It has been noted that during at least two presbytery debates, one was Sacramento, as well as a Christmas letter published by the More Light Presbyterians, heterosexual sex out side of marriage was lifted up as a reason for deleting the Fidelity -Chastity clause from the Book of Order. But there is much more to follow.
In 1991 a report, “Keeping Body and Soul Together: Sexuality, Spirituality and Social Justice” on human sexuality was rejected by the General Assembly of the PCUSA. In that report both GLBT sex and heterosexual sex outside of marriage was lifted up as gifts given by God. In 2003 a book was published by the LGBT community that utilized some of the authors and words of that rejected report. The book is Body and Soul: Rethinking Sexuality as Justice Love. The Editors of the book, Sylvia Thorson-Smith and Marvin M. Ellison, state that all of the authors in the book were asked to review the rejected Presbyterian report.
Much of the book, in reality reminds the orthodox reader of the spiritual outlook of the ancient biblical Canaanites who worshipped the gods and goddesses of fertility. It is a picture of what our tomorrows may be like if we do not care now about honoring Christ and his church.
One author, Robert E Goss, quotes from the sexuality report about how erotic pleasure grounds people in an ethic of justice and love and then he goes on to write:
The theological notion of justice love does not preclude erotic relationships other than pair-bonded, monogamous relationships, and yet, we should note, Christian exploration of single sexuality and polyamory [having more than one intimate relationship at a time] is only at its ethical infancy.In other words, the above kinds of sexual relationships are okay, they just have not been given enough exploration. The writer goes on to write about how personal pleasure must expand into an ethic of community, but in doing so he sees other deviant sexualities as acceptable, writing:
Erotic connecting of bodies means that gay bodies are connected erotically and joyfully, producing and inventing pleasures. Gay indigenous ethics has often echoed the ethical norms of “safe, sane, and consensual” of the S/M [sadomasochism] subculture. While these norms may be useful for individual sexual encounters, they remain too narrow for gay Christians because they reduce sex to the realm of private pleasures. Good sex, although pleasurable, is not a sufficient end for a Christian, for good sex must be expanded beyond private pleasures to integrate justice.In other words, it isn’t the type of sex that is the problem, instead it is the private pleasure that does not affect anyone else.
I see two immensely troubling thoughts about this quote. One is simply that the author’s notion of some parts of an ethic of sex includes accepting pain. For him it is okay if it is consensual. The other idea is the notion that a whole worldview about ethics and justice should be grounded in, not just sexuality, a frightening idea in itself, but rather in deviant sexuality. So the justice we will now promote and work toward if 10-A passes is a justice not grounded in the cross of Christ but in deviant erotic sexuality.
Throughout the book on Body and Soul, the idea that human sexuality is both a revelation and a connector to God is promoted. For instance, Rebecca Todd Peters writes, “If we start with woman’s bodily experience of sexuality as a window into the divine, its very mutability can offer insight into refining the way we think about God/ess.” In an earlier posting I explained how Scott Haldeman saw his passive position in gay sex as a revelation of God’s attributes.
So the monstrosity that will enter the church with the passage of 10-A is a worldview founded in deviant sexuality with an emphasis on justice as it grows out of such sexuality. Combined with such a worldview is a pagan view of spirituality that insists that all sexuality is a door and connecter to God. A yes to 10-A will almost immediacy allow the authority of Scripture and even confessional authority to be put aside, it will eventually cause God’s revelation in Jesus Christ to be disregarded.
To lay aside this battle is to enter a far bigger one which can only end in a denomination shattered in every direction. And rightfully so-it will be the judgment of God. It can only end with the sheep of God’s pasture wounded and wandering. How can anyone refuse to be bothered by the very battle which belongs to God’s calling?