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A study of the attitudes of the Roman Catholic, Methodist and Anglican churches to homosexuality.

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Introduction

A study of the attitudes of the Roman Catholic, Methodist and Anglican churches to homosexuality. Homosexuality is the manifestation of sexual desire towards one's own sex or erotic activity of one's own sex. At this moment of time, where homosexuals can be more open about their sexuality; the churches of Christianity find that the acceptance of homosexuals is the innermost issue dividing the churches today. The Christian churches and the wider society has found the issue of homosexuality a difficult issue to discuss. Should the Christianity treat homosexual people with 'Love' or should they take biblical references as condemning homosexuals. Should you "Love thy Neighbour as thyself" or "You shall not lie with a male as with woman, it is an abomination"-Leviticus 18:22. Some biblical quotations absolutely do not support the idea that homosexuals could join the church, and certainly not become a higher member of the church clergy. Many Biblical texts imply that homosexual is wrong and condemn homosexuality such as Genesis 2:24 which advocate that the only divinely ordained sexual relationship is between two consenting partners or the opposite sex. Women are described as being created specifically as a partner for man- 'a helper fit for him' - Genesis 2:18. This relationship is open for reproduction as they are instructed to be 'fruitful and multiply' (Genesis 1:28). Leviticus 20:13 also warns against homosexual practices, which carry the death penalty, and the story of Lot and the angelic visitors, suggests that it is even more serious than heterosexual rape in Genesis 19. ...read more.

Middle

The church had a very early acceptance of divorce and accepts the priesthood of women. The Anglican Church has always been so broad and tolerant that it even allows room for clergy who do not believe in God. The church in its broadness has two sides with conflicting opinions, the conservative and the liberal. The Conservative perspective on homosexuality is traditional and believed that 'as Christian disciples we are called upon to obey the teachings of Scripture whether you like it or not. The liberal perspective of the Anglican Church says they should modernise and follow current fashion. They respond to the argument of the conservatives that we have to 'move with the times.' The churches have moved on with the teaching of the Bible which supported slavery therefore a move to the acceptance of homosexuality should be prepared. The Last gay Anglican clergyman, whose appointment as the Church of England's first openly homosexual bishop threatened a worldwide split in the church, he then later announced that he will not take up the post. Cannon Jeffrey John was appointed as Bishop of Reading in July 1003 causing fury from conservative members of the church and renewing divisive debate among Anglicans grappling with questions of sex and homosexuality. More recently, the Anglican Church in America - known as the Episcopal Church is in the middle of a heated argument over whether to ratify the election of a gay man as its next bishop of New Hampshire, was to argue a gay lifestyle should not stop clergy becoming bishops. ...read more.

Conclusion

atonement for menstruation and ejaculation are ignored by Christian churches while only the single mention of "men lying with men" is held sacrosanct. The laws of Moses also define what animals cannot be eaten and what clothing must be worn and when, and all are now ignored by Christians. Wilkinson rejects the notion that the Bible strictly forbids homosexual acts. "Compassion and open-heartedness must supersede the 'letter' of literalism in biblical interpretation," he siad, just as it did when the Methodist church changed its collective mind about the rightness of slavery, subordination of women to men and divorce. "You must consider that scribes and teachers edited the Bible over the centuries to suit their puposes at the time. Religion springs from the situations of life. Four thousand years ago a major theme of humanity was propagation, expanding the population. If the theme today is population control, then perhaps homosexuality is praiseworthy. "The clue that accomodation has taken place is when a biblical author is using a word, like sodomy, that didn't exist until many years after the authors time on earth. "Messengers of God are always defined by those in power- white, heterosexual and rich. In fact, true messengers of God are likely to be those that are different. Christians have a hard time recognizing this." Wilkinson agrees with biblical scholars that stories in the books of Genesis and Judges involving sex among males were meant to condemn loveless sex and gang rape rather than homosexuality. ...read more.

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