Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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Homosexual Church of Ireland Clergyman in Civil Partnership

Rev. Angus Stewart


In view of Church of Ireland clergyman Rev. Tom Gordon's civil partnership with another man (July, 2011), the Belfast News Letter asked for Letters to the Editor: "What are your views on same-sex relationships in the clergy?" (3 September, 2011).

First, if God's Word does not forbid all sexual relationships outside lifelong marriage between one man and one woman (Matt. 19:3-12) and does not prohibit homosexuality (Rom. 1:27), then Christian office-bearers should be free to enter civil partnerships with other men with gay abandon.

Second, if Scripture's declaration that homosexuals are not members of the kingdom of heaven but that only those are sanctified who have repented of, and broken with, sodomy and/or other sins (I Cor. 6:9-11) can be set aside, then denominations may maintain homosexual clergymen in good standing.

Third, if a church office-bearer may be united to another man, rather than devoted to one woman if he is married (I Tim. 3:2) as the Bible teaches, then there is nothing wrong with homosexual civil partnerships for the clergy.

Fourth, if the church is to take its sexual ethics from the ungodly world (i.e., contemporary political correctness, contrary to many centuries of Western thinking), and reject the command of Romans 12:2, "Be not conformed to this world," then homosexuality is good and acceptable to God.

Fifth, if Jesus Christ, who is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb. 13:8), judges churches according to political correctness and not according to the standard of the Holy Scriptures (John 12:48), congregations should have no fear that He will ever call them "synagogues of Satan" (Rev. 2:9; 3:9) or vomit them out of His mouth (Rev. 3:16).

Sixth, if the Church of Ireland is willing to jettison the biblical position and two millennia of church teaching on homosexuality, endure disunity, alienate those in her ranks and outside who believe the Bible, and risk losing members, in order to avoid painful church discipline and gain the temporary favour of some in the world, then it is wise to tolerate a homosexual minister in a civil partnership and allow him to remain in the ministry.