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That marriage can only be between a man and a woman.

(188 Posts)
OneHumanFamily Fri 27-Jan-17 20:11:15

The House Of Bishops Report proposes no change to ecclesiastical law or to the Church of England’s existing doctrinal position on marriage and sexual relationships. The Report also says that the Church needs to repent for homophobic attitudes. Anglicanism has always been a contested faith: Will homosexuality eventually be accepted?

CardinalSin Fri 27-Jan-17 20:17:07

Not by bigots who use their religion to reinforce their prejudices.

BIWI Fri 27-Jan-17 20:19:19

Who cares what such an outdated institution thinks? Homosexuality exists. It's not something to believe in. Gay people can now marry in the UK, so it's about time the church accepted it.

OneHumanFamily Sat 28-Jan-17 05:08:12

I have a question for Christians, especially Anglicans: Can homosexuality be reconciled with scriptural teachings?

Babasaclover Sat 28-Jan-17 05:15:28

I complete agree with gay marriage and equal rights etc but I don't think you can dictate that the church must accept something that is part of its core beliefs - you wouldn't tell muslims to stop slaughtering meat using halal methods even though it is barbaric!!!!

I say this as someone with no belief in any religion. I just don't think you can rewrite history to make the bible accept things that are acceptable now. Don't forget people once thought the world was flat - we know it's clearly wrong now but you couldn't have persuaded them of that hundreds of years ago.

Don't agree with gay bashing but do hunk the church has a right to not marry them.

FreshStartIn2017 Sat 28-Jan-17 05:50:04

Can homosexuality be reconciled with scriptural teachings?

No more that adultery or fornication can. No more than lying, stealing, or hating can. Who of us hasn't committed at least one of those? Scriptural teachings instruct loving each other as a primary command, and so those who practice any of the above mentioned activities should still be loved. Because that's how Christ loves us (warts and all).

thegreenheartofmanyroundabouts Sat 28-Jan-17 06:31:59

This is a highly contentious issue. There are many of us in the C of E and beyond who are very disappointed in the House of Bishops statement today.

Should marriage be between a man and a woman?

The Biblical concept of marriage is rooted in the patriarchy of its context. It is not the same institution that we have today. Polygamy is common in the OT yet it is illegal today. So to start with the definition of marriage is not the same now as it was in the NT or OT.

There are translation issues in the texts of terror in 1 Corinthians and 1 Timothy as the word translated as homosexual is a made up word that only appears in the these letters. The word homosexual only came into existence in the 19th century so there has to be some understanding of the cultural norms around sexuality are different to those we have today. Conservative readers of scripture translate arsenokotai as homosexual and state that loving committed relationships between people of the same sex are wrong. Less conservative readers struggle to work out what that word might actually mean in its cultural context and in the context of the letters. There are good cases to be made for the word to mean (male) child abusers or male temple prostitutes. But no one really knows. Reading the Bible is always a complex issue.

I will nail my colours to the mast and say that when my church allows us to conduct marriages between same sex couples I will do it gladly just as I conduct weddings between men and women. I will continue to ban owls and buzzards delivering rings but that is just about the only thing I get tetchy about.

farangatang Sat 28-Jan-17 06:45:56

I have a question for Christians, especially Anglicans: Can homosexuality be reconciled with scriptural teachings?

OneHumanFamily, I believe it can, but I don't believe it changes the position on teaching about marriage being between 1 man/1 woman (any more than the church would accept polygamy, marriage between adult/minors, marriage between close family members, marriage with an animal etc.. or condone ANY sexual activity outside of a marriage).

If by being 'reconciled' you mean the interpretation of scripture will do an about face, I do not believe this is possible. To understand why, please indulge me in setting up some context...

I'm no theologian, but from my understanding, Christianity is based on the teachings of Christ (New Testament). Christians believe that there is a God (three in one - Father, Son and Holy Spirit) who created the world, everything in it and loves his creation and humans in particular. They were designed to be in perfect relationship with him, but he didn't create humans to be robots but have free will, and thus are subject to temptation by another spiritual influence in the world (known as 'The Devil'). Christianity's spiritual understanding is that these opposing forces (God - who is good and Devil - who is not) are at work in all our lives. God has our best interests at heart, the Devil is interested in destroying these.

Jesus said that he has two 'ground rules'' - Love the Lord Your God with all your heart and love your neighbour as yourself. All previous teachings (Old Testament) can be 'summed up'in these. Basically he says you're free to do whatever you want, as long as these principles are followed. Christianity is not about following a random/restrictive set of rules to try to earn favour with a disinterested deity, but engaging in a daily relationship with a creator God and living your own life in a way which honours this. Effectively, it comes down to the fact that if you're in a relationship with someone you love/respect, you will try to make choices and act in ways that would please that person (and they do they same for you) - ideal world. Christianity is about trying to live in a way that pleases God because you love him ('Love' in the sense of agape rather than eros or philia.

Clearly, this doesn't actually happen without failing (sometimes alot, sometimes a little). The position of the entire bible is that "'All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" and that the only way now to be in relationship with God is to believe and say that Jesus was God's son sent to pay the price for that sin (by dying) but by then rising to life again, accepting that his doing this means you will be forgiven your sins.

So based on this fundamental truth of what Christianity actually is, homosexuality may well be considered a sin, but so are a lot of other 'human' characteristics that people are born with (from 'little things' like greed/arrogance/lying/jealousy etc.. to 'big things' like murder, abuse, theft etc.. Different people have different opinions on what is 'worst'').

I think the church has made a lot of mistakes in giving messages that heterosexual people are somehow 'better'' (or even less 'sinful') than homosexual people. They have certainly given wrong messages that being homosexual makes you unacceptable, or worse that God 'hates'you. This wrong and certainly something the church should repent of. After all, to God EVERYONE is sinful in some way and needs to be reconciled in relationship with him. There are obviously some sins which have more impact and worse consequences than others, but nonetheless God doesn't condone any sinful behaviour (and Jesus urges individuals to repent too - which means turn your back (sometimes over and over and for the rest of your life) on sinful attitudes/behaviours.

So homosexuality can easily be reconciled with scriptural teachings, on the same basis as any other 'sin'. But the issue is usually that calling it such is what is seen as wrong (in the same way humanity justifies/accepts a whole lot of other 'natural' inclinations with which we've been born).

If the church believes homosexuality is sinful, it would be hypocritical to then come out (no pun intended) in support of gay marriage. So when the Church makes a stand on marriage not being for homosexual partners, people are effectively complaining they are sticking to their sincere beliefs and are NOT being hypocritical.

However, one of the most damning criticisms of the church and Christians is hypocrisy (rightly so!). So, they are (ironically) 'damned if they do and damned if they don't'.

Not sure this answers your original question or not, but hope it explains some of my thoughts on why I don't believe the Church can change its stance without compromising/denying its fundamental beliefs.

mirokarikovo Sat 28-Jan-17 07:25:24

I think it will change eventually.
Until really quite recently divorced people could not get married in church. This rule had a very strong scriptural basis - Jesus himself said that remarriage after divorce is the same as adultery. However, the church eventually developed the view that it isn't appropriate to expect celibacy from people not spiritually called to celibacy - and if you aren't going to be celibate then you should be married, therefore allowing remarriage after divorce has to be OK.

Given that Jesus made no similar declaration about gay relationships obviously there ought to be less of a barrier theologically speaking in this case. Unfortunately the argument is currently being dominated by homophobes rather than theologians but the homophobes will die out eventually.

lovelyupnorth Sat 28-Jan-17 07:33:07

As the book the region was based on was written to suit the time it was written I don't see how you can base anything on it.

Marriage should be for anyone.

I have say the least Christian people I know are those that claim to be. Usually the worse the closer to the front they sit.

Ciutadella Sat 28-Jan-17 07:36:06

Greenheart that is very interesting about the translation issues in NT. (And also about marriage being a different concept altogether in OT.) What about leviticus though - are there similar issues there (I haven't heard that there are)?

BIWI Sat 28-Jan-17 08:14:53

So based on this fundamental truth of what Christianity actually is, homosexuality may well be considered a sin, but so are a lot of other 'human' characteristics that people are born with (from 'little things' like greed/arrogance/lying/jealousy etc.. to 'big things' like murder, abuse, theft etc.. Different people have different opinions on what is 'worst'').

No matter how reasoned your argument might be, I cannot understand how you can go on and state this. That being homosexual is a sin? How on earth can that be? And how offensive and upsetting is that going to be for people who are homosexual? To know that the way that they have been born is considered by so-called Christians to be a sin?

It's up to us to reconcile the way we know people are with a set of writings from thousands of years ago. Put quite simply, those writings are wrong.

That's how we reconcile it.


BIWI Sat 28-Jan-17 08:16:57

Please remember, when you're giving this your lofty thought, that you're talking about people here.

To know that you consider my son (and anyone else who is homosexual - or simply not conforming to your idea of the better heterosexual) as someone who is sinful is incredibly hurtful.

He cannot help being gay any more than you can help being blonde or brunette. He is not any more sinful that I am or you are.

thegreenheartofmanyroundabouts Sat 28-Jan-17 08:21:16

Leviticus is concerned with ritual purity and covers many different aspects of human behaviour from food to farming.

If you fast forward to the 21st century I would hazard a guess that those who find homosexual acts distasteful are tempted at an unconscious level to insist that some parts of Leviticus are to be upheld for all time and to ignore the bits about food and the wearing of mixed fibres.

Ciutadella Sat 28-Jan-17 08:29:40

Is that bit of Leviticus in the C of E lectionary I wonder? (I know the bit about divorce in the Sermon on the Mount is.)

thegreenheartofmanyroundabouts Sat 28-Jan-17 09:10:51

The lectionary has very few passages from Leviticus.

OneHumanFamily Sat 28-Jan-17 12:37:02


Hullygully Sat 28-Jan-17 12:40:48

Hey biwi!

The interesting thing about this is that technically CHRISTIAN marriage is for the purpose of procreation so it can be argued that those unable to procreate cannot have a Christian marriage.

However, many areas of church doctrine have been changed and adapted over time, and a hell of a lot of doctrine is ignored, so I don't see why this too can't be changed.

It depends if you believe the bible is the literal Word of god or not.

Keeptrudging Sat 28-Jan-17 12:42:12

I would say a faith-based marriage should be between 2 people of that faith, regardless of sexuality. Given that so many people who choose a church wedding aren't in any way practising Christians, it should be open to anyone, unless the church insist on saying no to atheists.

BIWI Sat 28-Jan-17 12:51:20

Hully! grin

So this is where you're hanging out these days!

Hullygully Sat 28-Jan-17 12:55:16

And you? Carbs and Christianity grin

BIWI Sat 28-Jan-17 12:57:28

Oh I'll swing by anywhere that takes my fancy <loose>

OneHumanFamily Sat 28-Jan-17 20:01:25


Mindtrope Sun 29-Jan-17 07:14:10

No more that adultery or fornication can. No more than lying, stealing, or hating can.

Freshstart how rude and judgemental you are.

OH and I have been happy "fornicaters" for 20 years.
You suggest that we are "committing" a sin?

Yet you choose to worship a jealous vengeful genocidal maniac?

Your moral compass needs a major overhaul.

KnockMeDown Sun 29-Jan-17 07:36:20

What about the Ten Commandments - they do not mention homosexuality!

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