As a former professional photographer, I “rate” the above photograph. I won’t bore you with the details of how the photographer took the shot but suffice it to say, it took skill and knowledge.
Today, there is a report here:
that suggested that the Church of England might be “coming from together” on the issues surrounding homosexuality.
This a particular pot has been boiling for some time now and funnily (“funny peculiar” not “funny Ha Ha”) enough it did not start with the issue of male homosexuality. On the issue of sexual behaviour it started with the issue of something called “fornication.”
Now for many of our readers who have the experience of their 30th birthday to come, we will probably have to explain just what “fornication” is. Fornication is having sexual intercourse with a person of the opposite sex when both parties are not married. Where one or both of the parties is married the act is called adultery although in circumstances where a party is not married and genuinely does not know the other party is married, that – so far as that party is concerned, is fornication.
Now, fornication has been a morally proscribed act since time immemorial. It was been regarded “as something you don’t do” since the days when the Old Testament was written.
Of course that has not stopped countless numbers of human beings doing it over the millennia. There have been times in this country’s history when the rulers were well known for transgressing these particular boundaries. Prominent examples are of course the Stuart Kings, James I and Charles II. In the case of James I there were “relations” with other men and with Charles II there was the numerous examples of his adultery.
“So, what has changed?” we here some of our readers ask.
At no time throughout their reigns did either of the monarchs mentioned – King James I and King Charles II – ever set out to change the traditional Christian teaching on these issues. Both men relied on the promise that those who genuinely repent of their sins shall have these sins, “expunged from their record” so to speak.
The paradigm shift occurred after WW2 in what was called “the permissive society” of the 1960s when what was called “sexual liberation” “kicked off.” One of the developments that encouraged this was the wider availability of contraceptives and most significantly “the [contraceptive] pill.”
Remember Mrs Mary Whitehouse?
Traditionally, a bride was expected to be “virgo intacta” on her wedding day.
That men and women have extra marital relations is not new. It is VERY common today and has to a greater or lesser extent always been so. What however has changed is that extra marital relations has become the new norm. Furthermore those who would suggest that this state of affairs is wrong and should be changed would be commonly denounced as bigots and religious fundamentalists who belong to a previous era. So far as homosexuality is concerned, the movement to make this respectable started first with making it legal, then to paraphrase an old (now politically incorrect) Dave Allen joke, popular.
This has now culminated in what is now called “same sex marriage” which is of course a contradiction in terms.
Of course, to say that this is a contradiction in terms will immediately put you in the category as being “intolerant” and “small minded.”
I remember as a small boy my late mother commenting that we were fortunate to live in a country where Christians were not persecuted. I do not remember the date but this would have been in the mid sixties. Sadly, this is now no longer the case as the example of Mike Overd has shown.
The strange thing is this: How some of the clerics in the Church of England AND other churches have become so confused over all this. Clearly the most obvious thing to do is to look to scripture and ask what the Good Lord had to say on these subjects.
He was in fact quite clear about it!
Herewith some relevant text from the King James bible:
Matthew Chapter 5: Verse 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Verse 17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. Verse 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Verse 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew Chapter 15: Verse 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: Verse 20 These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.
Matthew Chapter 19: Verse 4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, Verse 5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Verse 6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
One is forced to ask the question: What part of the above do Christian leaders NOT understand?
The point that has to be made is this: that abiding by the above standards is tough and for many, very tough!
Let us remind ourselves of two lines in the Lord’s prayer;
“Lead us not into temptation…
And deliver us from evil…”
It is obvious that “temptation” differs in both quality (being the nature of) and quantity from person to person. For we blokes, let us cite a somewhat crude and obvious example. Imagine you are on a business trip and staying the night in a large luxury hotel. You are in the bar, it is fairly early in the evening and you notice the young lady below.Now ask yourself this question?
How likely would it be for this lady to be, let us say, “extremely interested” in you?
Clearly, where there is no let us say, “expression of interest” – “actual” (not imagined) temptation is not there.
Now at this point many readers will want to jump on the Editor and will point out this organ’s “liberal” proposals towards prostitution.
We would however point out that we do not regard prostitution as moral but take the view that it is important to regard it as a public health issue as well as an issue of exploitation and set out to tackle these aspects of “the trade”.
The British Gazette is extremely concerned that what passes as perfectly acceptable behaviour by seemingly the majority of the British Public is so far removed from traditional Christian teachings. That there are those in Christian churches who wish to embrace this, let us say, relaxed and liberal attitude towards “lifestyle choices” is more concerning still.
For more on this topic we would heartily recommend the following blog:
http://www.sanitys-cove.com/ from the busy fingers of Joshua D Jones.