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Gays Must Change Says Archbishop


Flatliner
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The archbishop of Canterbury has told homosexuals that they need to change their behaviour if they are to be welcomed into the church, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal.

 

Rowan Williams has distanced himself from his one-time liberal support of gay relationships and stressed that the tradition and teaching of the Church has in no way been altered by the Anglican Communion's consecration of its first openly homosexual bishop.

 

The declaration by the archbishop - rebutting the idea that homosexuals should be included in the church unconditionally - marks a significant development in the church's crisis over homosexuals. According to liberal and homosexual campaigners, it confirmed their fears that the archbishop has become increasingly conservative - and sparked accusations that he has performed an "astonishing" U-turn over the homosexual issue.

 

Full article can be found online here:

The Telegraph (UK)

 

 

...ouch... :(

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This just shows the power of establishment thinking and influence, IMO.

 

flow.... :(

 

 

Yes, and that is scary. Why the sudden change?

This may have averted a percieved 'split' in the Anglican church to ensure the conservative people don't move or leave, but this decision and 'about face' has also resulted in division, at the cost of people who are already marginalised and already hurt by the church. That matters, and saddens me.

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Yup...reality bites...but the Arch has to make a choice and he has. Try to allow side by side development of two branches of the same church which is guaranteed to cause eventual schism, or tow the orthodox and conservative line and hope that compromise will bring favorable pragmatic outcomes that allow unity in the future. I don't see the unity thing happening in the future, because we're really dealing with forces of nature in this situation.

 

I'm glad I'm not running that show, but IMO, most denominations are going to face the same problem in future times. Only the UCC in the USA has taken a definitive stand in support of gays over the long haul, much to their credit I believe.

 

flow.... :unsure:

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>I'm glad I'm not running that show, but IMO, most denominations are going to face the same problem in future times. Only the UCC in the USA has taken a definitive stand in support of gays over the long haul, much to their credit I believe.

 

Yeah and the UCC has paid a bit. They once were a bit under the radar to be noticed by the right wing, now there are right wing groups (ie Biblical Witness and some group with Welcoming and... - meaning they aren't), have taken over some UCC churches by using the gay issue as a wedge. Very tricky and devious.

 

--des

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Yup...reality bites...but the Arch has to make a choice and he has. Try to allow side by side development of two branches of the same church which is guaranteed to cause eventual schism, or tow the orthodox and conservative line and hope that compromise will bring favorable pragmatic outcomes that allow unity in the future. I don't see the unity thing happening in the future, because we're really dealing with forces of nature in this situation.

 

I'm glad I'm not running that show, but IMO, most denominations are going to face the same problem in future times. Only the UCC in the USA has taken a definitive stand in support of gays over the long haul, much to their credit I believe.

 

flow.... :unsure:

 

I'm glad I'm not running the show either. And, I don't think it was an easy decision to make.

Here in Australia the Uniting Church (formed in 1977 by congregational, methodist and presbyterian churches and is still working on "uniting", hence the name is not "United") is going through a painful time with 'both sides' - but at least they are prepared to tackle the issue and try to reach some consensus.

 

Unfortunately, I think the Archbishop's decision is damaging and hurtful and seems to appease the more conservative arm of the church at present. I can also see (of course) that I make that comment from my viewpoint of support for gay people in life/church/ministry, and, had the decision been supportive of gay people, the same comment (of damage and hurt) would have been expressed by more conservative people.

 

BUT does the decision offer or extend grace and acceptance to those outside of the church - gay or not? I don't think so. I think the decision has a hard edge to it and hurts those who are already hurt and already marginalised. I wonder how it sounds to those outside of the church, those who wonder whether they are "acceptable" for whatever reason. It's is also (for me personally) a trust issue - it makes me wonder what other decisions or support may have an expiry date. Sorry, it's really got me cranked up. :angry:

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It is painful to hear about reversals like this--"conservative" doesn't seem like the appropriate word --more like "regressive" or "backward."

 

I've always had sympathy and supportiveness toward gays, even more so since one of my kids turned out to be gay.

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IMO, most denominations are going to face the same problem in future times. Only the UCC in the USA has taken a definitive stand in support of gays over the long haul, much to their credit I believe.

 

Very true, Flow. I almost resigned from the UMC over the issue of gay clergy...my Pastor convinced me to stay and add to the number of members who want to change the denomination. If we put the teachings of Jesus at the center of Christianity and not the celebrity personality of Jesus, the hypocracy and prejudices of the denominational churches stand out in sharp contrast to their Sunday sermonizing. But then I agree more with the Quakers and less with the other denominational churches.

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Very true, Flow. I almost resigned from the UMC over the issue of gay clergy...my Pastor convinced me to stay and add to the number of members who want to change the denomination. If we put the teachings of Jesus at the center of Christianity and not the celebrity personality of Jesus, the hypocracy and prejudices of the denominational churches stand out in sharp contrast to their Sunday sermonizing. But then I agree more with the Quakers and less with the other denominational churches.

 

 

It is a hard choice. Do you stay and fight for change or leave to be with those who are of like mind. I tried to stay. Then I left completely. Now I'm in a church that fights for change. I guess I got tired of not being heard and feeling powerless.

 

I believe most churches will eventually become Open and Affirming. As society changes, so will the churches. Just as they did with ordaining African - Americans and embracing civil rights. THere are still those out there which reject those things but they are smaller and smaller in number and seen as fringe groups by most. That is the future of homophobia. I don't know how long it will take, but it will happen.

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It is painful to hear about reversals like this--"conservative" doesn't seem like the appropriate word --more like "regressive" or "backward."

Point taken rivanna. I used the term "conservative" to mirror the language used in the article. The author also used the term "traditionalist". I don't think either are totally suitable.

 

 

I've always had sympathy and supportiveness toward gays, even more so since one of my kids turned out to be gay.

Good on you, I know some people who don't have the support of their families and that is very difficult.

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I believe most churches will eventually become Open and Affirming. As society changes, so will the churches. Just as they did with ordaining African - Americans and embracing civil rights. THere are still those out there which reject those things but they are smaller and smaller in number and seen as fringe groups by most. That is the future of homophobia. I don't know how long it will take, but it will happen.

I think if churches are going to continue and literally not die out (at least in Australia anyway), there needs to be a radical shift in the way we think of church and community, and to me, that means more than tinkering with what songs we sing or what day/time we meet. It is more about breaking down the barrier between who is 'in' and who is 'out'. It is more about a genuine welcome and inclusiveness, regardless of who you are and where you've been. Society is changing but I haven't felt the same optimism for the church changing as you October. I have felt more optimistic about moving and talking and exploring things with those outside the church, most of whom don't really give a rip about a person's sexuality or background. Maybe that's it, maybe the current church WILL die out before the new church forms. There are Open and Affirming congregations around though, not many but they are doing what they can to foster an inclusive and welcoming place for everyone. Thank G-d for them.

I'm not sure I agree with you about the fringe groups and numbers getting smaller. You are welcome to call me a cynic here but IMO the Archbishop's decision about gay people was based on the 'number' of those traditionalists/conservatives who threatened to leave, not a small number with loud voices.

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But you know, opinion is slowly changing. If you look at polls re: homosexuality is changing and in a positive way, imo. Now not everyone is saying marriage between gays is a good thing. BUt if you change the language to "civil unions" and equal rights according to the law, that will be up. I have even heard that in right wing churches kids are more sympathetic to gays than their elders. I think in 50 years people will wonder what this was all about. 50 years is a long time in some ways, I feel bad about that. But it will change I think. In the long run I'm optimistic. In the short run, I am pessimistic. I suppose that the fact that homosexuality seems to be discussed negatively in the Bible (regardless of what else they might have been talking about, is going to be an issue). But I dont' think the fundamentalist view will always prevail either. It's just fear really. I think it is fear about modernity versus gays, but I think it is fear.

 

 

 

On the optimisitic beat, our church states itself to be Open and Affirming. It really is, as far as I can tell.

I don't think anyone left over it, or feels so strongly they would get into any argument over it, I mean against it. I think there are other churches that are like this, I came from another one.

 

 

--des

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My church is like that. And our open and affirming stance is reaffirmed weekly (at least) in two ways: from the pulpit and by attendance of many people from the GLBT community. Nearly everytime a group becomes members there is a gay or lesbian couple included.

 

 

Okay, that's good to hear - especially from the pulpit.

Edited by Flatliner
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But you know, opinion is slowly changing. If you look at polls re: homosexuality is changing and in a positive way, imo. Now not everyone is saying marriage between gays is a good thing. BUt if you change the language to "civil unions" and equal rights according to the law, that will be up. I have even heard that in right wing churches kids are more sympathetic to gays than their elders. I think in 50 years people will wonder what this was all about. 50 years is a long time in some ways, I feel bad about that. But it will change I think. In the long run I'm optimistic. In the short run, I am pessimistic. I suppose that the fact that homosexuality seems to be discussed negatively in the Bible (regardless of what else they might have been talking about, is going to be an issue). But I dont' think the fundamentalist view will always prevail either. It's just fear really. I think it is fear about modernity versus gays, but I think it is fear.

On the optimisitic beat, our church states itself to be Open and Affirming. It really is, as far as I can tell.

I don't think anyone left over it, or feels so strongly they would get into any argument over it, I mean against it. I think there are other churches that are like this, I came from another one.

--des

 

Thanks des, I guess I'm pretty raw about this topic so it gets to me. It's good to hear that you and others see things changing and maybe these negative voices are just a bit louder at the moment. Marriage between gays is only one issue. Gay people in leadership/ordained ministry is another. It's complex and despite the direction the debate takes and the time frame, it is not going to go away.

 

BTW - 50 years?? sheesh!! Right, I'm off to start my exercise program and diet and see if I can make it that long. S'pose that's the end of my donut habit. :D

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I'm not going to go into why or how or what has changed for Williams, but I do have a question about all of the "openess" and "inclusivity".

 

At what point is it necessary to stop affirming people in their "okayness"? I mean if an unrepentant theif wanted to come to your church would that be ok? Or how about if they were unrepentant drunks who didn't want to stop drinking? Or fornicators? Idolators? etc.

 

What did Christ actually want from us, and what made Him so radical, if His message is now seen as "I'm ok, you're ok"? Was He the first pop-psychologist?

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Thanks des, I guess I'm pretty raw about this topic so it gets to me. It's good to hear that you and others see things changing and maybe these negative voices are just a bit louder at the moment. Marriage between gays is only one issue. Gay people in leadership/ordained ministry is another. It's complex and despite the direction the debate takes and the time frame, it is not going to go away.

 

BTW - 50 years?? sheesh!! Right, I'm off to start my exercise program and diet and see if I can make it that long. S'pose that's the end of my donut habit. :D

 

 

50 years is a long time. It is too long. But change takes time. We are in the midst of a historic time. Much like those who fought for civil rights for black people in the United States.

 

I believe that same-sex marriage will be made legal in the US in less than 10 years. It will likely happen through a courtcase in the Supreme Court and will become National. I don't know enough about Australian politics and religion to know what is happening there but it seems most likely they will eventually follow suit.

 

 

 

This is waht the United Methodist Church's position on gays and lesbians is as printed in the UMC's 'Book of Disipline':

 

http://www.gbod.org/TextOnly.asp?item_id=12785

 

The UMC sucks. Actually, not all congregations are in agreement with that. It is all about making changes. I was just reading a news article yesterday about people in the Catholic Church who are in disagreement with many of the stances of the Catholic Church. They work with Priests who are also in disagreement.

 

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060831/od_nm/...n_priests1_dc_1

 

Anyhow, many are fighting from within to make changes.

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Thanks des, I guess I'm pretty raw about this topic so it gets to me. It's good to hear that you and others see things changing and maybe these negative voices are just a bit louder at the moment. Marriage between gays is only one issue. Gay people in leadership/ordained ministry is another. It's complex and despite the direction the debate takes and the time frame, it is not going to go away.

 

BTW - 50 years?? sheesh!! Right, I'm off to start my exercise program and diet and see if I can make it that long. S'pose that's the end of my donut habit. :D

 

Hmm, sorry about the 50 years bit, but social change takes a long time. OTOH, I think that acceptance of blacks was worse maybe even 30 years ago. Leadership takes a longer while. I think if you løok at the position of women and minorities you get an idea how far we've come and how far we've yet to go.

Of course, misogeny is still going on. And so is racism.

 

As for your diet, maybe work for the end of the week. :-)

 

Anyway, in UCC we have gay pastors. I don't know how common it is.

 

---des

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I mean if an unrepentant theif wanted to come to your church would that be ok?

yes. Unrepentant theives are welcome.

 

Or how about if they were unrepentant drunks who didn't want to stop drinking?

yes. Unrepentant drunks too.

 

Or fornicators?

yes. Fornicators as well.

 

Idolators? etc.

yes. Idolators, prostitutes, drug addicts, gluttons, etc.

To me, all are welcome. Right now. Just as 'we' are.

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Hmmmmm...I wouldn't go so far as to say that 'the UMC sucks'. I don't think it's so very different from the top-down management style of any other major denomination. I'm a member because of it's more liberal social attitudes. However, those attitudes address a limited number of issues and needs to be updated. The Quakers have a better handle on inclusion and not 'inclusion at most levels' because they have no clergy. The issue of no gay clergy in the UMC, I feel, is conditional inclusion. Sort of like 'seperate but equal', ya know? :(

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Flatliner thanks for your response. But you didn't answer the main thrust of my question.

 

If Christianity does not call us to be better than we are, to leave behind sinfulness (or at least make an honest continuing effort) then what possible purpose does it serve? Amnesty Int or any other number of social/political groups are already involved in all of the things that I have seen so many TCPCers support.

 

What makes Christ and Christianity different and an important/necessary part of the lives of those who call themsleves Christians? If Jesus' message can be accurately understood as "I'm ok, you're ok" why is he any different than any other bland pop-psychologist?

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If Jesus' message can be accurately understood as "I'm ok, you're ok" why is he any different than any other bland pop-psychologist?

 

Jesus' message to us is based on our NOT being okay. And we aren't, either. We all have our 'sins'...predjudices, lusts, hypocracies, behaviors, etc. Jesus wasn't addressing the exteriors that we want the world to see, but the secrets that we hide and hold onto in our hearts...those things that we may feel privately guilty about but will not surrender or change. Jesus calls for each and every one of us to act as Children of God living in the Kingdom of God...not as people who are simply hanging out, doing just enough to get by morally in our own eyes, and saying 'Hey, I believe in God and Christ, so I'm forgiven and saved, right?' Jesus calls on each and every one of us to live in a certain way and use his teachings at every crossroads and to make every decision. Knowing that God is with us here, right now, and within each and every one of us, what kind of a place have we provided for God to dwell in? We need not examine anything else or anyone else when we see ourselves, all of us, each and every human being alive right now on this planet, as being Children of God, as being people of God. It may be said that Jesus 'teaches' us, but in reality, Jesus speaks to each one of us personally in his teachings. When we focus on the personal message in the teachings of Jesus and not on the myths, legends, and stories about Jesus, not Jesus the celebrity, then we begin to understand that we must personally behave as Representatives of God and not just be a people who simply go through the motions based on McFaith and McBelief.

Edited by Russ
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