Christianity,  Culture

Hypocrisy in the Anglican Communion?

According to the Associated Press, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the U.S.A., Katharine Jefferts Schori, says that the only difference between gay clergy in the American church and those in other churches in the world is that the Americans are now open about it. Speaking of Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Bishop to be elected in the Episcopal church, she says this:

“He is certainly not alone in being a gay bishop; he’s certainly not alone in being a gay partnered bishop. He is alone in being the only gay partnered bishop who’s open about that status.”

She is certainly right about that. I recall speaking a couple of years ago with a certain Bishop from the Anglican Communion (who shall remain nameless), who estimated that 40 percent of the clergy in London are homosexuals. If that estimate is correct, then I suppose Jefferts Schori is also correct. The Americans are more brazen in their disregard of scripture and the church’s teaching than others in the denomination, even though the aberration is tolerated elsewhere in the communion.

The same AP article also has the following line, which is worthy of comment.

“Liberal-leaning Anglicans believe the Bible’s social justice teachings on acceptance should apply to same-gender couples.”

It is unclear to me what the writer means by “the Bible’s social justice teachings.” The Bible certainly teaches that all humans equally bear the image of Almighty God (Genesis 1:26-27). It certainly does not teach that “justice” requires us to affirm any and every sexual perversion as normal and good.

But at the end of the day, “liberal-leaning” Anglicans are not much concerned with what the Bible teaches anyway, despite what the AP writer claims. Liberal Anglicanism rejected the infallibility and the authority of scripture a long time ago. So it’s not at all surprising that they would ignore its teaching on homosexuality. This is what always happens when the Bible ceases to be regarded as the word of God written.


  • The Rev'd Dr Michael A Backlund

    I came across your blog because of my Google alerts for topics you are discussing.

    Your love of the Bible is touching, though clearly selective. Odd that those who don’t agree with you are tarred by you as ceasing to believe in the Bible. It must be so comforting to you to know that you are the only interpreter of the Bible that counts and the rest of us are so delusional.

    Isn’t that a football you’re so manfully clutching? I’m sure God is so happy to see such a strapping man doing such manly things. God must be pleased you are so clearly not gay. But strange isn’t it, if you read your Bible you’ll find that a prohibition about touching the flesh of a dead pig – and probably its artificial plastic with a mixture of “cloths” imitation football – is also condemned. Guess that and so much else that doesn’t fit with your pure theology doesn’t count, huh?

  • Kevin J

    Wow! Where did that come from? Ever feel like you’ve been blind-sided below the belt?

    So I guess if a football is made out of cow’s leather it is ok then? Such deep thinking is too hard for me.

  • D.J. Williams

    This is futile, I’m sure, given the tone of the comment, but I’ll ask anyway for poster number one to please read these two condemnations in context. The “dead pig flesh” condemnation (and really, has anyone ever met an orthodox Jew who found it morally repulsive to throw a football?) is a ceremonial law given to the nation of Israel. Scriptures comments on homosexuality occur in many different contexts, including Romans 1 which is clearly a section of text where Paul is speaking about moral degradation. The NT also explicitly tells us that we are not bound by the Mosaic cermonial law. The same man who under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote that we are not bound by the OT law obviously still considered homosexuality to be sinful. I know I’m ranting about something that the poster will not care to understand, but I cannot stand bad arguments, and that was a really bad argument.

  • jigawatt

    The Rev’d Dr Michael A Backlund,

    Your comment is quite interesting. Are you still reading the comment section of this blog?

    Many people post comments like yours and then never return to interact with other commenters, so I’d just like to make sure you’re listening.

  • David

    I read Dr. Backlund’s comments and since I am working in Leviticus for my dissertation it God my dander up. I assumed he was only doing a drive by so I posted a response on my blog concerning the different elements of ritual purity.


  • mike

    I agree with you Rev…. partially, it is true that at many points evangelicals will take those gray areas of scripture and apply dogmatic enforcement, to a particular interpretation. Forexample,there are those who say that women wearing makeup is a sin.

    I think however where your critique is unjustified is in those very clear areas of scripture. The Church’s relationship to the cerimonial law of Israel can be debated, however the idea of homosexual behavior cannot be defended by those who truly accept the Bible as the Word of the Living God. It can only be defended from those who pervert the social context of the scripture or those who openly ignore it’s truth.

    Though the word “liberal” is plastered upon every armenian by calvinists, and upon every Methodist by baptists, and by every baptist by every Church of Christ, and upon everyone period by 7th day Adventists, truly the word only correctly belongs on those who reject the authority of the scripture. Thus, “liberal” scholars define themselves by the rejection of the Bible as the perfect word of God. So where is the harm in simply re-stating what they have claimed for themselves?

    I suppose I don’t understand your logic, if I declare that I don’t believe Mormons are Christians, where is the offense if a Mormon restates for me that believe? And an even better question, why would someone else be upset for my possible offence?

    Anyway, Dr. Rev. I’m curious, you jump to the defense of those that openly ignore the Bible’s comands even though they retain the name “christian,” do you fancy yourself a Christian? And if you do, how do you justify the endorsement of Homosexual clergy from the scripture?


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