There is a terrible hullabaloo going on right now over the alleged remarks of a bishop of Nigeria. I’m not sure this is doing anything right now but pouring gasoline on a fire. I hesitate to add more fuel, however something needs to be pointed out. First the article:
Sept. 2 (UPI) — Uyo, Sept. 2, 2007 (NAN) The Anglican Bishop of Uyo, Rt. Rev. Isaac Orama, has condemned the activities of homosexuals and lesbians, and described those engaged in them as “insane people”. “It is scaring that any one should be involved in a thing like that and I want to say that they will not escape the wrath of God,” he said. Orama told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) today in Uyo, that the practice, which has worsened over the years, was “unbiblical and against God’s purpose for creating man”. Homosexuals – 2 “Homosexuality and lesbianism are inhuman. Those who practice them are insane, satanic and are not fit to live because they are rebels to God’s purpose for man,” the Bishop said. He noted that the Anglican Church in Nigeria had continued to lead the fight against the practice especially in the US where it led the opposition to same sex marriages. “The aim of such fight is to provide a safe place for those who want to remain faithful Anglicans and Biblical Christians,” he explained.(NAN) NS/IFY/ETS
Many conservative, traditional folks [aka reasserters] have commented that the bishop’s words (if accurately quoted) should be repudiated and that he should be somehow punished. The most egregious of the comments is stating that “[homosexuals] are not fit to live…” I agree: That’s not acceptable.
But I’d like to take issue with the folks who continue to equate homosexual acts with homosexual persons. The bishop DID NOT SAY THAT HOMOSEXUALS ARE INHUMAN. According to the article the bishop said, quite accurately, that homosexual activity is inhuman. God has explained what human behavior looks like, and homosexual activity never factors into that. That’s why homosexual acts are always sinful. And that’s the difference between homosexuality and homosexuals.
Alcoholism is an example. An alcoholic has a condition which means s/he must not engage in the consumption of alcohol. Except for any latent attitudes and the psychological complications that usually attend, the alcoholic is not engaged in sinful behavior when not drinking. In the same way, homosexuals have a condition which means they must not engage in same sex activities.
A case in point: Gene Robinson may, in fact, have been called by God to become a bishop. However the rightness and efficacy of his ordination is marred through his unrepentant lifestyle and continued sinful behavior. Had he been celibate (and I’m skipping the whole part of his divorce…), he would have been acceptable. Whether he could now repent of his”lifestyle” and become celibate and be considered acceptable would be at the discretion of godly bishops.
I conclude be stating that any and all “living in sin” is insane. Those who persist will die. This is theological truth. However Scripture says ALL HAVE SINNED AND FALL SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD and THE WAGES OF SIN ARE DEATH. These are two statements which equally apply to me.
UPDATE: and now the retraction has come forth. I stand by the discussion above: I’m glad the bishop didn’t wish death or comment upon anyone’s unworthiness to live. I also believe that the wages of sin is death. read about it here.