Stress-testing the
mind of Christ

Where a recovering ex-atheist rams the Bible into other worldviews to see what breaks (note: Scripture cannot be broken)


proofs
A simple argument that the Roman church is under God’s judgment for apostasy and idolatry

Pedophilia isn’t the only sexual scandal in the Roman ranks.

Homosexuality is the topic du jour, so I have been reflecting on Romans 1 more than usual lately. Today I was reminded of a fact I had half-forgotten, and was struck by how it juxtaposes against Romans 1.

According to various estimates—some sociological and some from the anecdotal observation of insiders—as many as 60% of Roman Catholics priests are homosexuals. The number could be as low as 10%—and even that would be over five times the incidence in the general populace—but it is probably at least 20%, and most probably over 50%.

To say that homosexuality is rampant in the church hierarchy almost seems too weak.

Now, in Romans 1, Paul is perfectly clear that homosexuality is a judgment from God as a result of idolatry. In verses 21-23, people do not honor God, nor give him thanks, but instead become futile in their reasoning; they claim to be wise, but in fact become fools by worshiping created things rather than God. Therefore (v 24) and because of this (v 26), God gives them over to immoral physical desires—degrading passions—so their bodies will be dishonored: women exchanging natural relations with men for unnatural ones, and men also abandoning natural relations with women and becoming inflamed with desire for each other, committing shameless acts together.

This isn’t the end of the story, of course—they are also given over to every other kind of wickedness (vv 28ff). But homosexuality appears to be a particularly notable, egregious signal of God’s judgment—an omen, as it were, that the kid-gloves are off, his patience has ended, and his judgment has begun. Homosexuality among a people is like a signpost on the highway to hell, letting you know that you just missed your last exit.

This brings me to my argument…

The argument

  1. The notable incidence of homosexuality among a people is clear evidence of God’s judgment against them for turning away from him to worship creation
  2. There is a notable incidence of homosexuality among the Roman Catholic Church’s hierarchy
  3. Therefore, this is clear evidence of God’s judgment against the Roman Catholic Church’s hierarchy for turning away from him to worship creation

Given how I have previously argued that Roman Catholicism is a form of pagan polytheism, that it is an illegitimate, apostate church, that it commits itself to worshiping Allah—and of course, given how Protestantism has always held that the papacy is an ongoing counterfeit of Jesus’ inimitable office, so the pope is quite literally an anti-Christ—this argument doesn’t exactly come out of the blue. The papacy isn’t merely idolatrous; it is, in fact, an idol. So the conclusion of this argument is hardly surprising; it is merely further corroboration of what we already knew.

Indeed, it seems quite legitimate to reinforce the conclusion by suggesting a correlation between the incidence of homosexuality and the intensity of God’s judgment. This would bode rather ill for Rome given the statistics of homosexuality in the priesthood compared to the general population.

There are a couple of ways you could try to weasel out of this while maintaining fidelity to Scripture—but frankly they strike me as too weak to bother anticipating here. I guess we’ll see how things go in the comments.

17 comments

  1. steve hays

    Must you tiptoe around the issue? Why don’t you tell us what you really think? The suspense is killing me :-)

  2. Axis of Logos

    When you say that “pedophilia isn’t the only sexual scandal” you seem to contrast this as a separate case of sexual immorality. I think it is better to see pedophilia as an extension (subset) of the homosexual base in the Rome church:

    Journal of Homosexuality, Volume: 49 Issue: 3/4 2005
    Pederasty: An Integration of Cross-Cultural, Cross-Species, and Empirical Data
    Bruce Rind PhD
    Page Range: 463 – 475

    “Pederasty, or sexual relations between men and adolescent boys, is condemned in our society as an unqualified evil that maims and destroys. In ancient Greece, samurai Japan, and numerous other cultures, pederasty was seen as the noblest of human relations, conducive if not essential to nurturing the adolescent’s successful intellectual and physical maturation.”

    “The animal data suggest that the seeds for pederasty were planted at the dawn of humanity. The human data suggest that pederasty came to serve a mentoring function.”

  3. steve hays

    i) That makes it harder for homosexual apologists to take offense at the comparison between queer marriage and pederasty.

    ii) Although the comparison works if we grant evolutionary ethics, you also have rape, cannibalism, and slavery in the animal kingdom. Does that make it right for humans?

  4. Gabriel

    You have put forth a great argument. However, I must ask as a Protestant that is trying to be consistent, how would this apply to PCUSA and to the Anglican Communion? Why is God judging these churches?

  5. Dominic Bnonn Tennant

    I don’t really know their situations, so I can’t really comment. Is there a high incidence of homosexuality in their ranks too?

  6. Gabriel

    I can’t really say much about the Anglican Communion. Although I’ve heard a few things, I haven’t done much research concerning them and homosexuality. If you would like, you could research what is happening yourself. On the other hand, the Presbyterian Church USA has both voted to ordain gay clergy and to allow same-sex mirage. They have “abandoned the faith,” as James White has said. However, I should add that their membership has rapidly declined since those decisions and is still rapidly declining. However, they still remain the most populated “Presbyterian” church in the United States. I’m not sure what percentage of their clergy is openly homosexual, though, but it is likely quite high. You should do some research if you would like to know more.

  7. Dominic Bnonn Tennant

    I don’t really have a problem with plugging the PCUSA into my argument. Nor the Episcopalian church. Indeed, given their repudiation of biblical sexual ethics, it’s hard to see why we shouldn’t draw the same conclusion about them as about the papists.

  8. Gabriel

    So, correct me if I’m wrong, but what you are saying is that homosexuality becoming rampant among the clergy of these churches is a sign of judgement, as well as the consequence of their rejection of sexual morality?

  9. Dominic Bnonn Tennant

    Indeed. Paul makes it clear that it is because of idolatry that God gives peoples over to homosexuality.

  10. Gabriel

    I meant to add the word “for” after “judgement” to clarify that I meant it is a sign of judgement (for) their rejection of sexual morality, but I think it was still understood. Ironic how the lifestyle they are trying to condone is the very sign of coming judgement FOR condoning it in the first place. Thank you for your comments!

  11. steve hays

    To my knowledge, the PCUSA and the Anglican Communion are very different. the PCUSA is a liberal denomination, period. It’s very tolerant of homosexuals. Whether they are highly represented in the membership or clergy is a different question. I tend to doubt it. It’s the equivalent of liberal white guilt. Theological liberals who want to feel inclusive. That doesn’t mean homosexuals flock to the PCUSA. Indeed, how many homosexuals are even churchgoers?

    By contrast, the Anglican Communion is split into roughly three factions: Anglo-Catholics, evangelicals, and liberals. Obviously, this has fuzzy edges. But due to the sheer size of the Anglican Communion, it is probably the world’s largest evangelical denomination, despite the dilution. In addition, I believe it’s more conservative in the global South, with conservative pockets in the western hemisphere.

  12. Gabriel

    The Episcopal Church of the USA (not surprisingly) appears to be the most liberal on this issue. They and the Church of England are now allowing the ordination of homosexual clergy. The Church of England makes abstinence mandatory for gay clergy, but the Episcopal Church of the USA has already ordained a non-celibate gay bishop. As a result of these controversies and the apostasy of the Episcopal Church, “alternative” Anglican churches have been formed in the United States, and plans of breaking apart from the Church of England are being discussed (See: http://www.christianpost.com/news/conservative-anglicans-discuss-breaking-apart-from-church-of-england-over-gay-marriage-women-bishops-137631/). Sections of the Anglican Communion in other regions, as you said, tend to be more conservative, it would seem. However, the Anglican Communion still appears to be divided on this issue, with some of the churches in different regions of the world standing firm while others apostatize. The irony still applies no matter what “mainline Protestant” church you talk about. The very thing they are allowing to take place is the sign of their coming judgement for doing so.

  13. steve hays

    I wouldn’t say the ECUSA is the most liberal on this issue, unless you’re referring to a wing of the Anglican Communion. There are several mainline denominations with vie with the ECUSA on homosexuality.

  14. Gabriel

    That comment was referring to the Anglican Communion as a whole, except for the last two sentences, which was referring to mainline denominations and the irony of what liberals are doing. The ECUSA appears to be the most liberal wing of the Anglican Communion.

  15. Tony

    See Ed Feser on the truth of the Catholic Church. Sola Scriptura advocates have no ground to stand on. This is a devastating critique of Calvinism:

    http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2015/07/feyerabend-on-empiricism-and-sola.html

    http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2015/07/fulford-on-sola-scriptura-part-i.html

    http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2015/07/fulford-on-sola-scriptura-part-ii.html

  16. Dominic Bnonn Tennant

    Tony, a few points:

    (1)

    Your comment is off topic. We’re discussing how rampant homosexuality within the papist hierarchy proves God’s judgment of the Roman Church at an institutional level. You’ve done nothing to deflect that, or even acknowledge the problem. You have no counterplay when your king is exposed.

    (2)

    I follow Feser, so I’m aware of his efforts here. Frankly, his critique doesn’t even rise to the level of being interesting; let alone devastating. He should stick to what he’s good at—he’s out of his depth. The fact that he hasn’t noticed is even more embarrassing.

    See for example http://triablogue.blogspot.co.nz/2015/07/feser-redux.html

    (3)

    Even if Feser’s critique of sola scriptura found traction, the negation of sola scriptura does not imply Romanism. So not only does your counterattack leave your flank exposed, and not only is it a fumble, but it wouldn’t succeed in securing your position even if it went through.

  17. steve hays

    Related post:

    http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2015/07/feser-on-church.html

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