Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 29 September 2018

Paul Bayes ViaMedia.News “Welcome to My Church!”

Andrew Lightbown Theore0 Speaking of sexuality, continence and pretense

Colin Coward Unadulterated Love Was Jesus heterosexual?

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dr.primrosePat O'NeillGerry ReillyJohn BunyanFather Ron Smith Recent comment authors
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Ann Reddecliffe
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Ann Reddecliffe

I largely agree with Andrew Lightbrown. He is absolutely right when he says that the demand made that gay people be lifelong celibate is wrong. It is unbiblical. As he says, celibacy is a gift that is given to some, but not to others.

Where I disagree, is with the idea that celibacy means being single. A prohibition on sexual activity is not a prohibition on family life.

Father Ron Smith
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Andrew Lightbown, on his blog ‘Theoreo’, put so very clearly the point made in this article, that ‘sex’ rather than the clinical term ‘sexuality’ is the subject of so much confusion in the current dilemma in the current discussions going on in the C.of E. The sexual function is the gift of God to the whole of humanity – not just those who engage in procreation! If this were no so, where does the B.C.P. statement about sex (thirdly) being for ‘mutual solemnity, help, and comfort’ “? – presumably, for everyone, not just the predominant heterosexual community? (For instance, did… Read more »

Andrew Godsall
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Andrew Godsall

Thank you to Andrew Lightbown for this. There is a wonderful moment in Gaudy Night by Dorothy L Sayers when Peter Wimsey says ” as for the gift of continence, I wouldn’t have it as a gift”. I think that’s very wise.

John Bunyan
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John Bunyan

We know nothing about Jesus before his ministry began other than the names of his father and mother, Joseph and Mary, the names of his brothers, the fact that he had at least two sisters, and his likely occupation. We do not know whether he had been married. The Gospels show him during his ministry having close friends, male and female. But most important, we do have the clear, positive Gospel evidence referring to what he said about the nature of marriage – between a man and a woman, however his words are interpreted. (We also have two rather different… Read more »

Fr Andrew
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Fr Andrew

A couple of responses to a question on divorce is hardly a worked out doctrine of the ‘nature of marriage’. It’s a response to a question about divorce. Building a definition of marriage from it is what subsequent Christians, rather than Jesus have done, and definitely veering in the direction of ‘unsubstantiated speculation’. He wasn’t asked the question ‘Jesus, who can get married?’ or ‘Jesus what is the nature of marriage?’ and certainly not ‘Jesus can two people of the same biological sex get married in 2018’? To build a doctrine of marriage and heteronormativity from those brief passages is… Read more »

CRS
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CRS

The answer had to do with marriage. Jesus did not accept any space between ‘Moses’ and the Pentateuch tout court. The Pharisees sought to do that. Jesus typically attacks Pharisee efforts to make specious traditions (washing hands) equivalent to Torah, or in this case, putting divorce acccomodations over above divine intentions ‘from the beginning.’ Having done this he embraced and blessed children, the fruit of Genesis 1-3, and the one flesh declaration to which he had reference. Let modern people disagree with the entire business. That is more honest than declaring things ‘ludicrous’ when the entire Christian tradition has heard… Read more »

Fr Andrew
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Fr Andrew

Again, I say the question is about divorce and the answer is about divorce. Of course it has to deal with marriage, because you can’t have divorce without marriage, but the question is about divorce. And that’s the first time I’ve heard that Jesus blessing children was just a thumbs up for procreation. Now that, I’d call a forced reading. A radical reading of the gospel is no more or less ‘modern’ than a conservative one: they are *both* 21st century interpretations of a 1st century conversation. It is entirely possible that ‘the entire Christian tradition’ (= mainstream tradition) IS… Read more »

Fr Andrew
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Fr Andrew

And the ‘honest’ position is to admit that we are all ultimately interpreting these texts, there is no one position that can claim categorical inerrancy or exclusive possession of the ‘truth’. The dishonest position is one that claims it is the only possible correct one.

Kate
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Kate

Fr Andrew, thank you for expressing something so eloquently that I was struggling to say myself.

Father Ron Smith
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‘Unsubstantiated speculation doesn’t startle me though I think it is a waste of time.” – John Bunyan
Not a supporter of Ignatian Meditation, then?

John Bunyan
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John Bunyan

Always interested to read your comments, Fr Ron, though rarely agreeing with them, and I like that smiling face. People can meditate in whatever way they wish – and may well find blessings thereby, and I admit we need more than Mr Gradgrind’s facts alone. I just ponder things, too often when I should be watching where my walker and I are going, though I suppose my “meditation” and “prayer” is mostly just looking out of a window on a nice train journey. However, when it comes to the Gospels, I don’t thing we can base our particular important personal… Read more »

Kate
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Kate

The Paul Bayes piece is very good

Gerry Reilly
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Gerry Reilly

Could it be that in his remarks about divorce, Jesus was protecting the vulnerable women who would be left with no visible means of support following the divorce by their husbands, and would be destined for destitution? I think I am right in saying that women could not divorce their husbands; only husbands could divorce their wives, and they could also refuse divorce to wives who desired or needed it. This protection was also extended to children, who again had no rights, especially female children, who could be given in marriage, to suit the needs of their fathers. Jesus was… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
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Pat O'Neill

The associate rector of our parish made exactly that point in her sermon on the story in Mark’s gospel this morning.

dr.primrose
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dr.primrose

An interesting interpretation of the divorce passage in Mark is made by Jim Friedrich in Episcopal Café. (I would give the webcite but every time I do on Thinking Angllicans, my comments go into electronic Hades.) The most interesting comment, I think, and one I had not heard before, comes from a close analysis of the Greek text: “The assertion that the remarriage of divorced persons is equivalent to adultery sounds extreme and unrealistic to us today. And it conjures up in our minds the pointed finger of judgment and shame, an image which hardly fits our understanding of Jesus… Read more »