Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Consultation on scripture and sexuality

The Church Times reports on a consultation organised by the Church of England Evangelical Council: ‘Good disagreement’ breaks out at CEEC meeting by Madeleine Davies.

..The “consultation on scripture and sexuality” was held at St James the Less, Pimlico, and organised by the Revd Dr Andrew Goddard, associate director of the Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics, and a member of the Council. There were 22 people present, invited as holders of “a variety of different views”. Before attending, they had been issued with a report commissioned by the Council from Dr Martin Davie, tutor in doctrine at Wycliffe Hall: Studies on the Bible and Same-Sex relationships since 2003. The report urges the Church to pursue “a path of radical and uncompromising discipleship” by upholding the Church of England’s “existing teaching on sexual ethics”…

Ian Paul has written about this: Good disagreement?

So has Colin Coward Church of England Evangelical Council Consultation on Scripture and Sexuality

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 10 March 2015 at 10:43pm GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England

I think the thing to hold on to is that the dynamic of change is with the accepting position. This morning I supervised a student doing a dissertation on the growth of early Christianity. It turned out she attends Jesmond Parish Church and is going on for ministry. She said that church is now totally silent on the issue. What a contrast from recent years! She also supported full provision for those who can't accept women priests/bishops. Another growing dynamic, it seems to me, is the acceptance of liberal pluralism. I felt heartened on both counts.

Posted by: John on Wednesday, 11 March 2015 at 12:25pm GMT

According to Fr. Colin Coward's report on the meeting with CEEC, Dr. Martin Davie’s presumption is that same-sex attraction is the result of humanity turning away from God and is incompatible with new life in Christ.

This, surely, needs to be vigorously challenged by those in support of LGBT people in the ongoing 'Conversations'. Such prejudice is distinctly unhelpful to any prospect of rational understanding of the phenomenon of human sexuality. Thank God that not all Evangelicals in the Church of England think is this way.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Wednesday, 11 March 2015 at 11:40pm GMT

Much of this, I think, comes from reading Romans 1 in a particular way; one which, to be fair, is traditional, though I think it makes a hash of the author's intent. Paul condemns the Gentiles for worshipping the creation rather than the creator -- nor for departing from some "created order" but for exchanging God and idols as the object of their worship. This leads them to do all sorts of things they ought not do, including the orgies of the mystery cults (at least as Paul imagined them) -- something very far indeed from modern notions of marriage equality.

Yet in our contemporary context, it is the anti-marriage-equality folks who tend to want to place creation on a pedestal, arguing that there is something in the sex-difference ("complementarity") that renders it holy. Like those who valued the gold more than the altar that sanctifies it, this way of thinking ignores that it is marriage that sanctifies sexuality, not the gender-difference that makes marriage possible.

We need a fresh look at the texts, and not continued hammering on points meant to have had application to quite different circumstances than we face.

Posted by: Tobias Haller on Thursday, 12 March 2015 at 1:50pm GMT

Thank you, Fr. Tobias. You put the situation so very well.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Thursday, 12 March 2015 at 8:23pm GMT

@Tobias Haller. Really helpful, thanks. Next up on my reading list is your Reasonable and Holy: Engaging Same-Sexuality. Thanks for your profound contribution to this important debate.

Posted by: Anthony Archer on Thursday, 12 March 2015 at 8:23pm GMT
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