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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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"Today in this country, there are few priests I know living in a same-sex relationship. It is hard to measure but my suspicion is that there are many fewer gay people in the church today compared to when I was in my 20s. They seem to have given up on institutional religion and certainly the Christian church."
David's story is one of four that was related in an emotional audio presentation to leaders of the Australian Anglican Church this week.
All spoke on the condition of anonymity, their statements read by volunteers. Attendance was compulsory at this "listening process" mandated by the Lambeth Conference in 1998 in its call for dialogue between the church and lesbian and gay Christians.
But as Australia's Anglican leader, the Archbishop of Brisbane, Dr Phillip Aspinall, lamented this week it has been hard to get cool, rational debate on the vexed issue of homosexuality.
Since the US Episcopal Church consecrated Robinson in 2003, the Anglican Communion has been teetering on the brink of schism. Rival wings of the church are now brawling over the fine details of the US church's latest promise not to approve any more gay bishops or authorise the blessing of same-sex marriages for at least the next two years.
The Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Peter Jensen, and his five bishops have not responded to the Archbishop of Canterbury's invitation to Lambeth next year, a gathering of church leaders held every decade to plot the global church's future. At its heart, Jensen says, the gay debate is a contest over the authority and reading of scripture.
"Nobody is saying we should throw gays out of the church," says Mark Thompson, president of the Anglican Church League, which opposes same-sex blessings and gay clergy because it says homosexual practice is incompatible with Scripture.
"We want gay people to hear about Jesus as we want others to hear about Jesus. The Bible calls on gay people to change their behaviour, just as it calls on me to turn away from temptations, whatever they are," he says.
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