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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
            Friday, November 14 2003 

Jon Kennedy, webmaster

A hospital for needy souls

I've been relatively silent about most of the "news" about the consecration earlier this month of New Hampshire Episcopalian priest V. Gene Robinson as the state's bishop. The fact that the man is divorced and in a new sexual relationship, even if his "remarriage" had been to someone of the opposite sex, disqualifies him even for clergy status, much less the episcopacy (bishopric), in any orthodox Christian community, so to me all the discussion of his gay orientation and lifestyle is beyond the point. But for reasons that I imagine are similar to the ones that provoked the U. S. Roman Catholic episcopacy to issue a study paper on gay marriage earlier this week, and on behalf of the large portion of our population who don't see what all the fuss is about, the issue may merit another look.

Two writers in Tuesday's Portland Oregonian newspaper view the Episcopal Church's so-called progressive stance on homosexuality in opposed editorials. The pro-gay writer, Dorothy Leman, claims that her Episcopal denomination hasn't done enough. It hasn't strongly enough stood up and spoken up on behalf of its "lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people" like herself whom it has baptized. The opposing view is from one of the paper's editors, David Reinhard, who says that rather than let the Anglican communion be splintered into several new denominations, Gene Robinson should have stood down from his nomination to the episcopacy.

I see neither of these articles as articulating a consistently Christian position, but they provide interesting insight into secular ways of regarding these developments. Dorothy Leman's "pro" position provides some answers to questions all Christians must ask about this whole movement: "What in the world can these 'progressives' be thinking and how, and why, can they even want to identify with the church?" She purports to have support of Scripture for her stance, and gives several examples.

There are lengthy bibliographies of books studying how to interpret the Scriptures, especially where they seem inconsistent from one teaching to another, none of which books Ms Leman seems to have consulted. But the one hermenuetic principle that has been the archetype of all the others, is "the Scriptures are of no private interpretation" (2 Peter 1:20). As countless preachers and professors of hermeneutics (the science of interpretation) have stressed: it's all about what the whole church from the time of Adam to Gene Robinson has believed and taught, and if you're being original in your interpretation, you are, in all likelihood, wrong.

And this is David Reinhard's point. Because the supporters of Gene Robinson are a relatively tiny minority in the church, even the Anglican church (of which the Episcopal Church is the American branch), they must be wrong. But of course majorities can also be wrong, which is the ground on all the great battles over heresy in church history have been fought. For a time in the third century A.D., the Arians, who rejected the orthodox doctrine of the trinity, were in the majority, at least among those considering the issue.

Of course Ms Leman puts up a straw man in implying that "sexually different" people are barred from the churches that accept the historic traditional interpretations on sexual activity. Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestants generally welcome everyone regardless of their "orientation," knowing that everyone has orientations toward sinning, but they tell everyone that sex activity is for marriage only, and marriage is only possible between a man and a woman. Abstinence has always been difficult, but it has always been required of those wanting to please God in any situation other than holy matrimony.

Sinners, without whom there would be no church, will always fall, but the church always tells them, "Get up and sin no more."

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Today's Jonal is an adaptation of the webmaster's Newscomment on his other website, Xnmp, the Christian News and Media Portal.

Fun facts (or "facts," so it says, but take with a grain)

Banging your head against a wall uses 150 calories an hour.

The human heart creates enough pressure when it pumps out to the body to squirt blood 30 feet.

—Sent by Trudy Myers 

Thought for today

When you rise in the morning, form a resolution to make the day a happy one for a fellow creature.
— Sydney Smith
Sent by Mary Ann Losiewcz
Top daily news stories linked from our sister webpage
Xnmp, news that signifies
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