No historical continuity? Christians brought their faith from Jerusalem, across the world, to places like Britain. In England, in the late middle ages, people became increasingly worried that, while many had remained faithful, some - even in the hierarchy of the Church - had not. They reformed themselves, attempting to keep and to strengthen the ancient and true faith, so that it should not be buried under what I am sure they could have called 'political correctness' - the Catholic Church's contemporary stance.
The key words here are "in the late middle ages." You're talking about over a thousand years later! You are also talking about post-schism. The hierarchy that they were so concerned about was that of the ROMAN CATHOLIC Church, not the Orthodox. That's two strikes against continuity- both historical and that of faith and practice.
You may well be right, but unless you can demonstrate this is so without recourse to the teachings of the One True Church (since that truth, and the identity of that Church, are what we seek to establish), I can only hold this as your personal opinion.
I'm afraid the burden of proof is on you. I can present plenty of scriptural evidence AGAINST homosexual unions, can you present any FOR them?
The argument that you present of "context" (though I would say of context mis-interpreted) is one that I hear often, but as far as I'm concerned, doesn't hold water. If we summarily dismiss the teachings of Christ as outdated simply because the historical context was different from our modern context, then where do we end up? Oh, that's right, we end up as Protestants, picking and choosing what to accept and what not to accept.
As I said before, the teachings of Christ ARE for ALL times and ALL places and ALL people. We must conform ourselves to be as He as asked us and do as He has asked us. We should NOT attempt to reform what He has taught in order to fit ourselves so that we may live more comfortably. God gives us all struggles, homosexuality is just one of them, and we should give Him glory for ALL of them, that we may undertake the struggles as a martyrdom for Him! I know, easy for me to say. But while I acknowledge that the struggle of homosexuality is a serious, difficult one that at times I'm sure can be overwhelming, I also acknowledge that there are other struggles in life that are just as great, just as difficult for other people.
Christ came to a faithful who were few. It was important that they build families and churches. Now, however, there is surely no need for us to overpopulate the world. Surely this is crucial?
There are two problems here.
1. Are we overpopulating the world? I don't think so, personally. Every life is precious in God's eyes, none is a burden. In addition, we should consider that in "western" countries like the US, Britain, etc. overpopulation is not an issue. Not only is it not an issue, but we are seeing a DECLINE in population in predominantly Christian countries (which are the ones, btw, where homosexual unions are socially acceptable). And we are seeing a RISE in population among predominantly Muslim countries. At the rate we are going, if we DON'T start lifting up the family and populating at higher rates, countries like Canada and France will be Muslim in a few short years, with Britain and the US and others not far behind.
2. You are reducing the purpose of marriage to simply procreation. This is a very Roman Catholic view. Marriage is not simply for the purpose of pro-creation. All the way back to Genesis we see that there are other purposes for marriage (it is not good for man to be alone-- a help-mate). And that's just Genesis. I would go on throughout the rest of Scripture, but I think it would be tangential. You get my point. God had other reasons for marital union, yet He was STILL quite clear that it was ONLY for man and woman.
I don't quite understand. I know of no Roman society that ever considered sanctioning monogamous homosexual relationships in general. Homosexual affairs were tolerated and even celebrated, but as far as I know, the first duty of a man (or woman) of good standing was to produce children, something they could not do within a monogamous homosexual relationship.
"Homosexual affairs were tolerated and even celebrated." Your words. Considering that this was normal in Roman Society, it would not have been a huge leap if Christ had blessed a homosexual union. Yet He did not.
When did I suggest we bow to political correctness? Please point me to the passage that made you think this?
The whole suggestion of accepting homosexual unions despite the clear and obvious admonitions against them in Scripture is political correctness, as is allowing women priests.
I don't want to start another tangent here, but on the subject of women priests, I just want to be clear that I am NOT against women performing the roles that have been traditionally ascribed to them-- chanting, reading, teaching, ordained deaconess, etc. Those I am personally okay with, as they have been part of the tradition of the Church. I am not, however, an advocate of women in the priesthood. This, I think, is going too far. We have to keep the gentle balance that Christ left for us, not blow it out of the water to accommodate our prides.
I think we are getting away from the basic point, though, with this. Your point was that historical continuity does not equal theological continuity. Your examples were homosexual unions, women priests, and rending unto Caesar (which, btw, I think is just messing with words, the basic point is still the same).
My point was that continuity of faith cannot exist WITHOUT historical continuity. It's not physically possible. "Continuity" is a word that relies on physical time, and in this case, physical people. When that bond of time and people is broken (as it was in the Great Schism and thereafter), then the continuity has been broken. From that point you can try to make it up, or try to return to the original. Either way, the continuity is lost.
To look at it from another angle: We'll call this "vice versa."
Does historical continuity=continuity of faith? You say no because you are looking in as an outsider whose beliefs are different but you believe are just as valid, so you see a continuity that, frankly (no offense), doesn't exist. We say yes, they do equate, because we are looking from the inside out, seeing that a break in historical continuity has ALWAYS equaled a break in continuity of faith. If there was no break in continuity of faith, the break in historical continuity would never have happened. Historically, if the faith was the same, those now in schism would never have been rejected. They broke faith, and as a result were rejected by the body of Christ and thus the historical bond was broken. Here's the "vice versa..." Is continuity of faith reliant upon historical continuity? Yes. Otherwise it cannot physically be "continuity." But historical continuity is also reliant upon continuity of faith.
That just fried my noodle. I need a nap now.
Now... that was really long. Sorry. How many times did I say "continuity" in one post? That must be a record.