Last Tuesday, on the eve of the General Synod debate on marriage and same sex relationships, I was heading for the launch of OneBodyOneFaith (a merger of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement and Changing Attitude) when I saw this slogan on a poster on the Underground:
Take me as I am, or watch me as I go
We are only fully human when we forget to take ourselves seriously.The same goes for solemn occasions involving large numbers of serious individuals.
In fact, one could argue that serious individuals coalescing into solemn enclaves create what we call a self interested and self sustaining system. Systems are not fully human, and this week’s Church of England Synod gathering was an example of how inhuman systems can ultimately be their own undoing.
The debate continues. In my recent post about same-sex relationships I accused Susie Leafe, Director of Reform, of making five errors about the Bible. In the comments at the bottom of the post on my own website is a defence of Susie by Philip Almond and an invitation to continued dialogue.
I’m torn. Part of me feels angry that anyone should use such complicated systems to make the Bible mean what they want it to mean. The other part welcomes dialogue as our best hope of the two sides making progress. So I offer a general overview of the two most common ways to interpret the Bible, leaving to the end – as a kind of appendix – my detailed replies to Philip.
Proof-texting of Scripture is all too common in discussions of human sexuality, but its theological worth is rather limited.
The more so, when it is done incorrectly. This is not what the House of Bishops' recent publication on marriage and same sex relationships has done. In fact, this document makes explicit reference to Scripture only 5 times across its 19 pages of text. However, one of the Pauline passages used to introduce this report is based on an unfortunate misunderstanding of the Apostle.
The BBC’s Today programme this morning interviewed Simon Sarmiento and Susie Leafe on the Church of England House of Bishops’ recent report on same-sex partnerships. If you want to listen to it it’s here, 1:21:45 in.
Simon was very polite about the bishops, much more than I would have been, but this post is about Susie’s contribution. Susie is the Director of Reform. I apologise in advance for the bitchy nature of my critique, but I strongly believe people who misrepresent the Bible while claiming to be its most fervent supporters should not be allowed to get away with it.