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An Old Sin With a New Slant

Paul M. Allen reports that a sign in the Red Dog Saloon in Juneau, Alaska, reads: "If our food, drinks, and service aren't up to your standards, please lower your standards" (Reader's Digest, 3/03). One might expect standards to be lowered where they serve booze - but how about where they serve communion? The Episcopal Church now has its first openly gay bishop. V. Gene Robinson was appointed bishop of New Hampshire by the church's General Convention in Minneapolis on Tuesday, August 5", 2003. Fox News commentator Cal Thomas reports that Robinson divorced his wife with whom he had two children and that he "later took up with a man." Thus, the leaders of the Episcopal Church in America have picked as a bishop "a divorced, practicing homosexual priest" (The TENNESSEAN, Thursday, 8/ 7/03, p 17A). People who accept the Bible as the inspired and authoritative standard of God will immediately recognize just how far the Episcopal Church has lowered Its standards. The apostle Paul gave us God's standard in I Timothy 3:2-4: "A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife .... who rules his own house well." That's what God said about a bishop's qualifications two thousand years ago - "the husband of one wife" - not the lover of one man. And while some churches buy into the increasingly common and contemporary habit of re-writing and "updating" the Bible to suit cultural trends and meet public approval, what God said then is what He still says now. By their appointment and approval of a gay bishop, the Episcopal Church has not proven that God has changed His mind about homosexuality. What they have proven is that -human standards, even very religious human standards, are sometimes much lower than Heaven's standards. There is NO reason to believe God has lowered His standards concerning sexual behavior or relationships.

Advocates of the gay lifestyle are seeking to portray homosexuality and same-sex-marriages as just another new, chick, exciting way to live, a part of the "new morality" that arrived several decades ago, just another "alternative." Homosexuality is definitely an "alternative lifestyle" but it is not new, and it is not moral. It is the same old sin for which God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 18-19. It is the same old sin condemned in Romans 1:24-27 as "vile, against nature, shameful, error, debased." But this old sin has a new slant - now well out of the closet, it wants acceptance in the church. Jack Evans, Jr., puts a slant on homosexuality God's people must remember: "Homosexuality is not a civil right - it is a moral wrong." Churches may change standards - but God's truth remains the same (Hebrews 13:8).

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ