PCUSA Debate over Homosexuality
I've been following the debate in the Presbyterian Church over whether practicing homosexuals should be ordained for the gospel ministry. Mark Roberts is a Presbyterian minister who recently left the pastorate of an influential church in California to serve as the resident theologian of a retreat/camp in Texas called "Laity Lodge." I've followed his blog ever since I met him last year (through a mutual friend, former student, Steven Purcell, who's also on staff at Laity Lodge), and have found his writing to be very helpful, insightful, wise, and compassionate. He has a great mind and a good heart--a great combination for the work of the kingdom. Anyway, his blog can be found here: http://www.markdroberts.com/
I think Mark has put his finger on the salient reason why those who oppose ordination of gays and lesbians will never be able to agree with those who do (and vice versa). For those who oppose, it's a matter of personal righteousness. Since same sex behavior is condemned in the Bible as sinful, then those who participate in homoerotic behavior are committing sin. For those who support ordination of gays and lesbians, it's a matter of justice. Since the marginalized are often singled out by the prophets as victims of injustice, then those who fight for the marginalized are doing the work of God because He is a defender of the weak, the outcast, the rejected. So, as Mark writes, those who support ordination of gays and lesbians will never give up until these who have been marginalized in America are accepted--it's a matter of divine justice. And, those who oppose ordination of gays and lesbians will never accept the homosexual lifestyle as anything but sinful because personal righteousness is defined by God's Word not by individual preferences.
So, here's the question that I think will help bring a little light to the subject. Can you think of examples where Jesus defended the marginalized by redefining the margins--what is "unclean" anyway? And, can you think of examples where Jesus defended the marginalized while maintaining the margins--sin is still sin, right? I think the difference will be revealing.