Alan Wilson
Church of England

The political purpose of claiming 10% of bishops are gay

This is a guest post by the Rev’d Peter Ould – a Church of England priest, consultant statistician and former blogger with an interest in the topic of human sexuality (you can read the archive of his writing at www.peter-ould.net).

_______________________

What is the point of telling us that there are gay bishops?

Seriously, what’s the point? In the Sunday Telegraph, John Bingham reports that in his new book (More Perfect Union – Understanding Same-Sex Christian Marriage), Bishop Alan Wilson of Buckingham claims that almost 10% of Church of England bishops might be gay. The Bishop writes:

Particular attention sometimes falls on one vulnerable group with especially complex needs – gay Church of England bishops… By 2014 there were said to be a dozen or so gay bishops. By definition, these men are outstanding priests who have managed to navigate the complexities of a structurally homophobic institution well enough to become its iconic representatives. They may well have a bigger investment than others in keeping the closet door tightly shut.

It’s not as if we’ve not seen this kind of stuff before. Back in 2011 His Grace highlighted how Colin Coward, the Director of Changing Attitude, outed 13 Church of England bishops. This claim of the number of gay bishops comes up every month or so, and what is annoying about it is not so much its repetitiveness, but rather its politicisation. Again, Bishop Alan:

Many who have publicly resisted same-sex marriage also have a dog in the fight arising from personal experience. This can arise from ambivalence or guilt about ways they have handled family members who have come out as gay, as well as their own sexualities… They have more on the line than some others. They also have greater status and security, but some of them may end up among the last people able to understand the need for change and bring it about. This can be expected to be the case especially for gay evangelical bishops, with their historically less well developed networks and support systems.

Right, so the reason gay bishops are in the closet is because they are deeply twisted, repressed souls who are trapped in a cycle of shame and suppression. And oh, we must be especially sorry for the evangelicals – they’re the really screwed up ones.

Back in 2011 I wrote on the subject of outing Bishops, and this is what I had to say:

What would the outing of gay bishops in the Church of England actually achieve?

Well firstly, it would expose to public view as homosexual a number of men who have been faithfully celibate and abiding to the church’s teaching steadfastly for all of their lives. They would be outed for the only reason that they were single and gay rather than single and straight, outed by folks who argue vociferously on their blogs and websites that people should not be singled out just because they were gay and for no other reason. Who at this point would be the hypocrites?

Secondly, it would expose to public view men who had in the past engaged in sexual activity outside of marriage, who had repented of that sin and had then ordered their lives to be very clearly in line with the church’s teaching. Attempting to out these men would simply show for public view the glory of the good news of forgiveness for sin repented of. It would demonstrate to all that the church does grace and restoration and does it for any and all who will accept their sinful error. Whilst initially it might be embarrassing and uncomfortable for the individuals involved and their families and friend, it would then provide ample opportunity for the clear distinction in the church’s teaching between orientation and behaviour to be explained and to be shown to be perfectly manageable for individuals to live, even individuals who had erred in the past. The men outed would become instantly heroes of orthodoxy, icons of repentance and grace.

Thirdly, and controversially for some in the conservative camp, it might even expose to public view men who had managed for well over a decade to live in a “covenanted friendship” without any sexual activity whatsoever. It would demonstrate to all that deep friendships do not need to be sexualised and that Christians can find ways of ordering their lives clearly, of committing to others whilst staying faithful to the purity of the marriage bed.

Finally, it would not change the position of the Church of England. What it would do though is undermine the position of those who engaged in the outing, namely because the only direct effect of the outing would have been to shame certain individuals for not supporting the position of those who did the outing. Such a goal (the shaming of individuals because they do not agree with you) is base indeed and not worthy of anybody who takes clearly Christ’s call to love your neighbour as yourself. Those who engaged in the outing would be seen clearly by all to be self-serving and operating out of a position of anger, bitterness and envy, a position of sin. Moreover, they would not have demonstrated that there are gay bishops in the Church of England, for most informed people already understand this to be so. Rather they would have demonstrated that they themselves were willing to sacrifice on the altar of public intrigue the lives of men living faithfully to the full breadth of the Church’s teaching of holiness in present life and past reflection, a sacrifice that was entirely self-serving (so not a sacrifice at all).

Three years on, the point is still the same. The “gay” bishops that Alan Wilson, Colin Coward and others keep trying to out (and let’s be clear, Alan is doing exactly this by deliberately publicising this issue on the eve of his book being published [to which His Grace has obligingly linked, before +Alan hurls spurious allegations of “trolling” (Ed.)]), represent a mixed range of experiences and theology. Yes, there might be one or two with sinful sexual histories, but how many of them have repented? Others are married to women or happily celibate – does Alan think this is wrong?

Indeed, this is the heart of the issue, because the public numbering of the “closeted” has very little to do with actual pastoral concern and everything to do with political posturing (and, let’s be honest, boosting book sales as well). When you read what Alan Wilson (and Colin Coward) write on the subject, it’s not a demand for honesty from these Bishops; it’s actually a demand for conformity with their revisionist mindset. Alan and Colin and others don’t want celibate gay bishops who teach and live an orthodox position (we have them). They don’t want historically sexually-active but now repentant gay bishops who teach and live an orthodox position (we have them). What they want is gay bishops who believe that homosexual activity isn’t sinful and who will let their clergy disregard the teaching of the Church of England in this matter. That’s why they keep spouting off about hypocrisy – because they want us all to buy into the narrative that the gay bishops are all secretly pro the revisionist movement and having it off on the side to boot.

If Alan and others genuinely cared about the bishops in the closet, they wouldn’t shamelessly use them as political pawns (and tools to promote book sales). They talk about truth and honesty, but then don’t have the courage to do the real prophetic thing by identifying by name the so-called hypocrites. Of course, the reason for that is very simple: of the 10% that Alan outs but doesn’t, most, if not all, aren’t hypocrites at all, and most wouldn’t agree with Alan on this subject. So by not identifying them by name he can fabricate their theologies and corral them to his cause, especially because they’re not likely to stand up and say: “I’m one of the gay bishops and I don’t agree with Alan in the slightest on this.” (O, for a bishop who would do that!). Alan (and Colin and others) can safely continue spouting this 10% nonsense because the silence of the faithful who hold to church teaching is a discipline of holiness that the revisionists have to twist and exploit for everything they can.

And that, my friends, is the real point of outing bishops. Nothing to do with honesty and everything to do with politics, and I for one am sick of it. It’s time once and for all for the likes of Alan and Colin to put up or shut up.

  • The Church Mouse

    It is true though, isn’t it. I don’t see how it can be right for these things to be secrets.

    • You want everyone gay in the Church outed, even if they’re single, celibate or happily married?

      By all means let’s identify hypocrites (one thing the Church does very well, sadly, is hide hypocrisy), but there really aren’t very many of them at all. Most of the “10%” Alan alludes to are actually not hypocrites at all.

      • Alan Wilson

        Ah, so they exist, then. Why don’t *you* out them if you think it should be done? You’ve answered that question and I agree with you.

        • Because I am unaware of any who are hypocrites. So get on with exposing them or stop using the gay bishops as your political tools.

          I’m done with this now. You carry on defending your posturing if you want.

          • Martin

            It is very interesting how some regard it hypocrisy to move away from sin when Paul writes:

            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]

            Seems to me that Paul expected Christian converts to move away from sin, not revel in it and claim that it was their nature.

          • IanCad

            Whilst not other than endorsing the words of Paul. I do not recall giving Martin an up arrow on this post.
            I have to say Martin, that you come across as rather harsh, intolerant and unforgiving.

          • Martin

            Ian

            In the current attitude of ‘anything goes’ saying that it is not right clearly seems harsh.

            Should we be tolerant of sin, in our own lives as well as others?

            Forgiveness comes with repentance.

          • retiredbloke

            What you are really saying Ian, is that Paul was harsh, intolerant and unforgiving. It is not harsh to demand Godly disciplines within the Body of Christ, it is not intolerant to reflect holy attitudes towards sin and forgiveness requires repentance, I.e., a turning around and a changing of mind from those caught in sin. Jesus attitude to sin is reflected in Paul’s attitude.

          • IanCad

            Let me do a “Twofer” here and address Marin as well.
            You perhaps did not read my first paragraph.
            It seems on this blog that the homosexuals come in for particular vitriol.
            Motes and beams dear bloggers!
            Most of us are straight and can enjoy fully in what God has created.
            What turmoils those of indefinite orientation and a spiritual bent must suffer is a grief that we should – not be tolerant of- but counsel and entreat with sympathy and love.

          • retiredbloke

            This isn’t about motes and beams, Ian, is is about a prevailing New Age attitude in the church which seems ready to accept any behaviour, however inappropriate or sinful rather than cause the sinner any distress or incovenience of whatever ambition rather than insist on the standards set down by a Holy God. We have become a self-centred and selfish culture which insists that whatever we want we must have. What is discipleship if not obedience to the will of our creator?

          • IanCad

            Again, to both you and Martin; Not saying “Anything Goes.”

            Where is the sin in a man struggling with his sexual orientation, in a celibate condition and keeping his travails private?

            Obedience to the will of our Creator??

            Do you worship on the day of the sun?

            A day never endorsed by our Creator?

          • retiredbloke

            No, I worship Him every day!

          • Martin

            Ian

            If it weren’t for homosexuals trying to force the rest of us to accept them as normal & loving they’d not get the vitriol.

          • penelopedoe

            Paul didn’t write ‘men who practice homosexuality’.

          • disqus_N9Jawtu8Uw

            Dear Penelope,

            ESV is quoted which does say ‘men who practice homosexuality’… as does a number of other translations of the Bible.

          • penelopedoe

            Yep they do. They are wrong however.

          • retiredbloke

            Please share with us your insights into New Testament Greek.

          • penelopedoe

            malakoi and arsenokoites do not mean men who practise homosexuality. They may refer to some same-sex acts, but that is quite different from ‘practising homosexuality’.

          • retiredbloke

            Malakoi = iffeminate
            Arsenokoites = a sodomite

            Sounds pretty similar to me, Penny!

          • misfit44

            Absolutely

    • The Inspector General

      hmmm. You need capturing then release several miles away….

  • Alan Wilson

    I agree with Peter Ould that it is wrong to out people, largely for the reasons he gives. That’s why I don’t do it. It’s as simple as that. Corporately, however, the House of Bishops continues to implement policies that victimise gay clergy and ordinands. I have also been through a process of shared conversations where the facilitation was excellent and the people, individually and in threes as honest and engaging as any group you could hope to meet. En masse, however, four professionally gay (but not in too awkward a way) people were lined up to present to 110 professionally un-gay people, as though the human beings involved were some kind of problem located elsewhere. That geometry is ultimately dishonest and degrading to everyone involved. It doesn’t matter the slightest who is who, but the professional pretence that no bishop is gay reproduces in the room the reason the Church, almost alone among public institutions these days, is so stuck about this. It is changing and will change.

    • “implement policies that victimise gay clergy and ordinands”

      No they don’t. This is exactly the problem. You want to categorise every single GLB person in the church as having your theology and wanting to be in a sexual relationship with someone of the same sex. The reality is remarkably different, as the College of Bishops actually heard last week. Plenty of gay clergy sail happily through the ordination process without having to lie and without having to repress anything. I know, because I was one of them.

      And this is precisely the point I want to make in this piece, that your political posturing on this issue is hijacking people’s personal lives for your own revisionist agenda.

      And for the record, the only people who every victimised me as a gay man because of my sexuality were the GLB clergy who hated the fact I didn’t fit into their narrow model of what being gay had to mean.

      It’s time for you to either have the courage of your convictions and name the “hypocrites”, or stop making the exact same presumptions about people’s lives that you criticise others for doing.

      • Alan Wilson

        Peter, I am delighted to know you have experienced no victimisation in the Church. That’s as it should be. There are, however, other people than you, with very different stories.

        • So give us all an example of someone who was genuinely victimised for being gay, rather than someone who was disciplined for breaking the rules that they *vowed* to obey when ordained, or who lied about something before starting a job and then discovered that his/her congregation didn’t agree with him on an issue they hadn’t revealed at application.

          • Alan Wilson

            Jeffrey John. Fully compliant with Lambeth 1:10, but…

          • …but taught contrary to Scripture and was unrepentant of previous sin. You’re just making my point for me.

          • Alan Wilson

            I disagree with both those judgments. His teaching was profoundly Scriptural (and actually mirrored that of the Archbishop at the time). As for the witch hunt for “unrepented sin” words fail me. At least one or two of its proponents had the good grace to realise no straight candidate has ever been subjected to such a requirement, and apologise.

          • Let’s be absolutely clear. The opposition to Jeffrey John was not to do with his sexuality but rather his attitude to his sexual behaviour and his teaching. Period.

          • Alan Wilson

            As someone who was an area dean in Berkshire at the time and knew all the people concerned locally quite well that is an incredible bit of historical revisionism. How can anyone think that Jeffrey would have been treated the way he was had he not been gay!

          • Right – name and document those whose opposition to Jeffrey John’s appointment as Bishop of Reading was made on the grounds of his sexuality and not his sexual practice and teaching. Give us ONE example of a church leader in Berkshire who argued Jeffrey John shouldn’t be a Bishop simply because he was gay.

            Once again, put up or shut up.

          • Martin

            Alan

            Jeffrey John isn’t gay, he is simply a sexual sinner (One who indulges in sex outside marriage & encourages others to do so). As such he is excluded from Christian ministry Titus 1:5-9

          • Clearly,

            i) Jeffrey John is gay
            ii) He no longer indulges in sex outside of marriage

            We can have a discussion about what his attitude to his former sex life should be, but let’s do him the decency of not trying to deny his sexuality or impugn current sexual activity to shore up our theology.

          • Martin

            Peter

            As I’ve said above, calling someone ‘gay’ is merely an excuse. That he does not repent of his sin excludes him from church office.

          • misfit44

            One only has to listen the twisted mind of Jeffrey John and Alan Wilson to realise these are gnostics at best and self serving liars at worst.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjhExkEh4Hw&list=PL9VgtAbD3rcor71y7YQSgW0r7ZVycmR5X

          • Wolf Paul

            It seems to me that we cannot have a discussion with “Martin” and “misfit44” because they insist on ignoring the conventional meaning and use of terms.

            They don’t necessarily dispute that Jeffrey John feels sexually attracted to other men, rather they dispute that this attraction should be called anything other than a temptation to sin.

            They would presumably also argue that a man who is attracted to children and molests them should not be called a “paedophile”, or a person who compulsively steal a cleptomaniac, but that the only legitimate label for these is “sinner”.

            They seem to be unable to accept that one can acknowledge a person’s proclivity for a particular sin, and even give that proclivity a name, without this being an excuse for acting on that proclivity.

            They are of course entitled to their opinion, but it makes their participation in discussions such as these little more than trolling.

          • misfit44

            Right on

          • robert marshall

            Not true! I refer you to James Jones statement to the Liverpool diocesan synod in 2003 ‘ The Bishop of Oxford is perceived by many to have acted unilaterally in breaching the line by appointing an openly gay priest and to have undermined the Bishops collegiality’
            http://liverpool.anglican.org/userfiles/files/Bishops/formerbishop/presidential/SS%20%26%20A%20-%20Address%20-%20Presidential%20-%20Diocesan%20Synod%20-%202003%20-%20June%2028.pdf

            You are re-writing history!

          • Quote the whole piece on the issue, not just the one sentence pulled out of context to support your view.

            “The difficulty of Dr. John’s appointment to Reading is that in spite of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s recent assurances it feels to many as if this delicately-drawn line is being rubbed out without reference to the General Synod whose official position of 1987 is much more hard-lined. The Bishop of Oxford is perceived by many to have acted unilaterally in breaching the line by appointing an openly gay priest and to have undermined the Bishops collegiality. I believe that Canon John, whose integrity and merits I
            do not doubt, has been placed in a distressing situation. Canon John’s recent comments in the media about his past and present intentions already place him at odds with the House of Bishops on issues of human sexuality. The Catholic understanding of a Bishop is that he is a focus of unity. Canon John values this unity highly. And yet it seems that his appointment will undermine that very unity, and possibly cause great schism in the Anglican Communion and Church of England.

            If this is to be a genuine debate within the church then we need to be open to at least two possibilities.
            On the one hand, the mind of the church might well change along the lines that Dr. Jeffrey John is arguing. To enter into genuine debate must admit of this possibility. On the other hand, we must be prepared for the alternative scenario which is that after a period of discernment Christians conclude that this issue is a watershed in the history of the relationship of Christianity with Western Culture and that in sexual ethics the church must continue to be distinctive from the rest of society by emphasising that sexual intercourse is God’s gift for marriage.

            I have begun to wonder what might flow from any decision either implicit or explicit to overrule the General Synod and the House of Bishops guidelines found in Issues in Human Sexuality. As the Archbishop is already aware it would put the Anglican Communion under the greatest strain. In two weeks I shall be going to Nairobi for the International Conference of the Evangelical Fellowship of the Anglican Communion which will, no doubt, reflect on the serious implications of the appointment for the Anglican Family worldwide.”

          • robert marshall

            It is not pulled out of context, it is where Jones starts from

          • Jones started by saying “The reignited debate about homosexuality in the church is a painful and pitiful affair. It gives offence to gay people who feel their identity is being challenged. It gives grief to those including some gays who find themselves demonised as homophobic just because they are trying to be faithful to the sexual ethics of Christian Orthodoxy.”

            Note “including some gays”.

          • misfit44

            In case you missed it Alan,

            One could not find a more holy couple that that of Jeffrey John , the homosexual dean of St. Albans Abbey and his long standing lover, the rev Grant Holmes . They have married and yet, we are led to believe have solemnly sworn to abstain from any future, sexual activity.
            This indeed is a beautiful and unearthly marriage, difficult to match even in a heterosexual partnership, but is also a form of Gnosticism and denial of God the Creator who ordered that a man cleave to his wife in order to become one flesh. I just hope that, when and if a homosexual at St. Albans declares that he has finally broken free of the bondage of his habit and is now clothed in his right mind, there is as much celebration and enthusiastic applause- as there surely
            will be in Heaven – by the cathedral congregation of about 300 , over this one sinner who repented , as when Jeffrey John and his partner’s marriage was announced from the pulpit with the words :
            “It is a delightful occasion for them both but I am even more
            pleased that the congregation reacted so warmly and arranged a reception after the main service to toast their good health.”
            It is more than likely that such a repentant sinner would be rushed off to the nearest diversity training centre or even mental home.
            Indeed the more holy and exemplary these two try to appear the more grotesque they become, even more so to root -and -branch LGBTs who see themselves as revolutionary rather than as conventional goody
            goodies.

      • misfit44

        One could not find a more holy couple that that of Jeffrey John , the
        homosexual dean of St. Albans Abbey and his long standing lover, the rev Grant Holmes . They have married and yet, we are led to believe have solemnly sworn to abstain from any future, sexual activity.
        This indeed is a beautiful and unearthly marriage, difficult to match
        even in a heterosexual partnership, but is also a form of gnosticism
        and denial of God the Creator who ordered that a man cleave to his
        wife in order to become one flesh. I just hope that, when and if a
        homosexual at St. Albans declares that he has finally broken free of
        the bondage of his habit and is now clothed in his right mind, there
        is as much celebration and enthusiastic applause- as there surely
        will be in Heaven – by the cathedral congregation of about 300 ,
        over this one sinner who repented , as when Jeffrey John and his
        partner’s marriage was announced from the pulpit with the words :
        “It is a delightful occasion for them both but I am even more
        pleased that the congregation reacted so warmly and arranged a
        reception after the main service to toast their good health.”
        It is more than likely that such a repentant sinner would be rushed
        off to the nearest diversity training centre or even mental home.
        Indeed the more holy and exemplary these two try to appear the more grotesque they become, even more so to root -and -branch LGBTs who see themselves as revolutionary rather than as conventional goody
        goodies.

        • “They have married”

          Can we be clear. Dr John and Revd Holmes are in a civil partnership. They have not married, unless you have evidence to the contrary.

          • Martin

            Peter

            And a civil partnership is a sort of pseudo marriage, a dishonouring of the notion of partners.

          • misfit44

            you and I know that but in the minds of the public, the gays and J&H they are effectively married. But give them half a chance and they will upgrade their present status from steerage to commodore class on the Titanic.

    • Martin

      Alan Wilson

      There are no such thing as gay people, it is simply a sin, a sin clearly condemned in the Bible. That you should write such lies marks you as one who is not a Christian and certainly not one who is fit to be a bishop.

      It is not victimisation to exclude from Christian ministry those engaged in open sin, whether it be sexual sin or theft or murder. Indeed it is the duty of those in a role of eldership to expel such people from membership of a church until such time as they repent.

      • DTNorth

        Nonsense.

        • Martin

          DT

          Fact.

          • misfit44

            Evidence please, evidence!

          • Martin

            It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you.

            (I Corinthians 5:1-2 [ESV])

          • I’m confused. Who are you accusing of having incest?

          • misfit44

            I’m confused too.

          • Lol ….
            You’re confused? So is Martin, Bless him.

          • Martin

            Peter

            The principle is the same, whether it is incest, adultery, fornication or homosexuality.

        • retiredbloke

          Why do you say it is nonsense to uphold the Word of God?

    • disqus_N9Jawtu8Uw

      Dear Alan,

      Your quote “…reproduces in the room the reason the Church, almost alone among public institutions these days, is so stuck about this.” is an invention. You have no proper evidence to support that claim.

    • misfit44

      We need to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that might said about, Alan Wilson, the Bishop of Buckingham : “I’m ready to accept him as a Christian, but I don’t accept his claim to be a moral man,and religious leader. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who says the sort of things that he says would not be a Christian. He would either be immoral, or someone confused — on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg. We must make our choice. Either he is confused , something worse: or else the person he really claims to be, a cutting edge Christian with new revelations.- apologies to C.S.Lewis.

  • JayBee

    When you read what Alan Wilson (and Colin Coward) write on the subject, it’s not a demand for honesty from these Bishops; it’s actually a demand for conformity with their revisionist mindset.

    Revisionist LGBT “theologians” are muddying the ethos of Churches everywhere not just the CofE. Turning the Bible from the inspiration of God into the invention of man. Amending God’s decrees to comply with current legislation and the goals of social engineering. Normalising homosexuality, redefining marriage, undermining family life and the moral foundations of society. They are spiritual fifth columnists. We are warned about such people in Acts 20:29-30.

    • misfit44

      Yes, and one could add those described in 2 Peter 2 : 12 But these people blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish…………17 These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. 18 For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” 20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. 22 Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,”[g] and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.”

  • Dreadnaught

    It’s the story of humanity: nothing has changed other than people today are less intimidated by others about their sexual orientation – and about time too.

    • Martin

      Dreadnaught

      Sexual orientation doesn’t exist, you are either a male or a female. Sexual behaviour outside these & the marriage of one man to one woman is simply sin.

      • I beg to differ. Sexual orientation is a good descriptor for some people to help them articulate their emotional life, but when it’s used prescriptively we get into problems. But clearly the Bible never uses sexual orientation as a descriptive categorisation of humans (unlike sex, race and economic circumstances).

        • Martin

          Peter

          You are wrong, it is merely an excuse, a way of saying that it is not their fault that they sin.

          • With the greatest of respect Martin, clearly some people ARE GLB and letting them articulate that in a manner that works for them without undermining the Biblical theology of sex and marriage is a useful pastoral endeavour. But that articulation of sexuality should never be confused with assuming it means a support for unBiblical sexual practice or a refusal to surrender one’s life to God.

          • Martin

            Peter

            No they are not, they are merely using it as an excuse.

          • An excuse for what?

          • Martin

            I gave that answer previously, an excuse for sin. In what other case to we invent a term for those tempted to sin? Do we so for stealing or murder, or do we accept that temptation may come and must be resisted.

          • So someone who calls themselves a “gay christian” but is utterly committed to the Biblical position on sexual morality and has never had sex or even engaged romantically with someone of the same sex is still using the label “gay” as an excuse for sin? How does that work?

          • misfit44

            A ” gay Christian” has immediately put them self in the Darwinian box from which there is no escape. Yes, there are celibate so- called homosexuals , but they face a life of struggle, no doubt often failing. But it is the life of a cripple. A man who is healed of same sex desires, marries and raises a family does not identify himself as an “ex – gay, poste gay” Christian. I do not identify myself as a ” not gay Christian.” Jesus Christ says that if the Truth sets you free you will be free indeed. But why concentrate on sexuality when Jeffrey Johns and Alan Wilson are guilty of many other types of sin, such as lying and wanting to maliciously damage the church with law suits? Do I identify myself as an ex murdering, cheating, stealing, slandering Christian ? No sir, I am merely a sinner saved by grace.

          • Bene

            How surprisingly offensive those remarks are: would you desist from claiming that Jeffrey John and Alan Wilson are ‘guilty of many other types of sin’… **Let him who is without sin, cast the first stone”

          • Martin

            Bene

            I think the evidence speaks for itself, and the sad state of the CoE can only be due to those in leadership within it.

          • misfit44

            Something is either true or not true, good or evil irrespective of whether it is offensive. Christ was crucified because he offended the hypocrites. The cross is an offence and stumbling block to the unbelievers

          • bockerglory

            Well said.

          • Martin

            Peter

            Do they not, by calling themselves such, side with those who do those things?

          • No, they do not. Some of them (Wesley Hill for example) are clearly very orthodox and anti the revisionist cause. By being openly gay they give other people with same-sex attraction but who are committed to biblical orthodoxy the permission to be real with people about their situation. Being out in this way is a pastoral support to many, not a hindrance.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            Martin, you are right; you are absolutely right. Sexual orientation doesn’t exist. There is no such thing. There are no men whose sexual attraction is to other men, or women whose sexual attraction is to other women, just as there are no men whose sexual attraction is to women or vice versa. We have all observed that again and again from our everyday experience, haven’t we? Sexuality is solely a matter of what people DO. Why do most people, if they have sex at all, have heterosexual sex? Well, it certainly isn’t because they have a heterosexual orientation or any nonsense like that. No, it’s for one reason only: they know that it’s the RIGHT kind of sex to have, just as they know that in the UK you drive on the left, not on the right. People who have homosexual sex are just doing it because they know that it’s the WRONG kind of sex to have: they aren’t sexually attracted to anyone of the same sex; they just grit their teeth and do it because they want to be deliberately naughty. The notion that there is any other reason behind the sexual things that people do, such as “sexual orientation”, is nothing but a silly myth. Thank you so much, Martin, for articulating so courageously a proven and undeniable truth which people strive nonetheless so obstinately to deny.

          • Martin

            GM

            The truth is that God gave sex for those married to be one & procreate, not for the purpose of general pleasure. It is mankind who has defiled it.

          • scottspeig

            Martin – It would be helpful if you explained your definition of “Homosexual Orientation”.

            Are you really arguing that people do not find themselves looking lustfully at other members of the same sex? There are countless people who would say from personal experience that you are talking rubbish.

            Misfit44 – As you seem to think there are no “post-gay christians”, or no celibate gay christians, I would refer you to livingout.org – a ministry led by 3 ministers who will accept those labels as an easy description of what they stand for. What I think you are trying to say (and correct me if I’m wrong) is that they are wrong in using sexuality as an identity.

            An excerpt from their homepage:

            We’re a group of Christians who experience same-sex attraction, and we
            want to share our stories, answer your questions, and recommend
            resources about Christianity and same-sex attraction.

          • Martin

            Seeing that even the law cannot define orientation I fail to see the point.

            One has to wonder what sad lives people have who use their sexual behaviour as a label.

          • scottspeig

            Well Martin, you are arguing that “sexual orientation” doesn’t exist. I think the idea that one can be “sexually attracted to members of the same sex” seems to be true. If I define “sexual orientation” as “sexually attracted to members of the same sex”, then “sexual orientation” clearly exists (If you agree with the above definition that is. If not, why not? Could you explain as otherwise you seem to be deliberately vague). This helps to categorise and therefore generalise when conversing about the topic.

            I won’t go as far as you do in your last paragraph, but it is definitely sad when people use the labels and identify themselves through said label. It is a tactic of the enemy to use this label.

          • Martin

            I’m saying it is an excuse for sin.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            That does nothing whatever to validate your foolish and absurd assertion that sexual orientation does not exist. If it is meant seriously, then you would do well to cease pontificating on a matter of which your knowledge and understanding are plainly negligible.

          • Martin

            GM

            I fail to see any need to further dispute an excuse for sin. You either accept God’s word or you go with sin.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            No excuse for reality is necessary. If reality doesn’t suit you, you’d better take it up with the management. Not that you’ll get any satisfaction if you do, mark you.

          • Martin

            Reality is that it is nothing more than an excuse for sin.

          • Bob

            Are you saying men don’t enjoy sex with their.wives? They ust do it because its the right thing to do? And that some guys bend over and.let another man drill him in the bum just to be naughty. That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            Oh, I don’t for one moment doubt that men enjoy sex with their wives. But ALL men could just as readily pair up with other men instead and enjoy having sex with them every bit as much. The only reason why most don’t is that they’ve been taught that it’s the wrong thing to do, and they want to do the right thing, so they stick to women. And it’s precisely BECAUSE they know that it’s the wrong thing to do that a small minority of men, through sheer contrariness, obstinately reject sex with women and pair up with other men and have sex with them.

            No, I’m not serious. Of course it’s ridiculous. (I’m surprised that you can’t recognize patent irony when you see it.) But it’s the inescapable implication of Martin’s fatuous suggestion that “sexual orientation doesn’t exist”.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            Oh, I don’t for one moment doubt that men enjoy sex with their wives. But ALL men could just as readily pair up with other men instead and enjoy having sex with them every bit as much. The only reason why most don’t is that they’ve been taught that it’s the wrong thing to do, and they want to do the right thing, so they stick to women. And it’s precisely BECAUSE they know that it’s the wrong thing to do that a small minority of men, through sheer contrariness, obstinately reject sex with women and pair up with other men and have sex with them.

            No, I’m not serious. Of course it’s ridiculous. (I’m surprised that you can’t recognize patent irony when you see it.) But it’s the inescapable implication of Martin’s fatuous suggestion that “sexual orientation doesn’t exist”.

      • Graham Ward

        Martin – repeating the same point on every thread of this conversation doesn’t make your argument any stronger. It simply makes you appear as tiresome and rude. You’re certainly not going to win anyone over to your way of thinking that way.

        • Martin

          Graham

          There is only one scriptural argument. I don’t expect to persuade anyone anyway.

      • Dreadnaught

        you are either a male or a female.

        Not always true; in the natural world anything than can happen does happen. Babies can be born with two heads. Animals can be born and survive with two heads as is well documented. Consider yourself lucky you are so perfect.

        The ovarian and testicular tissue may be separate, or the
        two may be combined in what is called an ovotestis. Hermaphrodites have sex chromosomes showing male-female mosaicism (where one individual possesses both the male XY and female XX chromosome pairs).

        http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/263151/hermaphroditism

        • Spot on DN. Issues like intersex and transgenderism (I’m fed up with T being linked automatically with GLB – two completely different issues) and homosexuality are real and they need to be pastorally engaged with, not whitewashed out in a moel of theological perfection.

          • carl jacobs

            Peter

            Certainly homosexuality is real. But that is not the same thing as asserting that homosexual desire is part of the created order. I do not know why men choose to have sex with each other but I know this:

            1. Homosexual behavior is a choice that is neither impelled nor justified by the desire in which it originates.

            2. That desire is not good.

            The modern homosexual apologetic is “I desire to have sex with men because I am biologically ordered to have sex with men. My authentic desire is its own justification.” None of that is true, and saying so should not be dismissed as reducing the argument to a model of theological perfection. What men desire to do is not what they are. Men are what their Creator says they are.

            Who knows whence cometh the desires of the human heart? Just don’t try to tell me that some men are by nature intended to desire sex with other men. Paul explicitly and emphatically rejects that assertion.

            carl

        • IanCad

          I suppose it was inevitable that, one day, I would find myself in total agreement with Dreadnaught.

          • Dreadnaught

            If only this bill wasn’t so tight you would see me smiling!

        • Martin

          Dreadnaught

          And that is a medical condition to be cured. Homosexuality is a moral problem that needs to be cured.

          • Dreadnaught

            Ever asked yourself why some people are left handed without expressing a desire to be so? Or that some are born one eye blue and the other brown? That someone may grow to be a foot taller that a sibling? – That’s genetic inheritance.

            Religion has always sought to dominate the sexual arena for procreational support and same sex does little to further this so must be demonised and you buy into this because you’re not (presumably) homosexual and unaffected by bigotry. If the same amount of investment that had in to identifying Albinoism or Downs Syndrome as genetic in origin was directed towards identifying the genetic relationship between same-sex attraction you (and religion) would be less inclined to be so condemning – can you imagine? all those years of being wrong?? Religion has a vested interest in blocking the research full stop.

            “Sexual orientation has nothing to do with choice. Our findings suggest there may be genes at play, and we found evidence for two sets that affect whether a man is gay or straight,” said Michael Bailey of Northwestern University, who carried out the research.

            The study involved drawing blood from 409 gay brothers and heterosexual members of their families. Analysis confirmed that an area on the X chromosome – which men inherit from their mothers — known as Xq28 has some impact on sexual orientation. Another stretch of DNA on chromosome 8 also affects male sexual behavior, they said”.

          • Martin

            Dreadnaught

            And there will always be those who seek to excuse sin. Fact is, a great deal of effort has gone into excusing homosexuality so please, don’t try to confuse us. One thing is certain, we all know God exists and your pretence is more about wilful, childish rebellion than intellectual superiority.

          • Dreadnaught

            Fingers in your ears and la-la-la-ing because you don’t wish to be seen being touched by reality is one way of coping with it I suppose, but it still doesn’t add one iota of legitimacy to your illogical concept of sin in this instance.

          • Martin

            Dreadnaught

            It’s yourself that is placing your fingers in your ears & crying lalala. You know God exists & sin is merely to disobey & rebel against Him

          • Dreadnaught

            Sorry Martin you are deluding yourself you can no more read my mind than face reality.

          • Martin

            Dreadnaught

            Thankfully, I don’t need to read your mind.

      • Guglielmo Marinaro

        Yes, you’re right, Martin. You are either a male or a female. (Although there are a very small number of people who don’t fit neatly into that binary classification.) But what has that got to do with it? The sex which you belong to doesn’t tell us the sex of the people to whom you are sexually attracted. Use your little grey cells, as Hercule Poirot would say, and you will discern the difference.

        • Martin

          GM

          The poor souls who have physical problems with their sexual organs are nevertheless genetically male or female.

          That we are either male or female is the whole point, sinful lusts of whatever sort need to be resisted.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            A complete non sequitur: it does not follow that sexual orientation does not exist.

          • Martin

            GM

            There is no evidence that such ‘orientation’ is other than lust.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            It’s called sexual orientation. You are free to call it anything that you like.

          • Martin

            I’ll call it lust then.

    • misfit44

      You must be joking

  • Graham Wood

    ” But clearly the Bible never uses sexual orientation as a descriptive categorisation of humans (unlike sex, race and economic circumstances).”
    I agree with Peter Ould’s comments in his several posts, and the distinctions he draws is IMO very important.
    As sinners whose moral judgements and behaviour is warped by the effects of sin and the fall- we must confess there is “none righteous, no, not one”.
    Each one of us has a continual “orientation” towards some moral lapse or other every day of our lives, but such orientation is not itself sinful, only the act and deed.
    We are therefore in no position to judge others superficially as we cannot read men’s hearts, but only to make moral judgements on the basis of actions and chosen lifestyles. Thus – “by their fruits shall you know them”
    So, Martin there is a real difference between the orientation you refer to and chosen behaviour. And yes, the marriage of one man to one woman is indeed the norm and “gay” marriage clearly sinful and against the stated position of the C of E.
    The tragedy (and it is deeply tragic), is that the church has for so many years devoted vast amounts of its time and energies in engaging with “equality” and gender issues by its bishops and within its own media when these are a complete distraction from far more urgent issues and the priorities of the Gospel.
    The C of E teaching and the biblical record on practicing homosexuality is clear.
    Bishops exist to confirm and teach clear biblical doctrine amidst the moral confusion of our day. If they cannot do that because of personal compromise on the issue, then of necessity the only honest course is to leave their ministries without further ado.

    • misfit44

      The terms homosexual and heterosexual were coined by Carl Maria Kertbeny, one of the first gay liberationists of the late 19th century. I suspect that he was influenced by the current Darwinian thinking. Homo – habilis became Homo erectus who developed into homo sapien who developed into homo sexual, much in the same that Hitler invented the evolutionary master race.
      In point of fact Kertbeny got his Greek mixed up. “Homo” comes from the word meaning not identical but of the same kind . Something which is homogeneous is made up of constituent parts that work together to create a stable, unified system, like a plug and socket, or red and green which when put side by side make one another more vibrant, or even male and female that complement one another. Whereas something which is “hetero” means totally different, incongruous, mongrel.
      Hence believe it not Kertbeny got the words the wrong way round . Gays are the heterosexuals and the straights are the homosexuals. But hey what’s in a word?

      • Graham Wood

        Misfit44. “he was influenced by the current Darwinian thinking.”
        Well, we could do without that as being largely irrelevant to the
        subject.
        But in any case, Darwinian theories of anthropology or on the issue of origins are just that, namely theories and deeply flawed as such.
        Darwinian theorists broadly believe in the ‘ascent of man’ – i.e. he is evolving into something better and better. By contrast the Bible teaches the exact opposite, namely the “descent” of man through original sin. The two are mutually incompatible.

        • misfit44

          Quite so .

    • Martin

      Graham

      That we have an ‘orientation’ towards some moral lapse or other surely proves that this claim of orientation is bogus.

      • Graham Wood

        I don’t know how you work that out. Surely precisely the opposite!
        The “orientation” of which we speak is in very simple biblical terms
        the result of the fall and of sin entering the human race, and therefore the reality is that without the grace of God we all live self-centeredly and prone to wander away from God and his laws.
        That is reality and not bogus in my book.

  • bockerglory

    If you do define yourself by a single behavior, I suppose you will take things very personally when others have a different view.

    Then you feel you are a victim and become persecutory to any others that may have a different world view. It is the psychology of victimhood that allows people to “out” others to appease their own internal conflicts. In other words this is a teenage tantrum. So let the Church ignore this outburst and concentrate on those pilgrims who are ready to sacrifice themselves for Christ.

    All this talk of the sins of the flesh have caused me to miss my Tea Break.

    • misfit44

      Indeed . Victim hood is the greatest weapon used by Cultural Marxists to bring down Western civilisation. As a pavement I feel trodden and as a chair I feel sat on and as a lemon I feel squeezed by society. It’s just not fair

  • Ian Paul

    In all this discussion, Alan has still not (as far as I can see) answered the question Peter has put: why are you doing this?

    What justification is there for putting pressure on people, if they are already under pressure? To break them, for the sake of making a political point?

    What is they are quite happy living in the discipline of the church’s current teaching?

    The alternative, I guess, is that this figure is made up. I don’t really see, Alan, how you can continue to comment in this way with credibility.

    • penelopedoe

      I can’t see the problem with + Alan’s assertion. Even if he doesn’t know which Bishops are gay and in the closet, statistically some Bishops are most probably gay.

  • Ian Paul

    Alan says ‘I agree with Peter Ould that it is wrong to out people’ but that is pretty much what you are doing…with the addition of harmful speculation.

    • penelopedoe

      How can you possibly be ‘outing’ people if you are not naming them?

      • Ian Paul

        There is a small number of bishops; their biographical information is in the public domain; more than that, Alan and Colin Coward claim to know the names.

        So if it is not actually ‘outing’, there is more than a hint of blackmail.

        I don’t actually believe him in fact. I think it is a dishonest way of claiming the moral high ground in the debate.

        • More than this – three years ago Colin Coward claimed a specific number of single Diocesan Bishops were gay. All you needed to do was go and see how many Bishops were actually single to see who he was outing. A clear example of how you don’t need to name people to be guilty of outing.

          • penelopedoe

            How is this blackmail? And I suppose if you were prurient enough to look up which Diocesans were single you might infer that some of them would probably be gay. So?

          • Penelope,

            If I claim that eight single diocesan bishops are gay, and if there are only eight single diocesan bishops, have I or have I not outed specific people? Yes or No?

            Just answer the question.

          • penelopedoe

            Yes. Is this what Colin did?.

          • Yes Penelope, that is exactly what he did, so much so that he had a very stern phone call from senior people about it.

          • penelopedoe

            8 closet gays and 8 single diocesans?

          • “X closet single gay diocesans” when there were only X single diocesans.

          • penelopedoe

            where can I find this assertion?

          • penelopedoe

            thank you; even in the original, it does not say X = X

          • Penny, Colin Coward wrote:

            “Four of them are Diocesan, and they are all single”.

            On the 27th of May 2011, how many single Diocesan bishops were there in the Church of England? Answer : 4.

            So please explain to me how Colin Coward did NOT out four men on the 27th of May 2011?

          • penelopedoe

            OK. Now my next question is: if Cranmer so disapproved of Colin’s action why did he publish the unredacted claim on his blog, thereby also ‘outing’ the bishops? And why did he accuse Colin of prurience and then proceed to be exceedingly prurient about Colin’s own private life?

          • You can’t out someone who is already outed by someone else. Why aren’t you publicly condemning Colin Coward’s actions before you criticise those who simply report them?

          • penelopedoe

            I couldn’t possibly condemn ‘outing’. I feel very ambivalent about the whole issue. What I do question (perhaps not condemn) is Cranmer’s publicising this outing when he claims to disapprove of such actions; and, secondly, his salacious comments about Colin’s relationship (whilst claiming that its is Colin who is obsessed by ‘gay sex’). I also think there is a flaw in your rhetoric about ‘repentant’ bishops. If formerly homosexual bishops are now living chaste and celibate lives or (heterosexually) married lives, why are they not (like you) openly preaching a gospel of repentance? Surely, if they felt healed and sanctified, they would want to share this good news with their fellow clergy who might be in danger from living a ‘gay lifestyle’?

          • Penelope,

            I’m afraid I don’t think you have any right to condemn Cranmer for publicising Colin Coward’s outing of four bishops if you won’t first condemn the outing in the first place. That’s just completely disingenuous.

          • penelopedoe

            I didn’t say I condemned Cranmer. Merely questioned his taking the moral high ground when he also ‘publicised’ the ‘outing’. (Q: weren’t there 6 single Diocesans, not 4?) And you haven’t answered my second point.

          • But let’s go further. On the 27th of May 2011 he wrote:

            “I could name a number of bishops who are gay, including several appointed in the last 12 months.”

            That means that he is saying at least two (or arguably three) of the following men are gay.

            Jonathan Frost
            Geoff Annas
            John Holbrook
            Jonathan Meyrick
            Norman Banks
            Jonathan Baker
            Nick Holtham
            Christopher Lowson
            Christopher Chessun

            Do you think that kind of behaviour is acceptable?

          • Cressida de Nova

            The behaviour is not acceptable but neither is yours. This is a terrible thing to do. It is an act of hatred..You should be ashamed of yourself

            . You need to examine your conscience and reflect on your motives for doing this.

          • My motives are simply for us all to wake up to the discontinuity between what liberal activists say and what they actually do. Saying “don’t do X” and then actually doing X is the very hypocrisy that this finger-pointing at gay bishops is trying to imply is going on.

            What a revelation when the very same people pointing the finger are evidenced as being hypocritical themselves (without themselves actually providing any evidence that the Bishops they suggest with their innuendo are being the hypocrites they claim they are).

          • Ian Paul

            Cressida what has Peter done precisely?

          • Cressida de Nova

            Malicious…why publish the list of names.?…inviting speculation on spot the queer !

          • Ian Paul

            No, it’s Alan Wilson who is inviting speculation. In the internet age, there are no secrets once Alan says the things he has. If you are unsure, have a look here:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay_bishops#Church_of_England

          • Interesting – I wasn’t aware of Peter Wheatley. Compare and contrast with Jeffrey John…?

          • Ian Paul

            Yes quite. And I think it puts the lie to Alan Wilson’s criticism of Peter Ould in these comments. The objection to Jeffrey John’s appointment was his teaching and his lifestyle not the fact that he is gay as such.

          • Ian – I’d like to believe that, but: (1) Is Jeffrey John’s current lifestyle any different to Peter Wheatley’s? Are they not both celibate with long-term partners? (2) If it is just his teaching, why is there not the same outrage about Alan Wilson being a bishop?

          • Ian Paul

            1. As I understand it, Jeffrey John’s current position is not that he repents of his past, but that his relationship has ‘run out of sexual steam’ so to speak.

            2. I think there is plenty of outrage about Alan’s position, and his teaching is so divisive that I think it would be impossible for him to become a diocesan.

          • penelopedoe

            That’s rich Ian. Criticising Alan for claiming that there are some gay bishops (which isn’t the point of his book) and the linking to a Wikipedia article on gay bishops. And then Peter Ould provides a speculative list of names. You 2 are shameless!

          • Ian Paul

            I’m wondering if you have moved across into sarcasm. It’s hard to tell online.

            Of course, no-one would have found that link if I had not posted it.

            (That was sarcasm)

          • Ian Paul

            (My previous comment here appears to have disappeared). I am really trying to work out whether you are being sarcastic.

            This article is the first listed on Google if you search for Gay Bishops. Are you suggesting people wouldn’t be able to find this if I did not mention? It would be the natural response to hearing Alan’s assertion.

          • Cressida de Nova

            Well at least the Bishops had the decency to remain single and not marry women to maintain a socially acceptable facade,conducting inauthentic lives of deceit and ruining othe peoples’ lives.

          • Can you not see how incredibly prejudiced this statement is. It’s perfectly possible to be gay and yet marry someone of the opposite sex and have a successful marriage. Plenty of people do it and your hatred towards them is not acceptable.

          • Cressida de Nova

            Don’t be absurd. You are so steeped in deceit it is unhealthy.There can be no successful heterosexual marriage based on homosexual desire.The only hatred and ignorance lies within you. Plenty of people are not doing it anymore. In the past they were compelled to because of discrimination.

  • Bene

    It is quite extraordinary how people, describing themselves as Christians, or perhaps members of the Church, can write as these comments show. There is real shame attached to these completely unfounded criticisms and abuse: a straightforward statement that some Bishops are gay is just that: a statement, it does NOT constitute ‘outing them’ since they are not identified in any way, shape or form.

  • What percentage of married clergy are adulterers? Or, if they are unmarried, have pre-marital sex? Or how many are sexually attracted to children and teenagers? Or to the family pet? Do these need special recognition and support too? Should they have special status? Lust is but one sin among many and it takes many disordered forms.

    Okay, so same sex attraction is a particularly difficult affliction that has to be endured. We don’t understand how it is formed. Those with it have a particularly onerous cross to carry and will encounter great trials – personal and social. However, it is a misdirection of the proper purpose of sexual acts – procreation and the bonding of a mother and father who will raise children conceived by their sexual intimacy. It is serious sin. There’s nothing to be ‘Proud’ of – unless one avoids acting on the attraction.

    Why publicise it?

  • I have no idea why +Alan, and others, are sabre-rattling about ‘outing’ gay bishops.

    1. If the bishops in question are living within the church’s teaching, i.e. not engaging in sex outside of marriage (that is, the church’s definition between a man and a woman), then there is no problem. Historically I think a lot of people attracted to those of the same sex quietly got on with their lives without feeling the need to let everybody know about it.

    We do need people – bishops included – who are prepared to uphold the church’s teaching publicly in this way, but I don’t think it should be forced upon them.

    2. If the bishops are living outside of the church’s teaching – i.e. have secret lovers – then that is a bigger problem and they should be dealt with appropriately.

    In short, I cannot see that it is in the interests of the bishops concerned to ‘out’ them, or for the wider church.

    I simply cannot understand +Alan’s position here.

    • And the point about number 2 is that is nothing to do with sexual orientation and everything to do with hypocrisy.

    • Ian Paul

      ‘I simply cannot understand +Alan’s position here.’

      I agree. What is the point? Unless it is either blackmail, or a PR effort to boost his position…

  • Albert

    It strikes me that a gay bishop who has had gay experience but who opposes gay “marriage” etc. may well be more worth listening to than a straight bishop. Perhaps the experience of homosexual acts actually informs his views.

    But the discussion just exposes how not to go about dealing with the matter. It’s not about how many people think X or Y, or how many are hypocritical or repented, or whatever. It is about what God has revealed. Concede for a moment that the Church has misunderstood that revelation and gay sex is not sinful. We will not discover the error by finding out how many gay bishops there are.

    And yes, exposing them is cruel, unjust and wrong. The mere threat of exposing them is a way of trying to control them so that they do not speak up in the debate. It’s a bit like threatening to leak naked photos of Emma Watson because she defends feminism. People who make such threats do not seem to me to believe in freedom of speech.

    • “It strikes me that a gay bishop who has had gay experience but who opposes gay “marriage” etc. may well be more worth listening to than a straight bishop. Perhaps the experience of homosexual acts actually informs his views.”

      Granted, Albert. But shouldn’t these pastoral and spiritual discussions be conducted in private, or at least with some confidentiality? There are plenty of websites to Christian support groups in this area – and no, not those advocating changing one’s sexual attraction.

      One such organisation is ‘Courage’. It’s strap-line is:

      “Move beyond the confines of the homosexual label to a more complete identity in Christ.”

      • Albert

        Certainly, Happy Jack, although a bishop has a duty towards public teaching.

  • carl jacobs

    If homosexual desire is its own justification, then there is no reason to resist it. The man who chooses to resist said desire perpetuates (it will be said) the repression of others by giving credence to those who would demand repression. It is therefore not sufficient to live a celibate life unless one also celebrates the contrary choice. The demand is for acknowledgement that homosexual desire is good. To stay single and silent in the presence of such desire is to call the desire evil by those very actions.

    And that is what they will not abide.

  • Question: Why do we call people with a same sex attraction “Gay” regardless of whether they are celibate or active, or whether they are resisting or embracing their particular sexual desire?

    To Happy Jack the descriptor “Gay” suggests an acceptance of and affirmation of the homosexual lifestyle. Someone can have this attraction without acting on it or buying into the lifestyle. Are these people “Gay” too?

    • IanCad

      Jack, we do not “Have” to use the delightful word in that context. In fact, I refuse to do so.

      Oh, it may seem petty and inconsequential, but here a little, there a little and pretty soon our language becomes hijacked by crafty schemers who would sell their mothers to promote a cause.

      We may longer have gay times or tunes. lLughter or lights.

      So sad.

      Here is a link to the sorry tale of another discredited word that described perfectly, the mean, the stingy and the tightwad.

      http://theava.com/archives/1551

    • Cressida de Nova

      This is a ridiculous question A homosexual person is still homosexual whether they are celibate or not. They probably have not always been celibate. It is extremely bad for mental health to pretend to be something you are not eg because of guilt and a desire for acceptance pretend and try to convince yourself you are a heterosexual when you are not. Then we have these cases of men and women who have been masquerading in marriages for 20 years or more then suddenly admitting they are homosexual causing turmoil and destruction of entire family units. T thine own self be true etc….Will got it right!

      • Marie1797

        If they are homosexual then they should seek a career elsewhere. Homosexuals don’t belong in the Church.

        • Cressida de Nova

          No one is arguing that point. The leadership should have been ensuring that this did not take place a long time ago. However I don’t think publicly humiliating them by outing them is a Christian way to behave.

          • Marie1797

            I agree, and think they should quietly melt away. They could otherwise end up suing the Church for causing them mental trauma and distress.

          • Or God ….

            Or, perhaps, Satan ….

        • Martin

          Marie

          I’ve already quoted 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, when someone becomes a Christian they no longer define themselves by their sin. All Christians are repentant sinners, so all ministers of the gospel are too.

        • dannybhoy

          But a homosexual who has truly repented and become celibate and has the same kind of struggles as a man or woman with a strong (heterosexual) sex drive is not barred from serving in the church surely?

          • Marie1797

            Afraid so Dannybhoy. It’s more likely that a celibate homosexual will break
            his vows than a heterosexual male.

      • Hello Cressida, nice of you drop in.
        Jack’s question, dear-heart, was whether the word “Gay” is suitable as an adjective, or is it a noun, for a person with a same sex attraction regardless of how they have acted in the past or might act in the future? Surely, it is a celebratory word?
        Jack accepts there is such a condition and that it is a terrible trial, most especially for a professing Christian.

        • Cressida de Nova

          I don’t like the word gay even in its correct form…petal !

          • “Gay” now means naff.

            Last year Stonewall launched a campaign to preserve the use of the word “gay” to mean homosexual, claiming it was homophobic to use it to mean stupid. It designed posters aimed at young people saying: “Gay: Let’s get the meaning straight.”

            , just how gay was that?

            “Petal”? That reminds Jack of an old Irish blessing:

            “For each petal on the shamrock this brings a wish your way. Good health, good luck, and happiness for today and every day.”

          • Hi happy Jack,

            “Queer”, once used as a pejorative, is a term some LGBTQ people use as a self description to be more inclusive. I personally don’t like the term, though.

          • Well no wonder ! It’s hardly self affirming to call oneself “odd” or “strange”.

      • Martin

        CDN

        No, homosexuality is a sinful behaviour, not a matter of nature. It is the sin that causes the turmoil and destruction, not the suppressed desires. We all have suppressed desires and they do us no harm unless they are fed and watered.

        Likewise, for mankind to be true to their own nature is a fallacy, we are all wicked sinners and if we were true to our natures would be all the more evil for it.

  • len

    The thing that strikes me here is the concept of a ‘gay’ bishop or even a’ gay’ Christian.
    How can this be?.
    If we are a’ Christian’ by Christs definition of a Christian we have been born again from above and are a new creature.
    So would God have put ‘ gayness ‘into our new nature?.Indeed would God have put adulterer, liar murderer, or anything pertaining to the old nature into the new nature?
    The answer obviously is no.
    So the gay Christian is defining him/herself by their old nature which should have been left on the Cross and not by their new nature (assuming they have been born again)
    No part of the old creation can been transported into the New Creation and the Cross of Jesus Christ is the doorway into the New.

    • Martin

      Len

      And as we see from 1 Corinthians 6, there is an expectation that the Christian should have left such behind. If they haven’t are they really saved?

    • JayBee

      Len, you seem to expect Christians to be 100% perfect. We are saved and our righteous standing in the eyes of God comes only through Christ’s obedience and death on our behalf. Being born again does not guarantee a fast track to perfection. By God’s grace we become not as bad as we once were but the old nature still hangs around tempting us into sinful thoughts and actions that grieve the Holy Spirit. Becoming more like the the person God wants us to be is a lifelong process of perseverance.

      • dannybhoy

        You are also right JayBee, but the main thing is that we should see growth and change in our lives, and a desire to become more like Jesus, not justify continuing in our old lives.

        • They can’t both be right.

          • dannybhoy

            Yes they can. In an ecumenical kind of way… 🙂

          • Ummm …. nice ‘via media’ and earlier you claimed you were not Anglican.

          • dannybhoy

            I ain’t a Nanglian, but I think len and Jaybee agree with each other.
            For the purpose of this issue len’s emphasis was on being a new creation.
            JayBee is emphasising the process of sanctification perhaps
            because he felt len was denying what all Christians know. The more Christlike we become the more aware of our failings and imperfections we are.
            See?

          • Lol … Jack “sees”.

            Hang around and you’ll come to understand that Len meant exactly what he wrote. For him, there is no sanctification process – we are changed when we are “born again”.

      • retiredbloke

        The Apostle Paul has it nailed!
        Romans 7
        We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

    • dannybhoy

      You have raised an excellent point here. I am sympathetic to people who struggle with their sexuality or are attracted to their same sex, but…
      “If any man is in Christ Jesus, old things have passed away. Behold all things are become new..”
      2 Corinthians 5:17
      I think the Church worldwide should reach out to homosexuals and welcome them into their churches. If they turn to Christ we should trust the Holy Spirit has begun a work in them and do our best to support them as we would any other new Christian.
      But you point out something I was missing; that we are a new creation, being made into the likeness of God’s son the Lord Jesus Christ.
      All Christians have a past or habits or tendencies they would rather not talk about but we are dead to the old nature and alive unto Christ.
      It seems to me that the State Church is either colluding with, or being coerced into a pink and fluffy world which perfectly reflects the values of our post Christian secular humanistic society.
      David Cameron introduced same sex marriage, and eventually the Church of England will endorse it by allowing for gay marriage in its churches. Thus Christianity will be cleansed of everything that makes it offensive to non Christians, and the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus will be rendered meaningless.

      • Sanctification is a process – not a one time event.

        • John Knox’s left foot

          Whit a fine chiel ye are jack. Ye are richt, a lively faith being signified by guid works. As I telt young Thomas lang syn.

    • Meanwhile, us lesser mortals wage a daily war against sin.

  • DanJ0

    All this talk of enduring being homosexual only really ought to apply to homosexual Christians who adhere to its mainstream view of sexual morality. For normal people, being homosexual is just, well, one’s sexual orientation. That society has stigmatised it at times is an issue with society, and a homosexual in society is essentially disabled, in the social model sense. When the societal issues simply go away, the same homosexual person can just get on with life as normal. Just pointing this obviousness out for the benefit of the silent readers. Again, it’s the religious who happen to belief in certain things and are homosexual too who may feel they’re enduring their sexual orientation.

    • Martin

      DanJ0

      You can stop pretending you’re an Atheist, we all know you know God exists. That being the case, your support for homosexuality is but a waving of the fist at the Almighty.

      • DanJ0

        Oh not the broken record thing again. Sheesh.

        • Martin

          DanJ0

          Nothing broken about this record, it is life #101.

          • DanJ0

            It’s from the Religious Nutter 101 course, where black is white, up is down, left is right, 1 + 1 = 3, true && false is true, and young earth creationism actually happened.

          • Martin

            It seems to me that you are the religious nutter, with your pretence that God does not exist when you know He does & your belief that we & apes descended from the same ancestor whom you cannot name.

            If you wish we could have 1+1=10 but it is really you who deny the truth of known values.

            So all in all you are not an a-theist or an atheist, just a very silly person waving their fist at God.

          • DanJ0

            “If you wish we could have 1+1=10 but it is really you who deny the truth of known values.”
            Actually 1 + 1 = 10 is actually true, but I’ll leave you to work out why.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Actually I know why, which is why I said it in the first place.

    • Dreadnaught

      Martin is down to his last few silver bullets – he’s made the same response to me on a thread that started 7 hours ago.

    • The Inspector General

      Of course you are right. It’s placing homosexuality within a Christian concept. It’s not binding on atheists, so it might be an idea if atheists left the room then.

      • DanJ0

        Actually, I think I might. The Holy Spirit apparently manifesting itself around here today is too strong for me to feel comfortable.

    • carl jacobs

      So the belief system is the pathology and not the unnatural desire. Establishing and maintaining that moral inversion is the entire purpose of the homosexual apologetic

      carl

      • DanJ0

        Your “unnatural desire” and “moral inversion” are symptoms of your own malaise, I’m afraid. Your particular belief system is a dead and rotten thing, polluting your mind and speech. Get rid of it, for goodness’sake.

        • carl jacobs

          Embrace despair and thus free myself to enjoy the moment? No, thanks. I shall stand on the Word of the Living God. Life is more than eating, and drinking and being merry.

          carl

          • DanJ0

            But you’re as miserable as sin, so to speak. Yours and Martin’s is a dark and bleak place, if your words here over time anything to go by. It honestly makes me shudder. You’re both like an Oliver Cromwell et al banning Christmas for all the joy your life seems to give you. You’re like a black hole, sucking in everything good around you, including light.

          • carl jacobs

            You are so wrong. It is my nature to see what must be seen and not flinch from telling what I see. But I see it all the context of the Providence of God. What happens must need happen, and I can neither stop it nor control it. But I can trust that it all occurs under the watchful eye of a Sovereign God who neither slumbers nor sleeps. That is the solid foundation.

            This the time I was given. I will not regret it or pine for another. You think I should be miserable because that which I call sacred is trampled in the dust. It yet remains sacred. And that is enough.

            carl

          • DanJ0

            I think you are miserable, not should be. I wouldn’t be in the least bit surprised if you self-flagellate for religious reasons.

          • carl jacobs

            You don’t even know me, and yet you would say that? You think I am the sum total of my posts here. You succumb to your own ignorant stereotypes.

          • DanJ0

            You hit your lowest point on the David B tribute thread, when you told his grieving family and friends who were posting at the time that he was in hell at that moment. I found that horrific. A manifest evil. And you haven’t risen much from that point, to be honest.

          • carl jacobs

            How fortunate for me that I don’t care a damn what you think. There are people on this web log who could criticize me and get a serious hearing. You ain’t one of them.

            But what is this? The “OMG I better change the subject so people forget I just publicly slandered him without knowledge or cause” tactic?

            carl

          • DanJ0

            It is my nature to see what must be seen and not flinch from telling what I see. Etc

          • carl jacobs

            That was an explanation for why my posts may sound pessimistic. It was not a justification for slander based on crass and ignorant stereotypes.

            You weren’t talking about ideas. You were talking about me. You know nothing about me. Where do you get off saying something like that?

            carl

          • DanJ0

            I’m the bloke who you’re telling has unnatural desires, a pathology even, and that I’m inverting morals by expecting not to be stigmatised. One to one. To a bloke who had to live through the 1980s in the UK, a particularly mono-cultured part too, as a homosexual teenager.

          • DanJ0

            I’m also the bloke who disclosed that he got to the point at that time of sitting on a high-rise window ledge ready to jump off, on the expectation that society would not get any better; a story taken by that obsessive pest sniffing around here for the means of a personal attack, including writing haikus and spoofing pictures on his own Christian-themed blog.

          • The Inspector General

            Nobody wants anybody to do themselves in. You need to appreciate your homosexual role in society. It’s not at the front, as neither is this bachelor man’s. It is family orientated…

          • Joe

            Except it isn’t any more. It’s largely based on individualism. Some individuals choose to form families (in any shape or form that suits them) but that doesn’t mean that society is family orientated. We are all in this mess together.

          • The Inspector General

            Look, don’t take offence over this, but with a statement like that you have not convinced that you know what is going on.

          • Joe

            No offence taken

          • william

            You are so wrong -we have always been at the very front of society – we are the smartest and most inventive of people and always have been. If you were even remotely half witted you would know that and worship us accordingly.
            Who do you think invented civilisation? The ‘christians’ did their best to destroy it – but failed of course. No-one’s interested in primitive philosophies – such as mohammedanism and christianism – invented to favour gamma males – other than such inferior types themselves.

          • The Inspector General

            One is left speechless after that !

          • CliveM

            Now that I don’t believe!

          • Ha …. have you been reading Ernst Roehm and Gerhard Rossbach?

          • carl jacobs

            And so I should just shut up about it? I should refuse to confront you with the truth of what you are doing? You can’t use your past experiences to silence me like that.

            I understand abuse and the impact it can have on a life. You aren’t the only one to have bad experiences growing up. But that reality doesn’t change my responsibility to testify. If you tell me how to make the argument without offending you, then I will follow your guidance. I do not want to give offense. But you can’t tell me to drop the argument simply because you find it offensive. That is beyond my capacity to address.

            carl

          • DanJ0

            The truth of what I am doing? You have a minority religious belief, and your ‘truth’ is local to it. I am an out and out a-theist and so your beliefs are basically just opinions to me. Moreover, your assertions about the nature of homosexuality are made from a position of wilful ignorance, maintained because you find it convenient for your religious beliefs. What do you honestly think you achieve, clothing yourself in sanctimony and hiding behind an asserted duty? I’d go as far as saying you’ve a whiff of the Westbro Baptist Church about you at the moment..

          • carl jacobs

            Yes, DanJ0, the truth. I don’t need your permission to declare it. I don’t need your agreement to recognize it. I don’t require a majority behind me to defend it. If you come here to this Christian site you are going to hear a Christian perspective. So long as I am allowed to post here, I will make arguments that presume the truth of the Christian faith. What I think I accomplish is down to theology, and I suspect you couldn’t care less about that. Suffice it to say I will defend the truth.

            You say all the time that what I believe is the equivalent of a Mother Goose Story and yet you are offended by it. You say I am part of a dead religion and yet you were sufficiently motivated to slander me for speaking with the voice of that dead religion. And now you do it again with your Westboro Baptist insinuation. I am amazed at you. Once again, you began this sub-thread with a reference to how people like me don’t matter any more. This should all roll off your back. And yet it doesn’t. Why?

            Answer the question or not as you see fit. But don’t presume to tell me “People like you almost lead me to kill myself.” That’s not on me. And that’s not on the truth either.

            And don’t presume to tell me about fatherhood. You willfully chose to forego it. You don’t know thing one about it.

            carl

          • DanJ0

            If anyone should be stigmatised and confronted in society then it should be people like you. If you think you can breeze around confronting normal people like me, telling us we have unnatural desires, a pathology even, and that we’re inverting morals by expecting not to be stigmatised, then you can expect a sharp response back, eyeball to eyeball. Hiding behind your personal and rather oddball religious beliefs doesn’t give you special privileges, sunshine. Times have changed, and thank goodness for that.

          • For the ‘silent reader’.
            So now Christians should be “stigmatised and confronted” in society because we hide “behind … personal and rather oddball religious beliefs”? Why do we need to hide?

            Now ours is “a minority religious belief” which “an out and out a-theist” rejects. No surprises there, then. But what is this “wilful ignorance about “the nature of homosexuality” we maintain “in all probability because (we) find it convenient for (our) religious beliefs”?

            And the Catch 22: For there to be “any potential good” in stating the Christian position, we “need to convince (an out and out atheist) of the truth of (our) beliefs” which, incidentally, “has no inherent moral element to it.”

          • DanJ0

            The obsessive pest is still sniffing around, I see, hoping for some more trouble as usual.

          • Juvenile insults just don’t ‘work’ ……….
            Far from wishing to witness trouble, Jack has found this discussion most illuminating.

          • DanJ0

            You’ve been doing this for years, Dodo. Years. You’re exactly the same as you ever were, irrespective of which ID you use. You lasted 2 hours 45 minutes in your last absurd attempt to master your obsessive-compulsive disorder. You’re an old man for goodness’sake, sort yourself out. Sheesh.

          • … most illuminating.

          • The Tanka referred to was a statement of the ‘here and now’ – not directed at any particular individual nor at a confused teenager. The clue is in the title. Jack has explained all this before.

            Middle Aged Man on his Window Sill
            sits alone frozen
            seething angry bitterness
            scared of living
            spitting spite at God above
            and venom at men below

            It’s an account of a certain mind-set.

          • carl jacobs

            Which I have done for (oh) three and one-half years now. Because that is what Christianity teaches. Because that is what the debate about homosexual behavior is centered upon. I am surprised that this would bother you since you began this sub-thread declaring the ‘normal people’ now get it. You almost out and out declared that the Christian faith was a form of mental illness in homosexuals. Why would you care that I declare your desires abnormal?

            carl

          • Well said.

            And for the record, having read through it again, Jack believes what you posted on the David B. thread – primarily for those of us watering down our faith – was appropriate and rooted in the Gospel. It took conviction and, in the circumstances, some courage too.

          • carl jacobs

            Thanks for that, Jack

          • Nah …. it was a poor attempt to rattle you so you’d return abuse with abuse.

          • Whereas you spank the poor little monkey.
            Good avatar, btw.

          • DanJ0

            The pest is back. Quelle surprise.

        • carl jacobs

          And anyways. To whom should I go? Who has the word of eternal life?

      • william

        That’s spot on – you devotees of perverted middle eastern cults are deformed and un-natural. The rest of us get on with enjoying life.
        Why are you “christians” so obsessed with our sexuality? Envy and bitterness spring to mind – we cannot help being so much more intelligent and successful than you lot. We’re gentically advantaged.

        • The Inspector General

          Alright, it’s Chrystal Meth isn’t it ?

        • carl jacobs

          Not bad. It’s a little over the top, and a little too obvious. But the voice is genuinely authentic. When mocking secular arguments in this way, you need to hide the ignorance with subtlety. The inherent dumbness in your post is way too out front.

          Keep practicing.

          carl

  • dannybhoy

    I attend an Anglican church, but I am not an Anglican. I am first and foremost a Christian, and our Anglican church is closest and our vicar is also a Christian.
    I am amazed how obsessed the CofE seems to be with homosexuality. Apart from fund raising, bureaucratic faculties and an archaic administration, nothing else seems to come close.
    Oh! I left out not upsetting anybody…. 😉

    • C. Quinn-Jones

      I haven’t got the impression that ‘the CofE’ is ‘obsessed’ with homosexuality. I do get the impression that many people love and welcome gay people but find the idea of SSM incongruent with their own understanding of Christian marriage. I do get the impression that many people are bewildered when they are apparently expected by some to revise their understanding of Christian marriage. I do get the impression they are also bewildered when any murmur of disquiet from them about SSM is met with hostility from people eager to change the Christian definition of marriage. Yes, we are concerned. But obsessed? No. Personally, I am weary of feeling that I need to weigh every word oh-so-carefully if I express a hint of concern that SSM might soon be ‘officially’ regarded as acceptable and viable by our church.

      • And what about confining sex to a valid marriage? Isn’t that Christian teaching too?

        • C. Quinn-Jones

          How would you define ‘ a valid marriage?’

          • Between a man and a woman – exchanging vows before a priest.

          • C. Quinn-Jones

            Of course.

          • So, really, the only homosexual who can be welcomed by the Church is a person intent on reforming their life and seeking the assistance of the Holy Spirit in doing so.

            Active homosexual clergy are an absolute disgrace and an offence to God. They drag others into sin.

          • retiredbloke

            Priest. Isn’t that Old Covenant?

          • Is it?

          • retiredbloke

            Yes, Jack. The priesthood only existed in order to carry out the sacrifices for the Jews. Only those of the tribe of Levi were permitted to be priests and only the high priest could enter the Holy of Holies once a year to enter God’s presence. When Jesus died the veil of the tremble was torn in two indicating that access to God was available by the all sufficiency of the blood of Jesus. The Old Covenant had given way to the New Covenant and the rights of the priesthood extended to all those born again into His Kingdom. The current system of the priesthood is wickedly heretical and only serves the purposes of the church to have power over people. If you want Biblical references for all this I’ll be happy to provide them.

          • Maybe on another thread retiredbloke.

            Suffice it to say that Jack could simply counter with other biblical references casting doubt on your position.

            Have a read of these links, one by a former protestant Evangelist and the other a former Calvinist:

            http://www.ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/PRIEST3.htm

            http://socrates58.blogspot.co.uk/2006/05/biblical-evidence-for-priests.html

      • dannybhoy

        The C of E has been talking about homosexuality for absolutely years whilst at the same time moving away from the traditional understanding of the Gospel as the means of salvation, and focusing instead on the (relatively) poor in society and the need for a more munificent welfare state.

        http://www.anglicancommunion.org/listening/reports/england.cfm
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality_and_Anglicanism

      • Shadrach Fire

        I understand your sincere concerns. Secularism has achieved a status whereby we feel guilty at speaking out against SSM, but speak we must but tempered with Grace.

  • The Inspector General

    Let’s get one thing straight here. There isn’t going to be any mass outing of gay clergy by Wilson, interfering rodents, or even Tatchell.

    As even a schoolgirl will tell you – “that’s not how blackmail is done, silly”

    It’s a despicable act, so it is, having a lien on someone else’s life. Even if the intention is a ‘good’ one, as in the case of justifying the lying together of two men as man and wife. Not proscribed by Christ, unless you count his adherence to Jewish law, so it must be allowed. So, you’re a priest of homosexual orientation, but live the celibate life. For some reason best answered by the likes of Wilson, you owe. Big time…

    “we know you’re gay, so you must put your all in with the cause. You want to know what the cause is ? It’s whatever I say it is, of course, and you will do whatever I tell you to do”, so the militant (…alright, activist then, one begs your pardon…) will advise the hapless cleric caught in the spot light.

    This man says to all who are doing this, may God have mercy on your souls, because as it stands, you are condemned by the Almighty for what you do, and will surely be brought to account for it on judgment day. Repent of what you are doing now, and make your peace.

  • Shadrach Fire

    Your Grace,
    The Rt Rev Dr Alan Wilson, the Bishop of Buckingham, accused the current episcopate of preaching a 1950s “Janet and John” image of human relationships while adopting an “eyes wide shut” approach to homosexuality in its own ranks and the wider church.
    Far from preaching a 1950’s Janet and John Gospel, the Church should be preaching a 1st Century Gospel as recorded in the scriptures. I know of no reason why the scriptures should be tampered with just to suite a few sinners.

  • The Inspector General

    A brief word about the harm homosexuality does to the wider
    community. This is other than gay men having sex in public in Brighton, while
    presumably ‘gay friendly’ police turn a blind eye as they do similar in the
    ‘village’ in Manchester (canal walk). A commentator on Pink
    News
    recently said in so many words “…that the bifurcation of society
    according to gender is no longer tenable”. This is the kind of rot being taken
    on board by the secularists who run education, and who will proudly feed it to
    children. It’s clear that revolutionary Gay has no room for men or women
    anymore, just sexual beings. That’s beings expected to have sex, and not be
    celibate, and there is no limit as to what constitutes sex either. If your
    particular is schoolboys, then be assured that a gay group somewhere is working
    on chipping away at the age of consent for you.

    The glorification of homosexuality and it’s celebration is wrong. The condition, when disclosed and advocated as normal is anything but – it is one of disorder and in the main misery. You don’t have to be a Christian to know that, but it would help to view the comments of the eternally bitter and furious on Pink News to confirm this. Yet here today we have a damned bishop of all people revelling in that very
    behaviour. Would that the community rise up and unseat him from his bishop’s
    chair, and break his crozier in two, and flush his ring away, and tell him to go
    and not return. For he is no vicar of Christ.

    • dannybhoy

      Visit Stonewall and its educational projects. That’s quite an eyeopener too.

    • misfit44

      Steady, steady Inspector General. Anything that a human agency might visit on Alan Wilson is nothing compared with what God will do. Vengeance is mine saith the Lord.

    • Shadrach Fire

      More likely choir boys Inspector. Particularly at Southwark Cathedral. I lived in a house by error where their unseemly choir men lived and did their stuff. I also know a young man, when he went to med school at Guys, was sucked in to their awful lifestyle by the gay Chaplin. Any other place he might have been drawn in another direction.

    • John Knox’s left foot

      Inspector, ma maister takes a close interest in heresy as ye ken. He wad hae yer advice on ain aspect o the heretic’s wurldview. If y’er on yer knees about tae receive the holy mysteries and the priest is an active unrepentant sinner, can ye tak the mysteries in guid conscience?

      • The Inspector General

        In as much as we all are flawed. the problem with the homosexual is that he does not see he is flawed.

        • John Knox’s left foot

          I think ye just said naw , ye cannae tak them.

          • The Inspector General

            It would be difficult.

          • The Sacrament would still be valid even though the Priest were in a state of grievous sin. That said, it would be better to seek a different Priest.

          • The Inspector General

            This is it Jack. The congregation would walk, or in reality drive, to a gay free church.

        • SidneyDeane

          He is as God made him.

          • The Inspector General

            Good grief ! You do have a point…
            He’s like the thief then, the paedophile, the whore, the liar. The Lord God made them all, as the hymn goes…

        • DanJ0

          No more than the heterosexual does, anyway. It’s just a sexual orientation at the end of the day. Of course, this doesn’t apply to a homosexual Christian with mainstream Christian views because Christian sexual morality gives heterosexuality a teleological dimension, which excludes homosexuality by definition. But that’s their issue to grapple with. The rest of us simply aren’t held by that and can just get on with our lives like anyone else.

          • The Inspector General

            In this man’s book, a Christian is a Christian. If he’s says he is a homosexual Christian, he’s after something. ‘Rights’ probably, or influence. Being of a homosexual inclination doesn’t mean you have to spend the rest of your life ‘activating’ in order to soothe your wounded ego.

          • Again, just to be absolutely fair about this, one can self-identify as a Christian who is resisting the temptation to succumb to an inclination that is inherently immoral. Why someone would choose to do so is another matter and Jack wouldn’t necessarily automatically assume there was a selfish motive.

          • The Inspector General

            Aaaarrrgh ! It’s you. You’re like a f_____g jack-in-the-box…

          • Lol …. Jack in the Box suffices, Sir.

          • DanJ0

            Ignoring some extreme protestant beliefs, I can see no reason why a homosexual should not hold Christian beliefs. Hence, he is a homosexual Christian if he does, whether or not anyone knows he is homosexual. The bishops in the article demonstrate the point, if the allegations are true.

          • The Inspector General

            No, he’s a Christian. If he was a homosexual Christian, then he would be an agitator…

          • DanJ0

            *shrug*
            Horse to water, refuses to drink, etc.

          • The Inspector General

            Don’t worry. You can’t win ’em all, try as you will…

          • Nooooooooo ………..

            What is a homosexual?

            If a person identifies as a Christian and is homosexual in orientation but is successfully resisting this inclination, then he is in good standing with the Church.

            If a person identifies as a Christian and is engaging in homosexual acts because of his orientation, yet accepts this is sinful and a matter for repentance, then he is a sinner attempting to amend his life. The Church is there to welcome him and support him.

            On the other hand, if a person identifies as a Christian and wilfully engages in homosexual acts, believing them to be acceptable before God, then, from an orthodox perspective, he places himself outside of God’s saving grace.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            I’ll post it again:

            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]

            So we see that sexual immorality cannot be part of a Christian’s life style and hence a Christian cannot be a homosexual nor can they promote such sexual immorality. Indeed the Corinthians included those who had once been homosexuals but were no more, just as some had worshipped idols, stolen and done other wicked things.

            So your ‘homosexual Christian’ is simply not a Christian and those who claim they can be are, as Paul says, accursed.

            not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.

            (Galatians 1:7-9 [ESV]

            So the answer is that Alan Wilson, who seems to have strangely fled this field of battle, is clearly not fit to be a minister of the gospel. Paul calls him accursed but sadly the CoE seems to cast a blind eye on what Paul so strongly condemns. Could this lack of spiritual discipline within the CoE be what is really destroying it? Could it be that all the compromise seeking to keep the CoE afloat is actually causing it to sink?

          • You are confusing actions with temptation towards a particular sin. Paul was warning of the dangers of sin and the need to avoid the behaviours listed. All of us have the potential for serious sin that excludes us from the Kingdom.

          • Martin

            Jack

            No, Paul is pointing out that the Corinthians had, among their number, those who had previously habitually indulged in such behaviours. Because God had saved them He had also freed them from the slavery to such sin.

          • DanJ0

            If you ever manage to throw off the shackles of your weird sect of Christianity, with its mind-bogglingly stupid distortions of reality, then no doubt you’ll blush furiously and we’ll have a good laugh at all the nonsense you’ve posted again and again and again because you think endless repetition make things true, even when it is blatant not true in the real world to anyone with a normally functioning brain and the ability to communicate with his fellow man.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Actually I try to be faithful to the real Christianity in the Bible. That is what is in the real world, while the pretend Atheists dwell in a make believe one.

            What does make me blush is the regularity with which I fail my Lord & Saviour.

          • When Jack commented on Alan Wilson’s blog to this effect, he received this reply:

            “”Happy Jack” your concept of Salvation is essentially Pelagian / Islamic. All the bishops I’ve met are committed to what St Paul called “Salvation by grace through faith lest any should boast.” I hope one day you discover Christianity which I find to have a richer and fuller view of grace and salvation than the view you articulate.”

            Pelagian and/or Islam – eeek ! He could at least have tempered it with an accusation of semi-Pelagianism.

            How do you as a Calvinist respond to this representation of “once saved, always saved” – a one-time completed action – and sola fide?

          • Martin

            Jack

            Actually I’d say that you were semi Pelagian, not fully. But then I’d question on what Alan Wilson is placing his faith.

            If he were convinced he were saved by grace alone through faith alone surely it would drive him to horror at the thought of sin and guilt that he was teaching doctrine that is so far from what we read in the Bible.

            This, of course, answers your point about salvation by grace being a blank cheque to grievous sin. As Paul puts it:

            What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

            (Romans 6:1-4 [ESV]

            It is a horrifying thought that we could possibly continue in sin when God has shown us so much love!

            But as I’ve already said, he preaches another gospel.

          • Semi-Palagian ? Jack thinks not. You do not understand Catholic teaching.

            Scripture reveals that once baptised a Christian starts a process of justification and salvation requiring his free cooperation with God’s grace.

            “Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God.”

            Having received the grace of justification, we have access to God’s grace by which we stand in Christ, and we can then rejoice in the hope of sharing God’s glory. We hope for something we do not yet possess.

            We must continue to work in Christ as Christians; it is also true that it is only by the grace of God we can continue to do so. Scripture tells us this grace can be resisted. “Working together with him, then, we entreat you not to accept the grace of God in vain.” Paul urged believers “to continue in the grace of God.” and warns Christians that they can “fall from grace” He says, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand fast therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”

            Anyway, however we look at it, Jack agrees with you about Alan Wilson.

          • Martin

            Jack

            Did you not notice what you wrote in your second paragraph? “once baptised” indeed! Baptism is an acknowledgement and identification with Christ, it has no salvic power.

            Justification occurs at salvation, our sins are removed and placed on Christ while we are clothed in Christ’s righteousness. Sanctification, however, takes a lot longer (understandably). You will notice that the quote you give shows justification by faith and faith is given by God both being in the past for the Christian. Our hope is certain.

            Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1 [ESV]

          • Baptism has no power ! We receive the initial grace of justification and salvation in baptism.

            “Don’t you know that all of us who were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”

            There are many biblical texts showing justification to have a future and contingent sense as well as those that show a past sense.

          • Martin

            Jack

            Baptism is used in two different ways, in one the act of men to testify to the first, the baptism into Christ, into death. In making us anew God takes us from death into life, the first resurrection.

            Justification is something that happens at that first resurrection as your text showed.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            No such thing as orientation, it’s just an excuse. Mainstream Christianity teaches that sex is between a married man and woman, not just heterosexual. Your whole concept of the purpose of sex is perverted.

          • DanJ0

            Given that I’m a homosexual and not Christian and you are (presumably) a heterosexual and Christian, I can tell you with certainty that I’ve never, ever been remotely sexually attracted to women, I think I know considerably more than you about the subject. Moreover, it’s not as though I’m a rarity as far as my sexuality is concerned. There are probably between 1 and 2 million of us in the UK and, guess what, the overwhelming majority experience homosexuality as a sexual orientation equivalent to heterosexuality. Not that saying any of this will have any influence on you in the slightest. I could hit you in the face with stark, sharp-edged reality and you’d still claim black is white, up is down, left is right, 1 + 1 = 3, true && false = true, and young earth creationism actually happened, because that is what religious nutters do.

          • DanJ0

            Actually, Martin, it’s just occurred to me when reading that back. Have you ever wanted to run your tongue down another man’s chest yourself, Martin? Is that what this is really about? That your own sexuality is uncertain and you’re tempted sex with both men and women, and you’re extrapolating from that to a generalised position about sexual orientation for everyone? That’s a serious and genuine question to you. I know a number of bisexual people personally and we have talked about what they experience in terms of sexuality. If you are bisexual then I’d have quite a lot more sympathy for you.

          • Good God above, are there no depths to which you wouldn’t stoop in your anti-Christian a-theism?

            To be clear, that was a rhetorical question, not an invitation to respond.

          • DanJ0

            Jog on, you obsessive pest.

          • Public forum ……

            Actually, Danjo, it’s just occurred to Jack when reading that back. Have you ever wanted to accept God exists, Danjo? Is that what this is really about? That your own sexual desire is a barrier to accepting the Christian faith and you’re extrapolating from that to a generalised a-theist position as a defence? That’s a serious and genuine question to you. Jack knows a number of homosexual people and we have talked about their experience in terms of sexual desire and faith. If you are resisting God because of your inclination then Jack would understand this and have quite a lot more sympathy for you.

          • DanJ0

            I’m so very glad you don’t know me in real life. This obsessive-compulsive thing is so weird and creepy, I’d probably find you hanging around in the bushes outside my home at night.

          • So vain …. so juvenile …. so wrong.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            And I know you pretend that you don’t know God exists so your claims are always regarded as coming from the mouth of a persistent unashamed liar.

            You might even have persuaded yourself that what you have said is true, such is the depth of your denial of the truth.

          • DanJ0

            Martin, are you occasionally sexually tempted by the sight of men? I’m never so by women. I had proto-sexual feelings right from the age of 9, and they were always for my own sex. Now, you can simply write that off as lying if it’s too inconvenient for your religious beliefs if you like but I’d say you’d do yourself no favours. Still, as a member of the Elect, I’m sure you wouldn’t want to lie yourself, either directly or by omission, so let’s hear it. Are you occasionally sexually tempted by the sight of men?

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            As I’ve already said, and you’ve given no reason for me to change my view, why should I believe you?

          • DanJ0

            I invite other readers to recognise the repeated evasion there, and to think what one might infer from that behaviour. I also invite other readers to note that you prefer to believe I am lying about my day to day experience of my sexuality rather than reassess your unusual religious beliefs in any way. This appears to be your approach to the real world in general when reality so obviously intrudes on your beliefs, and it is why I say you display cultish behaviour since it is typical in that sort of environment.

            As I’m now building a case here, I’ll repeat what I said to you many times, Martin. I was a teenager in the 1980s living in a mono-cultured part of Merseyside. Homosexual activity was still illegal for me, including through my university years. Teenagers faced social ostracisation, bullying, and violence if even suspected of or erroneously labelled as a homosexual. This was also the period of sudden and increasing public awareness of AIDS. No-one of my age would choose to be homosexual. It’s almost inconceivable.

            From the age of 9, I have always been attracted to my own sex (in a way appropriate to age). I didn’t experiment with both, and drift to one rather than the other. Not even through early pubescence when hormones can overwhelm such that even a gust of wind can provoke a bodily reaction, was I ever attracted to women. I was actually quite a late starter, activity-wise, too. It wasn’t a case of trying stuff out, and some of it was habit forming. No, it’s been as persistent for me as I expect it is for many heterosexuals. That is, it presents as a sexual orientation instead of a mere choice or dissociated desire.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            It matters not one iota what others think of you or me, what matters is what God thinks.

          • DanJ0

            As an a-theist (… and loop), that’s largely meaningless to me. Besides, you’d need to identify which god you mean in your god hypothesis.

            Anyway, to carry on building my case, if an a-theist homosexual really was lying about knowing the Christian god exists, but not (say) Brahman, then sticking two fingers up at an omniscient and omnipotent god in control of who goes to the otherworldly torture chambers is not just irrational but incomprehensible. In fact, it’s so incomprehensible that one really ought to be questioning, or perhaps laughing at, the assertion that a-theist homosexuals, and everyone else, do know that the Christian god exists, instead. At best, I think one might reasonably say that, as a self-aware species aware of our own mortality, people of all types may wonder at times if their mortal lives are all there is for them as individuals, but that’s rather different to knowing that a particular theistic god exists and choosing to put that knowledge at the back of their minds.

          • Er…. it’s called denial. You know that defence mechanism you often accuse others of. It occurs when people are unable to face reality or admit an obvious truth. It protects us from things we cannot cope with for some reason.

          • DanJ0

            Still trying desperately to get my attention, Dodo? Bloody weirdo.

          • Jack doesn’t have to try, Danjo. Be honest, it’s you that craves attention from Christians.

          • DanJ0

            Yet it is you who follows me around on here, replying to my to posts others rather than the other way around, Dodo. It is you who flounced the other day, swishing your crinolines, before coming back a mere 2 hours 45 minutes for attention. It is you who posted loads of weird articles on your blog about me. It is you who has tried to troll me almost daily for 4 bloody years, using various IDs. It is you who hid behind this latest ID after being banned for trolling the blog owner, and gave yourself away by attaching yourself yet again in an obsessive manner to me. It was you who actually apologised here for your past behaviour towards me, admitting it was outrageous, but still carry on in your compulsive-obsessive way. You’ve used multiple concurrent IDs as sock puppets, lied publicly and been caught multiple times, been banned and sneaked back under false identities, even offered to pay money to be allowed back. All this I could understand from an emotionally immature teenager, trolling because he felt inadequate and lacking attention, but you’re in your mid bloody 60s!!1! I think you’re very damaged, and not a little creepy, truth be told.

          • Danjo, the only compulsion Jack experiences is a need to respond when you denigrate faith in God and project malign motives onto others who challenge you. Should he remain silent in the face of your overt contempt and condescension? Jack will continue commenting as reasonably as he can, endeavouring to avoid personal abuse, when you insult the Christian faith on a public forum.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            But you know God exists, hence you are not any sort of Atheist and what you are doing is waving your fist in the air your make and sustainer, the one who gives you every breath and will judge you at the end of time. I can think of nothing more stupid than your position.

          • DanJ0

            And … loop.

          • DanJ0

            Presumably, Hindus and Muslims and Buddhists and Jains and Zoroastrians and Yazidis and Jews and Sikhs and Bahá’ís and so on, all know in reality that your particular god hypothesis is true, Martin, but choose to worship or acknowledge another god or spiritual reality instead and lie about their true knowledge, too.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Just like you they create their god(s) in their own image. As long as you keep pretending the loop continues.

          • DanJ0

            Well, there we have it. Billions of people are persistently and unashamedly lying about knowing Martin’s specialist version of a god, preferring to pretend to follow their own version of a god, or to have no belief in a god at all. Marvellous. Heh. I think I’m probably about done here now.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Hardly “my specialist version”, just basic Christian doctrine.

            And I doubt you are done, I’d expect you to go on, and on, and on ….

          • DanJ0

            In a broken record fashion?

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Certainly broken, for your morality and thought processes are clearly broken. Repetitive, for you repeat the same nonsense again and again.

          • DanJ0

            Martin, I’ve hung you out to dry here. Surely you must realise that? Your position is left looking like that of a cult member. It simply doesn’t make sense, and you’re left shouting Liar! as your only defence. As for my morality, the best you can really say is that it doesn’t confirm to the specific moral absolutism of Christianity. But then, I would never claim it did. Though it seems to me that there are a number of people here, yourself included, who fail miserably at tapping into the drive behind it. Motes and beams spring to mind, too. Crucially, that moral system depends almost wholly on the premises of your religion. For people of other religions, or of none, you have no means of persuading them of its validity. Other than, that is, converting them to it. This is why our Mr Jacobs is out on a shaky limb trying to impose his morality onto me, judging me by it, and confronting me with it. Some churches get that, and limit their judging and confronting to their own members, out of community care and with benevolent goals, as a means of edifying and supporting the church community. Outside of that environment, it just looks like self-righteousness, oppression, and judgmentalism.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Seems to me you live in a fantasy world. Fact is, you don’t have morals, just opinions & since you know God exists you are lying to yourself.

            Like you, ‘people of other religions’ are creating a god in their own image in a vain attempt to pretend God doesn’t exist. I cannot persuade you or them because you convince yourselves. God can convince you, I can’t.

            What I can do is point out that you are a sinner, in serious trouble with the God who made you so that you have no excuse.

          • People of other faiths have distorted beliefs in the nature of the One, True God for a whole range of reasons. Many do believe a theistic God exists with many of the same attributes as the one revealed in the bible -they just do not know Him because the only path to Him is through Jesus Christ. And we know from scripture too that it isn’t simply a rational process to have faith in Jesus Christ.

            An evangelist is unlikely to be successful if he just calls non-Christians liars. St Paul didn’t do this. He started where non-believers were at – and used the idol of the Unknown God.
            Jack does, however, accept that atheists are either deluding themselves or in denial.

          • Martin

            HJ

            So what does Romans 1:18 say about them?

            Of course it isn’t a rational process, it requires a miracle, the miracle of new birth. No one is persuaded to become a Christian.

          • We are in agreement about atheism.

            Psalms 14:1
            ”The fool has said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that does good.”

            Romans 1:19
            ”Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God has showed it to them.”

            Romans 1:20
            ”For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.”

            Our incomprehensibly complex and precisely honed universe shouts evidence of a omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient God who transcends time and space. This
            is the only way to account for the evidence of design and a universe clearly crafted by a superior intelligence.

          • DanJ0

            Clearly I have both morals and ethics. My conscience troubles me if I do wrong, and doing right is internally rewarding. I regularly perform acts of altruism, at least in as much as altruism can be said to exist, and I try to perform random acts of kindness where I can in real life. All that, I might add, despite expecting to cease to exist when I die, and without hope of a theistic reward scheme. On top of your earlier only defence of shouting Liar! you are now reduced to redefining an established branch of philosophy to suit yourself. It’s not great, is it? I see you’ve also ignored my fairly gentle reminder about edifying behaviour within your own religion too. I’m actually beginning to pity you now, you seem to be a pisspoor Christian as well as being pig ignorant. What a combination.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Your conscience is a sadly seared thing, having had those parts that offended you destroyed. You may consider your acts as good but God does not so view them. In God’s eyes you can do nothing good.

          • DanJ0

            Clearly your own conscience is not troubling you here when it really should given that you’re trying to use your religion and its god as a personal weapon. I actually wonder who is the more likely to be divinely kicked in the very unlikely event that the Christian god hypothesis is true: your sort of self-righteous, judgmental and rather unpleasant religionist, or someone like me regularly turned away from the hypothesis by the behaviour of people like you.

          • “Hardly “my specialist version”, just basic Christian doctrine.”

            Martin, as Jack reads the bible, belief in God exists in all of us. This pre-fall knowledge remains in us, though deeply hampered, and is also self evident from the world.

            What isn’t implanted is belief and faith in the One, True God. This requires the Holy Spirit to move us. That’s why God had to reveal Himself to fallen man.

          • Martin

            HJ

            Not belief in God but the knowledge of God exists in all of us. Hence, there are no Atheists.

            As you say, faith in God needs God’s intervention, a miracle.

          • CliveM

            DanJo

            I have no difficulty in accepting the fact you are both gay and an atheist. I am not sure why anyone argues otherwise.

            Further while the status of your atheism may be open to change, your sexuality isn’t.

            Now with that said, please do me a favour, descriptions of sexual behaviour of whatever type, please no!

          • DanJ0

            You have no trouble because you’re reasonable, as far as I can see from your comments over time. The arguing about it continually is just a one to one thing that happens on forums sometimes for less godly reasons.

            However, there does seem to be a general claim that homosexuality is a choice from some types of Christian. If it’s not a choice it could be seen as a disability of sorts, and a requirement to remain celebate, and to even resist sexual thoughts for one’s entire life, seems both cruel and ultimately doomed to failure unless it is specifically chosen in ‘service’ to god, monk-like. We’re sexual beings as part of our nature afterall.

            Hence, I think some people feel it is preferable to imagine that homosexuality is a choice instead. In that case, it’s solidly in the domain of morality. Having homosexual thoughts is akin to being attracted to one’s neighbour, despite being married to another, and so it’s just temptation to be resisted. Homosexual behaviour is like engaging in a life of crime, where an intervention may be needed to get back on the ‘straight and narrow’, so to speak, leading to the infamous reparation therapy.

            I’m not often in support of the Roman Catholic Church but I recognise its position on sexuality morality and I can see it’s dessemination is considered, and respectful, and worldly. It’s also coherent if one accepts the premises on which it is built. This other stuff about homosexuality not existing other than as a choice, and the offering of evil things like reparation therapy, comes from the more extreme ends of protestantism and evangelicalim.

          • DanJ0

            I deliberately go a bit ‘Chaucer’ every now and again for rhetorical reasons. It’s intended to shock, though not gratuitously. I don’t intend to do that again here. We seem to have lost some of the worst homophobes now but the same approach is taken by them at times, only many many times more graphically. You may have to steel yourself at some point because the Inspector has a history of doing that when he has one of his, erm, ‘episodes’, and he’s very much still here.

        • Quite right, Inspector, From an orthodox Christian perspective, a person with homosexual desires has an intrinsically disordered inclination – it is a flaw.

          So what exactly does this mean? The particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin. A sin is committed only through choice. The reason is fairly straightforward. It is a tendency, inclination or orientation ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil – i.e. an inclination to choose a homosexual act and, if freely and deliberately chosen, it is a serious sin.

          An inclination which one cannot choose to pursue without serious moral evil is therefore a disordered inclination – unlike a heterosexual orientation which is ordered towards a moral good if expressed within a marital relationship. So the Church concludes and teaches: “the particular inclination of the homosexual person…is a more or less strong tendency ordered [i.e. directed] toward an intrinsic moral evil, and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.”

          And, to be fair, many Christians with such an inclination do recognise it as a tendency which must be overcome and resisted.

      • SidneyDeane

        what language is that?
        English please.

        • Speaking in tongues.

          Ye dinnae ken acause yer saul’s ləik a dreich day.

  • Hi Peter,

    No one should be forcibly outed as gay. It’s a matter of privacy.

    • Darter Noster

      Hi Hannah,

      I agree with you. However, I do believe that ministers of a religious group which professes a particular code of sexual ethics, and who have sworn to uphold that code as part of their ministerial role, have a duty to be honest with their followers as to exactly how they personally stand in relation to that code, not least for the pastoral reason that their followers may be struggling with that code themselves. Honesty is essential.

      • Hi darter,

        I agree. Although the church of England does seem to be somewhat lenient in it’s interpretation of Christian Canon (halakhah), which in their terms , I think, permits celibate gay relationships or civil partnership. I think if you got 3 Anglicans together they’d have a different view, depending on their tradition?

        • Martin

          Probably at least 4 different views.

  • The Inspector General

    Let us be aware that homosexuality has far reaching consequences not immediately obvious…

    The Inspector visited a chemist shop the other week for…well, never you mind what he was in there for…, but while waiting, he noticed a product on the shelf, namely ‘Personal Body Lube’. It’s that gloop which helps two men…you can guess the rest
    {AHEM}

    With no one about, he sneaked a read of the label…

    “This product is completely safe and has been extensively and rigorously tested on some highly annoyed animals.”

    • carl jacobs

      Inspector

      You are incorrigible. I want you to know that I did not laugh at your post. I didn’t. Really. It wasn’t funny.

      OK, I laughed. But I didn’t enjoy it and I felt guilty about it afterwards.

      See what you have done? I hope you are happy!

      carl

      • The Inspector General

        Serious point being made through humour Carl. If the CoE is madcap enough to actually stop rebuffing homosexuality and construct some form of acceptance, the implications will be so far reaching that the church itself may no longer attract family worship. That would then be the end. No following generations to come.

  • jillfromharrow

    The good (!) bishop has written on his blog about his new book:

    http://bishopalan.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/ins-and-outs-and-same-sex-marriage.html

    • The poor man is a martyr to the cause of promoting the Christian acceptance of homosexuality as God given and therefore a healthy and natural expression of love – Eros, presumably.
      And all this is based on what? A *new understanding* of scripture and insight into the love of God? That homosexuality really does exist and *gasp* some Bishops are afflicted with the condition? And some even act on it – openly and in secret? That because the Church of England continues to see active homosexuality as sin this makes it ‘institutionally homophobic’ unlike other public institutions that have moved with the times? And, finally, because there are Bishops who are living lives of secret sin this is somehow because the Church of England defines such behaviour as sin?

      • Gilchrist

        Satan nods in approval.

  • Gilchrist

    It doesn’t matter if a bishop is homosexual or heterosexual. In fact, it’s nobody’s business. The crux is how the bishop behaves. As long as he is celibate and not partaking in homosexual sex it’s always been acceptable. If he is heterosexual and not committing adultery, it is the same non-issue. Nowhere in Scripture or tradition is it stated that homosexuality is normal or God given. In fact, it is part of the fallen behavior of mankind to be attracted to the same sex. To teach otherwise as someone claiming to represent the Church, it would be better to tie a giant millstone around your neck and follow the rest of Christ’s command.

    • Agreed. However, how realistic is this approach?

      Is the Roman Catholic Church being unduly harsh? In 2005, following the American sex scandals, where most victims were adolescent boys, it issued the following instructions:

      ” …. the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question, cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practise homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called “gay culture …..

      Different, however, would be the case in which one were dealing with homosexual tendencies that were only the expression of a transitory problem …. Nevertheless, such tendencies must be clearly overcome at least three years before ordination to the diaconate.”

      There was not new. The 1961 position, in rather less pastoral language, had stated:

      “Advantage to religious vows and ordination should be barred to those who are afflicted with evil tendencies to homosexuality or pederasty, since for them the common life and the priestly ministry would constitute serious dangers.”

      • Darter Noster

        “In fact, it is part of the fallen behavior of mankind to be attracted to the same sex.”

        In the interest of balance, it seems only fair to point out that heterosexuals too are perfectly capable of exemplifying the falleness of humanity – “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” That’s a pretty damning indictment of everyone who’s ever watched a stunning bit of stuff get off the bus and thought “Phwoar”, but we spend an awful lot less of our time condemning lechery.

        Also, it seems a bit harsh to single out homosexuals as automatically more of a risk in the celibacy-breaking department. Perhaps in 1961, when clerical celibacy (Anglican and RC) provided a useful cover for those who didn’t want to marry to explain why they were still single, that might have been the case, but those were very different times. The commitment of ordination candidates to their vows should be determined on an individual basis, not with an in-built assumption that those with homosexual inclinations are more of a vow-breaking risk than those with heterosexual ones – the one time Bishop of Galway leaps to mind.

        As for pederasts, those should be excluded from the priesthood if known, but I imagine that the numbers of people willing to admit to pederasty in a job interview are few and far between. Since 2005 it has been discovered that pederasts were as common and active in many other institutions than just the Catholic Church, and that those institutions

        • Darter Noster

          Cont due to iPad related technical difficulties…

          were no less willing to engage in cover-ups.

          Just a PS for those incapable of telling the difference between pederasty and homosexuality – the overwhelming majority of child abuse is directed towards little girls. Statistically, heterosexual men are much more of a risk than gay ones.

          • The background to the 2005 statement what a complete failure of American Bishops to monitor admissions to seminaries and the priesthood.

            “Statistically, heterosexual men are much more of a risk than gay ones.”

            In the general population, yes. In terms of the Catholic child abuse scandal the vast majority of abused were teenage boys. In what is now ‘old fashioned’ language, the 1961 statement: ” since for them the common life and the priestly ministry would constitute serious dangers.” was referring to placing men in situations of an “occasions of sin” i.e. where grave temptation would be present and might be too great to master. And we are talking in the context of a celibate priesthood and chastity being required of all men – heterosexual and homosexual.

            The grounds for exclusion were those who “practise homosexuality”, clearly unsuited for ministry; “present deep-seated homosexual tendencies”, potentially grave temptation in situations where in a seminary you are surrounded by and in close contact, physically and emotionally, with other men; and in ministry young boys; and finally those who “support the so-called “gay culture”, the ground for exclusion being self evident.

            You’ve overstated this:

            “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” That’s a pretty damning indictment of everyone who’s ever watched a stunning bit of stuff get off the bus and thought “Phwoar”, but we spend an awful lot less of our time condemning lechery.”

            Looking with lust is more than momentary attraction. It involves imagining and coveting another person’s body for gratification. It would be unnatural not to admire the physical beauty of a woman. So far as homosexual desire is concerned, the Church teaches it is an intrinsically disordered inclination, a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil i.e. homosexual sex whether it be innate or pathological, incurable or curable, permanent or transitory.

          • Darter Noster

            Jack,

            Agreed, regarding the potential temptations inherent in an all-male, relatively closed, seminary environment. My point was that when homosexuality was illegal and/or massively socially frowned upon, that sort of environment had a particular and well-known attraction for forcibly closeted gay men. Nowadays there is much less need for a young gay man to use religious celibacy to cover up his sexual orientation, or to find like-minded gents within a seminary – bars, nightclubs and the internet would seem to offer a much more fun way of doing that. Logically, therefore, a man with homosexual inclinations coming forward for ordination nowadays would seem more likely to be sincere in his motivation towards the religious life, since today life would be much easier for him, if he wasn’t prepared to be celibate and chaste, outside the seminary and religious life than it would be in it. The pastoral role of a secular priest seems to offer similar opportunities for vow-breaking to both orientations.

          • All that is the role of the those charged with admitting men to seminaries and the priesthood – within the terms of the statement from 2005 and 2008.

            All your really saying is that its easier to commit homosexual sin nowadays. It doesn’t logically follow that men seeking to enter the priesthood are more likely to be chaste.

          • Darter Noster

            What I’m saying is that a major cultural and legal reason for suspecting the motives of homosexually oriented men seeking ordination has been removed. In the past religious life, and particularly the seminary, was one of the few ways to live a life surrounded by men and free from the expectation of marriage. Today there is no reason why a gay man not seriously committed to chastity should seek refuge in the priesthood. Yes, seminary life will still potentially present temptations for a gay man that it does not for a straight man, by its very nature; there we agree. All I am saying is that candidates for ordination who admit to homosexual orientation should be assessed as individuals, and not be automatically regarded as a greater risk in the chastity department.

          • The Church’s position is to bar those who practise homosexuality or support the so-called “gay culture – which we seem to be in agreement over. Those present deep-seated homosexual tendencies …..

            Different, however, would be the case in which one were dealing with homosexual tendencies t

          • Darter Noster

            Jack,

            “And we cannot reasonably overlook the potential threat to young teenage
            boys who come into contact with these priests, perhaps because they
            themselves are sexually confused, and the risks this would involve –
            for both.”

            You seem to be assuming that self-identified gay men present more of a risk to young people. How many, however, of the child sex scandals within the church have involved clergy who clearly and openly identified themselves as gay?

            Let us assume that a pederast within the church wished to gain access to young people – why would he self-identify as gay, thereby drawing the attention of the authorities upon himself further?

            There is no reason to believe that a man who identifies himself as being sexually attracted to adult men presents any more of a risk to children and young people than one who identifies himself as being sexually attracted to adult women. Pederasty by its very nature disguises itself, and if one wished to commit these sorts of crimes one would be a lot better off pretending to be heterosexual than one would by coming before the Bishop and proclaiming oneself to be gay.

            Just try to think about it logically, if lack of prejudice doesn’t work. Pederasty is a sexual orientation all its own, and not a sub-category of homosexualtiy.

          • Well, whatever he might call himself, what would you call a man who has or desires sex with a teenage boy?

            Prejudiced or cautious? Were Saint Pope John Paul and Pope Benedict both prejudiced in wanting to implement the policy to exclude homosexuals from ministry? A requirement that was being ignored in the liberal American Church. The Church introduced psychological screening in 2008 to counter the very point you’ve made about deceit.

            “How many, however, of the child sex scandals within the church have involved clergy who clearly and openly identified themselves as gay?”

            At what point does the disorder of pederasty become the disorder of homosexuality? The legal age of consent? Having reduced the age from 21 years, to 18 years, homosexuals have campaigned to reduce the age of consent from 16 years to 14 years. Are these all pederasts? Both are excluded from entry to the priesthood.

            And as Jack pointed out, “… it may be that an inherently disordered desire is more difficult to resist than one ordered to a moral end”, in the context of the male, Catholic priesthood, even if recognised and identified by the person as such.

          • Darter Noster

            Regarding the verse from Matthew on adultery: I don’t think I’m overstating it. On the contrary, it seems to me to be one of those Bible verses which is admirably clear. I agree there is a difference between lust and and admiration; I was clearly referring to the former.

          • Temptation is not sinful and neither is a momentary sexual attraction to a person. Lechery consists of an unrestrained or excessive indulgence of sexual desire. This is surely what Jesus was referring to.

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