falls church gay

Same-Sex Blessings Arrive at Falls Church Episcopal

on August 25, 2014

A historic Episcopal parish that counts U.S. President George Washington among its past vestry members has hosted its first blessing of a same-sex union.

The Falls Church News Press reports that two men were joined in a “Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant” in the historic sanctuary of the Falls Church Episcopal in Falls Church, Virginia on Friday, August 22. The church property was won from departing Anglicans in a lawsuit by the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia.

The service, officiated under the direction of Rector John Ohmer, marks the first such celebration at the historic property. A court ruling awarded control of the property in 2012 to the Episcopal Diocese.

The couple is legally married in Maryland. The Commonwealth of Virginia does not recognize same-sex marriages, although a court challenge is making its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

According to the News Press, Ohmer affirmed the couple’s commitment to seek the blessing of their union, calling it “a relationship of mutual fidelity and steadfast love, forsaking all others, holding one another in tenderness and respect, in strength and bravery, as long as they live.”

Those familiar with the Episcopal congregation will not be surprised by the development. In October 2013 Ohmer hosted a forum for the congregation entitled, “The blessing of same-sex unions: Why? Here? Now?”

In December 2012, the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia ordained its first openly homosexual candidate to the priesthood in a ceremony at the Falls Church campus.

The church has also had two partnered lesbians on staff, an interim associate who briefly served in winter 2014 and a summer seminarian from Virginia Theological Seminary. Both staff members were from the Episcopal Diocese of Washington.

The historic church, established in 1732, split in December of 2006 when over 90 percent of church members voted to depart the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, citing theological disagreements with the Episcopal Church. The Falls Church Anglican worships at the chapel of Columbia Baptist Church in Falls Church and Bishop O’Connell High School in neighboring Arlington.

The Falls Church Episcopal follows the similarly historic Christ Church in Alexandria, which announced it would begin hosting same-sex blessings in October 2012 after Bishop Shannon Johnston granted permission. Johnston himself presided over a same-sex blessing for a clergywoman in November 2013 at Holy Cross Episcopal Church in nearby Dunn Loring.

  1. Comment by Scott on August 25, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    What a travesty.

  2. Comment by Lephteez Arfoneez on August 25, 2014 at 5:15 pm


  3. Comment by Karmasue on August 25, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    A travesty? Because two people who love each other can now marry?

  4. Comment by Ashita Aditya on August 25, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    Sure, if you equate “love” with getting banged from behind.

    But it isn’t. I think it’s called “using another person as a semen receptacle.” Not “love,” can easily coexist with “contempt,” in fact.

  5. Comment by Karmasue on August 25, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    You are confusing sex with love.

  6. Comment by Eric Lytle on August 25, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    Um, no, that’s what homosexuals do. Which is fine if they want to have no-strings sex, but to have clergy bless sex without love is sick.

  7. Comment by Karmasue on August 26, 2014 at 9:55 am

    Have you never had sex without love?

  8. Comment by Sandra K Jenner on September 1, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    The issue is, asking clergy to bless loveless sex, which is what homosexuals are demanding. No heterosexual couples are doing that, we believe in love and commitment. The difference between heterosexual and homosexual is as wide as the Grand Canyon in terms of emotional bond. Heterosexual couples have a life outside the bedroom, plus they create new lives together and raise families. Homosexuals cannot create new lives.

  9. Comment by Karmasue on September 1, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    It is abundantly clear that you know nothing about gays.

  10. Comment by Ken M on September 2, 2014 at 10:30 am

    As a rule, the more interaction with gays, the more we find to dislike. This is 2014, no one lives in a cocoon, we all know gays. Assuming that all gays are such adorable people that they all make a positive impression is wishful thinking on your part. We lived next door to a lesbian who was the quintessential “neighbor from hell,” so were her friends. Never met a more vindictive, malicious group of people.

  11. Comment by Karmasue on September 2, 2014 at 11:25 am

    And assuming that all who are straight “…are such adorable people that they all make a positive impression is wishful thinking on your part.”

    Straight people are no different from your hellish neighbor – there are racists, bigots, bullies, adulterers, liars, and any other label you want to apply.

    Gays are human beings and they are no more or less unique than you and I.

  12. Comment by Jeff Walton on August 26, 2014 at 10:55 am

    A quick note: as bizarre as this may seem, considering some of the events we at IRD choose to provide coverage of (a 2008 transgender Methodist picnic comes to mind), this is, in fact, a site that strives to be family-friendly. Please keep this in mind when composing comments and exercise discretion in the language you employ.

  13. Comment by Karmasue on August 26, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    Thank you. I don’t always agree with premises here, but I was really taken back by Ashita’s graphic reply to me.

  14. Comment by Ashita Aditya on August 27, 2014 at 9:55 am

    Jeff, I agree with you, I prefer to keep such discussions “G-rated” – however, you need to be aware that gay propagandists also prefer to keep things G-rated, because they’re aware that most heterosexuals find the actual “mechanics” of male/male sex to be distasteful, not to mention the obvious association with disease. I was reading about how the sitcom “Will and Grace” came into being, and it seems that a movie director advised the sitcom’s producers “Don’t let it get too b-tt-f—y.” (I can’t type the actual word, obviously.) His point was: show lots of gay characters, make them seem normal and likable, and keep the audience’s mind off what gay men actually do in the bedroom. The fact is, as police, lawyers, health care workers (especially ER nurses) will tell you, male homosexuality is both unhealthy and predatory, and anonymous no-strings sex is still a regular and accepted feature of the gay lifestyle. So for obvious reasons, gay PR promotes the lifestyle with trite phrases like “Legalize love” and “Love is never wrong,” conveniently overlooking the physical health issues, and also the blase attitude of gay men to anonymous sex. My advice to you, which you’re obviously free to ignore is: Go easy on the censorship where LGBT issues are concerned, because Christian blogs are among the few remaining places where any frank discussion of the realities of gay life can still be discussed.

  15. Comment by MarcoPolo on August 28, 2014 at 9:08 am


    I shudder to think how you treat your LGBT friends?

    You’ve obviously overstated a myth, that Gays are predatorily predisposed, and that a person can’t love another person without sex being involved.
    It’s sad that your vision is so narrow.

    And going easy on vile criticism about one subject, is a selective way of justifying one’s hatred.
    So for other topical subjects, we must show restraint, but not for this subject?! ….Hmm?

    Jeff is clear about the decorum required for our civil discourse, and I would hope that on issues such as this, one’s mind would steer clear of the gutter.

    Thank you.

  16. Comment by Dusty H on August 28, 2014 at 10:21 am

    I don’t detect any “hatred” in what Ashita is saying. I think she is being realistic in her observations. What you are doing is a prime example the typically liberal tactic: cry homophobia or hatred when someone disagrees with the pro-homosexual agenda.

  17. Comment by MarcoPolo on August 28, 2014 at 11:38 am

    Perhaps hatred IS too strong a word? My apologies to Ashita.

    I just think the Anti-Gay agenda is the new “Jim Crow” attitude for a section of our American society that insists that ‘their’ view of coupling is the ONLY way forward.
    Just as there will always be different languages, there will be different theologies…. and lifestyles, etc…

    I do think it is vitally important for Ashita, and other Orthodox Christians to espouse their doctrinal edicts, it is equally important that we all learn to live respectfully within our ever shrinking world.

    I’m looking forward to how this plays out over the remaining years of my life. Personally, I think the homogenization of religions will be the “norm”, and that shouldn’t be the worst case scenario for either, God, or His followers.

  18. Comment by Asemodevs on August 28, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    I think he said they’re predators because they are.

    Some of us live in the real world, others have gay friends and prefer not to think of what wrecks their private lives are.

  19. Comment by MarcoPolo on August 29, 2014 at 8:14 am

    That’s a very broad-brush indictment that has all the character of prejudice and ignorance without a trace of Christian compassion.
    You might want to measure your assessment of ‘fair practice’, if you are to be taken seriously.

    Just because some religious denominations insist that proselytizing is the expected practice for it’s followers, don’t think that every lifestyle demands the same predatory practice as those zealots of faith.

    Granted, if you were Gay, you might seek the company of those who are of the same stripe.
    You don’t need to treat our brethren with contempt just because they aren’t attracted to you. God knows there’s enough hatred in this world.

  20. Comment by MarcoPolo on August 29, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    So, Asemodevs, You don’t have ANY Gay or Lesbian friends?

  21. Comment by Karmasue on August 28, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    If you are so disgusted with homosexuality, why would you be reading about “Will and Grace” – a decidedly gay show?

    And why would you care what gay men do in the bedroom? You don’t dwell on hetero actions in the privacy of their rooms, do you?

    And if you think for one moment that the love practiced by gays is not practiced by heterosexuals then you need to start reading some stories about straight bedrooms.

  22. Comment by Sam on August 28, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    Surely, you are aware that heterosexuals also get b-tt-f—y?

  23. Comment by Asemodevs on August 28, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    You sure don’t speak for ALL of us, dude. Speaking as a hetero male, having something shoved up your rear is turbo-psychotic.

  24. Comment by Sandra K Jenner on September 1, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    I haven’t heard any clergy yet being pressured to bestow their blessing on it, but apparently they are happy to bless homosexual’s sodomy.

  25. Comment by Dusty H on August 26, 2014 at 9:13 am

    There is no such thing as homosexual marriage. It’s a farce, a satanic imitation of a God ordained, holy, institution.

    4 He answered, “Have you not read that the one who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and
    said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be
    joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” -Matthew 19:4-6

  26. Comment by Karmasue on August 26, 2014 at 10:25 am

    If you believe that marriage is a “God ordained, holy, institution” then you don’t know the history of marriage at all. Marriage was not about love…it was about control, property, alliances, war booty, and lots of other economical and practical considerations.
    Read the Old Testament again with open eyes…and then read up on the history of marriage from a source without religious bias.

  27. Comment by Dusty H on August 26, 2014 at 11:52 am

    If you don’t believe that marriage is a “God ordained, holy, institution” then why do you promote homosexual unions to take place within a Church? If marriage was historically such an evil practice then why get married at all? Forty years ago, liberals/progressives were decrying marriage as an anachronistic religious convention; a practice that should be abolished.

    Yes, it was not unusual for marriages to be arranged in ancient Biblical times. It’s difficult for us modern Christians to understand why God allowed or even mandated this practice. I’ve read various treatises on the subject and the common thread is that, in the context of that ancient culture, it actually protected the woman and solidified the family and stabilized relations among the tribes. Somehow in this, God’s will is done and He will explain it to me one day.

    To read Scripture without “religious bias” would amount to denying the Holy Spirit. That I can no more do than to live without breathing.

  28. Comment by Karmasue on August 26, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    I see you do understand that this is a different time, and a different culture when you admit “Yes, it was not unusual for marriages to be arranged in ancient Biblical
    times. It’s difficult for us modern Christians to understand why God
    allowed or even mandated this practice.”

    Stoning, polygamy, pre-teen wives, selling daughters, slavery, genocide and many other things were allowed and even mandated by God in those ancient times.

    There were also things in the OT that are no longer applicable, like stoning for lying about your virginity, eating pork, or wearing certain clothing; murder of a rebellious son; and a raped woman was stoned unless she married her rapist.
    We have a hard time understanding how God could allow those things then – but He did. And you accept it all.

    It is a different time and a different culture. You cannot simply marry the woman you rape. You cannot kill a rebellious son. Non-virgins are not stoned for lying. Women wear pants, and men wear kilts. And gays can marry the ones they love.

    What’s not to understand?

  29. Comment by Dusty H on August 26, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    In some parts of Scripture, such as some aspects of Old Testament law, there is room for wide interpretation because the original reasoning and intent is unclear, and the New Testament seems to contradict it. Homosexuality, on the other hand, is treated consistently in the Old and New Testament where that behavior is soundly condemned. No further interpretation is needed because the written word is clear.

  30. Comment by Karmasue on August 26, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    The written word arsenokoitai – in the New Testament has been said to be a word coined by Paul himself and has been interpreted in a number of different ways including – a pervert; one who abuses himself; sodomites; or homosexual rape.

    So, unless you are more knowledgeable than the interpreters (as there are many who disagree on most chapters of the Bible) then there is no way to know who is right.

    But I am not arguing your beliefs. I am simply stating that gays have the same rights that you and I have in this country. We both have a right to marry in the church of our choice if that church allows such marriages. This church does.

    And I find it inspiring that there are Christian religions, churches and pastors who actually practice the love they purport to have for all God’s children.

  31. Comment by Lester Gray on August 26, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    You can “spin” 1 Corinthians 6:9 from now till doomsday, the raw truth is that Paul used two words which, in today’s language, we cover with one word, “homosexual.” If people want to dump the Bible and call themselves Deists or atheists or whatevers, that’s cool, but wanting to hang on to the name “Christian” and then try to explain away Paul’s ethical teaching by claiming it has been misconstrued for 2000 years – sorry, that’s an egotistical thing, assuming that Christians have been getting it wrong for 2000 years, and suddenly in the 21st century, “scholars” (who just happen to be gay, hmmm) telling us the “real” meaning of Paul. No way on God’s green earth that Paul of Tarsus would approve homosexuality today any more than in 1st century Corinth. Paul didn’t live in a sheltered world, he saw how depraved the lifestyle was and how it could not be made to coexist with the life of faith.

  32. Comment by Karmasue on August 26, 2014 at 9:34 pm

    I don’t “spin” things. You may not agree because there are things that are interpreted by others that may not jibe with your views. But the literal meaning doesn’t really matter if you understand the message. I can’t interpret Greek, Hebrew or Arabic but I understand that love was the message that He brought.

  33. Comment by Jamie Delarosa on August 27, 2014 at 9:42 am

    You’re right. Love is the key. Leaving people to wallow in their sins is not a loving thing to do. Since homosexuality is condemned in both Old and New Testaments, it would be unloving to condone the sin. Christ told us to do the right thing, not conform to the sinful world.

  34. Comment by Karmasue on August 27, 2014 at 9:58 am

    Then you go ahead and condemn them, tell them they are going to your christian hell if they act on any of their natural feelings. Deny them access to a church marriage to commit to their love, because your god only allows non-sinners like you to marry in church. Tell them how they must behave if they wish to be a part of your christian love circle.

    After all that’s WJWHD.

  35. Comment by Asemodevs on August 28, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    By all means, tell us about those Arabic passages in the Bible, that sounds fascinating.

  36. Comment by Karmasue on August 29, 2014 at 9:27 am

    Oh sorry, I forgot for a moment that Christians are not allowed to read other books as it might taint their fragile belief system.

  37. Comment by Sandra K Jenner on September 1, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    Our belief system is not “fragile” at all, it has existed for 2000 years and withstood the Romans, Persians, Arabs, Nazis, Communists. Nothing remotely fragile about orthodoxy. On the other hand, the world “fragile” does apply to the shrinking liberal churches. Good riddance to them, when you marry the spirit of the world, you end up a widow. Most of these pro-gay churches will not even exist in ten years.

  38. Comment by MarcoPolo on September 5, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    I wouldn’t bet money on that last statement, Sandra!

    History has proven that Humanity will survive all the religions that have been created.

    I pray we can all survive the Religious Right!

  39. Comment by mikeg on September 2, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    You say very insulting things about Christians, so do you consider yourself one? One of my favorite authors is conservative commentator George Will – an avowed atheist. He says much more positive things about Christianity than people on the religious left do. If you like to assume Christians are narrow and provincial, go right ahead, but it certainly doesn’t fit the ones I know.

  40. Comment by Dusty H on August 26, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    I am definitely not a Greek scholar, but I trust that those who translate the Bible are, so I can easily accept that arsenokoitai=homosexual.

    The arsenokoitai argument is an old one. The following is from notes from Dr Stanton L Jones, Clinical Psychologist and Theologian. This is a compelling and logical explanation:

    Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 forbid a man lying with another man as one would with a woman. Leviticus was originally written in Hebrew, but Paul was a Greek-educated Jew writing to Gentiles in Greek, the common language of the day, and probably was using the Greek translation of the Old Testament available in that day, the Septuagint, or LXX, for his Scripture quotations.

    The Greek translation of these Leviticus passages condemns a man (arseno) lying with (koitai) another man (arseno); these words lie side-by-side in these passages in Leviticus. Paul joins these two words together into a neologism, a new word, and thus he condemns in 1Corinthians and 1Timothy what was condemned in Leviticus.

    Jones believes, then, that the most credible translation of what Paul is condemning in 1Corinthians 6:9 is a person doing exactly what Leviticus condemns: engaging in homosexual sex (a man being a “man-lier”). Far from dismissing the relevance of Leviticus, Paul is implicitly invoking its enduring validity for our understanding of sexual sin, and drawing on it as the foundation of his teaching on homosexual conduct. He is saying, “Remember what it said not to do in Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13? Don’t do that!”

  41. Comment by Karmasue on August 26, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    You may be right about that…there are a number of interpretations of all the scriptures. In fact there are at least 15 different English versions/translations of the Bible itself beyond the KJV that I am aware of.
    But are you saying that nothing changes from the time of the OT and NT to today? All of the same admonitions apply today that were applicable then?

  42. Comment by Dusty H on August 26, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    The moral teaching of the New Testament is just as relevant today as it was in the time of Paul. And, Paul’s moral teaching is from his training as a Jew so it’s drawn from the Old Testament.

    There are literally hundreds of English translations. There are some I would avoid like the New World Translation, The Darby Bible, or The Joseph Smith Bible. But, the most popular ones are reliable: NRSV, NIV, CEB, NKJV. The old KJV is beautiful for the poetry. I usually reference several translations in the study of a single chapter. More important than what version to use is to be open to the voice of the Holy Spirit.

  43. Comment by Karmasue on August 26, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    The KJV has always been my favorite. I love the poetry! And I believe it lends authenticity to the times and tribulations.

    There is no Joseph Smith Bible – you are probably referring to the Book of Mormon (or perhaps the Pearl of Great Price). But they use the bible just like other Christians. And most of the Mormons I know use the KJV.

    Different sects and different religions use an eclectic mix of books to enhance or supplement their choice of bible versions.

    I think that God is less concerned about the perspectives of one religion over another as He might be about things that could inhibit the universal and absolute love He commanded from His followers.

  44. Comment by Dusty H on August 26, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    The Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible, usually noted as the JST version and sometimes as the Inspired Version (IV) , is so bad that the LDS Church doesn’t even use it. They do use the KJV instead. What Smith did wasn’t a translation, but rather an extreme revision to make the Bible in line with his doctrine. Of course anyone who can translate Greek and Hebrew would recognize that this “translation” is a fraud. I think the JST version is still used by the RLDS Church.

  45. Comment by Karmasue on August 26, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    My family is mostly LDS and I grew up in that environment. They believe that the Book of Mormon was translated through the Urim and Thummim. It is not, nor does it replace the Bible, but is supplement to it, and describes Jesus’ visit to the United States during His period of resurrection, among other things.

    I do not judge their beliefs as right or wrong, just as I do not judge yours, because I believe that there is some good in all religions. And that if it bolsters a belief in the Creator that has given us this wonderful world, then who am I to judge? But, having said that, I also believe that the OT was written for a specific end for the times it represented. And that the NT was a history of the Son of God who spoke in parables and stories that the peoples of His times could identify with and embrace. He brought a new light into the world with His vision of Love. He preached an inclusive doctrine; a doctrine of love and forgiveness. My Creator is a loving, merciful, forgiving and inclusive God. He has given us a diverse and wonderful population in order to afford us the opportunity to prove that we can love unconditionally. Love is timeless and unchanging. Homosexual love is no different than any other. We tend to see them through the lens of propagation but that is not the lens we are instructed to use, and propagation is not essential in these times. Love remains the anchor of the soul.

  46. Comment by Scott on August 29, 2014 at 9:28 am

    You need to look at what Jesus said about marriage. See the Gospel of St. Matthew, Chapter 19, verses 4-6. You will find that Jesus specifically referred to marriage as being between a man and a woman, as God has made them male and female. You can argue all you want to about the Old Testament scriptures, but Our Lord’s words on this topic ought to be the final authority for Christians.

  47. Comment by Karmasue on August 29, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Are you sinless? Are your sins less grievous than what you believe the sins of gays are?

    Have you ever seen members of your church with offending limbs cut off? With eyes gouged out? Divorced for “Unreconciled differences”? Can they marry (or remarry) in the church? Because hypocrisy is also mentioned in Matthew.

  48. Comment by Scott on August 27, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    Yes, a travesty that a church purporting to proclaim Christ would choose to bless something that is inherently contrary to marriage as revealed in holy scripture.

  49. Comment by Karmasue on August 28, 2014 at 11:30 am

    I remain awed by this group of christians who so easily pick and choose the bible scriptures they want to embrace, and those they choose to ignore. You have decided homosexuality is still a sin, but scriptures (in the same breath) on clothing and food are no longer applicable because that was a different time and things have changed since then? Not to mention “judge not”.

  50. Comment by Joe Monk on August 28, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    “this group of christians who so easily pick and choose the bible scriptures they want to embrace … but scriptures (in the same breath) on clothing and food are no longer applicable because that was a different time and things have changed since then?”

    Have you never heard of Acts 10?

    ” 10 He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. 12 It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. 13 Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”

    14 “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.”

    15 The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”

    So Acts 10 specifically says that those “scriptures” to which you refer above no longer apply. Its not a question of “picking and choosing” … God has told us which scriptures no longer apply.

  51. Comment by Karmasue on August 28, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    And? Because that one scripture doesn’t tell you which of the many, many admonitions listed in Leviticus, Matthew, Acts, Numbers and others that are no longer applicable.

  52. Comment by Joe Monk on August 28, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    So you dont even know the basic Bible?

    Leviticus and Numbers are OLD testament…

    Matthew and Acts are NEW testament…

    As you may remember, Jesus death was to fulfill the law … “This is my blood of the NEW covenant, which is shed for the REMISSION OF SINS” Matthew 26:28

    The lesson from ACTS is that what is in the OLD testament, GOD has made pure and clean thru Jesus death and resurrection and thus it no longer applies…

    Now having said that, the lesson on marriage is carried forward from the old into the new testament thru Jesus mention of it in the Gospels of Matthew (19:5) and Mark (10:7) … thus we are not to ignore that.

  53. Comment by Karmasue on August 28, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    I know which books are OT and NT (good thing snark is not a sin) but you are the one who is choosing one or the other when it comes to what you want to believe.

    He didn’t nullify or abolish the laws – “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am NOT come to destroy, but to fulfil.”

    And the NT has many of the same admonitions, (and some additional ones} as the OT has.

    And He also said “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
    And another about the log in your own eye.

    But Christians like to make scriptures fit whatever fits their fancy.

    That’s why there are so many different Christian denominations – Baptist, Lutheran, Episcopalian, Methodist, Roman Catholic,
    Pentacostal, Mormon,
    Eastern Orthodox, Anglican.

    All are Christians. But they differ in ritual, interpretation, and motive.

  54. Comment by Joe Monk on August 29, 2014 at 7:07 am

    “VII. Of the Old Testament.The Old Testament is not contrary to the New: for both in the Old and New Testament everlasting life is offered to Mankind by Christ, who is the only Mediator between God and Man, being both God and Man. Wherefore they are not to be heard, which feign that the old Fathers did look only for transitory promises. Although the Law given from God by Moses, as touching Ceremonies and Rites, do not bind Christian men, nor the Civil precepts thereof ought of necessity to be received in any commonwealth; yet notwithstanding, no Christian man whatsoever is free from the obedience of the Commandments which are called Moral.”

    “XX. Of the Authority of the Church.The Church hath power to decree Rites or Ceremonies, and authority in Controversies of Faith: and yet it is not lawful for the Church to ordain any thing that is contrary to God’s Word written, neither may it so expound one place of Scripture, that it be repugnant to another. Wherefore, although the Church be a witness and a keeper of Holy Writ, yet, as it ought not to decree any thing against the same, so besides the same ought it not to enforce any thing to be believed for necessity of Salvation.”

  55. Comment by Karmasue on August 29, 2014 at 9:44 am

    Quoting your other “gospel”? The Thirty-Nine articles of Religion giving the “church” absolute authority to dictate Christian beliefs and lives.

  56. Comment by Joe Monk on August 29, 2014 at 10:08 am

    What part of “and yet it is not lawful for the Church to ordain any thing that is contrary to God’s Word written” gives the Church absolute authority?


  57. Comment by Karmasue on August 29, 2014 at 10:55 am

    Because you quote the 39 articles as your authoritative source.

  58. Comment by Scott on August 29, 2014 at 9:18 am

    The PRACTICE of homosexuality is sinful. I am not judging those who are homosexual in nature. But for a church to bless the sexual activity of a same sex couple or, God forbid, “marry” two people of the same sex is scripturally anathema.

  59. Comment by Karmasue on August 29, 2014 at 10:17 am

    Christian churches regularly marry divorcees regardless of the terms of divorce. What is the difference?

  60. Comment by Scott on August 29, 2014 at 10:30 am

    There is no point in debating you. I have now read through your Disqus -posted comments and see that your positions on most issues — President Obama, abortion, gun rights, biblical orthodoxy, just to name a few — are totally opposite to my positions. Your comments appear to be mainly in the left wing, politically liberal, theologically liberal vein of thought. I understand your positions. I simply disagree with them. Let’s leave it at that.

  61. Comment by Karmasue on August 29, 2014 at 11:30 am

    And why should that matter? I am politically and
    theologically “liberal”, and I do support womens’ rights. I am against
    the indiscriminate proliferation of guns in this country. I do support the
    rights of suppressed groups of citizens to live their lives within the laws of
    this country, as they see fit regardless of the moral superiority of some
    religious zealots. And I do support the President of the United States –
    who incidentally has shown great restraint in the face of right-wing
    radicalism, birtherism, hatred, disrespect, and racism (yes I know, closet racists like to jump all over that one).

    If Christians want to impose their brand of God’s will on US citizens, then we are destined to live under a Theocracy/Dictatorship. And I don’t want that any more than you want to live under theocracies that impose Sharia Law based on their interpretations of God’s will.

  62. Comment by Dusty H on August 30, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    Scott, don’t be discouraged. It must have been frustrating for the prophets of old to bring God’s holy Word to people who didn’t want to hear it!

  63. Comment by Dusty H on August 30, 2014 at 11:26 am

    First you have to gain a little understanding of why God instituted Mosaic Law. The Jews were chosen to be His holy people from whom God Himself, in the person of Jesus Christ, would come as the final atoning sacrifice. In the preparation of His coming as the Messiah, He would dwell with the Jews first in the Tabernacle, instituted in the time of Moses, and then in the Temple in the time of Solomon. For the Jews to be allowed into God’s holy presence, they had to be made ritually clean. God instituted Mosaic Law to give them a means of becoming holy, a people set apart from the rest of the World. Don’t confuse human behavior that is consistently considered sinful in both the Old and New Testaments (such as: murder, stealing, lying, adultery, idolatry, and homosexuality) with the Levitical Holiness Code pertaining to food and clothing.

    Read Acts 15 and Galatians 2. The Apostles dealt with this in what is known as the Apostolic Council of Jerusalem. The converts from the Pharisees were insisting that: “It is necessary for them (Gentiles) to be circumcised and ordered to keep the law of Moses.” The counter argument was: “Now therefore why are you putting God to the test by placing on the neck of the disciples a yoke that neither our ancestors nor we have been able to bear? On the contrary, we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.” The decision made by the Apostles, through the power of the Holy Spirit, was very simple, Christian converts shall abstain from: 1) Things polluted by idols. 2) Sexual immorality (porneia in Greek) – which would include homosexuality. 3) Eating animals that have been strangled and contain blood: The ancient Jews believed that the blood carried a being’s ‘life force’. This last one was probably a concession to the objecting Pharisees.

    We are freed from the yoke of Mosaic law because Christ has fulfilled the law in our stead. We are justified by faith, not by works in this new covenant. This is not a license to sin; God expects us to live holy lives and to obey the moral teachings of His Word.

  64. Comment by Karmasue on August 30, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    I understand a lot more than you seem to think. The only confusion I have is the differences between denominations in how they interpret certain scriptures, and how they explain their doctrines to their own parishioners.
    Because, among the many Christian denominations, there are some conflicting

    You talk as though Jesus abolished Mosaic law but He
    specifically says he did not. Fulfill and abolish/destroy – are not synonymous.
    “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets…”
    (Matt 5). That’s what I mean by interpretation. I can find almost any
    scripture that some ecclesiastic scholar has interpreted the way I want it to read… and so can you.

    What I don’t understand is how you can believe that an omnipotent, merciful and
    loving God (who doesn’t seem to live by His own commandments in the OT)
    purposely created human beings that He knew would be going to hell (or burning
    forever, or whatever your specific denomination believes). Because He had to
    know (omnipotence suggests that).

    And I will personally be sharing eternal damnation with the gays because I
    remain steadfastly unrepentant about my two divorces – which were for reasons unrelated
    to fornication and adultery which are the two NT sin-free categories in Matthew (not
    counting the Eunuch category – which some believe includes homosexuals).

    But it does tend to help me understand why others (not just
    homosexuals) might remain unrepentant about some things that you interpret as egregious
    sins. And why the lack of faith altogether (atheism) is becoming more and more popular today.

  65. Comment by Dusty H on August 30, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    Yes, there are disagreements between the Protestant Denominations mostly regarding secondary doctrines: Baptism of Infants, Female Clergy, Calvinism vs Arminianism, Nature of the Eucharist, and too many more to list here. We share in common many more primary doctrines: The virgin birth, the atoning work of Christ on the cross, the resurrection, that Christ will return, the Trinitarian nature of God, and of course many more. It’s in our commonalities that we refer to the entire body of believers as the holy catholic (note the small ‘c’ meaning universal) Church. This universal Church is also inclusive of the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches. We are one body in Christ, but being human we still disagree on some things.

    No, Christ didn’t abolish the law, He fulfilled it. The Mosaic law, which spans 613 commandments, is utterly impossible for humans to flawlessly keep. Christ, who was totally human and totally divine, perfect and sinless, kept the law in our place. He was the final perfect sacrifice for the salvation on humankind. A gift that we don’t have to perfectly understand, we just have to accept. Read Hebrews Chapter 8, it’s very short and pertains to our new covenant in Christ. The author of this epistle points back to Jeremiah 31:31-34 as a prophecy of the coming Church, and ends the chapter saying: “In speaking of ‘a new covenant,’ he has made the first one obsolete. And what is obsolete and growing old will soon disappear.”

    I’ve said nothing about Hell, but there will be a day of judgment. I not sure that God sends anybody to Hell; I think people choose damnation all on their own! After all, we live in this modern age that celebrates “choice” above even God.

    I don’t know if you’re going to Hell or not, only God is worthy to judge our souls. I do believe that there are some heterosexual marriages that were never blessed by God to begin with. Sometimes people make bad decisions, or end up in abusive situations.

  66. Comment by Karmasue on August 30, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    And here is the rub…You say “No, Christ didn’t abolish the law, He fulfilled it. The Mosaic law, which spans
    613 commandments, is utterly impossible for humans to flawlessly keep. Christ,
    who was totally human and totally divine, perfect and sinless, kept the law in
    our place.”

    But then you say of the author of Hebrews “In speaking of ‘a new covenant,’ he has made the first one obsolete.”

    Wait…what? He is contradicting the “Savior” outright?

    You say “He was the final perfect sacrifice for the salvation on humankind. A
    gift that we don’t have to perfectly understand, we just have to accept.”

    Are we accepting what Jesus said about not abolishing the law, or what was said in Hebrews?

    The 613 Mosaic commandments were fulfilled – now meaning obsolete because there were too many to obey flawlessly. And they were replaced by 684 according to biblical research of the New Testament. http://www.biblicalresearchreports.com/listofcommands.php

    I always wondered why Catholic repentance was a bit different than most, but maybe that’s why a sort of all-inclusive repentant ritual of “hail Marys” and “our fathers” might be a much more efficient tool.

  67. Comment by Dusty H on August 30, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    The 613 commandments in the OT where mandatory for earning holiness in the sight of God. The 684 commands listed in that link are just that, a list of commands. They are not 684 things you must accomplish to achieve salvation. There is no contradiction: Christ IS the fulfillment of the law. We are saved by grace through faith. The Epistles are in the NT because they are the inspired Word of God, and authoritative in clarifying the doctrinal and moral teachings of the Gospels.

    I can tell at this point you say you don’t understand only because you don’t want to understand. This is also the latest tactic of the liberal-progressive Clergy in the UMC. Since they can’t get away with rewriting Scripture to fit the liberal agenda, and claiming to possess a new and improved interpretation has failed, the only thing left is to try to discredit Scriptural authority.

  68. Comment by Karmasue on August 30, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    I am not seeking to discredit your scriptures at all. And no, I don’t believe exactly what you believe, but you have explained some of the reasons you believe the way you do.

    I am not slandering your religion and I am not calling you names. I am asking what I feel are reasonable questions – none that I wouldn’t ask a Jehovah’s Witness at my front door, or a missionary trying to convert me.

    Because you have afforded me the same respect, I have refrained from discussing a few things that I thought might make you uncomfortable though.

    It is true. I am a liberal. I never denied that. I feel strongly about the issues that face our country – women’s rights, gun control, racial and gender equality. But that doesn’t make me any less interested in why you believe the way you do.

    I still cannot understand why it is of such importance to Christians to judge a denomination who chooses to allow gays to marry.

  69. Comment by Joe Monk on August 25, 2014 at 6:30 pm


  70. Comment by David Wilson on August 25, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    My heart breaks for John Yates II. He gave his life to building that parish into a gospel centered community of mission and ministry and to see it desicreted by TEO is just beyond belief.

  71. Comment by MarcoPolo on August 29, 2014 at 7:44 am

    Pardon my ignorance, but What, or Who, is TEO?

  72. Comment by Eric Lytle on August 25, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    The culture goes to hell in a handbasket, and, wouldn’t you know it, the clergy are falling all over themselves to jump in the basket.

  73. Comment by Scott on August 29, 2014 at 9:24 am

    Yes, God forbid that clergy actually stand for Biblical principles. Instead, they seem to look where the culture is falling, then run out ahead so they can “lead” the way. Where is the modern day John the Baptist, a voice crying in the wilderness, “Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand.”

  74. Comment by Dusty H on August 26, 2014 at 9:04 am

    Well, there will be a lot of beautiful historic church-buildings for sale within 20 years when The Episcopal Church dissolves and becomes a sad footnote in history. I hope and pray that the newly formed Anglican Church in North America maintains their orthodoxy and prospers to once again restore the historic faith to these places.

  75. Comment by Guest on August 29, 2014 at 12:01 am

    Can I be.

  76. Comment by mikeg on September 2, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    Just a general rule of thumb in America:

    The pretty historic churches are no longer meeting places for Christians. There are a few exceptions, no doubt, but if you visit a church’s website and you find “historic” on the home page, keep looking, it’s not the right home for a true Christian.

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