Sunday, May 11, 2008

Gene Robinson is back in the News

Gene Robinson (the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church) is making news again. Shortly the Episcopal Church will be holding the Lambeth conference held only once a decade. Just before that meeting Gene Robinson and his gay partner will get "married." He says that he is simply doing what God asks of him. He also says that even though earlier he said that he would resign his bishopric if it caused a rift in his denomination, he now says that he no longer has a choice because God has called to him to this "particular historic role." He says that progressive Christians (think liberal) must rescue the Bible from the religious right.

There is a lot wrong with what is going on here. First I want to say that I am one of the right-wing nuts that believes that the Bible is pretty clear about homosexuality (Romans 1 for example). That it is a sin and that like all other sins the only correct response is repentance and fleeing to Christ for forgiveness. Never forget that grace is available for the homosexual and the adulterer and the liar and for the proud and for the tax evader. Many conservatives need to repent of their attitude toward homosexuals, not for their position on homosexuality but for the lack of love shown to the homosexual.

Second we need to address the issue of his calling from God. He is simply deceived. God will not call Christians to do what He forbids in His Word. God will not command anyone to marry another of the same gender because He has forbidden it. God will not call you to leave your spouse for another because He has forbidden it. This is a reminder to us that we need to study God's Word to know what He has blessed and what He has forbidden, then we must submit to His Word. We must remember that God's word is much more trustworthy than our emotions.

Last I want to look at his call for progressives to rescue the Bible from us conservative types. He says that we have misunderstood the Bible. He points to the fact that we have been wrong on some issues and says that we are wrong on this issue and he makes a really bad argument. He compares the Bible's teaching on homosexuality to the Old Testament teachings on eating pork or garments made of two fibers, doctrines that are clearly set aside in the New Testament. The reason this is a bad argument is that homosexuality is condemned in the New Testament. This is simply an apples and oranges comparison. The Bible is clear, Mr. Robinson is not.

What we have here is a number of challenges for Evangelical Christians. We are challenged to stand against the current of our culture and affirm what the Bible affirms. That homosexuality is a sin that needs to be repented of. We are also challenged to disagree with the right heart attitude, to disagree kindly and to offer the grace of Christ to all who would repent and believe in our crucified savior. Last we are challenged to love the Word of God, to love it, study it, and stand with it.


Joshua Owen said...

Bro. Jamie (Sensei), I appreciate your points on the statements made by Robinson on homosexuality.
Would you comment further on the issue of the continuity and discontinuity between the covenants? Why are some laws practiced literally by the Christian church, while others are not? I know you can give a clear answer to this question, and I believe we would all be benefited.

Jamie Fugate said...

It is my conviction that all the law and prophets pointed to the person and work of Christ. Some of the Old Testament is no longer practiced because Christ has come and fulfilled what was pointed to. For example we don't sacrifice animals because animal sacrifice was a pointer to the ultimate and non-repeatable sacrifice of Christ. However, other aspects of the law are still kept because they point to the unchanging person of Christ. For example we are still bound to the command not to lie because Jesus is the truth and is incapapble of not telling the truth. So the question is not which laws are fulfilled in Christ, but how they are fulfilled in Christ.

Josh, you are the New Testament scholar correct my shortcomings brother.