how should we approach the “gay Christian” debate? (intro)

Sunday evening I had the opportunity to make something of an informal presentation entitled How Does Scripture Shape Our Thinking About Gay Christians? The discussion was by no means exhaustive and probably not as heavy on Scripture as what I would have liked (that’s self-criticism; in fact, I’m seriously considering revising the schedule for next week so that we can revisit some key passages that deserve further attention/explanation) but in the end I hope it was profitable.

My exposure to the “gay Christian” debate suggests that a majority recognize that a straightforward reading of the relevant biblical passages places homosexuality in a decidedly negative light. The question is whether or we are to take such passages at face value or if we should have a more nuanced reading based on underlying cultural-historical or lexical features.

At the risk of oversimplification, when someone poses the question “What should we do/say when a Christian claims he’s gay?”, I find three common responses (none of them satisfactory in light of Scripture): (1) Affirmation/Justification (2) Acquiescence/Accommodation (3) Antagonism/Condemnation. I’ll tackle each of these responses as time permits and conclude with a post offering a fourth response that strives for closer adherence to the Word.

More to come…

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Author: Jonathan P. Merritt

Happily married father of six. Associate pastor for education at Edgewood Baptist Church (Columbus, GA). Good-natured contrarian and theological Luddite. A student of one book.

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