Elaboration on Theologian Ian Paul & Handling Homosexuality

I blogged several days ago about a post by Ian Paul, on his Psephizo blog: Excellent but: "The Bible and the Gay Debate | Psephizo"

I also posted it on a Facebook thread by theologian Robert Gagnon: https://www.facebook.com/robert.a.gagnon.56/posts/10154735647805045?comment_id=10154739275945045

Rob added that concerning Ian Paul's post I commented about: "Good essay (which, incidentally, is from last year) till the end. (Btw, I recommend Ian Paul's blog at Psephizo; he is a godly person with a good head on his shoulders; overall an excellent commentator on NT and church matters.)"

That prompted me to comment further and as follows:

I agree wholeheartedly with your statement about Ian Paul and his blog, Rob. In fact, in writing about his blog post and how he wrapped it up, I pondered whether he was simply stating an open-ended question that he actually answers elsewhere, which I believe he does and with the answer that the Church should neither accept nor affirm homosexuality in the common way that expression is used by so-called "accepting and affirming" denominations/churches. He is quite simply more politic than am I.

I freely admit that I am blunt and that the opposition finds me harsh. They have referred to my way of handling the issue as "bashing," though I've lessened the use of what is generally referred to as "hellfire and brimstone" language and they use that term "bashing" extremely loosely.

In reference to the main point in my earlier comment and using another (more recent) post from Ian's blog, which post is nothing short of excellent (he's highly intelligent, educated, and motivated), we see Ian zeroing in on the issue of homosexuals pushing the Church to completely accept homosexuality and homosexual "marriage" both as on par with heterosexuality and heterosexual marriage.

He writes as follows: [indented in this post, not in the Facebook comment]

"The key phrase here is ‘we are not prepared to wait’; nothing is more important than changing the Church’s teaching on this question—not the reputation of the Church, not relationship with bishops, not any consideration of those who hold a different view, not the Pilling process of facilitated conversations. There are no grounds for conversation or negotiation.

"Jeremy must have known in April that the new post was coming up. He was also well aware of the challenge to the bishops of his living in one diocese (whose bishop was likely unwilling to take disciplinary action) and working in another (whose bishop was more likely to). In the timing of his marriage, it is quite hard to see Jeremy as the hapless victim rather than as a well-planned campaigner.


"Perhaps the one good thing coming out of the dispute about same-sex marriage is the challenge to the Church of England: what, in fact, is the shared theological basis of our life together? The Church has been happy to duck this question, since answering it will have some painful consequences. But we are now at the stage when not answering it will be even more painful."


You'll note how Ian ends the post without emphatically stating what the Church should pronounce but that the body of the article and his other posts make clear where he comes down on the issue. I will remain a little more blunt than Ian, as I think that using that device so often will leave many people hanging or misbelieving that these things really are properly debatable, so to speak. In authentic Christianity, as far as I'm concerned, there is no debate. Only inauthentic, misled "Christians" want the debate and for the reasons suggested in Ian's post and my comment here.

Of course, the authentic theology must be presented and represented as often as necessary. We must stand for the truth even at the cost of our lives, as that will save our lives and the lives of those Christians who need to see Christians standing up together.

"For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it." (Luke 9:24 KJV) [red added]

"...I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6 KJV)


Tom Usher

To my point though is that I believe the homosexuals will fail to win the theological arguments and that people such as Canon Jeremy Pemberton will simply have to give up calling themselves Christians altogether or create a religion calling itself Christian but that is the result of a complete schism much deeper than that between Catholic (Roman and Anglo), Orthodox, Protestant, Radical Reformationist, etc.

[image added] My belief is that even if the homosexuals do form their self-styled "branch," it won't last. They will continue attempting to win the theological arguments but will always fail. That will simply see people leaving off calling themselves Christians.

It's all part of a great falling away.

"Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." (Matthew 7:14 KJV)

Tom Usher

About Tom Usher

Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.