Robinson Backpedals

Right. He only said that Jesus didn’t exactly endorse the concept of traditional marriage:

MANCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE (ANS) — The first openly gay Episcopal bishop says he is being falsely accused of suggesting that Jesus might have been homosexual, says a news agency report posted on the Fox News Channel website.

“I can assure you with absolute certainty that was not my implication, and certainly not anything I ever said,” Bishop V. Gene Robinson told the New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper, according to the Associated Press (AP).

Robinson said he is “being flooded with angry messages” because of Web log comments about his remarks at a February 13 forum on sexual issues at Christ Church in Hamilton, Massachusetts.

According to the report, Robinson said he was making the point that the nuclear family is a relatively new idea and that, even for his time, Jesus apparently led a nontraditional life.

“Interestingly enough, in this day of traditional family values and so on,” Robinson says in a recording from the forum on the church’s Website, “this man that we follow … was single as far as we know; who traveled with a bunch of men, although there were lots of women around; who had a disciple who was known as `the one whom Jesus loved’; who said ‘my family is not my mother and father, my family are those who do the will of God’ — none of us like those harsh words. That’s who Jesus is, that’s who he was, at least in his earthly life,” Robinson is reported as saying.

Pointing out that Jesus was not married with children “is a long way from saying Jesus is gay, or saying that he had sex with anyone, male or female,” Robinson said Monday.

Considering that Robinson is unrepentant and has consistenly defended his lifestyle as an adulterous homosexual (he left his wife and children for his male partner), what conclusion are we supposed to draw from his remarks?

The hate mail Robinson’s getting is absolutely wrong. We’re supposed to speak truth in love. That said, Rev. Robinson’s comments were either deliberately disingenuous or outright heretical.

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8 responses to “Robinson Backpedals

  1. Assuming he is getting hate mail, and isn’t classifying those who are speaking truth to him as “hate”…

  2. A very good point!

  3. Don’t see anything about what he said to get upset about. Jesus wasn’t married. It’s not exactly a new or heretical observation.

    Of course maybe the hot button is that Christians are not used to thinking that Jesus had any kind of sexual identity at all, regardless of whether he was straight or gay.

    The fact is that Robinson could be reading from the morning paper and he would still get criticized. He must be a greatly hated figure by many Christians.

  4. Rev. Robinson took it upon himself to redefine God’s plan for the family. See Matthew 19–it’s been one man and one woman right from the beginning. Robinson, in his own words, declared that there is little biblical support for the traditional family, and then went a step further by implying that Jesus’ lifestyle was “alternative”.

    By his actions as well as his words, Rev. Robinson declares his open disregard for what God has forbidden. That, my friend, is a pretty fair definition of “heresy”.

  5. That, my friend, is a pretty fair definition of ?¢??heresy?¢??.

    Nope. Can’t call it heretical either. Episcopalians got together, read the Bible, and prayed to God for guidance. And then they confirmed Robinson as Bishop.

    They used exactly the same decision making process as those other meetings where Christians decided what “heresy” is. Namely the Council of Nicea. If they had enough faith in God back then to trust in His guidance, don’t see why you can’t.

  6. I do trust in God’s guidance. I find it in His word, between the covers of the Bible. If the bishops of the ECUSA found justification there to accept an unrepentant adulterer and homosexual as one of their own, then they read a translation I’m not familiar with.

    Unless God changes His mind on what constitutes sin, then the bishops of the Episcopal Church USA were more likely listening to public opinion.

    The Bible is very clear on the subject of homosexuality. Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13, and Romans 1:24-32 are the best-known verses, but I suggest that Jesus’ comments on marriage in Matthew 19:4-6 are also relevant (“Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”)

    Let me be clear: Homosexuality is no more or less wrong than anything else that God has declared a sin. Too many Christians forget that God doesn’t grade on a curve; “there is none righteous, no, not one”.

    But those who presume to select which parts of God’s word can be ignored or disposed of need to remember Jesus’ warning to those who would lead others into sin: ?¢??And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck.” (Mark 9:42)

  7. While Robinson is clearly practice a lifestyle that God tells us is wrong, I see no reason not to believe him when he said that the particular statement in question wasn’t about Jesus being gay. He’s clearly right that Jesus wasn’t practicing the social norms of his time. He’s also right that the nuclear family as we know it wasn’t known then. They focused more on extended family, which is why Jesus’ mother and brothers are all together, even though his brothers would undoubtedly have been married by the time Jesus was 30. They may well have all lived together or on property right next to each other, as seems to have been the case with Lazarus and his sisters.

  8. Your point about the extended family is taken, but consider again the context of the question and Robinson’s answer:

    Robinson […] made his inflammatory remarks during an address titled, ?¢??Homosexuality and the Body of Christ: Is There a New Way??¢?? at Christ Church of Hamilton and Wenham, Massachusetts. The bishop was asked by a congregant how Christians could both accept homosexuality and the Bible?¢??s emphasis on redemption for sins.

    ?¢??Interestingly enough, in this day of traditional family values,?¢?? answered Robinson, ?¢??this man that we follow was single, as far as we know, traveled with a bunch of men, had a disciple who was known as ?¢??the one whom Jesus loved?¢?? and said my family is not my mother and father, my family is those who do the will of God. None of us likes those harsh words. That?¢??s who Jesus is, that?¢??s who he was at heart, in his earthly life.

    ?¢??Those who would posit the nuclear family as the be all and end all of God?¢??s creation probably don?¢??t find that much in the gospels to support it,?¢?? he concluded.

    For that to be true, one has to avoid actually reading the gospels. I refer again to Jesus’ response to the Pharisees’ question in Matthew 19:

    ?¢??Haven?¢??t you read,?¢?? he replied, ?¢??that at the beginning the Creator ?¢??made them male and female,?¢?? and said, ?¢??For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh?¢????¢??

    In the context, I don’t see any other way to interpret the bishop’s remarks.

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