So The Very Reverend Kelvin Holdsworth, provost of St Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow, has urged people to pray for Prince George ‘to be blessed one day with the love of a fine young gentleman’. This, he thinks, would eventually help move the Church of England into a position where it would allow gay couples to marry (which his own church – the Scottish Episcopal Church – voted in favour of earlier this year).
The Church of England has excused itself from commenting, since Mr Holdsworth is not a member of the C of E. …
‘Diversity’ and ‘inclusion’ are today’s great buzz-words.
Jesus, it is claimed, accepted everyone ‘just as they are’, and so should we.
But, actually, it’s not quite as simple as that.
Certainly, Jesus preached (and practised) inclusion. His invitation was astonishingly wide: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). “All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away” (John 6:37). …
When advocates of same-sex relationships seek to build a biblical case for their point of view, what are the main arguments they advance, and how might we respond to these?
1. ‘It’s different when you get to know gay people personally’
Some people change their views about homosexual behaviour when they get to know gay people personally. Now it’s very important to us to get to know fellow-sinners of all stripes. And we are much less likely to demonise people once we find that they too are human beings and not just ‘objects’. …
If people don’t like what the Bible teaches, they may try one of a number of strategies designed to blunt its impact.
Applied to the thorny issue of same-sex behaviour, it can work like this:-
‘The Bible has been misinterpreted’. Sodom is not about homosexuality, but about inhospitality. Romans 1 is not about committed, loving same-sex relationships but about exotic and exploitative sexual behaviour.
‘The Bible is wrong’. The Scriptures do indeed teach that homosexual behaviour is sinful, but we must work with the Bible’s underlying principles and values, re-applying them to changing times and situations.
The Plausibility Problem: the Church and Same-Sex Attraction. By Ed Shaw, IVP, 2015.
As others have pointed out, this is not just a book for those who experience same-sex attraction. It is a book for all of us, calling everyone back to biblical faithfulness and radical discipleship.
The basis of Ed Shaw’s argument is that the orthodox Christian view on same-sex attraction (“Just say no”) is implausible. Why on earth would we deny sexual intimacy to those who are attracted to members of their own sex? …
I wouldn’t normally expect a satirical news show to make a point defending Christians (who, after all, are regarded as such soft targets for ridicule). So I was surprised, and pleased, when Ian Hislop did precisely that on last night’s Have I Got News For You.
Judges in Northern Ireland have recently found a bakery business, run by Christians, guilty of discrimination for refusing to bake a cake that carried a pro-gay slogan.
Hislop simply asked what the outcome would be if a bakery run by Moslems was asked to bake a cake with a depiction of Mohammed on it.…
I trust that all decent people – straight or gay, religious or non-religious – will be appalled by the treatment meted out to street preacher John Craven. In fact, it was gratifying to read the comments of Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society, who said that street preachers should be able to “make whatever point they want”, so long as they are not provoking “violence or mayhem”.
As reported by the BBC, Mr Craven was preaching about salvation when he approached by two teenage boys, who asked him about his views on homosexuality. …
Justice is often assumed to be the same as equality. We treat people with justice, it is argued, when we treat them equally.
But it’s not quite as simple as that. Even in a court of law, two criminals may have commited exactly the same crime, and yet each receive a different punishment, because the judges see that different circumstances and motives apply.
Similarly in the home. If two children are fighting, a parent may send them to their bedroom as a punishment. …