The Church and Homosexuality

I watched a programme this morning which discusses the big issues of our present day in relation to the Christian Church. There is one lady whose views we often hear, as though, because of her presence on the Church Synod, she stands for the voice of the Church laity. I have always found her views flawed. She happily quotes from the Bible as the Word of God, but like many others with blinkered vision, she quotes only what suits her own position. But this is nothing new.

Throughout the centuries, ironically, the Church has done many cruel things in the name of God — supposedly according to His Word. Yes, I know many Christians over the years have given all — including their lives — to serve their Lord in extreme circumstances, but sometimes it has been an opposing section of the Church that has brought about their suffering. (Some other religions are just as guilty).
Interpretation, not the Bible itself is the problem.

Back to our Laity lady. She happily ignores what the Bible says about women and authority, and puts herself in a place of authority to speak as regards homosexuality. She is far from alone with this homophobia. (I understand she is against women priests too.)

We cannot use the Bible as a rule book to pick and choose what suits our prejudices. Over the years, a considerable amount of serious Biblical study has taken place, in the wider context of religious belief, and using all the tools of modern criticism, to get closer to the words of the original texts and thoughts of the various writers. Certainly the Bible inspires, comforts and aids our understanding of man and man’s view of the world and of the Divine. But using the Bible as Divine truth without our God-given intelligence, has been the cause of suffering, terrorism, and wars throughout the ages. Using it to suit our prejudices is little better.

Some people may squirm at sexual practices that offend their sensibilities, but we must accept these also take place in male-female (loving or otherwise) relationships. They are not confined to males only. Also, every day we see on our TV screens the promiscuous sexual behaviour of youngsters, as well as adults, and they are seemingly encouraged to be so by society in general. These days, it is nonsense to speak of sex as part of marriage only, or of relationships that lead to marriage. That was the accepted morality of when we were young. Marriage often ends in divorce too. What place vows? Even clergy have no better statistics. We are but human.

It is a fact that people are born with sexual leanings. Some boys and girls may have been influenced towards homosexuality, BUT it is totally wrong to stigmatise those who are born what they are – men and women who fall in love with members of their own sex. It seems to me that homosexuals tend to be gentle sensitive people and quite suited to clerical life within the Church. They have the right to perform their ministry with the support of a loving partner.

The love of God and neighbour sums up the Law of God. The fruit of the Spirit reveals who and what we are within a community. What consenting couples do in private is, literally, their own affair.

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2 Responses to “The Church and Homosexuality”

  1. Geoff Dellow Says:

    Great to have you discuss this Gladys.

    Very well expressed but then you have much practice in putting words together.

    For me, views of right and wrong come from a society. They are not absolute.

    If the society finds that these views work in practice then they become accepted as ‘Good’.

    We are all different, and so are different societies so that we can expect different definitions of good to apply in different places in the world.

    I’m very reluctant to name any practice as ‘bad’ if it has been accepted by a large group of people no matter what that practice is.

    This leads to the conclusion that we as a nation need to be very reluctant to intrude into the affairs of other nations as we are doing at present.

  2. Gladys Hobson Says:

    As regards homosexuality, it seems to me that it is the type of Christianity of certain ‘other nations’ that is branding homosexuality as evil. Of course, it may be that the way it has been practised in some parts of the world is indeed worthy of condemnation. Licentious behaviour (gay or otherwise) especially in public, is a totally different matter to what goes on in private between loving couples.
    Not so many years ago convicted homosexuals went to prison. Some committed suicide. Those who had done much good for this country were not immune to the stigma attached to homosexuality. So cruel. Thankfully, that is in the past BUT homophobia remains, and the stigma that goes with it. Gays are the whipping boys for bullies and people dissatisfied with their own lives.

    We are what we are. We cannot change our sex (or sexual leanings) to suit society at large, or Church rulings. A genuine calling to serve God is proved in a person’s ministry. Now that gay people who have ‘made it’ within society are ‘coming out’ so will homosexuality become more and more acceptable.

    However, distasteful flaunting of sex in public, whether gay or otherwise can only debase society — as it did ancient societies. Just my opinion for what it is worth!

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