So, was homosexual-type behaviour permitted in the early Church? Read the basic documents -- the Greek Christian Scriptures, usually called the New Testament -- and follow up with the documents of the early years of the Christian era.
¶ UNNATURAL AND ABNORMAL BANNED: God abandoned them in their inmost cravings1 to filthy practices2 of dishonouring their own bodies among themselves … degraded passions … their women have exchanged natural intercourse3 for unnatural4 practices; the men, in a similar fashion, too, giving up normal relations with women5, are consumed with passion6 for each other, men doing shameful things with men7 and receiving in themselves due reward for their perversion8. … they not only do it, but even applaud others who do the same. (Bible, Romans 1:24-27 and 32)
1. Or:- "desires of their hearts" 2. "uncleanness" 3. "the natural use" 4. "beside nature" 5. "natural use of the female" 6. "lust" 7. "males in males" 8. "error"
So too Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities about them, after they in the same manner as the foregoing ones had committed fornication excessively and gone out after flesh for unnatural use, are placed before us as a warning by undergoing the judicial punishment of everlasting fire. (Jude, verse 7)
¶ NO PLACE FOR SERIOUS SINNERS: Do not be misled. Neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men kept for unnatural purposes* nor men who lie with men†, nor thieves nor greedy persons nor revilers nor extortioners will inherit God's kingdom. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10) *or, "the effeminate" or "soft men" † or, "sodomites" or "liers with mankind"
SEXUAL ORDER IN EARLY CHRISTIANITYFORNICATION, using prostitutes, homosexual actions and some think lesbian actions, adultery, and lusting after a woman adulterously were each clearly condemned by the earliest Christians. Some people think that "fornication" means heterosexual (male-female) sexual relations of two unmarried persons, and "adultery" means having heterosexual sex with someone other than one's marriage partner, but others believe that in some places both words also include homosexual sex. (Unfortunately, it was also used as a substitute for "idolatry" in some scriptures.)
AVOID MIXING WITH "CHRISTIAN" SINNERS: Although remembering the gospel stories that Jesus ate and drank with sinners, the early Church during apostolic times issued a command not to mix with or even greet people who, while belonging to the Christian community, also committed serious sins. (The rationale for shunning Christian sinners, while accepting the stories about Jesus, could be: Jesus was not going to be drawn into sin, no matter whom he associated with, and anyway on occasion he said he had come to call the lost sheep. It seems he expected that, once the lost sheep accepted repentance, they would "sin no more"; see John 5:14.)
As would be expected, people who were converted included some who had been serious offenders. But once having accepted baptism, the new converts were expected to leave all the serious sins behind (See 1 Peter 3:21 - 4:4). If they resumed sinning, many ordinary members of the congregation and the children were at risk of adopting the bad example of people they associated with, if they were nominal Christians, or of disputing with them and thus splitting the Christian community.
¶ KEEP OUT OF BAD COMPANY: Don't be deceived: Bad company corrupts good habits*. (1 Cor. 15:33) * or, "Evil communications corrupt good manners." This is a proverb found also in Menander's Thais, according to the New Jerusalem Bible.
In my letter I [Paul] wrote to you to stop mixing in company with fornicators*. I was not including everyone in this world who is a fornicator, or everybody who is greedy, or dishonest, or worships false gods -- that would mean that you would have to cut yourselves off completely from the world. In fact what I meant was that you were not to keep company, not even eating with such a person, if any person who is called a brother be a person who is a fornicator*, or is covetous, or an idolater or a reviler or a drunkard or an extortioner. … Remove the wicked from among yourselves. (1 Cor. 5:9-13) * or, "people having sex outside marriage" or "people living sexually immoral lives" Similar to Deuteronomy 13:6
¶ VICE AND OBSCENE JOKES FORBIDDEN: But fornication* and all uncleanness or greediness, let it not so much as be named among you, as suits saints. There must be no shameful conduct nor foolish talking nor obscene jesting, things which are not becoming, but rather the giving of thanks. (Ephesians 5:3-4) * or, "sexual vice" or, "impurity" See also 1 Cor 6:18-20
¶ CERTAIN SINS NOT FORGIVEN: For most Christians, brought up on the "forgiving" model of Jesus, the following scriptures provide a healthy jolt of reality: Matthew 12:32 Not forgiven in this world or the world to come; Hebrews 6:4-6 Impossible … to renew them again unto repentance; 1 John 5:16 There is a sin unto death; I do not say that he shall pray for it.
CHRISTIANS REMAINED OPPOSED TO MAN-BOY SEX: History shows that paedophilia was common in the Graeco-Roman world in which Christianity arose -- and the early Churches during and after the lifetimes of the Apostles remained opposed to the practice. The Didache, the oldest existing commentary on the gospels, early second century, commands at 2.2: "Thou shalt not seduce young boys." Visit www.early christian writings. com/didache. html
The earliest Church council after the Council of Jerusalem for which records exist took place at Elvira in 309 A.D. This council proposed irrevocable exclusion for those who sexually abuse boys. (Canon 71) That is, they were not to receive the Sacrament of Communion even at the point of death. (Based on Religious Life Without Integrity, page 27, Barry Coldrey, 2001, P & B Press, Como. See www.thelinkup. com/integrity- toc.html )
AND, traditional mainstream Churches remained opposed to accepting homosexual men into the clergy, according to Monsignor Tony Anatrella, a French Jesuit who is a consultant to the RC Pontifical Council on the Family. The French priest-psychologist cited decisions by the Council of Paris in 819, and the 3rd and 4th Lateran Councils in 1169 and 1215. -- Ban on Homosexual Men From Priesthood Was Always in Place - Decision from 810 A.D. Cited, LifeSite, November 30, 2005
REVERENCE GOD'S RULES, OR CONSEQUENCES¶ SOME PUNISHMENTS HAD BEEN SEVERE
DEATH FOR A LIE: Ananias … with Sapphira his wife*, sold a possession and secretly put apart for themselves a part of the price. … Peter said: Ananias, … You have played false, not to men, but to God. On hearing these words Ananias fell down and let out his soul. … his wife* came in … Peter said to her: Tell me, did you sell the field for so much? She said: Yes, for so much. So Peter said: Why was it agreed between you to test the spirit of the Lord? … they will carry you out. Instantly she fell down at his feet and expired. (Bible, Acts of the Apostles 5:3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10) * in the Greek, "woman"
They met up with a certain man, a sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew whose name was Bar-Jesus … [He] began … seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. … Paul, becoming filled with holy spirit, looked at him intently and said: "Oh man full of every sort of fraud and every sort of villainy, you son of the Devil, you enemy of everything righteous, will you not stop distorting the right ways of the Lord? Now watch how the hand of the Lord will strike you, and you will be blind, not seeing the sun for a time." That instant, everything went misty and dark for him, and he groped about to find someone to lead him by the hand. (Acts of the Apostles 13:6-11)
SEVERITY of this seriousness is a far cry from the image of Jesus as "meek and humble of heart" (Matt 11:29). In my opinion, the reason that the early Church leaders became strict was that they found acting in a soft manner left them with a number of "repeat sinners" giving bad example to the children, the new converts, and even to the genuine committed members. However, going so far as was reported once of striking two offenders dead was not a feasible long-term policy, because this was not likely to attract their relatives and friends to Christianity!
If there is anyone who does not love the Lord, let him be accursed*. (1 Corinthians 16:22) * or, "anathema"
Even if we or an angel out of heaven were to preach to you as good news* besides the gospel that we preached to you, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:8) *or, "gospel" or, "anathema"
EXPULSION: Anathema declarations by the apostolic Church probably included expulsion.
Purge out therefore the old yeast*, that you may become new dough. (Bible, 1 Corinthians 5:7) * or, "leaven"
When I [Paul] do come next time, I shall have no mercy to those who sinned before. (2 Cor. 13:2)
YOU DON'T GET FIGS FROM THISTLES** See Bible, Matthew 7:16
DOCTRINE LACKING IN PROTESTANT BOOK: I'm sorry if I annoy the thousands of English-speaking people who respect and reverence the classic book Cruden's Complete Concordance to the Old & New Testaments, 1969, Alexander Cruden, London, Lutterworth Press (first published in 1737). It seems to be missing key words about homosexuality such as "liers with males." Anglicans and English-speaking Protestants and others who refer to Cruden might have an uphill battle if they wanted to learn the scriptural attitude to such aspects of sexuality.
Leadership: The bible has teachings about bad leadership. The quotes include blaming the hypocritical leaders who sat in the seat of Moses (Matt 23:2), leaders who laid insupportable burdens on others but did not lift a finger to carry the load (Matt 23:4). Remember, Roman Catholic clergy used to be exempt from what used to be quite severe Lenten and other fasts up to the 20th century. Jesus attacked religionists praying long prayers to eat up the houses of widows (Matt 23:14; was this before the R.C. Purgatory trick?), telling hypocrites to remove the beam from their own eye before taking the straw out of their brother's eye (Matt 7:5; oratory about the waste of embryos and stem cells, but very little about the wasted sperm of clergy child-abusers), straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel (Matt 23:24), and cleaning the outside of the crockery while within they are full of rapine and filth (Matt 23:25). Does much of this remind you of the clergy child sex-abuse scandal?
Faithful love is what pleases me, not sacrifice. (Matt 12:7, quoting Hosea 6:6)
CROSSOVER BETWEEN 'GAYS' AND PAEDOPHILIA: Let's keep our minds clear about "homosexuality" (hankering to have sex with the same gender as oneself) and "paedophilia" (taking advantage of children to obtain sexual pleasure). There is a crossover (in spite of the sturdy denials), but they can be thought of as two separate states of mind.
Paedophilia, reviled in most of the developed world (publicly, so far), was a popular fashion heralded in poems and paintings in classical Greece and Rome. Then the term mainly meant having sex with boys and young men in the back passage, that is, "bu..ery". In modern times "paedophilia" can include the seduction of girl children, often with the aim of misusing their under-sized vaginas and/or anuses.
EXPLOITING IN POOR COUNTRIES, AND INTERNET: In South-East Asia prosperous Westerners are exploiting the children there in a horrid manner, both in manufacturing luxuries, and in sexual use. Governments around the world are slowly moving to make laws to stop the sexual "vultures," but not much to help those in the sweatshops. Another sad fact is that general and child pornography is one of the most popular if not the most popular viewing on the World Wide Web (the Internet), in spite of the fact that it is prohibited by law in several countries.
In many Western countries, the largest proportion of paedophilia occurs in the home and with home- or school-related activities. Fathers, step-fathers, uncles, family friends and acquaintances, scoutmasters, sports coaches, teachers, doctors, even psychiatrists have been convicted. This surprising fact is discouraging.
Why, then, is there such sustained public interest in child sex abuse by clergymen? (Incidentally, there are also accusations of some clergy of the non-Christian religions.)
HYPOCRISY: The reason for the sustained public interest in clergy sex-abuse, and some of the reviling of the Churches, is the sheer hypocrisy of such clergy and their leaders. Jesus taught, and usually the clergy and Church schools used to teach, the importance of sexual continence, as well as observing the other Commandments.
Some Church schools used to tell the children that if they gave bad example, and led others into sin, say by shoplifting or being truant from school, and then those people in turn led others into sin, they would be responsible for all those sins. Thousands of people could go to Hell because of their bad example, the kiddies were told. (This was harmful to the consciences of some malleable children.)
But, what are the children to understand if there are sex-abusers among the clergy and brothers? The abusers had no fears of God's punishments for the quadruple sins they were committing, or of the sins that might arise from their bad example. ("Quadruple" sins because sex abusers, 1. Break the law against non-marital sex, 2. Induce or force a child into non-marital sex, 3. Give bad example, 4. Those who had vowed to be celibate, or the married clergy, also commit the sin of breaking their vow, plus commit a sacrilege. 5. If physical pain and/or injury is caused to the victims, the older person has committed yet another simultaneous sin.)
WHY ARE THEY KEPT ON THE PAYROLL?Do you believe that the child abusers believe in God, heaven, hell, the soul, sin, eternal punishment for sin, the redeeming action of Jesus Christ, and other foundation beliefs of Christianity? Is it sensible to believe that they have "the faith"? Why on earth, then, are they kept on the payroll?
ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL CONSEQUENCES: Genuine church-goers and others ought to be alarmed at the possible commercial and political consequences, also. Already some insurance companies will not cover some Churches for public-liability insurance. Banks which used to believe that all Church borrowing was safe will, by now, be carefully weighing up the possibility of further bankruptcy of Churches. (An Anglican diocese in North America went insolvent due to the costs of clergy child abuse, and in late 2003 was about to be revived.)
The Church leaders have wantonly hidden and transferred (without warning to the parents in the next parish or school) sex-abuse priests and brothers, kept employing them, paid "hush money," and done everything to allow the offenders to continue corrupting children, and to get off "scot free." The Church leadership has not acted as if they are a force for good in the community.
Legislators, who in many countries had believed religion was a force for good, and had traditionally given the Churches tax-free status, will be tempted to reconsider that privilege. In countries where the number of church-goers has declined markedly this will be an easy decision to make, because the electoral backlash will not worry a determined political faction, leader, or party.
BUT IS EXPELLING PEOPLE REALLY "CHRISTIAN"? Jesus had foretold that there would be dissension because of his teachings, according to Matthew 10:34, 35. Therefore, expelling people fits into that. Churches went through strict periods, and even anti-Jesus persecuting periods. However, in the second half of the 20th century, after the earth-shattering mass-murder genocides by the Nazis, most Churches began to be so accommodating to other faiths and so soft on some moral matters, that some of them ended up being as soft as a blancmange.
Our guide ought to be Jesus and his followers, not humans' inventions. In the early Church it is probable that a reasonable strictness increased as the Apostles remembered some of the firm actions and teachings of Jesus, including his otherwise inexplicable withering of the fig tree. The early followers remembered his hard attitude to the hypocritical hard-hearted Scribes, Pharisees, Levites, Priests, and the temple traders. So the early Christians began shunning and expelling members who could not or would not adopt the higher standards of honesty, love for others, and sexual order that were involved in following Jesus.
Scriptures along the lines of discrimination, strictness, removing people from a religious place, and shunning, include: Matt 10:14, Mark 6:11, Luke 9:5, 10:11, 9:62; Matt 21:12, Mark 11:15, Luke 19:45, John 2:15-16; 2 Cor 6: 14-16; see The Acts 13:51.
The modern mass media sometimes sneers at a Church "excommunicating" of "disfellowshiping" a member or members, so it is not done as often as perhaps it ought. In fact, many such people have actually cut themselves off from the congregation, but those who don't leave voluntarily need a formal declaration. Expulsion is clearly within the powers of organisations in general. It is sad, however, to occasionally see sects expelling followers for minor matters, while the leaders of the largest Churches have exempted themselves from being expelled as heretics for centuries of contradicting important principles that Christ and the Apostles taught.
R.Cs. used to teach (until after the Second Vatican Council of the 1960s) that a boy or man would merit hell fire for taking pleasure in a suggestive picture, or masturbating (for which there is no clear New Testament prohibition). These very high standards for the laypeople may be contrasted with the lax way that a percentage of priests and brothers, who officially had been challenged with an even stricter standard, have been doing far worse and being shielded by their leaders. Remember, of course, that the stricter standard is anti-scriptural, so it is really a lower standard.
REFORMED CHURCHES NOT ALONE IN SOFTENING ON HOMOSEXUALITYNETHERLANDS R.C. SOFTENS STERN ATTITUDE: "The very sharp strictures of Scripture on homosexual practices (Gen. 19; Rom. 1) must be read in their context. Their aim is not to pillory the fact that some people experience this perversion inculpably. They denounce a homosexuality which had become the prevalent fashion and had spread to many who were really quite capable of normal sexual sentiments." -- Bishops of the Netherlands, 1970 (first published in Dutch around 1967), A New Catechism: Catholic Faith for Adults; with Supplement, Search Press, London. page 385.
ROME -- ON PAPER -- STICKS TO NO-SEX RULE FOR HOMOSEXUALS: "The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. They do not choose their homosexual condition; for most of them it is a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. … Homosexual persons are called to chastity." -- Catechism of the Catholic Church, Pocket Edition, 1995 (Latin original published 1992), Society of St Paul, Homebush NSW, Paragraphs 2358, 2359
How to remove paedophile (child-sex abuser) "shepherds" of the "flock" does not feature in these R.C. documents. Child-sex offences are not mentioned in the feeble vague Paragraph 1463 in this universal Church book about the seemingly defunct "excommunication" rules for unspecified "certain particularly grave sins".
Respected "Christians" in some other Churches tell us homosexuality is normal. Even the AIDS epidemic did not and has not caused some of them to waver.
CELEBRATING LOVE IN THE WASTE TUBE! The general populace flocks in tens of thousands to view the "Gay Mardi Gras" processions -- an unholy misalliance between a word meaning joyous and words that signify (in R.C. countries) what was or is a pre-Lenten event of drinking, eating, singing and dancing, before the 40 days of penance leading up to Good Friday and Easter.
Instead of joy, these processions glorify the sadness of the "Gay Pride" men who fall in love with men, and want to insert their penises into other men's back passages. One hesitates to learn what methods the lesbian women employ to "consummate" their love affairs!
With companies entering floats in these parades, and the blasphemous charades that are featured, it is obvious that Australia is an ex-Christian country.
ASSET STRIPPING WITH A NEW TWIST! English-speaking countries under the cast-iron morality of the British Empire during Imperial days (at least externally) had enforced their Bible-based laws that sex in the back passage was illegal. But, so far from keeping to this morality, in most of the now-independent countries this has been gradually worn away, with the ground being first broken by the anti-discrimination laws.
Once this frame of mind became "normal," the next stage began, and the position in Western Australia in 2002 was a sideswipe against marriage. In late March 2002 the W.A. Parliament passed what could be called "pro-homosexuality" laws. According to one comment, the new laws would even allow a married man to "cheat" on his wife with a boy or man, live with him part-time, and if he can successfully tell enough lies in the courts, the "other man" will have a right to a share of the family property! Adultery, which was a marital offence until around 1974-75, will now be available, even using a homosexual "union", for a spiteful husband to cheat the wife out of part of the assets the pair gained while they were together! Or vice-versa!
Read the other pages at: http://www.johnm.multiline.com.au/religion/samesex.htm
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