Homosexuals are continuing to push their agenda on the church, the body, of which Christ is the Head. I’ll pass you along to some other places in a moment, but first consider these words from Luke Timothy Johnson, Roman Catholic Scholar at Candler School of Theology at Emory University: (CLICK HERE FOR THE ESSAY)
Many of us who stand for the full recognition of gay and lesbian persons within the Christian communion find ourselves in a position similar to that of the early abolitionists-and of the early advocates for women’s full and equal roles in church and society. We are fully aware of the weight of scriptural evidence pointing away from our position, yet place our trust in the power of the living God to reveal as powerfully through personal experience and testimony as through written texts. To justify this trust, we invoke the basic Pauline principle that the Spirit gives life but the letter kills (2 Corinthians 3:6). And if the letter of Scripture cannot find room for the activity of the living God in the transformation of human lives, then trust and obedience must be paid to the living God rather than to the words of Scripture. (Emphasis added)
Then a paragraph or two later:
The challenge, therefore, is to discern what constitutes the positive and negative in sexual behavior. A start would be to adapt Galatians 3:28 and state that “in Christ there is neither gay nor straight”-and on that basis, to begin to ask serious questions concerning the holiness of the church, applying the same criteria on both sides. If porneia among heterosexuals includes promiscuity, violence, and exploitation, then the church must condemn similar forms of homosexual activity. If the church condemns the bath-house style of gay life, it must also condemn the playboy style of straight life. Similarly, if holiness among heterosexuals includes fidelity, chastity, modesty, and fruitfulness, we can ask whether and how the same elements are present in same-sex love.
What is left but to chuck the entire canon of Scripture into the garbage heap and burn it? If Scripture doesn’t mean anything, why bother at all? If Scripture can be re-written to say anything we like, why bother at all with the work of preaching, teaching, or learning Biblical languages? Johnson is right about one thing: This is about the threat to biblical authority. If the Scriptures are not authoritative, but somehow we regress to a simply man-made law, then what’s next: Church-wide acceptance of kidnapping, bestiality, pedophilia? Based on Johnson’s argument, and re-envisioning of Galatians, we might say, “…in Christ there is neither pedophilia nor rapists nor bestials nor kidnappers nor dog-fighters (insert favorite perversion or sin here).”
No, I’m afraid that Mr. Johnson has allowed his understanding of Scripture to be skewed and twisted. More commentary on Johnson’s essay can be found at Albert Mohler’s blog. Mohler makes a brilliant point about Johnson’s exegesis, writing,
This rejectionist approach means that Professor Johnson directly rejects what the Bible teaches on this issue, and does so with a boldness shared by few others in this debate. He accepts that “the Bible nowhere speaks positively or even neutrally about same-sex love.” Even as he argues that the church has “never lived in precise accord with the Scriptures,” he suggests that Christians pick and choose which biblical commands they will take seriously. Nevertheless, he straightforwardly acknowledges that the Bible condemns same-sex sexual acts.
He claims that the authority of Scripture and the tradition of the church are “scarcely trivial,” but criticizes those “who use the Bible as a buttress for rejecting forms of sexual love they fear or cannot understand.” In other words, he argues that those who believe that the Bible’s clear condemnations of homosexual behaviors are still authoritative for Christians do so only out of fear or a lack of understanding of homosexuality itself. As he explains later in his essay, he has grown by experience to overcome this fear and ignorance. He now believes that the Bible is simply wrong.
Well, how can one consider themselves even remotely Biblically astute when they are practicing such exegesis as Johnson is? Are we really supposed to start trusting ‘human experience’ over the Scripture? Really?
Here’s one last story for you to consider, from the Episcopal Church. Once again, they are pushing the issue of the homosexual agenda forward with the nomination of an openly lesbian for the post of bishop:
The Episcopal Diocese of Chicago recently announced that the openly gay Rev. Tracey Lind, dean of Trinity Cathedral in Cleveland, was included among five nominees for the vote to take place on Nov. 10. (CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY)
I’m not certain what the church is supposed to do about this anymore. When prominent scholars are declaring open season on the Scripture, when an entire denomination is promoting the agenda of homosexuals by making homosexuals leaders in the church, when those who think this is profoundly wrong are chastised as being somehow ‘too judgmental,’ and when church leaders are vowing to ‘enter into civil unions’ with their homosexual partners, what are we to do?
Mohler asks another very pertinent question concerning Johnson’s template for how to understand the current ‘debate’ that is raging in the church over homosexuality:
If we are to trust human experience as an authority superior to that of the Bible, whose experience are we to trust? He can only mean his own experience and that of others whose experience he chooses to privilege.
Whose experience shall we trust? Mine? Yours? I think this is another reason why we must stick with Scripture as our only rule of faith and practice (in keeping with recognized orthodoxy). If the Scripture is the very Words of God to us, then we don’t have a right to challenge. We must persist in the truth. This is a matter of the authority of God’s Word. The question now is whether or not the church is going to continue to be bowled over by those who have no authority from Scripture or whether the church will continue to preach what is in accord with the ‘faith once delivered,’ and ‘sound doctrine.’
PS–Here’s one last story about a lesbian ‘pastor’ who is, evidently, in some sort of ‘trouble’ from her denomination for ‘marrying’ homosexual couples. But I’m having trouble understanding the problem: She, the Rev. Jane Adams Spahr, is a lesbian herself. Why would they (the church) care what a lesbian does when the tolerate a lesbian in the pulpit in the first place? I think that is the height of hypocrisy. Shame on the Presbyterian Church (USA)! If they are going to tolerate lesbian ‘pastors’ and ‘revs.’, then they ought to tolerate lesbian weddings. (I’m only being a little sarcastic; no, a lot.)