Saturday, 4 July 2009

Nazir-Ali says change and repent

Updated Sunday morning

Jonathan Wynne-Jones reports that:

…In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, Dr Nazir-Ali said: “We want to uphold the traditional teaching of the Bible. We believe that God has revealed his purpose about how we are made.

“People who depart from this don’t share the same faith. They are acting in a way that is not normative according to what God has revealed in the Bible.

“The Bible’s teaching shows that marriage is between a man and a woman. That is the way to express our sexual nature.

“We welcome homosexuals, we don’t want to exclude people, but we want them to repent and be changed.”

Read the whole report at Change and repent, bishop tells gays.

…Derek Munn, the director of public affairs for Stonewall, the homosexual campaign group, criticised Dr Nazir-Ali’s comments.

“It is unfortunate that in 2009, a church leader should continue to promote inequality and intolerance,” he said.

“Stonewall knows that most people of faith are accepting of lesbian and gay people. We also know that many lesbian and gay people who are themselves religious believers are not well served by some of those who claim to speak on their behalf.”

The Rev Dr Giles Fraser, the president of the Inclusive Church, a liberal grouping in the Church of England, said: “Homosexuality is not a sin. It is the way many people love each other and is a gift from God. Ordinary people in the pews know this. And they are a lot more theologically aware than the handful of narrow- minded bishops who want to play politics with the Anglican Communion.”

This story has been commented on by Damian Thompson of the Telegraph with the headline ‘Repent!’ Rochester tells gays as Synod starts. ‘No, you repent’, snap other bishops. ‘You’re spoiling everything!’ .

The BBC has Gay row ‘may cause Church split’.

And from the USA, where there is another Bishop of Rochester, comes TWO BISHOPS OF ROCHESTER OFFER DIFFERENT MESSAGES TO THE CHURCH.

Religious Intelligence has Bishop warns of liberal threat to faith.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 4 July 2009 at 10:56pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England

"The Bible’s teaching shows that marriage is between a man and a woman."

Well, he's *almost* right, in that the Bible's pattern of marriage seems to be that of a man and *at least one* woman.

Face it, My Lord - even in the Bible, what constitutes a marriage shows considerable change and development.

Posted by: BillyD on Saturday, 4 July 2009 at 11:13pm BST

Hear, hear, Billy D! So bizarre to read this after I posted something in response to this argument on my own blog this morning.

To quote a past Presiding Bishop in the Episcopal Church: "Fast on fear and feast on faith!" Quit being so scared of gay people.

Posted by: Susan on Sunday, 5 July 2009 at 2:35am BST

For those seeking clarification, here is a YouTube explanation of traditional Biblical marriage:

Posted by: peterpi on Sunday, 5 July 2009 at 2:58am BST

What BillyD said!

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Sunday, 5 July 2009 at 5:29am BST

I remain to be convinced that Islamaphobia is any sort of advance on homophobia.

Susan's quote has it right - fast on fear.

Posted by: RosemaryHannah on Sunday, 5 July 2009 at 8:38am BST

I think we need an exorcist!

Posted by: choirboyfromhell on Sunday, 5 July 2009 at 1:37pm BST

For those seeking clarification, here is a YouTube explanation of traditional Biblical marriage:


Most enlightening; Thank you peterpi I enjoyed it.

Posted by: Curtis on Sunday, 5 July 2009 at 1:38pm BST

Interesting that BOTH of the (very) differing Bishops of Rochester are of South Asian ethnicity (Just in case, y'know, the UK +Rochester tried to make Biblically-based LGBT-inclusion into some sort of decadent Western and/or white thing. +Prince Singh, Rochester/USA, you ROCK! :-D)

Posted by: JCF on Sunday, 5 July 2009 at 10:27pm BST

Well, I have no intention of repenting or changing.

But doesn't his quote make it clear that for him, holding a different view on the gay issue means you have an entirely different faith

Posted by: Merseymike on Sunday, 5 July 2009 at 10:43pm BST

Yes, Billy D, and then there is that unchanging part about no divorce. Nice to know that all biblical laws are being observed.

Posted by: James on Sunday, 5 July 2009 at 11:09pm BST

There is one thing that I can agree with Bishop Nazir-Ali about. He writes, "“We welcome homosexuals, we don’t want to exclude people, but we want them to repent and be changed.”

Absolutely. Repentance and change are important parts of an encounter with Jesus Christ. I think homosexuals do need to repent and be changed. As do bisexuals, asexuals, and heterosexuals. I just don't think that their sexuality is one of the things that they need to change.

The Betty Bowers video is fantastic.

Posted by: BillyD on Monday, 6 July 2009 at 12:18am BST

The "entirely different faith" language is part of what the Duncan crowd have come up with to hide their homophobia. I gather that the resigned Bp of Rochester (UK) is campaigning to be the Bob Duncan of the UK.

Posted by: jnwall on Monday, 6 July 2009 at 12:32am BST

The interesting thing is that these people still expect others to believe that they have "listened" to gay people, that they understand homosexuality, and that they actually ARE acting in good faith. What is it that blinds them to their outward appearance? It is so obvious to anyone with even the basic level of literacy that these people know practically nothing about homosexuality, have never listened to us, and wouldn't recognize a homosexual who was not a walking stereotype. Yet they get all incensed and scream oppression and the hostility of the world when that ignorance is cast in their teeth. Is it arrogance? Is it fear? Is it a need to enjoy the romantic notion that one is standing up for Truth against all odds? Seriously. What could make someone so unaware of how ignorant he appears to everybody else? They can't even understand that the ignorance that so obviously underlies their position makes them objects of ridicule. The hostility of the world might be expressed in terms of hostility to Christianity, but it is really hostility for this kind of ignorance and bigotry. But even when it's pointed out to them, they claim oppression and violation of their right to free speech rather than indulge in a bit of self examination. What is wrong with these people?

Posted by: Ford Elms on Monday, 6 July 2009 at 5:13pm BST

"What is wrong with these people?"

Yup, Ford, the perennial question: is homophobia a sin or a sickness?

[In all honesty, I think it's a bit of both]

Posted by: JCF on Monday, 6 July 2009 at 7:12pm BST

Funny BBowers vid, thanks.

When listening to preachers like NA, I play the game: Who is the audience? I also add in the game, What unconscious motives can possibly be happening? In both we use the clues gained, from the likely real world effects the preaching causes. Many would agree that NA's conscious aims are not likely to be achieved. Even if all Christians everywhere proclaimed with one loud voice that queer folks needed to be categorically celibate to improve daily life; the traditional message heard would still be the one about not being gay any more. The real world effect would most likely be, to re-create the Anglican Closet, circa pre-1950's (pre-Wolfendon Report in UK?).

Thus, we have possible clues to NA's unconscious intentions. NA wishes to return queer folks to the traditional days when we never, ever heard about them, except as Creepy Others With Twisted Lives. That whole narrative is all about, being Creepy and being Twisted. Straight people may be sinners, but hardly ever in the creepy-twisted way that queer folks are defined as sinners. We have to escalate to serial sex murderers or some other terrible extreme, to conceptualize the creepy-twisted stuff that defines being non-heterosexual. Uncanny, creepy, twisted.

So, NA invites queer folks into church life, in order that they may suffer these consequences. The real world effect is likely opposite to the claimed effects.

Queer folks are secretly urged to adopt categorically creepy-awful beliefs or feelings about themselves. Real world dating and any committed same sex relationships are torn asunder; in favor of meeting NA's needs. Queer folks must live down, down, down. No inkling of positive feeling or belief. This is a way to better oneself? The real impact is lifelong battery of oneself. The effect is to live once again in the endless double-binds of Ye Old Anglican Closet.

Further: NA secretly gets to enjoy the probable pain-suffering his views inflict. This possibility clues us into the S&M stuff unconsciously happening. NA will get to feel a special Traditional Penal Good: (A) not having that queer sort of creepy suffering, and (B) watching while queer folks agonize about creepy-twisted stuff, preached true. The preaching, the audience are thus S&M - directly, as well as by audience proxy.

If this is the unconscious case, I find NA is urging Anglicans to adopt an especially creepy S&M religion. No thanks.

Posted by: drdanfee on Monday, 6 July 2009 at 9:48pm BST

"Yup, Ford, the perennial question: is homophobia a sin or a sickness?

[In all honesty, I think it's a bit of both]"

Well, I think it's a consequence of the Fall, but then, I would. So it's both a sickness and a sin, in that sense. Sickness because it is part of our damaged human nature. Sin because it reflects at best an incomplete "metanoia". These are people who have not fully "changed their mind". But many of them don't even know what metanoia is.

But, more importantly, this isn't about homophobia at all. That, like small 's' sin, is just a symptom, gays are just the rock they have chosen to founder on. The extent of the incompleteness of their metanoia is shown by the interplay of fear, lust for power, resentment, postcolonial bigotry, willingness to identify another group of humans as a "hatable other", delusions as to the nature of Christian history (seriously, we have never "reasessed" anything before?????), and on and on. They have not left behind the worldly mind. Thus they have not undergone metanoia. Since that word is what we usually translate as 'repentance", they have not repented. But then, they think repentance is feeling guilty about having fooled around on your wife. That it might include a complete change in your world view just doesn't fit with their judgement/reward/punishment model of the Gospel. Unless, of course, that constitutes a former "liberal" becoming a Republican, which, to them is evidence of the transformative power of the Gospel. That power, you see, does not actually change people's nature, it just transforms them from self centred rebels to obedient sheep. So they are trapped in their worldliness, unable to even understand their condition, and utterly resistent to anyone who tries to help them, because such people are "reassessors". It'd be sad if it wasn't such a lovely spectacle. I know it isn't Christian to laugh at their misfortune, but really, they are such puffed up God botherers, who can help it?

Posted by: Ford Elms on Tuesday, 7 July 2009 at 3:19pm BST
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