Tuesday, October 31, 2006

accepting evangelicals

I've been reading the book The Post-Evangelical (published by Emergent/Youth Specialties) the last couple of days. Its written by a British guy named Dave Tomlinson, who after serving in evangelical ministries for a few decades found his views changing. I picked up the book because I had seen it referred to a number of times in other books.

Last night I was on the internet trying to find out more about this guy, and came across a group that he is a founding member of, which is called Accepting Evangelicals. Here's some info from the front page of their website:
Accepting Evangelicals
… is a open network of Evangelical Christians who believe the time has come to move towards the acceptance of faithful, loving same-sex partnerships at every level of church life, and the development of a positive Christian ethic for gay and lesbian people.

Accepting Evangelicals
… is open to everyone who would call themselves Evangelical.

Accepting Evangelicals
… is a network of people who are increasingly uncomfortable with the hard-line statements which are being issued by some Evangelical groups, and the damage which this is causing, both to the church and the mission of the Gospel.

Accepting Evangelicals
… is open both to
people who believe that the Bible does not condemn loving,
faithful same-sex relationships which are built on mutual
commitment and self-giving love.
and to
people who, although they do not personally hold this view
are willing to accept the integrity of those who do.
The thing that strikes me is that these folks want to hold onto the label of evangelical. Most folks who move in this direction find themselves distancing themselves from the evangelical label altogether.


Daniel McLain Hixon said...

Apparently, "Accepting Evangelicals" is another way of saying "illiterate"?
My New Testament Professor (who was in favor of the homosexual push in the church) once said "Let's be honest, we can't make Paul say that opposite of what he clearly says. He says homosexual activity is unnatural. We can just disagree with him in light of what we know."
Well, I think more liberals should be as honest as that rather than pretending that nowhere does the Bible condemn this. Unlike my New Testament professor, I do not feel at liberty to reject the Apostolic teachings while still calling myself a Christian...

Jason Woolever said...

yes, I had a seminary professor tho was for the ordination of homosexuals who clearly said that the scriptures spoke against homosexuality. he said that based on the friendships he had with homosexual Christians, he was led to believe that the Spirit was now saying something different to the churches.

Armando said...

We have to accept sooner or later that Evangelicalism in itself has made too much space for these kind of challenges. I mean, they are right with some of the hard-liners issues. They are right when there is a legitimate question on pharisaic interpretation from the Scripture. What are the limits of the Emergents on all of this? I mean, what will be our limits in terms of compromising orthodoxy?

Honestly, even if I try hard, I cannot find any way in which the Bible justifies or accepts homosexual relationships (even if they are between two people that love each other). Does that make me an unloving peroson and an unaccepting person? In our church we are busy ministering the broken-hearted ... and we want to accept people independantly of their background, and accompany them in their journey to wholeness in Christ. Is that being unaccepting? Is offering counselling to same-sex attracted people is offensive? Or it may be actually the only cross-current answer ...

I recall Jesus being cross-current.