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Episcopal bishops object to same-sex spouses’ disinvitation to global conference

Bishops prepare for a group photo during the 2008 Lambeth Conference at the University of Kent in Canterbury. Photo by Scott Gunn/ACNS

LONDON (RNS) — Three bishops from the Episcopal Diocese of New York have written an open letter to their clergy and parishioners to express their dismay at a request by the archbishop of Canterbury that two gay bishops not bring their spouses to the Anglican Communion’s Lambeth Conference in July of 2020.

The letter also explains why, despite consideration of boycotting the meeting, all three New York bishops will attend. “We have concluded that we cannot in conscience remove the voice of the Diocese of New York from the larger conversations at Lambeth,” the letter reads, “regarding sexuality and the inclusion of LGBTQ people in the full sacramental life of the church.”

The Lambeth Conference convenes bishops from the worldwide Anglican Communion once a decade in Canterbury, England. The issue of homosexuality has dominated the last two gatherings, exposing deep differences between bishops from the global South and the U.S. and Canada.

The Rev. Canon Mary Glasspool smiles following her ordination and consecration ceremony on May 15, 2010, in Long Beach, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

One of the two sitting bishops affected by Archbishop Welby’s decision, Mary Glasspool, is an assistant bishop in the New York diocese. The first lesbian to be named a bishop in the Anglican Communion, she is married to Becki Sander. Kevin Robertson, suffragan bishop since 2016 in the Toronto diocese of the Church of Canada, married his longtime partner, Mohan Sharma, in December. The husband of Rev. Thomas Brown, slated to be consecrated as a bishop in the diocese of Maine in June, will also not be invited.

The letter was signed by Glasspool as well as Bishop Andrew L. Dietsch and the diocese’s suffragan bishop, Allen K. Shin.

The archbishop of Canterbury reportedly contacted Glasspool before Christmas to inform her of his position and express his regret at the pain it may cause.

Robertson told Religion News Service he was profoundly disappointed but not surprised to learn that Sharma was not invited to the conference. He said he was grateful to have had a 20-minute meeting with Archbishop Welby in London last month. “The archbishop said to me that if he invited same-sex spouses to the Lambeth Conference there wouldn’t be a conference at all. I think he felt that it would be a step too far for some of the bishops if they were to attend.”

The decision came to public attention when Anglican Secretary General Josiah Idowu-Fearon posted the news on the communion’s website in mid-February. “The invitation process has needed to take account of the Anglican Communion’s position on marriage which is that it is the lifelong union of a man and a woman,” he wrote, citing Resolution 1.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference.

“Given this,” the post said, “it would be inappropriate for same-sex spouses to be invited to the conference.”

Idowu-Fearon said it was up to individual provinces to appoint their own bishops, and, therefore, all bishops currently serving in the Anglican Communion were being invited to the conference, an allusion to the fact that Gene Robinson, the former bishop of New Hampshire and first openly gay and partnered bishop in the Anglican Communion, had been barred from the last Lambeth Conference in 2008.

Simon Sarmiento, chair of the Church of England advocacy group LGBTI Mission, said, “It is bizarre to invite same-sex married bishops while excluding their spouses. This action fails on every count. It will be seen in England as pure homophobia, and it will do nothing to appease those bishops who refuse to view same-sex relationships as anything other than sinful.”

“I wonder who the archbishop would uninvite if he was serious about the Anglican Communion’s opposition to homophobia,” Sarmiento added.

The decision has provoked soul searching among some liberal-leaning bishops. Paul Bayes, the bishop of Liverpool, announced on Twitter that his wife would decline her invitation to the conference in an act of solidarity with gay spouses.

“I deeply regret that in the fractious complexities of our life as a worldwide people this act of exclusion has taken place,” said Bayes. “It is a grief to me and to my wife and to many others. Despite this I aim to attend the conference, alone, in the hope of a common future.”

The New York bishops stressed that they are attending as representatives of their flocks. While the letter says the topic will “occupy some of our time” when the American church’s bishops meet in North Carolina later this month, they wrote, “We go to Lambeth so that you will be at Lambeth.”

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby listens to debate at the General Synod in London on Feb. 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

Many bishops belonging to the traditionalist Global Anglican Future Conference, known as GAFCON, have already decided to boycott the conference to protest the fact that Episcopal Church USA, the Church of Canada and the Scottish Episcopal Church have voted to allow same-sex marriage in recent years. No bishops from Rwanda, Nigeria or Uganda will be attending Lambeth 2020, and many from other African, Asian and South American provinces are also expected to stay away.

Canon Andrew Symes, executive secretary of Anglican Mainstream, which calls itself a “voice for orthodox Anglican faith,” said the archbishop of Canterbury faced an unavoidable dilemma once the Episcopal Church approved same-sex marriage.

“Despite promises that there would be ‘consequences’ for this, they never materialized,” Symes said. “The liberal churches continued their program, causing further division with those with more conservative views.”

Symes continued, “The problem is not primarily with individuals, but a church leadership culture which has gone against what the Anglican Communion has decided and developed a different understanding of Christian teaching.

“Not inviting spouses addresses the problem in the wrong way and penalizes individuals. This situation is inevitable when large, powerful churches disregard the historic teaching from the Bible which they have inherited, and the democratic view of the Church as a whole.”

Bishop Robertson said he will also attend the conference, but no decision has yet been taken about whether Sharma will accompany him to Canterbury. “He would be peering in from the outside, and that would be difficult for him and for me and for many other people.”

The New York delegation’s letter makes it clear that all three bishops’ spouses will go to England, even though Sander “will not be permitted to participate in the Lambeth conversations and activities,” the letter reads, adding, “Margaret Dietsche and Clara Mun are also planning to go to England, to stand with Becki.”

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  • It is a typically conservative response to shut down the conversation by saying to enemies, essentially:

    We refuse to engage with you in any way, shape, or form, including socializing with you and breaking bread with you, unless and until you submit entirely to our way of thinking. We will also use any power at our disposal to ban your very presence from our midst until you do. You’re welcome to join us once you’ve come around to our way of thinking.

    Somehow I can’t imagine Jesus endorsing this – after all, he dined with prostitutes and tax collectors.

  • To be fair no spouses should be invited.

    On the otherhand….the same sex spouses should still go to the conference. ONLY by seeing and meeting and talking with others will the prejudice be erased.

  • To the episcopal homophobes: “Wah, wah, wah. If I don’t get my way, I’m taking my marbles home.”

    The future church of inclusion is not coming.

    It is here.

    Get used to it.

    Or burrow into your cocoons and pretend, unlike Jesus, you are not here.

    “I was a stranger, and you welcomed me” (Mt 25:35).

  • I dare these three fake Episcopal bishops from New York to show up in this forum.

    Oh no, no snarkiness from me, even though these guys are faker than a 3-dollar bill and should be made to pay the processing fees for their own Excommunication. I just want them to show up and

  • According to Anglican Ink, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby pleaded privately with the three bishops in “same sex marriages”: “if I invite your spouses to the Lambeth Conference, there won’t be a Lambeth Conference.”

    In 1998, after a titanic struggle with the Communion bureaucracy, the Global South pushed through Resolution I.10 on Human Sexuality by a vote of 526 to 70.

    https://churchsociety.org/issues_new/ethics/sexuality/Iss_ethics_sexuality_lambeth-1-10.asp

    which included these words:

    “…

    * while rejecting homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture, calls on all our people to minister pastorally and sensitively to all irrespective of sexual orientation and to condemn irrational fear of homosexuals, violence within marriage and any trivialisation and commercialisation of sex;

    *cannot advise the legitimising or blessing of same sex unions nor ordaining those involved in same gender unions; …”

    The Episcopal Church then departed from the standard of teaching on human sexuality accepted by the Communion with Resolution 1.10 by consenting to the episcopal election of a candidate living in a same-sex relationship, and by permitting Rites of Blessing for same-sex unions. The episcopal ministry of a person living in a same-sex relationship is not acceptable to the majority of the Communion.

    The Primates went on to specify a number of conditions that would indicate a sign of repentance by the Episcopal Church, failing which it should not be invited to the Lambeth Conference of 2008.

    When the Episcopal Church fudged all these conditions, the Archbishop of Canterbury invited all the Episcopal Bishops (except Gene Robinson) to Lambeth anyway. This repudiation of the Primates’ demands led directly to the 2008 Global Anglican Future Conference in Jerusalem and the absence of more than 200 bishops at Lambeth later that year.

    That provides some background as to what is at stake for the Anglican Communion – survival.

  • He said they were sick and in need of a Physician. Are you prepared to acknowledge the same?

  • ““Despite promises that there would be ‘consequences’ for this, they never materialized,” Symes said. “The liberal churches continued their program, causing further division with those with more conservative views.”
    Umm, i’m pretty sure it’s the conservatives who have threatened to take their chasubles and go home.

  • Well, since you want to discuss the bible, here’s a question for you. You’re the best sola scriptorum defender I know.
    Is the story of Adam and Eve and The Fall in Genesis a literal retelling of fact, as floydlee has stated, as the Baptists think now and the Catholics taught until 1950, or is it an allegory and a myth fabricated for religious purposes, as Cardinal Pell so charmingly put it?

  • The Catholics did NOT teach that until 1950.

    This is your fourth correction on it by two different posters.

    Nor did Archbishop Pell say it was fabricated.

  • More accurately the Episcopal Church gave the 526 to 70 vote at Lambeth in 1998 the one finger salute, and the then Archbishop of Canterbury refused to deal with it.

    As a result 200 bishops failed to show at the 2008 Lambeth Conference.

    If he waffles this time, the Anglican Communion’s de facto disintegration will likely become de jure.

  • I would love to see more Protestant denominations, like the Anglican church, take steps in the same direction as the one taken by the recent UMC General Conference. It’d be so nice to see a trend towards churches upholding the words of the Bible for a change. Jesus himself held the Bible in such high regard and it’s nothing short of disturbing to see so many Christians in the Western world nowadays deciding they know better than He did.

  • Genetics points to common ancestors, not primal parents. At least the kind of genetics that isn’t taught in Baptist sunday school.

  • Oooh, Ben wants to discuss the Bible (except for 1 Cor.6:9-11, of course.)

    But that’s kewl. No complaints from me. Genesis 1-2 is clear on why gay marriage is wrong, and Jesus Himself even affirmed its historicity and exclusively gender-complementarian explanation of human marriage.

    Wanna disprove it? Hmm?

  • There had to be one male and one female each.

    The theological position is that deity – by whatever means – made a first male and a first female with souls and with the capacity for life in the spiritual.

    Obviously genetics does not speak, and cannot speak, to that.

  • But he did not endorse prostitution or extortion by tax collectors.

    His stock phrase was “Go, and sin no more.”

  • Let’s put 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 out there:

    New International Version

    9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men[a] 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

    Footnotes:

    a 1 Corinthians 6:9 The words men who have sex with men translate two Greek words that refer to the passive and active participants in homosexual acts.

    New Revised Standard Version

    9 Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites, 10 thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers—none of these will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And this is what some of you used to be. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

  • They are not members of Christ’s church would be on reason. Homosexuals are not Christian

  • And, as homosexuals walked away from the church, so Christ allowed the young rich man to leave also, when he could not follow that which Christ wanted,

  • Thanks for putting Corinthians 6:9-11 “out there.” As always, when the Bible asserts that homosexuals are sinners, an abomination, wrongdoers, and “shall be put to death,” it never validates the assertions with any reasoning, evidence, or logic. And, If homosexuality cannot be shown to cause harm to other people, or even to themselves, there is no legitimate reason to oppose it, despite the assertions of ancient ignorant bigots who claimed that they were speaking for a god, or more preposterously, quoting a god.

    Unlike religion, homosexuality has never ever caused any harm whatsoever to anyone, so there cannot be any legitimate objection to people living in accordance with that innate orientation.

    Actually, the earth and humanity would benefit from more homosexuality and less heterosexuality because 1) it would reduce the vast number of unwanted/unintended pregnancies, and 2) it would provide more adoptive parents to care for the unwanted/unintended children still being produced, and 3) there would be some reduction in the release of greenhouse gases which exacerbate global warming. Therefore, the Bible should be ignored on the issue of homosexuality because the assertions contained in it have no basis in rational thinking and evidence.

    And furthermore, advocating the full social acceptance of gay people strengthens family bonds, and thus it is the authentic pro-family position. It is the anti-gay crowd who are actually anti-family by doing everything they can to tear families apart.

  • All of these texts reflect how people viewed and understood the world in their time. All other learning has progressed, yet some prefer to keep religious knowledge frozen, never to develop. I understand the view that God is unchanging. I don’t understand the idea that people’s understanding of God ought never to grow and evolve.

  • We just have to keep telling them what Christ said because, as I’m sure you know, sincerity is not what will get them into Heavem

  • Some are way ahead of you.

    I know a guy who plans to renounce all sexuality soon as he hits 80.

  • The structure of the Episcopal Church makes it nearly impossible to reverse course.

    Think of it as a triennial Democratic Party Convention, with the nominee already nominated in closed door sessions, and at least one Debbie Wasserman Schultz at each diocese picking off the potential competing nominees with dirty tricks.

    When parishes started exiting, they rigged up the Dennis Canon to try to keep that from happening.

    No, that ship has sailed.

    The Anglican Communion is not really a church. It is a group of completely independent churches in communion (although not really anymore) with the Archbishop of Canterbury.

    Unfortunately the last five – 1974–1980 Donald Coggan, 1980–1991 Robert Runcie, 1991–2002 George Carey, 2002–2012 Rowan Williams, 2013–present Justin Welby – have been towers of Jello, so even that means less every year.

  • “All other learning has progressed, yet some prefer to keep religious knowledge frozen, never to develop.”

    Those are the folks who think religious knowledge is contingent on revelation from God.

    Since God stopped speaking with the death of the last Apostle, that puts those folks at a disadvantage to you, who can make it up out of whole cloth right out of whatever.

  • I saw a film clip of the man – he is straight out of satan’s den! To think that twit was in charge of a “church” – no wonder they are as heretical as they’ve turned out to be. I hear that some segments of the church are fighting back finally, and was glad to see that.

  • How sad for you. Just think of the look on his face when he realizes he’s going to spend an eternity burning in hell for his heresy.

  • The theological position is based on the belief that Christ died for all men, which would be rather unnecessary if mankind did not need saving.

    The entire New Testament rests on there being an Adam and an Eve.

    An example of speculation would be considering the application of that to sentient beings not descended from Adam and Ever.

  • “it never validates the assertions with any reasoning, evidence, or logic.”

    It is not a philosophy text.

    “And, If homosexuality cannot be shown to cause harm to other people, or even to themselves, there is no legitimate reason to oppose it, despite the assertions of ancient ignorant bigots who claimed that they were speaking for a god, or more preposterously, quoting a god.”

    Nor was it a Libertarian text, which appears in the 17th century as a development of anarchism.

    The notion that every man is an island free to do as she and he wishes, and not a member of a society, is quite modern.

    “Unlike religion, homosexuality has never ever caused any harm whatsoever to anyone, so there cannot be any legitimate objection to people living in accordance with that innate orientation.”

    There are solid arguments that homosexual behavior damages the society in which it takes place.

    Since, as an LGBT advocate, those arguments would be dismissed out of hand by you, I won’t bother recapping them.

    “Actually, the earth and humanity would benefit from more homosexuality and less heterosexuality because ….”.

    If your parents were homosexuals, you wouldn’t be here. Whether that would be a benefit or not I suppose depends on perspective.

  • Gosh! why would you refer to an article about anal sex, especially among hetrosexuals?

  • I don’t see how “seeing and meeting and talking with others” should make any difference. Even if they are really nice people -and I have met some really nice homosexuals – their sexual preferences are still sinful. No amount of “seeing and meeting and talking” changes that bottom line.

  • I think that is highly open to debate. Nor is it particularly relevant. The source you cite is founded for Joel McIlhaney, a known ideologue on the subject of sex, A promoter of abstinence only education, which is known not to work, and funded by James Leininger, a millionaire founder of conservative and faith based causes.

    But most important, it is an article about the consequences of anal sex for heterosexuals, and has nothing to do with the question at hand. Moreover, I suspect that a good many of the problems with it have more to do with unprotected sex and/or with multiple partners and/or not doing it right then an actual problem with anal sex itself.

    But it’s still irrelevant, unless you are planning on establish a police state to make sure everyone does only what they are supposed to do.

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  • It was more like God took a time out when the Holy Spirit came, but it’s a new Day, a different time.

  • It does and it has as proven by the changes in attitudes towards homosexuality and same sex marriage in the US and a few other countries. Homosexuality isn’t a sin but saying it is is.

  • Passive aggressive behavior from anti-gay bigots in church leadership?
    Why am I not surprised here?

  • Because haters gotta hate.

    I guess without someone to say “God hates you!”, there really is no point to having a religious belief for you.

  • Typical holy hypocrite. Creepy need to get into other people’s beds and bedrooms. News flash. No one wants you there. It’s not Dancing with the Stars for pervs like you.

  • You want to get into other people’s pants and bedrooms to judge them while simultaneously declaring to everyone that you don’t have a clue and don’t want one. That’s almost cute in a really creepy, pervy way.

  • It is amazing that you declare your ignorance in every word as if if ignorance was expertise. Why do you bring up a pervy topic just to show how little you actually know? It would be smarter for you to just stay out of other people’s pants and bedrooms that to show everyone how clueless you are on your own shock topic.

  • Funny how that is not your place to declare for anyone but you. Since you presume to make that declaration for others all you do is declare yourself against Christ, not for him. God doesn’t need you to babysit Him.

  • Christ didn’t actually say anything on that topic. That would be you folks claiming after the fact that every word of the Old Testament belongs to Jesus so that you can weaponize them against other people. Nice. Totally hypocritical but nice. Try sending flowers next time.

  • Then what was it that the 70 Hebrew scholars worked on for the Greek-speaking Jewish diaspora? What did they read in the synagogues?

    The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh.

  • “I think that is highly open to debate.”

    Heterosexual bowels and sphincters differ substantially from homosexual bowels and sphincters?

  • Christ taught that homosexuals would not see the Kingdom of Heaven – in several places. He does not throw Christians in Hell.

  • No. That is not true. Jesus never said a single word on that issue. Paul ran at the mouth; the Old Testament talks about pagan practices. According to Paul, you should keep your opinions to yourself. According to him, you should not be telling us men folk anything.

  • Chalk up the greater acceptance of LGBT in the West to the relentless propaganda emanating from the mass media, educational institutions, big business, and governments.

    They follow Goebbels’ dictum: “If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it, and you will even come to believe it yourself.”

    The Scripture and 2000 years of Christian moral teaching maintain that homosexual relations are sinful. The statement “Homosexuality isn’t a sin but saying it is is.” is therefore demonstrably false. You probably believe it from having repeated it so many times

  • You mean the whole concept of treating people as human beings and not looking for excuses for malicious action towards them. Its called being civilized and honest.

    I can see why that is at odds with a religion whose primary figure demanded as one the most important actions for his followers to “love thy neighbor”. /s

  • Yes, I sure do believe in being civilized and honest. That is why I treat LGBTs the same as everybody else. But I guess you don’t like that.

  • And yet, somehow, He managed to quote it and refer to it dozens of times.

    Your statement is like someone saying “The U.S. Constitution didn’t exist in 1800” because it didn’t have all the amendments then that it does now.

  • I have never done that. What I do is say that LGBTs need to repent of their sins, SAME AS EVERYBODY ELSE.

    You really don’t like equality, do you?

  • No, you don’t. You single out LGBT people for attack. You make excuses for sins of those within your own circle of support. Sin is something for other people, never yourself.

    “You really don’t like equality, do you?”

    Said the person who is always the first to support discrimination, ostracism, and revile people and claim it is “God’s will” as an excuse.

    When have you stopped lying and reviling?

  • A statement made notwithstanding any comment you have made here or elsewhere on the subject.

    You attack LGBT people for its own sake. Because you feel you can do so without consequence. How spineless.

  • “We’re going to calmly and reasonably discuss the role of gays in the church at this meeting. By the way, No Gays Allowed.” LOL

  • LMAO! If you didn’t bear ill will, you would be bearing none at all. Veracity has never been a strong point. Your “I treat all people the same” is a flat out lie.

    Your entire argument here has been about why you are completely unabashed in your desire to treat LGBT people as less than human. You made your position clear. No sense in trying to lie to me and others now.

  • Nope. No, I treat LGBTs as fully human, and as fully needing to acknowledge and repent of their sins as anybody else. You treat them as different than everybody else, as if they get a special exemption and don’t need to repent.

    So I’ll see your LMAO and raise you a ROF.

  • Because sin remains sin.

    Without the notion that there is a right and a wrong beyond your personal preferences, you will never understand religious beliefs.

  • LOL! That is why you attack their membership in a church, employment, raising families, housing, public recognition and any legal protections. You treat them as less than people in order to justify personal bigotry.

    You treat no other group anywhere close to the same. No other alleged sin gets your attention this way. In fact you are more than willing to make cheap excuses for such things.

    You are simply lying in order to pretend your personal prejudice is beyond criticism. Typical spineless appeal by conservative Christian.

  • “…pants and bedrooms…”

    I did not bring up the subject.

    “So ready to judge…”

    Judgement belongs to the Lord, and He has judged homosexual relations to be sinful.I had nothing to do with it; the Lord did not ask my advice on the matter.

  • Now you are making things up – as you often do.

    The only thing I advocate is that unrepentant LGBTs be barred from approaching the Chalice – just like any other person who refuses to repent of their sins. And I know of non-LGBTs who have likewise been barred from approaching the Chalice, so don’t even try that “No other alleged sin gets your attention” nonsense.

  • LOL! I love how completely spineless you guys are when it comes to expressing your bigotry and malice. Its as if you think people are fooled by “God makes me hate them”.

    Shorter version of your rant
    Advocating treating them as less than people. From being unworthy of belonging in a church with yourself. Something you do for no other forms of “sinners”.

    ” And I know of non-LGBTs who have likewise been barred from approaching the Chalice, so don’t even try that “No other alleged sin gets your attention” nonsense.”

    A flat out lie. You have never treated any other form of “sin” with the same zeal to attack, defame or revile as you do here. All you are saying here is that your belief is used as a pretext for hating others as well.

    It appears the only appeal to your kind of belief is the shameless way it is employed to avoid responsibility for acting like a terrible person to others.

  • “Chris” who? Let’s stick to Paul telling you to not telling me anything. Why do you ignore his misogyny in favor of his homophobia?

  • You are still blathering away. Why is Paul’s homophobia okay with you when he told you as a woman to be quite and let us men folk talk?

  • Republicans and some Religious nuts have really bought into Goebbel’s dictum.

    The Bible is merely the work of men. ONLY a fool would accept it as the “word of “God” and as unassailable.

    Are you a fool Mr. Brant?

  • Since you deny a deity, and sin, you’re hardly in a position to say what is or is not sin, are you?

  • No. I have always treated all those who are unwilling to repent of their sins the same: barred from the Chalice.

    Sorry if equal treatment for all offends you.

  • You have always chosen to treat gay people with malice and hostility in a way you treat nobody else. You only treat that specific “sin” in such a fashion.

    Bearing false witness is evidently not sinful to you.

    Sorry if you expect such pitiful dishonest talk to be taken seriously. It is laughable. What annoys you most seems to be that I won’t let you off the hook for bigotry by letting you call it “God’s will” or “denouncing sin”.

    I am not denouncing religious belief, Christianity or God. Just your obviously dishonest petty excuses for your personal beliefs and prejudices.

  • Not me.

    “The fool says in their heart: ‘There is no God’. “(Psalm 14:1)

    I don’t say that.

    Neither do I reject His Word.

    Sounds like you do, Ms. Humphreys.

  • “God” doesn’t exist Mr. Brant. “He” is nothing more than a figment of your perverted imagination.

  • Feel free to troll someone else with your Bible-thumping. Too bad that you don’t know your Bible as well as you think you do.

  • His “lack” of existence is nothing more than a figment of your perverted imagination, steeped in zany atheism from childhood forward, unable to conceive of anything bigger than your personal experience.

  • Coming from someone who relies on alternet.org and religioustolerance.org for news and “deep thoughts”, that is screamingly funny.

  • You may get the privilege of a personal relationship with Jesus, rather than a love affair with hatred.

  • Funny you don’t have any authority to demand such things. Do your own research; I have done mine.

  • Thankfully, I will not need to rely on you or include you in the loop for the status of my soul. So far, you seem to be on very good terms with evil rather than good.

  • Another p rain who doesn’t understand what a straw man is. You probably misuse “ad hominem” as well.

  • That need to judge others as if you were Jesus is why casting pearls in front of you is such a bad idea and why I don’t.

  • Thankfully, you are not on the heavenly pre-selection committee for who gets saved. Mind your own heavenly business.

  • I get the impression that he’s been sleep-deprived and overindulging in certain recreational, uh, substances.

  • It has been well known that I am a Christian, Ms. Humphreys.

    So it may be asked: Where have YOU been.

  • The first sentence betrayed you. If you can prove what you asserted, then try. But don’t shoot yourself in the foot again

  • There you go, finding wiggle room for yourself in very clear, unambiguous language while taking very unclear language in the Bible to condemn others. That’s exactly what I expected from you.

  • You brought the church to me; you are the person doing the preaching. And I don’t want your preaching but you climbed on your soapbox anyway. Thanks for being the hypocrite.

  • Sandi and others like her like to think they’re driving souls to Christianity. But they cannot comprehend that their blatant bigotry and homophobia drives people away.

  • Worse, they think that they are guarding “God” from the “unworthy” as they define it for everyone but themselves. They literally believe that their poop doesn’t stink.

  • no need to wiggle – it was in the first sentence that you quoted……lol……this is getting fun!

  • Please go “bless” someone else. “In church” is wherever “two or more” are gathered in his name, so every time you climb on your soapbox to preach to anyone, you are taking “church” with you. Sunday school is dismissed. Go away. Consider my sandals dusted in your direction.

  • One that comes to faith under a turn or burn narrative will, in turn, believe that Christianity is defined as obeying a purification code (albeit cherry-picked among the scriptures). So the gospel (good news) to them is all about not being tortured forever in the afterlife. The only escape is to be open to being educated. Unfortunately, many aren’t.

    The problem is that Christianity becomes more about toeing a religious or doctrinal line to them rather than loving one’s neighbor. And so loving one’s neighbor is then reduced to the terms of warning others (ie those that don’t believe the way they do, or those who commit select ‘sins’ they don’t approve of) about hell – not necessarily the hell as descriptive of its Jewish context in which Jesus gave it – but rather in the context of merely how they view it. They’re a product of what’s taught within their own tribe.

    Many of these same folks can’t fathom any distinction between what the biblical writers actually meant vs. their own contemporary understanding of it. They’re wholly unaware of any difference. To them, God’s view is defined, not by what the Bible says, but rather what THEY THINK the Bible says. So ultimately, God morphs into whatever goes on inside their head. That’s the danger. And so THEIR IDEAS about God actually becomes their God. That’s why they presume to have the authority to assert things to others. They actually believe their words are of God, which is why you can’t have a reasonable discussion with them.

    Their opinions (which to them are synonymous to God’s truth) trump rationality, logic, and science. And when those things bring tension to their beliefs, they attribute it to the devil’s work rather than grappling with it. It’s dishonest on their part (dishonest both to themselves and others), but they refuse to deal with it. And it’s sad, because it casts a bad light upon those of us who cling to the words of Jesus and at least attempt to base our faith on the practical aspects of loving our neighbors.

  • We aren’t gathered in His name, Riding. We are gathered by RNS.
    You shot yourself in the foot

  • Thanks for admitting that you aren’t dragging Jesus around behind you like your personal hall pass. But still go away. Sooner better than later.

  • There you go, making the usual holy hypocrite rush to judgment. Bet that I have put more time into Bible study than you have. Back in my religious days I never lost a Bible-bashing debate with anyone. Then, I cam to my senses and realized that it was just a bunch of nonsense from a past era that had caused more harm than good. You are evidence of that.

  • I doubt that………but it’s your lie tell it anyway that you like.
    Bible-bashing is that what your master Satan had you do for him?
    And you’re still Satans minion.
    Thanks for being so truthful right up front, that rare.
    Take care.

  • It has been obvious that you are a Christian Mr. Brant. You have made that blatantly clear with your remarks! I have been right here.

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