Thursday, 19 April 2007

Robert Gagnon critiques Williams' take on Romans 1

Partly what this boils down to is this: Williams does not regard homosexual practice as a particularly significant sexual offense, if even an offense at all. (I have read in the press that he may have moderated or even changed some of his earlier strong support for homosexual practice but the evidence for such a change is at best conflicting.) For I can’t imagine Williams arguing that it would be inappropriate for the church to split over the issue of, say, ordaining bishops who were in committed sexual bonds with a parent, full sibling, or adult child. I suspect that in such a context he would never introduce issues such as ‘judgmentalism’ or self-righteousness or divisiveness on the part of those who opposed ordination of such. Yet neither he nor anyone else who talks in this way has made a convincing case that Paul would have viewed loving and committed same-sex intercourse involving people “oriented” to such behavior as a significantly lesser offense than adult, consensual, and loving incest of the first order. Until he or anyone else makes such a convincing case, no basis exists for arguing that severing ties with a schismatic Episcopal Church of the United States of America would be an unfaithful, self-righteous, and anti-Pauline act. Indeed, the truly anti-Pauline act would be a business-as-usual approach to a renegade body that endorses sexual immorality among its leaders. Read more

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