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A former Catholic’s epiphany about gay marriage

Michael Coren brick-by-brick account of his change of heart


 

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Michael Coren, despite being the author of several biographies of British authors like H.G. Wells, G.K. Chesterton and C.S. Lewis, was once best known as a pugnaciously dogmatic defender of Catholic orthodoxy, including on homosexuality. Since 2013, though, when he saw the light on marriage equality—as set out in his subtitle, A Christian’s Change of Heart and Mind Over Same-Sex Marriage—Coren has become infamous within Christian apologetics, where he was once celebrated. (His accompanying move from Roman Catholicism to Anglicanism probably did not help.)

Coren’s epiphany was no sudden Damascene conversation, but a realization that the Christian mantra of “hating the sin but loving the sinner” was scarcely being honoured even in the breach. From there the dawning belief, that the sin was no sin at all, but an aspect of God-given nature, soon followed.

For a secular audience, this will be very close to much ado about nothing. That the Old Testament has brief, death-penalty level condemnations of homosexuality is hardly surprising for an Iron Age text that also, inter alia, does not suffer witches to live, condemns wearing clothing of mixed fibre, regulates slavery and prohibits boiling a young kid in its own mother’s milk. Modern Christians should just ignore those verses, rather like the way most churches ignore Jesus’s own condemnation of divorce, instead of turning St. Paul’s and Leviticus’s anti-gay passages into extreme in-group/out-group markers, theological hills to die on, and excuses for pure bigotry. For Christians, though, it is not so simple. For major doctrine to evolve, Scripture has to be reinterpreted, not ignored.

In that regard, for all Coren’s brick-by-brick account of his change of heart and his moving stories of gay Christians, the most interesting part of Epiphany is also its least heartfelt. Coren offers a quick overview of recent scholarly re-examinations of the Bible’s half-dozen anti-gay passages, those the pro-marriage-equality British evangelical leader Steve Chalke has labelled “the six bullets in the gun.” They range from the weirdly cryptic story of Sodom and Gomorrah to the First Epistle to Timothy, and are all open to reading-in-context. If Christians are ever going to get to a position on same-sex orientation that mirrors their evolution on slavery (once accepted, now condemned), if they are ever to command society’s attention on what Christians consider literally life-and-death issues, from climate change to euthanasia, they’ll have to follow a road similar to Coren’s.


 

A former Catholic’s epiphany about gay marriage

  1. There is a very big difference between slavery and sodomy. Slavery was viewed as inherently evil from the beginning and was barely tolerated which is why Jewish people had to release a slave after six years of service and generally did not have slaves. It is from several encyclicals and papal bulls of the Roman Catholic Church that the emphasis for ending slavery originated. The Church’s theology and philosophy of natural moral law was the basis for ending slavery and the natural rights of man. The natural rights of man first originated from the writings of a Jesuit priest in the early 1500s as a derivative of natural law theory and the Church’s anti-slavery stance. Natural rights and natural law is the basis of international law and one cannot have a right to immoral behavior that runs counter to natural law or divine law as handed through the Jewish prophets and ultimately through Jesus of Nazareth.

    Homosexual behavior has always been condemned as a grave sin and perversion of human sexuality and justifiably so for homosexual men are extremely promiscuous leading to the spread of sexually transmitted disease and other depravities such as the seduction of minors and gang rape. Even homosexual women are now increasing in sexual promiscuity resulting in increased sexual transmission of diseases among women as well as homosexual sexual assault among women.

    Contemporary liberalism is a synthesis of extreme individualism and egalitarianism that is highly unstable due to its contradictory nature. It is an atheistic, materialistic, hedonistic ideology and mentality that is the antithesis of the Christian way of life. Its abortion clinics, euthanasia, rampant pornography, sexual perversions, homosexual marriages, transgenderism, drug use and promotion, and inane entertainment industry are vial and pure evil!

    Liberalism’s social evil combined with its progressive state-ism will push Western nations into insolvency bringing about the economic collapse of the global economy and global war! Evil always consumes the evil doer in the end and contemporary secular social liberals will die from their own evil!

    • I’m going to ignore the last two paragraphs of your rambling rant as they veer wildly off track and focus on the first two.

      You got an important fact wrong in the first part. You had to release a Jewish slave after 6-7 years. If they were from somewhere else – it was fine to keep them as a slave forever. (Exodus 21:2-6, Deuteronomy 15:12-15, Jeremiah 34:14). Even if the first steps against slavery came from Jesuit priests in the 1500s, that’s a long time for it to be accepted.

      Let’s say for a minute that your second paragraph is correct (which is a big leap, but let’s pretend). Wouldn’t two guys who decided to get married probably be done with promiscuity? If they voluntarily enter a legally-binding relationship I’d say they would be a lot less likely to join the STD-sharing. How is that a bad thing.

      If the Son of God himself couldn’t be bothered to say anything bad about homosexuality (some Apostles did, but he didn’t) – where does your outrage come from?

      • The Jewish people tolerated slavery but were discouraged from having them which is why they did not keep them for they themselves had been slaves in Egypt. It was viewed as intrinsically evil. It was also viewed as intrinsically evil by Christians since Christ died for all men, man and woman, free and slave. For if all are baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and are all bothers and sisters in Christ than how can one hold his brother and sister as slave? They knew this centuries ago.

        When Christianity became the dominant religion of the Roman Empire, gladiatorial combat was put to an end, eventually as everyone became Christian and a citizen of Rome, slavery was effectively abolished. It re-emerged after the collapse of the western half of the empire.

        The Catholic Church’s formal condemnation of slavery started with an encyclical in the early 1400s and several more encyclicals and papal bulls were issued through the centuries right up to the twentieth century and slavery still persists even today in the 21st century. The Church’s condemnation of slavery is rooted in its theology of natural moral law.

        The Catholic Church’s theology of natural moral law is basis of international law and the natural rights of men are a derivative of natural moral law that emerged in the early 1500s based on a thesis of a Jesuit priest.

        What I am pointing out to people is that there is a big difference between slavery and sodomy. Elicit homosexual behavior has always been condemned as sinful and a perversion of human sexuality. The Jewish people have always known this and Jesus being Jewish did not need to tell the Jewish people something they already understood! St. Paul informs the gentiles that this behavior is immoral!

        One can not have a right to engage in any immoral behavior that has been condemned by God and God is fully justified in condemning homosexual behavior given its destructive effects on society and human beings. For it leads people to both physical and spiritual death!

        It is only the contemporary secular social liberal, such as yourself, with their corrupt ideology and mentality that condones homosexual behavior along with fornication and adulatory. Your secular mentality is source of great evil in this world which I have pointed out in the previous statement. The evil of modern liberalism will bring the collapse of the west within your lifetime and you all like you will suffer the consequences!

        • As a fellow Christian, let me just say – what an absolute load of crap. Though we both claim to be followers of Christ, our views could not be more fundamentally different. Your soul seems completely filled with hate and vitriol. Re: “Jesus being Jewish did not need to tell the Jewish people something they already understood!” Pretty much most of his teachings were exactly that – telling them what they already knew.

          Your views on Christianity are far from mainstream, and border on cultish. And a lot of the other things you say are both hate-filled and factually wrong. It is people like you who have led many to abandon their faith.

          Love thy neighbour as thyself has no footnotes; no list of exceptions to the rule. Open your heart.

          • Telling the truth is never hate. No Christian or Jew would ever condone what God has condemned. For God is good, just, and merciful. Condoning any destructive immoral behavior that leads people to both physical and spiritual death is evil and you are just another secular social liberal who refuse to face the manifest evil in modern liberalism.

    • What an obnoxious post. Homosexuality is merely another aspect of sexuality. You don’t have to practice it- but you have no right to condemn it. People do not ‘choose” to be homosexual- they just are; as are those of us who hare heterosexual.
      As far as promiscuity is concerned- I doubt that gay men (or m) are more promiscuous than heterosexuals. Now that they have the right to marry, many do- or are in committed partnerships as they grow older.
      Homosexuals are not pederasts; in fact, the majority of pederasts are heterosexual males. They are also much less likely to rape.

      As far as the rest of your diatribe is concerned, I will not bother to comment. You have a twisted, hate-filled view of the world, but that is your decision.

      However, I am appalled at people who spread falsehoods. If you do see yourself as a Christian, or a moral person, you might want to examine your conscience- as Michael Coren has done.

      • Homosexual men are far more promiscuous than heterosexual men and their own writings reveal this. The British medical establishment clearly stated that over 26% of homosexual men in Britain have HIV and even AIDs and it continues to escalate. Cancer of the rectum is also escalating among homosexual men due to anal intercourse. The secular social liberal condoning of homosexual behavior is a false compassion. Condoning any behavior that is destructive to both society and human beings is simply evil.

        Homosexual men are less than 2% of the adult male population and they are disproportionately represented among pederasts. A homosexual male is over 50 times more likely than any heterosexual male to seduce a minor. Why do you think they advocate for the lowering the age of consent? Why does NAMBLA exist??

        The only reason most pederasts are heterosexual is that over 98% of the population is heterosexual.

        Even lesbian report that 33% of them were first seduced as a teenager by an older woman in their twenties and thirties.

        I am far from spreading falsehoods and I only speak the truth which you hate to hear!

        • “I am far from spreading falsehoods and I only speak the truth…”

          I’m sure you believe that. But like most of the other things you spout, they are wrong. You have been deluded – or are self-delusional. I won’t bother trying to refute your claims – with fanatics like you, there’s no point.

          • You don’t bother to refute because if you actually did any real research you would find out what I say is true. None of what I said is hard to find. As a typical secular social liberal you just don’t want to face the manifest evil in modern liberalism and where it is ultimately taking Western civilization and that is to both moral and economic collapse!

  2. I guess if you are talking from the epistemology of your own vague opinion of what constitutes biblical context and Christian belief, then this makes sense.
    A Christianity that does away with the Old Testament, Paul, Timothy, and the Book of Revelation might just fit the bill.

    • My opinion of what constitutes biblical context is not vague at all! It is the historic, orthodox faith that is embodied in the historic Church which is both the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox. The Eastern Orthodox are in schism with the Catholic Church which is the true Church directly founded by Christ. Christ’s death and resurrection is the fulfillment of the prophecies of the old testament, the Torah. Christianity is at it core a Jewish sect and cannot be separated from the scripture Jesus both used and fulfilled.

      I simply, utterly, reject the evil of modern liberalism, a corrupt ideology that dominates Western nations. The whole point of homosexual marriage is to normalise the abnormal in defiance of God and natural law. Modern liberalism operates under the Nietzschean concept of force of will. That is what is willed is the only thing that is good. An atheistic ideology that denies natural moral law and divine law!

    • “A Christianity that does away with the Old Testament, Paul, Timothy, and the Book of Revelation might just fit the bill” simply is not Christianity. The “bill” you speak of it the evil of modern liberalism, and Christianity will defy this evil. This is what the atheistic, materialistic, hedonistic, secular social liberal fears. The Christian faith has always challenged decadent people through the ages and always over came them!

      • Good luck with that, John

        If being a ‘Christian” means disregarding the edict to “Love one another” (I think Jesus said that); then I want no part of it!

        • There is no luck in it. Modern liberalism is manifestly evil. It is full of fake compassion. There is no love in modern liberalism’s abortion clinics, euthanasia, rampant pornography, homosexual marriage, sexual perversions, consumerism, drug use and promotion, and increasingly violent and vulgar entertainment! All this is evil and evil always consumes the evil doer in the end. You simply belong to one of the most self indulgent and hedonistic generation of humans that has ever existed and will suffer the consequences of this defiance of God and natural moral law. As a typical secular social liberal, you simply do not want to face this truth!

  3. Marriage equality and individual equality is what is being muddled in the discussion that has culminated in the six bullets. While Michael Coren has a lot of heart, and what he seems to be crusading against is the hypocritical behaviour of ostracizing homosexuals, what is being overlooked in the melee is a proper appreciation of the male and the female, and how this fits in with the resurrection, in which Jesus had said that marriage is a construct that is no longer necessary when he was asked about a woman who had to be married several times.

    • Marriage as a construct that is no longer necessary, really? This is pure nonsense and Jesus was referring to heaven not earth.

      • It’s telling in the way by which you read my comment, that the trouble with you is the way by which you read the scriptures.

        • I read and understand scripture the way it has historically been read and understood. You read it and twist its meaning to suit your secular ideology. The manifestly evil ideology of modern liberalism. You cherry pick what you want in the cafeteria style like all atheistic secular liberals. I don’t.

          • You are certainly not guilty of cherry picking, but rather, of skimming past what you don’t understand, and then basing the whole on the part that makes the most sense to you.

            I do not care what modern liberalism says about the six “bullets” — however, I also do NOT care for the use of them as “bullets” as Steve Chalke does; for the believer, they are flags for attention to the only thing that matters: Jesus.

            First up, the letter to the Romans. You go back and read it and you tell me if the point of the passage, whether it is primarily for condemning homosexuals, or if it is chiefly for condemning those who are ACTUALLY “ashamed of the Good News of Christ, because it is the power of God for salvation for EVERYONE who believes…”

            Second, the first letter to the Corinthians. You go back and read it and you tell me if it is telling you to destroy homosexuals, or if it is telling you to save the spirit of belief unto the day of the Lord Jesus, the ONLY foundation? If you would just read this letter in its entirety, then you would understand that Love is all powerful, AND sex is all physical desire. George Strombolopolous once asked a question of Anne Graham Lotz on his show re: her book, “Wounded by God’s People” — he may not have intended it, but it is the key to understanding what is the root of sexual immorality. I propose to you that it is the MISUNDERSTANDING that people marry for love. Biblical marriage is for sex (hello, coupling!) AND they ALSO love each other (because their own body now belongs to the other.). Please do read this first letter to the Corinthians.

            Third, the first letter to Timothy. You read it and you tell me if its aim is to condemn homosexuals, or if its aim is to condemn those who do NOT use the law lawfully. YET, yet, yet, yet, we can ALL obtain mercy from Jesus and seek knowledge that we may no longer be IGNORANT in unbelief. The grace of our Lord abounds EXCEEDINGLY with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

            The fourth and fifth, in the 18th and 20th chapters of Leviticus. You tell me whether or not all of us are deserving of death and that our blood is upon all of us, IF IT WERE NOT for the death of Christ, and his blood that was shed on the cross.

            The sixth and final one, in the 19th chapter of Genesis. If sodomy is what leads to evil, then perhaps God should have waited some more to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah — the parallel of sexual immorality being the end result of rejecting God is traced in the book of Judges. So, in a way, maybe all homosexuals really aren’t capable of being responsible for being homosexual, if people who should know better are putting stumbling blocks that should not be there, other than Jesus himself.

          • *Strobo’s question was: “Isn’t love just sex?”

  4. Discounting the poor food storage practices, which led to food poisoning, the Cronut Burger is still also simply the practice and enjoyment of perverted culinary deviancy. That’s also saying it as it is. So what? Isn’t everyone entitled to their opinion on such matters of appetite? As long as there’s *no demonstrable proof of harm* that is perpetrated by said appetite, which of course should rightly be criminal? Are we really going to pervert justice in order to throw stones at perverted appetites?

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