Saturday, August 25, 2007

Tutu pleads with Primates

Archbishop Desmond Tutu has issued an emotional call for the Anglican Primates to agree to disagree on the subject of homosexuality and accept one another in love.

“Our Lord is weeping to see our Communion tearing itself apart on the issue of human sexuality, when the world for which he died is ravaged by poverty, disease, war and corruption. We are one of God’s agents to deal with these scourges. God has no one but us. Please, I beg you all in our Lord’s name, agree to disagree, argue, debate; disagree, but do all this as members of one family. Accept one another as God accepts us, however we are, in Christ. “Wipe the tears from our Lord’s eyes; put the smile back on God’s face. I beg you all on bended knee.”

In a reader poll on the Church Times website currently 88% agree the Primates should heed Tutu's call.

Anglican churchgoers in England in any case are sensible charitably minded people who do not allow doctrinaire and anachronistic interpretations of Scripture to obscure the obvious demands of charity and good-will towards fellow-creatures. Just as the majority accept the ordination of women to the pristhood as the right and good thing to do in our day, so more and more accept that it is foolish and uncharitable to stigmatize people in faithful homosexual partnerships; and even more foolish to allow difference of opinion on this question to break the bonds of affection between Anglicans worldwide.


Anonymous said...

With all due respect to Bishop Tutu, there is no dispute that we are commanded to love one another, with all of our strengths, weaknesses, sins and triumphs. But there is a big difference between loving someone and placing them in church leadership positions. If a man were openly engaged in an adulterous relationship, he would not be appointed bishop. The Bible is absolutely as consistent on homosexual behavior as it is on other sexual sin. This isn't a matter of loving others, or being tolerant of differences. This is a matter of the church endorsing behavior that is scripturally condemned. Unfortunately, The Episcopal Church in the US has committed itself to that path. Those of us who have been members all of our lives, who are in sync with the Anglican communion, and have scriptural basis for our beliefs, are treated as homophobic anti-intellectuals when that couldn't be further from the truth. If I could find any scriptural basis for homosexual behavior being acceptable to God, I would be shouting it out across the San Francisco Bay Area. But all I've found is people trying to alter Biblical teaching to suit social changes. Just because we wish it said something different, doesn't mean that it does. And "love one another" doesn't mean promote behavior that both testaments declared sinful.

David Hodgson said...

Anonymous starts his argument by re-asserting the premise that is precisely the one contested. It is far from clear that the biblical aversion to homosexual behaviour is a binding commndment against it for all time and in all places. This is what sincere Christians across the world are disagreeing about. Simply to assert one side of the argument does not solve the issue. You may be prepared to believe there is no basis at all in the arguments of those who are asking the Church to re-consider its traditional condemnation of homosexual relations. But conservatives need to provide more compelling arguments for retaining the traditional approach than simply asserting that the bible condemns it. There are many commandments in the bible no longer considered binding by most Christians today. Many bible-believing Christians are prepared to remarry a second wife after divorce for example. Yet some early Christians interpreted New Testament injunctions to have one wife as a ban on re-marrying even after being widowed!