Friday, August 08, 2008

Breaking News! Rowan Williams (A of C) morally and spiritually clueless!

...or, at least he was a few years back, according to The Times Online.

The Times has some letters from eight years ago revealing that Archbishop Williams "described his belief that biblical passages criticising homosexual sex were not aimed at people who were gay by nature."

That report in itself, if accurate, is damning enough. Like all the rest, it reveals that Williams isn't coming from Biblical revelation in his view of the world; he's coming to Scripture with his worldview.

A robust, full-Biblical anthropology would step back and realize that all people are sinners by nature (cf. Romans 1:18-32; Ephesians 2:1ff.; etc.). That a thing comes "naturally" to any given sinner says something about the sinner, but nothing about the thing. Hollywood to the contrary notwithstanding, the test of an act's morality is not what we feel in our heart, but what God feels in His heart, and what God has said with His mouth.

Homosexuality is not sinful because we reason it to be, nor neutral because we reason it to be. It is wicked because God says it to be.

But such thinking is lost on Dr. Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, who says
I concluded that an active sexual relationship between two people of the same sex might therefore reflect the love of God in a way comparable to marriage, if and only if it had about it the same character of absolute covenanted faithfulness.
It does not trouble Dr. Williams that God had concluded the contrary.

As a further sample of the reasoning of the man to whom so many Anglicans look up as their leader,
In his 1989 essay The Body’s Grace, Dr Williams argued that the Church’s acceptance of contraception meant that it acknowledged the validity of nonprocreative sex. This could be taken as a green light for gay sex.
Reasoning from one human viewpoint to another apparently takes the place of Biblical exegesis. By contrast, here's how a disciple of Christ "does ethics":

God nowhere defines the sole purpose of marital relations as the production of children; God everywhere defines homosexual activity as abhorrent.

Reason from that.

I wasn't raised as a Christian. Denominational loyalty ├╝ber alles has always been lost on me. I became a Christian because I was convinced that Christ was true, and the Bible His word. Church selection has always — always — been primarily a matter of finding (or pastoring) bodies genuinely committed to those propositions.

I simply cannot imagine promoting the interests of a hierarchical organization such as the Anglican church, which prizes organizational unity, that is for all intents and purposes apostate, and is led by apostates.


Daniel said...

I can't say I am surprised.

We are not ignorant of the way the devil tempted our first ancestors: Did God *really* say? Has not our enemy ever since churned out the same bile from the same fount? The best way to lead a sincere person into darkness is to convince that person that the darkness is light. Anyone who is so deceived is deceived in deed.

Carl said...

Can the CoE impeach or remove the AoC? If so, how?

Jay said...

I don't know if you've ever heard of or read Peter Ould but you really should. He's been covering the craziness going on in the Anglican Communion for quite some time and he's usually very spot-on.

He's definitely one of my favorite bloggers (and I don't just say that because he links to my posts... though I'll admit that helps). :-) (I can't figure out how to hyperlink words on here)

trogdor said...

I'd be interested to hear the rest of his reasoning on homosexuality, in a car wreck sort of way. If the Biblical warnings don't apply to "people who were gay by nature," who, exactly, is left? Are we to believe the Bible only condemns it if the person takes time to gather the research, makes a list of pros and cons, weighs the options, and decides "Yes, I will now become a homosexual!"? That would be swell to hear him expand on this, because some of my favorite bad interpretations are those which relegate severe and repeated warnings to the realm of the hypothetical.

I also don't get the seeming obsession over denominational loyalty. Are we really that eager to return to Rome? Like so many things, this is such a fine line to walk. On the one hand you have so many with no respect for authority and no concept of orthodoxy, and on the other you have those who unquestioningly follow the denominational leader in perfect lockstep. It seems there's no teaching so good that people go to extremes on either side and make a total mess of it.