The Full Text of the Archbishop of Wales' Address on Same-sex Relationships and the Bible

In the New Testament too, some of the passages often cited are not about loving, committed, faithful relationships between people of the same sex, but about pederasty and male prostitution. But all that apart, and given that each of the passages purported to be about homosexuality can be interpreted in more than one way, we come to the fundamental question as to whether taking the Bible as a whole, we can come to the same conclusions about committed, faithful, loving, same-sex relationships as we did about slavery.

We are not thereby abandoning the Bible but trying to interpret it in a way that is consistent with the main thrust of the ministry of Jesus, who went out of His way to minister to those who were excluded, marginalised, and abandoned by His society because they were regarded as impure and unholy by the religious leaders of His day, either because of their gender, age, morality or sexuality. Taking Holy Scripture seriously means paying attention to Jesus’ ministry of inclusivity.

And all of that without bringing into the reckoning what we now know about same-sex attraction in terms of psychology and biology and the experience of homosexual people. And surely if God is the creator, He reveals Himself to us through new knowledge and insights so that, for example, we no longer believe the world was created in six days. As I have tried to show, in the Bible there are a number of totally different perspectives on the same issue. What was responsible for this shift was a growth in understanding about the issue in question.

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of Wales, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture, Wales

4 comments on “The Full Text of the Archbishop of Wales' Address on Same-sex Relationships and the Bible

  1. dwstroudmd+ says:

    The reckoning we have now of the beginning of human life hasn’t affected attitudes toward abortion, so just why is it the (falsely) alleged different modern understanding should affect this issue?

    There is no gay gene. The activity has not changed. The Scripture has not changed. The Church’s understanding nor teaching for two millenia has not changed. The Jewish understanding from two thousand years prior to that has not changed.

    This new revelation, Bishop Morgan, comes from where?

  2. Fisher says:

    The Archbishop wrote, “The stories of Sodom and Gomorrah for example, associated with homosexuality and which have given rise to the pejorative word “Sodomite”, is [b]in fact[/b] about an abuse of hospitality and what one writer calls “an attempted gang rape by a mob against two outsiders who are Lot’s guests”. Indeed Ezekiel says Lot’s relatives were punished primarily because they refused to help the poor and needy.” (emphasis mine)

    Since the Archbishop has claimed to have taken “seriously what the Bible has to say in trying to discern the will of God” it is fair to point out three other passages in addition to Ezekiel 16:49 about Sodom not helping the poor and needy. Although absent from his address, these passages are “in fact” and indeed, particularly relevant to his chosen topic.

    First, Ezekiel 16 also describes the behavior of Sodom as detestable, depraved, and vile. Ezekiel’s point is that God’s own people who were behaving more sinfully than those in Sodom would “bear the consequences of your lewdness and detestable practices” (Ezekiel 16:58). This is in addition to whatever abuses of hospitality occurred when Lot and his family stayed in ancient Sodom.

    Second, when Jude described the sin of ancient Sodom and Gomorrah he named it as “sexual immorality and perversion.” His point was that ungodly people were facing God’s judgment because they polluted their own bodies and rejected authority (Jude 7-8). I leave it to the Archbishop to explain how the refusal to help the poor and needy actually pollutes the body and is a rejection of authority.

    Third, the Apostle Peter described the inhabitants of ancient Sodom and Gomorrah as ungodly, depraved in conduct and lawless. In light of this, the Lord knows how to rescue his own godly people from trials and to hold for punishment the unrighteous, those who follow the corrupt desire of the flesh, those who despise authority, the bold and the arrogant (2 Peter 2:6-10). Again, the failure to show hospitality does not fully explain the force of Peter’s exhortations to the godly.

    I am [b]not[/b] claiming that the sins of ancient Sodom and Gomorrah are equivalent to all homosexual practices today. I am merely pointing out that one does not take the Bible seriously as one seeks to discern the will of God by failing to carry all of the most obvious and relevant parts of the Bible on the topic at hand into the discussion. This should be self-evident to all, especially those who take the special care, time, study and conversation to be spiritually discerning. The Archbishop’s omission of the rest of Ezekiel 16, 2 Peter, and Jude is at best naive and at worst deliberate. In all fairness it does not deserve to be called “discerning.”

    Surely the will of God before the people of God rests on the scriptural testimony behind us. The Bible describes that “great a salvation” which we must not ignore lest we imperil ourselves.

    In the words of another biblical text (also not cited by the Archbishop of Wales), “We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, [b]to what we have heard[/b], so that we do not drift away” (Hebrews 2:1).

    In the challenging work of discernment, let us all strive to do better than what the Archbishop of Wales has done in his 2016 presidential address. With God’s help, we can and we must.

  3. Milton says:

    [blockquote]This new revelation, Bishop Morgan, comes from where?[/blockquote]

    dwstroudmd+, I think we know from where.

    1 Timothy 4:1-2 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron

  4. BlueOntario says:

    I recollect from the Bible, at Matthew 4:17, say, that Jesus’s “main thrust” was repentance. To say he was inclusive of those committing sin doesn’t do right to Jesus’s expressions of righteousness and subservience to God and his commandments. In the same way one doesn’t fix a problem by ignoring it, he came to us while we were yet sinners. Not to ignore our sins, but to cleanse us and bring us forward to God as we recognized how filthy, lost, and weak we are.

    I would ask the Archbishop to dwell on the fourth verse of Matthew 4 a bit, were I to meet him.