The leader of the Anglican Church says Christians should stop openly criticizing homosexuals, out of concern for their lives.
In a letter targeting the world’s Anglican churches, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said harsh language about homosexuals can lead to murder, according to a BBC report.
Although many traditional Anglican leaders oppose homosexuality, since it is unambiguously condemned in both the Old and New Testaments, Williams reportedly said in his letter: “Any words that could make it easier for someone to attack or abuse a homosexual person are words of which we must repent.
“Do not think repentance is always something others are called to, but acknowledge the failings we all share, sinful and struggling disciples as we are,” he added.
In the three-and-a-half page letter, the BBC reported, Williams said homosexuals feel condemned because of their sexuality and that this inner conflict sometimes leads to suicide.
Williams made waves after taking office last year when he supported homosexual priest Dr. Jeffrey John as the bishop of Reading. Ultimately John withdrew in the face of widespread and intense opposition.
And this past June, Williams made more waves by praising a new version of the Bible that flatly contradicts traditional core Christian beliefs on sex and morality.
Titled “Good as New,” the new Bible was translated by former Baptist minister John Henson for the “One” organization, to produce what the group calls a “new, fresh and adventurous” translation of the Christian scriptures.
Archbishop Rowan Williams
Williams, the 104th archbishop of Canterbury, and leader of the Church of England, describes it is a book of “extraordinary power,” but admitted many would be startled by its content.
The One organization that produced the new Bible translation is dedicated to “establish[ing] peace, justice, dignity and rights for all.” It is also focused on “sustainable use of the earth’s resources,” challenging “oppression, injustice, exclusion and discrimination” as well as accepting “one another, valuing their diversity and experience.”
According to Ekklesia, a London-based “theological think tank” that supports the “One” translation:
- The translation is pioneering in its accessibility, and changes the original Greek and Hebrew nomenclature into modern nicknames. St. Peter becomes “Rocky,” Mary Magdalene becomes “Maggie,” Aaron becomes “Ron,” Andronicus becomes “Andy” and Barabbas becomes “Barry.”
In keeping with the times, translator Henson deftly translates “demon possession” as “mental illness” and “Son of Man,” the expression Jesus frequently used to describe himself, as “the Complete Person.” In addition, parables are rendered as “riddles,” baptize is to “dip” in water, salvation becomes “healing” or “completeness” and Heaven becomes “the world beyond time and space.”
Here, according to the London Times, are a few sample passages:
Authorized version: “John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.”
New: “John, nicknamed ‘The Dipper,’ was ‘The Voice.’ He was in the desert, inviting people to be dipped, to show they were determined to change their ways and wanted to be forgiven.”
Authorized version: “And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him. And there came a voice from the heaven saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
New: “As he was climbing up the bank again, the sun shone through a gap in the clouds. At the same time a pigeon flew down and perched on him. Jesus took this as a sign that God’s spirit was with him. A voice from overhead was heard saying, ‘That’s my boy! You’re doing fine!'”
Authorized version: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!”
New version: “Take a running jump, Holy Joes, humbugs!”
Authorized version: “Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, ‘Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee.’ But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest.”
New: “Meanwhile Rocky was still sitting in the courtyard. A woman came up to him and said: ‘Haven’t I seen you with Jesus, the hero from Galilee?” Rocky shook his head and said: ‘I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about!'”
1 Corinthians 7:1-2
KJV: “Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: [It is] good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, [to avoid] fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.”
New: “Some of you think the best way to cope with sex is for men and women to keep right away from each other. That is more likely to lead to sexual offences. My advice is for everyone to have a regular partner.”
1 Corinthians 7:8-7
KJV: “I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.”
New: “If you know you have strong needs, get yourself a partner. Better than being frustrated.”
Describing the new Bible, Williams said: “Instead of being taken into a specialized religious frame of reference – as happens even with the most conscientious of formal modern translations – and being given a gospel addressed to specialized concerns … we have here a vehicle for thinking and worshipping that is fully earthed, recognizably about our humanity.”