Monday, February 07, 2005
Michael Spencer, the Internet Monk, may be shaping up to be my blogging soul mate. He gave me a tremendous shout out on his discussion blog Boar's Head Tavern today. I will be forever grateful for his kind words.
While I was perusing his other posts, I ran across a tremendous post he did a while back on the apostolic response to the homosexuality that was rampant in the first century. Here's his summary of his point:
Paul sees that. He does not have a plan for cultural transformation.
+He has a commission to make disciples.
+He has a commission to cross cultures and build the church.
+He has a commission to make the church an alternative community centered on Christ and the Gospel. A Kingdom outpost now.
Paul's response to the homosexuality of his culture IS the church. Not something the church does, but the creation and life of the church is the response.
I could not agree with his sentiment more, but I think there are a few caveats. In the end Jesus is the only, THE ONLY possible answer to societal ills. Jesus' mission was a mission of personal redemption. Jesus' mission was clearly to change the world -- one person at a time.
That said; however, when it comes to the homosexual agenda we are confronted with right now, I am not sure the church can afford to sit on the sidelines politically. I will briefly state some reasons I think such.
1) The homosexual lobby is actively seeking the affirmation of protestant denominations. This may not concern my Roman Catholic friend Internet Monk, but for people like me, this is a huge concern. My own denomination, PCUSA, may seriously and irrevocably shatter in the next 2-4 years on this single issue.
2) Much of the energy behind the efforts aimed at the protestant denominations comes from an increasing societal acceptance and even celebration of homosexuality. It is unfortunate, but the protestant church often takes its cues from the greater society instead of the other way around. In the highly competitive environment that the protestant churches find themselves in (and likely the Roman Catholics in the US as well) the desire to fill the pews often, and shamefully, trumps certain spiritual precepts. This fact pushes the battleline for those of us in the protestant denominations back from the purely denominational to the society at large.
3) The situation is very different than it was in ancient Rome or Greece. Monk's point about the general prevalence and acceptance of homosexuality is not debated, but in both of those instances, there was no effort to move the society past acceptance of homosexuality to actual endorsement. That is very key. In seeking to have our society endorse homosexual marriage, the homosexual lobby seeks to attack the most fundamental unit on which our society is based. Regardless of my religious conviction, on this basis alone, I would have to enter this bit of public debate. My religious convictions simply add impetus and urgency to the debate.