Saint Paul makes it clear: homosexuality is not acceptable

Published June 1, 2003

Dear editor,

I agree with Bishop Terry Brown that condemnation is wrong (“Something is very wrong here,” May 2003). The Apostle Paul said, “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” However, I disagree when the bishop says that he sees “no law in Saint Paul” and “no law in Jesus Christ” against homosexuality. Saint Paul makes it very clear

Also, the Lord himself made it clear when he said, “But at the beginning of creation God made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore, what God has joined together, let man not separate.” (Mark 10:6-9 and Matthew 19:4-6)

If we, as Christians, believe in the authority of God’s Word, in the authority of the Lord Jesus and of the Apostle Paul, then we must recognize that homosexuality is a sin and is not acceptable.

Judy Brown


A new category

Dear editor,

I read Bishop Terry Brown’s letter with sadness. How do such similar life experiences end up in such different places? I am a Christian gay man yet I could not find myself included in any of Bishop Brown’s categories of people.

I do not believe I fit into the category of those who condemn him or who universalize their personal experience and want to impose it on all humanity yet I do believe in truth. I cannot be included with those who simply dismiss his experience because I do not dismiss his experience anymore than I dismiss my own very similar experience. I don’t fit among those who have a problem with bodily intimacy because I do not. I miss the touch of a man. Certainly I am not among those who have physical intimacy in marriage and yet deny it to others. I am not married and am doing my best to live a single and celibate life. Please don’t include me among those who have a problem with the lack of potential for procreation. Nor do I fit into the category of those who believe that previous knowledge and present church doctrine can be refuted by a quick and easy discussion of law versus grace. So, where do I fit in?

I think Bishop Brown has missed a category. I propose that we create a new category.

Can I have a category for those same-sex attracted men, and I know many, who believe that God has called them to live chastely and believe that God gives them the grace to do just that? Can this category include those who believe that God calls us all to obedience irrespective of our emotion? Can the people in this category be known as those who have had very similar experiences to Bishop Brown yet decided that the experience of human love does not negate the boundaries that God has placed on that love? Can we in this category be known as those who believe that God loves them so much that he doesn’t always give them what they desire, no matter how strongly that is felt, but rather gives them that which love dictates, that which is best for them?

Can this category include the gay Christian man who believes that the Bible is God’s word and that it is true as it ever was? Can we in this category inform ourselves by reading the gay affirmative theological works as well as the past and current works that support the traditional interpretations?

Can we in this category be those who believe that experience and love are vital determinants of human behaviour but not the only ones?

Can we assume that love and experience can’t be the only determinants of moral truth because if they are then all adult loving sexual relationships are approved including any combination or number of adult family and friends imaginable? Can we surmise that if love and experience are the only determinants of the appropriateness of relationships then such words as promiscuity cease to even exist since we no longer have a standard to define them? Can we believe that when each individual’s personal impression of love and experience define those terms then there is simply no longer any right or wrong except what any one person feels?

David Colpitts


What is right

Dear editor,

Absolutely, something is very wrong. Bishop Terry Brown says he is discussing a relational issue when in reality he is talking about human sexual behaviour, more clearly the sexual behaviour of a strong, politically connected minority.

Friendship and sexual expression are not inextricably linked. If one takes Bishop Brown’s reflection seriously there is nothing to prohibit a loving pedophilic relationship be it heterosexual or homosexual. I must say that Bishop Brown is wrong in his assertion and that the 1998 Lambeth Conference is right. We must continue to endorse the Church of England’s position in Issues in Human Sexuality; the Canadian house of bishops’ 1997 guidelines on human sexuality and the former Archbishop of Canterbury and the many Anglican bishops and primates Bishop Brown refers to. Bishop Brown is correct that what is right is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. There is no law against such things.” (Galatians 5:22-23). There is a law against homosexual behaviour, and he even refers to some of the scripturally grounded ones we as Anglicans subscribe to.

Norbert Haukenfrers

Kingston, Ont.

The question

Dear editor,

Bishop Terry Brown shows great courage and vulnerability is sharing his feelings and experience concerning homosexual relations.

In responding to the current debate within our church he dismisses as “simply wrong” the Lambeth Conference, the Canadian House of Bishops, the former Archbishop of Canterbury and most other Christian denominations and their unanimous interpretation of scripture. At the risk of seeming insensitive, this does beg the question, on what basis then do we as a church establish doctrine and morals?

Brian McVitty

Pickering, Ont.

A challenge

Dear editor,

After reading Bishop Brown’s opinion piece and the article “New West situation simmers” (May 2003) I was suspicious that it is the Anglican Journal‘s view that same-sex unions are to be accepted by the church.

I am also suspicious that this is what the senior leadership of the church wants us lay people to believe. To prove me wrong, I challenge the Journal to print a well-reasoned opposing opinion based on Scripture.

John Telgmann

Kingston, Ont.


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