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Emerging Church's McLaren dissappoints on the homosexual question

Posted by: David Carroll

I don’t want to pick on homosexuals for their particular sin. I have plenty of my own sins that although different, nonetheless make me a sinner. The big difference would be my remorse for my own sin since I do know that they are indeed sins. For the homosexual activist, their conduct is not sin. I think that is the big dividing line. After all, to repent means to have a change of mind toward agreement with God.

I’ve been blogging a post from time to time expressing my curiosity with the emerging church. Brian McLaren, the apparent senior leader for the emerging movement, writes in his own blog: (whole post here)

Frankly, many of us don't know what we should think about homosexuality. We've heard all sides but no position has yet won our confidence so that we can say "it seems good to the Holy Spirit and us." That alienates us from both the liberals and conservatives who seem to know exactly what we should think. Even if we are convinced that all homosexual behavior is always sinful, we still want to treat gay and lesbian people with more dignity, gentleness, and respect than our colleagues do. If we think that there may actually be a legitimate context for some homosexual relationships, we know that the biblical arguments are nuanced and multilayered, and the pastoral ramifications are staggeringly complex. We aren't sure if or where lines are to be drawn, nor do we know how to enforce with fairness whatever lines are drawn.

“No position has yet won our confidence?” what about the position of scripture which is clear as a bell. This sort of accommodation of current culture without speaking the truth in love seems to be false teaching to me.

(HT: Justin Taylor)


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Doug wrote:
I think what Brian is trying to get at is that the left and right (both religious and political) are giving us a false dichotomy on the homosexual issue. For instance. You are right when you say that the Bible is clear that it is sin. Most emergent believers (of which I am one) accept this. Some don't, but that is not the majority. However, we also believe we serve a God who does not allow discrimination and prejudice. We are called to love all sinners. Homosexuality is no greater sin that any other.
David Carroll wrote:
I have no problem agreeing that homosexuality is no greater sin than any other. But the homosexual person insists that it is not sin and in fact is flaunting it as a normal alternate lifestyle and wants to indoctrinatate youth to experiment with their "sexuality." This is the problem I have, the fact that what the Bible clearly states is sin is not being called sin.

McLaren says:
>>>If we think that there may actually be a legitimate context for some homosexual relationships, we know that the biblical arguments are nuanced and multilayered, and the pastoral ramifications are staggeringly complex.<<<

Brian Cave wrote:
This is very interesting dialogue that I see going on among the Emerging Church communities. I am a student at Union Theological Seminary in New York City doing a sociological study on church growth. There has been a change in tolerance on the homosexuality issues in Seeker Churches and the Emerging Church. However, as a gay Christian tolerance is not enough. God does not tolerate gay people, God loves gay people.

The way I explain my faith to people is that I have accepted Jesus as my savior, and God knows my heart and God knows that I am trying my hardest to live God's will. I did not grow up in the church and finding Jesus helped me accept the fact that God created me gay.

With that said, I wanted to respond to the response that homosexuality is a sin. You cannot take the English Bible literally. The only language that you can take the Bible literally in would be the Arabic, Greek and Hebrew. However, you still cannot take the Arabic, Greek and Hebrew literally because these are written accounts of oral traditions that were passed on by the eye witnesses of Jesus being alive.

Point Two: Jesus never said a word about homosexuality. There is no mention of homosexuality from the Arabic, Hebrew, or Greek texts in the Bible. The English translations of homosexuality that we have today are mistranslations.

Point Three: Yes there is a lot of sexuality being flaunted these days that are confusing our teenagers, but you cannot blame it all on homosexuality because I see a lot more heterosexuality being flaunted on tv, in movies, and music videos. Our teens need to be taught that the body and sexuality is a gift from God that should be treated with respect and love and not abused or used for selfish gains.

With all that said, I believe with the help of God's guidance that a same sex committed relationship (marriage)is not a sin.
David Carroll wrote:
Brian, your point Three is well taken, but on points One and Two, I just cannot agree. You become the editor of the Bible saying what is true and what is not and even say it about the original text. I speak what I believe to be true in love as best I can because I am an unworthy sinner too.

Jesus quoted from the Septuagint Old Testament often. He spoke it as absolute truth. To me this settles all other arguments about authorship and authenticity. Paul writing in the book of Romans about the subject of man doing that which is unnatural in lying with another man is not quoting Jesus' earthly words but rather writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Jesus did not take up all issues of social ills. For example he did not try to speak against slavery. That was not why he came. He would have wasted precious time in his short ministry to take up such issues.

Finally, if all our translations and even what we have in the original languages is untrustworthy, then we do not have a trustworthy Bible much less a literal, inspired, and sufficient Word of God.