Wednesday, February 17, 2010

the emergent and the homosexual

In the book of Romans, the Apostle Paul writes there are those that claim to be wise but are really fools. That although they knew God, they did not honor him. Their thinking becomes futile. They exchange truth for a lie. And interestingly, God gives them up to "dishonorable passions", specifically homosexuality (Rom 1.18-32).

With his A New Kind of Christianity, Brian McLaren and the emergent hoard that follows him formally join that group. I appreciate Michael Wittmer's analysis of McLaren's writing. Wittmer notes that McLaren throws out the usual red herrings, i.e., McLaren describes "those opposed to homosexual acts as “angry, dominating” fundasexuals (conservative Christians who seem overly preoccupied with sexual sins) and reminding heterosexuals that they have their fair share of promiscuity and divorce. This last point is sadly true enough, but I don’t understand how the sins of heterosexuals prevent me from saying that homosexual acts also are wrong."

Wittmer then summarizes McLaren's heresy as follows (emphasis mine):

Here are the various arguments which Brian uses to defend homosexual practice.

1. Male and female is a dualism which goes back to Plato, so if you oppose homosexual practice you are being Platonic. In Brian’s words, you are endorsing “the Platonic dualisms in which maleness and femaleness are two absolute, eternal categories of being into which all people fit.”
I covered this in an earlier post (“Interlude”), but let me say again that not all dualisms are Platonic and not all dualisms are wrong. Brian’s argument is also strange from a historical perspective, as Plato himself might have been gay. Plato said that you might remember the form of beauty when you look at a naked boy—an unfortunate statement which would have landed Plato on my state’s sex offender list.

2. Our experience should trump the authority of Scripture. He writes that “If a Christian today experiences gay friends, neighbors, colleagues, or relatives as healthy, sincere, and morally equal” then we must not “marginalize and discredit this experience” just because we think the Bible tells us “that they are rebellious and dangerous sinners, a twisted abomination, a…moral aberrance.”

Here I would appeal to Luther’s theology of the cross, which aptly reminds us to allow the Word of God to interpret what we see rather than the other way around. Brian is reading his Bible and experience from the wrong direction.

3. It is unchristian to say that homosexual practice is wrong for then we are condemning gays “simply for being who they are.”

I address this in chapter 5 of Don’t Stop Believing, so I’ll just say here that we must not allow homosexuals to define themselves by their homosexuality. They are essentially the image of God, not gay. We are actually defending who they are when we say that homosexual practice is not how an image bearer of God should behave. This may be difficult for some to hear, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t humbly and lovingly say it.

4. Brian says that “God demonstrates supreme solidarity…with the ones who are rejected and excluded…with the ones who are humiliated and shamed.” So we who “cast the first stone at the ‘sexually other’” are throwing rocks at God. Got it?

5. Biblically, if God accepted the Ethiopian eunuch (a marginalized sexual other) then we can expect God to be okay with other forms of sexual otherness, including homosexual practice.

Observe that Brian conflates loving a person and accepting what they do, as if bringing the gospel to a eunuch or homosexual connotes acceptance of a homosexual lifestyle. He also equates being a eunuch, which is a non-moral issue, with homosexual practice, which is a decidedly moral one.

6. Rather than criticize homosexual practice we should be thanking gay people, for “By coming out of the closet regarding their homosexuality, gay folks may help the rest of us come out of the closet regarding our sexuality” (emphasis his).

I am sure that coming out is often difficult and I would gladly embrace anyone who feels isolated and ostracized. But openness is not our greatest moral achievement. I don’t think God grants unrepentant sinners a free pass simply because they’re vulnerable. And neither do we. I’m not saying that these sins are in the same category as homosexual practice, but just as we don’t exonerate Bernie Madoff because he said “I did it!” or John Edwards because he finally let his baby girl out of the closet, so I don’t see why we must look the other way when someone admits they commit homosexual acts.

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11 comments:

feetxxxl said...

bottom line:

homosexuals have never been found lacking in any sector of society compared to heterosexuals. they are not less a friend, father, counselor,techer, doctor, soldier,neighbor,brother, etc

homosexuals bond in the same way as heterosexuals, out of mutual love, affection ,respect, trust, and devotion for shared committed life together.

under the new covenant our relationship to god is directly to the spirit THAT LIVES in each believer and not as in the old covenant thru regulation.

under the new covenant all new covenant law is summed up in the 2nd commandment(love your neighbor....). in order for homosexuality to be sin under the new covenant it has to come against the 2nd commandment.

IT DOESNT.

feetxxxl said...

bottom line:

also scripture has never said that homosexuality was a sin

feetxxxl said...

if the premise of your understanding is that romans does, then please explain how the words of romans 18-32 says it does otherwise you are merely assigning meaning in spite of the words.

my understanding is that:

they exchanged the truth of god's love(god is love) for a lie, and worshipped and served the created ( powers and principalities, satan) and were given over to the things that served them..........in this case shameful lust. because they were filled with lust they abandoned the natural, that which embraced the fruit of the holy spirit, and was supported by the fruit of the holy spirit(gal5) for that which that was not and did not. they received the due penalty.........self hatred and self loathing.

john 4: the true worshippers will worship the father in SPIRIT and in truth.

feetxxxl said...

the fruit of the holy spirit: love, joy, peace, kindess,gentleness, self-control,faithfulness, patience,and goodness.

rick said...

feetxxxl - you are blinded by sin and misread the Bible. I do not intend to debate you here but left your comments up so that so that folks can see the degree of deception.

feetxxxl said...

how is explaining an understanding of words a debate?

how does explaining how homosexuality comes against the 2nd commandment about argument?


i would say it is about either only when its not about understanding but instead about belief system.


belief system is centered on the concept and identity of "i" "i believe this" "i dont believe that".
it is remains centered on "i" until it is transformed into faith. then it is centered on christ.

feetxxxl said...

last point

john didnt proclaim jesus was the christ because he stood on a particular interpretation of scripture, handed down from antiquity, he proclaimed jesus the christ from his own personnal witness........"that which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life."
romans1:20 For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
john5:39 You study [c] the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you possess eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
nothing will absolve believers from not making their own 1john1 witness as to what is of god in homosexuals from a fellowship witness of walking in the light thru their hearts thru the spirit of the one who lives in those hearts.
clinging to an interpretation of scripture without such witness, gives no excuse regardless of who promotes the scripture.
the fact that you are led by an interpretation of scripture over witness indicates that you are trumping an old covernant understanding over a new covenant directive of christ.
"you will recognize them by their fruit ............................the fruit of the spirit that is in their lives(gal 5)

rick said...

feet ... you're wasting your time. You are flailing away and only reinforcing that you have embraced error. I will not fall into an internet debate with you.

feetxxxl said...

im sorry but this a an understanding which has grown out of my faith in christ, for you do with, as you choose.

romans12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is true worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

1thess5:21test everything ,keep the good.

rick said...

no - it has grown out of your rebellion ...

rick said...

for the record ... I'm deleting future comments by feet ... I have no energy to argue with this person nor do we have any relationship to warrant pressing this further ...

reftagger