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Forum LockedWhat is a Bishop? (Homo/Heterosexual/Fema

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Akolouthos View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Akolouthos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jan-2007 at 23:53
Originally posted by JanusRook JanusRook wrote:

On the issue of a bishop being a "closet homosexual". Since bishops (I' not sure about the anglican communion?) are celibate the issue of their sexual identity should have no bearing on their role as shepherd. However this was explained to me like this a few years ago. A bishop shouldn't be a homosexual because they aren't giving up anything. A heterosexual bishop has the oppurtunity before his ordination as a priest to enter into marriage with a woman. Therefore he sacrifices this option to become closer to God and to bring others closer to God. A homosexual doesn't have this option because in the church he can't marry another man so he isn't sacrificing anything to be closer to God, which would make the act less genuine.
 
Of course you speak from within the canonical discipline of the Western Church, where some form of clerical celibacy has been present in the tradition since the Early Ecumenical period; in the East, and for that matter in the New Testament era, priests (and bishops for that matter, contrary to modern Eastern practice) were allowed to marry.
 
Although the homosexual Christian does not give up the ability to marry--for indeed marriage is traditionally and scripturally defined as a relationship between members of the opposite sex--I do not feel it is accurate to state that "he isn't sacrificing anything to be closer to God" or that his act is any less genuine than a heterosexual Christian. In fact, I would say that, in a very real sense, the homosexual Christian sacrifices more than the heterosexual Christian. In fact, the homosexual Christian is called to a life of celibacy, and this is a greater sacrifice than refraining from sexual intercourse until one is married. Further, the non-practicing, homosexual candidate for the priesthood does not even get to choose whether or not to enter into marriage or the priesthood. Denying one's lustful passions is always a struggle and a sacrifice.
 
Quote Why do people think we have to love with our genitals instead of our hearts?
 
Well said! Smile
 
-Akolouthos
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Akolouthos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Mar-2008 at 07:31
The article linked below is about the upcoming Lambeth Conference, which is a gathering of the leaders of the Anglican communion. There has been a good deal of controversy surrounding Bishop Robinson, as well as other issues. Most of these issues stem from the American Episcopal Church's recent controversial decisions.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23578528/

Your thoughts, anyone?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JanusRook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Mar-2008 at 18:44
I think that this Lambeth Conference will create a formal schism in the Anglican church. Most likely the American churches versus the world churches. Considering that whatever decision is made in the conference a schism will occur, if they ban homosexuality in the church then they are threatened with losing their American members (but not all, as I believe half if not more don't support homosexual Bishops). Whereas if they decide in favor of homosexual Bishops they are almost guarenteed to  lose Africa in a schism. This is why I believe the Anglican conference will condemn homosexuality possibly excommunicate Robinson (or possibly not if they are trying to keep his supporters in the church).

I think that the Anglican church in modern times is trying to act "too Protestant" and should just keep to it's own historic traditions.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Akolouthos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-May-2008 at 22:32

It appears that Bishop Robinson intends to enter into a civil union with his sexual partner. Though this is a civil issue, the inevitable controversy and contentiousness that will result, as well as his apparent disregard for them, are troubling. The article is linked below, along with a few comments that I felt needed to be made.

 
Originally posted by The Article The Article wrote:

Robinson feels that people who use the Bible to condemn homosexuals fail to understand Scripture. It is called an abomination for a man to lie with another man as with a woman, but, he writes, the Bible also says it is an abomination to eat pork or shellfish, to wear clothing made of two different fibers, or to sow two different types of seed in the same field.
 
Robinson's statement here is so theologically problematic one has to wonder whether it stems from ignorance of the basic nature of the Law in Christian theology or is simply an attempt to justify his behaviour. The first and most obvious criticism of Robinson's assertion is that the dietary laws and other aspects of the Old Covenant are no longer applicable in the New Testament (see Acts 10). The prohibition against homosexual relations is (see Romans 1).
 
The second criticism is a bit more complex than the first, and requires a basic understanding of Christian covenantal theology to grasp. Basically, the purpose of the law is to lead us to Christ; it is a sort of tutor, which convicts us and makes us aware that we can never fulfill it, and consequently can never be justified by our own actions -- enter Christ. With the Incarnation, Crucifixion, and Resurrection of the God-man, we find the possibility of salvation through union with Christ, who fulfilled the Law. By becoming united with him, in true repentance through Baptism and the partaking of the Eucharistic gifts, we are united with his fulfillment of the Law, and we are, consequently, saved. The problem with Robinson's position is that it precludes seeking union with Christ. He who feels he has no need to repent -- for, indeed, Robinson has rationalized his behaviour and does not believe it to be sinful -- cannot repent. Thus, while the opportunity to atone and become celibate -- which would bring him a crown of glory in place of the shame he now bears -- remains, so long as he refuses to acknowledge the prohibition against the lifestyle he has chosen he precludes the possibility of repentance.
 
-Akolouthos


Edited by Akolouthos - 08-May-2008 at 22:36
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Jun-2008 at 16:48
My participation in the debate of clerical freedom of speech has compelled me to enter this thread at Akolouthos' suggestion, and so I look forward to hearing the views of others as I engage this thread with an inquisitive mind.

In rebuking the argument put forward by Robinson, Akolouthos has claimed that parts of the Old Testament simply don't apply. Who decided this? On what basis were these old laws rejected, are they the word of God one day and the next 'hey presto!' they are no longer the word of God?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JanusRook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Jun-2008 at 07:26
Quote On what basis were these old laws rejected, are they the word of God one day and the next 'hey presto!' they are no longer the word of God?


Well I'm sure Ako will give the exact Biblical passages and Cannonical references, but I'll try to give you my summarized version.

Basically none of the old laws were rejected outright but they were revised, much like how the US Constitution has obsolete Amendments still remaining in the Constitution. They are there in the first place because God simply wanted them there at that time (too convenient I know but whose to say that's incorrect). The coming of Jesus Christ paved the way for the present revealed law of God on earth, which has made allowance (more along the lines of you don't have to be a Jew to be a Christian, see Circumcision and dietary restrictions). But you still have to follow the laws that were not revised (no false idols and no homosexual relations). At least that is my understanding of the matter.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mixcoatl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Jun-2008 at 12:46
And then to think Republicans accuse Democrats of flip-flopping!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carpathian Wolf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Jun-2008 at 19:39
I'd like to correct something by Ako in one of this firsts posts about us being in a natural state and that "lusts" are natural. I can only assume he is speaking from an Orthodox perspective, but this is not an Orthodox teaching. I'm not correcting you out of spite but simply as a humble reminder. Our state right now is a fallen one, the world around us is an illusion. Our real natural state was the one before the fall. That was the true intention of what it was to be "human". From the fall we have become "inhuman".
 
Next on a more general note, just my .02 to share. I personally don't think people are "straight" or they are "gay". I think this is just a "meme". And I hate to use a Dawkings term. Technically the only thing I agree with him about are certain things some Greek scholars in the ancient world already discribed though I had come to the same conclusion on that specific point before really reading in depth of either. In any case, just to give an example. One can find both a man and a woman attractive. But acting upon either or changes the perspective. I don't believe in this notion of "i'm straight so I CAN'T see a man as attractive." And i don't mean attractive as in you want to sleep with them either. So I don't think people are gay or straight. I think people can wait until they are married, I think some people can not or will not, and I think some people commit homosexual acts.
 
But I think the main reason in (Orthodox) Christianity that homosexuality is a sin is first and foremost because you can't marry the same sex. And sex outside of that is considered sinful (for our own good!) and since you can't marry the same sex then yeah. So people can knit pick about homosexuality and what some verse could possibly mean (I had someone argue with me that when Christ was stuck in the side with a spear, it was actually a "poetic" allusion to commiting a homosexual act.) the point is in the end that marriage between a man and a woman is the only one that is found in (Orthodox) Christianity.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Windemere Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jul-2008 at 20:49
The Old Testament dietary laws are no longer followed, likewise the Old Testament acceptance of slavery as a conventional institution is gone. The meaning of the Old Testament prohibition against a man lying with another man as with a woman is presently being debated.
 
It seems a bit presumptuous to say that Acts 10 cancels out the Old Testament dietary laws but that other Old Testament prohibitions remain in place. It valid to try to discuss which Old Testament prohibitions once applied but no longer apply.  But it's presumptuous again to take one's personal opinions regarding which prohibitions no longer apply, & which ones remain in place, and try to erect them into biblical principles.
 
In Acts 10 Peter was apparently advised by the Lord that he need no longer follow the dietary laws.  It goes on to state that Gentiles as well as Jews were to be welcomed. It states "...Peter said...I never did eat any thing that is common and unclean. And the voice spoke to him...That which God hath cleansed, do not thou call common..."  Further down it states "...God hath showed to me, to call no man common or unclean..."
 
Thus Acts 10 does imply a change in principles from the Old to the New Testament. But we can't presume to decide for certain which principles were changed. The point of Acts 10 was to show that it was God's will that all people, Gentiles as well as Jews, were to be welcomed into the Church.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Akolouthos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jul-2008 at 21:05
Not much time, for which I apologize -- I have so much to say in this thread, especially in light of the upcoming Lambeth Conference. Anyway, Windmere, check Romans 1, somewhere around vv. 25-28 (?) for the basis under which we may be certain that this particular provision was still applicable.

Carpathian Wolf, you are correct, and thank you for the correction. Wink Constantine, I promise I will reply once I have the time. Many, many apologies for the wait. God bless to all.

-Akolouthos
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