Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sin, Inclusion, and Distraction

Many progressives are asking for "full inclusion" in the Church for persons with homosexual orientation.

I ask, what excludes you now? I don't know of any Episcopal Church that excludes homosexuals simply because they are homosexual.

What we are seeing now is a distraction. It is one of the oldest tricks - both rhetorically and by magicians.

We start out with a true premise. "All people, by virtue of their baptism, are full members of the Church and should not be excluded from the sacraments." That is true. I affirm that and so does every other reasserter I know.

The next statement, those, is false. "Therefore, we should bless homosexual unions." This false because homosexual sex is sinful. The Church has maintained this stance for all of its history and it is still the official teaching of the Anglican Communion and the Church catholic. TECUSA lacks the authority to bless homosexual unions. It lacks the authority to recognize homosexual "marriages" as sacramental and it shows poor judgement in ordaining men or women who disagree with the teaching of the Church into positions of leadership in the Church.

The problem is that the Church cannot bless anything on its own authority. Priests do not bless or absolve or consecrate on their own authority. Priests are conduits of God's grace and authority, not arbiters of it or originators of it.

So, I affirm the full inclusion of homosexual men and women into the life of the Church. I welcome them to join us in the struggle against sin and the fight for a right relationship with God.

Phil Snyder

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