Friday, September 24, 2004

Some Clarifications from yesterday's post.

After a conversation with my wife last night I think I need to clarify some things. Spong was talking about Archbishop Rowan Williams' decision to ask Jeffrey John to remove himself from consideration of Bishop of Reading in the Church of England before he was ordained to his seat, even though Johns is a celibate gay male. I couldn't disagree more with Williams' decision because it violates every statute within the Church of England relating to homosexual behaviour and same-sex relationships. Gays and lesbians can serve in ordained postions as long as they remain celibate. Jeffrey John certainly meets this criteria.

Whether one agrees or disagrees with this position (The Issue itself is another debate, right now I'm concerned with church governance), this is where it stands and it was wrong for Williams to remove John from consideration to such an important post.

But perhaps most troubling, Williams has opened up a big can of theological worms surrounding the ontological foundation of the human person. In other words, he was saying that not just the behaviour or relationships contradict church teaching, but the very act of being homosexual is contrary to revelation (scripture, reason, and tradition - the three-legged stool in the C of E.). So just being homosexual, according to this astonishing precedent, is grounds for being passed over to important church posts.

Within the Anglican Communion this theology is found only within the radical wing of the conservative side, the loudest group that speaks on this issue and unfortunately the part of the Church of England to which Williams capitulated. To suggest that one is lacking some fundamental and personal characteristic for high office simply because of homosexual orientation is a modernist heresy and needs to be exposed as such. No one is more (or less) ontologically sinful than another. We all cling to the same cross for our salvation. Williams knows all of this, which is why it is so regrettable that he made the decision he did.

But I still think that Spong's Ad Hominem remarks do not help the debate one iota.

No comments: