This is stellar and amazing. If you read nothing else this weekend, read this. There’s been quite a buzz lately about Mercer Ethics professor David P Gushee, a leading ethicist for Southern Baptists, deciding to support same-sex relationships and marriages. He has published a book and last weekend he spoke at the Reformation Project gathering in DC. His talk exploded my twitter feed so when the transcript popped up online I was eager to see what the fuss was about.
I’ve heard and considered the argument that the church changed its mind on slavery so it can change its mind about gay people. It’s convincing, but one can find a minor flaw in that logic. The church shifted from a stance that allowed something (slavery) to a stance that outlaws it. Supporters of Gay Marriage want the church to move in the opposite direction, a movement from outlawing gay relationships to allowing them.
Dr. Gushee has found an even better analogy. And it blew my mind. In the case of slavery in my experience, we learn that it existed and the church supported it. However, Gushee pointed out a Christian tradition that we do not talk about. The tradition of anti-semitism. That church tradition is so extremely embarrassing and untenable for Christians today that we have completely stuffed it under a rug. It is SHOCKING to me how anti-Semitic Christians were, just a few generations ago.
No matter how entrenched the culture war seems, the church can change its mind on homosexuality. The church can move away from hate. The church can embrace a group of people they once hated. I hope that it doesn’t take something as horrific as a holocaust to alert conservatives to the possibility. If only conservatives would listen with open minds to what affirming Christians are really saying. A friend of mine who is openly affirming shared this on her Facebook page for me. It got one itty bitty like. Most of our mutual friends wrote it off as another heretical piece and didn’t even read it. Please. Read it. Share it with any Christian who will read it. I believe we must be careful to share only the best writing, the best ideas. This is it. If you can share openly, share this.