Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Lambeth and New Hampshire

Episcopal News Service carries a report titled Lambeth invitation ‘not possible’ for Robinson. It links to two word processing files, but see below.

The House of Bishops was informed March 10 that full invitation is “not possible” from the Archbishop of Canterbury to include Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire as a participant in this summer’s Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops.

Robinson, addressing the House, urged the other bishops of the Episcopal Church to participate fully in the conference, and thanked all who are willing to “stay at the table.”

Robinson told the House that he respectfully declined an invitation to be present in the conference’s “Marketplace” exhibit section.

Robinson confirmed for ENS that he plans to be in Canterbury during the July 16-August 3 once-a-decade gathering, but not as an official conference participant or observer…

Episcopal Café carries more information here in Full invitation for Robinson “not possible” including the full text of:

Report from Bishops Ed Little, Bruce Caldwell and Tom Ely to the House of Bishops regarding conversations about Bishop Gene Robinson’s participation at the Lambeth Conference.

And also, here in Bishop Gene Robinson responds, the full text of his remarks to the House of Bishops.

See also Daily Account from the House of Bishops for Monday, March 10.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 11 March 2008 at 11:05am GMT | TrackBack
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Comments

Does Rowan Williams *really* think this is what Jesus would do? Take a man who has asked to pray and study the Bible with him, and, instead, put him on display in the "marketplace" to be gawked at and mocked?

If this is the New and Improved Anglican Communion, you lot can have it, because I can see nothing of God in it.

Posted by: Wormwood's Doxy on Tuesday, 11 March 2008 at 1:00pm GMT

"Robinson told the House that he respectfully declined an invitation to be present in the conference's "Marketplace" exhibit section."

The exhibit section? I wonder if they realize how bad that really sounds...

Posted by: Aaron Orear on Tuesday, 11 March 2008 at 1:17pm GMT

Absurd. Impossible.

Thsoe are the first words that occur in reading this--that the Archbishop of Canterbury can declare that a "full invitation" to Lambeth is "not possible" for a duly-chosen and consecrated bishop of the oldest sister church to the CoE is ridiculous.

Rowan is letting a rump minority set the agenda.

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Tuesday, 11 March 2008 at 1:25pm GMT

Hope you're happy David wh, Margaret, NP, Chris (whatever one you are) and the rest of "you". I hope that you can someday look at your collective selves in the mirror and think that you are doing God's work in all of this, by allowing this to happen to this man.

Posted by: choirboyfromhell on Tuesday, 11 March 2008 at 1:25pm GMT

Well, of course the refusal to invite VGR as duly elected bishop of NH is regrettable, and yet - what else is new? I do not follow Jesus of Nazareth, mainly because Canterbury or Nigeria or any number of other loud nay-sayers preach that I cannot do so without changing my embodiment in the misguided and needlessly suffering directions of their own preferments, no matter how conscientious their allegedly mainstream views may be.

I follow Jesus because Coming Out reintroduced me to the Risen Lord - whom otherwise I am forbidden to know and/or follow by just this sort of heavy-handed exclusion.

It sounds still to be, all about Anglican fears of Gay Cooties of all things - imagine that - and rubbing shoulders with VGR and his partner would no doubt have offered plenty of equal opportunities for various folks (with/without pointy hats, with/without holier than thou manners) to see if their nasty presuppositions are real and correct, after all.

Outside the camps with Jesus is a pretty good place to be, actually. Keep on, keeping on. Thanks to the TEC bishops sub-group for trying, against all odds. These believers are quite odd, from a common sense point of view, so long as they persist in not being able to tell the ethical-theological differences between being an axe murderer or a thief and a robber; and being an adult queer citizen in a committed relationship based on embodied love open to a modern Anglican sense of vocation and pilgrimage.

Posted by: drdanfee on Tuesday, 11 March 2008 at 2:53pm GMT

I was saddened by the Bishop of New Hampshire’s letter.

His appeal not to be “cut off “ is surely all too late?

Bo33 did just what the Windsor Report asked. In effect there will be no more of him for the foreseeable future; it is a terrible isolation, an isolation mapped out in detail by the Windsor Report. Perhaps he has not noticed yet just how deeply we are betrayed?

TEC bishops have apparently now bowed their heads to the claim that his ordination was a mistake having already agreed that it will not happen again, Rowan Williams has declared that he is not a bishop of the Anglican Communion though if INTEGRITY want him to appear as a freak on their stall (very expensively rented by the way) in the Lambeth Market Place, that would be acceptable.

Sadly my own Welsh Primate was a signatory of the Windsor Report that created this new Anglican plague which only Gene appears to have, he and his “liberal” colleagues of the North or West (anywhere but the South!) have all agreed that this was all premature and the bishop of New Hampshire will just have to be ignored.

Of course, those who want blood go on plotting …..

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Tuesday, 11 March 2008 at 3:32pm GMT

But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all! You do not understand that it is better for you to have one man die for the people than to have the whole nation destroyed.” (John 11: 49-50)

Posted by: Giles Fraser on Tuesday, 11 March 2008 at 4:21pm GMT

A market place exhibit. Give him a good prod while you pass - how much will you bid?

Another one for the Rowan Williams scrapbook, to go over with friends after he retires or resigns.

Posted by: Pluralist on Tuesday, 11 March 2008 at 4:32pm GMT

I'm with drdanfee on this one; who cares about Lambeth and yet another gathering of the pointy-heads? It's completely irrelevant; better to be outside where the real stuff goes on.

What would be nice, though, is if the Exalted Purple Ones would summon up the guts to censure Peter Akinola publicly for his support for the writing of fascist anti-gay laws in his country. THAT would be something to applaud. But of course I'm not holding my breath on that one, because we've already seen what the Anglican Communion is all about in that regard.

No, it's better to be outside, as drdanfee says; let the world see once more exactly what the religious "establishment" is all about. Anyway, I don't recall Christ ever meeting for a coffe klatch with the high muckety-mucks....

Posted by: bls on Tuesday, 11 March 2008 at 4:35pm GMT

I sit here in England and mourn with you Gene Robinson, but such dignity and love will pevail in the end. solitary

Posted by: UnaKroll on Tuesday, 11 March 2008 at 5:01pm GMT

Yet more examples of institutional homophobia which back up my decision to leave the church and look for other, more reasonable worldviews.

Humanism makes a lot more sense at this point.

Posted by: Merseymike on Tuesday, 11 March 2008 at 5:15pm GMT

As his back-stabbing of Jeffrey John marked the beginning, so will *this obscenity* mark the END (Please dear God!) of Rowan's Cantuar occupation.

Lord have mercy!

Posted by: JCF on Tuesday, 11 March 2008 at 5:42pm GMT

I have a seven yr old son who tonight is complaining of a tummy ache because he misses his Mum, who is staying overnight in Leeds. His pain is real, it's touching. It's even a wonderful kind of pain (even if he doesn't think so), because there's love on both sides. But what about Gene? It's not just the pain of missing someone for one night, but the pain of being virtually cast out, disowned by the ones he loves. And unlike my son, whose cloud of pain has a truly sweet lining, there is no certainty of love on both sides in Gene's case. It makes me shudder. It makes me ashamed. 'Better to invite Gene and make Lambeth real than not to invite him and pretend to be something other than we are. It's perhaps the first rule of discernment: be real.

Politically naive? Sure, but one person's political naivete is often (very often?) another's courage.

Joe

Posted by: Joe Cassidy on Tuesday, 11 March 2008 at 6:56pm GMT

Giles, your word - your quote, that is - in the Archbishop's ear! May it ring there unpleasantly. Indeed, even in the banal interest of church politics, the price of such spiritual brutality is ultimately exacted in human flesh.

Or do those who continue to perpetrate such intentional exclusion really believe that they play no active role, for example, in LGBT teens' giving in to despair and suicide when they hear repeatedly - and in many different ways, like this one - that they and "those like them" are somehow "fundamentally disordered" and universally unwelcome? These are not proud times for the Anglican Communion; people look to us and see hatred, exclusion, bigotry and, yes, constant power politics at the lasting expense of the innocent.

And have not those who most violently object to Bishop Robinson's very existence already said they're not coming to Lambeth anyway anyway? What precisely is gained by keeping +Gene outside the gate?

Posted by: christopher+ on Tuesday, 11 March 2008 at 7:47pm GMT

Get a button to wear at Lambeth at Cafe Press
http://www.cafepress.com/episcostuff.239255207

Posted by: Ann on Tuesday, 11 March 2008 at 7:53pm GMT

"Not possible" is Newspeak for "I choose not to." Christian adults are supposed to take responsibility for their actions, at the very least, and not hide behind euphemisms carefully cast in the passive voice without attribution.

One uses such a euphemism, of course, because one is deeply ashamed of one's actions.

Posted by: thomas bushnell, bsg on Tuesday, 11 March 2008 at 8:45pm GMT

But it is clear that Gene Robinson has already won (& Rowan Williams has lost -- God does not see as humans see).

Posted by: Prior Aelred on Tuesday, 11 March 2008 at 9:55pm GMT

I do think that a great deal of comment on current controversies lacks an eschatalogical dimension which transcends talk of winning or losing in relation to Lambeth 2008.

Tonight I was asked by an young adult confirmation candidate 'what does God think of my two brothers who think so differently from me'. And I said that God loves them in Jesus - and the children of St Matthew's Primary School (in my previous post) had taken 4 1/2 years to teach me that my basic job description was to tell people that God loves them. That's Rowan and Gene and the people attending and organising GAFCON, and the people round here who struggle to locate their story in the one that God tells - because we do not tell God's story right.

Just because our human mess makes no human sense doesn't mean that there is no Easter this year!

Posted by: Mark Bennet on Tuesday, 11 March 2008 at 10:59pm GMT

Giles Fraser may well have a point - that +Rowan is making Gene Robinson, an innocent man, into a scapegoat - if +Rowan really believes that there is nothing wrong with homosexuality (which I think he *has* indicated is his personal belief). But the real model should be St Paul's reaction when he heard of sexual immorality going undisciplined in sex-soaked Corinth (not too dissimilar to 21st c. USA/UK!): "It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that does not occur even among pagans: A man has his father's wife. And you are proud! Shouldn't you rather have been filled with grief and have put out of your fellowship the man who did this? Even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. And I have already passed judgment on the one who did this, just as if I were present. When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord." ... "I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat." (1 Cor 5:1-5, 9-11)

ps choirboyfromhell, you may be please to learn that I am not happy that it is only Gene Robinson who it is "not possible" to invite. No TEC Bishops should be at Lambeth - except those who have personally rejected his consecration... until TEC GC repents of approving the election and consecration of someone committed to a sinful sexual relationship, and signs up to a satisfactory convenant to show they are committed to returning to the apostolic catholic faith.

Posted by: david wh on Tuesday, 11 March 2008 at 11:35pm GMT

What is it going to take to send Rowan Williams off to some quiet out of the way place? He is a serious embarrassment to the Church of England and the government of the United Kingdom.

Posted by: Richard Lyon on Wednesday, 12 March 2008 at 12:33am GMT

What is it going to take to send Rowan Williams off to some quiet out of the way place? He is a serious embarrassment to the Church of England and the government of the United Kingdom.

Posted by: Richard Lyon on Wednesday, 12 March 2008 at 12:37am GMT

David Wh:

If you equate "sex-soaked Corinth" with a loving, committed relationship between two consenting adults, then the problem is with your viewpoint, not with the relationship.

Accept that Paul--or those who transcribed his writings much later--was a man of his time and place, and that if he lived among us today, his view of human sexuality would be informed by what we now know of biology, psychology, anthropology and sociology...and would be very different from what he expressed in his letters.

BTW--can you find anything in the words of *Christ* about same-sex relationships? (Hint: There isn't anything.)

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Wednesday, 12 March 2008 at 12:42am GMT

I have uncovered a letter from Rowan to Gene out of my dark imagination:

http://pluralistspeaks.blogspot.com/2008/03/bishop-refuses-to-be-exhibited.html

Presumably Michael Poon will see this as part of the new impatient blog world, and I plead guilty as sin. Sometimes you end up guilty as sin, when there is sin masquerading as something religious and of the good.

Posted by: Pluralist on Wednesday, 12 March 2008 at 1:42am GMT

David Wh, your entire argument rests on the premise that gay sex is immoral.

But that's exactly the question; that's exactly what's at issue. Which is why your post is completely irrelevant in the context of this discussion; we don't believe that gay sex is immoral. We don't believe it after a Reasoned consideration, and we don't believe the Bible says so, either. Lesbianism, for instance, is nowhere mentioned anywhere in the Bible. (No, most likely not in the highly ambiguous Romans 1, either - at least, St. Augustine didn't think so. Certainly not anywhere else.) So, please: repeating the same objection over and over again, when that's the very thing in dispute, just causes peoples' eyes to glaze over. You're about 10 years behind schedule; it just sounds like noise at this point.

Gene Robinson has been with his partner for 18 years. "Sex-soaked"? Is that how you'd describe your own marriage? I rather doubt it.

Posted by: bls on Wednesday, 12 March 2008 at 2:09am GMT

David wh, how did you ever manage to get up that big, tall pedestal?

Why don't you start confessing your sins before you have the gall to demand it out of my bishops.

Posted by: chourboyfromhell on Wednesday, 12 March 2008 at 2:17am GMT

"until TEC GC repents of approving the election and consecration of someone committed to a sinful sexual relationship, and signs up to a satisfactory convenant to show they are committed to returning to the apostolic catholic faith."

All based on a set of false premises: false to the evidence (out of date science discredited decades ago and pseudo-scientific claims), false to experience (the lives of actual people rather than some gnostic cloud cuckoo land of pure idea), and above all, false to justice and charity (Phelps and the Neo-Nazis are on YOUR side. Think hard about that).

I'm puzzled why you Right Wing segregationists are reluctant to blame the people truly responsible for creating this mess, the Episcopalians of New Hampshire who voted for Gene Robinson as their bishop. I'm sure that you would wish to see all the plagues of Egypt, and then some, visited upon the Granite State for so dissing you and your purity.

Posted by: counterlight on Wednesday, 12 March 2008 at 2:31am GMT

"... I have already passed judgment on the one who did this, just as if I were present."

Dave dear, do you really, in your heart of hearts, believe that St Paul would say such a thing "judge", in the first person?

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Wednesday, 12 March 2008 at 6:30am GMT

I do wish the conservatives would apply their refusal to not associate or mingle with abusers, idolators, pedophiles, adulterers, slanderers, deceivers and all that would aid and abet such souls within their own ranks.

Their whole infrastructure would collapse in less than a week if the full truth was known about with whom they associated and what they had forgiven within their own ranks.

But of course it won't because they have no remorse or shame about their own loathsome conduct or partiality in matters of the law.

Posted by: Cheryl Va. on Wednesday, 12 March 2008 at 8:39am GMT

"“But the real model should be St Paul's reaction when he heard of sexual immorality going undisciplined in sex-soaked Corinth”

I’ll bear that in mind next time there’s an orgy going on in all of our bedrooms, the children are being corrupted by all the sex crazed gays I share my life with, and the pets hide in fear.

Ah, the amazing lives of everyday country folk!"

Posted by: Erika Baker on Wednesday, 12 March 2008 at 9:41am GMT

May God's peace be with you, choirboyfromhell. You read a lot into my sparse comments.

Personally, I was struck by Robinson's identification of himself with the lost sheep of Jesus' parable. Is there a part of him that wants to be rescued and brought back into the flock?

Posted by: Chris on Wednesday, 12 March 2008 at 9:43am GMT

"I have uncovered a letter from Rowan to Gene out of my dark imagination"

My my my! You got the tone, the excruciatingly convoluted and often passive voice syntax, the sinsiter whistlings of 'whilsts,' the pandering to GAFCONistas AND the total disregard for the humanity of +Gene and all othert glbts.

I wonder of the if the ABC were to read this if he would recognize himiself?

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Wednesday, 12 March 2008 at 12:11pm GMT

This is a disgrace. +Rowan's invitation to the 'market place' just plunges new depths in contrast to +Gene Robinson's quiet dignity.

Posted by: Richard Ashby on Wednesday, 12 March 2008 at 12:14pm GMT

I'm banking on the fact that there is a part of all of us that feels like the lost sheep in Jesus' parable, that Jesus is looking for me as he is looking for you, and that it is our call as Christians to reconcile one another to each other and to God, not to drive wedges and obstacles between one another. Imitatio Christe!

Posted by: Fr. Shawn on Wednesday, 12 March 2008 at 12:44pm GMT

David wh, Chris,

It is as I said above, so "congratulations" if it feels to you that this is what you merit for your active role in this, which, of course, has significance and impact well beyond any issues of church politics and ordination policies.

"By their fruits ye shall know them." (Matthew 7:20)

Posted by: christopher+ on Wednesday, 12 March 2008 at 1:31pm GMT

He is already in the flock, Chris. He is a human being. Its sad that a small part of that chooses to reject him, but that speaks volumes about them and their religion

Posted by: Merseymike on Wednesday, 12 March 2008 at 1:45pm GMT

When you exude reflections about statements made by +VGR about himself, you invite a lot of projection from those sparse comments, Chris.

Posted by: choirboyfromhell on Wednesday, 12 March 2008 at 3:15pm GMT

"It sounds still to be, all about Anglican fears of Gay Cooties of all things"

DDF, let's say you intentionally dumped lice on your head every morning. Do you really think you bear no responsibility for any ostracism you'd face? Aren't you really ostracizing yourself?

Posted by: JND on Wednesday, 12 March 2008 at 5:30pm GMT

"David Wh, your entire argument rests on the premise that gay sex is immoral."

BLS: that's not only David's entire argument, it's his entire religion!

*****

"I was struck by Robinson's identification of himself with the lost sheep of Jesus' parable. Is there a part of him that wants to be rescued and brought back into the flock?"

Well sure, Chris: rescued from exile, rescued from being made the scapegoat. That much is obvious.

Or are you "reading a lot into +Gene Robinson's sparse comments"?

Posted by: JCF on Wednesday, 12 March 2008 at 6:00pm GMT

Well said, by the way, Cheryl Va.!

The selective obsession of so many with sexual ethics leading to the cognitive exclusion of other ethical and moral issues is frightening at best, and dangerous, of course, much of the time.

Posted by: christopher+ on Wednesday, 12 March 2008 at 7:23pm GMT

Pat O'Neill: "If you equate "sex-soaked Corinth" with a loving, committed relationship between two consenting adults..."

I didn't. I equated sex-soaked Corinthian society with sex-soaked US/UK society. The mess caused is becoming ever clearer: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/7290088.stm Sexual indulgence produces all sorts of disorders.


ps. Almost no serious scholars (liberal of conservative) doubt that Paul authored 1 Corithians, and that it dates from 55AD (plus or minus about one year)

Posted by: david wh on Wednesday, 12 March 2008 at 8:12pm GMT

JND:

""It sounds still to be, all about Anglican fears of Gay Cooties of all things"

DDF, let's say you intentionally dumped lice on your head every morning. Do you really think you bear no responsibility for any ostracism you'd face? Aren't you really ostracizing yourself?"

Oh, my, not the old saw that gays CHOOSE to be gay? I thought we dealt with that falsehood months ago.

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Thursday, 13 March 2008 at 1:53am GMT

"Sexual indulgence produces all sorts of disorders."

Are you calling homosexuality a "disorder"? Modern psychiatric medicine disagrees.

"ps. Almost no serious scholars (liberal of conservative) doubt that Paul authored 1 Corithians, and that it dates from 55AD (plus or minus about one year)"

Fine--but I doubt the text we have can be definitively determined to be entirely his...not after 500 years of hand-copying, not to mention multiple bad translations.

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Thursday, 13 March 2008 at 1:56am GMT

David W wrote: “ps. Almost no serious scholars (liberal of conservative) doubt that Paul authored 1 Corinthians, and that it dates from 55AD (plus or minus about one year)”

Well, most of it, anyway ;=)

But some of it comes from the Pastorals’ edition of the Letters (of Smyrna) and the Chapters are Scholastic, fashioned by (later = 1218) Cardinal Langton, who was (later still) to become the ABC.

And the translations (much into Abstinence and Mandatory Celibacy) are not so reliable…

Generally, the elder the translation, the more reliable... only the ideologically un-interesting parts tend to be un-changed ;=)

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Thursday, 13 March 2008 at 7:51am GMT

There seems to be no foundation for Strabon's stories about "sex-soaked" Corinth in his Geographica.

The 2 temples of Aphrodite were quite small. No room for thousands of Cult prostitutes.

Furthermore, this pretends to be about the previous Corinth, destroyed in 146 BC by Lucius Mummius. Julius Caesar founded the city Paul knew in 44 BC.

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Thursday, 13 March 2008 at 8:33am GMT

As to 1 Cor, there are those s e r i o u s scholars who regard it as being composed for a mid (or late) 2nd century (3rd edition) of the Letters, and being 3rd and 2nd Cor, in that order (making today’s 2nd Cor the 1st preserved letter), with the division at 1st Cor 8.

And that this composition happened some time after Romans (apparently not known to the 1st edition of 7 Letters) was added in Marcion’s edition c:a 144 (with additions). The general idea being, that the 1st edition had deutero-Pauline Ephesians for a foreword (quoting 7 letters), whereas Marcion’s edition had a strictly Chronological order.

Only later editions used/reversed to the regular order in Antiquity: 10 letters by size.

Strangely enough, the earliest preserved manuscript of the Letter of Paul (Alexandrian redaction), the p 46 now in London and Ann Arbor (see http://www.lib.umich.edu/pap/exhibits/papyri_james/1_2.html Case 2), which was found in a 4th century grave in the late 1920ies, cut up (first 8 leaves still missing) and p u b l i s h e d in the early 1930ies, is not (yet) used in late modern translations, which keep the (otherwise) discarded Byzantine redaction for Romans (Byzantine additions generally being edited out of the Renaissance Vernacular Bibles – which, however, promptly added the Western Academic additions to their late Byzantine manuscripts…

Points to reflect upon are (parts of) 1 Cor 11 and 1 Cor 14: 35-36, with their affinity in spirit and language to the Pastorals and contrast to what Paul is known to have written elsewhere, and the places in 1 Cor 9 and 7 where Paul addresses what Jerome Murphy-O’Connor OP in The New Jerome scathingly calls “the irrelevant mention of a wife”, that is when referring to the married among the 12 ; = )

In (Scholastic) 7:8 Paul is n o t married (agámos ws kagå; bachelors, as I), whereas in 9:5 he apparently is (mä oúk éxomen eksousían adelfän gynaîka periágein ws kaì oi loipoì apóstoloi kaì oí adelfoì tón Kuríou kaì Käfâs; (would) not have permission to bring a Sister-wife (i.e. Christian wife) about, as the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Käfas (Peter).

Since there doesn’t seem to be any un-wed rabbis before the year 100, I would suggest that Paul was first married to a Jewish wife, an endogamous Bat Benjamin, a cousin, who had to leave him upon his conversion as per Ezra 10 (cf 1st Cor 7:12-17). Then, later to an adelfän gynaîka (1 Cor 9:5, then again (1st Cor 7:8) no longer.

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Thursday, 13 March 2008 at 10:59am GMT

"Alexandrian redaction" means that it includes non Pauline Hebrew (with Clemens' infamous Letter-ending).

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Thursday, 13 March 2008 at 11:02am GMT

Pat O'Neill: "Oh, my, not the old saw that gays CHOOSE to be gay? I thought we dealt with that falsehood months ago."

Not choose their desires, but they choose to proselytize it and spread falsehood about what the Bible says about it. And most importantly, choose to act on it. Desires are not be considered a justification for any other action. Why here?

Posted by: JND on Thursday, 13 March 2008 at 3:55pm GMT

Goran, Yes, it seems probable that Paul was married and his wife left him, per 1 Cor 7:15-16. But theories of 1 Cor being a composite of two letters, redacted together well after 55AD are just that - theories. They are at least as complex as any "problems" in the text that they purport to explain. A simpler explanation is that Paul added to the letter (after 4:18?) as more people arrived in Ephesus with stories of the misbehaviour in Corinth.. He even refers to two different reports in the text itself 1:11 cf 16:17.

Posted by: david wh on Friday, 14 March 2008 at 12:06am GMT

"Pat O'Neill: "Oh, my, not the old saw that gays CHOOSE to be gay? I thought we dealt with that falsehood months ago."

Not choose their desires, but they choose to proselytize it and spread falsehood about what the Bible says about it. And most importantly, choose to act on it. Desires are not be considered a justification for any other action. Why here?"

Why would a loving God give a human being a desire--an innate sexual desire--that he was forbidden to fulfill? Why would a loving God wish to frustrate one of his most beloved creatures in that fashion?

Or do you think that God plays tricks with us? Sets us up for failure?

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Friday, 14 March 2008 at 1:56am GMT

Dear David,

Since there are n o 1st century NT Texts at all, a l l is theory!

; = )

(Which doesn't answer the questions, anyway. We can only surmise Impossible, Likely, Probable, Certain)

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Friday, 14 March 2008 at 6:45am GMT

Dave W wrote: "He even refers to two different reports in the text itself 1:11 cf 16:17."

These are not "reports" in any normal sense, but say:
(1:11) that Klóä's people have revealed to Paul (at an un-specified time in the past) that there are érides rivalries/quarrels in Corinth (nothing about what they're about),

and (16:17) that Paul is kaírw (renewed/most happy) that Stéfanos, Fortunatus and Akaikos have arrived (parousía) from Corinth, because Paul misses the Corinthians so...

Nothing about "behaviour", or even mis-behaviour ; = )


Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Friday, 14 March 2008 at 9:53am GMT

"they choose to proselytize it and spread falsehood about what the Bible says about it"

As to spreading falsehood, I think the Right has a lot to answer for WRT the falsehood it spreads about homosexuality. Glass houses, throwing stones, etc.! Second, how does one "proselytize" homosexuality? Simply telling people they are valuable, loved by God, and ought not to tolerate persecution, discrimination, and even violence and death are not proselytizing, surely. Or are you afraid that if we tell gay people these things, they might not be sufficiently ashamed of themselves and might actually show themselves in polite society? Or perhaps it scares you that gay people so informed might actually have the nerve to try to stop copnservatives from hounding them out of jobs, homes, or even might try to stop some conservative from killing them? Yeah, if they knew in Nigeria that they don't HAVE to tolerate being jailed and murdered, they might tell the saintly archbishop, who seems to have no problem with that, that he is wrong, and we can't have that now, can we? What is this "proselytizing"? Are you saying that one can somehow "make converts" of straight people, if one "preaches" homosexuality? I have enough trouble witnessing my faith among people who hate Christianity for its past abuses of power, I have no desire to try to make fags out of a bunch of homophobic straight guys. Geez, where do you people get this crap?

Posted by: Ford Elms on Tuesday, 18 March 2008 at 3:04pm GMT
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