Timothy and Titus
Speaking of Brokeback Mountain, I found this bit from Stan Hauerwas to be particularly provocative...
Discrimination against gays grows from the moral incoherence of our lives; people who are secure in their convictions and practices are not so easily threatened by the prospects of a marginal group acquiring legitimacy...And while we're at it, here's a big hat tip to Brother Maynard at Subversive Influence for the next couple of links: "The Church, The Activists, and the Homosexual Question." Brian McLaren shares on the need for a "pastoral response" at Leadership Journal's blog, "Out of Ur."
Gay men and lesbians are being made to pay the price of our society's moral incoherence not only about sex, but about most of our moral convictions. As a society we have no general agreement about what constitutes marriage and/or what goods marriage ought to serve. We allegedly live in a monogamous culture, but in fact we are at best serially polygamous. We are confused about sex, why and with whom we have it, and about our reasons for having chidren.
This moral confusion leads to a need for the illusion of certainty. If nothing is wrong wth homosexuality then it seems everything is up for grabs. Of course, everything is already up for grabs, but the condemnation of gays hides that fact from our lives. So the moral "no" to gays beomes the necessary symbolic commitment to show that we really do believe in something.
- Stanley Hauwerwas, "Why Gays (as a Group) Are Morally Superior to Christians (as a Group)," 1993 in The Hauerwas Reader (Durham: Duke University Press, 2001), 519-20. [Emphasis mine.]
Perhaps we need a five-year moratorium on making pronouncements. In the meantime, we'll practice prayerful Christian dialogue, listening respectfully, disagreeing agreeably. When decisions need to be made, they'll be admittedly provisional. We'll keep our ears attuned to scholars in biblical studies, theology, ethics, psychology, genetics, sociology, and related fields. Then in five years, if we have clarity, we'll speak; if not, we'll set another five years for ongoing reflection. After all, many important issues in church history took centuries to figure out. Maybe this moratorium would help us resist the "winds of doctrine" blowing furiously from the left and right, so we can patiently wait for the wind of the Spirit to set our course.
Welcome to our world. Being "right" isn't enough. We also need to be wise. And loving. And patient. Perhaps nothing short of that should "seem good to the Holy Spirit and us."
And the Internet Monk discusses the recent controversy over a (shock and dismay!) homosexual actor portraying a missionary in the new film, End of the Spear: "It Ought to be a Parable. It's That Good."
I’m starting to believe that there is absolutely no way to say that the current crop of culture warriors is anywhere close to being as committed to the Gospel as they are to doing battle with homosexual activists. Listening to the culture warriors explain their latest bout of shock and outrage is quite revealing. I don’t know how they feel about Jesus most of the time, but I sure know how they feel about homosexual activists and other political sinners.
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