Episcopal church without gay marriage

Discussion in 'Faith, Devotion & Formation' started by Jellies, Jul 23, 2021.

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  1. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    There is no indication in 1 Corinthians 5 that the man Paul commanded to be excommunicated ever repented (which I would think would be necessary), and yet:
    I’m not sure what to do with that. Traditional church practice has ignored it completely. And yet, there it is, in a letter we’re confident actually came from St. Paul’s hand (unlike some which merely bear his name).
     
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  2. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    You have just described Pantheism, not panentheism. Panentheism is the concept that everything is in God, there is nowhere in the phsical creation that one can go to escape God's presence, and that accords with scripture and is not therefore heresy. Acts 17:27-28. Pantheism is the notion that God is in objects and that the physical creation is part of God, which of course it is not, since God created it but not out of Himself.
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  3. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Did the Prodigal Son 'repent' and seek absolution or did he just get fed up with pig pods and decide to try to cut a contract as one of his dad's servants? Luke 15:15-19. Re-read it and find the bit where he kneels and humbly repents to his Father and begs His forgiveness, promising never to do it again. When you find it, let me know please and quote it for me. :wicked:

    And do you include yourself among the 'they' whom you ask if "they need to repent or not or do you think you regularly put enough effort into not continuing in sin to be exempt from the need for God's unprompted and undeserved forgivness, for the sins you don't even know you have committed"? Rom.5:8. 2 Cor.5:19.
     
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  4. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Could this be the evidence you think there is no indication of?

    5 "But if any one has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure—not to put it too severely—to you all. 6 For such a one this punishment by the majority is enough; 7 so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. 8 So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him. 9 For this is why I wrote, that I might test you and know whether you are obedient in everything. 10 Any one whom you forgive, I also forgive. What I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, 11 to keep Satan from gaining the advantage over us; for we are not ignorant of his designs." 2 Cor.2:5-11.
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  5. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    I wish we could award multiple 'Likes'. :clap:
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  6. Ananias

    Ananias Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Does God save sinners or do sinners save themselves? You seem to be saying the latter. Is it fair to say that in your view, God simply opens the door and you decide whether or not to walk through it? Do I understand you correctly? If so, doesn't this subordinate the will of God to the will of men? If not, can you explain how and why?

    As Anglican canon law is bound by Scripture, are Anglicans also bound to follow canon law? Or is everyone free to use their own judgment on that as well? If an Anglican violates canon law, are they (or should they be) subject to discipline by their priest and bishop? Or take an extreme case where a bishop orders his diocese to violate canon law; would a believing Anglican be justified in disobeying their bishop? If not, why not?
     
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  7. Ananias

    Ananias Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Here's a counter question: In this parable, was the prodigal son being honest in his repentance, or was he just lying to get back into his father's good graces? Did he go on to live a Godly life, or did he revert back to his dissipated lifestyle, thus denying his true repentance of sin? I think the son was being honest, and that he was truly regenerate in spirit, but this is based on the assumption that he went on to sin no more. Jesus tells his parable for this reason: that to be saved from sin, one has to die to sin and become regenerate through faith in Christ. To become regenerate means you follow Christ's commands (John 14:15). A failure to do so means that your repentance was a lie, you are not regenerate, and are still in your sins. Repentance is the first step, not the destination.
     
  8. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    The question of sodomy is not in the domain of ethics, but in the domain of metaphysics and nature. The question we are all discussing here is: what is true, what is good. Is sodomy a part of God’s design. Does God approve or disapprove of it. Is it a healthy or unhealthy functioning of a human being. What are the natural and the supernatural guidelines regarding this behavior?

    And both the supernatural guidance from Scripture, as well as the Church teaching indicate that it’s bad. That alone settles it, but the natural guidance from philosophy, science and natural law also shows that it is unnatural and causes people to be deeply unhappy.

    So the supernatural, the ecclesiastical, and the natural, all teach against it.
     
  9. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    Strictly speaking, “what is true” belongs to epistemology, not metaphysics, and “what is good” belongs to ethics. The study of nature belongs to science.

    As to the rest, your assertions - which are highly contested - rest on assumptions that we simply do not share in common. This is why discussions of this type so often degenerate into something acrimonious and unprofitable, with the two respective sides often talking past another.
     
  10. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    Possibly. However, I was only referring to 1 Cor. 5. The point wasn’t concerning the necessity of repentance, but rather the underlined portion that says although that person would be excommunicated, that his soul would nevertheless be saved “on the day of the Lord”. That’s a very interesting statement, since there was no indication at this point that the man had any intention of repenting (otherwise, why excommunicate him?), and, more importantly, because it assumes the man would not die in a ‘state of grace’.
     
  11. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    I remind you that the only recognized, canonical Anglican jurisdictions in the United States and Canada are the Anglican Church of Canada, and the Episcopal Church. As a member of the latter, my obligations are defined by its canons. As to the specific obligations of our clergy and laity, these are covered in great detail in our Constitution and Canons.
    See my post above about slavery. Was the 19th cent. movement to abolish it setting the will of men over the will of God, or was it rather the recognition that slavery was never the will of God, even if the Bible permitted it?
     
  12. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    Strictly speaking, pantheism (literally "all-God") holds either that (1) God and the world are strictly identified, or (2) that God is diffused throughout the world in such a way that there is nothing of God outside or beyond the world. Panentheism (literally "all-in-God") holds that God is not contained by the world (as in pantheism), but that, like the pantheistic view, God changes along with the world since the world is held to be in some sense part of God and not merely present to Him. The view I adhere to is classical theism, which rejects both pantheism and panentheism.
     
  13. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Well this is really easy to test.

    1. Would you contest that Scripture - as understood by the whole history of the church - is against the acts of sodomy (even evidenced in the word itself as taken from scripture)?

    2. Would you contest that the Church has taught for thousands of years against the acts of sodomy, including the Church of England? That even includes the Episcopal Church.

    There is your divine revelation, and ecclesiastical rulings. As I said that alone would suffice.

    3. Would you contest that the entire history of the natural law tradition, starting from ancient Roman times, and down until the 20th century natural law philosophers, has taught against sodomy, and promoted heteronormativity? We can get into the definition of marriage as found in Roman law, and the teachings on marriage in philosophers like Musonius Rufus. Obviously the natural law tradition then proceeds into the middle ages, the early modern period, through the enlightenment and down to the victorian era. It's an unbroken chain of natural law teaching on these matters.

    4. Fourthly, I could get into the findings of modern science that demonstrate the abysmal health risks, suicide rates, and mental instability that are highly correlated in people who engage in sodomitical relations.


    What part of this would you wish to contest?
     
  14. Ananias

    Ananias Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Does the Bible condone slavery, or just illustrate that it existed? Like polygamy, slavery is one of those things that was simply a fact of daily life in the ancient world (and in the modern world, as far as that goes). Paul's letter to Philemon is a clear indication where Christians stand in terms of salvation: all are one in Christ.

    What I'm wondering is: if you don't believe the Bible is the source of authority for modern Christians, what, in your mind, makes slavery wrong? Without the Bible, isn't slavery just a cultural matter? After all, this is basically the stance the US government takes on Chinese enslavement of Uighurs, or Arab enslavement of various peoples. (They call them "servants", but they do not get paid and are not free to leave, so there is no word for that state other than "slavery".) Should Christians rise up and force the Chinese to release the Uighurs? Doesn't a lack of action on that issue indicate that we approve of the situation? If not, why not?
     
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  15. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    I'll try to address each of these. I'm not aware of any serious biblical scholar who denies that Scripture says what it says. The issue isn't one of description, but rather one of prescription, i.e., what normative value the various Scriptural statements have. The work of exegesis is crucial in this endeavor, but so is rigorous ethical thinking. Regarding Church tradition, as a conservative, my preference is to defer to that whenever and wherever that is possible, but I don't hold to the assumption that the Church is infallible, or that what was the prevailing tradition at one time cannot ever be revised. Merely knowing the history of an institution and its traditions is not sufficient for knowing what one ought to do. Natural law has been highly contested in moral and political philosophy since at least the 18th century, and even for centuries before that, there was no real consensus on just what the contents of natural law actually were. I don't think references to natural law are all that illuminative, and most (if not all) serious moral philosophers today do not employ the category. It would be like an astronomer insisting that we continue to talk about planetary orbits in terms of 'cycles and epicycles' rather than Keplerian ellipses, governed by Newton's inverse-square law and Einstein's general theory of relativity. Natural law is a relic of the past. It has genuine historical interest but I think we'd be hard pressed to find many people today who would consider it to be normative. The scientific literature encompasses far more than just the aspects you cited (you seem to be focused on just one aspect of the issue, and just one gender), and I don't think we can sum up the whole mass of it the way you have, and I think to do so would itself be unscientific.

    The issue is, as I've said before, that there are some people think we have divinely revealed list of rules that will tell us precisely how to act in every situation in life, and some people who deny this. I am firmly in the latter group.
     
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  16. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    From the information contained in what Jesus actually taught by telling it, there is no way of knowing the answer to your question.
    Likewise there is no way of knowing except that he no longer had opportunity to regress. He had already squandered his inheritance remember.
    That indeed is an assumption, not warranted by anything Jesus actually said in the parable we are considering.
    You are quite wrong in your assumption, and your assumption is groundless if it based solely upon the content of the story and the reason Jesus actually spoke the parable, whom to and to what purpose.

    "Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to Him to hear Him. And the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, “This Man receives sinners and eats with them.” So He spoke this parable to them, saying: . . . . . . We then have the lost sheep which God seeks and finds, leaving all the others to fend for themselves, followed by the widow who finds the coin she lost and invites all the neighbours back to rejoice over her good fortune. THEN immediately following that, in the hearing of the self righteously complaining Pharisees and withing earshot of the delighted sinners and tax collectors Jesus launches into the scandalisingly universalist story of . . . . "The Forgiving Father and the Mean Minded Eldest Son".

    Q. Who do you think the bit about the son who refused to rejoice with the Father and the rest of the farm workers, was aimed at?

    A. Apology demanding, straighten up and fly right, grovellingly, get religious like us, superciliously self righteous, Paharisees of course.

    After the papable of "The Forgiving Father and the Mean Minded Eldest Son", Jesus told the story of the Dishonest Steward. Which clearly refers to himself as Saviour of the unrighteous for a Holy and Righteous God.

    Jesus followed it all up with: . . . . . Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they derided Him. And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God."
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    Last edited: Aug 4, 2021
  17. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    Great question. A Kantian would say that slavery robs a human being of his or her autonomy, both by making his or her moral will subject to another, and by treating the enslaved person as a mere means to another's end. The rational nature of a human being itself, so Kant argued, rules out the legitimacy of any such relationship. A Rawlsian might say that all empirical differences between persons are morally arbitrary (since the person did not choose to be born with those differences), and that morally arbitrary items cannot be the basis of a difference in the distribution of rights among persons. Ergo, for any person to be enslaved based on their gender, or their race, or their age, or any other empirical feature, is inherently unjust. Someone in the tradition of Adam Smith might say that the existence of an enslaved pool of labor limits productivity, and thereby harms all workers and reduces the society's wealth and standard of living as a whole. Mill might have said something similar, but with regard more to speech and thought rather than just labor. So, there are consequentialist and deontological objections to slavery that are quite powerful and have nothing to do with the Bible or Christianity. None of the thinkers I have cited would say the issue was merely a "cultural matter". And, incidentally, none of them were 'orthodox' Christians, yet they had the moral insight to know that owning another human being is wrong, when a thousand years of "church tradition" couldn't or wouldn't express that in a clear voice. Regarding the Uyghurs, I believe all free governments should work to compel the Chinese to end their barbarous treatment of the Uyghurs, and we should grant them asylum on humanitarian grounds. I do not think we have the ability to compel the Chinese to do this in a military fashion, but I do think every means at our disposal that we can use to compel them toward that end should be on the table. What is happening to the Uyghurs is the Holocaust of our time, and I do not think history will be forgiving if we do not take appropriate action to end it.
     
  18. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    If it's a relic of the past, then it's weird then that Martin Luther King Jr.'s case for civil rights, and the Nazi prosecutions at Nuremberg, all hinged on the natural law, right? Do you actually study philosophy for yourself, or do you just trust the philosophy 'experts', the same ones that are saying it's moral to kill children after birth, to euthanize old useless people, for children to masturbate, for men to have sodomitical relationships, people to have polyamory, and who endorse critical race theory. Are these your experts? If it's "new" it's good, and if it's "older" it's bad? Is your philosophy like your iPhone, a plastic decaying contraption that has to be be swapped out every few years?

    I don't know, St. Paul says that neither the sodomites nor the catamites (tops and bottoms) will inherit the kingdom of heaven. That seems pretty normative.

    Well fine, your own jurisdiction in the Episcopal Church isn't going to issue a teaching that will bind your conscience against sodomy, fine, that's to be expected. But at least the weight of the Anglican teaching should be authoritative to you. You keep conflating infallible with authoritative. One doesn't have to be infallible to be authoritative.

    And if you believe that the Anglican tradition isn't authoritative, then are you an Anglican?

    In what possible sense of the word are you a conservative? I just don't see it. Aren't you on the progressive side of every issue we've discussed here?

    I don't see how you oppose open theism. I know you say you don't want to admit it, but disclaiming the label, while following all the prescriptions, is definitional enough.
     
  19. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    But sodomy is not what is being discussed. Same sex relationships and 'marriages' in church ARE.

    Not only has the Church consistently regarded sodomy as an abomination, and still presumably does, the medical fraternity worldwide wisely advises against it for a multitude of excellent medical reasons.

    It is an aberration, a misuse, a deviancy, a departure from normality. It however is not the issue that is under discussion any more than sodomy is the subject of discussion in heterosexual relationships, even though it undoubtedly goes on, possibly even in Christian marriages, sometimes even involuntarily on the part of some female partners. How far into heterosexual sodomy do you want to go though and why has the possibility of it happening after the ceremony, not stopped the church marrying men and women in church?

    The answer to that question is - obviously it's not a question the priest will ask of people at the altar. Why should anyone be allowed to assume that it is also going inevitably to be on the nuptial menu for gay couples just because they have fewer options open to them? Celebates restrict their options to zero, (unless they have devised some non sexual way of sharing affection for one another), but should we pry into their personal decision making? I don't believe we should.

    We are not God. God will be in the bedroom with them both just as God is with both in heterosexual couples. (There's nowhere anyone can go to get away from God, God doesn't do private). If God dissapproves, presumably God will do whatever God decides about it. That is not the job of the church. Burning at the stake has thankfully gone out of fashion in the western world.
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  20. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    I am a conservative in the sense that Burke and Weaver were conservative, in that I favor a certain balance between incremental change and institutional continuity. The American Revolution, for example, was a radical break that I would like to think I would have opposed on principle at the time (though, incidentally, Burke supported the colonies in Parliament). I think our Constitution has many flaws, for example, but I would be opposed to making a radical break with it rather than gradual, incremental changes. Conservatism is a preference, a temperament, a sentiment, a mindset, and an approach. It's not an ideology, or a set of rules that can be applied inflexibly to every situation. Being conservative in that sense does not mean that one is opposed to change, and the emphasis is more on the present rather than the past. To bring back a radically different past would be just as unconservative as abolishing the present in favor of a mere blueprint of the future that lacked any precedent. Tradition in the present has its own weight, yet it is something that we are constantly adding to ourselves. From that standpoint - the non-ideological, societal conservativism of those like Burke, Weaver, Kirk, and others - today's Republican Party, in my view, is profoundly not only unconservative but actually (and indeed militantly) anti-conservative. Ideologically, I am an Enlightenment liberal in the tradition of Kant, Mill, Berlin, and others. The shorthand for this combination is Polity-Conservative/Policy-Liberal. If there are areas where I happen to agree with so-called progressives, so be it. If there are others where I happen to disagree with progressives, that's fine, too.
    Well, I'm not an open theist, and I've run out of ways to express my conviction that God doesn't change. So, this has been asked and answered. Please see my previous replies regarding classical theism.
     
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