Sunday, October 23, 2011

The connection between LGBTQ ordination and Christology-Only bedroom issues?

Recently on the comment section of one of my postings several people complained that the Orthodox Evangelicals in the PC (U.S.A.) were more concerned with bedroom issues than essentials such as the resurrection of Jesus. The complaints were made by both orthodox and progressive believers. They were referring to the issue of the ordination of LGBTQ people as well as same gender marriage.

I want to take issue with them in this posting by looking at the LGBTQ agenda for the Church along side the importance of essential doctrines of the Church. After this, in further postings, I want to look at the Christology of several LGBTQ theologians and/or leaders. That will mean a focus on queer theology.

The three areas I will cover in this posting are (1) the church’s need to address the issue of LGBTQ ordination and same gender marriage, which is being forced upon it, (2)a look at a subject that is frequently ignored, that LGBTQ theology is too often linked to very heretical Christology which is itself based on a poor view of Scripture, (3) and calling sexual sin, including fornication, right, healthy and good, is as damaging to the church as is any denial of basic tenets. Each of these areas overlap.

(1)The Church’s need to address the issue of LGBTQ ordination, same gender marriage and fornication, which is being forced its direction, is really developed further in the other two issues. But here I want to look at the technicalities involved. The reality is, there are no affinity groups connected to the denomination whose main goal is to change the Book of Confessions or the Book of Order in order to make it say the bodily resurrection of Jesus is untrue, or Jesus is not God, etc. There are only groups pushing for lowered sexual standards. While foundational Christian beliefs have priority in the Christian Church the Enemy of souls is pushing his agenda for false teaching by means of sexual liberation and there the Church must face its major battle.

But even here, within the issues of sexuality, the essentials of the faith are under attack. That is true because even some evangelicals have devalued or ignored scripture texts in order to affirm friends, supposedly work for human rights or align with what they see as good cultural norms. On the other hand, many progressives, hold few or no foundational beliefs at all, and easily add to their unbelief advocacy for the ordination of LGBTQ people, same gender marriage and living together without marriage.

(2)Very few theologians who advocate for the ordination of LGBTQ persons or for same gender marriage are orthodox. The few Evangelical teachers and theologians, who do advocate, tend to leave out parts of Scripture when preaching or writing about this issue. They generally begin their exegesis from experience, using only that text which fits their experience. But on the whole most progressives seeking to legitimize gay sexuality or even heterosexual fornication have a poor view of Scripture and a heretical Christology.

For instance, a recent book, Gathering Those Driven Away: A Theology of Incarnation, published by Westminster John Knox Press , a part of the Presbyterian Publishing Corporation, totally tears apart the Christian faith. The author, Wendy Farley is attempting, among other things, to make a case for the faithfulness of the LGBTQ lifestyle.

 And Chris Glaser, a prolific author who writes on LGBTQ issues including past curriculum for the PC (U.S.A.), on his blog, “Progressive Christian Reflections,” a blog connected to "Unbound: An Interactive Journal of Christian Social Justice", writes of Jesus and the Gospel of John:
For example, during different phases of my life I have liked and disliked the Jesus of the Gospel of John. I love that John is a mystic and sees the deepest meaning in the life of Jesus. But at other times I have found the certainty of Jesus portrayed by John unsettling and unfriendly, formal and rigid. “I am the vine, you are the branches.” “I am the bread of life.” “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” These self-affirmations seem audacious and self-centered even in this day and age when self-affirmations are all the rage!
Margaret Aymer, who wrote this year’s Horizon’s Bible Study and who also advocates for LGBTQ ordination and same gender marriage, likewise, combines an alternative view of sexuality and Christology. On her blog, Mayog’s Posterous, Aymer is concerned with biblical exegetics from a feminist and cultural anthropological view.

Going through Acts, she focuses on the eunuch who was led to Christ by Phillip, she writes that he was the first, “explicitly gender-queer convert.” Later, Aymer, shows, through several postings the supposedly evolving identity of Jesus. She writes, “As we get further into Acts, Lesous [Jesus] functions less as a Holy Person and more as a Deity. As such we see the power of the name of Lesous to heal and to raise from the dead.” In another place she suggests that Peter separates Jesus from Deity.

The list of those who both advocate for LGBTQ issues and whose Christology is flawed is long. But the point is the issue of ordaining LGBTQ people as well as advocacy for same gender marriage is so deeply intertwined with unbiblical Christologies that to stand against one is to stand against the other. This should be enough to squelch any argument about the orthodox only reacting strongly to “bedroom” issues. But there is more that should be said.

(3)Sin un-repented of is damaging to any Christian’s spiritual life, and that includes all kinds of sin. Part of the damage is a breach in the relationship between the Christian and God. While God is holding fast to the sinner, the sinner, like Adam, is moving away, hiding and ashamed. Consider; that condition is caused by un-repentant sin.

But what about sin that is considered not-sin, sin that is blessed and even ordained. Sin that is taught and encouraged among those meant to live holy lives. The damaged, hurt lives will be the sin we must all confess. One should never disparage those who are now moving away from the PC (U.S.A.) because of the lowering of sexual standards. They are attempting to protect the people of God.

But one should also never disparage those staying to follow Christ. This, the lowering of sexual standards, is the place where the Church in the West, in this day, is called to do battle for the cause of Christ. It is here, on the issues surrounding deviant sexuality that all the essentials of the Christian faith can and will come tumbling down.

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