Thinking Anglicans

GS: Church Times reports

Today’s Church Times has full coverage of the synod (up to the end of Wednesday) available on the website.

Summary:
Synod divided over homosexuality by Paul Handley

Presidential Address in context:
Anglican game is worth the candle, says Williams

Leader Comment Building trust in a broken Church

Synod signals its opposition to a Trident upgrade

Synod detailed coverage:

Civil-partners policy gets a drubbing
Update In relation to this report see also the letter published on 9 March
From Miss Jacqueline Humphreys
Resembling, but not undermining, marriage

Bishops promote qualified support for gays and lesbians

Marriage Measure: a path too wide — or too narrow?

Anti-Trident motion sharpened up

Synod airs hope and fear on clergy terms

Synod votes to tweak defined-benefits plan

No messing with mission

36
Leave a Reply

avatar
3000
36 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
13 Comment authors
Göran Koch-SwahneChristopher ShellErika BakerChristop[her ShellAthos Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of
Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

Regardless of the mixed nature of the General Synod motion on homosexuality as finally passed, which given the current political state of Anglicanism is wholly understandable – only imagine what might result were the American House of Bishops to pass the identical resolution at this point in time – there is beautiful, heartening stuff in the “Church Times” report of General Synod’s debate on Mary Gilbert’s motion. There is also material that rouses one’s exasperation and anger. Lead player in the sounding brass and tinkling cymbals section is the Revd Andrew Watson (London),pronouncing that “Jesus’s teaching had been tougher than… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

Lapin – I guess you think you are a “Thinking Anglican” by writing here…..so I assume you have thought about your position re us not having something recorded direct from the lips of JC to convince you. So, I guess you believe if John or Peter asked JC direct if someone with VGR’s lifestyle (without repenting) could be one of the leaders in the church he would have said yes?? Seriously? Of course, they never asked him – they would not even have thought of asking him that! They would have known his answer and his postion – after all,… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

No, NP, you wouldn’t have known if Jesus agreed that same sex relationships can be holy, because the kind of relationship we are seeing today simply did not exist when Jesus was alive. The instances where the bible speaks of homosexuality (even that being a modern word!) have all to do with abusive relationships, abuse of hospitality and unequal relationships. The marriage-like life long faithful relationships we are experiencing as God’s gift today were totally unknown.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

To fulfill the Law, dear NP, which in both Synagogue and Church are the 10 Commandments.

Everything which is not the 10 Commandments is “what has been handed over and recieved”; Tradition, not “law”.

So the word “nomos” has 2 senses; Law and Tradition – which is why there are 3 meanings to “nomos” in Romans.

What do you learn at bible school?

And as the Rabbi said: The rest is Commentary.

Commentary on the 10 Commandments.

lapinbizarre
Guest
lapinbizarre

At the risk of re-hashing the same old stuff, don’t you think, Erica, that a case can be made for David & Jonathan?

Steve Watson.
Guest
Steve Watson.

“No, NP, you wouldn’t have known if Jesus agreed that same sex relationships can be holy, because the kind of relationship we are seeing today simply did not exist when Jesus was alive.” – So you disagree with Gerd Theissen that the centurion whose ‘pais’ Jesus healed was in a homosexual union with the lad? So do I! But if you think such relationships never existed in the ancient world, you have never read Plato’s Symposium, which is very largely about homosexual love affairs. “The instances where the bible speaks of homosexuality (even that being a modern word!) have all… Read more »

BobinWashPA
Guest
BobinWashPA

The Greek Civilisation and way of life was very prevalent in Isreal during Jesus’ lifetime. Part of the Pharisees reaction was the loss of the “Jewishness” of the by the people. Greek Civilisation was the pinnacle and part of that was the condoning of male-male relationships. It was also acceptable to the Romans. Jesus must have certainly had contact with this. If you need further proof their is the self imposed exile of the Essenes. Jesus didn’t address it.

If I find the artcile I’ll post the link on this subject.

Peace, Bob

Perry Butler
Guest
Perry Butler

Re:Andrew Watsons remarks-exactly the same was said to divorced Anglicans 30-40 yrs ago. I remember as a deacon in 1980 taking tea with a member of the congregation and her telling me how when her husband left her (with two young sons)her Vicar said to her that under no circumstances was she to re marry(she hadnt).Given 70 yrs of change over contaception(surely the most significant departure from the morality of the Universal Church), divorce, the subordination of women etc people may well take impassioned pleas to stand firm on biblical orthodoxy with a certain scepticism.It would be better perhaps if… Read more »

Athos
Guest
Athos

One can hardly argue that Jesus was tolerant in his views on sexuality. When asked about divorce he went back to the order of creation and restated his case as it was from the begining for in the begginning it as NOT SO; for “at the begining of creation God made them male and female”. If this was his attitude to heterosexual sex it would be fair to say that a similar attitude would prevail in other areas. Remember homosexuality was well known in Greek and Roman cultures and these were not necesssatily abusive but could also be loving and… Read more »

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

Steve – you have actually proved the point. Same- sex encounters were certainly known, but not gay or lesbian identity, personhood, sexual orientation, or the possibility of faithful and exclusive monogamous relationships.

This is why the Bible is really of no use at all because it cannot possibly contribute towards our understanding of something which didn’t exist.

The Bible is the basic problem with Christianity, and it is only once its limitations have been accepted that Christianity will be at all valuable or relevant.

ruidh
Guest
ruidh

“One can hardly argue that Jesus was tolerant in his views on sexuality. When asked about divorce he went back to the order of creation and restated his case as it was from the begining for in the begginning it as NOT SO; for ‘at the begining of creation God made them male and female’.”

But, now that we know that the first animals were asexual creatures and that male and female didn’t come for some time after, dosn’t that call into question the reasoning here?.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Lapinbizare, yes, I made my point badly. What I meant to say is that all the obvious prohibition of same sex acts in the bible is found in stories dealing with abuse and inequality.
If I had to describe my love I would have to sing the Song of Songs. It would never occur to me to find it reflected in the story of men banging on the door of a house demanding that the owner sends out his male guests so they may rape them.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Steve Watson, seriously, are you suggesting that a slave owner abusing his slave is “the kind of relationship we are seeing today”?

Really.

JCF
Guest
JCF

“Remember homosexuality was well known in Greek and Roman cultures and these were not necesssatily abusive but could also be loving and consensual (It is arrogant to think that we are the only ones to have known homosexual lovnig and consensual sex. In fact this is what made the Spartans such fercious fighters as they were often fighting next to their lovers).” Same-sex relationships, Athos, but not “homosexual relationships” (two person of the same sex ***AND*** with homosexual orientations) as such. In none of the same-sex relationships of the Classical World (yes, they could sometimes be consensual and loving) would… Read more »

Simon Dawson
Guest

Two questions please – based on comments in this most fascinating discussion. 1. Merseymike said “Same- sex encounters were certainly known, but not gay or lesbian identity, personhood, sexual orientation, or the possibility of faithful and exclusive monogamous relationships.” I have often heard this said about first century Palestine, but how true is this statement? How confident are we that self defined homosexual people did not exist in Palestine in Jesus’ times? Where is the evidence? The Warren Cup, for example, would seem to by owned by someone who valued his sexuality, and that someone was a Roman soldier based… Read more »

Steve Watson.
Guest
Steve Watson.

Y’all be pleased to hear I’m going to try to fast from commenting on TA during Lent, so I’ll confine myself to a brief reply to Goran et al. 1. Gerd Theissen suggested (tentatively) in ‘Der Schatten des Galilaers’ that the centurion and his ‘pais’ had a homosexual relationship that Jesus tacitly affirmed by healing the young man. I thought this idea was ludicrous and don’t think there’s anything erotic in the story, but it was taken up enthusiastically by Professor (and now Cardinal) Elizabeth Stuart. There was in any case no suggestion by Theissen that it was ‘a slave… Read more »

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

I’d suggest you do some research, Simon. You can’t be ‘proud’ of something which doesn’t conceptually exist.

In any case, its all so irrelevant. Who gives a stuff about premoderns in first-century Palestine?

Athos
Guest
Athos

Why are we so desparate to argue that today is any different from times past? I do find much speacial pleading in all this much like my children when they argue that they don’t have to be back home by midnight “becasue today things are different”, therefore the rules that appled to an older generation are no longer valid becasue the world has changed so much. Oh please…

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

People like me are desperate, Athos, because we are sick to death of being told by people like you that you’re alright because you happen to be straight, but that your straight God won’t accept us if we also want to love. God Is Love, remember? Not, God is a conservative moralistic being that might be able to love me, but only if I deny all love in my life. This is NOT the God the bible speaks about, it is NOT the God I experience in my life. And if past generations had different theological battles to fight, then… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Athos, as for the tone of your post and being compared to your children who don’t yet understand the great wisdom of their Daddie: continue to talk to me and those like me, by all means, but stop patronising me! I happen to be an adult who is quite capable of conducting a conversation on an equal level.

Athos
Guest
Athos

Erica Where have I said that I am alright becasue I am straight? Where have I said that God is a conservative moralistic being who won’t accept gays? Where have I said that God doesn’t accepts sinners? All I was doing was pointing out the special pleading that often comes from the gay side of the debate that seems desperate to argue that what we see and understand now is unique, unheard of and never contemplated before since time immemorial. This is a rash line to take it seems to me. By all means develop a positive gay theology but… Read more »

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

Athos – go away, do some reading about the importance of social construction and the nature of progress and discovery, then come back and join in.

Or you could stay locked in the first century with your co-religionists whilst the rest of the civilised and progressive world moves on.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Steve Watson wrote; “… Philo on Plato’s Symposium in De Vita Contemplativa, 59-61) knows that the Jews looked on homosexuality…” No Steve, Philo is not how “the Jews looked on homosexuality”. Philo is how s o m e platonists at the Alexandrian Museiwn looked at spilling Semen for non procreative purposes. (Procreation, as you well know, was and is the one permissible exception to continence for 1st as well as 20th century Gnosticist/Platonists). Judaism has never been anti sex, not even anti gay. The late 12th century Parisian mixis of the LXX and Biblia Hebraica versions of Lev 18:22 to… Read more »

ruidh
Guest
ruidh

“So, I guess you believe if John or Peter asked JC direct if someone with VGR’s lifestyle (without repenting) could be one of the leaders in the church he would have said yes?? Seriously?” Jesus said some very surprising and unexpected things especially in response to direct questions. I don’t think we can guess what he might have said in any circumstance where we don’t have his opinions recorded. You go on to quote “he came to fulfil and not abolish the [law]”. Indeed, there was no need to abolish it after it was fufilled. It was already obsolete. Jesus… Read more »

JCF
Guest
JCF

[Simon, thank you for allowing the thread to drift from the CofE’s General Synod: this Yank appreciates speaking here! ;-)] “By all means develop a positive gay theology but please don’t do so by claiming for yourselves a special historical status. That ARGUMENT is childish.” Athos, I think it’s childish that *you* don’t realize that times DO change—that LGBTs DO have a “special historical status”… …but *not only* LGBTs: Women controlling their marital status and reproduction? Not only is this NEW in many parts of the world, in some it *still* hasn’t happened yet! Barack Obama a serious contender for… Read more »

Athos
Guest
Athos

Oh my word!! And I thought this was a tolerant open minded, self critcal web sight…And all of a sudden simply becasue I question some historical assuptions Merseymike claims I am locked in the first century, Goran claims I believe people go to hell for what they do (which is NOT what I beleive OR teach)and JCF refuses to compare like with like. Of course things change like but I doubt human sexuality today is all that different from that which the ancients understood. Please try and temper your fundamentalism or you and Peter Akinola will end up the best… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

OK, Ahtos, let’s say we all misunderstood you (in that case, my apologies), and that your only point was that human sexuality has not changed. I would still claim “special historical status” because I now want to live a life style that I would not have been allowed to live in any other time in history. And I would still argue that the biblical reasons for denying my relationship equality with marriages don’t apply because the kind of relationship I am living, openly, with children, was not the kind of relationship the prohibitions were based on.

Athos
Guest
Athos

Erika
You are very gracious and kind. I’m not sure I fully understand your last two sentences but that is why I frequent Thinking Anglicans in order to understand more comprehensively what it is that is driving you guys so powerfully. I really want to understand your motives and also your theological underpinnings. I should let you know that I am a bit underwhelmed by your theological arguments so far; I’m sure there must be deeper ones..

Athos
Guest
Athos

Erika
One last thought. I think I can begin to start to understand your historical sensitivities. It must be a HUGE burdern to carry if you are aware that you are embarking upon a spiritual/theological journey that has never been taken on before by any culture Christian or pagan. I would find that scary…

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Athos, I wasn’t making theological arguments, I was trying to explain to you what the arguments are about and why they are necessary. Your post that made me wade in questioned why we’re so desperate to claim special historical status, and the only way I know how to do that is to explain about my own life. There are others here much more qualified to make deep theological arguments, and who have been making them extremely well on these pages for a long time. Just one – very untheological – thought. Jesus spoke to simple men and women and expected… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Athos, Just in case you think I’m trying to patronize you, my Christianity really is very simple. I’m a Christian, not a theologian. I love theology, I study it, hope to understand it, grow through it. But the head has to be mediated through the heart, through the actual reality of Christ in my life. If the two gel, it’s right, if they don’t, it isn’t. You can learn theology, you cannot learn Christianity. Love God with all your heart, love your neighbour as yourself, by their fruits shall you tell them. That’s the sum of it for me in… Read more »

Christop[her Shell
Guest
Christop[her Shell

Hi Erika- You say ‘so long as there are people who feel marginalised by Christians, we cannot have it right’. But even in Jesus’s times two groups marginalised themsleves: the Pharisees and the unrepentant. A whole load of people want to be accepted in their present lifestyle with no strings attached. That is called having your cake and eating it. To even countenance such a thing would be weakness, just as only a weak parent would indulge and spoil their child. I am sure there are loads of people who wouldn’t mind ‘trying it on’: ‘Hey, I am sleeping with… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Christopher, the person in your example is laughing at the Christian ethos. I am talking about people who, like myself, genuinely do all we can do follow Christ. We’re repentant to the extent that any Christian is repentant, but we don’t happen to believe that our sexuality and our loving relationships are a sin. On the contrary, we believe them to be God given gifts, a real grace for which we are thankful. Our marginalisation is coming from those other Christians who cannot accept us as we are. I don’t expect you to agree – I do expect you and… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Christopher, … and, actually… the person in your example doesn’t deserve our condemnation either. If we take him as seriously as Christ would do, we should do our best to get to know him properly, understand his motivation, really walk next to him… and THEN try to help. Don’t forget, God’s commandments aren’t abstract moralistic rules, they are guidelines for a happy life. If someone doesn’t follow them the saddest part isn’t that he is immoral, but that he is not fulfilling his human potential. So words like “having your cake and eat it”…weakness, indulgence, spoiling”…”trying it on”.. they have… Read more »

Christopher Shell
Guest
Christopher Shell

Hi Erika- I agree with your first post. But I would ask you to consider that a high proportion of heresies (or whatever you call them) throughout history – wherther ‘King and Country’ or imperialism or ‘prosperity’ – have been nothing other than people being unable to see outside the confines of their own culture. It is no accident that you write such things as a 21st century inhabitant of the western world, where such a worldview is drummed down our throats. As for your second post, I don’t agree with the main principle expressed there. Jesus was good at… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

“There may be a translation of the Bible where Jesus didn’t tell the woman to ‘Go and sin no more’ – but I haven’t found it yet.”

Really, Christopher!

You haven’t seen because it isn’t there…

Quite a few Calvinist bibles omit this passage altogether (originally in the gospel of Luke; 21:38ff, excised around 200 by the Alexandrian philosophical redaction, and later re-introduced, but in 3 different places in the gospel of John, by the Byzantine redaction ;=)