Down Under we see things differently.
Peter"We are rank hypocrites about divorce so let's double down on homosexuality" is a terrible argument. The answer is to put aside the first hypocrisy. You don't add a second hypocrisy for the sake of the first. Or a third for that matter. Or a fourth. There is not a single sexual practice known to man that could not be justified by this argument. If my pastor wrote me a letter containing this argument, I would walk into his office with no other intent but to strike my sandals against his door. There was not one single argument in his piece that resonated with me. Not one.carl
Hi CarlI think it is very well written but let me now add, unpersuasive. In part I think he confuses the welcome and hospitality the church seeks to give to all people with the formal actions of the church in rites such as marriage.The irony of the argument he presents is that it works persuasively in reverse: we should be taking stock as a church on our attitude to divorce and remarriage in the light of (re)new(ed) reminders of our Lord's teaching.
PeterThe following construction occurs over and over again in these arguments.1. God wants me to be happy.2. X makes me happy.3. God wants X for me.That argument is theological nonsense. The idea that God would never require of me that which would make me unhappy is pure nonsense. God's purpose is not the development of happiness but holiness. So it doesn't matter if CS Lewis would have been unhappy if he couldn't marry the woman he loved. The principle is greater than transient human desire. Permanent unhappiness in this life can have divine purpose - no matter how much we don't want to hear it.You are correct his argument works to drive the exact opposite conclusion he intends. I expected him to address that aspect. But then again, I am not surprised he didn't.carl
"Many pastors counsel conflicted parents of evangelical faith who are in a psychological torture device: forced to choose between accepting their child who is gay or honoring the faith that saved them." - Vineyard Pastor, Ken Wilson -Here, at last, is an evangelical pastor who is ready, at the prompting of the Holy Spirit in his life - to change his views on LGBTI people. He is counselling his Church members to have a like pastoral care and concern for Gay people and their families. Now here is the outworking of Gospel felicity.How different from those in some churches who refuse to listen to what "The Holy Spirit is saying to the Church" - especially in conjunction with the public reading of scriptures that need to be properly interpreted.Thank God for pastors like Ken Wilson, who refuses to separate Gays and their concerned relatives from the pastoral ministry of the Body of Christ.Christ IS Risen1 Alleluia!
I initially wasn't sure what I would think of this. But in the end, despite a few issues (like his apparent division of listening to what Jesus says from listening to Scripture), I think the language of 'welcome and wanted' is pretty good. I think as evangelical churches we need to use this sort of language.As a parallel 'welcome and wanted' is exactly what I felt when I started going to St John's Latimer Square as a non-Christian who was in a sexual relationship out of marriage (livin with my girlfriend). I had no doubts that I was both welcome, and wanted (people were delighted to see me, to n extent I couldn't understand at the time - people who were thoroughly different from me too!). Over time I was challenged, especially by the preaching, but also in private conversation (that I brought up as far as I remember), to the point hat it became increasingly clear to me that my sexual living situation was not honouring to the Jesus I had come to love. Things were by no means tidy or simple after that, but that was how it went down. That is precisely the sort of welcome and wanted vibe I want for ALL people regardless of their state of life in ALL areas of life, and it doesn't require us to change or avoid teaching if the grace of God is put at front, but not against, the outworkings of that grace in holiness of life.So I reckon welcome and wanted, rightly defined, ain't bad at all as a mantra for us to guide our thinking about welcoming all people, including LGBTI people, but not limited to them.
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