Voddie is very articulate, learned, and persuasive. So, why is this issue an issue for the church? I know of no one who advocates the extinction of his, or anyone else’s, thoughts on homosexuality as long as they remain within the confines of the church community. Additionally, I know of no Christian heterosexual marriage hurt by the concept of someone’s homosexuality. It is a useless issue for the church to fight. For the non-believer it matters little what Christians believe. As long as the political system allows for religions to express their concerns they have a right to protest and preach their beliefs, even influence the political system, but not impose their beliefs on the electorate. So, go ahead and castigate the homosexual, claim that what they do is sin. That is your prerogative. But do not expect me, or anyone else to live under the hammer of forceful compliance.
Truth is truth no matter who discovers it. I am not opposed to any and all wisdom produced by any group, thought, or philosophy. For example, there is much to be gained from the wisdom contained in Scripture. But, where I come up short with recognition of the Scripture as God’s Word has to do with its inherent claim that it is God’s Word with little proof other than subjective deductions. The fact that it is a “reliable historical document” or that it has been written over a span of thousands of years by many authors, does not make a case for the credibility of its inherent message. The problem rests in the very words of the Word and that is, its claim to be God’s Word and, with no acknowledgment that there might be truth apart from the Word that will “save”, enhance, or fulfill a person’s life.
I am for speculation on any topic as I believe it opens new doors for innovative thinking and product development. But to make a claim that the only truth worth considering rests in the hands of those who believe in the Word is, in my opinion, the height of arrogance and undermines personal inquiry apart from Christianity. Most Christians have no idea what the rest of the world believes or thinks, let alone why they believe as they do. I contend that the only reason most Christians are Christians is that they were born into a predominately Christian country, one that has “privileged” Christians over other faiths. ([Christian “nationhood”] is being debated more frequently in U.S. courts to the benefit of many who do not claim to be Christian.)
“It was my luck to have a few good teachers in my youth, men and women who came into my dark head and lit a match.”
Yann Martel, “Life of Pi”
“If he is infinitely good, what reason should we have to fear him? If he is infinitely wise, why should we have doubts concerning our future? If he knows all, why warn him of our needs and fatigue him with our prayers? If he is everywhere, why erect temples to him? If he is just, why fear that he will punish the creatures that he has filled with weaknesses? …If he is reasonable, how can he be angry at the blind, to whom he has given the liberty of being unreasonable? … If he is inconceivable, why occupy ourselves with him? … and if he has spoken, why is the world not convinced?”
-Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)
I am amused and somewhat confounded that when one contests a point-of-view and takes it to its end, the person who finds themselves cornered and apparently without the wherewithal to respond to questions and comments speaks out with a vengeance and declares the other person to lack civility and is a fool to boot.
My opinion about such things is that our educational system has not fulfilled its rightful role. Those who would call out another in a not-too-subtle manner as a “fool” etc., in most cases, have not been given a stage to present their thoughts for peer review. It is as if you can believe what you want as long as you are passionate enough about it to remain convinced. I find that approach to education wrong headed. Everyone should be given the opportunity to defend their position before their peers while having a person of authority, an instructor, also chime in with their years of experience and maturity. Are we too weak to call out defective thinking because it might hurt the little ones in their social interactions? Well, welcome to the real world.
Higher education is a place for trying out new ideas and getting the kind of feedback that benefits the presenter, shapes the message, even gives reason to re-think one’s position. I find that most of those who do not allow themselves to be challenged in a place of advanced education are unable to handle the emotional baggage that comes with being “outed” for poor style, as in name-calling.