Conservatives seem to see the statement as a non-starter and a sure sign that a schism is at hand. Their reading of the statement would seem to be shared, at least in this respect, with homosexual rights activists within the Episcopal Church.
The activist organization known as "Integrity" released a statement celebrating the bishop's action. Their statement began with these words:
This indeed appears to be the bottom line -- no change at all. This is indeed a tragedy, and one that will effect other denominations and churches as well. The most important issues at stake in New Orleans were not same-sex unions and gay bishops but biblical authority and the integrity of the church.
1. Gone missing wrote:
What a wonderful post. The idea of this bunch of blokes having a go at biblical authority or church integrity will keep me amused all the day long. God willing, this sad assembly will soon enough pass into the dustbin of church history.
September 26, 8:58 am | [comment link]
2. Rolling Eyes wrote:
[comment deleted since it quotes and refers to offensive comment above, now deleted]
September 26, 10:05 am | [comment link]
3. Mike Bertaut wrote:
I appreciate your presence and your commentary. I also wholeheartedly disagree with all of your observations, save the ones about the African Bishops, as I do not know them personally, I cannot comment. I would ask you, if you are sincere, to consider the following:
The Church has ever suffered as it has embraced society and involved its hand in politics and government, power and money. Society needs a separate Church, one that gleans Universal Truths and stoutly defends them. As it peels away those Truths revealed to us through Scripture, as it allows those hard-fought battles over the nature of Jesus in the early days of the Church to be washed away in the name of “progress”, we lose sight of that which is precious to us all: Salvation.
Jesus entered the world and left His legacy to us as a complete package. He was merciful, kind, and loving, but Scripture reveals that His love points towards Heaven, not earthly comfort, not accomodation for earthly designs or eathly desires. He points ever to Heaven in His preaching, His life, His sacrifice for us. If we give in to feelings, if we give in to style, if we give in to modernity, all for their own sake, we are espousing the message that He died in vain.
He was clear. He was challenging. I’ve never met anyone who is 100% comfortable with His teaching (certainly I am not) but this is about OBEDIENCE and SUBMISSION. It is not about politics. It is not about bigotry. It is not about feelings. The message has been handed to us, the torch has been passed, and we have been elected to either pick it up and run, or snuff it out.
This week, in New Orleans, our HOB snuffed the torch, painted a flame on it, showed it to the World, and denied that it had gone out.
September 26, 10:18 am | [comment link]
4. driver8 wrote:
I protest at the unchristian comments contained in post #2.
September 26, 10:38 am | [comment link]
5. Mike Bertaut wrote:
We are in complete agreement on Jesus’ command to “love thy neighbor as thyself”. We are in disagreement on the definition of Love.
He wasn’t talking about eros, or even philadelphia, he was talking about Agape. Agape, that self-sacrificing love within a context of a moral framework, does not respect actions or choices, it respect humanity, people as important and requiring such love. It demands separation of sin and sinner. No matter how offensive or wrong-headed I find someone personally, Scripture gives me no justification to hate them.
Likewise, it gives me no justification to endorse or embrace their sin. And it clearly defines same sex relationships as sin.
Jesus did away with two of the three Jewish moral codes in His everyday life, but He never threw out the baby with the bathwater. His life was a rejection of the Jewish Temple Laws, and even the Jewish Civil Laws, but He EMBRACED the Jewish Moral Code, he even said He had no intentions of changing any of it.
He didn’t change the laws, it was the LAW GIVERS He was after. But to interpret that as meaning that He was some sort of revolutionary against the law (Marx? Pol Pot? Lenin? Tito?) is not supported by the evidence.
And my friend, take it from a man who’s been to the bottom more than once, and had to be pulled out by the Love of God alone, the After Life is what it’s all about. What Jesus asks us to do with our lives is SO against our animal nature that we cannot do it ourselves. That’s the point. We have to embrace a relationship with a Spirit and Presence that physically left the earth 2,000 years ago. You cannot do that and live in this world. Once He is in your heart, you’ll do things in this life that are beyond imagining in terms of love and kindness. But you can’t do it the other way around. You have to have to power of the afterlife in your heart first, have to be faithful first, and then everything good will flow from you.
“By their fruits you will know them.”
Oh, and as far as views changing, if there was a single solitary repeatable bit of scientific evidence that sexual preference (of any kind) was hard-wired into the human brain, I’d begin to consider something has changed. Fact is, the opposite has turned up again and again (I recommend Dr. Bryan Sykes “Adam’s Curse” as a good starting point. He’s one of the sci’s who decoded DNA).
And I want to be clear, TEC has lots more problems than SSB or ordaining homosexuals. It has tolerated Bishops who deny Jesus ever lived, let alone was man and God. This is just the latest in a long string of bad decisions.
September 26, 11:33 am | [comment link]
6. driver8 wrote:
Well, I tried. Is it really acceptable on this site to call another christian ‘scum’. Elves?
September 26, 12:03 pm | [comment link]
7. bob carlton wrote:
Can someone explain to me why al mohler’s pov is meaningful ? This from a man who said of Catholicism “it is a false church and it teaches a false gospel.”
September 26, 1:27 pm | [comment link]
8. libraryjim wrote:
If anything, Jesus required MORE of people than the current law of Moses at the time:
“You have heard “Do not murder”, but I say to you, anyone who hates his brother has commited murder in his heart. .... you have heard ’ do not commit adultery’, but I say to you if you look at a woman with lust in your heart, you have already committed adultery with her” and the list goes on.
That doesn’t sound like someone who came to ‘abolish’ the moral codes.
Might I remind you:
(article) VII. Of the Old Testament.
The Old Testament is not contrary to the New: for both in the Old and New Testament everlasting life is offered to Mankind by Christ, who is the only Mediator between God and Man, being both God and Man. Wherefore they are not to be heard, which feign that the old Fathers did look only for transitory promises. Although the Law given from God by Moses, as touching Ceremonies and Rites, do not bind Christian men, nor the Civil precepts thereof ought of necessity to be received in any commonwealth; yet notwithstanding, no Christian man whatsoever is free from the obedience of the Commandments which are called Moral.
(bold texting added for emphasis)
September 26, 1:45 pm | [comment link]
9. Billy wrote:
Vosh, #6, you seemed to have made a freudian slip: “the most important of the Commandments was (what you all Im sure already know), Love thy neighbor as thyself, and Love the Lord God with all your heart, mind, and spirit.”
September 26, 2:46 pm | [comment link]
Jesus said that but in reverse order and for a reason. Obedience to (or in TEC psychobabble, “living into”) the second comes only from the first ... it’s the only way it can happen. Otherwise we are too weak and frail as humans to obey the second. That is why the gospel of social justice of TEC, without anything behind it (like scripture or tradition or reason) is empty and not bearing fruit. And living by the first definitely puts in mind FIRST one’s eternal relationship with God and, only after that, what is happening in this life. Yes, Jesus ate with tax collectors and helped the poor and outcast. But he did so out of his love for all. He also loved the rich and the church leaders of the time and was particularly tough on them not out of social justice but to help them follow his first commandment, to help them come into a right relationship with God. This is not about emotion or making sure someone’s feeling aren’t hurt. Jesus didn’t worry about hurting feelings (not Peter’s, not James and John, not the Pharisees or Scribes, or Paul’s). He just tried to bring others into that right relationship with the Father, through Himself. If you believe that it is more important to ensure that everyone approves someone having a sexual relationship with someone else (that is a fornication relationship) than having a right relationship with the Lord, then go ahead as you are today. But if you can believe that your relationship with God is more important than anything else, I urge you to concentrate on that and let the other sexual relationship stuff go and the Lord will see to that in His own time. God bless.
10. Mike Bertaut wrote:
Vosh my friend, I have to go, and I will leave you with this:
Read the Bible. Actually READ it. You will see that Jesus advised all to be content with their position, as to change it might lead them into sin. And sin was the worst thing of all.
So your passage # 13 is perfectly logical because it presents the ultimate choices. The only two that really mean anything.
Either we will submit our own choices, lives and wills to the whims of this Carpenter’s Son from Nazareth who lived 2,000 years ago and who we learn of by reading that “musty old book” as I’ve said before…
Or we don’t. If we don’t, Christian no longer describes us.
It’s quite simple really. Fish, or cut bait. Sit, or walk away. Believe, or don’t. It’s not really an “organized religion” decision. All the various denominations and faiths can do is try to create an environment for us to learn these things. They can’t give us faith, they can only facilitate it.
These things aren’t made up. There is tons of evidence. Learning is the key.
Read. You will see what I mean.
Good Luck and Keep the Faith…...mrb
September 26, 4:11 pm | [comment link]
11. Billy wrote:
Vosh, #13, no evidence? Read the gospels; read all the times Jesus spent with the disciples teaching them what it meant to be in a right relationship with God. Look at Jesus’ life. He even went to the cross to be in the right relationship with his Father (even though He asked if the cup could pass from Him, nevertheless, not His will but the will of His Father be done). How much more evidence do you want? He speaks of families being torn asunder and mother against child, brother against brother, etc. when some do the will of His Father and others don’t. He speaks of not storing up treasures on earth (material things and human relationships - not such a literal reading), but storing up treasures in heaven by having a true relationship with the Father (again, not such a literal reading - I’m not a fundi, as you described me). Please go read your Bible, because He is waiting for you.
September 26, 4:20 pm | [comment link]
12. Jeffersonian wrote:
See this is one of my problems with organized religion in general. Context or meaning is essentially “made up” in order to fit the agenda of the present authority. You’ve no evidence to support this position, it just seems to fit with your stance against the TEC view on social justice.
On the contrary, Vosh, he cited his evidence quite clearly but since you really don’t have much of a taste for organized religion (nor, apparently, any of our texts), this is just another opportunity to swing a dishonest brickbat at the usual suspects. You’re just a culture warrior and the front happens to be passing through a chuchyard right now.
September 26, 11:59 pm | [comment link]
13. The_Elves wrote:
calling people “scum” is definitely offlimits.
September 27, 5:30 am | [comment link]
Vosh, you’ve got a warning.
14. Billy wrote:
Vosh, #18, sorry, but you are the one citing out of context. I cited within context (the gospels) and noted for you that you were wrong in the way you used the second great commandment. You have cherry picked the second great commandment to promote your gospel of social justice (which is also a cherry picking gospel of certain social matters you have chosen). What I’ve tried to point out to you is that context is very important here. You cannot use the second great commandment by itself (that is out of context). Jesus did not give the great commandments to us separately. They came as a pair. They were separate in the OT, but His creation was to put them together, so that one is not useful without the other. (If you don’t want to read the Bible, at least read The Jesus Creed.) There are other passages in the NT that say that good works without faith are not pleasing to God. Good works that don’t come from God’s grace and with God as the source are not pleasing to Him. That is the context that you and the TEC leadership seem to be missing here. Since the Bible is our source of knowledge of God’s revelation of himself to us, citing the Bible is the best thing I can cite as evidence for context. You have perfectly shown the divide between reappraisers and reasserters. You want to cite experience of humans as evidence. I cite scripture, tradition and reason as evidence. There you have it and I thank you for this opportunity to show our differences so vividly. Nevertheless, I shall kneel with you at the communion rail if we are ever at the same Eucharist.
September 27, 9:48 am | [comment link]
15. Billy wrote:
Vosh, #21, you have selected a narrow quotation from Luke of the Good Samaritan to create a very narrow context. The context was created by an “expert in the law,” as purposefully narrow to try to catch Jesus. You have fallen into the same trap as the “expert in the law.” As I pointed out in my prior entry, the context for the summary of the law is much broader and begins with loving God. Even the “expert in the law” knew that. It seems very fundi to me for you to read one brief section of Luke, created by a scribe or Pharisee, and try to make that the entire context of the summary of the law, as you have done.
September 27, 1:35 pm | [comment link]