Tuesday, May 22, 2007

+Cantuar On The Bible And Homosexuality

After the Archbishop of Canterbury’s public lecture ‘Public Religion and the Common Good’ at St Andrew’s Cathedral (Singapore, 12th May), there was a Q & A Session.


Q: In your opinion, what is the Bible’s view on homosexuality?

I’m surprised there’s only one question on this subject! The Bible tells us 3 significant things here, I think. First of all, the Bible begins by setting out a model of human relationship, human sexual relationship between man and woman in the Garden of Eden and that seems to be the model from which everything else is understood and seen as the Scripture unfolds. Second, in the law code of the Old Testament intercourse between man and man is described as something which is like ritually untouchable, it’s something that pagans do and Jews, the covenant people, don’t do it. Third, in the first chapter of Romans we have Paul taking for granted the argument that this is an example of human unfaithfulness to the order of nature. But I think those taken together explains why the Christian church has historically, thought as it has thought, reacted as it has reacted, to homosexuality. In the last 30 years or so, some Christians have raised the question of whether what we now see as the phenomenal of homosexuality in the world is exactly what the Bible has in view when it makes these prohibitions and these comments. And that is a debate that is by no means at an end yet. As you know, the position of the Anglican church is that corporately the Anglican church has not been persuaded let’s say to change the traditional view on this and that’s where our church stands. That I think is how the biblical view unfolds and I do want say in fairness to those who have raised questions in the last 30 years or so, not all of them want to overturn the authority of the Bible but are simply asking, "Have we got it right? Have we understood it right?" But it’s a long, painful discussion and you won’t need me to say to you at this juncture that some of us in position of leadership in the Anglican church feels the force of the debate very powerfully but also the importance of not rushing into a change that will divide us, that will increase our difficulties in ecumenical interfaith discussion.

Source: Global South Anglican

1 comment:

d.register said...

Upon reading this sincere response from Rowan Williams, I felt compelled to note one heterosexist view expressed in his three significant things the Bible tells us. Williams begins by citing the relationship between Adam and Eve as a foundational sexual model as illustrated in the Garden of Eden. He omits this point. God enjoyed a "relationship" with Adam in the Garden of Eden first. If this relationship was sexual or not we do not know. It was because Adam was still lonely (presumably the communion between a spiritual being and one of flesh and blood was not sufficiently comforting to allay Adam's loneliness) that God created another human (Eve) to be man's companion too. Contrary to Rowan Williams' comments, Adam and Eve did not have a sexual relationship until they were banished from Eden. I'm surprised this story has been "heterosexualized" somehow to justify that heterosexual relations are the only legitmate relationships. Rowan, get your story straight!