The Church Speaks Out.

Posted: January 19, 2016 in Uncategorized

http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/a-church-in-australia-is-asking-your-forgiveness-for-anglicanisms-failure-of-lgbti-people/#gs.apsfkLI

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/why-the-church-of-england-faces-a-dilemma-as-it-comes-under-pressure-to-back-gay-marriage-10366636.html

It seems to me that there are a lot of churches round the world now decrying the decision of the Archbishop to punish the Episcopalian church in the USA for welcoming and accepting LGBTI people.

As usual there is some quite nasty hatred from “Christians” on their Facebook page.

This has always confused me. From what I know of Jesus and the gospel there is no space for marginalising anyone based on their religion, sexuality, sex, colour of their skin or anything else.

I wonder how these people see the “Sheep and the Goats”.

Matthew 25:31-46 New International Version (NIV)

The Sheep and the Goats

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ 41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ 44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ 45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ 46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

It seems our prime focus as Christian’s should never be hatred, but servitude and love. Just as our Lord.

Even the parable of the Good Samaritan teaches us that our neighbour is everyone, even the ones we despise, and Christians can be very good at despising.

However, Jesus, in this whole LGBTI debate has become a sad figure in the background, whilst Culture based bad theology rules the day. People who take odd verses that have awkward and unreliable translations and build a case for hatred.

But what about Marriage? surely Marriage between one woman and one man should be defended? Or should it? What right to straight people have the right to make rules for LGBTI people? Surely we should make it even, and allow the LGBTI community to make the rules for the straight people? If you make rules for other people, be prepared to live by those rules yourself. If you prevent LGBTI people from being in loving, long term relationships then don’t you dare have one yourself.

If you think Marriage is some kind of religious magic trick to solve the world’s problems. What a terrible mistake. It is a religious construct. It is a legal construct for the benefit of those getting married. There are some terrible marriages, they are terrible because those inside the marriage get no benefit except a legal one from them. Some marriages are abusive and some are just plain wrong. Marriage really doesn’t solve anything, it is, like baptism an outward sign of something that has already happened. Elevating it to anything more than that is simply stupid.

If God is so worried about marriage, how come there is no form of words for any kind of marriage service? He gave us a form of words for worship in the Psalms. He gave the Israelites a form of words for the festivals but completely ignored marriage.

Do you think that by telling LGBTI people they cannot be married you are going to stop them being in relationship? No. Ofcourse not. Do you think that providing a structure for a life long, committed relationship you will have a better society than if you push people’s love for one another underground, make it something “naughty” and “wrong”? No ofcourse not.

So before you hate LGBTI people, before you think they are not entitled to the same things you are, before you think “love your neighbour as yourself” does not apply to us. Why don’t you go sit with us, be like Jesus and feel our pain?

If you are a gay person who is of faith and hates yourself because of what you are. You are not alone. I have moments when I feel like that. But you are fearfully and wonderfully made. I know, I know that for years you’ve probably called yourself an abomination, just because those around you have. But I pray those lies will unstick and you  might find the wonderful person you are. The wonderful person God made you to be.

Gay marriage is not a new thing, it’s an old thing the Samurai, the Greeks, Romans and all kinds of cultures had long term loving relationships between people of the same sex. Only when the “Church” claimed marriage and made out it was something “Christian” did it all become so heavily defined.

There was a time when you could be married just by agreeing to be married. There was a time when to be married you would have to pay a dowry. There was a time when when you got married you had to leave your parents and go live with her parents. There was a time when there were slaves, and the Church of England voted against the abolition of slavery.

Sometimes what “looks right” in religion is not right. We have to stop trying to examine the scripture with our own culture but with the culture in which it was written. There is much evidence of same sex relationships.

Numerous examples of same sex unions among peers, not age-structured, are found in Ancient Greek writings. Famous Greek couples in same sex relationships include Harmodius and Aristogiton, Pelopidas and Epaminondas and Alexander and Bogoas. However, in none of these same sex unions is the Greek word for “marriage” ever mentioned. The Romans appear to have been the first to perform same sex marriages.

At least two of the Roman Emperors were in same-sex unions; and in fact, thirteen out of the first fourteen Roman Emperors held to be bisexual or exclusively homosexual.[24] The first Roman emperor to have married a man was Nero, who is reported to have married two other men on different occasions. First with one of his freedmanPythagoras, to whom Nero took the role of the bride, and later as a groom Nero married a young boy to replace his young teenage concubine whom he had killed [25] named Sporus in a very public ceremony… with all the solemnities of matrimony, and lived with him as his spouse. A friend gave the “bride” away “as required by law.” The marriage was celebrated separately in both Greece and Rome in extravagant public ceremonies.[26] The Child Emperor Elagabalus referred to his chariotdriver, a blond slave from Caria named Hierocles, as his husband.[27] He also married an athlete named Zoticus in a lavish public ceremony in Rome amidst the rejoicings of the citizens.[28] 

In North America, among the Native Americans societies, same-sex unions have taken place with persons known as Two-Spirittypes. These are individuals who fulfill one of many mixed gender roles in First Nations and Native American tribes. “In many tribes, individuals who entered into same-sex relationships were considered holy and treated with utmost respect and acceptance,” according to anthropologist Brian Gilley.[43]

Source: Wikipedia

Could it be that Marriage is not in fact the “god” of the Christian faith after all. But something made for man? Rather like the Sabbath.

People who say it’s always been one man and one woman, frankly, are being slightly silly.

The Reverend Sally Hitchiner has an answer that is breathtakingly audacious. “We can’t move forward until lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people forgive their oppressors. That is the big challenge facing the LGBT community. We are never going to reach Utopia until we all get there.” (Source)

An interesting thought Revd. But how long must the oppression go on?

More questions than answers.

Some thing else I’m pondering, how did the penguins get to Noah’s Ark?

Also, if you use Adam and Eve as a model for marriage why don’t you walk around naked like they did?

Just saying.

Paul.

Update

Really interesting article by a Gay vicar who is on the naughty list. I will talk more about that tomorrow.

Has the church’s same-sex marriage stance shaken my faith? Well, my faith in God remains strong, but my sense of loyalty to the church has been profoundly shaken. I find myself in an organisation I no longer recognise as just but I am not going to quit; that would give too much pleasure to the bigots and leave the Church to those who want to make it into a sect which rejects and hurts, rather than brings healing and peace.

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/gay-vicars-view-archbishop-welbys-same-sex-marriage-stance-angers-shames-me-1480657

Not forgetting the petition from yesterday. 

 

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