25 Comments on “Language Clarification

  1. Thank God for the protester – such publicity for the cause.

    Maybe, we can have a casting out of demons!

    Peter, interesting stuff that the Archbishop of Uganda said last week about ‘human rights’ and gay people.  I hope that Jensen and others are rebuking him for his apparent homophobia.

  2. Really? I doubt that , if this happened to you, the distinction would be important (assuming evangelicals sin of course).

  3. Yelling “Heretic” and “Repent! Repent! Repent!” is an excellent way of rebuking someone. I’m probably the only one who found it ironically funny that he was drowned out by the hymn “To God be the glory”.

  4. Dave,

    Was the hair cut or deliberately left long? Is dishonour the same as sin?

    (A little Greek and some contextual hermeneutics is a dangerous thing)

  5. [To the men…] Do not adorn yourself in such a manner that you might entice another woman to you…. Do not further enhance the beauty that God and nature has bestowed on you. Rather, modestly diminish it before others. Therefore, do not permit the hair of your head to grow too long. Rather, cut it short…. Do not wear overly fine garments, either…. Nor should you put a gold ring on your fingers. Apostolic Constitutions (compiled circa 390 AD), 7.392.
    By the way Peter, before we descend too far into the Church’s teaching on appearance, I am still intrigued to know your response to the Ugandan Archbishop.  Do I ask too much for a disassociation on your part, or even a rebuke?!

  6. Winston,

    I think you’ll have to give us a URL to the text of what he actually said, not just a snippet for me to comment.

    As for the quote from the Apostolic Consitutions, that ain’t Scripture…..

  7. “Homosexuals are agitating that it is a human right. But how can it be a human right for a man to sleep with another man or a woman to marry a woman?”

    Peter, on the basis of the above – do you think that it would be acceptable to take away the right for gay people to form relationships with members of the same sex as them?  I am sure the archbishop would argue vociferously for such a measure.

    By the way, ‘bigot’ is your word not mine.

  8. So let me be clear. You think it’s somehow offensive for someone to question whether same-sex activity is a human right and that it must be therefore defended by everybody?

  9. Peter-

    From the article:

    “Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi yesterday said he fears for his life because of the campaign he has waged against homosexuals.
    “Nowadays, I don’t wear my collar when I am in countries which have supporters of homosexuals,” he said while addressing Christians at Kitunga archdeaconry, West Ankole diocese in Ntungamo district.
    “I am forced to dress like a civilian because those people are dangerous. They can harm anybody who is against them. Some of them are killers. They want to close the mouth of anybody who is against them.” ”

    Perhaps this is somewhat offensive (and over-dramatic)?

  10. Is it too late for Gene Robinson to join the Big Brother house? He’d love it in there. Cameras on him 24/7 and nothing to do all day except bitch and moan.

  11. You can say same sex activity should be a permitted human right without saying everyone should be in favour of it. Do *you* think homosex should be illegal Peter?

  12. In which case, shouldn’t you object when people on your team (like the Archbishop cited) seem to call for its criminalisation?  Is your anal sex point on health grounds?

  13. Oh, you flatter to me to assume that the Archbishop of Uganda is on *my* team. Think of that, a ++ working for me!!!

    I don’t think he did call for it’s criminalisation did he? By all means correct me with the quote where he does.

  14. The quote posted objects to the fact that homosexuality is  a permitted human right; is the logical inference not that said rights should not exist?

    Do you *object* to being grouped on the Evangelical/conservative “team” in contrast to the liberal one?

  15. The logical inference is that Orombi *doesn’t* think it’s a human right. You can’t read into his words that he wants to make it illegal.

    I don’t object to being grouped on anyone’s team. Such a grouping might or might not be true, but hey, I’m not stopping you.

  16. But the backdrop to his quote is the argument that homosex should be permitted *because* it is a human right (I doubt anyone would seek to convince the Archbishop – or you!- that homosexuality is a good thing) ; if he says that the priniciple justification for homosexuality being permitted in law is invalid, and is more generally “homophobic”, then is it really such a stretch to believe that he wants it criminalised?

    Labels are useful; at the very least, isn’t it a good thing that parishoners can seek out churches that match their views? Of course, supporting gay marriage is (in a sense) more conservative than liberal.

  17. I am sure this has been said before and often but how does a tenet of faith become a phobia? How have we come to that position where anyone who opposes the vacuous liberal agenda is ‘phobic’? Having spent many years dealing with cults, sects and various aberrant beliefs (no doubt a cultophobic acitvity) I recognise this clumsy strategy for what it is, i.e. avoidance of the issue. Time was when robust defence of biblical principles was to be celebrated in the church. These days it is a sure sign of some phobia or another. Mind you, perhaps liberals will finally prove to be the greatest phobics of all, i.e. Christophobic. Its all very well to talk about love but the first duty of love towards God is obedience and God is not a liberal.

  18. Mike

    Language evolves; we would laugh at someone who called himself gay in the carefree sense, and then took offense when people assumed he meant homosexual. Evangelicals who rush to the dictionary to claim “a-ha! the dictionary says pathological fear when I just want to stop gays having equal rights!” are being (word of the day!) disingenous. I believe the Vatican coined the term Christianophobia (!), and don’t think such christians do themselves any favours by playing the inane “you invented a crude quasi pscyhological label for us – have a taste of your own medicine!” games.

    And Jesus was a liberal Jew ;-)

  19. By accusing those with conservative views on sexuality as homophobic you make a mockery of the victims of genuine homophobia. When someone is beaten or killed because of their sexual orientation or their identification of homosexual culture that is homophobia, to put that on a level with a priest who thinks that sex between two people of the same sex is not good is very offensive to those of us who know genuine victims of hatred and prejudice, of all types.

    Of course many conservatives are homophobic, as are many in the general public, but being conservative Is Not The Same Thing as being homophobic.

  20. Ryan

    You are clearly familiar with the language question but I was not being pedantic over ‘nice’ qestions of definition so much as questioning the strategy of labelling someone in order to dismiss them. I am deeply concerned about how we can all speak from our own agenda with little or no thought for how the wider population, who are already poisoned by liberal non-thinking and find Christianity confusing enough, are misled (deliberately in my opinion) by terms like ‘homophobia’. You write about language evolving and I agree that it does but, in this instance, the liberal is counting on people understanding the standard dictionary definition of ‘phobia’, i.e. irrational fear or aversion, to reinforce the idea that those who question liberal claims are being irrational and acting out of fears informed by prejudices. If you redefine ‘phobia’ it defeats that object.

    If ‘phobia’ is to be redefined then you must first make clear what this new definition is. I pay a great deal of attention to language and how it is used and I have not found any definition of phobia, either in formal or informal usage, that departs from what I have already stated, i.e. an irrational fear or aversion. This is the way it is used by liberals when it is utilised to label conservative thinkers who object on biblical grounds to the idea that homosexual practice is acceptable. You cannot expect to get away with routinely using the familiar dictionary definition in service of your cause to label and dismiss your critics and, at the same time, insist that perhaps it doesn’t mean that any more when challenged.

    The same may be said of the often heard assertion that the conservative argument is founded on ‘a few obscure Bible verses’. The word ‘obscure’ is intended to convey to people the notion of, “indistinct; not easily understood; not clear”. The aim of using it is that people should say, “Oh, well. There you are then. Its a bunch of conservative reactionaries using obscure Bible verses to press their outdated and dangerous agenda”. This is misleading since the verses in question are quite clear and, therefore, their frequency is irrelevant. But perhaps you want to redefine ‘obscure’ and ‘few’.

    Applying this notion of the evolution of language to how we view biblical principles is a very dangerous idea and this concerns me too. Jesus said, “If you love me you will obey what I command” (Jn.14:15). The first duty of love for God is obedience. Indeed, love to God, expressed in obedience, is the first duty of man and love for others “like unto it”. It is not either/or but the one comes before the other. In the liberal world love for others seems to come first along with the assumption that God is just bound to approve because, after all, isn’t he a God of love? This is the world’s definition of God and love.

    What God commands cannot be redefined according to the fads and fashion of language but must be discovered in the Bible, which is consistent in what it teaches. The liberal community in the church has redefined ‘love’ in its own image and come up with a sentimental definition based more on how the world sees love, i.e. “Because I love you I will indulge you”. But, while it is true that love “goes the extra mile”; “forgives seventy times seven”; “is patient, kind, never fails, etc.”, nevertheless it is those things towards man. Towards God it is obedient and obedience cannot and must not be sacrificed on the altar of kindness and patience. It is not love to fail to model before men our love for God in acts of obedience. It is very liberal to model before God our love for men in acts of indulgence. In the liberal heaven there is such a surfeit of mansions that they are being let out to almost anyone who cares to apply because it is more important to be nice than obedient. If we are not careful liberals will kill the world with their kindness, empty heaven of obedient souls and rob God of his glory.

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