OST is closed for business but its spirit survives on my blog.
I think you’ve phrased the issue well, and
anticipated how the discussion will probably go. By doing so, I think
you’ll save your denomination a lot of trouble.
On the other
hand, though, people here immediately started arguing with your points
in a way that suggests they didn’t really read what you said. Hopefully
the same thing will not happen in your denomination, and hopefully the
comments so far will help you see what needs more emphasis or greater clarification.
One argument you might encounter in opposition to
condoning homosexuality is as follows: loving, committed homosexual
relationships may not have existed in Paul’s time, and thus we can’t
expect him to condemn them, but that hardly means they’re OK as long as
no one gets hurt, and as long as we’re not worshipping idols.
You might recall that people have fought very hard to create the vocabulary that makes it possible for us to even discuss "gay marriage" without being laughed at and dismissed. A very strong lobby worked for many years to create favorable phrasings to legitimize their perspective. Let us not think we are clever or educated for thinking of a new category of which Paul was ignorant; we think of "committed, loving, monogamous homosexual relationships" as a conceivably acceptable scenario because we have been conditioned to do so. I’m not saying there’s no legitimacy in this type of advocacy/education agenda, only that we shouldn’t allow it to affect us without being noticed.
valid is the argument that our current medical understandings obviate
the moral prescriptions and proscriptions of scripture? Is God OK with
everything, as long as it’s related to factors the individual is born
with, and as long as no one gets hurt?
I think the genetic predisposition toward alcoholism is easy to dismiss as a being nonparallel to the genetic predisposition toward homosexuality, because the former is obviously harmful while the latter is not.
This should lead us to ask: Is our only standard for biblical morality whether it’s harmful and/or idolatrous? Are there other rubrics which faithfulness to scripture demands that we consider? Is it possible that we could invent complex new categories for justifying whatever type of behavior we want to, regardless of what scripture says?
Hopefully these questions will be helpful as you prepare for your denomination’s discussion of these matters. Best wishes - I don’t envy you for having to go through this process, though I admire your courage.
Justin -|- www.RadicalCongruency.com