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No Satisfaction…

church_ruinsThe latest edition of Touchstone Magazine (highly recommended) has an excellent editorial entitled “Just Christians: On Homosexuality & Christian Identity.” In this article, S.M. Hutchens (for the editors), writes that,

“There is no “homosexual voice within the church,” for the homosexual’s conversion entails a choice-This, or That-the sin, or the Faith.  He cannot have both.”   

As harsh as this may sound to many, it is absolutely correct teaching when it comes to mere Christianity.  The quote by Hutchens does not preclude those who struggle with certain desires of passions, far from it! What it does say however is that the Christian faith cannot, and will not, define a person (especially the redeemed) by their sin.  Sin is an enemy, not something to be embraced.  Consider this rationale from the church’s perspective, which is a continuation of the above quote:

“…nor can the Church in any way accommodate the sin from which he has been cleansed.  It is wholly and actively and vehemently against it as a destroyer of the souls it has been called to save.  It labors among the saints only in the accomplishment of what has already been done in Christ: cleansing, sanctification, and justification in the Name of the Lord. 

In other words, the church cannot embrace what it has been called to save people from (though the power of the Triune God of course), otherwise it is undermining its mission, and not acting in love.  Those who claim otherwise are simply outside of orthodox Christianity.  Hutchens ends with a bit of realism here, as most people realize that those who are compromising on this issue are fooling themselves:

“The Church can and never will give satisfaction-and the homosexualist knows it, for he knows the words against him are ineradicable…Whether he presents himself as an object of love or indignation, what he demands in either case is acceptance not of the person, but of the sin-bound and sin-defined person. He demands the declaration of spiritual authority that there is nothing objectively disordered about this binding of man to sin, and assurance that…(homosexuality) can indeed enter the kingdom of heaven.  This can never happen among Christians until they abandon Christianity, which is at war with every sin…and places all perversions of the perfect man at the muzzle of its canons.” 

Please note that this reasoning does NOT say that there should not be an outreach to the homosexual community, or that Christians are sinless, etc…What it does say however, is that the church MUST maintain its integrity, or it will cease to be the church (as some “churches” already have).

The full editorial can be found here:
http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=26-04-003-e

Any thoughts or comments…?

Related Post: Humanity, Desire, and the Church

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5 Comments

  1. Dominic says:

    I think the first question which we need to ask ourselves is the concept of “sexual orientation” in the first place, as a holistic identity defining exhaustively one’s sexuality.

    I think the category itself is a recent invention and rather straitjacketing of people’s sexuality into convenient terms like “straight”, “gay”, bi”, etc. Rather, I do think that contrary to such unified definitions of one’s sexuality, we should instead acknowledge that such reductions are rather artificial and that what simply exists is a plethora of various discrete acts of sentiments and experiences in each individuals which resists such articial systematisation.

    This is why I am not really in favour of the idea of “ex-gay” ministries which attempts to turn “gay” people “straight”. Such a thing concedes that there is this mythical orientation which determines sexual behaviour and that we need to change the “orientation” before engaging in the sexual life. Rather we should simply by-pass the concepts and deal withthe discrete acts and experiences directly.

    I wrote a little about the ambiguities of sexual orientation here:

    http://rationalityofaith.wordpress.com/2013/06/07/introduction-to-the-rationality-of-sex-ambiguous-sexual-orientations-and-desire-or-what-gays-want/

    http://rationalityofaith.wordpress.com/2012/07/01/why-all-sexual-desires-have-a-homoerotic-element-or-what-is-a-homosexual/

    I also argued in these posts the case for heterosexual marriage for “gay christians”:

    http://rationalityofaith.wordpress.com/2012/03/01/why-as-a-christian-i-think-gay-people-should-get-married/

    http://rationalityofaith.wordpress.com/2011/09/07/why-gay-and-lesbian-couples-have-superior-marriages-to-heterosexual-couples/

    • Interesting discussion, and I appreciate your willingness to question the popular rhetoric surrounding human sexuality. I absolutely agree of course that the whole idea of an “orientation” is relatively new in history, and one has to assume certainly modernistic assumptions for it to make any sense. Of course it is also ludicrous to create laws based on what is inherently subjective. I will read through your links more thoroughly when I have time, although I will say I am fascinated by your discussion on “why as a Christian I think gay people should get married…” via the 1662 BCP. Good thoughts, and a good corrective to what is certainly a romanticized view of marriage.

  2. Askme says:

    This is excellent. Thanks for this post. I love the point that our sin, past or present does not define it. One dear friend of mine who experiences same-sex attraction makes that clear in our interview:

    http://askthebigot.com/2013/04/04/my-interview-with-a-not-ex-lesbian-child-of-god/

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