I just finished skimming an article written by a right-wing writer who was combatting progressive Christianity by pointing out its’ moral and spiritual bankruptcy.’ A pair people shared this same article with me, likely because of my recent video ranting some of my annoyances about the incoming progressive wave of Christianity.
While I do think there is a lot to be concerned about with the influx of progressive Christianity, and much I disagree with, I belief many people are having this conversation, quite frankly, incorrect. The novelist of the above article invested the entire span of his content combatting one thing: homosexuality. It seemed like there used dozens of little flames popping up about this one topic and he had to quickly extinguish them with his memorized scripture as if homosexuality is the sole issue of progressivism. In reality, it’s merely a small chamber in a giant mansion of ideas.
I would argue that his article has much more to do with’ why homosexuality is bad’ than actual progressive Christianity. For some reason, that’s become the first thing to come to thinker whenever the topic is transgressed. It’s as if the sole reason Christians are progressing is to accommodate the LGBTQ+ community. In reality, what I’ve insured happen is the LGBTQ+ community has not only become the whipping boy for the conservative right, but likewise the golden child of the liberal left.
In other words, this group of people has been objectified by both sides for the sake of making arguments. Both sides’ contentions may be summed up instead simply, and redundantly recurring them won’t change anyone’s mind.
Left: “They are people with deep longings and we need to respect that. Imagine if only we as continue to attract men as you are to women and someone told you it was sinful to be that lane. We need to embrace and assert them after years of hatred and exclusion. God doesn’t think they are gross and distorted, but beautiful.”
Right: “God has built the natural world to operate in a certain style: Male with female. To fight the natural order of things is to fight God, and therefore, sinful.( Yes, there is homosexuality in animals but there is also cannibalism of the young men, so that’s not best available comparison …) To enjoy someone is to not let them go on in their sin, but to do this lovingly and relationally.”
Years ago, C.S. Lewis said that if the devil can push a believer to either extreme — the Left < em> or the Right — then he has succeeded, because from there he can pushing us to sin in that guidance.
Both sides( ideally) approach the subject with adoration and hope for the best in the world and in their community( in particular the LGBTQ+ community ). For the rest of such articles, I’m going to assume both sides have the best intents in brain, even though in reality, either one can come off as pretty repugnant.
After all, if the only alternative to’ progressive Christianity’ was that article above, I’m not so sure I’d want to stick with that side either.
The problem with hinging the entire dialogue on what person thinks about homosexual people is that it’s missing the wood for the trees. More accurately, it’s like missing the entire country of Brazil for a single tree.
Whenever a dialogue turns an entire group of people into a degree in an contention, there is a requirement pause and look at the ideas being presented beneath the surface. In this case, the deviation in sentiments has much less to do with one’s stance toward lesbian people and much more with their own views of God, the Bible, theology, anthropology, and ideology. That’s exactly the reason I have never openly written about “Ethan’s panoramas of homosexuality” because for one, why does that are important; and two, that’s not really the main issue, is it?
Our faiths about certain categorical pockets may not reflect indicative of what we think about that specific thing, but about something much larger going on behind it. As Rob Bell says, this is really about that.
People ask me what I think about homosexuality either because they crave affirmation in their lanes, a conversational sparring partner, or an ally against gay people. They don’t ask me my views about Jesus or scripture, or theology, which is really where the conversation begins.
Over a decade ago, I watched the film “Flight of the Phoenix” in which an aircraft crashes in the middle of the desert and the crew must find their way back. The only part I recollect is the captain saying that if their objective back toward civilization was off by merely one degree, they would all fucking dead in the wilderness. That’s exactly the example here too. Both sides have misaimed their trajectory and missed the mark by miles.
The author above claimed to be addressing’ progressive Christians, ’ but simply popped out a bunch of poems from scripture which denounced homosexuality. Is that is actually the method we are hiring to draw people to the charm of Christ? Perhaps a better analogy is that of the tree and the wood. He set out to uproot the tree but purposed up simply hacking away at a single leaf.
So what am I getting at here?
The conversation doesn’t hinge on homosexuality or homosexual people. In reality, it doesn’t even have to do with sexuality at all: That’s merely the result of Christians stooping to do fighting on the level of our over-sexualized culture.
The conversation needs to zoom out to the level of how we read the Bible. How we grow spiritually and how we know Jesus. We need to understand both postmodern supposed and Gnosticism to have this conversation well. Because it has far less to do with sexuality than it does with believes, impressions, hermeneutics, and conviction.
True adherents won’t be distracted by debates about who’s allowed to do what with their bodies, or if that matters at all. I guess true disciples are more focused on their own sins and are actively humbled by the Gospel. The Gospel reminds conservative people that they are not the magistrate of other peoples’ activities, and it reminds liberal folks that there is a holy God who must deal justly with mankind.
When it comes to the wave of progressivism in the West, there is a requirement zoom out from the myopic topic of sexuality and look at why and how we guess the ways we do in the first place. This is far easier said than done since it’s much easier to pick a side and drive our stake in the ground there than attempt to strike a healthy balance of — as Jesus had — grace and truth.
I know I just opened the door to a gigantic can of worms, and have not really addressed that much yet, but plan to in the very near future. For now, I have a couple thinks to hopefully challenge you whether you consider yourself more conservative or liberal.
If you find yourself leaning to the right, ask yourself why you’re so quick to rail against this one specific group of people( or act ). Is it because you, yourself don’t struggle with that? Is it easier for you to stand for the soundnes of Scripture than it is to love people who are different from you? Does your sense of’ rightness’ outweigh the love you prove to those in the LGBTQ+ community? Do you ensure them as humen( do you know any gay people ?) or as argument levels? WWJD?
If you’re a left-leaner, ask yourself where you get your appreciation of truth. Take some time to honestly figure out what the hell are you root your truth in: Is it your own seems, desires, or intestine impulses, or do you have something larger than yourself to inform your ethical code? You argue for the rights of people wanting to do a myriad of activities, but do you draw the line somewhere? Is incest between a brother and sister permissible if they genuinely adoration each other( Of course, they would adopt, just like a lesbian pair …), or is all enjoy not really equal? Is it hard for you to concede that there may be a larger scale of right and wrong than what you are incompatible with? WWJD?
As Christians, I don’t belief our job is to choose political, or even theological sides, but to love people, desire God, and do our best to not screw up. We all sin in one guidance or the other, so let’s to continue efforts to reorient ourselves toward Christ and not toward a winning argument.
May we be Christians who pray, enjoy all people, and strive to read God’s Word accurately and carefully, the recognition of our thoughts inform our beliefs and our beliefs inform our acts. And may we never use humans as pawns in the chess games of our moral debates, irrespective of which side we are on.