Wednesday, August 03, 2005


By David W. Virtue

The Archbishop of Nigeria, the Most Rev. Peter Akinola believes there are Scriptures that the church must adhere to and follow if it is to be obedient to the 'faith once delivered to the saints.'

In Nottingham, England recently, the archbishop gave VirtueOnline two pages of Scriptural texts and comments that he believes are vital and crucial if theological integrity is to be maintained in the Anglican Communion if we are continue to walk together.

What does God Say about Love and Obedience?

John 14: 15,21-24 "If you love me you will obey what I command...Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."

Deut. 7:9 "Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands."

Psalm. 103:17 "But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children - 18 with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts."

What does God Say we SHOULD NOT do?

Gen. 2: 16,17 "And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."

COMMENTARY: From the beginning of creation God has made it clear that there are limits to out personal freedom that we ignore at our peril.

Leviticus 18:22; Leviticus 20:13 "Do not lie with a man as one as one lies with a woman; that is detestable...If am man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be upon their own heads."

COMMENTARY: Clear Jewish interpretation and tradition understands this to mean all homosexual activity.

Gen. 19:6 Judges 19:23 "The owner of the house went outside and said to them, "No, my friends, don't be so vile. Since this man is my guest, don't do this disgraceful thing."

COMMENTARY: This graphic incident makes it clear that rape is an abomination and also underscores the truth that homosexual activity is reflection of human brokenness.

I Cor. 6:9, 10 "...Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God."

COMMENTARY: This shows that Paul is using the word "arsenokoites" translated "homosexual offenders" to stress the traditional Jewish understanding condemning all homosexual activity, not just rape or prostitution.

Rom. 1:26,27 "They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator - Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another..."

COMMENTARY: Paul says that homosexual activity rejects natural order and practice and is an example of the rejection of God's revealed truth.

Matt. 15:19 "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander."

COMMENTARY: When Jesus here says "sexual immorality", the word "Porneia" for a Jew would cover all sexual immorality including homosexual practice. Jesus' use of this word shows his condemnation of homosexual practice.

What does God Say we SHOULD do?

Gen. 1:27, 2:24 "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them...For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh."

COMMENTARY: God creates male and female as together the full representation of humanity and his image (the "imago dei")

Mark 10: 6-9 "But at the beginning of creation God 'made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wide and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate."

COMMENTARY: Jesus reaffirms the traditional Jewish understanding of marriage as the place for sexual intimacy and stresses that this is not merely a social arrangement but an essential dimension of God's design for humanity.

I Cor. 6: 19-20 "Do you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own, you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body."

COMMENTARY: Paul emphasizes that our physical actions are important to God and that the way in which we sue our bodies demonstrates our willingness to be obedient to his commands.

Ephesians 5: 31,32. "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery - but I am talking about Christ and the church."

COMMENTARY: Paul reaffirms both the Jewish understanding and Jesus' teaching on marriage and to underscore its centrality in creation uses it as an image of Christ's relationship with the church.

Hebrews 13:1,2 & 4 "Keep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by doing so some people have entertained angels without knowing it...Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral."

COMMENTARY: The importance of demonstrating love and hospitality during times of oppression is emphasized as is the importance of holy living and holy relationships.

2 Cor. 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"

COMMENTARY: The reality of personal transformation is at the heart of the gospel promise and available to all who turn to Christ in true repentance and faithful obedience.

Deuteronomy 30:19 "This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live."


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