Talk about Chutzpa!

The openly gay U.S. Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson recently had this to say about his fellow Anglicans who think homosexuality to be a sin.

“Why is the Anglican Communion tearing itself apart over two men wanting to make a Christian family together? . . . We have raised this one issue of sexuality over and above all the essentials. This is at best unhelpful — and at worst idolatry.”

Talk about chutzpa! The Bishop calls opposition to homosexuality “idolatry.” Yet the apostle Paul says exactly the opposite in Romans 1 where he says that homosexuality is idolatry (Romans 1:25-27).

This is what happens when biblical authority is abandoned. Anything goes.


  • Truth Unites... and Divides

    Bishop Robinson: “We have raised this one issue of sexuality over and above all the essentials. This is at best unhelpful — and at worst idolatry.”

    Dr. Al Mohler notes that there are two ordained women pastors who agree with Bishop Robinson

    “I’m tired of being part of a church that lacks integrity,” said the Rev. Janet Gollery McKeithen of Santa Monica’s Church in Ocean Park, who plans to conduct weddings for two gay couples in August and September. “I love my church, and I don’t want to leave it. But I can’t be part of a church that is willing to portray a God that is so hateful. I would rather be forced out.”


    “The Rev. Sharon Rhodes-Wickett of Claremont United Methodist Church joined a retired deacon from her congregation to co-officiate at the July 5 wedding of two longtime members, Howard Yeager and Bill Charlton. The wedding was held off site — at a Claremont complex for retired clergy and missionaries — to avoid violating the rule against such ceremonies in churches. Rhodes-Wickett, who led the Lord’s Prayer and gave a homily, said she hoped to avoid discipline by stopping short of actually pronouncing the couple married. That action was performed by the retired deacon, who also signed the marriage license. Rhodes-Wickett said she did not want Yeager and Charlton to leave her church to exchange vows. “This is my flock,” she said, adding that the men have been together 40 years, 22 of them as members of her Claremont congregation. “It’s a matter of integrity and a matter of what it is to be a pastoral ministry.”

    These two women are defying the very policies they are bound and committed to uphold. They sought and accepted ordination in their church knowing that these policies and doctrines were in place. They are defying their church, their doctrine, and the Bible. They pledged to uphold these doctrines, but now they defy them.”

    Read it all at Integrity — What’s in a word?

  • Paul

    The problem here, as I see it, is that BOTH sides are actually right here.

    Denny is right that holding onto sin, the way that homosexuals do, is idolotry.

    But the bishop is also right. Look at how many Christians are blinded by this issue, and put gay marriage well before other issues, like making sure that we treat the least of these the way we’d treat Jesus Himself.

    Heck, look on this very site. How many posts has Denny done about gay marriage, gay bishops, etc, etc, etc?

    Now, how many has he done about being charitable, loving your neighbor as you love yourself, etc, etc, etc?

    The ratio would be staggering.

    And to address TUAD’s point, I’ll say it this way…

    gay marriage is a civil rights issue.

    the priest/bishop dumb enough to perform the ceremony is a heretic.

  • David Hamilton

    I think that Dr. Burk would be equally outspoken against any pastors/bishops/etc. that were openly uncharitable, unloving, etc., etc., etc.

    However, unrepentance by shepherds is guaranteed to lead to unrepentance by the flock. The issue here is not whether homosexuality is a greater sin than others. The issue is that there is an unrepentant shepherd refusing to repent. Thank God for the man who boldly called Robinson to repentance, and thank God for Denny Burk reminding us that the Bible, and not Gene Robinson, is to be our guide!
    (and for sprinkling some Yiddish into our vocabularies!)

  • Darius

    David is exactly right. If we were in the 1950’s, homosexuality would be no more an issue than caring for the poor. It’s not a matter of one being worse than the other, but that the squeaky wheel is the first to get the grease. In other words, when we have pastors and politicians fighting to condone a sinful act like homosexuality, Christians will primarily discuss that since you don’t find many pastors or politicians telling us to stop caring for the poor or that it is idolatrous to care for a needy person.

  • Brian (Another)

    Or, if there be any Weird Al fans, Oy gevalt, I’m so ferklempt that I could plotz.

    But on topic, similar to the use of the word “integrity” (see the Dr. Mohler post), this is a poisonous heretical view within the church. I would say that Dr. Burk is treating it (along with other topics) with appropriate magnitude. I suppose just an “I agree” to go along with David’s comment.

    Along that lines, Mark Driscoll had a sit-down with J.I. Packer on this subject. To tie it all together, I’ll cheat and use Driscoll’s words:
    “[Dr. Packer] explained in great detail that he perceives the approval of homosexuality to be ‘heretical’ because it denies a fundamental aspect of the gospel—namely repentance…
    …Packer was clear that those who do not call Christians to repent of homosexual activity are, as Scripture says, ‘deceived.'”

    I agree with that statement. Thus, I think Dr. Burk is calling attention to a fundamental aspect of the gospel. On a side note, Paul, I know you agree with the heretic part (esp. given your statement). Just saying that this is a fundamental part of Christ’s message that is hard pressed to get “too much attention”. Blinded by the specific issue, I can see it (for some), but Dr. Burk’s posts are never anti-gay rants (showing the sinful side of Pharisaical pride).

  • Romans 11:33-36

    Completely agree. Like 2 Peter 3:16 says, when speaking of Paul’s letters “There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction” . That is exactly what this “bishop” is doing, twisting the scriptures to his own destruction.

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