So can one be gay and Christian or not? Our culture presents us with two simple options. Either we lie down and allow ourselves to be bulldozed by the agenda of militant gay activists, or we completely reject and demonize every aspect of gay identity, culture, and experience. Christians ought to eschew both options. Instead, we should identify which aspects of being gay contribute to the flourishing of gay people as individuals and to the flourishing of their communities. We should also identify without fear those aspects of contemporary gay identity and culture that are incompatible with the Christian moral life.
Most importantly, we ought to show how those aspects of being gay that do contribute to human flourishing would be enhanced, rather than diminished, by embracing the Church’s message of chastity. In other words, chastity is not a demand that gay people give up happiness now in the hope of pie in the sky when they die. Quite the opposite: Gays and lesbians can most truly be the people that God created them to be precisely by following Jesus. The message they hear from the Church should never be “hate your own sexuality or burn in hell,” but “Jesus has a gift of abundant life to give which will make you happier in the next world and in this life if you follow the path he sets out.”Aaron Taylor, “Can One Be Gay and Christian?” I had occasion today to revisit this essay by my friend, and I wanted to post it here again as a way of saying that I still find it to be one of the wisest, sanest, godliest things I’ve read on the topic. It sums up the approach a lot of us are trying to take over at SpiritualFriendship.org. Thanks again, Aaron, for writing this piece. (via wesleyhill)
Lillian is a tonic. She understands, for instance, that the phenomenal popularity of “Celtic” services being held for all comers, with open communion for the unbaptized, is not going to strengthen the faltering churches. Her voice is valuable and much needed. She does not, however, seem particularly interested in The Great Tradition (aka generous orthodoxy) of the church, but rather, in what the church asks of its people — and more power to her on that. Doctrine, however, still lies at the heart of what it means to be a Christian. As soon as one becomes unmoored from the Great Tradition of biblical interpretation and Christian doctrine, there are unnumbered, treacherous currents, tides, and rocks to get lost in or run aground on. Moving away from the church (with all its all-too-obvious defects) means exchanging one flawed organism for another — oneself. Pelagius was a Christian, a very serious one, but the teaching that Augustine was dead set against was his tendency to substitute human agency for divine agency.
In the end, it’s about God. Who is God, and what difference does that make? There are a number of dangers in the Pelagian route, but perhaps the primary route out of biblical faith is the redefining of the identity and nature of God. It is simply tragic that the issue defining the various parties in the church today is same-sex unions. The passions surrounding this debate have almost entirely obscured the all-important questions of Christology and the role of Scripture in an age when an unprecedented number of books and media messages are bent on undermining the church’s ancient confession that Jesus Christ is Lord.Fleming Rutledge (via wesleyhill)