In the recent newsletter of the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio, a reader chastises the Rev. William Gartig for approving of sodomy and denying the “clear teaching of the church for thousands of years.” Gartig responds:
If you start from texts (whether biblical texts or later Christian writings), you can never get to an accepting attitude to homosexuality. … In my opinion, the homosexuality issue is one therefore that comes down to a sharp choice between starting from texts or starting from somewhere else. It involves some people consciously disagreeing with the biblical text and others being unwilling to disagree with the text. As I wrote in an earlier column (September 2005), the difference between theological conservatives and liberals can be boiled down to what is your ultimate authority.
Bingo. An honest appraisal. And that authority ultimately is either (A) God speaking through Scripture or (B) me. Gartig chooses B. Reverend Gartig then revealingly connects the issue to its Siamese twin:
I wish we Christians could disagree in good faith about this issue as we do about other issues and treat the issue of homosexuality like we treat women’s ordination.
In denominations not focused mostly on experience, sodomy is simply the next exit down the highway from egalitarianism. Both deny Scriptural authority, one is just more “progressive” (a term now generally synonymous with “abominable”). It just takes another generation of seminary rot and seared consciences.