The Steampunk Vicar

A Presbyterian Pastor on Neo-Victoriana and American Faith

Tag: homosexuality

In caedem

I suppose that, after a Fashion, I might be considered a Faith Leader. Lacking a Community of which I stand in Leadership – excepting you, of course, dear Reader – I sometimes neglect the Fact. Nevertheless, I am a Teaching Elder of the American Church of Scotland, duly ordained by the Presbytery of Olympia on behalf of Christ’s Church. Thus it falls to me, unpulpited though I am, to speak in the Silence of the Unspeakable – to claim the digital Pulpit which is, I begin to suspect, my present Calling, and to use it in the Service of the One who ultimately called me.

Thus, today, I offer up an imperative Sermon to you, gentle Reader, to those persons of the Christian Faith to whom  I am privileged to preach. This Sermon is taken from the simplest, clearest, and most pointed Texts that I can locate.

First, from the Gospel according to St. Matthew, the Fifth Chapter, starting at the Fourty-Third Verse*:

43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy.

44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies: bless them that curse you: do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which hurt you, and persecute you,

45 That ye may be the children of your father that is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to arise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and unjust.

46 For if ye love them, which love you, what reward shall you have? Do not the Publicans even the same?

47 And if ye be friendly to your brethren only, what singular thing do ye? do not even the Publicans likewise?

48 Ye shall therefore be perfect, as your Father which is in heaven, is perfect.

And then, my central Text, from the Hebrew Bible, the Book of the Exodus, the Twentieth Chapter, the Thirteenth Verse. Listen for God’s Word to you.

13 Thou shalt not kill.

Let us pray.

God of heaven, add unto us Understanding of your Word and Will for us. Even as your Children mistake and trample your Word, guide us in the Way that you would have us go.

Amen.

Do not kill People.

I am stunned, as ever, that I must specify this to you, gentle Reader. Whenever once again I am forced to address Murder on a massive Scale, I feel that my Kindred and I in the Clergy have, somehow, signally failed to impart even the most basic, simple Commandments. Thus, in the Wake of the Mass Shooting in Orlando, Florida, with fourty-nine Persons dead, a further fifty-three injured, in the Wake of this depraved Act of domestic Terror, in the Wake of this wanton Assault on the Lives of Revelers in a Space of Safety for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Communities, many of whom were persons of Latino or Latina descent, in the Wake of Murder most foul, once again, I fear that we, as a Priesthood, as a Community, as a Nation, as a Church, as a World, must reconsider, once more, this Commandment of the God of Israel, and its Implications for our Behaviour – to wit:

Do not kill People.

Do not kill People because you dislike how they are dressed.

Do not kill People because you dislike how they looked at you.

Do not kill People if you disagree with their public Behavior.

Do not kill People for Money, or Possessions, or Glory, or Honor.

Do not kill People because you do not like the Grade or Performance Review that they gave you.

Do not kill People because they break up with you, or will not yield to your romantic Ministrations.

Do not kill People because you regard them as impure.

Do not kill People because you believe them to be irreverent.

Do not kill People because you see them as unjust.

Do not kill People because you think them insufficiently compassionate.

Do not kill People because you feel that they are disloyal.

Do not kill People because they are gay. Or lesbian. Or bisexual. Or transgender. Or queer. Or intersex. Or asexual. For all of these identities and more, do not kill people.

Do not kill People because their Skin Color differs from your own.

Do not kill People to try and start a War.

Do not kill People because they do not worship your God.

Do not kill People because they do worship your God, but incorrectly, you feel.

Do not kill People because they hate you.

Do not kill People because you hate them.

Do not kill People because they have committed, or intend to commit, a Crime. Do not feel absolved from this – if it is in your Power to resist the Commission of a Crime, by all Means you should do so. But do, I beg, try not to kill People in the Process.

If it is possible to avoid doing so, do not kill People who are trying to kill you. Likewise, if avoidable, do not kill People who are trying to kill other People.

Do not purchase Weapons, place them in your Car, and drive somewhere for the express Purpose of killing People. If you do the first three things, neglect, please, the fourth, and do not kill the People.

Just, simply, and I know this might be rather difficult…do not kill People.

 

I know that this will, for some of you, present a burdensome Commandment. “Ah!” I hear you cry, “But what if I really must kill this Person, or this enormous Group of People, for the following excellent Reason!”

“No,” I shall reply. “Do not kill People.”I shall then point to the Passage in the Scriptures that commands you not to kill. Then I shall point at the Words of Jesus, the ways in which He lifts up not hating our Enemies, but blessing and praying for them. I shall note that we are to be different – better – than the ones who harass and persecute us. We are to be more good than our Foes.

This necessitates not killing them.

In short, Brothers and Sisters, Children of God, Daughters and Sons, Kindred of one another, in all your Ways and Walkings, in all the Turnings Life yields unto you, to the very best of your Ability…

…do not kill People.

The Word of the Lord.

Amen.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+5&version=CEB
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+20&version=CEB

De visione mundi

Rather distressed of Heart, I have been reading of the travails of that redoubtable Charitie, World-Vision. I will admit to a Confusion of Feeling engendered by these Trials. I know World-Vision of old, having served there as a Volunteer, and knowing that my Father’s Employment was for some Years centered there. Too, there is good Work that is done in the Name of the Christ by these Agents of the Gospel. Much of Povertie, Strife, and Sickness is eased by their Care and Wealth, and their Dedication to the Cause of the Betterment of Humanitie cannot be doubted. This, of course, provided that, by Humanitie, you mean those Persons whose carnal Desires fit neatly into the Box provided by the Moralitie of my era, and none of your own.

I write, however, not for World-Vision – I am, past my own Historie, indifferent to the Rise or Fall of one Charitie when so many others go about the same Work, both in the Name of Christ and in Defence of the human Spirit. No, my care at this Hour is for the Church, and for the resounding Crash that has echoed across the Book of Faces and the Birdsong and Google Plus. For in reading this remarkable Weblogue, and this, and, moste especially, this, I am forced to a peculiar Conclusion.

This is it. This is the Moment for which we have waited, long in coming. This is the Revelation that has been looming since the Victories of the Culture Wars of the 1980s. So deep have gone Evangelicals into their Defence against what they perceive to be Perversion that they are willing to sacrifice the Lives and Health of Children on behalf of sexual Purity. More precious to them is the Commandment that “Thou shalt not lie with Mankind, as with Womankind: it is Abomination,” (Leviticus 18:22) than the Parable of Christ, that

Then shall the King say unto them on his right Hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the Foundation of the World: for I was an hungred, and ye gave me Meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me Drink: I was a Stranger, and ye took me in: naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in Prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a Stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothedthee39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in Prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my Brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:34-40)

 

Where in this is the Condemnation of Indigence, or of Sin? Where is Sex, or Opiate, or Illness named, unless to claim the Call of Christ to Care? Who are these, who claim as foremost Goods the Persecution of the Queer over the Provision for the Poor?

These are, I stoop to say, mine Brothers and Sisters in Christ. They are Passionate Persons, devoted to their understanding of the Word of the Lord, and to the Christ they seek to know. They are caring Persons, in their own way, seeking to unleash Good upon the World.

They are, however, wrong. 

I’ve no more of room for Patience or Endurance – with Mrs. Evans, I’ve Love for my evangelical Kindred, but I’ve no more Room to leave their Error unpronounced. 

Sisters and Brothers in Christ, you are wrong. Wrong to care more for the Sex of your Neighbours than for the Health of Children. Wrong to care more for the Puritie you learned as Youths than for the Charitie to which God has summoned you. You are, in your Priorities, wholly wrong.

I hope and pray that this great Gong of Change spells the death Knell for the Wars of Culture. For I feel it in the Water, I hear it in the Air. Change comes, Resurrection comes. The time is coming for the Change in all the World. E’en so, Lord Jesus, quickly come. 

De Divortio, v. I

I must say that one of the moments I am most looking forward to on a return to my own Time Line is the conversation I intend to have with Mechano-Lord Byron and Mr. O. Wilde (who has become much Wilde-er, apparently, since that nasty were-badger-bite). I think both gentlemen will be frankly astounded at where modern society, both British and American, has come to in the past few decades – and don’t get me started on how Shakespeare’s Brain-in-a-Jar will feel on the subject. Most particularly I highlight those gentlemen because of historical links on the issue of homo-sexuality.

I will admit, I was frankly shocked when I first arrived by such Radiovisual comedies as “Will and Grace,” and by the populations of “Project: Runway.” among other things. But I’ve had a chance, since I arrived in this Land of the free, to explore their social and theological thinking. I will not say that it has been always a particularly EASY process, but I am coming to terms with the license of this age – and, in fact, coming to embrace it.

Over the next few postings from the Aether, I will be exploring the following topics:

I. The Scriptural Arguments for Accepting Gays, Lesbians, Transsexuals and Transgendered Persons, and the Queer Community
II. A Brief History of This Acceptance in the American Churches of the Reformation
III. The Good News for the Proclamation of the Gospel and My Connexion Thereto

I may, due to erudition, take more than one post for each of these topics, and those whose interest is more in my neo-Victorian pursuits may be disappointed for some weeks to come. Rest assured – I will return to the subjects most dear to your hearts, but as a portion of this weblogue’s purpose is the freedom to speak out on topics otherwise taboo, I must share what is on my Mechanical Heart first.

Walk with me, first, then,on a Journey to the Centre of the Word of God…