HOMOSEXUAL DIFFERENCES UNBRIDGEABLE

PMT 2017-051 by Denny Burk (The Aquila Report)

David Gushee has a column at Religion News Service about Jonathan Merritt, Jen Hatmaker, and LGBT “inclusion” within the church. Gushee says that he exited evangelicalism 30 months ago, and since then he has concluded this:

I now believe that incommensurable differences in understanding the very meaning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the interpretation of the Bible, and the sources and methods of moral discernment, separate many of us from our former brethren – and that it is best to name these differences clearly and without acrimony, on the way out the door.

I also believe that attempting to keep the dialogue going is mainly fruitless. The differences are unbridgeable. They are articulated daily in endless social media loops.

Gushee is absolutely right about this. We have “incommensurable differences” and the differences are indeed “unbridgeable.” On the one side are the traditionalists who believe that homosexuality is a sin. On the other side are the revisionists who believe that homosexuality is not sinful. The differences between the traditionalists and the revisionists go right to the heart of what it means to be a Christian.


Openness Unhindered (by Rosaria Butterfield)

Dr. Butterfield goes to great lengths to clarify some of today’s key controversies. She also traces their history and defines the terms that have become second nature today-even going back to God’s original design for marriage and sexuality as found in the Bible. She cuts to the heart of the problems and points the way to the solution.

See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com


If the traditionalist side is correct, then there can be no fellowship between the true church and revisionists-because the revisionists have revised themselves right out of the faith. And if the revisionists were consistent with their conclusions, they would recognize that no fellowship is possible from their point of view either. The only reconciliation is for one side or the other to repent and embrace the views of the other side.

This is why the whole Side A/Side B approach to the issue is a dead end. The Side A/Side B approach wants to convince people that differences over these issues shouldn’t really divide us. Some Christians will affirm sexual immorality and some will not. In terms of doctrinal priority, the issue is more like baptism than the deity of Christ. No big deal. We are all Christians after all. Why can’t we all just get along?

There are a number of problems with this kind of reasoning, but I will mention just two:

(1) The scripture casts sexual immorality as a first-order issue. In fact, it treats all unrepented sin as a first order issue that prevents people from entering the Kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:9-11). No matter what side you come down on in this debate, there can be no question that our conclusions will define how we understand the boundaries of the church. This is not a debate about adiaphora but about the essence of our faith. A church can no more accommodate both points of view than it can accommodate both light and darkness (2 Cor. 6:14-16).


Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert
(by Rosaria Butterfield)
Remarkable testimony of a lesbian professor who was a leading spokesperson for
the feminist movement, but whom Christ saved.
See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com


(2) The Side A/Side B approach is functionally no different from an “affirming” approach. Here’s the bottom line. A church either will or will not accept members who are practicing homosexual immorality. A church either will or will not discipline members for homosexual immorality. A church either will or will not ordain clergy who are practicing homosexuals. There is no middle ground between these practical polarities. If you are in a church that allows both points of view (Side A/Side B), then functionally your church is no different from a fully “affirming” congregation. You accept members and clergy who are practicing homosexual immorality. Again, there is no middle ground between the polarities of these two positions. Those who attempt middle ground will eventually have to move to one side or the other….

To read rest of article: click

Denny Burk is Associate Professor of New Testament and Dean of Boyce College, the undergraduate arm of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.


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