Those Pesky Queers are Shaking up the Church

My friend Shirley in Northern Ireland [Hi Shirley 🙂 ] sent me a link to a delightful and insightful opinion piece by the Guardians Stephen Bates, who discusses the recent resolution by the Episcopal Church to “to affirm its belief that gays, lesbians and transgendered folk are eligible to be considered for ordination…” He believes this is an important and historic watershed moment for the worldwide Anglican Community.

Addressing some of the critics to the resolution, Bates highlights the hypocrisy and nearsightedness of the church,

As Tom Wright, Bishop of Durham, expostulates in the Times, it gives active expression to any and every sexual desire. This, as Wright – a clever if conceited man – ought to know, is simply not true. The sort of relationship that the Episcopalians might sanction is not any old promiscuous or abusive perversion, but a lifelong, loving commitment between two persons of the sort you might think the church would welcome and which Wright could find any day of the week among the currently ordained clergy of the Church of England. In a church which marries without question promiscuous heterosexuals, sometimes several times, and blesses pets and nuclear submarines without a qualm, you might think the expression of mutual commitment, which may or may not have a sexual element if you are prurient enough to ask, would be welcomed rather than spurned. After all, the church some time ago accepted the reality of divorce (its founder Henry VIII was rather keen on the idea) about which the Bible has much more disobliging things to say than homosexuality.

Check out the whole piece: The Anglican church’s crumbling foundations

This post has 2 Comments

  1. Michael Camp on July 24, 2009 at 5:52 pm


    I like Tom Wright and most of what he teaches is backed by sound exegesis, but I think he is wrong on this issue. He says,

    “Jesus’s own stern denunciation of sexual immorality would certainly have carried, to his hearers, a clear implied rejection of all sexual behaviour outside heterosexual monogamy. This isn’t a matter of “private response to Scripture” but of the uniform teaching of the whole Bible, of Jesus himself, and of the entire Christian tradition.”

    I’m not sure how he can say this in light of the indisputable Jewish tradition of polygamy and concubinage without one word from God in the Bible condemning it–in fact there are a couple scriptures endorsing it (Leverite law to marry your late brother’s wife and another in Exodus). So, if heterosexual monogamy is NOT a uniform teaching of the Bible, we should rethink what sexual immorality really means.

    This is the basis for rethinking the church’s attitudes to homosexuality. Bates has hit on something. It is irresponsible promiscuous, and/or abusive sex that the Biblical love ethic demands we reject, not homosexuality in and of itself.

  2. bridgeout on July 29, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    Peter I would like to offer you the bridge builder award. Your blog so such a long want to find the common ground and the common sense in this world! Thank you!
    There are two rules for this award: The first rule is to write 3 ways you build bridges between yourself and others. The second is to nominate 3 of your favorite blogs/writers for this award.
    Here is the code: if it doesn’t come through, email me and I will send it along to you!

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