Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A centre line running through the middle ground?

Roger Harper, UK, has alerted me to a site he has developed called Gay Marriage Maybe: Robust Middle Ground in Christian Debate

What do you think? Is there a centre line running through the middle ground which we can walk on this matter?

7 comments:

Rosemary Behan said...

Nope!

carl jacobs said...

No, there is no middle ground here. The simple fact of asserting 'maybe' makes implicit positive definite claims about the lack of authority and sufficiency in Scripture. And that is always where the center of the conflict has resided. On the primary issue of the authority and nature of the Scripture. And look here. There very first post is an attack on Scriptural authority. Shocked I am. Shocked beyond all description.

carl

Shawn Herles said...

The first thing I notice is that Roger Harper, in his blog posts, denies the biblical doctrine of Hell, and as far as I can tell, any real authority for Scripture in our lives.

Not a good start.

The problem with notions of poles, extremes, and centrism, or middle ground, is that where the poles are, and where the middle are, is entirely subjective. Thus I cannot see how trying to formulate doctrine, or interpreting Scripture, by trying to find a "middle ground" is really viable.

The same is true of what constitutes primary and secondary issues.

Harper claims Scripture is not clear on marriage and sexuality with regards to homosexuality, thus it is not a primary issue.

I do not remotely believe that that is valid clam.

Harper's hermeneutical approach is too subjective, and places far too much emphasis on modern, Western liberal feelings and sensibilities, not just on this issue, but on many other's based on what I read on his blog.

rogerharper said...

Hi Peter,

It's taken me a while to see and respond to these comments.

First thanks to he commenters.

Carl is shocked that I do not go along with the conservative evangelical doctrine of Scripture. I follow a doctrine of Scripture derived from Scripture, especially the New Testament. That should not be dismissed as shocking but engaged with in more detail. How is the Conservative view derived from Scripture itself?

Shawn says that denying the traditional view of hell is not a good start. The hell of eternal torment is simply not Biblical. References to torment, such as the Rich Man's torment in Jesus' parable are about Hades, the intermediate state, not Gehenna, the final end of the unrepentant wicked.

Much better to honour follow the Bible by paying attention to exactly what the Bible says and does not say.

Shawn then takes a 'leap of disbelief' asserting that my views are invalid, without any Biblical or logical argument.

Why can there be no middle ground or accommodation on gay marriage when there can be on women in leadership, divorce, baptismal discipline etc.? Isn't that what the judge you recently quoted was hinting at?

I would welcome more engagement with my writing and with the Bible.

Joshua Bovis said...

I too believe that there is no middle ground is because gay marriage is to do with the very nature of the Gospel itself.

Those who are arguing for same sex marriage within the church,and/or for the blessing of homosexual relationships, are teaching that homosexuality is good in God’s eyes and are saying that the homosexual can keep on engaging in homosexual expression as long as they are in a committed, faithful homosexual relationship are in practice and in essence believing a different and wrong gospel, because there is no repentance.

As has been stated many times, Scripture is clear that there are only two types of sexual expression that God approves of:
1. Heterosexual sex in the context of a life-long marriage between a man and a woman.
2. For those who are not married, celibacy.

For those arguing for SSM, they are saying that there is a third expression. This is Biblically untenable.

Peter Carrell said...

A comment from Ron Smith, lightly moderated to remove unnecessary adjectives:

"Roger, I warn you. You will find yourself pretty lonely on this subject here. Most people engaging on the web are quite confident that God's patience, mercy and goodness is confined to their [] understanding of what God might demand from his wayward - yet redeemed - children.

In like manner, Jesus was vilified by the Scribes and Pharisees for his eirenic dealing with the noted Sinners of his day. And before Someone jumps in to say that the last thing he said to the 'Woman caught in adultery' was : "Go and sin no more"; they forget that Jesus first said: "I do not condemn you!". He also dismissed her righteous(?) persecutors with the reminder that they, too, were sinners. Nor were they repentant sinners, by the look of how things turned out.

Why are we human beings, having graciously been given redemption by Christ from the consequences of our sins, always so ready to point to, and to judge, the sins of others.

However, I guess that, too, is part of what most of us recognise as 'the Fall! If only we could be less hypocritical about all that.

Lord, forgive me, a Sinner!
"

rogerharper said...

Hi at last Joshua,

Jesus is not so clear as Leviticus or Paul. Jesus is our Head, not the Torah, not Paul. This doesn't mean that we disregard everything from Leviticus and Paul, but it does mean that the matter is not as clear-cut as you make out.

Extending marriage to include same sex couples would not change the nature of the Gospel. All humankind would still need the salvation of Jesus from the fundamental, parable of the sheep and goats, sins.

You have a Biblical view on gay marriage. It is not the only Biblical view. Some of us question whether, in making Paul and the Torah the overriding authority, you are actually being fully Biblical.

And yes, Ron, if liberals are mistaken, and at the Final Judgement Jesus deems making a faithful life-long physically-expressed commitment to someone of the same sex a sin, to be added to all the other sins we have committed, we will be glad that it is He, not us, who is Judge and Redeemer.