THOUGHTS OF A FRUITCAKE: By Carolyn Aldis
So, last week Anglican bishops met to discuss the disagreement in the Church of England over same-sex marriage. Over 100 senior Anglicans sent an open letter beforehand, urging the Church of England to repent for “discriminating” against lesbian and gay Christians, saying the Church had not loved them, treating them like “second class citizens”.
This is true. Homosexual people have been treated appallingly over the years by the Church. However, the decision of the Episcopal Church in the US to recognise same-sex marriage by appointing an openly gay bishop without consulting other bishops was in conflict with the Anglican’s view on the teaching of scripture that “upholds marriage as between a man and a woman.” This caused the Archbishop of Canterbury to impose sanctions.
I was pleasantly surprised by this step, as there has been an erosion of Biblical views of marriage and same-sex relationships from within the Christian world and anybody who disagrees with them is called “empty of love” and “homophobic”. You only have to look at discussions online about homosexuality to see comments “empty of love” from both sides.
Homophobia means “a hatred or fear of homosexuals”. I don’t hate or fear gay people…I just don’t agree with their lifestyle choice. In the same way I don’t hate or fear people who commit adultery…I just don’t agree with their lifestyle choice.
There seems to be an unwritten rule that the church has to cater for everybody, regardless of their beliefs, values or sexual preferences.
When I go to a pub, I don’t expect them to stop selling alcohol just because I don’t like seeing people get drunk…I might not agree with everything a supermarket chooses to stock, but it doesn’t stop me shopping there…I accept that they sell products that aren’t my thing. There are rules, laws, cultures and customs in our lives that we have to abide by. The Church has its “handbook for life” and that is what its teachings are based on.
Even Jesus dealt with things in His religion that He probably didn’t agree with…He paid taxes, even though He owned the world…He read the Law, even though He wrote and fulfilled it …the Pharisees told Him to do things their way, when He was THE way. The woman caught in adultery wasn’t condemned by Him, even though she had done wrong…Jesus loved her, but instead of endorsing her lifestyle, he offered the opportunity to start again.
Homosexuals are not the only victims that feel second-class…anybody of any background experiences second-class citizenship at some point in their lives. Even Jesus got second-class treatment. Though I tick all the boxes of white, heterosexual, married and Christian, I notice that although I’m part of that apparently privileged majority, I too am “missed out”, overlooked, don’t qualify, or told I can’t take part for one reason or another. Inequality affects everybody, just in different ways. Even Jesus was affected by inequality.
I accept my views may differ to others, but we are entitled to give our opinions, and then trust those in authority to make decisions. In this case, I think they made the right one…