Well, as it so often happens online, certain topics get latched onto and engage more conversation than others. I guess it’s my fault since I posted this piece, which sparked this piece, then this one. Well now it has progressed, and before I move on with my seminary pieces I wanted to weigh in again on homosexuality, especially “marriage.”
I believe that this issue is easily and quickly gets entered into haphazardly and without a systematic approach, so I hope with my posts not to “seal the deal” so to speak, but I want to dust out the cobwebs of what seem to me to be lazy arguments, manipulative language, and un-theological frameworks of discussion.
But first, I want to start with a defense of the homosexual Christian. The reason that I want to do this is because I think that until gay Christians are free from the sin and hypocrisy of homophobia in the Church then I always want to assure them that I am not “out to get them.” So much Christian damage has been done on this because of what I feel to be reactionary fear-filled rhetoric and just plain immature and unChristlike “ick” factors.
I take it to be true that:
– Of course, a gay Christian is not “half” or “3/4” of a Christian. That is, by faith, baptism, faithful partaking of the Sacraments, and faithfulness to the Church’s teaching there should be no question of a “lesser” status.
– Any person who by fear, ignorance, hatred, immaturity or any other reason, ends up communicating anything less than the piercing love of God in Jesus Christ to a gay person has done what Christ condemned when he said that those who cause siblings to stumble are in a heap of trouble. There should be no “but” attached to any soteriology, either what Christ has done is what he has done, or we all have to start earning our salvation.
– Any speaking of gay relationships means ONLY completely faithful monogamous relationships. The Church’s teaching is that sex outside of marriage, regardless of “love,” is out of bounds.
– “How can I be wrong if I’m so sincere” is not a Christian maxim.
– Words and abstractions like “love” must be drawn from larger scopes of Scripture than the Johannine Corpus alone, and even these must take exegesis and proper theological interpretation into authoritative account. Christian theo-logia must be set within a Christian framework so that words and concepts do not lose their meaning.
– Just like those in favor of accepting homosexuality get to ask the hard questions, hard questions must be addressed to them in a thoughtful and respectable manner consistent with Christian charity otherwise this whole conversation is a conversation about emotions.
Having said that, and meaning every word, I want to move on to start clearing brush. And I want to get at this by a different route than is normally taken. Before I mention anything about homosexuals and the Church, I want to speak first of Christians. How is “diversity” and “different gifts” meant? How does the Body function? And how are people “equal and unequal?” Are these appropriate terms to be using? How has the surrounding culture perhaps warped our understanding of the Kingdom and our responsibilities?
We will cover a lot of ground, but I hope the end will refine the conversation, on this site at least.