Showing posts with label Religion-Bishops. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Religion-Bishops. Show all posts

September 15, 2016

Bishop: You Can Support Same Sex and Follow the Bible






Christians who support same-sex marriage are not “abandoning the Bible” the Archbishop of Wales has insisted, as he told leading Anglicans that sex in a committed gay or lesbian relationship is perfectly “proper”.

Dr Barry Morgan used his final address to the governing body of the Church in Wales, ahead of his retirement, to urge members to rethink traditional beliefs about same-sex relationships as being sinful.

Even Biblical texts often cited as condemning homosexuality, such as the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah with fire and brimstone, could be “interpreted in more than one way”, he said.

One cannot argue that there is one accepted traditional way of interpreting Scripture that is true and orthodox and all else is modern revisionism, culturally conditioned

Dr Barry Morgan
Read as a whole, it is not possible to argue that there is “one settled understanding of what the Bible says” on sexuality and a range of other topics, he claimed.

Dr Morgan, a prominent liberal figure in the church, is stepping down in early 2017 after 14 years as Archbishop, the longest serving primate in the worldwide Anglican Communion.

In his address he cites a string of examples from both the Old Testament and New Testament in which, he said, different passages effectively contradict each other on topics as diverse as the status of eunuchs in Jewish society to the use of violence in retribution.     

“What all this shows is that within the Scriptures themselves, there are radical shifts in understanding in what it means to discern the will of God,” he said.
 
“It absolutely will not do to quote texts from parts of the Bible in a simplistic way without reference to their contexts.”

Overall, he said, Christianity should welcome those “excluded, marginalized, and abandoned by society”.

In previous centuries, churches had shifted their position dramatically on issues such as slavery, he added.

People flourish best when ... a couple make a lifelong commitment within which sex properly belongs
'Amazing Love' - book of essays quoted by Dr Morgan
He said: “What all this amounts to is that one cannot argue that there is one accepted traditional way of interpreting scripture that is true and orthodox and all else is modern revisionism, culturally conditioned … so taking the Bible as a whole and taking what it says very seriously may lead us into a very different view of same-sex relationships than the one traditionally upheld by the church.”

He went on: “We are not thereby abandoning the Bible but trying to interpret it in a way that is consistent with the main thrust of the ministry of Jesus, who went out of His way to minister to those who were excluded, marginalised, and abandoned by his society because they were regarded as impure and unholy by the religious leaders of his day, either because of their gender, age, morality or sexuality.”

Some branches of Anglicanism, including the Church of England, have sought to sidestep the question of clergy in same-sex relationships by insisting they should claim to be celibate.
 
Last week the Bishop of Grantham, the Rt Rev Nicholas Chamberlain, disclosed that he is in a same sex relationship but made clear that he observes celibacy.

But Dr Morgan pointedly rejected the celibacy requirement, quoting a passage from a recent book of essays on the subject, entitled Amazing Love, which argues: “Christians have discovered that most people flourish best when this living for others finds its focus in a commitment to one other person: when a couple make a lifelong commitment within which sex properly belongs.”

He added: “Those of us who were or are married have found that to be the case.  Why would we want to deny such a possibility for those who are attracted to their own gender?”


October 15, 2014

The Bishops are Starting to catch up to their Pope


                                                          



Mercy must be the way forward for the Catholic Church.

In the document, the bishops said without reservation that gay Catholics have “gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community.” From that, they ask: “are we capable of welcoming these people, guaranteeing to them a fraternal space in our communities?”
This is a stunning language change from the Catholic Church on the question of homosexuality. Since the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith declared in 1975 that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered” Rome has been clear on where it stands on the issue of homosexuality and same-sex unions. As recently as January 2013, Pope Benedict — while affirming the dignity of the LGBT community — suggested that gay marriage threatens the world’s “justice and peace.”
The Church’s shift on LGBT issues began shortly after Pope Francis’s election in March 2013. In July of last year, Francis famously said, “[i]f someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”
But today’s document produced by the bishops shows that Pope Francis’s personal vision is slowly becoming the vision of the universal Church.
This shift is rooted in the pastoral principle of gradualism, which Vatican expert John Thavis describes as “the idea that Catholics move toward full acceptance of church teachings in steps, and the church needs to accompany them with patience and understanding.”
Here’s how the bishops put it:
It is necessary to accept people in their concrete being, to know how to support their search, to encourage the wish for God and the will to feel fully part of the Church, also on the part of those who have experienced failure or find themselves in the most diverse situations. This requires that the doctrine of the faith, the basic content of which should be made increasingly better known, be proposed alongside with mercy.
The bishops are clearly getting the memo: leading with mercy is clearly the way forward for the Catholic Church. In his first Sunday homily as the Bishop of Rome, Francis said that Jesus’s strongest message in the Gospel is mercy. It too is the most effective means of Christian encounter in a world that — while still longing for a relationship with God — has increasingly become disillusioned with organized religion.
Make no mistake: a Church that leads with the mercy of God is a Church with a future. Experiencing the mercy of God can compel us to at least consider the impossibly good news that God has saved us in Jesus and that no matter who we are, what we’ve done, or how badly we’ve failed, God never grows tired of loving us.
Shortly after the experiencing the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, Peter declared, “in truth, I see that God shows no partiality.” Two millennia later, the Church that Jesus entrusted to Peter is beginning to see anew that same reality: with God’s love in Jesus, no one is excluded and no one is left behind.

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