Thursday, February 28, 2008

Gayzing Into My Crystal Ball...

In this recent post, I argued that Christians were no longer capable of making direct moral judgments about homosexuals. In a follow up post, I said that the emerging orthodox position of not demanding immediate change was a concealed demand for absolute change, which would be a symptom of the inability to make direct judgments.

In the comment thread from the first post, Dan presented an alternate reading of the verses that are usually used to show homosexuality is a sin. He suggests that these verses need to be read in particular cultural contexts, and shows that the condemnations contained therein are not condemnations of homosexuality as such but rather a very specific expression of homosexuality. This reading allows for practicing Christians to engage in monogamous homosexual relationships.

I find Dan's reading to be convincing, and what's more, I expect it will eventually be the standard reading through every denomination (including Pentecostals and Calvinists). Christians no longer make direct judgments about gays, and sooner or later, they will latch onto the fact that there are good, solid, scholarly, biblical reasons why they don't need to. Such a shift seems inevitable to me, even if it takes a whole generation.

It's not about losing theological ground to culture, or getting caught up in postmodern relativism. It's about recognizing that the verses about homosexuality can be read in a variety of ways, and the time for reading them in one way has past. The time for reading in a new way has come.

50 Years from now, people will look back at the fight against gay marriage with the same bemused sense of superiority that we have when we look back at every struggle of the 20th century.

5 comments:

Jamie A. Grant said...

Heh. I read this before, but I just caught the pun in the title...

David said...

You said, In a follow up post, I said that the emerging orthodox position of not demanding immediate change was a concealed demand for absolute change, which would be a symptom of the inability to make direct judgments.

I realize that this position is being embraced by some but the story of my friend eventually leaving the homosexual lifestyle does not support that thinking. Even though he did "change" the point of the story is that he was in love with Jesus and was fully "saved" while practicing the lifestyle. He did not know that he would eventually leave homosexuality when he confessed Jesus as Lord.

Some might argue that change was necessary and I would say it wasn't. There seems to a great misunderstanding about unconditional love. The view is that this kind of love insidiously expects or even demands change. That would be manipulative in a nasty sort of way.

I agree with your premise that eventually all of the fighting from Christians about gay marriages will be mute within a generation. It has already happened with common law marriages.

Predictably enough, many Christians think they are expected to hold some moral high ground for society. I don't.

Jesus simply met and loved people where they were. He empowered people in a way that religion will never understand. He chose to have a relationship with them.

Repentance is a major theme in the Bible but I think it is misunderstood. I believe that true Christian repentance involves coming to the realization that there is nothing that I can do to earn or keep my relationship with God. I do have to accept that what Jesus did was sufficient for me to be accepted by God. Will things change in my life because of that? Probably but that doesn't mean necessarily and if it does happen, it likely won't be in the way I would have expected.

The demand for change to become like some group's ideology is a false view of Christianity.

As in all relationships, when we let others into our lives change often occurs. The change could be a person that was vehemently antagonist to homosexuals learning to love and appreciate them. That isn't control or manipulation. That's simply friends being friends.

Charlotte said...

I really love the thoughtfulness that has gone into this discussion on your blog. I'm just writing up my Friday post and am going to link to you.

Mike said...

He did not know that he would eventually leave homosexuality when he confessed Jesus as Lord.

Interesting. How did this work? Everybody "knows" that the Bible and Christianity condemn homosexuality, so he must have been aware of this... so was he converted by someone that held Dan's position? Was your friend initially told that homosexuality was not a sin, and then came to change his mind later?

The idea of unconditional love really isn't as great as it sounds. This sort of love is always going to be suffocating; think of an overbearing or over generous mother.

Everytime someone tells you "I love you unconditionally, I want nothing from you" doesn't the sentence always continue "... except your very soul"?

The offer of unconditional love always conceals a demand for unconditional surrender. It is manipulative and nasty. It is the attempt to create an infinite debt.

The upshot of all my arguments about this is that Christians really only have two options when dealing with homosexuals. The first is Dan's position; stop calling monogamous gay relationships sinful. The second would be to directly and unequivocally say "Do your duty."

David said...

I guess my friend didn't know the rules as you've laid them out.

I don't know whose definition of unconditional love that you're using but it sounds pretty yucky to me as well.

I'm glad it's not the one I'm living in anymore.

There was a time that I would have said that I wanted your soul within my limited understanding of unconditional love, but not anymore.

I do respect the man that you are. And no, I don't want your soul Mike.