A Response To RHE On CNN
Saying that she watched in “horror” after WV reversed course on it’s decision to employed couples in same sex marriages, she goes on to say that the situation “put into stark, unsettling relief just how misaligned evangelical priorities have become.’
It’s those misalignments she delineates that I will address.
We simply can’t dialog or reach any place of understanding as long as both sides misrepresent the other.
“When Christians declare that they would rather withhold aid from people who need it than serve alongside gays and lesbians helping to provide that aid, something is wrong.”
That’s not what I heard being said by those who were upset. This was about adopting a policy that was in opposition to sincerely held beliefs that they believed were also held by WV. All the people I saw comment that they were stopping support for WV also began looking immediately for other ways to help. No one…no one…was advocating withholding aid from people.
“There is a disproportionate focus on homosexuality that consistently dehumanizes, stigmatizes and marginalizes gay and lesbian people and, at least in this case, prioritizes the culture war against them over and against the important work of caring for the poor.”
I would agree that there is a disproportionate focus on homosexuality and I argued that on these pages all week. However, the vast majority of conservative Christians have no desire to “dehumanize, stigmatize, or marginalize gay people..they simply affirm (often with compassion and pain) what they believe the Scripture is teaching about homosexual behavior. To them (and to me) to call holy what God has said is sin denies those in sin the very Gospel we believe. To posit this a war against gays and lesbians where we would willingly victimize the poor to win it is to dehumanize, stigmatize, and marginalize those who hold to the faith as it has been understood for two thousand years. Those things look like hell no matter who is doing them.
“Evangelicals insist that they are simply fighting to preserve “biblical marriage,” but if this were actually about “biblical marriage,” then we would also be discussing the charity’s policy around divorce.”
We have often overreacted and we are often guilty of hypocrisy in how we address these issues. I would suggest that you are doing likewise with these misrepresentations.
“Furthermore, Scripture itself teaches that when we clothe and feed those in need, we clothe and feed Christ himself, and when we withhold care from those in need, we withhold it from Christ himself” (Matthew 25:31-46).
Amen…and who was feeding all those kids? The very people you are scorning now…
Why are the few passages about homosexuality accepted uncritically, without regard to context or culture, but the many about poverty so easily discarded?
Many of us have read the progressive responses to the passages addressing homosexuality and examined them critically and with an open mind and heart. I’ve read many books and scholarly articles as I’ve wrestled with this issue. I still believe that the traditional position of the church is correct and I am called to acknowledge and obey it. To make the statement that those who do so are simply ignorant and that they discard those Scriptures about caring for the poor is simply a lie. The proof is that WV reversed its course because so many conservatives were supporting the poor through them.
This whole article was crafted to do exactly what RHE claims that evangelicals do… and that we also have been guilty of at times.
It uses rhetoric and misrepresentation to demonize and marginalize an entire group of people.
I do not agree with much of RHE’s theology and doctrine…but I do not doubt her heart, sincerity, or salvation.
Does that work both ways?
She ends the article with this;
“I’m ready to stop waging war and start washing feet.”
Me too…so when do we put down the rocks and pick up the towels?