. There have always been laws about disturbing the peace, sedition, etc which are inextricably linked to what we say and how we communicate it. So – should you be accommodated? Adrian has the choice between silencing your comments (or at least your gratuitously offensive ones), or asking you to post with your real name, or effectively pamphletting your opinion over his blog (which is how I see it) – he chooses to accommodate you. On my blog? I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t want to give a platform any language that wished people dead, whether that is my friends or my enemies. You may choose to think of it this way – life as a classroom. Every child is encouraged to share their opinions – but if that opinion is wishing that another child is dead, it should not be plastered up on the notice board for everyone to see.

            Further, vehement disagreement is fine when we’re talking about abstract ideas, but when you’re involving people (which actually, most ideas do) it is befitting, I believe, in a civilised society, to take a different tone. Jihadi murderers not a metaphysical concept. They are real people, and murders are happening every day. Vicars have been specifically shown as a target. This is real.

            If you recall, you also made it personal by talking about my husband. So we’re not just debating metaphysical ideas, but involving flesh and blood people. I don’t know if he would qualify as a ‘lefty’ or ‘Marxist’ vicar in your eyes, but I don’t know how I’m supposed to respond to a comment that says ‘he deserves everything coming to him’ (which is vaguely threatening language.) Perhaps that is the equivalent of you spray-painting the walls of my house with offensive and vaguely threatening slogans. If you had done that, I might want to alert the police to it, if it looked like someone had it in for me. As it is, I don’t think you have it in for me personally. I just don’t think you can see past your politics to see me as a person at all.

            With your ‘this is a members only’ attitude, you seem to be saying something akin to ‘we’re talking about you, not to you – go away.’ Well, you’ve posted it publicly. And involved my husband in your wish for him to be dead. That’s not okay. I don’t see why anyone would say I have to accommodate that. If you’d done a poster, I’d rip it down. If you’d written it on a letter, I’d throw it in the bin. I don’t see why such gratuitously offensive language should be accommodated by Adrian on his blog.

            But if you would like to talk further – personally – with my husband, Jon Marlow, about why you think it would be a good thing if he were wiped off the face of the earth, and why you send metaphysical curses to the gods wishing that this would happen, then you can contact him via his work phone at the small, evangelical church he serves. I would hope that that conversation would begin with your apology. You, of course, have the right not to, but a faith in Jesus Christ – or even just plain common decency would indicate that the right course of action.

            With that in mind, I will not respond to you until you have a) told me your true name and/or b) given me your sincere apology.

            Wishing you every blessing and a life of grace.

          • Inspector General

            It’s a bit of a cheek, you know, asking a fellow to clarify himself, then to relay back his answer not as he gave it, but as a synopsis of your original suspicions. Suspicions it might be said you have now vulcanised with the heat of your wrath and are presenting to ‘this private members club’ as irrefutable fact.

            One could go on, and whine bitterly about the presence of Christ’s Marxist enemies in the ministry, which your husband may or may not support, but that would be somewhat unwise as you may well collapse in a fit of apoplexy at the very idea of the good man’s credentials being questioned. The Inspector would not want that to happen to you, though how he’ll go about convincing you of that, Lord knows…

            If you don’t hear from the Inspector again, then Cranmer will have surely taken on your ‘helpful’ advice concerning what can or cannot appear on his blog or any other come to that and cut yours truly off at the earliest opportu…

      • P.S. Bizarrely, there were three replies to my question last night before you reply. Now they seem to have been deleted. Is that right?

    • How many is that then?

  • Veronica Zundel

    Tell me, Archbishop Cranmer, are you married? If you are, did you marry because of a vocation to marriage, or for your own ‘selfish ends’? Tough one, isn’t it? Vicky Beeching and others like her are simply asking for what you, as a presumably heterosexual man, are entitled to automatically: a loving, faithful partnership which may enable and support your ministry. I am horrified by the tone of your article, going so far as to imply that Vicky and her fellow LGBTI people are ‘promiscuous perverts’. Have some charity, for God’s sake. It’s not all about sacrifice and surrender, it’s also about love. And as St Paul made clear, no amount of sacrifice or surrender is worth anything at all without love (1 Corinthians 13).

    • VB and her LGBT people have Civil Partnership that they are entitled to which provides for their needs.

      • Eustace

        So how are you qualified to decide what other people’s needs are?

        It’s always the same story with you lot. You get to make the rules. You get to decide who needs what. If anyone objects, they’re just being difficult and selfish. Because how could you possibly be wrong?

        Gay people have decided we need marriage and now we have it. So piss off with your discriminatory, second-best “civil partnerships”. The UK is not apartheid-era South Africa. “Separate development” will not be tolerated.

        • No, David Cameron and chums decided gay people needed marriage in order to increase his popularity. Face up to it you gays would never have bothered otherwise.

          The impracticalities of life outlined and highlighted by you gay people living together and the reaction of Tony Blair never to miss an opportunity decided that you needed Civil Partnership.
          It’s not second best at all.

          • Eustace

            The myopia of your comments is quite staggering.

            Just take a look at what happened in France. Hollande pushed equal marriage through in a climate that could leave him in no doubt at all of his great UNpopularity. Hundreds of thousands took to the streets to protest their opposition to any moves to extend equal rights to the LGBT community. Any politician who was proposing equal marriage as a publicity stunt would have backed down after the very first “Manif’ Pour Tous”.

            Hollande is not my favourite president, but to give him his due, the man did stick to his guns and refuse to be cowed by a bunch of dyed-in-the-wool conservatives and reactionaries. For that he must be praised.

            Equal marriage was passed because of sustained lobbying over many years by the LGBT community. Far from “not bothering” about it, we’ve been working towards this goal for years. A few of your Uncle Tom pet gays who beg for a place under your table where they can feed off the crumbs you let drop from it may have expressed indifference to the idea of equal marriage. But they would, wouldn’t they? As their only thought is to please their straight masters, they’ll think whatever you tell them to. And then you’ll say that all gay people think that way.

            There’s nothing as blind and blinkered as a Christian who can’t see further than the comfortable confines of the make-believe world she’s constructed for herself.

          • Martin

            Looks like someone’s pedalling hate here.

            And, of course it isn’t equal marriage, just marriage for the favoured few. No ‘marriage’ for brothers or sisters. What a bunch of hypocrites.

          • What proportion of the gay community have married? And what proportion of those pledged lifelong monogamy?

          • Joe Stocker

            Gay Christians will always say they want same types of long-term committed relationships as straight Christians. You can’t get past that first line of defence. Any public conversation will be limited by the willingness of gay people to have a candid public conversation with people they don’t trust. Get to know gay Christians and you will soon discover their dating/relationship patterns more closely resemble those of gay non-Christians than straight Christians (plus there are the usual differences between lesbians and gay men).

          • Exactly Joe. This is my understanding too.

          • The Explorer

            I’ve blocked Linus, and am no longer communicating with him. But since you still are (I can tell it must be him responding to you because it says “This user is blocked” and he’s the only one I’ve blocked) ask him sometime for his take on Michel Houlbecq’s novel ‘Submission’.

          • He says he doesn’t read airport fiction.

          • The Explorer

            That isn’t. It’s highly intellectual. It’s intellectual enough even for Linus.

        • Stephen Leacock

          Actually the point of this is that God gets to make the rules.

          Not man.

          • Eustace

            As God is merely an ego-projection of Christians, it’s very clear who really makes the rules. Christianity was made by straight men for straight men. A subordinate place was found for the women you need in order to reproduce. Anyone who won’t fit into that model is surplus to requirements.

            So don’t talk to me about God. There is no God. All there is, is your ego and what it wants from the rest of the world, which is complete subjection of everyone to your will.

        • Martin

          Looks like someone’s peddling hate here.

          God decides what your needs are, your rebellion is entirely against Him. What you claim isn’t possible, for marriage can only be between a man and woman, no government on Earth can change that. And, of course it isn’t equal marriage, just marriage for the favoured few. No ‘marriage’ for brothers or sisters. What a bunch of hypocrites.

          • Eustace

            Yada yada yada, Martin. The same old spiel repeated over and over again merely serves to mark you out as the obsessional fanatic you are.

            I’ve said it before but it bears repeating: you are one of the best advertisements for atheism I’ve ever seen. You play the crazed and deranged Christian better than just about anyone else here. So if your God does exist, how do you think you’ll explain the skunk-like effect of your evangelism on all those poor lost souls you’ve driven away from Christianity forever?

        • So what’s your take on Michel Houlbecq’s novel “Submission”?

          • Eustace

            I don’t read airport fiction.

    • Mikhail Ramendik

      The sides seem to be talking past each other just about all the time. I would invite you to try and understand some basic things about conservatives. They, do believe, indeed, in a vocation to marriage, in sacrifice for the sake of your spouse and very importantly children – which for them comes first, not the loving partnership part.

      Some of them, in fact, even reject divorce altogether – resulting in situations where the sacrifices have to continue long after any shred of loving partnership is gone. That much for “automatic entitlement”.

      The text completely lacks any manners. which I have pointed out. It does however have some logic to it.

  • “You may want to quote Scripture to promiscuous perverts and they might seek to highlight the truth of your homophobic bigotry, but Jesus is concerned with grace, peace, reconciliation and infinite blessing.”

    Goodness, how this sentence is being misrepresented and misunderstood. Are they thick? Or is it wilful and deliberate in order to claim victim status and point the finger? And, to think, those failing to grasp its meaning hope to understand and reinterpret scripture and out the errors of 2000 years behind us!

    • Pubcrawler

      Yes, a rather prissy and po-faced literalism does seem to be characteristic of a certain sort of ‘progressive’. Nuance and irony seem lost on those who can only think dualistically.

      • Please use plain, straightforward English. Just as Jesus did. He never spoke in Parables or metaphor and always ensured everyone understood. Not to do so is to exclude and marginalise the more intellectually challenged amongst us.
        Btw, what is “dualistic binary”? It sounds somewhat painful.

        • Pubcrawler

          I had already amended the pleonasm.

          • *scratches head*

            Pleonasm? Is that a posh but shorter way of saying loquacious?

          • Pubcrawler

            It’s Greek for ‘tautology’.

          • Ah ….

    • carl jacobs

      • Is that safe to view? It’s not Man City’s goals is it?

        • carl jacobs

          its a classic from 1949.

          • Thank you. Wonderful song and this version is so clear. It’s message is very spiritual too … in a spiritual sort of way.

          • carl jacobs

            I don’t know what motivated me to post it, Jack. I just thought you would like it.

          • Jack did enjoy it. However, for a brief moment he did wonder whether you were serenading him ….😉

          • carl jacobs

            No, no. Just expanding your cultural horizons.

          • That’s a line Jack used to use in his sin filled days.

          • carl jacobs

            Yes, well. This has no part of sin in it.

          • ‘Fess up, Jacobs. Jack was enduring this song all afternoon in the pub.

          • carl jacobs

            What? It’s just a song.


          • carl jacobs

            EPL Football Clubs have anthems?

  • Chris

    I really, utterly dislike the mocking, sneering tone of this article. This is not #disagreeingwell. It reads as mean-spirited.

    Adrian, it would flatter you if you entered into dialogue with the idea that people hold the beliefs they do not because they are selfish, or ignorant, or lazy, or ‘wailing’, but because they’ve wrestled with it for a long time, prayed over it and this is genuinely were they’ve landed. That’s the starting point from which you can go on. If you judge them from the outset, you’re not going to get very far.

    Being gay does not make one promiscuous, and it does not make you a pervert. Calling your brothers and sisters in Christ that is not the covenanted love you speak of in a sentence below.

    These are heavy topics with a potential to cause deep hurt. Please don’t take that lightly. If we are to discuss these matters, do try to be gentle. It’s one of the fruits of the spirit, after all.

    • In a nutshell, unless Jack is badly mistaken, Beecham’s position is that she believes God has called her to the priesthood but she wont accept this calling because … er … the current rules around sexuality … er … might not be safe for her wellbeing.

      Good job the early Christian martyrs didn’t place their welfare above God’s call.

      • Chris

        It’s ‘Beeching’.

        Good job we don’t emulate everything the early martyrs did because we’d have very few believers left.

        It goes without saying that the Church has evolved, from Catholicism to Orthodoxy to Protestantism to Anglicanism and your flavour of practice will vary wildly from country to country. If the Holy Spirit is calling the Body to seek new ways of relating that will make us more kind, loving, gentle, etc., i.e. matters of wellbeing, we should accept that call. Nowhere does it say that strict uniformity to the Church Fathers and Mothers is tantamount.

        And to be fair to her, the stress of the stigma, shame and secrecy of hiding her orientation actually did make her develop physical and mental health concerns, and I don’t think that’s what a loving Father would want for his child. So wellbeing concerns should absolutely be part of the discussion.

        If you call LGBT Christians to be celibate, I’d urge you to seriously consider if that’s a burden you’d willingly put on your child or your own life. Or perhaps to live it out for a while, to see the gravity of what you’re asking. It’s an answer that seems to have developed out of finding a middle road in a response to church practice, not something that’s biblical. It’s a lot to ask of people who’ve already been so maligned.

        • Pubcrawler

          “Or perhaps to live it out for a while, to see the gravity of what you’re asking.”

          I have. It’s OK. Have you?

          • Article in the Guardian next.

            Ps – enforced celibacy as a result of DD, doesn’t count.

          • Pubcrawler

            They couldn’t afford me.

          • Pubcrawler

            Double Diamond?

        • So what did the early Christian martyrs do that you wouldn’t wish to emulate?

          Jack has made no comment on Beeching’s sexual interests or her ability or otherwise to live according to the demands of the Gospel and forgo her sexual appetite and pleasure. He is, however, questioning the nature of a vocation that takes second place to self.

          The Church doesn’t “evolve” in some upward trajectory from it’s early roots and become a different Body. It develop organically and continuously and has to stand against false teachings and heresies.

          Are you aware just how condescending and sneering, in a loving kind of way, your own comments are? Shame you have poor English comprehension and rush to judge the author of this article – in that loving, gentle kind of way, being as how you, but not he, are in possession of the fruits of the Spirit, and all that.

          • Martin

            HJ

            The church that became the Roman Catholic Church didn’t develop organically, it degenerated, taking on pagan ideas and substituting them for the gospel.

        • Sex isn’t everything you know. There’s no shame in celibacy. Those who are truly called to do God’s work know this already. It’s about transcending the mundane and giving of oneself to God to work and serve others using the teachings of Jesus.

          Love doesn’t conquer all and comes in many forms not just the warm and fuzzy PC type. Of course in these days of sexual incontinence and all sorts of made up rights you probably find leading a clean disciplined life of service in the Church ‘unfair’ and shocking. Well I say go and study the lifestyles of Christian Monks and Nuns. See the love and the discipline they have, wonderful, puts Vicky Beeching and her crowd of LGBT’s whinges into perspective. If you still want the Church to have ‘homosexual marriage’, then the Church is not for you.

        • Stephen Leacock

          That’s a position quite contrary to the Christian dogma.

          Anglicanism is not supposed to be the ‘evolution’ of the Christianity, it is a back to basics, purging the Church of the ‘evolution’ towards Papal supremacy.

          Celibacy isn’t such a burden really. Just re-examine the Gospel, it is a fate far to be preferred to promiscuity.

        • David

          Your knowledge of Church history is deeply flawed. The whole purpose of the Reformation, of which Anglicanism is a particular variant, was to return the Church to those very early ideas, of the first few centuries, before the holy truths were obscured and covered up by centuries of slowly accreted minor errors, which when compounded over time, and distorted by worldly concerns, completely masked the true offer of God’s salvation through grace, through faith.

          Your use of the word “evolved” suggests that your ideas are strongly influenced by Secularist Humanism that upholds Darwinian evolution as a proven indisputable fact; it then foolishly assumes that ideas that claim to be rooted in Science, can safely be transposed to areas such as Politics, Philosophy and in your case, even Theology ! This is a deeply flawed methodology. The tools of Science do not necessarily travel well into other areas of human endeavour. Moreover Christian theology is not, essentially, a human construct; for Christianity is based on the supernatural belief that God’s eternal Truths have been graciously granted, revealed to humanity through His prophets and then recorded in the Bible.

          Ignore what the Bible says, and those great theologians who in our Church history have interpreted it, and you have left Christianity behind as you create your new post-Christian religion, that allows whatever our selfish little hearts desire.

          I suggest that you study Church history much more before you attempt to extrapolate from it into contemporary debates. Moreover you need to respect much more the starkly different methodologies of the radically different disciplines that you attempt to sweep into one melange moulded by the muddled thinking of what is essentially Secular Humanism.

        • Anton

          “Good job we don’t emulate everything the early martyrs did because we’d have very few believers left.”

          The church never grew faster than in those days.

        • David

          “Good job we don’t emulate everything the early martyrs did because we’d have very few believers left”

          Rubbish and historically ignorant ! That was a cheap, superficial throw away line, more appropriate for a comedian than use in a sound argument.

          Study your very early Church history and you’ll discover a very different story. The sacrifice of the martyrs led directly to the growth of the Church. When Christians were persecuted and fled from their home cities, they dispersed across the Roman world, and thereby spread the gospel.

        • The institutionalised church in its many forms has not evolved; it has decayed. It was already doing so when the apostles were alive. Those championing the changes cast them as progress and enlightenment. The apostles saw the changes as apostasy.

          • carl jacobs

            John Thomson

            Just wanted to say that I have appreciated you comments and look forward to your continued participation at Cranmer’s.

          • Many thanks Carl

        • Joe Stocker

          Quote: “If you call LGBT Christians to be celibate, I’d urge you to seriously consider if that’s a burden you’d willingly put on your child or your own life. ”

          The call is for all single Christians to abstain from sexual relationships and all married Christians to be faithful to their spouse. There is no specific calling for LGBT Christians. The Bible doesn’t mention them.

          It’s a tough moral standard and I’m sure a great many Christians (all of them when you consider Matthew 5:28) repeatedly fail to live up to it – which is where repentance and forgiveness come in. In the same way, the gravity of asking Christians to love their neighbours as themselves (an impossible task according to our modern understanding of human nature) isn’t answered by a call to replace that moral instruction with a far more realistic rule- like “be nice to people who are nice to you but feel free to hate your neighbour if he/she is an evil bstard”.

      • dannybhoy

        https://www.premierchristianity.com/Past-Issues/2014/October-2014/Profile-Vicky-Beeching

        Well wortn watching and reading. By reading Vicki’s earliest web writings is is how I got to know Hannah and her Jewish blog …

    • Stephen Leacock

      Being Gay does not make one promiscuous, but that line was evidently calling out the promiscuous perverts.

      Not the non-promiscuous perverts.

    • David

      Playing the victim card is exceedingly fashionable. But instead of begging for a false gentleness, how about defending your points and refuting the opposing ones with good sound arguments, especially ones drawn from our classic book, the Bible ? Moreover there is nothing loving, in the deeper, true Christian sense, than affirming someone in activities and beliefs that will lead them directly away from God. Jesus was very direct in His speech and not in the least PC.

  • Chris

    Ms Beeching reacted on Twitter saying that this response felt like an attack

    you’d think that if someone responded to an article like this saying, ‘that was hurtful and felt like an attack’, a Christian would say, ‘that was not my intention, what was it that was hurtful?’

    Instead we get ‘oooh you crybabies talking about “hatefulness”‘
    Or ‘you’re being a victim11!’
    Or ‘well if you think that’s bad, watch this…!’

    People are responding with their meanest selves rather than engaging with the issue that was raised. If you actually responded earnestly without insults, we’d might move forward in the discussion.

    and whoever shall say to his brother, ‘Raca!’
    shall be in danger of the council; and whoever shall say,
    ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of the fire of Gehenna.

    • Pubcrawler

      You last two paragraphs present an interesting juxtaposition…

      • It’s meant in a loving, gentle, non-judgemental kind of way.

    • Perhaps the intention was to challenge and provoke.

      i>”You may want to quote Scripture to promiscuous perverts and they might seek to highlight the truth of your homophobic bigotry, but Jesus is concerned with grace, peace, reconciliation and infinite blessing.”

      Do you actually understand the meaning of this sentence?

  • Beeching claims the C of E guidelines are resulting in “a quasi “don’t ask, don’t tell” culture generating fear, shame, and secrecy instead of the love and security that should be the right of any couple.” What is she insinuating? That homosexuals called to the priesthood and who make solemn promises to stay faithful to Church teaching, are not being honest?
    .
    It seems she also doesn’t like the terms and conditions set by God for those who work in His fields as “LGBT equality is a basic essential for any employer.” In Tesco or Walmart perhaps, but in the Kingdom? She’ll also find the EU Worktime Directive is also ignored.

    • Stephen Leacock

      Well she also wants to be priestess so she clearly doesn’t care much for God’s terms and conditions.

      Merely those set by men – and so changing them to fit her own desires.

    • Martin

      HJ

      She does have a point then. The leaders of the CoE are so busy trying for unity that everything else is falling apart.

  • sarky

    I feel sick to the stomach reading the comments from some of the people I’ve debated with over the years.
    I’m going to go back to my atheistic tolerant life, where I value people for who they are, not where they stick their bits. I can’t be part of this anymore.

    “So long and thanks for all the fish”

  • Skidger

    Since when did anybody in The Guardian support Christianity anyway?

    • David

      Good question. I’ve sensed that many of them would approve of a Church that preaches only the social gospel, comprising charitable works. But they hate the full gospel which requires us to acknowledge the Lordship of God and our utter dependency on faith in Christ for our salvation.

  • IanCad

    What more evidence do we need that the advocates for Homo marriage are a malign and corrupt cadre, than this morning’s Sunday Worship on Radio4?
    Not satisfied with converting the Gospel of Christ into a platform for their own aims; they now have the gall to attack our hymnology.
    To change Charles Parry’s reverent and inspiring arrangement of “Dear Lord and Father of Mankind” into the infantile noise presented this AM, talks of minds degenerate and sinking fast.

    • David

      Yes the hardline feminists and their fellow travellers want to go much further than that Ian. They seek to remove all references to God as Father from the liturgy and even the ancient Creeds. Personally now, I see a schism as a sad necessity to preserve the Anglican faith as envisaged by Archbishop Cranmer. Gafcon is now the beating heart of true Anglicanism.

      • Eustace

        Schism?!?

        Woot! Woot! Score!!!

        So now we’ve cracked the Anglican Church apart, time to turn our sights on the big lumbering Roman behemoth.

        According to people in the know (well, in their own twisted and paranoid little minds at least – think Mundabor and his “Evil Clown” fantasy) we’ve already captured the papacy. The wedge that will split the Catholic Church into mutually antagonistic First and Third World halves has already been planted. All we need to do now is bring the hammer down on it hard.

        Calling Agent Bergoglio! Operation Swift nearing completion. Commence Operation Asscher now!

        • bluedog

          It fascinates you, doesn’t it? If you can find time to lurk on the Mundabor website, one wonders if you are really the atheist you pretend to be. If it wasn’t that the Christian churches oppose same sex marriage and homosexuality, we might find you swapping brotherly posts with HJ and Albert.

          • Eustace

            Jack and Albert believe in a fictitious entity called God. They cannot demonstrate his existence, yet they insist that the book of rules they claim is his “Word” gives them the right to tell us all how to live our lives.

            So no, regardless of what they believe about homosexuality, I could never have any kind of fraternal relationship with either man. They’re both dangerous fantasists who believe their fantasies must be imposed on everyone. And in my experience, dangerous fantasists are to be avoided rather than befriended.

            And as for Mundabor, he’s good for a laugh now and again. His “Evil Clown” delusion is especially entertaining. When I want to see an extreme case of what religious fantasy can do to a man’s mind, I’ll take a quick peek at his blog. I’ve also recommended it to others who try to make excuses for Christians – to good effect, I must say. There isn’t much you can say to defend Christianity once you’ve read a Mundabor blog post. What better evidence could there be of the negative effect it has on a man’s mental health?

          • bluedog

            You would say that, wouldn’t you.

          • Eustace

            I assume there must be something in the Bible that recommends Christians, when backed into a corner, to respond like bitchy 13 year-old girls, because of course getting in the last word means you’ve won the argument, doesn’t it?

            *Rolleyes*

          • bluedog

            Be like that. See if I care.

          • Eustace

            Thought so. I can’t remember the passage, but I have a vague recollection that it goes something like this:

            “And when arguing with the Infidel, maketh thou sure that the Last Word is always thine. For the Lord thy God hath hallowed the Last Word, and whomsoever shalt utter it will sit upon His right hand for all eternity, and paradise shall be his…”

          • bluedog

            ‘After you, old man.’

            ‘No, no, after you.’

            ‘No, really.’

            ‘Look, I insist.’

            Easy, once you get the hang.

          • carl jacobs

            Bluedog

            You should join the “I’ve blocked Linus” Club. Really. If you hadn’t read any of his posts on this thread, would you have missed anything? It’s easy, bluedog. Two mouse clicks and he simply disappears.

          • bluedog

            Thank you for your advice and technical expertise, Carl. While having nothing but admiration for both, this communicant intends to ignore the former. One takes the view that our atheist/apostate/heretic/pagan friends visit this site because they have seen the Light and look to His Grace’s cyber ministry for succour. In the broader scheme of things it costs nothing to offer fellowship, however irksome the response may initially be.

          • dannybhoy

            Eustace is trapped. He doesn’t want to believe in God because he blames Him for all the abuse he suffered at the hands of Catholic Christians.
            Understandable.
            So his intellect leads him to believe that there is no God, they’re all deluded. But his heart desperately needs healing, and he can’t get healing because only God’s Holy Spirit can really bring understanding, forgiveness and healing into his life.
            That’s why he comes back here. He rejects what he desperately needs.
            That’s why we should pray for him.

          • bluedog

            Exactly.

          • Eustace

            I see one delusion leads to another, and another, and pretty soon you’ve taken up permanent residence in Cloud Cuckoo Land.

            You make a totally unwarranted connection between my experiences with religion as a child and my lack of belief in any god today. If there is such a thing as God and there’s any truth whatsoever in the Bible, the unpleasantness of priests and nuns can have little to say about his character.

            I loathed my childhood English tutor, the dullest man on the planet with an epic comb-over, who reeked of camphor and tobacco and regarded children as objects to be shouted at and scolded into erudition. Despite his best attempts to bore me rigid with non-finite verb complements and island constraints, I developed an abiding affection for the English language. No thanks to him, of course. But when something is worth knowing, an enquiring mind will find a way to know it, even when obstacles are placed in its way.

            In a similar vein, if God were real and worth knowing, I would have found a way to know him no matter how horrible those who were supposed to teach me about him were. The faith of disapproval and condemnation that psychotic nuns and twisted priests tried to bully into me could not have clouded my vision of a real God, just as the dry, pedantic and technical English my tutor tried to drum into me could not cloud my vision of the colourful and endlessly shaded box of paints that is the real English language.

            One only had to open the pages of an Austen novel to see that English was far more than the dull and lifeless thing it became in the hands of my tutor. But no matter who talked about God, he never became anything more than a two-dimensional and very unlikely cartoon character, rather well described by C.S. Lewis as a flash-in-the-pan talking lion who turned up when it suited him expecting everyone to bow down and love him, and then buggered off just as quickly leaving everyone in the lurch.

            God never seemed either credible or real. So try as I might to look past the mutterings and threats of my preceptors, there was quite simply nothing there to see. God was just an excuse for cruel and bullying behaviour and endless self-justification. Nothing I’ve ever learned about God from any Christian, and certainly no sign or indication or even the faintest inkling that there’s something there beyond the selfish and self-regarding picture they paint, has ever led me to believe that God exists. There’s just a silent, empty nothingness that Christians project their image of God onto. Nothing more. If there were, it would be tangible and real, and it would render all the noise made by Christians as meaningless as the witterings of my English tutor.

            If I want “understanding, forgiveness and healing”, I have my husband, my family and my friends to turn to. Of course they’re human and therefore not perfect, so perhaps they won’t always be there for me. But they are right now. And if they’re not as I get older, well so be it. Should I make up a God just to have someone who’ll cosset me and “make it all better”? Not only would that be dishonest, it would also be pointless. I would know it was fake, so what kind of understanding, forgiveness and healing could there be? And why would I need them anyway?

            You live your life, you do what you can. Sometimes you do good, sometimes you do bad. If you can be satisfied with the good you did and learn from the bad, what else do you need? Fantasies of eternal paradise? No thanks. I wouldn’t want to live in Stepford for 5 minutes, let alone for all eternity. I’ll leave those fantasies to you and doubtless they’ll still be rolling around in your head when oblivion overtakes you and the concept of eternity dissolves into nothingness along with your consciousness. That’s where we’re all heading. So enjoy life while you can.

        • David

          Hilarious !
          But don’t wet yourself.
          In North America, once freed from the heretical Liberal “progressives”, the reformed Anglican faith is growing strongly again.
          Christianity never dies, but it does from time to time recalibrate itself.

    • Martin

      Ian

      I see that was from Oasis Waterloo, and Steve Chalke was preaching. Once again the BBC insults Christians.

    • Martin

      Ian

      I see it was from Oasis Waterloo & Steve Chalke was preaching.

  • The Explorer

    Well, it’s been an interesting thread. ‘All you need is Love’ is alive and well, and clearly the theme tune for many, and we regular communicants have met a lot of new friends. Perhaps ‘friends’ is too loose a term: a couple, indeed, have even responded with something approaching hostility. But we’ve certainly met a lot of internet contributors with a different perspective from ours of whose existence I, for one, had been unaware.

    • dannybhoy

      Potential friends Explorer. If we can communicate as people rather than sexual beings… :0)

  • Politically__Incorrect

    In the light of the hostility shown towards this article I decided to re-read it this morning. Its content is perceptive and correct. I believe there is nothing in its content that would offend a reasonable person. It could only be of offence if deliberately misread.

    • bluedog

      Agreed, PI. This communicant has read the post several times and while it mercilessly destroys the pretensions of certain aspirants to the priesthood, there seems to be nothing remotely defamatory, or even more subjective, hateful about the comment. One can only conclude it’s all in the eye of the beholder, and as is pointed out time and time again on this blog, taking offence is a purely optional act.

      Our democracy depends on the competition of ideas and freedom of speech. It is a very sad day when the police are called in to adjudicate on what is essentially a political comment. Forcing the police into a position where they become political police is the antithesis of what the British public square is all about, and scarcely meets the test of ‘British values’.

      It is worth pointing out that Rupert Murdoch, one of the most influential media personalities of the day and a vigorous supporter of Brexit, has never sued for libel or slander at any time in his long career. Maybe he takes the view that doing so is is a sign of weakness.

      • Chris

        So glad you’ve decided that from upon high. Since your opinion is the gold standard for All Things True, no-one should be able to find anything offensive that you don’t.

        • bluedog

          Both inspirational and absolutely right! Many thanks.

          • The dog’s bollocks, in fact.

          • bluedog

            Shhh, HJ. One can’t disagree with a progressive. The police will be called. Best to make them feel special, with one’s humble gratitude.

          • Understood. Plus, the term “bollocks” will no doubt offend someone’s sensibilities.

    • David

      Agreed. Offence is being deliberately taken, as it challenges their agendas that deliberately distort truth. Those who defend truth can expect a lot of incoming fire from the forces of destruction.

  • len

    I can only conclude that Judgement has already started in the house of God namely ‘The church’.

    The last days church is going to be the apostate church and it is quite revealing to see this Church forming exactly as prophesied in the Word of God

    ‘But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.'(2 Timothy 3)

    What is remarkable is that these people will consider themselves ‘good people’ even Christians….

    • David

      Yes indeed.

    • Brittany Smith

      I’m sure you also see yourself in that crowd – can anyone find all the people on this post that are without love to their gay brothers and sisters? I spy many!

      • David

        Does your definition of “love” involve affirming that which God says is sinful ?
        True love, in the Christian sense, involves speaking plainly to identify those things that fall outside God’s plan for the human race. All else is for the smooth false teachers, who abound in this godless age.

        • Brittany Smith

          Except the key component is that God never said homosexuality was a sin. He referred to gay sexual acts in different context throughout the Bible as sinful, but never said that homosexual acts are sinful. That’s like saying rape throughout the Bible is sinful so therefore all heterosex is sinful.

          • len

            Anything not defined as ‘sin’ in the bible is OK then?.

          • Brittany Smith

            I would say yes and no. I think that’s up to God personally. There is a lot of gray – such as killing in self defense, to end suffering, etc. All we can do as Christians is go on doing our best with Christ’s message and believe in a God that is understanding and full of compassion in each circumstance.

          • grutchyngfysch

            I don’t know if you have read Dietrich Bonhoeffer, but if you haven’t, you should, because a central theme of his writing is the concept of “cheap grace” which uses the language of the Cross to pretend that atonement was not necessary since sin is not so bad.

            We were saved from sin, from the bondage of our sinful natures. Christ’s atoning blood covers the sin of homosexuality because it covers every sexual perversion that lurks in the hearts of mankind (mine included) and because it covers every sin; but it’s a poor theology which robs that blood of its power with the claim that what it covers is acceptable before God.

          • Brittany Smith

            I understand this, the difference is that I don’t believe the Bible is actually saying that homosexuality is a sin. It can be perverted and lustful, just as heterosexuals can use sex wrongly, but should not be viewed as one of the many things Jesus came down to save us from.

            I think like many things God intended, that sin ruined things, but that God makes use, or uses love to fix our broken world, homosexuality being one of those things. The love described in Corinthians is the same love that brings gay couples together, and the same love that Jesus had for people (agape love). To argue that because it’s between two people of the same gender that it’s now a sin seems hypocritical to what love actually is. Between the context of the Bible, and what I believe of my God, I have a hard time believing that God would contradict himself with this love just because body parts don’t fit together. If God can provide a full family by having a Christian gay couple adopt and provide this love to their children and to the world, than what is the sin? That because parts clash and God doesn’t like that? Doesn’t seem like the understanding and loving God I read in the Bible.

            I shall read though because it sounds interesting, thanks for the suggestion.

          • bluedog

            ‘If God can provide a full family by having a Christian gay couple adopt and provide this love to their children and to the world, than what is the sin?’

            What about the rights of the child/children? Do they get to meet their other biological parents? Do they get to live in a family where there are both male and female role models? Or is it all about the gratification of the adoptive couple?

          • Brittany Smith

            The same statement can be said about heterosexual couples that adopt. The children have the option of meeting their biological parents or parent. Just because a male or female parent is absent doesn’t mean that children can’t have a role model of both genders. It happens all the time in single-home families, and the children are just happy to have just someone who loves them. There are many family members in a child’s life, even teacher, that can be this role model if needed. Copious amounts of studies show that the love of a parent is more important than the gender. And what would you suggest, that this child stay in a foster system? Is that more in line with what God wants than having a family to love them?

          • bluedog

            ‘Just because a male or female parent is absent doesn’t mean that children can’t have a role model of both genders.’ Self-contradictory.

            And what is a ‘single-home family’. Are there ‘double-home families’? Triple home? And what is a ‘full family’ as opposed to a family? You seem to be one of those whose arguments are dependent on control of the language of debate.

          • Brittany Smith

            How is that self-contradictory? Have you never had a same-sex or opposite sex role model aside from your parents? Did their gender take much precedence in why they were your role model? Role models are usually models for their trait of character, not their gender, and is such for most of the population.

            I should clarify that I meant a single-parent family where either the mother or father is absent. Which I shall note, a child is more effected by the feeling of a parent abandoning them, as opposed to not having either a “dad” or “mom”.

          • bluedog

            ‘Role models are usually models for their trait of character, not their gender, and is such for most of the population.’

            A comment which presumes there is no difference between the sexes apart from their bits. But this is not the case. Masculinity and femininity are clearly defined attributes that anyone who has raised a son or daughter will recognise as differences, from before the babe can speak. You view of the population seems at odds with the experience of the majority.

            There is no substitute for the biological parent, however much love is offered by the substitute. We are all fascinated by our parents, we look for similarities in appearance and personality, we delight in family history. Nothing can replace those experiences. The optimum situation is for the children to receive the great benefit of being raised by its biological parents. Anything else is a compromise, however well-intentioned.

          • Brittany Smith

            What exactly are you referencing to that makes a boy and girl so different, even in the eyes of parents? Much of our perception of gender is based on gender-norms, and not on science. Babies, regardless of gender, are basically the same (outside of everyone’s own unique personality) when it comes to hormones, and development. So yes, the “bits” are what separates children at such a young age. Masculinity and femininity are solely based on the the body in science, and not on gender norms. You can have a feminine man that is straight, and vice versa.

            I will also disagree that a biological parent is any better than a substitute. Having both biological parents is not some secret recipe that makes a happy home or child. There are many children that have been scarred, neglected, and hurt from a biological parent, where a substitute parent would have been better. One can conclude then that it’s not the DNA or gender, but the love of a parent that is most important, regardless if it’s from a biological or substitute parent.

          • bluedog

            ‘What exactly are you referencing to that makes a boy and girl so different, even in the eyes of parents?’

            So, you’re not a parent, are you? It’s an early difference in attitude and behaviour. Baby boys are, well, male. Baby girls are, well, female. I’m talking about when they start to be auto-mobile and in the crawling/exploring stage. Girls don’t smash things they don’t understand, for example.

            ‘I will also disagree’. You have to, given your arguments in posts above.

          • Brittany Smith

            That seems like a very opinionated statement, boys will smash things. That is not a boy quality, but an individual quality. No, I’m not a parent, but I do teach. So my plethora of how a boy or girl acts is much more based on the hundreds of students I’ve taught than just one example. Also…stating a boy is male and a girl is female does not prove anything other than they’re synonyms.

            You have yet to argue the fact that a biological parent is better than a loving substitute parent. Unless of course you will always support a biological parent, despite how they treat their child, to that of a parent that has love for their adopted child.

          • bluedog

            ‘That seems like a very opinionated statement, boys will smash things. That is not a boy quality, but an individual quality.’

            ‘Babies, regardless of gender, are basically the same (outside of everyone’s own unique personality) when it comes to hormones, and development.’

            First quote. Yes it’s an opinionated statement and simply based on experience. Girls don’t smash their toys. Boys often do, they’re sort of rough and impatient.

            The second quote. This is completely untrue. Your ignorance of the different rates of development of the two sexes seems profound. Girls acquire language and other social skills well in advance of boys and they reach puberty quicker too. It is a great surprise that you don’t seem to have noticed this. As infants the sexes play with different things out of choice, not acculturation. Their interests are naturally different. It’s all to do with chromosomes and the resultant differing hormonal balances, together with the different role of the sexes in procreation. How can a teacher not have noticed this? Surprisingly you make no reference to the critical importance of early-childhood education. Perhaps you are unfamiliar with this.

            One struggles to understand your position, it seems so alien to one’s own experience. It’s almost as though you were never a child, and that you want to believe all humans are gender neutral. But our sexual di-morphism reaches deep into the development of the respective sexes. No doubt there are endless links to learned works published in the NYT or Guardian that refute the empirical and assert the ideological. So many progressive studies seem to start with a premise that the author seeks to prove.

            You say you’ve taught hundreds of boys and girls at school, but the pupil-teacher relationship is completely different to the parent-child relationship. A child is a school for about a quarter of the day and at home for the balance. The primary care-givers are found in the family. Family values and experiences trump school values and experiences by virtue of this differing period of exposure.

            As a teacher you represent the state, and the state does not own the family or the child and this is reflected in the primacy of family culture over school culture in terms of soft power. In terms of hard power, parents can take their child away from school at will, but only in exceptional cases can the state take the child away from its parents. The power relationship at school changes and the state is briefly supreme. As a student this is where you learn how the system works and how to work the system for the first time in your life, possibly the most important lesson learned.

            ‘You have yet to argue the fact that a biological parent is better than a loving substitute parent.’

            The onus is on you to prove your case, but blood is thicker than water. It is frankly bizarre to have to justify the proposition that a child should be raised by its own parents, meaning mother and father. Is this what you mean? Who are you to claim that a biological parent is unloving?

            As to role models, yes of course children have role models of both sexes apart from their parents. Grand-parents, aunts and uncles are good example. But the male-female parental relationship is dominant and all-pervasive. You may now argue from the perspective of exception, as you appear to do, making the implicit claim that the parents are unworthy and a non-parent can offer greater love. In the vast majority of families this is not the case.

          • magnolia

            I have taught and raised children and I agree deeply with what you say about how the parental experience is a much deeper one. While teaching may give breadth, parenting is total immersion 24 hrs a day with dire direct consequences for decades if you get it wrong, and immersed in love, and frustration, and horrible awareness of your limitations as a human being, all of which don’t half concentrate the mind. Whilst teaching is draining and getting that wrong can ruin a career, getting parenting wrong can devastate your family and home life, and cause severe sleep deprivation and there is next to no back up. You have no “call in sick” option even when you are.

          • bluedog

            There are some truly terrifying views around. Last week we had a communicant Douglas Fox holding out the idea, in all seriousness, that marriage is a form of prostitution in which the woman trades sex for protection. Not the slightest comprehension of the complimentary partnership within a marriage. You can guess his sexual preference. It’s pretty much the same school with Brittany Smith. Unable to understand the joyful project of a loving couple who create and raise their own family, believing that anyone can parachute in and replace that love. One suspects the arguments we see from BS are by way of justifying homosexual adoptions. Now, who for?

          • Bob

            I’m sorry Madame but my son and daughter were not based on such premises. My son was very quiet and to himself, my daughter a different story. You’re statement on girls not smashing their toys is laughable at best. Perhaps you taught your boy this, God bless him when he becomes an adult and mother taught him it’s only natural for boys to smash things, or people. Seems like gender profiling to me.

            And while I will agree that perhaps there are differences in maybe toddler years in development, that is not based so much their gender but more on hormone levels, which will vary from child to child.

            And I think it’s pretty clear that Brittany is arguing that biological parenting is not always sound and not never. I do think it’s debatable, despite my pov that it can possibly be all about the love of a parent as opposed to what the gender is. I myself have observed friends adopt and be quite amazing parents.

          • magnolia

            I agree that there are surprising differences. I always felt my son’s skull was made with something like concrete when he was a small boy. This was just as well as he would hurtle around and fall over. I would rush to him feeling he must be injured. Not a bit of it! This was different from daughters.

            Psychologically and spiritually they are far far more similar, but some of how we act is dependent upon how our bodies are made. If the girls had been put in an exoskeleton and a hard helmet they would have taken more risks!

          • grutchyngfysch

            The Loving God of the Bible is not a different Loving God who made it clear, by His Spirit, in both Old and New Testaments that sexual activity between two men and between two women is a sin. It is not Love (Agape) to permit sin – which separates us from God and sets us towards just condemnation. Even when that sin is love (eros).

            Jesus taught a hard lesson on divorce when He taught that except that a marriage has been perverted (the word being porneia – usually translated as adultery but with a broader concept of sexual perversion and immorality, including rape), for someone who divorces and remarries they commit adultery. Now it is not difficult to imagine a scenario in which someone loves their second spouse more than the first. But it is adultery. The world and even the church may recognise the union and solemnise it (the man at fault in Jesus’ teaching has “remarried” – so the union is legally a marriage), but in God’s eyes, by Christ’s teaching, such a union is adulterous. It is sin, and the legal solemnisation of that sin does nothing to relieve it of its sinfulness.

            This is exactly what the Pharisees sought to do: they wanted to clothe the stark and humanly-impossible standard of perfection that God demands in garments more suitable to their eyes, but filthy rags before the Unapproachable Light.

            What we can’t and shouldn’t get bogged down in, is making out some sins to be more uncoverable than others. All sin separates, all have sinned. I was not destined for hell the moment I heard a preacher telling me; a sinner is not damned by hearing a Christian tell them they are – we were already on the road to death and eternal separation from God without any intervention from religion. So God does not talk about hell to make us go there: Jesus did not talk so much about judgement because He wants us to be judged and cast out of His presence. God’s will is that fallen man, utterly without merit in his own right, should be restored through Jesus’ atoning death.

            There is a lot of contemporary confusion that results in churches which, on the one hand, insist on talking about nothing else but how everyone but them is going to hell – especially if they are guilty of sins which most people never have to face temptation of (homosexuality being the prime example in this age). And on the other we have churches which talk a lot about how Jesus is really just a top-up or a gold star plus in a life that’s actually pretty good, and sure aren’t we all just loved anyway.

            We are all loved, and there are many who are storing up wrath for themselves on the Day of Judgement. The Gospel is the proof of the former by the remedying of the latter. We preach a false gospel of condemnation when we pretend that the stink of another man’s sins make us smell sweet to Heaven, and we preach a false gospel when we pretend that all stenches are sweet. The Gospel is that the blood of the Lamb cleanses all unrighteousness – not so that we may return to unrighteousness, but so that we may live pure and blameless lives. But that requires us to be changed, and it cannot be a continuation of how we used to live.

            As Paul himself notes in that pair of overly-quoted but under-read verses: “some of you used to do these things” (Eph 5:6; Col 3:7). Used to. Seems to suggest to me that there were people who may have been by modern definitions homosexual. But it also leaves no room for doubt that this was a former lifestyle, and not something which the faithful of God’s people persisted in.

          • Brittany Smith

            I agree with your views, truly, the underlining difference is our view on homosexuality.

            Even with your quote from Paul, he is referencing to other things on top of what others consider to be his reference to modern day sexuality. When one believe that Paul is referencing to sexual cult acts or idolatry, as opposed to a loving homosexual relationship, it becomes murky.

            And do try to trust that I have down much research on the topic, studied the translations, and try to reach conclusions from an unbiased viewpoint. I cannot firmly state, on either side, that God is clear about his view on a loving, homosexual relationship.

          • grutchyngfysch

            I don’t particularly “buy” the modern version of sexuality in any case, since it seems to me to be (a) a very modern invention which has more to do with responding to imperatives arising from the culture wars; and (b) doesn’t hold much water as a consistent explanation for differing sexual practices across different times and cultures historically. So I’m not reading Paul as writing about homosexuality in the modern sense – I simply observe that the lifestyles which members of a number of the churches he guided may well have been commensurate with what is understood as homosexuality in modernity. Indeed, it is only in modernity that such interpretations have arisen – the fruits of interpretative theory which posits that it is the reader and not the text which has authority over the meaning of text. I have no doubt you could furnish me with any number of references to 20th and 21st Century authors who infer such; many will also hold views far outside orthodoxy on other points of doctrine as a consequence of this interpretative framework. In doing so, you will furnish me with references to critics whose stated methodology is to disregard obvious meaning in favour of what they feel it should mean.

            Critically, I don’t have to do an awful lot of work to demonstrate hostility to same-sex activity in Scripture. Leviticus and Romans are both explicit in condemnation of it as a perversion of intended nature, consistent with Jesus’ teaching using Adam and Eve as the base line for normal and normative sexual relationships. So even if I were to accept that Paul is exclusively talking about cultic sex in Ephesians and Colossians (and the burden is on you to demonstrate that exclusivity – you cannot be arguing solely for ambiguity in seeking to use Scripture to justify a pro-homosexuality position), I am still left with sufficient in Scripture to reject the overall argument.

            The broader and more pivotal point is this: an interpretative framework which “reads in” (against the grain – if you’re familiar with that shibboleth) pro-LGBT can consistently be applied in such a way to read in any number of contradictory points. To admit it would be, as in the example above, to have no different a case from somebody arguing for “loving adultery”, or affirming fornication as “sexual experimentation”. In all such cases, the triumphant theology owes its structure and aims to a culture which has rarely been anything other than openly hostile to Christianity. It cannot survive on Scripture alone, and it cannot survive without the broader cultural context. It is an artefact of the age.

          • Brittany Smith

            As seen in animal behavior, homosexuality activity is something that has been around since the beginning of time, regardless of it’s stamp on the modern word. It’s not something of cultural times, but something real that has been present even in the times of Jesus. Historically speaking there are even accounts of gay marriage in the church that have been resurfaced now that this has become a hot topic. It’s easy to conclude that there were both homosexuals in loving relationships, and acts of homosexuality in every timeframe. So Paul would address such homosexual groups as such, and not to them as a whole – he could of- there was a word – but he decided not to use it. But just like there are no women authors in the Bible, we can conclude that at that time it was taboo to reference such things which is why its absence is marked.

            As for Jesus referencing Adam and Eve, I assume you’re talking about in Matthew where someone asks him about divorce, and not so much about sexuality. Jesus affirms the sanctity of marriage, not so much the gender, and Jesus uses scripture. Jesus uses this scripture because what else could he use to prove his point? We must not allow our interpretation diverge with the actual question he was being asked, that in marriage, two become one not that marriage is solely between a man and woman.

            While I can also agree with reading into things to fit our modern interoperation, we must point out times in history where we as Christians had to step out from our cultural mind frame, and understand the culture at the time of which the Bible was written. It is vital to do so because so many issues within the church such as slavery, interracial marriage, women speaking in the church or based solely on the culture at that time and cannot be applied to today. When we stepped away and explained that Paul was talking about a certain group of people that only applied at that time (women in the church) should we follow it today blindly? The Bible is as much as message as it is a historical document, and we need to be open to the fact that we may not understand fully yet what we should consider a piece of text from that time of culture, to universal laws.

            As for references to cultural acts there are many links from pro gay to those who don’t support LGBT rights and their views at the time. I don’t think I’m allowed to link, but perhaps in a DM?

          • grutchyngfysch

            If you can find me someone who seriously contends that they believe that Paul would have openly and plainly commended homosexual relationships, I’d be surprised. Almost always they divide into two camps: Scripture is pro-gay but Paul wasn’t; Scripture isn’t pro-gay but it was written a long time ago by dinosaurs so we don’t need to pay it any more heed than we decide to. Either way, the authority of Scripture must first be compromised. In the former account, a bigot managed to inveigle his way in; in the latter it has no authority to speak of in any case.

            Both approaches have the effect of making the critic – and the modern critic at that – supreme in their interpretative authority. This is often veiled as ambiguity – but this is a sleight of hand; it is not an ambiguity employed to say no conclusion may be drawn, but to justify the drawing of a conclusion which is neither apparent nor consistent with the rest of Scripture and then refuse to accept the opposing view. True ambiguity would be forced to concede that the traditional view was just as likely as the revisionist one – but this is never argued. It is also a false ambiguity, as there is no ambiguity in the mind of the critic as to what they think is good and proper. They simply levy it as a tool of critiquing orthodoxy whilst establishing their new orthodoxy as something above critique.

            The critical point is consistency. If Scripture is read in such a way to make it inconsistent, what is the point of appealing to it as an authority – on anything? The same Scripture that is used to justify “the loving God (who does not judge the sins present culture has excused)” has already been robbed of its authority to speak on any such character. This is the lesson which went on in the class liberal Christians skipped: the point of eroding the authority of Scripture on matters of sexual morality is not to advance a different form of Christian sexual morality. It is to destroy it. The point of interpretative ambiguity is not the freedom to interpret a new vision of the faith, it is to establish faith as intellectual heresy.

          • Brittany Smith

            There are few theologians that are in both camps that Paul might not have been anti-gay, but as I said, if there is a way of communicating via links we can do so.

            I for one am a Christian who falls in the camp that you find is so rare. I will never state for a fact I know what God says about homosexuality, I have down research on both sides to come to a consensus that it’s impossible to know, but to rely on what I believe the rest of the Bible says. You find that most people that have done that research come to one of either conclusions, but some focus more so on “the one man and woman bit” where I have just personally revolved around what doctrine says about love. In the end, despite all the debating on here, what people consider homosexuality to be is purely based on their best bet because it does not outright say it is a sin given we can’t know 100% of the context. One must agree to both truths that it’s possible that due to the culture of the time that it is not mentioned as many things are not, and that it might just be a sin. It depends on what camp you’re in.

            As for the critical bit, I still would like to know how you view things that have been read wrong for centuries such as the examples I gave in my last post? Obviously those are examples of inconsistencies of human POV and not the Bible, but why can’t one argue that it’s now the same for homosexuality?

          • grutchyngfysch

            But the Bible is absolutely clear that any sexual activity between people of the same sex is a sin.

            Therefore what is happening when someone seeks to justify the desire for the same sex? They are making an ontological distinction between act and desir in the first part. Well yes, I agree that the two are different things but I cannot see how desiring to do something which is a sin can be seen as anything other than sinful desire. If I desire somebody who is not my wife, I commit adultery. For do you not know that what makes us unclean are the things which come out of our heart’s?

          • Brittany Smith

            Let me give an example of why some Christians can see how homosexuality may not be a sin as people may have thought.

            I could argue that it CLEARLY states, and has said so, and has been viewed, for centuries that women have no place in power, or in the church based on Scripture. I can point out Corinthians 14: 34-35. I can point out that all prophets and apostles were male. All the authors of the Bible were male. I can direct myself to scripture and what it states about women throughout the Bible. Titus 2:3-5, Isa 3:12, Eph 5:18, 22-24, etc. There is actually MORE evidence in scripture and throughout history that women should be nothing more than servants (in the loving sense) to their husbands, and bear children to please God than there is that homosexuality is a sin.

            Why do we dismiss all this scriptural and historical evidence? Because somewhere deep within ourselves in the 20th to 21s century we realized that this seemed opposite of what God would want, especially in today’s day and age. Scholars digged a little into the context of the time.

            Now, would you argue that this is clearly veiled in ambiguity? I myself am not 100% sure, because scripture and history almost make it clear of a woman’s place, but I also am, and believe, that some of the passages were meant to be read in reference to the time and context. Am I now pushing my own agenda? Who knows….

            Anyways, the same can be said about homosexuality and why some Christians, despite not knowing 100%, can lean more towards acceptance. There is enough evidence in history that more than enough proves that while The Bible not have been written wrong, that many people have been reading it wrong for a very long time.

          • grutchyngfysch

            If you think the Bible is clear about something why would you then seek to disobey what it clearly teaches?

            My very nature is fallen. How then can I presume that my inner feelings on a matter are sounder revelation than the inspired Word of God?

            To answer your question specifically, I stand by what Scripture plainly reached about men and women as much as I do what it plainly teaches about homosexuality and the atoning death of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who was slain for mankind’s same and rose again on the third day.

          • Well said ….

          • Eustace

            Your basic problem is that homosexual acts are clearly condemned in several places in the Bible. There’s no getting around the language of Leviticus and Romans 1.

            It doesn’t seem intellectually honest to me to wave these condemnations away airily with vague references to God’s lurve and your understanding. He didn’t forgive Adam and Eve for their transgression, did he? No, he drove them forth and caused them untold misery. Why would he act any differently towards you?

            Aren’t you being rather like certain Germans in the 1930s who supported Hitler because he got the economy back on track and made the trains run on time? They explained his anti-Semitic attitudes away by saying that it was just political hyperbole and grandstanding and he didn’t really hate the Jews. But he did, didn’t he?

            This God you want to worship has some pretty harsh things to say about gay people, and you want to explain it away by saying that it’s all just a misunderstanding and you can’t believe he really means it?

            If he really exists, I think you’re in for the shock of your life. Whereas the only shock for me will be finding out that he’s really there. The rest of it, i.e. eternal torment, won’t come as a shock at all. That’s what the Bible promises us, after all. Good thing it’s all bollocks, no?

          • Brittany Smith

            I don’t think you’re reading Leviticus and Romans in context. I suggest before we continue debating that you look into what the actual translations said, and the controversy surrounding them.

          • Eustace

            Context?

            In what context does the word “abomination” (or “unclean” if you want to quibble about translations) become positive and affirming?

            And how do you spin Paul’s uncompromising words into support for same-sex couples? I’ve heard the arguments from those who claim he’s just taking a pot-shot at Cybele worshippers, but in order to get that from the text, you really have to want to believe it. A neutral reading makes it a blanket condemnation of all same-sex relations, which is how it’s been understood for two thousand years.

            But let’s say you’re right and that Christianity has been labouring under a misapprehension about homosexuality for two millennia. If there’s one misapprehension, there must surely be others. So what other key Christian tenets must we call into question and “reinterpret”?

            Perhaps references to Mary as a virgin have been misunderstood and what the Bible really means is that she was a Virgo, i.e. born between 22 August and 22 September. It would certainly fit her reputation of being rather a nervous, worrisome and uptight young woman, prone to visions and other manifestations of hysteria.

            So why then, you may ask, does the Church celebrate the feast of the Virgo on 15 August, which falls in the sign of Leo? Easy! Precession of the equinoxes of course … silly!

            And what about the Resurrection? Could that be a mistranslation for reawakening? Did Christ merely fall asleep on the cross and have a good snooze for three days and nights? And was the harrowing of hell just a vivid dream? And when he came among the apostles was it like “Hey dudes, like I toadily crashed back there, and like whoah! Ba-a-a-d trip, man!”

            If not, why not? How can you reinterpret one part of the Bible and then claim the rest of it as the gospel truth? Is it because that one part causes you a specific problem? In which case I assume you’d be happy for adulterers to reinterpret Christ’s words about adultery. And of course his apparently harsh attitude towards the Pharisees should also be reinterpreted as a resounding endorsement of their practices.

            Either it’s all God’s Word or it’s entirely human and fallible. You can’t pick and choose the bits of it you want to change because it suits you to change them. If you’re going to believe, at least have the intellectual integrity to believe it all. If you can’t, then the whole edifice comes crashing down. You can try to prop it up with a reinterpretation here and retranslation there, but it won’t hold for long. Not, that is, unless you’re extremely practiced at lying to yourself and reinventing the truth to suit your idea of what it should be rather than facing it for what it is.

            And what is that truth? As I see it, that the Bible was written by straights for straights and was designed to make your life a burden to you precisely because, in their eyes, you need to be punished for not being like them. They want to push you to the fringes of society and deny you any chance of finding love and happiness. That’s how they secure their hegemony.

            In a straight world, the only kind of emotional fulfillment gays are allowed can be found at a monthly Courage Apostolate coffee morning (or the Protestant equivalent) complemented by an assiduous program of good works under the direction of a closet-case priest and the constant supervision of the matrons and widows of the parish (well, someone has to make sure there’s no monkey business…)

            All other human connection is forbidden to you, with the sole exception (chaperoned, of course) of contact with other spinsters and bachelors in the vain hope (theirs, not yours) that God will perform a miracle, straighten you out and make you fall madly in love with another suitably opposite sexed social reject. Once married, you will then be admitted into the charmed circle of the Lord’s elect, with seats in the back row of course, because you have to be reminded of your previous life of sin.

            That’s your lot if you’re gay and Christian. You can try as hard as you like to reform the religion so that it takes your wants and needs into account, but what you’re forgetting is that it isn’t meant for you. Its role is to reinforce the social dominance of heterosexuals. Understand that and you’ve understood the entire raison d’être of God.

          • Bob

            You must have had a hard time when people got Slavery and all the science wrong in the Bible because for you its all or nothing huh?

          • Eustace

            Whatever science the Bible gets wrong, it is beholden upon the Christian to believe the biblical version. If God didn’t create the world in 6 days, then what other lies does the Bible tell?

            Don’t blame me for the trap you set for yourself by cherry picking the bits of the Bible you want to believe and dismissing the rest. If there’s a single Bible passage you reject, you have to reject the lot. If you don’t, you’re just making it up as you go along.

            I have little respect for biblical literalists because the triumph of stubborn will over reality merits no respect. I have even less respect for biblical revisionists because although they accept certain aspects of reality, they still cling to the myths and fairy stories that happen to appeal to them, even when they know large parts of the book they so worship are complete rubbish.

            The moment you call a single Bible passage into question, you call the whole book into question. And if the whole book can be questioned, who will answer those questions? You? And what makes you qualified to determine the truth?

          • Bob

            I’m quite confused by your claim – you’re stating that if we question any of the Bible we might as well throw it in the trash for being “untrue” – what sort of logic is that? There are many things in my life that I find truth in, messages, fairytales, even my own country’s HISTORY when it’s not even remotely or entirely 100% true.

            To quote Star Wars for telling me “it’s a trap”, I also like to remind you that only Siths act in absolutes. har har

            I for one am not one to provide truth in, I am but a man, but alas, you cherry pick by judging biblical literalists to biblical revisionists. Who are you to qualify the validity of their claims? Does this not contradict your trite to begin with? That if we question one passage we must question them all?

            I for one do not think God is stupid, and I suspect he wants us to question. I would find God pretty dull if he accepted me to trust controversial topics in the realms of science to be true at face value – in fact – many traditional Christians did, and we all laugh together in the absurdity that the Earth was ever flat, the center of the universe, that evolution isn’t real, or that God created sex purely for procreation.

            Should I also not question all the social issues that the Bible presents? Rice on a cracker, we would be here all day debating.

            Regardless my dear Christian friend, I often find people that claim that “if we find one part of the Bible to be questionable, than who is to say what is true” to be in denial. The fact is you probably question a thing or two. Certainly I do, God’s wrath for starters in the OT.

            But, I do believe in the message of Jesus, and the power of love that so many on here like to mock. The Bible is not a rulebook, it is many things, but not a rulebook which I would remind people to consider. The Bible itself also instructs Christians that New Testament moral directives supersede Old Testament moral directives. The Bible itself tells us that its moral principles supersede any of its moral “rules.”

            I also like you to think of the following…

            A fundamental tenet of Christianity is that we are all born sinners, that we have no choice but to exist in relationship to our sinful natures. And so Christians accept as inevitable that any given Christian will, for instance, on occasion drink too much, lust, or tell a lie.

            As we’ve seen in clobber passages Paul also condemns, along with homosexuality, those three specific sins. But Christians don’t think that they are expected to never commit any degree of those sins. They understand that circumstances and normal human weaknesses must be taken into account before condemning any transgression. We all readily understand and accept the moral distinction between drinking socially and being a drunk, between a lustful thought of our spouse and committing adultery, between telling a flattering white lie and chronically lying.

            Even a sin as heinous as murder we do not judge without first taking into account the context in which it occurred. Self-defense, protection of the innocent, during a war—we recognize that there are times when taking the life of another is not only not a sin, but a morally justified and even heroic act.

            Christians evaluate the degree of sin, or even whether or not a real sin has occurred, by looking at both the harm caused by the sin, and the intent of the sin’s perpetrator.

            They do, that is, for all sins except homosexuality.

            Good Day sir, embrace your questioning and dive into your faith.

          • Eustace

            If the Bible is the Word of God then “logically” it must be 100% true. Or are you maintaining that God tells lies? That he sins, in fact?

            Ew! Can! … Worms! … Everywhere!

            But if we ignore all that wriggling and slime and attend to the second part of your claim, viz. that homosexuality IS a sin, but that God doesn’t mind if we commit it as long as we’re sorry about it, and we don’t do it too often, because then we would be like gayoholics, or something … which is apparently worse than just being a social homosexual, whatever that may be … sorry if this is unclear, but I am trying to follow your “logic”, so perhaps a certain level of incoherence is to be expected.

            Anyhow, the upshot of all this is that gays are sinners, but as long as we grovel for forgiveness after each bonk, which should of course happen only moderately frequently, presumably in line with government guidelines on gayohol consumption, i.e. no more than 14 units (or bonks) per week and absolutely no binge bonking on the weekends, then God is absolutely fine with it, and therefore so should Christians be.

            Now of course I won’t argue with the gayohol consumption guidelines because twice a day seems reasonable enough (although it might have been a little restricting when I was a bit younger). But I’m afraid I will have to object to the groveling part.

            Why should I have to grovel and ask forgiveness for doing something I enjoy and which causes no harm to anyone else?

            No, if your imaginary God (who tells lies by the way, so should that not make us suspicious about his motives in requiring all of this groveling?) wants me to grovel, he’s going to have to provide me with a pretty good explanation of exactly why it’s necessary. A few lines in a dubious book, large parts of which can be dismissed as unscientific (according to you), offer no explanation beyond “God says so, so knuckle under”, which quite frankly isn’t good enough. If I’m going to give up what you yourself admit to be a perfectly reasonable consumption of gayohol, I want to know why I have to go without when straights are allowed all the straightohol they like, as long as they always drink it from the same cup. Ew!

            So where’s the answer to that in this Bible of yours? This fallible and unscientific Bible written by a God who lies. And how do you know what it means if you can’t trust the being who wrote it? After all, if he said the world was created in 6 days and you know it took more like 60 billion days, then you’ve already caught him telling porky pies, so how can you trust anything else he says?

            Can’t wait to see what twists and ducks and dives of “logic” will provide an explanation for all of this. Have your feet ever touched the bottom of the pool, or have you been floating (or drowning) in the deep end all your life?

          • Bob

            I must say, I chuckled at your response, quite the imagination.

            I’m too old to debate, but I guess you found my statement unclear – and perhaps if I am allowed to make it clearer I am merely saying that when any sin in the Bible is brought up into our real lives (lying, stealing, murder, etc.) were are prone to find “excuses” to justify or find context within them. And no, it’s not to find a loophole or say that “as long as I am forgiven” it’s to point out how we are so easy to find gray and perhaps light in such “sinful” situations, as opposed to homosexuality. Even Jesus found a way to go against “the rules” when he broke a 10 commandment! To work on the Sabbath! All I’m saying is that if Jesus could find some context, than perhaps we as Christians should look more into context of our gay brothers and sisters, and not so much into the writing.

            Do I find God a liar? Oh heavens no. I can conclude as a man with some sort of intelligence though that either humans interpreted the Bible (which was not written wrong) wrong at one point, or that perhaps parts were written outside of context to make it confusing to the reader. Regardless, it makes no difference to me because I have always found the message to be more important than the dabble of which account of the resurrection is correct or when the 2nd coming will be.

            Regardless, I trust in a God that will not judge me so harshly for questioning, I’m sure we would laugh over a pint of “gayohol” as you call it.

          • Eustace

            Thank you, but to quote the words of a song, I am what I am, and what I am needs no excuses.

            I’m not interested in your loopholes and your context. If it has to make excuses for me, your religion clearly views me as a problem. Which makes me view your religion as a problem.

            Problems are made to be faced and resolved. If your religion won’t stop seeing me as a problem, the only way I can solve the problem it causes me is to confront it, debunk it and send it packing.

            You’ll therefore understand why I’m so very gratified to see the Anglican Church on the verge of schism. One part of the problem is just about solved, and what I learned in arriving at the solution can be applied to the rest of the problem with every likelihood of equal success.

          • Bob

            I wish you no ill will Mr. Eustace, but my religion is the same as yours, and frankly, religion is man-made and not God-made anyways. We are a people of God himself.

            I hope one day you see the damages of Schism and how Christ wanted to bring people together, not tare them apart, till then I hope you come to understand that a faith led by questioning is stronger than a faith led foolishly in ignorance.

          • Eustace

            Tare (sic) us apart? You mean there’s a significant difference in our weights? Well as I’m height/weight proportionate, that clearly means you must either be anorexic or obese.

            If anorexic, am I to understand that you have given up food as a sacrifice to the Lord? What other mortifications of the flesh do you indulge in? Whips? Cilices? Hair shirts? I assume you must be a Catholic. One doesn’t often see Protestants engaging in the more extreme versions of asceticism. A minimalist church always seems to translate to a well-furnished plate.

            If however you’re obese, which would certainly fit better with my experience of Christian Bobs (or Baahb as they mainly seem to pronounce it) up to now, then tell you what: I’ll support a united Christian Church when your BMI reaches WHO guidelines.

            There you go, that’s an incentive for you. Put the cupcake down, Baahb. Someone’s salvation depends on you NOT eating it!!!

          • len

            The Words of Jesus; “ “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

          • Brittany Smith

            Confused. What is this referencing to? I agree that all things such as the ten commandments and such are in effect, but in terms of things not listed as sins? Not sure why you quoted that passage haha

          • len

            Jesus IS God ,might have said this before but it seems to be worth repeating.

          • David

            That is some sort of play on words you present.
            The insurmountable theological point is this, that both testaments repeatedly affirm that the only proper expression for our sexual natures, acceptable to our Creator, is within marriage between one man and one woman. All else is sin – period !
            This is the established historic position across the entire world wide Christian Church.
            There is no orthodox, Biblical argument that legitimises sex between two people of the same sex under any circumstances, or between two people of the opposite sex outside marriage.
            All else is sin !
            The Bible is very uncompromising.
            Depart from that simple, robust position and you are departing from the Christian faith.

          • Brittany Smith

            Then please tell me why God supported incest and polygamy if marriage was between one man and woman?

          • David

            I presume that you are referring to a period at the very beginnings of Judaism, not the later settled position. Moreover by the time Christ arrived marriage had long been understood as involving one man and one woman.

          • Brittany Smith

            As Christians we view the entire Bible, the OT and NT as God’s word. We can’t neglect what God said in Genesis, and forgive the later chapters in the OT for going against what apparently Genesis said. The only way to argue it is that God makes exceptions.

          • David

            Are you fooling around ? For that is utter, over-simplistic, childlike nonsense and I suspect that you know it. But, if that reflects your overall level of theological understanding, then your views on other subjects are worth but little.

            Clearly the NT carries far more weight theologically, for Christians, than the OT. The OT provides the basal foundation and heralds the future arrival of the Messiah. But you know all this and are just twisting what is an utterly established position.

            As for the OT, Christians can see that God slowly reveals greater and greater truths as the passage of time, over its thousands of years, unfolds. So the morality and ethics of the early books, although distinctly advanced compared to those of the surrounding pagan cultures, do climb slowly upwards overall.

            Please don’t quote some specific small point which you’ll claim disproves my point, as my exceedingly brief synopsis describes the very broad pattern over the history of the Bible from Bronze Age up to Roman times.

          • We’re back to your moral blindness and deafness here Brittany. israel came under God’s judgement for calling black white and bad good. Israel is God’s object lesson to us so that we don’t make the same mistake.

      • len

        The main source of hate seems to be directed towards Christians the most persecuted group of people on this planet.

        • Brittany Smith

          Agape

          • IrishNeanderthal

            Must step in here, when people are abusing linguistics. In Modern Greek, Αγάπη does mean love in the general sense, but in classical times what you are referring to was Έρως, meaning sexual love, not lust.

            Our modern use of the term “erotic” to mean lust-inducing is a shift of meaning.

            The Wikipedia article Agape explains things in greater detail.

          • Brittany Smith

            Wait, what are you arguing? lol

          • IrishNeanderthal

            Leaving aside homosexuality for a moment, agape in Biblical usage is not the same as ordinary love of husband for wife, or vice-versa.

            In Ephesians 5, St. Paul is telling husbands and wives to promote their love to the level of agape.

            And no more “lol”s please, or I will start singing to you in Arabic.

          • Brittany Smith

            That’s what I was aruging, “love” as in romantic love, is better used with the eros, agape is used more in context for selfless, non-romantic love.

          • len

            If we love Christ we will follow His teachings.

          • Brittany Smith

            Exactly, HIS teachings. He does not teach on the subject of homosexuality, and anyone saying that when he talks about sexuality immorality is also talking about homosexuality is making an assumption based on bias, and our society. The time when a Christian accepts that they just “can’t know” because they’re not Jesus or were around at the time, the better as a whole we will be.

          • len

            Jesus IS God not a separate person .

          • magnolia

            Jesus was hardly backward in challenging the culture of his day. It’s a large part if not the whole of what got him crucified. Had he needed to be crucified for gay liberation he would have spoken out and been crucified for that too. No one questions what the attitudes of the times were, and if you have any knowledge of the classics at all you will know that living in a garrison town like Nazareth surrounded by Roman soldiers he would have known all about homosexuality, believe me. Jesus was no innocent, neither without total integrity and courage. Yet he never said a word to encourage gay sexuality.

            He did nothing whatever to challenge the morality of the Jews on this. Nothing whatever. Instead he preached sexual purity beyond what most find acceptable or practicable. For followers of Christ that is stark and unnegotiable. Heck, even looking at someone with lust is deeply discouraged. There is no other Way, and those who say otherwise are way off track. Women who show loads of breast are way off, as are men in uncomfortably tight jeans, as is a sexually obsessed culture which encourages people to remain steadily on or near the sexual boil.so we can be sold more stuff. Christ is countercultural to our materialistic fleshly me me me culture. Tough- to all of us.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            Jesus was hardly backward in challenging the culture of his day. It’s a large part if not the whole of what got him crucified. Had he needed to be crucified for opposing slavery he would have spoken out and been crucified for that too. Living in a garrison town like Nazareth surrounded by Roman soldiers he would have known all about slavery, believe me. Jesus was no innocent, neither without total integrity and courage. Yet he never said a word in condemnation of slavery.

            Furthermore he did nothing to challenge the morality of the Old Testament on this. Nothing whatever. Heck, he even used slavery parabolically as a model of the relationship between God and men: Matthew 18:23-35; Luke 12:42-48; Luke 17:7-10.

          • magnolia

            Plagiarism.

            That is not your words in your prose style so doesn’t do you the credit you deserve. I don’t do that to other people’s writing and don’t expect it- in fair return- done to me.

            Yes, Jesus said we should all be servants to all. He washed his disciples’ feet. He told his disciples off roundly when they squabbled about who was the greatest. He told them you had to be like a child to enter the Kingdom. He told them not to lord it over each other and that that was the way of the world. Just a teensy weensy bit clear on issues of lording it over other people and violence against others. What more is needed exactly?

      • Brittany, I’m sure if I knew you the likelihood is we could be friends. It is certain I would hope to behave towards you with Christian love. However, I would not regard you as my brother or sister in Christ. Christian love itself would prompt me to make this clear. Those who seek to affirm you in your homosexual lifestyle are not your friends and they are not showing Christian love. Love is honest and truthful. Love wounds to heal.

    • What is tragic is that the behaviour condemned in the pagan world in Romans 1 is resident in the church in 2 Tim 3.

  • Hoghton

    Please explain to me how living “a godly, righteous, and sober life” requires celibacy – something rejected by Cranmer and the reformers generally – but only if one is gay.

    • carl jacobs

      This is not complicated. Homosexual behavior is itself inconsistent with a “godly, righteous, and sober life”. Just as sleeping with your mother would be inconsistent with a “godly, righteous, and sober life”. False claims of ontology do not justify immoral behavior. The authenticity of a desire does not justify acting on that desire.

      • Brittany Smith

        Because sleeping with your mother is the same as sleeping with another consenting adult who isn’t related to you….. And again, putting words in the Bible, nowhere does it say anything about a homosexual life in the Bible, just acts that between whatever sexualities that are the same sex.

        • carl jacobs

          Because sleeping with your mother is the same as sleeping with another consenting adult …

          So have you never heard of David Epstein then.

          http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1337416/David-Epstein-Ivy-League-professor-charged-incest-relationship-daughter.html

          Here, let me highlight the important part for you.

          A Columbia University professor accused of a three-year sexual relationship with his daughter was charged with incest yesterday. Political science professor David Epstein, 46, allegedly bedded his 24-year-old daughter between 2006 and 2009. Epstein, who specialises in American politics and voting rights, is said to have also exchanged twisted text messages with the girl during the consensual relationship.

          Since consent is the touchstone of sexual morality, why isn’t this consensual relationship morally acceptable? Do you have some rationale to explain your selective judgment? Incest is in fact legal in many countries in the world. Perhaps you should re-examine your narrow judgmental attitude.

          Oh, but you have given yourself an out.

          …who isn’t related to you

          Yes, that’s the arbitrary reason you might apply. They are related. And why should this overcome the presumption of consent? After all, I make analogous structural arguments about homosexuality and I am told to mind my own business. So, please do enlighten us. Why do you remove incest from the allowable realm of consent?

          And please. Don’t refer to children. We have already removed the connection between conception and sex. Pregnancy is an optional outcome. We as a society have already decided that the possibility of pregnancy is not a reason to restrict sexual relationships that are otherwise consensual.

          I await your enlightening reply…

          • Brittany Smith

            I would gladly – I think you’re aruging that there is no difference in terms of sexual morality? Well, first things first, incest, and many other forms of sexuality are logically not good or moral due to the complications of not only emotional, mental welfare, but physical. If a pregnancy resulted in such things the gene pool will more than likely be messed up, and if not, the emotional and mental illness from it will be damaging. This is not the case with homosexuals. This is why you look up incest and come up with a bunch of case studies on the effects as opposed to looking up how it effects homosexuals. They’re simply not relatable on more than just a consensual standard, but I thought that was obvious….apparently not.

            The argument between homosexuality and the Bible has always dwindled down to if homosexuality is a sexual sin, or if the context is taken wrongly as are so many other things in the Bible (slavery, women speaking in the church, people who use their left hand, etc.) I think it’s pretentious to go around claiming you know it is as a fact when the correct answer is that no one knows because its hypocritical for us to push aside women speaking in the church as a cultural context, and not homosexuality.

            I’ve already posted many times already, but the fact that polygamy and incest are common in the Bible, understandably in early human history, more than proves to me that sometimes God makes exceptions to rules.

          • grutchyngfysch

            Sin’s pretty much in there from chapter 2, so I’m not sure we’re going to arrive at a useful theology (or indeed a useful anything) if we conclude that the commonality of man’s depravity is indicative of God’s acceptance of it. If it were, we should never have been sent out from the Garden.

          • carl jacobs

            Thanks for the assist on this thread, Grutch. Yesterday was the start of the NFL season so I was otherwise occupied with activities of great importance. 🙂

          • grutchyngfysch

            No worries. I knew it would have to be something serious for you not to pick up quickly 🙂

          • IrenaSerena1984

            Sorry, but that’s a very weak argument. The legalisation of homosexual sex was never premised on it being “moral” or not “harmful”, but on the basis that two consenting adults should be free to pursue a relationship that doesn’t harm anyone else. What’s being pointed out is that most of us (including you) discriminate against certain *consensual* adult relationships. By introducing the issue of harm, wellbeing etc. you merely explain (without citing evidence, mind) the basis on which you discriminate.

          • carl jacobs

            Well, first things first …

            Yes, and I have my own list about the social harm caused by the normalization of homosexuality.

            1. It confuses the difference between male and female.
            2. It severs the necessary connection between sex and procreation.
            3. It removes the necessity of monogamy from sexual relationships.
            4. It destroys the role of father.
            5. It changes the definition of family as the necessary prior relationship for raising children.
            6. It encourages people (especially men) to fulfill sexual desires without the constraining influence of the necessary complement.

            I could go on. All you have said here is that you can restrict certain acts and relationships that you think ought to be restricted. But when I make these kinds of arguments, I am dismissed in favor of the overreaching imperative of human autonomy. Homosexuality has been justified on the basis of consent. “I am an adult, and I want to. Who are you to restrict me?” That argument would not change no matter what sociologists might say in the future.

            Now I’m sure that you can find all sorts of studies to justify homosexuality. I’m just as sure that those same studies could be produced to justify consensual incest if the researcher had an ideological interest in doing so. But given the general drift of western culture towards legalizing incest in the name of consent, it doesn’t seem those studies are having much impact.

            That’s the thing about the logic of consent. The acid logic of consent consumes all within its path. You think you can hold the line on certain forms of human behavior that you think reprehensible. But your intellectual children are already destroying those arguments with the very same logic you used to destroy the case against homosexuality. You will eventually find yourself in the exact same place as me.

            Or maybe not. The West as currently constituted hasn’t 100 years of life remaining to it. When this brittle secularist culture collapses from its own degeneracy, then all this will change. But you should fear the force that brings about this change. It will not be Christian. Neither will it be Liberal. What it will be is malignant.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            “1. It confuses the difference between male and female.” How?

          • Based on the issue of gene pool alone, I’m not sure homosexual relationships can claim any advantage over incest. Incest at least will lead to children homosexual relationships never will. Which, in terms of the future of society gives incest the greater legitimacy. I am of course answering a fool according to her folly.

            Brittany, anyone reading the Bible, other than someone so blinded by vested interest they cannot see, can be in no doubt of its condemnation of homosexuality.

            I do, however, sympathise with your accusation of hypocrisy re the church’s acceptance of women preachers and its denunciation of homosexuality, particularly if the argument used to justify women preaching is a change of culture. That being said, most conservative evangelicals who oppose homosexuality will also oppose women preachers. Those who do support women preaching are unlikely to base their beliefs on change of culture. They will point to some texts that do seem to support female public participation to some degree. Now the issue is not whether they are right but simply that a plausible case can be made for a measure of female participation in public speaking; by contrast, no such plausible case can be made supporting homosexuality.

            It should be noted too that we are not comparing like with like in terms of gospel seriousness. There is never a suggestion in Scripture that those who (wrongly) encouraged women’s participation were putting their eternal salvation at risk. However, the same cannot be said for practising homosexuality. Practising homosexuality is a sin that debars from the kingdom.

            Finally, although I do not wish to get into the issues of salvation-history we should observe that God tolerated/forebore with behaviour he did not approve in OT times before the full light of the gospel and the gift of the I dwelling Spirit arrived. In the new covenant community of God’s people higher standards are required. Greater privilege brings greater responsibility. It would be a tragic mistake of eternal significance to excuse present sexual sin in the (vain and misguided) hope that God will make it an exception.

          • Organisations are already campaigning for the right to consensual sex, regardless of relationship.
            A mother and adult son charged with incest in New Mexico are going public with their relationship, saying they are willing to go to jail to fight for the “right” to be together. The mother, Monica Mares, 36, and her son, Caleb Peterson, 19, met again last year after nearly 18 years apart. Another family adopted Peterson soon after Mares gave birth to him. Their relationship soon turned romantic (i.e. sexual), according to the couple, and Peterson started living with Mares and her two youngest children, ages 5 and 6, in Clovis, New Mexico.”

            And this:

            ”Basically, I am a woman in my early 30s, I used to be in a relationship with my dad on and off for a few years from when I was almost 20 up until I was in my late 20s. It wasn’t GSA, (genetic sexual attraction) just straightforward incest, and it was the most deep, beautiful and loving relationship I’ve ever had. He was my soulmate, the only person I could ever love so much or understand so well …

            … I knew that society said that incest is bad, sick, disgusting and profoundly wrong, and yet the idea didn’t feel even remotely like that to me, it felt so right … in a way it probably would have been more weird NOT to pursue the relationship, because it was the natural extension of our very strong family bond …

            Naturally, we had to hide our relationship from my mother and my siblings, who lived in the same house.”

        • Martin

          BS

          Sexuality is just a word used when excusing sexual immorality. The Bible clearly teaches that sex outside the marriage of one man to one woman is sin.

          • Brittany Smith

            God must have sinned then when he told Abraham to marry his half-sister and Moses to marry his aunt!

          • Martin

            BS

            Can you show me where marrying a close relative is first frowned upon in the Bible?

            In any case, they were married.

          • Brittany Smith

            It’s not until Leviticus that God deems incest as a sin, but polygamy is throughout the OT which you have seemed to ignore in my post.

          • Martin

            BS

            So sibling incest isn’t a problem until there is a certain level of genetic load.

            Polygamy isn’t the marriage of one man to one woman so it is sin. But as Jesus says in Matthew 19, some things were allowed in Israel because of their hardness of heart.

      • Hoghton

        You state dogmatically that ” Homosexual behavior is itself inconsistent with a “godly, righteous, and sober life”. You then bizarrely put it on the same moral plane as incest (sleeping with your mother)! What is your basis for these assertions? I very much doubt that Justin Welby would agree with you on this, although to date he has upheld the Church of England’s ruling that people in a gay relationship should remain celibate. Nor do I understand what you mean by “False claims of ontology”. What is that a grandiose way of saying?

        • carl jacobs

          You state dogmatically …

          I do, and with confidence. I can point to the authority that establishes this.

          You then bizarrely put it on the same moral plane as incest …

          What is bizarre about it it – other than the fact that your use of this characterization allows you to put distance between incest and homosexuality? Why would I not put it on the same moral plane as incest? The Apostle Paul certainly did. Although I could make the case that homosexuality is worse than incest given the prominence of the condemnation of the former. Incest was not used as a self-evident example of man’s natural idolatry. Incest was not called toevah.

          I very much doubt that Justin Welby would agree with you on this

          I don’t care spit what Justin Welby thinks.

          gay relationship should remain celibate

          Yes, just like a man should not commit fornication or adultery. I’m not sure that really counts as celibacy. To be celibate is to refrain from otherwise lawful behavior. The concept does not incorporate unlawful behavior.

          What is that a grandiose way of saying?

          That homosexuals aren’t intended by their Creator to desire their own gender and act upon those desires. That is a false claim of ontology.

    • Demon Teddy Bear

      A “question” predicated on the false assumption that men can marry. Don’t be so dishonest.

  • Albert

    Isn’t the argument of her article, just a reapplication of the argument for women’s ordination?

    • magnolia

      There are many different arguments for women’s ordination, so inevitably the answer has to be “no”. But let us not get sidetracked down that one when we have discussed it many a time on other threads!!

      • Albert

        The door to homosexuality was opened by women’s ordination. This is just one example – somehow, ordination seems to be someone’s right. Cranmer’s spot on on that, but without such arguments, would women’s ordination have gone through? There would have been other arguments, but would they have got the political traction without arguments like this one. I don’t think so and I suspect people like Vicky Beeching know it, and so they will go on applying the same argument until they get the outcome they want.

        • Mike Stallard

          And what about ordination of non Christians? Don’t they have rights too? Why should they be excluded from management positions within the CoE?

          • Albert

            Superb!

          • Royinsouthwest

            I have a vague memory of an episode of “Yes Prime Minister” in which Sir Humphrey and the Prime Minister were discussing the Church of England, perhaps in connection with the appointment of a new Archbishop of Canterbury, and one of them, probably Sir Humphrey, said that it was important to preserve the balance in the CoE between those people who believe in God and those who don’t!

        • magnolia

          The two issues are completely separate in reality, although at one level, which I think is a rather shallow one, the two issues have been seen as related by some. The greatest losers from the gay agenda are in fact pregnant women, mothers of small children, and widows, objectively, for I am none of those.

          • Albert

            The two issues are culturally linked strongly – the rights argument is just one example, the demand for interchangeability is another. They are logically linked at the level that they both require us to challenge revelation and judge it by our modern standards. Women’s ordination is a kind of Trojan Horse, and the CofE will not be able to sort itself out until it realises that it has let in a whole host of things in letting that particular horse through the gates.

          • Dominic Stockford

            I upticked, though the problem arose with the introduction of women lay-readers, well before women clergy.

          • Albert

            Quite possibly so. I hadn’t thought of that.

    • Demon Teddy Bear

      Yup.

    • Paul Correa

      Exactly, both look at Scripture through the same lens, that it is ‘unfair’, and the offending parts can be disregarded. As Augustine said, if you only believe the parts of the Bible you agree with, it isn’t the Bible you believe in but yourself.

      • Albert

        Isn’t that such a superb quote!

  • Bob

    I always find that the argument is between 1. any homosexual act being a sexual sin because it goes against God’s image of “one man and one woman” regardless of the clobber passages context, where as pro-LGBT is 1. about the context of such clobber passages and Jesus proclaiming that love breaks any rule and is a fulfillment of the law, including the one he broke on the Sabbath.

    I am not one to know such things, I’m an older man, but I will say that the first argument which most anti-LGBT Christians make is somewhat contradictory to the following passages Exodus 21:10;2, Samuel 5:13; 1 Chronicle 3:1-9, 14:3; 1 Kings 11-3; 2 Chronicles 11:21; Deuteronomy 21:15; Matthew 5:17-18. God truly only knows the purpose for some of these (Deuteronomy 22:28-29) but I hate to think God a hypocrite.

    Alas, this article I find not knowing anything particular about this woman to be offensive in nature, and not very Christianly, or loving in its core.

  • Dominic Stockford

    “Sir, we would see Jesus” we hear in the Bible.

    That is the minister’s job, solely and simply, to present the truth of Jesus, and to diminish in order that He might increase.

  • Mark Downham

    What a fascinating situation – Evangelicals being reported at random for supposed thought crimes to the police by someone who identifies with the crucified Lord Jesus Christ and considers all Evangelical critique to be archetypes of the Roman soldiers who crucified Him and then enter Vicky Beeching who claims to be undergoing the “Apostolic Sufferings” but has stage-managed the whole declaration of her present homophilic orientation and practice from end to end….as Evangelicals we may not be interested in Psychological Warfare and Spiritual Warfare but Psychological Warfare and Spiritual Warfare are interested in us….they are making a radical mistake nailing us to the Cross….we have already died with the Lord Jesus Christ and risen with Him and we are in the Light and we are the Light of the World.

  • sholland

    So, Vicky Beeching wants to go to heaven on HER terms? Just like the rich young ruler Jesus spoke to who went away sorrowful, because Jesus told him to sell all he had and follow Him. What was in the way? Covetousness. In other words he had to forsake sin, and repent of it. Beeching on the other hand wants not just us to accept her perverted lusts, but God too.

  • Brilliant post!

    Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven. (Psalm 119:89 NASB)

    Being a Christian is all about overcoming the flesh, sacrifice and self-denial. Jesus never promised us that it would be easy, but that He would be with us, and help us through our sorrows and failures. Through Christ, we are promised the victory, if we persevere.

    If each of us could excise bits from the Bible that we struggle with at a personal level, reinterpret scripture, compromise, and present the world with ‘Christianity lite’, devoid of all suffering and sacrifice, then how will the world witness the power of the gospel to redeem? We will have the world laughing at us, as we see happening with the C of E.

  • Mark Downham

    The interesting thing about “Episcopal Discernment” is that if it is a process that involves the Holy Spirit then the outcome is certain as the Holy Spirit will never do anything new that contradicts Scripture – but if it is a process which uses “Cultural Relevance and Relativity” as the prime determinant then the outcome will be an endless round (and round and round like some Scottish Reel) of “shared conversations”.

  • Mark Downham

    Understand this when you “pitch your tent towards Sodom” (cf. Genesis 13:12), just like Lot you will end up in Sodom – you will come under and become caught up in the influence and gravitational pull of Sodom and exactly like Lot you will end up being taken into Captivity (Genesis 14:12)….and what of those Bishops and all their revisionist remonstrations – they are coming to nothing – they have already been stripped of all Real Spiritual Authority – when Aaron cast down his Staff it devoured the staffs of the Egyptian Sorcerers (cf. Exodus 7:12) – so Biblical Truth is able to overcome every other form of Cultural Challenge – we have the Staff of Aaron in our hands when we understand what Evangelical Truth really is and it will do exactly as advertised…consume all other worldviews, mindsets, architectures and ideas…that set themselves up in opposition to the Gospel.