Dear Readers, After a year with Beliefnet, I’ve decided to move to my own domain for my blogging. It’s been a fine year — some things worked, other things didn’t. But in the end, I’ll be a better blogger on my own. My thanks to the Bnet editorial staff; they’ve been very supportive. Please change […]
An interview with me on the issue of gays and the church just went live on the new interfaith website, Patheos.
Q: In a now famous post, you came to the conclusion that
GLBTQ folks can “live lives in accord with biblical Christianity” and
that their monogamy can and should be sanctioned by church and state.
Do you think this has given critics of the emerging church movement
another arrow in their sling?
A: Ha! “Famous” may be overstating it! Yes, surely this has caused
some conservative commentators to say, “See, I told you that the
emergent movement was just the newest form of liberalism.” But they
were going to say that anyway, no matter what we say. And it’s also no
surprise that they completely ignore it when I write something that
aligns with their own stances, like my recent affirmation of the
physical resurrection of Jesus. They go looking for what they want to
find, and, whaddya know, they find it!
They’ve also posted an essay I wrote for them on the same issue:
In English, a “shibboleth” has, since the 17th century,
meant a particularly meaningless differentiator of persons. It seems to
me that Evangelicals are particularly fond of shibboleths. (And, let me
say, when I capitalize “Evangelical,” I mean to imply cultural
Evangelicals – those who affiliate with the politics, music, media, and
churches of American Evangelicalism – as opposed to the many Catholics,
mainline Protestants, Orthodox, and Anabaptists who desire to spread
the gospel and thus consider themselves “evangelical.”)
It is the use of particular differentiators in particular contexts
(such as skin color in hiring or club membership) that we find
objectionable. Jones rightly objects to occasions when “particularly
meaningless” differentiators are employed to determine who is and who
is not truly Evangelical. The question is whether Jones is correct that
same-sex marriage qualifies as a “particularly meaningless”