Church of England wants to ban conversion therapy

If a person with unwanted same-sex attraction approaches a Church of England vicar for help, he will be wasting his time because the CofE has made the definitive pronouncement – and it doesn’t make many these days – that once a person experiences same-sex attraction, he is not allowed to be rid of it.

As usual, the Church is behind the times which it is so desperate to be a part of: gender is now fluid. I can be a man, a woman, attracted to either, neither or both at will, therapy be damned. Get with it Justin Welby.

Ironically, in the same synod, a motion was passed by an overwhelming majority to affirm transgender people. People who have changed, among other things, the object of their sexual desire.

It all goes to show that a church obsessed with keeping up with the prevailing culture is, instead, going to make itself look tawdry and silly. Profoundly silly.

From here:

The Church of England has called on the government to ban conversion therapy and has condemned the practice, which aims to change sexual orientation, as unethical and potentially harmful.

At the end of an emotional debate in which two members of the C of E synod described their experiences as spiritual abuse, the church’s governing body overwhelmingly backed a motion saying the practice had “no place in the modern world”.

Conversion therapy is usually described as an attempt to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Some churches in the C of E and other denominations have encouraged LGBT members to take part in prayer sessions and other activities to rid them of their “sin”.

Order your LGBT vestments here

I don’t normally put advertisements on my blog but, for this worthy cause, I thought I’d make an exception.

EquallyAnglican, a Facebook page dedicated to individuals who “are your LGBTQ friends and family in the Anglican Church of Canada”, is promoting an LGBT priest’s vestments business.

The question is, how would the business react to an order for a vestment embroidered with this message: “I support traditional marriage between one man and one woman”? Would the order be rejected resulting in howls of “discrimination” from the would-be purchaser? Would there be complaints to the Human Rights Commission? Lawsuits? Probably not.

Friends, we are thrilled to officially announce the arrival of #equallyAnglican vestments! Thanks to the amazing Catherine Comor at “Creative Spirit” for this absolutely stunning embroidered stole!

This design would make a perfect gift for the clergyperson in your life, and just in time for Pride month! 🌈 ⛪️

The Church of the Immaculate Condom

It was over 50 years ago that Malcolm Muggeridge wrote:

The orgasm has replaced the Cross as the focus of longing and the image of fulfilment.

He was correct, of course, and nowhere is it more applicable than in the Anglican Church of Canada, The United Church and TEC, where the imaginary freedom of unfettered gay sex has been set at a higher priority than inconvenient Biblical truth.

The Chicago Theological Seminary, affiliated with the United Church, is in full agreement:

Condom

From here:

It may take you a moment to understand what you’re seeing here.

This is a condom that was given out last week at the 2015 Wild Goose Festival, an annual progressive Christian hootenanny. Chicago Theological Seminary is a left-wing seminary affiliated with the United Church of Christ. The rainbow fire logo is an LGBT-friendly version of the UCC’s own logo seminary’s logo.

The text advises takers to grab two condoms in case of two orgasms.

It likens the Second Coming of Christ to sex, in particular gay sex.

The coming out of Vicky Beeching

Vicky Beeching is a Christian celebrity, singer, and more recently media commentator; she has just announced that she is a lesbian. What makes this interesting – and, since I am firmly convinced that celebrities’ opinions are rarely sensible, the only thing that does – is that for a number of months prior to her unburdening herself, Beeching has been promoting same sex marriage in her blog, giving Biblical references as reasons for her support of same sex marriage. She urges us to have good disagreements: I can see her becoming a mouthpiece for Justin – it’s all about relationship – Welby.

As it turns out, though, the more probable reason for her view is an entirely personal one: she is attracted to other women. As so often seems to be the case, the Biblical texts are being read in the light of subjectivity, in this case because the reader is herself gay or, in other instances, because someone close to the reader is.

From here:

“I’m gay,” she says, confirming what is written. She has never said this publicly before – a handful of people in her private life know. She has only just told one her closest friends, Katherine, and Katherine’s father, Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The enormity of the political ramifications of this disclosure scarcely have a second to sink in – a theologian who spends holy days with the Archbishop, whose God-fearing lyrics are sung by millions in America’s Bible Belt, coming out as a lesbian – before I begin to reflect on the implications for her personally.

The Bible, Belief and Human Sexuality

Bishop Michael Burrows and Professor Robert Gagnon discuss what the Bible has to say about human sexuality, particularly homosexuality, and what the church should do about it.

The video is over one and a half hours but it’s well worth a listen; I am left with an enduring impression that the only participant to resort to logic was Robert Gagnon.

Anglican Church of Nigeria leaders must renounce homosexuality

From here:

The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) has introduced a clause in its constitution subjecting members, who intend to hold positions in church, to take an oath of allegiance to God denouncing homosexuality.

[…..]

The text of the vow reads: “I declare before God and his Church that I have never been a homosexual/bisexual or (have repented from being homosexual/bisexual) and I vow that I will not indulge in the practise of homosexuality/bisexuality.

“If after this oath I am involved, found to be, or profess to be a homosexual/bisexual against the teachings of the Holy Scriptures as contained in the Bible.

“I bring upon myself the full wrath of God and subject myself willingly to canonical discipline as enshrined in the constitution of the Church of Nigeria, so help me God.’’

One of the oath-takers, Mr Lucky Erhaikhuemen, 43, the Vicar’s warden of the church, said two decades ago the oath would have been of no significance in the Church of Nigeria.

“But with what is happening in Western countries and the churches there, there is a lot a pressure on church leaders and members here to compromise the teachings of the church.

“The oath is a guide and warning that those in leadership positions in the church must uphold scriptural teachings and point to the godly part to the younger generations,’’ he said.

There are a few things I find particularly interesting about this:

The first is that the opposite tends to apply in Western Anglicanism. For example, a priest applying for employment in the Diocese of Niagara can expect to be asked where he stands on same sex blessings. If he gives the wrong answer – the wrong answer is that he is not for them – he might as well move to Nigeria and seek employment there.

The second is, the remarks by the church warden that the oath is a reaction to Western pressure and  20 years ago would have been unnecessary is somewhat heartening. Indaba away, Justin Welby, Nigeria is not going to buckle.

Lastly, the Anglican Church of Nigeria is simply applying a Biblical principle to its choice of leaders. The probability of Western Anglican clerics foaming at the mouth when they hear about it is of no particular import, but as a side-effect, I find the mere anticipation of it profoundly satisfying.

Anglican priest claims Jesus was probably gay in Good Friday sermon

An obvious choice for a sermon topic on Good Friday: I don’t know why no-one had thought of it before. It must be because the Anglican Church is not obsessed with homosexuality – no, really, it isn’t. If it were, it would have made the obvious connection that Jesus married the apostle John in a secret ceremony just before the last supper. And it hasn’t; not yet.

From here:

Preaching on Good Friday on the last words of Jesus as he was being executed makes great spiritual demands on the preacher. The Jesuits began this tradition. Many Anglican churches adopted it. Faced with this privilege in New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington, my second home, I was painfully aware of the context, a church deeply divided worldwide over issues of gender and sexuality. Suffering was my theme. I felt I could not escape the suffering of gay and lesbian people at the hands of the church, over many centuries.

Was that divisive issue a subject for Good Friday? For the first time in my ministry I felt it had to be. Those last words of Jesus would not let me escape. “When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, ‘Woman behold your son!’ Then he said to the disciple. ‘Behold your mother!’ And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.”

That disciple was John whom Jesus, the gospels affirm, loved in a special way. All the other disciples had fled in fear. Three women but only one man had the courage to go with Jesus to his execution. That man clearly had a unique place in the affection of Jesus. In all classic depictions of the Last Supper, a favourite subject of Christian art, John is next to Jesus, very often his head resting on Jesus’s breast. Dying, Jesus asks John to look after his mother and asks his mother to accept John as her son. John takes Mary home. John becomes unmistakably part of Jesus’s family.

Jesus was a Hebrew rabbi. Unusually, he was unmarried. The idea that he had a romantic relationship with Mary Magdalene is the stuff of fiction, based on no biblical evidence. The evidence, on the other hand, that he may have been what we today call gay is very strong. But even gay rights campaigners in the church have been reluctant to suggest it. A significant exception was Hugh Montefiore, bishop of Birmingham and a convert from a prominent Jewish family. He dared to suggest that possibility and was met with disdain, as though he were simply out to shock.

After much reflection and with certainly no wish to shock, I felt I was left with no option but to suggest, for the first time in half a century of my Anglican priesthood, that Jesus may well have been homosexual. Had he been devoid of sexuality, he would not have been truly human. To believe that would be heretical.

Heterosexual, bisexual, homosexual: Jesus could have been any of these. There can be no certainty which. The homosexual option simply seems the most likely. The intimate relationship with the beloved disciple points in that direction. It would be so interpreted in any person today. Although there is no rabbinic tradition of celibacy, Jesus could well have chosen to refrain from sexual activity, whether he was gay or not. Many Christians will wish to assume it, but I see no theological need to. The physical expression of faithful love is godly. To suggest otherwise is to buy into a kind of puritanism that has long tainted the churches.

All that, I felt deeply, had to be addressed on Good Friday. I saw it as an act of penitence for the suffering and persecution of homosexual people that still persists in many parts of the church.

Another church in trouble for helping those with unwanted same-sex attraction

A church which offers to help people with unwanted same-sex attraction is being criticised by gay groups because people, apparently, are born gay.

From here:

Gay rights campaigners have condemned a church for running sessions to ‘cure’ people of homosexuality.

The Frontline Church in Liverpool claims homosexuality is caused by ‘pain in childhood’ and boasts it’s L.I.F.E sessions have ‘succeeded’ with some congregation members.

[…….]

The national Lesbian and Gay Foundation’s Andrew Gilliver said: ‘The issues about “childhood pain” are nonsense.

‘The pain is often caused by people who don’t understand what they’re going through.

‘We are born gay, but we learn prejudice. This is Dark Ages stuff.’

Someone should tell Chris Birch, a rugby player who woke up after a stroke and decided he was gay, that it’s impossible because, to be gay, you have to be born gay.

When 19-stone rugby player Chris Birch suffered a stroke during a freak training accident, his family feared it would be a life-changing injury.

Yet while his recovery certainly brought about a transformation, it seems to have been in a way no one could have expected.

For when he regained consciousness, the 26-year-old – who was engaged to his girlfriend – claimed he had become gay.

 

St. Christopher’s to fly a rainbow flag

When I became a Christian in 1978, I enthusiastically shared my faith with a friend and co-worker. To my great surprise, after a few weeks he also acknowledged Christ as his Lord as Saviour.

I encouraged him to attend a church, so he went to talk to the rector of St. Christopher’s Anglican Church in Burlington. My friend told me that the rector convinced him that he was taking Christianity too seriously, that his initial enthusiasm would only lead to problems and that he should slow down. My friend did attend St. Christopher’s for a while but then, with the rector’s help, gradually drifted away from his faith altogether.

Not to worry, though, because St. Christopher’s is still concentrating on what is really important: it is  flying a rainbow flag in support of Halton Pride.

From the Niagara Anglican (not online yet):

A rainbow graced the skies over Bur lington as this article was being written, In the Bible, the rainbow is the sign of God’s mercy to Noah and humankind after the ‘great flood’ (Genesis 9:12-16).

To mark ‘Halton Pride’ at the beginning of June, the Rainbow Flag will fly proudly over St. Christopher’s Church, Burlington, in recognition of the contribution of the LGBTQ community is making in society.

In 1978, Gilbert Baker of San Francisco, designed the first Rainbow Flag to show the diversity of the gay community. Since then the Rainbow Flag has become the, sign for the LGBTQ community worldwide.

Today the six colours of the Rainbow Flag symbolize life (red), healing (orange), sunlight . (yellow), nature (green), harmony (blue) and spirit (Purple).

St. Christopher’s will also have a booth at Halton Pride on June 4, 2011 from 11 am to 4pm in Central Park (New Street and Drury Lane), Burlington.

Perhaps my friend would have fared better had he been gay.