An apology

Discussion in 'The Commons' started by Lowly Layman, May 17, 2023.

  1. CRfromQld

    CRfromQld Moderator Staff Member

    Posts:
    460
    Likes Received:
    217
    Country:
    Australia
    Religion:
    Anglican
    Very few of us get it right the first time and never have to change our opinions. I am currently reevaluating my position concerning the nature of the eucharist; transubstantiation, consubstantiation, memorialism, real presence, physical presence.

    I’d like to address those 3 issues you mentioned. They are not a job lot; accepting one does not mean that the others necessarily follow.

    I find that women’s ordination rests on very limited scriptural evidence either way. There is only a single passage that prohibits women in authority (plus a few other indirectly) and that’s a narrow base. However I find the egalitarian arguments are also weak; even weaker. However it's not a hill to die on.

    The scripture is much stronger on homosexuality with a continuity from OT to NT. I accept but do not affirm homosexuality.

    I’m not sure what you mean by "literal interpretation of scripture" but I do know that those who abandon the authority of scripture build their faith on sand instead of rock. They become prone to believing what they want, rather than what God wants, following those philosophies of man that appeal to their itching ears. I don’t interpret the bible "literally" because I recognise that it comprises a variety of literary styles composed in a range of historical and cultural contexts, but I still accept it as authoritative. I try to understand the historical-grammatical context to understand the author’s meaning, not to rewrite the meaning to suit my preferences.

    Please persevere in the Faith. Like a Berean test ideas against the scriptures to see if they are true or false.
     
  2. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    4,214
    Likes Received:
    2,154
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Christian attending ACNA
    Well, then, by your own admission, you have a problem.

    Seriously, you're distorting the view and moral position of many Christians. "So hung up on sin" is not factual. What I and Christians like me are doing is trying to balance out the one-sided viewpoint of those who seem to solely concentrate on the "God loves and we love" aspect of the Bible's message. God is love, but He is also holy and just. God calls us to be like him: loving, but also holy. Yet every time someone on this forum says something like, "X is morally wrong," we have lovers like you come along and beat us down with accusations of being unloving. How loving of you to continually call out (what you believe to be) our fault! O_o Hypocrisy.
     
    ByOldEyes likes this.
  3. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,358
    Likes Received:
    2,587
    Country:
    Australia
    Religion:
    Anglican
    You are too kind. I have far more than one problem.

    Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.
    Lord, hear my voice!
    Let your ears be attentive
    to the voice of my supplications!

    If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
    Lord, who could stand?
    But there is forgiveness with you,
    so that you may be revered.

    I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
    and in his word I hope;
    my soul waits for the Lord
    more than those who watch for the morning,
    more than those who watch for the morning.

    O Israel, hope in the Lord!
    For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
    and with him is great power to redeem.
    It is he who will redeem Israel
    from all its iniquities.​

    It has not been my intent to label you unloving, and indeed that is not a view I have. I am also well aware of the dynamic tension that exists between mercy, redemption, forgiveness and love, on the one hand, and holiness, virtue, purity and righteousness, on the other.

    Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.

    By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Saviour of the world. God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God. So we have known and believe the love that God has for us.

    God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgement, because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because he first loved us. Those who say, ‘I love God’, and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.

    Thank you for calling me a lover. I will try to live up to that, and I apologise for what you see as my hypocrisy.

    mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa
     
    Annie Grace likes this.
  4. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    3,418
    Likes Received:
    1,714
    Country:
    UK
    Religion:
    CofE
    Indeed, all the regenerate are on their imperfect way to Santification, while merely being 'justified' unjustly and undeservedly by a very forgiving God. The judgment we hand out to others for their sins will be turned against us in the great and terrible day of the Lord, the standard upon which OUR judgment rests will be applied to US by God. So it is very wise to 'cut others some slack' for their sins, if we want God to 'cut us some slack' for our own. Especially for the many sins we are blissfully, blindly, unaware of or don't or can't actually 'own' up to.
    .
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2023
    Lowly Layman and Annie Grace like this.
  5. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    4,214
    Likes Received:
    2,154
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Christian attending ACNA
    I regret letting my emotions get out of check and I wish I'd worded my post differently, especially since @Botolph is one of the nicest people on the forum.
     
    Lowly Layman likes this.
  6. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    3,418
    Likes Received:
    1,714
    Country:
    UK
    Religion:
    CofE
    Lowly Layman and Rexlion like this.
  7. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    4,214
    Likes Received:
    2,154
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Christian attending ACNA
    Thank you. That last scripture reference is truly apropos.

    Jamess 5:19-20 My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

    If anyone asks in the future why I do not act accepting toward open embracing of sin by the churches (whether it be things like "gay pride" and the LGB lifestyle or something else), the verse from James explains it best. It is a blessed thing to lead back to a God-centered life anyone who has wandered from the truth. It is a calling of the church to teach its members how to recognize, repent of, and avoid future sin.
     
    ByOldEyes likes this.
  8. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    3,418
    Likes Received:
    1,714
    Country:
    UK
    Religion:
    CofE
    That seems like an admirable ministerial project for an Anglican Disciple of Christ to embark upon, provided it's restricted only to personal friends and aquaintances in the church, but I fear it may become increasingly devisive of the body of Christ if we as individuals become the arbiters of who in the church is beset by sin and who is sufficiently sinless to have no need of our personal ministry of salvation, which we are hopful will cover a multitude of their sins, when they respond positively to our loving courses of enlightening education, in the ways of The Way, and the truly Biblical Christianity that we ourselves, through the grace of God, undoubtedly and entirely live out with universally acclaimed perfection, before Almighty God. :laugh:

    Article XXIII might prove to be a fly in the ointment of that particular project though if it seeks to extend beyond one's personal friends in the church. The ministry might even be seen as problematic if even restricted only to them.
    .
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2023
  9. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    4,214
    Likes Received:
    2,154
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Christian attending ACNA
    Well, yes, of course! After all, the only people who address that issue with me are on this forum. :laugh: Don't worry, I don't plan to run around in church or in public, telling everyone to repent. :no: Although.... well, there is a gay pride event at a park near my house this Saturday, and I am thinking about attending it while wearing a Christian message t-shirt. Not that I'd accost anyone; I would just let my shirt do the talking.

    Hmm, which shirt would be better? One has a cross and the slogan, "Eternal Life Matters," along with the verse from Mark 8:36. The other has a representation of Jesus pointing toward Himself and the slogan, "Come to Me if you want to live!" while on the back it says, "Good deeds can't save you!" and the verse from Romans 6:23. Certainly there's nothing hateful about either of those....
     
  10. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    3,418
    Likes Received:
    1,714
    Country:
    UK
    Religion:
    CofE
    It's they who are making it a 'Gays only' do, so why not just use the same message of 'forgiveness of SINS generally' that you would use with any other group of potential sinners in need of repentance? The Gospel message is for everyone to hear, and respond to or not, after all. It's not your fault that the audience might be exclusively gay. Then you couldn't be guilty of specifically targetting them, as if they are greater sinners than others, because all have sinned, not just gays.
    .
     
    Rexlion likes this.
  11. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    4,214
    Likes Received:
    2,154
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Christian attending ACNA
    Yes, I agree, and that is what I intend to do. I will wear a message t-shirt and let it be seen. If asked what I think about their lifestyle, I will tactfully say I understand their feelings and I have thoughts and desires just as they do, however I resist those thoughts and push them away with God's help. I will say that for me it would be wrong to engage in such activity because my conscience and the written word of God tell me so, and I would encourage them to read the Bible for themselves with an open mind and to let God speak to them through the words they read. I might have some generic Gospel tracts in my pocket, if someone wants to take one. It is quite possible, though, that no one will speak t

    Just because I talk on this forum the way I do, here among fellow Christians, doesn't mean I would act like a flaming idiot in public. My main point has always been about the attitude of certain churches and how they appear to treat this sin as if it were not sinful. It is not appropriate to light-paint the building in rainbow colors or to overtly support gay pride (pride is a sin, too!). The proper approach would be for the rector to try to counsel individuals in private, as well as to gently but clearly teach the applicable scriptures and proper beliefs in the homily for the edification of the entire congregation.

    I have never advocated seeking out LGBs to beat them over the head with a Bible or to scream scriptures at them or to threaten them with hellfire. (As my old aunt Mary used to say, "You'll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar." :yes: )

    But when they ask questions of a Christian or especially when they show up at church, they deserve honest answers and we absolutely should share the truth with them (in love and gentleness, but with firm certainty). That truth is: homosexual lusts and activities are displeasing to God, and Christians are called to turn away from all sins (of all sorts) as an act of love for God as well as of selfless love for one's neighbor. For it is self-love and selfishness, not love for another, when we entertain lustful thoughts toward and objectify (dehumanize) the other person or when we pull that person into sexual sin with us.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2023
  12. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    3,418
    Likes Received:
    1,714
    Country:
    UK
    Religion:
    CofE
    I think I understand where you are coming from on the issue now. Being Gay and falling in love is not sinful, and not condemned in The Bible, but pride and certain sexual acts ARE. Medical opinion is fairly unanimous in considering anal intercourse unnatural, foolish, unhealthy and unnecessarily dangerous, all good reasons why Old testament law forbade it, (even though it is somewhat euphamistically refered to). Even though Christians are no longer under 'The Law' but are ALL under Grace, Leviticus 18:22 is still the good advice that it was when first written down. That advice is Godly advice for our benefit and to keep us from harm. To ignore it is ignorance, foolishness and deliberate uncleaness, all of which are sinful.

    But falling in love with someone of the same sex is not sinful, it's just unfortunately unproductive. Exactly the same rules of conduct in loving apply to the way such relationships should proceed, in all cases. Rape is till rape. Force is still force. Abuse is still abuse, and love is still love if it's done lovingly. If everyone understood that properly, life would be a lot less problematic all round.
    .
     
  13. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    4,214
    Likes Received:
    2,154
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Christian attending ACNA
    Great!

    We should include lust as a sexual act, even though not a physical one. Looking lustfully at another person is sinful. (I'm not saying it is a sin for such a thought to come unbidden to one's mind, but it becomes a sin if we hold that thought, meditate on it, let it feed our imagination or fire our emotions. Such thoughts should be cast aside the moment we become aware of them.)

    I think what you're engaging in here, and what a fair number of people have bought into, is the concept that one should be able to perceive a reason, which the person perceives as a "good" enough reason (such as, for example, a medically based one), for the forbidding of an act...elsewise the prohibition is considered "outdated" or "inapplicable to us." But God's ways and thoughts are higher than our ways and thoughts, so sometimes we mortals are not going to (or won't want to) see a "good enough" or logical enough reason for the word of God to forbid some thing. We humans vary in our own reasonings and perceptions. This is how people sometimes justify their actions to themselves and those around them, as well as 'explain away' the prohibitive verbiage of the Bible. So we should not, for example, limit our interpretation of God's prohibition to anal intercourse; any sexual act or even lust, involving anyone other than an opposite-sex spouse, is wrong.

    But we don't take advantage of God's grace and use it as an excuse to willfully disobey Him. This goes beyond 'keeping us from temporal harm'. It is an issue of the heart, of how sincere we are (deep down) about our faith in God and love for Him.

    I'll agree so long as you mean that the "falling in love" is a platonic, friendship-sort of love such as between David and Jonathan. That sort of love does not call for intimate physical relations, sexual lust, or so-called "marriage".
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2023
    ByOldEyes and anglican74 like this.
  14. ByOldEyes

    ByOldEyes Member

    Posts:
    49
    Likes Received:
    27
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Anglican
    This is a much needed concept for our culture. The Greek language in which much of our scriptures was written reflected this thinking by distinguishing the many different types of love that are not the same. But today, love is collapsed into one, big, fat blob where "love is love is love." It's an absurd justification for absurd behavior.
     
    Br. Thomas and Rexlion like this.
  15. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    3,418
    Likes Received:
    1,714
    Country:
    UK
    Religion:
    CofE
    But we are coming very close to signing up lock stock and barrel to the concept that a sinner has to completey stop sinning whatever sins may be besetting them before they can ever go home justified. Thus the publican in the parable would have been wrongly assessed by Jesus as having gone home more justified than the self righteous Pharisee, who also would not have been justified, in spite of all his law keeping, charitable works, morality and religious spiritual exercises. Indeed ALL sinners must repent and stay repentant of every sin to ensure their salvation, if this principle is to be universally soterially accepted.

    Where then is justification by faith in Christ and God's Grace, if only full adherance to the law can satisfactorily assure sinners of their salvation and defend them from the condemnation of Satan, man and God?
    .
     
  16. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    4,214
    Likes Received:
    2,154
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Christian attending ACNA
    No, not really.

    No one said that full adherence to the the assures us of anything. However, a truly born-again person will want to try. That person's heart will be inclined toward God and His law. Therefore the person will feel wrong about sinning, will fight the temptation, and will strive to do better, particularly when his sin is harmful to the well-being of others (whether physically, emotionally, or spiritually). The inner change that comes when the Holy Spirit indwells us makes it more difficult to sin-- particularly for a Christian to repeatedly do egregious things like murdering, committing sexual sin with another, etc.

    Because adulterous and homosexual physical acts, as well as pedophilia, all have a huge impact on the life of some other individual, the willful commission of repeat offenses probably is prima facie evidence of a seared conscience and of someone who has left (or had never truly known) God. Especially if that person denies the very sinfulness of his ungodly actions, as so many people do nowadays.

    No, this is not about "coming under the law." This is about discerning the thoughts and intents of the heart. A good tree will not keep bearing bad fruit. He who is grafted into the vine will partake of the life of the vine, and that renewed life will show forth in good fruit.
    Matt. 7:17-20 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
     
  17. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    3,418
    Likes Received:
    1,714
    Country:
    UK
    Religion:
    CofE
    It does occur to me though that there are probably more Anglican men who suffer from anger management or addiction problems or divorcees wanting to re-marry, than that want to 'marry' another Anglican man in church? That would be, on my own estimation, probably still fairly rare, whereas the previous, (though perhaps less obvious), is probably rather more common but somewhat less easy to 'put one's finger' of accusation upon to refuse them a blessing ceremony, on their continuing, private sins. :rolleyes:
    .
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2023
  18. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    4,214
    Likes Received:
    2,154
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Christian attending ACNA
    You keep coming back to this idea. And I keep reminding you that it's inapplicable to the question of the church's response and behavior toward people, which is the real problem. Churches aren't advertising themselves as being "anger friendly" or "addict friendly." Churches aren't teaching that divorce, anger and addiction are perfectly fine and non-sinful. But they are teaching that LGB behavior is fine, and this compromises Bible-based beliefs on morality.

    BTW, there are churches of various denominations (in the USA at least) who hold meetings or services directed at such problems as addiction (including sexual addiction) and anger management. The meetings I'm aware of are called "Celebrate Recovery." In these meetings there is teaching and acknowledgement that the issues the person faces are both wrong and destructive, and there is a strong emphasis on overcoming and moving beyond those problems. It is a 12-step program similar to Alcoholics Anonymous, but with Christian principles and reliance upon God underlying the teaching.

    One of the downfalls of an alcoholic is that he often will deny he's addicted to alcohol. In the meetings referenced above, the alcohol addict is encouraged to recognize, admit, and face his addiction; only then can he begin to heal. LGBs are in a similar predicament: they are addicted to the wrong sexual stimuli. But instead of admitting and facing this as a problem, they are in denial that they have a problem. When churches encourage this denial and assure the addicts that their behavior is "normal," "natural," and nothing to overcome or avoid, the churches become enablers and part of the problem.
     
    anglican74 likes this.
  19. Pub Banker

    Pub Banker Active Member Anglican

    Posts:
    118
    Likes Received:
    83
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Anglican (APA)
    Are we seeking to change the Church to accommodate our temporal life? If such is the case we are engaging in reductive reasoning and is not reasoning but mere compromise rooted in an often Godless temporal world. If it one of personal experiences that leads you to where you are, you are relying on inductive reasoning. Not ideal but at least you can respond to ‘how come’ with “well there is a reason for my reasoning!!” and perhaps is grounded in something more firm than ‘just because’. But if one firmly believes in the Church’s varacity based on scripture, our fathers, the 39 Articles or clarified by the seven ecumenical councils then the reasoning is deductive in its approach and is where the Church reasserts its religious truths (where truth is NOT ‘one of many valid opinions’) and apostolic, catholic traditions (grounded in orthodoxy which is neither haughty or pretentious) as practice for hundreds and hundreds of years.

    Love the sinner as we must but a sinner they are. Immoral behavior - mine, yours, theirs - is never okay and separates us from the Divine. Repentance is the only resolution. As for me it’s my obligation to lead one to it.

    Now I ask for your prayers for me, a sinner.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2023
    anglican74 and Rexlion like this.
  20. Laine

    Laine Member

    Posts:
    33
    Likes Received:
    26
    The point here is to REPENT, not accept forgiveness and salvation only to carry on with sin and amoral behavior. We stumble and fall, surely, but once closeted lives, straight and gay, now openly paraded, often literally, at school, work, in public, are destroying society and now the lives and innocence of children.
    Accepting this behavior as a badge of Woke Honor, is not, I feel, what Christ wants of us. I prefer to worship at home than sit in a sanctuary decked out with rainbow banners and flags to prove some sort of diversity mandate. I am further isolated now and MY life, my beliefs per Scripture, no longer matter. Lowly Layman, have a care how you continue the path you're choosing....
     
    Pub Banker, anglican74 and Rexlion like this.