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Quakers vote for gay marriage

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William Crawley | 12:25 UK time, Saturday, 1 August 2009

gay-rights-rally-in-Los-A-001.jpgBritain's Quakers have become the first major Christian church in the UK to support gay marriage. At their annual gathering in York yesterday, the Society of Friends called on the government to change the law to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples and determined that their marriage ceremony should be available to those couples. The official minute of the decision is below the fold.

Ireland's Quakers are an autonomous organisation and are not bound by the British Quakers' decision, but may consider that decision in forming their own attitude to marriage law and practice.

The Quaker decision comes at the end of Belfast's annual Pride celebrations. Within the next hour, thousands of members of the GLBT community, along with friends, family and supporters, will parade through the centre of Belfast. When they reach City Hall, they will parade past a group of conservative Christians protesting against the Pride celebration. Last year, most of Northern Ireland's political parties were represented on the Pride parade, and this year even more politicians are expected to walk in solidarity with the gay community. Some pro-gay clergy walked as part of the last parade; we'll soon see if there's an increase in the number of clerical collars in this year's procession.

Minute 25 Britain Yearly Meeting 31 July 2009

Further to minute 17, (attached) a session was held on Tuesday afternoon at which speakers shared personal experiences of the celebration and recognition of their committed relationships. These Friends had felt upheld by their meetings in these relationships but regretted that whereas there was a clear, visible path to celebration and recognition for opposite sex couples, the options available for couples of the same sex were not clear and could vary widely between meetings. Friends who feel theirs to be an ordinary and private rather than an exotic and public relationship have had to be visible pioneers to get their relationship acknowledged and recorded.

This open sharing of personal experience has moved us and added to our clear sense that, 22 years after the prospect was first raised at Meeting for Sufferings we are being led to treat same sex committed relationships in the same way as opposite sex marriages, reaffirming our central insight that marriage is the Lord's work and we are but witnesses. The question of legal recognition by the state is secondary.

We therefore ask Meeting for Sufferings to take steps to put this leading into practice and to arrange for a draft revision of the relevant sections of Quaker faith and practice, so that same sex marriages can be prepared, celebrated, witnessed, recorded and reported to the state, as opposite sex marriages are. We also ask Meeting for Sufferings to engage with our governments to seek a change in the relevant laws so that same sex marriages notified in this way can be recognised as legally valid, without further process, in the same way as opposite sex marriages celebrated in our meetings. We will not at this time require our registering officers to act contrary to the law, but understand that the law does not preclude them from playing a central role in the celebration and recording of same sex marriages.

We have heard dissenting voices during the threshing process which has led to us this decision, and we have been reminded of the need for tenderness to those who are not with us who will find this change difficult. We also need to remember, including in our revision of Quaker faith and practice, those Friends who live singly, whether or not by choice.

We will need to explain our decision to other Christian bodies, other faith communities, and, indeed to other Yearly Meetings, and pray for a continuing loving dialogue, even with those who might disagree strongly with what we affirm as our discernment of God's will for us at this time.

Following the decision, Martin Ward, clerk of Quakers Yearly Meeting said: "This minute is the result of a long period of consultation and what we call "threshing" in our local meetings, culminating in two gathered sessions of our Yearly Meeting. At these sessions, according to practice, we heard ministry arising out of silent worship which led us to discern the will of God for the Religious Society and record it in this minute."


  • Comment number 1.

    I was pleased to read that the Quakers have opted to extend religious blessings to same-sex weddings, and that they will call on the Government to change the law, which does not recognise gay marriage, to allow Quaker registering officers to register same-sex partnerships in the same way as marriages.

    I would like to point out that at its annual meetings in April 2008 the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches passed a resolution calling upon H M Government to introduce relevant legislation permitting ceremonies for civil partnerships to be performed in any place of worship or other premises in England and Wales licensed for the celebration of marriage. And calling upon the Scottish Executive to introduce legislation permitting religious celebrants to officiate at partnership celebrations in Scotland.

    Unitarian Churches have for many years provided religious blessings for same-sex relationships and there was overwhelming support for this motion calling for full equality in the eyes of the law between marriages of heterosexual and same-sex couples.

    Rev Maud Robinson
    Unitarians in Edinburgh

  • Comment number 2.

    Maud, thanks for your comment. Did the Unitarian General Assembly also vote in support of gay "marriage" legislation, or was your decision related to civil partnership provisions?

  • Comment number 3.

    Dear Will

    Thanks for posting the full minute from Britain Yearly Meeting, but I need to emphasise that Quakers do not vote, so the headline would be more correctly stated as something like:

    Quakers agree on gay marriages

    In the gathered meeting for worship for business Quakers seek to discern the will of God and our clerk records the sense of the meeting. He or she then presents a draft minute back to the meeting which is commented on, re-drafted if needed and then accepted (and which you have published).

  • Comment number 4.

    Maud, thanks for that post - the Unitarian position isn't highlighted often enough on this blog. I know the Unitarians in GB and the Non-subscribing Presbyterians over here have a number of links, with some NSP congregations aligning themselves as Unitarians. I attended Rev Chris Hudson's service at All Souls Presbyterian in Elmwood Avenue a while back, and found it very interesting and welcoming. In NI I think we could do with hearing the voice of Unitarians (and Quakers) a lot more. On talking to Chris Hudson after the service, I felt that I as an *atheist* had a lot in common with the people I met there. It's good that there are places that even atheists can feel welcomed, as well as people of varied sexual orientations.

  • Comment number 5.


    The gay issue aside, these views of yours on Christian Atheism are becoming increasingly intriguing. Is their any chance you could convince William to give you another guest spot in order that we might examine this idea further?

  • Comment number 6.

    Hi Peter,
    It's up to Will, I guess. I did try to formulate a couple on a brief bloguette churchofjesuschristatheist.blogspot.com but I don't know if it quite comes across as I intended. I'm not a PoMo like the emergent dudes. I'm too pragmatic for that. I think I'm just happy with doubt, and with using evidence to guide my opinions.

  • Comment number 7.

    Thanks Helio

    I'll try and post something there, but please don't feel you have to respond, I'm just curious about your thinking.


  • Comment number 8.

    It is sad that yet another group, which claims to be Christian, is distancing itself from God by rejecting the clear teaching of the Bible.

    (Though it is, of course, incorrect to speak of 'gay marriage' since marriage is between a man and a woman.)

    Sad too that so many in Belfast on Saturday were parading to in support of a sinful lifestyle. Urging us to endorse 'love' as 'a human right', they were instead condoning a human wrong.

    However, none of us is without a sinful orientation, but the way to forgiveness and a changed lifestyle is through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. (Matthew 9v13)

    How can folk be 'christian' when they reject what Christ Himself says?

  • Comment number 9.

    Phil, can you please provide a reference to what "Christ Himself" actually says on this topic? Thanks.

  • Comment number 10.


    Correct, how can people who judge others claim to be followers of Christ when he clearly states things like, do not judge?

    I would say that a person who continues to attack vulnerable groups on such a regular basis is anti-Christian. It is such people, in my opinion, who lay the foundation for such horrific attacks as the recent shooting at a gay centre in Tel Aviv in which two "HUMAN BEINGS" were murdered and ten injured.

  • Comment number 11.

    I have great respect for Quaker values, having taught in a Quaker school for 36 years, and probably imbibed many of those values myself over the years, particularly pacifism (on which they are pretty consistent) and equality of value (I think they tend to fluff this one at times).

    A word of warning, though. Northern Ireland being Northern Ireland (a place where some Christians think they are purer than others anywhere else), there is likely to be be a more conservative approach on this issue.

    I know that, many years ago, English Quakers produced a booklet, 'Towards a Quaker View of Sex', which took a liberal position and it was disowned by some local Quakers in letters to the local press (I stress 'some').

    Pastorphilip: I was proud to participate in Belfast Pride on Saturday as a member of the Humanist Association of Northern Ireland. We who walked, gay or straight, believe in equality of rights for the 7% or so of the population who are gay. I humbly suggest that this is closer to a humane Christianity than your narrow and restrictive vision.

  • Comment number 12.

    I would be interested to hear a response from some Irish Quakers. What's your reaction to the GB Quakers' decision?

  • Comment number 13.

    Post 9

    Helio/Phil hope you don't mind if I have a go at this one if you do just have it deleted.

    Phil, can you please provide a reference to what "Christ Himself" actually says on this topic? Thanks.


    Jesus Speaking

    Matthew Ch19 v 4 "Surely you have read in the scriptures God created them male and female and a man should leave his Father and Mother and be joined with his wife. paraphrase

    If gay marriage was "good" and acceptable to Jesus, would he not have mentioned it along with all the verses were he talks about marriage.
    He mentions about singleness, marriage of a man and women, divorce of a man and women etc.
    But he never once talks about GAY marrige (why?)

    Even the pharisee's and Saducees knew better than to ask him about it. they new from the OT it was forbidden.

    So the reason you don't hear Christ talk about it is because it was already clear to those familiar with OT teachings in regards to the Jews.
    It would not have been an issue to the Jewish audience and therefore was not even considered important.

    Now when Paul is chosen to proclaim Jesus to the Gentiles where homosexual behaviour "is" a problem, he address the issue in full (Rom1)

    Hope this clears things up Helio

  • Comment number 14.

    Auntjason, no; Jesus is talking about divorce here, not homosexuality. You need to do a lot better than that.

  • Comment number 15.


    "If gay marriage was 'good' and acceptable to Jesus, would he not have mentioned it along with all the verses were he talks about marriage. He mentions about singleness, marriage of a man and women, divorce of a man and women etc. But he never once talks about GAY marrige (why?)"

    The reason that argument can't work is that there was no gay marriage equivalent in the society Jesus was a part of. The idea of a long-term same-sex union simply wasn't in the frame. This is an argument from silence: 'Jesus didn't say it's okay, so it must not be.' The argument doesn't work.

    Personally I think there are good reasons to believe that if Jesus had lived in the 20th/21st centuries, he would have supported gay marriage.

  • Comment number 16.

    The Apostle Paul was called by Jesus to witness to the gentiles.

    Romans 1: which Paul wrote, with the blessing of Jesus condemns homosexuality.

    Are you trying to argue Jesus promoted Homosexuality from silence?

    He never mentioned anything about paedophiles, are we to assume then that Jesus agrees with that also?

    The Greek term for fornication which Jesus uses is porneia and according to Thayer is *illicit* sexual intercourse in general.


  • Comment number 17.

    AuntieJ, it seems that you agree with me, and disagree with Phil. Jesus said nothing about homosexuality, so it is a lie to pretend (like Phil does) that he did? Yeah, we all create "Christ" in our image, don't we? As John says, in real life, the gays would have been the folks Jesus hung about with

  • Comment number 18.


    Post 12. You may have to wait a while. Quakers believe in silence - until the spirit moves them. This is probably even more true of Ulster Quakers, who tend to hide their light under a bushel.

    So I shall step tentatively into the breach. Towards a Quaker View of Sex (1964) says of homosexuality:

    "We do not regard the standards of judgment relevant here as being different from those that apply to other sexual problems. Surely it is the nature and quality of a relationship that matters: one must not judge it by its outward appearance but by its inner worth. Homosexual affection can be as selfless as heterosexual affection, and therefore we cannot see that it is in some way morally worse.

    "Homosexual affection may of course be an emotion which some find aesthetically disgusting, but one cannot base Christian morality on a capacity for disgust. Neither are we happy with the thought that all homosexual behaviour is sinful: motive and circumstances degrade or ennoble any act, and we feel that to list sexual acts as sins is to follow the letter rather than the spirit, to kill rather than to give life.

    "Further we see no reason why the physical nature of a sexual act should be the criterion by which the question whether or not it is moral should be decided. An act which expresses true affection between two individuals and gives pleasure to them both, does not seem to us to be sinful by reason alone of the fact that it is homosexual. The same criteria seem to us to apply whether a relationship is heterosexual or homosexual".

    This seems to me to be eminently sane and sensible. If Jesus would have objected to that, then he wasn't a 'true' Christian.

  • Comment number 19.

    John_Wright you said in post 15. "Personally I think there are good reasons to believe that if Jesus had lived in the 20th/21st centuries, he would have supported gay marriage"

    Would you care to elaborate?

  • Comment number 20.

    Here is some evidence that backs up John Wrights claims


  • Comment number 21.

    Helio said

    "Yeah, we all create "Christ" in our image, don't we?
    Not at all totally disagree.
    Read his words it's pretty clear who he is.

    As John says, in real life, the gays would have been the folks Jesus hung about with

    Pure speculation, now I see how *you* create "Christ" in your image you just make stuff up.
    Christology is not that difficult Helio, you should study it.

    Anyhow Homosexuality is forbidden in Rom 1 so I have no problem accepting the Crystal clear teaching of the Christ commissioned Apostle.

    By the way Christ did say not one Jot or Speck of the law should pass until heaven and Earth pass away.
    And low and behold look what the law says about our subject.

    Not to have homosexual sexual relations among men Lev. 18:22
    Not to have homosexual sexual relations with your father Lev. 18:7
    Not to have homosexual sexual relations with your father's brother Lev. 18:14


  • Comment number 22.


    That looked very much like an atheist bus. But let me say I think we should have sympathy for Jesus. He was, a few Temple outbursts excepted, one of the gentlest people who ever lived. He totally rejected the masculine code of valour and violence universally espoused at the time. 'Turn the other cheek' is a distinctly 'feminine' message.

    He had plenty of opportunity to have sex with women, but he always avoided it. He hung out with 'hookers' and 'sinners'. He preached love, tolerance and forgiveness of sinners. He did not condemn and vilify marginalised groups, as many of his so-called followers do today. He was occcasionally physically intimate with men, kissing them and putting his head in their laps to dine. His sexuality is certainly mysterious.

    He must have seemed very odd, if not gay, to the Romans and most Jews of the time. And, indeed, he was crucified for this very oddity.

  • Comment number 23.

    Jesus upheld the OT principle - carried into the New -that the proper place for sex is within marriage. Sexual intercourse outside marriage - including homosexuality - is always seen as sinful. And, as I pointed out previously, Christ calls sinners to repent. (Matthew 9v13)

    Confronted with a woman brought to Him for being 'caught in the act of adultery', He chose not to condemn her, but said, 'Go and sin no more' (John 8v11) This would surely be His attitude to homosexuals today.

  • Comment number 24.

    Auntiejason, I think your own christology needs a bit of work - you would do well to work this out for yourself, rather than suck up whatever nonsense you're fed with, like FirePrior. Somehow you seem to have been suckered into thinking that your view is supported by the gospel texts. Like you say, christology is not that difficult, and it is very easy to see how myth sprung up around this purely human, entirely fallible figure. In many ways, we are dealing with an eschatological perfect storm, but that does not excuse us from looking back with a broader perspective and analysing how the immaculate misconceptions arose. Personally, I blame Saul Paulus - spoilt rich kid, unable to come to terms with his distinctly Greek upbringing, and disappointed by the non-fundiness of the Jerusalemites. But that's another story.

    But, leaving your post hoc reasoning aside for a moment, you are saying that not one jot or tittle will pass away. Does this mean that you advocate death for disobedient children? Are you off the lobster for dinner? Those cotton/neoprene boxer shorts are going to the charity shop? No more milky tea unless you're eating veggie? You're going to change your day of rest to Saturday? Bats are now going to be birds, and whales fish?

    It seems to me that you are possibly being a tad selective in which jots and tittles you consider worthy of retention. But then religion is all like that. I have never *really* met a bible-believer. Just lots and lots of people who select the bits they like to justify their positions.

    I suggest the True Atheistic Christian approach is to base our behaviour on sound ethical principles and values, and if bits of the bible correspond to that, we can use them as vignette examples. Other stuff is rubbish, and we can learn from those mistakes - such as the evil and intolerant mass-murderers Elijah and Samuel.

    Theism is just a stepping stone; we have reached the other side now, and have no further use for a belief in god or the bible as "his word". We need better ways of determining our ethics, and I suggest that we *do* have them, so the opinions of one man (i.e. Saul Paulus) on the matter are now irrelevant, except as matters of history.


  • Comment number 25.

    Phil, you are aware, are you not, that the story of the woman caught in adultery is highly likely to be not genuine? Jesus is remarkably un-concrete on these issues, and it is a sad reflection of the religious mindset that certain recorded sayings are stretched far beyond their applicability. If Jesus had known about the concept of civil partnerships, it seems pretty likely he would have thought that was OK.

    Having said that, some of his attributed sayings regarding women's rights are really not supportable. For example, the business about divorce discussed above is hopelessly archaic, and relegates women to a lower status than men - that is not acceptable, sorry, Jesus.

    But Jesus was a human like everyone else. Even admirable people like Thomas Jefferson had some views that were expressly inconsistent with their stated principles. Unlike Brian, I don't have a lot of info about the Quakers, but their focus on freethought is admirable. I find myself perhaps a little more aligned with the Unitarian view (as I mentioned above). Indeed, and this is where I am going to insist on a point, Jesus himself was a (Jewish) Unitarian, and did NOT see himself as "good" or "part of the godhead" or "equal to the Father". Yes, I know there are some interpolations and erroneous interpretations which trinitarians bring up, but these are mistakes. I suggest :-)

  • Comment number 26.

    Extract from Karens Blog

    Jesus early followers continued to uphold the prohibition against homosexual behavior. If Jesus had introduced a radical new teaching on sexuality that overturned a previous prohibition, as he did other traditions, we would expect his followers to have written about such an incredibly novel change. Jesus followers were clearly willing to suffer torture and death for promoting other radical ideas introduced by Jesus. Why not this one? Its not likely such a teaching, even if considered scandalous by his disciples, would have been permanently and forever kept under wraps especially when his audiences often consisted of large crowds.

  • Comment number 27.

    PastorPhilip ...

    You are right that Jesus defended traditional Jewish ideas about marriage. There is a strange text in the NT, though, about Jesus visiting a centurion who lived with his "boy". Some see this text as meaning that the centurion had a sexual relationship with the young man. Even in this case, Jesus said nothing about it. It's an odd text, so i wouldn't make too much of it, but I'd like to hear what you think about it.

    From what I can tell, Jesus was Jewish and upheld Jewish teaching on morality. That teaching reflected the "science" and values of the day. The science of sex underlying OT teaching is a thing of the past. Who, today, believes that embryos result from sperm alone, without the aid of a female egg? Yet they believed that in the OT. It's time to move on.

  • Comment number 28.

    Pastor P

    We had this 'discussion' about the woman caught in adultery before. I challenged you when you chose to put an emphasis on "Go and sin no more", an emphasis which is NOT there in that gospel passage.

    It suits your purpose to 'invent' this emphasis because you are terrified to look at what this passage is really about, namely, Jesus exposing the Pharisees for the cruel, contemptable, judgemental, unmerciful hypocrites they were.

    You and other fundies trot this argument out all the time and it is a corruption of the gospel. DO NOT JUDGE is the message, repeated again and again in Jesus' life. He continually treats the sinner with gentleness, understanding and forgiveness. On the other hand, he is very blunt and at times raging with those who judge.

    Why do you choose to continue to ignore a fundamental principle in Jesus' teaching?

    HELIO, regardless of the mythology that built up around Jesus. Lets just take what is recorded as Jesus' teaching. You are still spot on (and Brian.) The main themes in his teaching were mercy, compassion, forgiveness, truth, and not judging.

    These people will always divert attention to the zealous Paul (Paul actually has at least two authors) and the legalistic Leviticus. They have to do that because they cant justify their finger pointing using Jesus.

    I find it incredible to see the hoops some people will jump through to retain their need to point out the perceived sin of others to everyone who will listen.

    BRIAN Jesus may have been a very gentle person, but he didnt miss some people and hit the wall. Brood of vipers, whitened graves full of all manner of corruption, etc...

    His anger was almost totally reserved for those who judge others. Why cant these people see this?

  • Comment number 29.


    I think the reason they cannot see it is that they are obsessed with 'sin', a word which is useless and meaningless. In the beginning was the Word; after the fundies got to work, there was only the fatuous cliché.
    They like to wear fig leaves over their eyes.

    'Sin' lies only in hurting other people unnecessarily. All other 'sins' are just invented nonsense.

    Oscar Wilde: Nothing makes one so vain as being told one is a sinner. Conscience makes egotists of us all.

  • Comment number 30.

    Helio you sure are hard FirePrior. Did he upset you?

    "For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled" (NKJV).

    Helio I was taking into account you understood the verse and the meaning of the word *Fulfilled*

    The point is Christ revered the Law including the sin of Homosexuality Lev. 18:22.
    If you want to further debate New covenant theology in regards to THE Mosaic Law I would be quite happy to accommodate.


  • Comment number 31.


    "I bless you, Father, Lord of Heaven and of earth for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children."

    You strike me, from the posts I have read, as very learned and clever.

  • Comment number 32.

    AuntieJ, you are now going to have to tell us why the law in relation to homosexuality has not been fulfilled. I am suggesting (as are several others) that it is out of place in modern society, and that you chappies should move on. That sounds pretty "fulfilled" to me. Jesus did not get it all right - Saul Paulus (bless him) was right in a couple of things, if wrong in others - now (C1CE) he saw through a glass, darkly. Times have moved on. Our ethics, like it or not, are based on more progressive values, informed by other cultures, by increased awareness of each other, and by science. We perhaps don't see everything totally clearly, but we are way way ahead of Jesus and Saul Paulus.

    Yes, you are selective in your quotations. No, you do not have a basis for regarding homosexual behaviour as a "sin" for all time (and as Brian correctly points out, the notion of "sin" is a silly one anyway - a primitive moral heuristic that only has relevance if there is a perpetrator AND a victim).

    As for RJB, hear hear. Thanks for pulling us back on track. Jesus was telling us not to judge (and in this he was probably spot on). One of the most chilling passages in the bible for fundamentalists SHOULD be Matt 7:21-23.

  • Comment number 33.


    Study to show yourself approved rightly dividing the word of God.

    When I was a child I talked as a child and thought like a child, when I became a man I put away childish things.

    Thanks for the encouragement RJB, Bible study is so important and I,m glad you understand at *Heart* we should be like little children, but as fighting evil, soldiers fighting the good fight,akin to the lion and the lamb, remind you of anybody?

  • Comment number 34.


    "AuntieJ, you are now going to have to tell us why the law in relation to homosexuality has not been fulfilled."

    Helio, Instead of being stoned to death for being homosexual Lev 20:13.
    We now repent under the new covenant for *all sin* covering the above mentioned.Heb Ch 9 v 26

    A very fulfilling covenant indeed.

    *New covenant* repentance

    Luke 13:3 Jesus: "I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish."

    Further reading of Hebrews Chapters 9&10 is also highly recommened Helio.

    Helio said:

    (and as Brian correctly points out, the notion of "sin" is a silly one anyway - a primitive moral heuristic that only has relevance if there is a perpetrator AND a victim).

    "that only has relevance if there is a perpetrator AND a victim)."

    Not very relevant in todays society then???
    Seems to me sin is alive and well, and right up to date.

    Also how does *self harm fit that theory*???


  • Comment number 35.


    "Christology is not that difficult"


    You'd do well to listen to Helio and Brian on this one. Bottom line: the bible is not what you think it is, and cannot be read the way you read it. It's a collection of many books written by different authors for different reasons. It's messy, inconsistent, and incomplete. It's been copied wrongly and recopied. It's a complex mixture of theology and history, and it's not always clear which is which.

    It isn't the bible itself, but rather thousands of years of Christian tradition, that condemns homosexuality. And even if the authors of the bible did, there's no reason you need to.

  • Comment number 36.

    Still no Irish Quaker comment on the UK Quaker decision on gay marriage, either here or (as far as I know elsewhere). Does silence indicate approval?


    Can you get an Irish Quaker to comment on next week's Sunday Sequence, or are they all determined to hide under their bushels?

  • Comment number 37.

    AJ, do you repent for eating shellfish then, and those hateful mixed textiles?

    Looks like you're well up a gum tree on this one.

  • Comment number 38.


    AJ, do you repent for eating shellfish then, and those hateful mixed textiles.

    No not at all.

    We now repent under the new covenant for *all sin*, and once we are in the new covenant the *law* is written on our hearts.

    I will put my laws in their minds, and on their hearts, and I will be their God. Heb 8. (new covenant)

    Dietry laws were for cleansing, and mixed textiles was a picture of sin like leaven is.

    So all is satisfied through Christ, and not one jot or tittle has been done away with because.

    1 God has preservered Law to show man cannot meet his standards.

    2 All 613 laws are satisfied in Christ, when this is accepted then all the types give way to reality, and therefore the law is complete in Christ.

    The main point is this, what is considered *sinful* has *not* changed.
    Christ is the personification of the law and not to recieve him is to break everyone of the 613 laws.

    On the subject of Christology and Law, it is abundtly clear Christ revered the Mitzvot and therefore is against homosexual behaviour.

    I like gum trees by the way.


  • Comment number 39.


    Can't believe that one escaped the moderators. And from a Christian, no less.

  • Comment number 40.

    I repent John-wright, how sinful of me

    Show Spelled Pronunciation [tit-l] Show IPA
    Use tittle in a Sentence
    –noun 1. a dot or other small mark in writing or printing, used as a diacritic, punctuation, etc.

    2. a very small part or quantity; a particle, jot, or whit: He said he didn't care a tittle.

    A tittle is a small distinguishing mark, such as a diacritic or the dot on a lowercase

    A small diacritic mark, such as an accent, vowel mark, or dot over an i.

  • Comment number 41.

    So in the second sense you're talking about a small tittle. I understand.

  • Comment number 42.

    Although I am neither gay nor a Quaker, being a Methodist , I am delighted that the Quakers have once more showed tolerance and love and en example of living the Gospel in the 21st century. I hope other Christian churches will follow in their footsteps, just as I wish other churches woulf embrace Quaker teaching on peace and reconciliation.

  • Comment number 43.

    And their teaching on freedom of thought & conscience and the primary role of science and reason. Brian, you may be able to help here, but I understand that there are quite a few openly atheist quakers. Is that correct, or did I dream that once in a jelly-baby-induced coma? Maybe I have them confused with Unitarians again...

  • Comment number 44.

    I think we should respect them!They have the equal rights to have love,even the gay.

  • Comment number 45.

    Actually, isn't google marvellous? On the theme of atheism and Quakers, I found this: http://www.quaker.org/quest/issue1-4.html

    Any comments?

  • Comment number 46.


    Had a read through the article. Interesting! My thoughts are that it's a very valid and fairly reasonable position to take, though I wonder why Jesus alone seems to get this treatment. In other words, if Jesus was merely a man, and there is no god, it seems a tad convenient for people longing to hold onto some semblance of religious belief that it is HE who they believe best inspires people to social action, to helping the poor and that sort of thing. Surely there are other examples, even more contemporary ones? These Christian atheists don't speak about any other highly quotable icons of their political philosophy in the way they do Jesus, and that's a little suspect to me, since it seems logical to suggest that Jesus was just as ideologically motivated by 'theistic' concerns as he was caring for others....

  • Comment number 47.

    You are an intriguing gentleman Mr Politan...

    I read your blog page the article from your link above and my first impression would be almost word for word what john_wright has said.

    Would you mind sharing if and how similar your views on Christ are to those of the "quaker/atheist?"

    How do you feel you have came to choosing this unique choice of interacting and perhaps even attempting to integrate your claimed atheistic worldview with the christian church?

    Do you feel this is an attempt to link what you were taught [and believed?] in your early childhood with your current views? Or perhaps "aghast" a deep subconscious desire for Jesus to be real in the theistic sense?

    I just don't see how He affords the quaker/atheist's choice, He was either God or mentally ill!

  • Comment number 48.

    Well, John, you have a point. At the bottom line, the choice is aesthetic, but also pragmatic - the Jesus myth has a lot of infrastructure in place. I don't think the "real" Jesus was anything special, but the myth has accreted a lot of interesting stuff that appeals to some; sometimes it appeals to me (at least bits of it; some of it sucks).

    Efie, the old "liar, loony or lord" trichotomy is a bit worn, don't you think? The answer is that the Jesus myth has multiple accretions, as I mentioned above. We have very little information on what the real Jesus thought about himself; we cannot rely on the fallible records in the bible, and it's not as if we can ask him, with him being dead and all that. Messiahs were two a penny back then. Even resurrections.

    I simply think that for *some* people (by no means all), "Christianity" gives them a mental structure to support their social conscience. It doesn't need to be true to work - that is the whole function of myth in the first place.


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