A reply to Jim Naughton on his post Dan Martins and C-056
I do hope that no LGBT people fall into the trap of believing that they, here, are the targets of shame. This is not even remotely the case, and is evident if one examines Fr. Martins’ words (thanks to Fr. Fountain for finding them), or even if one quickly scans them.
The greatest condemnations in the New Testament are not about faulty teaching concerning sexuality; they are about bringing another gospel into the church. Teaching things such as, that Christ did not rise from the dead, or that whether He did or not is unimportant, and that this has rather to do with maintaining progressive ethical views, are much more reasonably considered instances of bringing another gospel into the church, than any teachings regarding sex, or any possible sex acts.
However, we Anglicans are in a situation regarding such denial of Christ like no other church in history; I know of no church claiming to be Trinitarian in which a leader at its highest level has uttered remarks going so far in denying the divinity of Christ and the resurrection as we have with one of our Primates. This is a sad truth which all Anglicans share, and we all live in a shared, communal condition of apostasy. It is this which fuels the greatest passion in the debate. From the beginning, the worry regarding sexual ethics was, that were we to embrace something which many consider to be contrary to Scripture, we would lose our very faith in Christ. Now, we have in a very significant sense lost this faith in Christ. If there is one thing of which we can be sure, I think it is: that this is by no means the fault of LGBT people.
All this, of course, makes almost everything else we do as a church seem trivial, including actions which emotionally wound, skew deliberative processes, or deceive – or anything any of us might say about sex, or even whatever kind of sex act any of us might engage in. Nonetheless, I have a few very, very trivial words about this most trivial issue.
A church in such a situation as ours is in a state much like a civil war. One finds one’s self doing irrational and unjust things, with unintended victims. Here, though Canon Naughton is such a staunch supporter of LGBT ministry, the LGBT people are the unintended victims of his own desire “to score debating points,” the very thing of which he accuses Fr. Martins. He claims even that Fr. Martins had no principled disagreement with the resolution: we would then conclude that Fr. Martins wishes simply to shame for the sake of shaming, without even any reason or cause; that a man who a diocese wishes to have as their bishop, sees fit to shame and stigmatize gay and lesbian people for no reason whatsoever.