Monday, June 19, 2006

U.S. Episcopal Church Elects Pro-Homosexual Female Leader

On Sunday, Katherine Jefferts Schori was elected leader of the 2.3 million members of the U.S. Episcopal Church. Since she previously supported the ordination of Gene Robinson as bishop, it's not surprising that, when asked if practicing homosexuality is a sin, she answered "no"...but pay attention to her choice of words: "I don't believe so. I believe..."

Are you willing to stake eternity on what she believes? Romans 1 does not refer to the practice of homosexuality as a "gift" (she does) but as shameful, unnatural, indecent, and perverted and warns against approving of it. The same passage of scripture condemns greed, gossip, insolence, disobedience to parents - and says that those who practice such sins deserve death. (To be clear, that kind of judgment is God's to execute, not ours.) I Corinthians 7 calls homosexuality "wicked" - along with adultery, greed, and drunkenness. Just as the church warns against these other harmful attitudes and behaviors, we must uphold God-ordained marriage and proclaim His perspective (not hers) on all other sexual relationships.

According to the Reuters article,

Asked how she reconciled her position on homosexuality with specific passages in the Bible declaring sexual relations between men an abomination, Jefferts Schori said the Bible was written in a very different historical context by people asking different questions.

"The Bible has a great deal to teach us about how to live as human beings. The Bible does not have so much to teach us about what sorts of food to eat, what sorts of clothes to wear -- there are rules in the Bible about those that we don't observe today," she said.

Her remark reveals either an ignorance of the purpose of Levitical law or a disregard for the authority of the Creator over his creation (or both). Israel was indeed required to follow strict dietary code - most likely for their own physical protection against disease. But those restrictions were lifted in Acts 10-11 when God declared all foods (and believers of all nations) clean. Jesus Himself had already pronounced (in Matthew 15, where He also foretells the destination of blind guides and their followers) that "What goes into a man's mouth does not make him unclean, but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him unclean." His teaching is repeated in Romans 14, where Paul teaches that "the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit."

To question God's condemnation of homosexuality, to compare it to dietary restrictions simply because both are mentioned in Leviticus, one must ignore His consistent position on homosexuality (and the entire moral law) in every age. Christians must teach this truth, not because we consider homosexuality an especially depraved sin, but because we must declare the whole counsel of God. We all sin, but the first steps toward salvation are to acknowledge God as Creator, to acknowledge His righteous law as good for us, to acknowledge that we fall short and that sin is destructive both in this life and in the one to come.

Ms. Jeffers Schori prefers and promotes her own wisdom in place of God's Word. Galatians 1 teaches that a different gospel is really no gospel at all, even if it were delivered by angels. As it becomes more and more socially unacceptable to speak truth, we must determine to please God and not men.