Thursday, November 20, 2008

Does this surprise anyone?

"I now believe that GLBTQ [Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual, Trangendered, Queer] can live lives in accord with biblical Christianity (at least as much as any of us can!) and that their monogamy can and should be sanctioned and blessed by church and state."
- Tony Jones

Read the entire statement HERE.


Noel said...

In his lengthy explanation of why he has come to believe what he believes, he never once mentioned scripture. He gave credit to his mom, and his vast life experiences, but never once did he mention God’s word molding his beliefs. I was under the impression that to be considered a “Christian” one had to follow Christ. How can one claim this title and yet give no credence to the words of the God we claim to serve and love? Since when do life experiences and advice from family members trump the words of the living God?

Todd Pruitt said...

As a leader in the emergent church movement Tony Jones has not had a high regard for the Bible as actually being God's Word. Once you deny the authority of Scripture it immediately becomes subordinate to personal experience and feelings.

Jones' position is not surprising. He is simply stating a belief that many other leaders in emergent certainly share.

He doesn't know it, but Jones is not being "loving". He is calling "good" what God calls an abomination. Talk about arrogance!

Harley A. said...

The whole EC movement is built on the concept of "the discussion" from what I can tell - our stories are all part of this ethereal discussion and that's how it appears they arrive at "truth".

Of course the Bible is thrown in there for good measure as much as possible - often misused. For example the John 8 reference. He stops short of reminding us that, though Jesus did not condemn her, he did condemn her sin. He told her to "go and sin no more". He didn't repeal the law condemning adultery. But Jesus' story doesn't fit with Jones' story so we can discard that part aparently, along with all the other condemnations of sexual perversion.

By telling his mom's statement about her enduring love for him, he sets up a false dichotomy that says either you accept and condone my sin or you don't love me. Then he applies that to how the church should treat homosexuals.

The emerging church is, in my opinion, far more dangerous than it appears on the surface...

case.jess said...

Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil,
who put darkness for light
and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter!

--Isaiah 5:20

rmkton said...

I think we have to be careful here with the labels...whether it be "Christian", "loving", or "truth" as if evangelicals have the final word on what all of these words mean...frankly it comes across as "arrogant" and "self-righteous" if you want to start using labels...

OK, let's ask ourselves the tough question "what if the Bible's prohibition on homosexuality (mostly Romans 1) was an expression of the cultural thinking of the day and Paul used it to make a greater point about godlessness?" If homosexuality was cultural anathema in the 1st century why wouldn't Paul use it? What if it was not?

It seems like we can accept a biblical interpretation that dismisses other cultural phenomena (hair, clothing, women not speaking in church, adornment, etc.) of the day but certainly not this one...we even accept divorce more readily even though the Bible has a lot to say about that...hmmm.


Todd Pruitt said...


Nice try.

To affirm as true what God clearly says is not arrogance. Quite the opposite.

I am amazed by pomo / emergent types who congratulate themselves for their "humble orthodoxy" which is nothing more than subordinating God's Word to our own preferences. It's the height of arrogance.

Mike, please don't fool yourself. Both Old and New Testaments clearly condemn homosexual behavior. You have had a course(s) in biblical hermeneutics so you must know the difference between Paul's instructions concerning head coverings and Scripture's blanket condemnations of homosexuality. Do we really have to go down that road? If you cannot distinguish between the two then good luck understanding and applying your Bible.

As far as dismissing divorce please speak for yourself. The only people I know who diminish the tragedy of divorce come from the liberal camp. Pomo/emergents always seem to want to diminish the sinfulness of homosexuality by saying we evangelicals ignore other sins. I don't know about others but growing up I heard far more condemnations of adultery and lust than of homosexuality. It's a tired argument for which I have no more patience.

Mike I will have a lot of conversations with a lot of people. But frankly life is too short to argue with emergent types over whether or not God calls homosexuality sin.


rmkton said...

I know what the OT and NT says about homosexuality but since we have a different view of how scripture is interpreted I am not surprised that we differ on this issue. Yes I know how biblical thought deals with head coverings etc...but I find that all of us see what we want to see and dismiss what we want to dismiss under the guise of interpretation, systematic theology, etc...and quite frankly I find it disingenuous. The fact that culture play a very important role in how we view scripture cannot be underestimated.

Imagine if you lived 150 years ago....would you have the same interpretation of the Bible as you do now? (I doubt it)...if you live 150 years more do you think you would think as you do today? (I doubt that too). My point goes back to your first statement "what the bible clearly says..." What the Bible clearly says is always changing with greater understanding...even if the Bible doesn't change. If Darwin had not come along do you think we would be open to a creation longer than 6 literal 24 hour days or "theistic evolution"? Let's face it, we accomodated the science to avoid looking like complete imbeciles.

I think it is very telling that you refer to the "tragedy" of divorce but refer to the "sin" of homosexuality...isn't divorce sin? isn't homosexuality a tragedy? I think your choice of words tells me a lot about your views on these subjects. How many homosexuals do you really know? By that I mean really interact with on a regular basis? You may say that that really has no bearing on whether you think it is right or wrong...but I think it does given the number of gays in our population...get to know some of them just as you would divorcees.

I can't say that emergents (at least the ones I have met) disagree that the Bible comdemns homosexuality...they just would disagree over how the Bible is interpreted...and therefore disagree on your conclusion about it.

Todd Pruitt said...


You are overplaying your hand. What doctrines did Whitfield, Edwards, Spurgeon, Warfield, or Machen hold that I no longer hold because it is 2008? Can you name them?

Even the things that pomo/emergents are saying is not new. It is exactly what was coming from the German liberals of the 19th century.

Also can you name for me what doctrines or instructions from Scripture that evangelicals are "dismissing" under the guise of interpretation and systematic theology? That's a pretty bold accusation. Please back it up.

By the way, divorce is a sin. God hates divorce. Clear enough?

I don't know how many homosexuals I know. I know that as a youth pastor and senior pastor I have ministered to those struggling with homosexuality. Just because I believe what the Bible says about homosexuality does not mean that I have not personally interacted with and ministered to homosexuals. In fact precisely because I do believe what the Bible says means that I am in a much better position to minister to homosexuals than are those who no longer trust God's Word.

case.jess said...

Todd - 3
Mike - 0

rmkton said...

I thought so....

Todd Pruitt said...


I was hoping you would respond to my questions with specifics.

rmkton said...

Todd, do you think Spurgeon believed in a 6-day literal creation? He did. I don't know about the others you mention but I would venture to say they did. If we accept Genesis as metaphor (which I believe it is) then there is a great deal of recent evangelical teaching and writing based upon a literal read of Genesis that has to be reexamined. Is this not a signficant change of thinking?

While postmodern thinking is not new I would suggest that the shift in our culture to accept it is... It has become the pervasive thinking of our generation. That is new.

Regarding homosexuals I find it easy to throw barbs from a distance. It gets a lot more difficult when friends (who are christian leaders) agonize over their sons who reveal that they are gay...they have no where to turn because the church does not know what to do with this.

rmkton said...

to case.jess

I don't view this as a game or a debate to be won with points...I am trying to get Todd to see and appreciate a different point of see this as a game to be won (i.e. "hooray for our side") is exactly the type of attitude that postmoderns see and decry about the evangelical church. this is about the ongoing search for truth and its meaning.

Todd Pruitt said...


What exactly is wrong with the view that God created the universe in six days?

To dismiss Genesis as nothing more than metaphor is an arrogant statement. How do you know it is only metaphor? Where were you when God laid the foundations of the earth?

I don't know how old the earth is. It could be millions of years old for all I know. But one does not need to dismiss Genesis as metaphor in order to believe the earth is millions of years old.

You may want to read Douglas Kelly's book "Creation and Change."

But I am very troubled that you would dismiss the revelation of God with a simple wave of your postmodern hand. You are committing the same error as those who, in Machen's day were enslaved to modernity.

While you may find it easy to throw barbs from a distance at homosexuals I, sir, do not. I have ministered to those struggling with that physically, emotionally, and spiritually destructive sin. It is heart-breaking.

rmkton said... prove my point...we believe what we want to believe...What credible extra-biblical evidence is there for a 6 day creation? You know the answer to that Despite what you may read from creation scientists, it is not there.

when I was speaking about throwing barbs from afar at homosexuals I was speaking about the church doing this not me...go back and read my statement in the entire context. I do not condemn them...unlike the attitudes I find in the evangelical church

I know we will not come to agreement on this...but the fact that you refuse to see beyond your own interpretation is not faithfulness.

Todd Pruitt said...


That you can call me unfaithful because I hold to the authority and truthfulness of Scripture is a novel idea. Also, I find your, "It's not me it's that mean ol' church who are the bad guys" attitude to be simplistic and arrogant.

Frankly I'm tired of this discussion. It has proven to be fruitless.

rmkton said...


I don't use the word unfaithful because of the position you hold...I call it unfaithful for refusing to see other's views as well. I would agree that the conversation has become fruitless and probably became so with my first seem to have difficulty seeing other points of view as valid or at least worth considering. that troubles me. You see it as steadfastness...I see it as arrogance.

Todd what I would really like to get at is what YOU think...not what Luther, Calvin, Whitfield, Spurgeon, MacArthur, Edwards, Mohler, Barth, Schliermacher or anybody else you would like to put in there thinks. While I have read and respect most of these men, great men can also be greatly wrong. For example, Luther made some very anti-semetic remarks and thought the idea of the earth revolving around the sun was heresy that deserved punishment...still it does not diminish his contribution to religion.

It seems that you are afraid to step outside the realms of conservative evangelical orthodoxy...I am glad Luther wasn't afraid to step outside the orthodoxy of his time. Fear is a prison without walls and chains...but a prison nonetheless.

Aaron Fenlason said...

Wow. That was an interesting interaction, although not altogether surprising. This is a subject that will stir some very deep emotions. I would merely want to pose a few questions for Tony Jones and others.

1. What, exactly, is a "monogamous bisexual"? The very word "bisexual" means that a person enjoys sex with either male or female. The word "monogamous" means "once married." Can a person who enjoys, and presumably practices, sex with both male and female partners rightly be called monogamous? The very suggestion is absurd. It presents us with both a moral and logical conundrum.

2. What if an individual is married to a partner of the opposite sex and then discovers that he or she is homosexual? What is the sin in this situation? Is it a sin for the homosexual person to deny their "natural tendency" by remaining married, or is it a sin for the individual to divorce and be with a partner of the same sex? I am pretty sure (I hope, anyway) that Tony Jones and others who endorse homosexuality would not argue that divorce is not sin.

This issue is a slippery slope on which we will soon find ourselves without any means of stability. Such is the case when we begin to question the relevance of the word of God.

rmkton said...


good questions to this topic...and particularly the comment at the end, "...when we begin to question the relevance of the word of God." This is precisely the question that many evangelicals are afraid to ask and are more afraid to answer (if the answer does not fit in with their biblical worldview). The postmoderns see this and feel that the answers they get from evangelicals come up short...They do not accept what perhaps we accepted without question.

In order to engage postmoderns you have to be able to think like them and appreciate their point of does not mean you have to agree with them.

Todd Pruitt said...


1. What is the definition of "seeing other people's views?" I see other people's views every day of my life. I pastor a very large church. I am confronted with views contrary to mine on a daily basis. Also, I'm a pretty good listener. But since I believe in the separation of truth an error I do not see all points of view as equally valid.

2. I'm not particularly interested in what I think. My hope is that my mind would be captive to God's Word. The church has been blessed with 2,000 years of faithful theologians, scholars, and pastors. All of them were sinners but some of them, by God's grace produced very helpful bodies of work. We forget them at our own peril.

3. You must be kidding about Luther. Luther stepped outside of the "orthodoxy" of the Roman Catholic Church precisely because it had become thoroughly unbiblical and corrupt. The Protestant Reformation was a profoundly Word-driven movement. Luther would reject the idea that truth must be bent and shaped to suit the currents of contemporary culture. Have you read Luther's debate with Erasmus? It would be helpful.

Aaron Fenlason said...

I just want to make it clear that I said, "relevance," not "relativity."