Skip to comments.‘Accepting Evangelicals’ – the new ‘evangelicals’ who back same sex marriage
Posted on 01/15/2013 11:10:24 PM PST by Morgana
With the government set to debate gay marriage, I am constantly asked on social media why I cannot, like other more loving and tolerant Christians, accept same sex marriage as an expression of love and commitment between two people of the same sex.
Several people have referred me to an article in the Independent last week titled Happy and Clappy and out of the closet: Evangelicals who say gay is OK.
The implication is that if some evangelicals are welcoming same sex marriage then evangelicalism per se should not be a barrier to others moving in the same direction.
Many of the evangelicals featured in the article will be well known names to those who have been following the debate Jeffrey John, Brian McLaren, Jeremy Marks, Benny Hazlehurst and are certainly not regarded as mainstream. In fact many Christians (and non-Christians) I suspect would not consider them to be evangelicals at all.
Peter Ould has done a helpful review of the article on his blog and I wont say more about it here but the Independent has helped to give a higher profile (at least amongst its liberal readership) to a pressure group called Accepting Evangelicals which it describes as the the prime mover in promoting pro-gay evangelicalism.
Accepting Evangelicals has in fact been going since 2004 but on a straw poll of fellow Christians this week virtually no one I asked had actually heard of it.
On its website it claims to be an 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, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.
It claims to have over 540 members of whom 82% are open members whose names are listed on the site. Other members have opted to remain confidential because they are concerned that their public support would put them at risk of prejudice or discrimination.
Amongst the open members are Benny Hazlehurst (pictured), who acts as secretary to the group, former Eden Baptist minister Roy Clements, Courage founder Jeremy Marks, Ekklesia co-director Simon Barrow, post-evangelical Dave Tomlinson and Oasis Trust founder Steve Chalke.
Perhaps the only surprise here to some will be Steve Chalke, although many would argue that he been moving away from an evangelical position on key biblical doctrines for some years.
The group published a position statement in summer 2012 and has a page of resources along with four articles on the Bible and homosexuality (accessible here) written by Hazlehurst for his personal blog in 2010 and adapted for Accepting Evangelicals.
The arguments are the usual ones the sin of Sodom was rape, inhumanity, and breaking the laws of hospitality and not principally about homosexuality. The proscriptions about homosexual relations in Leviticus 18 and 20 applied to idolatry and male prostitution and not loving, committed, faithful, exclusive same-sex relationships. Jesus said nothing about the issue and much of what Paul says in 1 Timothy and 1 Corinthians is cultural or confusing and hangs on the definitions of disputed Greek words. In Romans 1 Paul saw homosexual activity, alongside all the idolatry of the Greco-Roman world. It was not born out of love, or orientation, but out of pagan practices, greed, lust and abuse of power.
The wider framework of biblical sexuality and teaching about marriage are ignored.
Hazlehursts arguments have been ably refuted in a variety of recent works, and most recently in the Evangelical Alliances summer 2012 publication Biblical and pastoral responses to homosexuality which is available on the EA website and summarised here.
His whole argument is aimed at creating a case for marriage for those who exhibit the self-giving love that we observe today between people of the same sex who genuinely love each other and want to commit their lives to each other before God.
These people, we are told, are prayerful, devout, committed Christians, worshipping God faithfully, and giving him the glory.
To become a member there is no declaration to sign, just an affirmation that the member is happy to be publicly associated with Accepting Evangelicals.
I suspect we will hear much more of this group over the coming weeks and months and the liberal press will no doubt be only too obliging in making each new high profile member into a news story.
I remain unconvinced.
Biblical teaching on homosexuality is very clear and liberal Christians and secularists are thankfully much more honest about taking the words as they are written rather than trying to contort them to accommodate the special case.
The Evangelical Alliances recent book and another recent CMF publication on Unwanted same sex attraction are careful to major on the pastoral issues faced in trying to help those who experience same sex erotic attraction or recognise that they have a homosexual orientation and I have myself written on this before.
But I am left wondering how many of this group are actually true evangelicals.
The key evangelical distinctives are the need for personal conversion, a high regard for biblical authority, an emphasis on the saving death and resurrection of Christ and an active obedience to and proclamation of the gospel.
David Bebbington has termed this quadrilateral of priorities conversionism, biblicism, crucicentrism, and activism.
Accepting Evangelicals it seems to me undermine all four.
There is highly suspect exposition of the Bible, selective obedience to biblical teaching, an unwillingness to make sacrifices for the sake of the Gospel and an inadequate understanding of what Jesus death and resurrection has achieved in helping believers to die to self, live as redeemed creatures in the power of the Holy Spirit and to resist temptation.
Richard Lovelace wrote in his classic work 'Homosexuality and the Church' in 1978 that he saw the growing acceptance of homosexual practice within the church as due to a false religion opposed to biblical revelation and the authority of Scripture, an antinomian ethic that undercuts the balance between law and Gospel, a cheap grace that ignores repentance and a powerless grace that denies the possibility of change.
This remains, in my view, an accurate assessment.
I’ve said in on other threads today- but I’ll say it here too- there’s a very powerful delusion sweeping across thsi nation (and world really), and i’m beginnign to wonder if this is the time that God talked abotu in His word when He said that He would send strong delusions so that the people beleive the lies they are told
Standign back fro mthe fray- and just watchign everythign goign down so rapidly, you have to wonder how we coudl go from such a strong moral nation to an imoral one in a mattyer of a few short years, and watchign all the icnredible assaults on our constitutional rights, you have to wonder how people can fall for the lies- it should be so obvious to them that they vow to take a stand agaisnt the blatant lies, but the people are loving hte lies- and hte left is revelling i nthe fact that the peopel have fallen or these lies-
You really have to wonder if This isn’t the ‘powerful strong delusions the bible speaks of in the end times
God ain’t allowed in publik skools no more.
Quite frankly, I don’t think he’s allowed in the churches.
The God of the bible isn’t allowed in churches today, but the golden calf sure is
Christianity in ANY flavor is based on the Old Testament as well as the New. Christ said he came to fulfill the scriptures, not destroy them. And the God of Israel made very clear what he thought of Sodomites and other perverts.
And sexual perversions like homosexuality are totally incompatible with Christianity or orthodox Judaism.
Consider the lament of Juvenal, who lived circa 100 AD, but was evidently unaware of the budding religion of Christianity:
O father of our city, whence came such wickedness among thy Latin shepherds? How did such a lust possess thy grandchildren, O Gradivus?
He was “conservative”, and his views are largely discounted on this basis in our day ( well ... he was anti-gay ! ). He further opined, after describing a privately performed “gay marriage”, that “If we live long enough, we shall see these things done openly.” Of course, he was assuming a continuous evolution of Roman culture. Little could he have imagined that this would come true 2000 years in the future.
I’m just waiting for his Satires to be banned and supressed.
Even in all its degeneracy, the Roman Empire did not condone homosexual "marriages".
We are indeed in deep trouble.
“The arguments are the usual ones the sin of Sodom was rape, inhumanity, and breaking the laws of hospitality and not principally about homosexuality. The proscriptions about homosexual relations in Leviticus 18 and 20 applied to idolatry and male prostitution and not loving, committed, faithful, exclusive same-sex relationships. Jesus said nothing about the issue and much of what Paul says in 1 Timothy and 1 Corinthians is cultural or confusing and hangs on the definitions of disputed Greek words. In Romans 1 Paul saw homosexual activity, alongside all the idolatry of the Greco-Roman world. It was not born out of love, or orientation, but out of pagan practices, greed, lust and abuse of power.”
I’ve seen some so-called evangelicals argue that the Old Testament (and New Testament) commandments against the (heterosexual) use of prostitutes were “cultural” and that the prostitutes (I’ve seen this in some translations) were “cult prostitutes” and were a product of their era like a bug trapped in amber, therefore (it was implied but not stated openly) modern use of prostitutes was wink-wink not as bad if not OK. This is part of that same slippery slope.
As I said in another thread, our mistake was sitting back and letting the ECUSA, ELCA, PCUSA get ensnared -- we thought it wouldn't affect us, but now the media goes "oh, they accept homosexuality, why don't you?"
Those totally ignore so-called, non-SBC Baptists, so-called Methodists, so-called Lutherans, so-called Independents, so-called Presbyterians, and a ton of others who claim to be Christian and who preach, "go along to get along", but who attack Catholics for speaking against queers and communists are a transparent lot.
They're either committed fifth-columnists or they've swallowed the same lies Rev. Wright preached to King Barry for two decades. They attack the same people King Barry attacks so they're a part of Barry's band of fascists no matter what they say to the contrary. They're dedicated to spreading divisions among Christians to fragment Christian resistance to the totalitarian anti-Constitution agenda the same way RINOs work to divide fiscal conservatives and social conservatives.
Liberal Christians = those Christians who bend God's laws
Christians who bend God's laws are no longer Christians
So....there is no such thing. I'm tired of having the "loving and tolerant" thing beating me over the head. I'm not a loving and tolerant Christian, I'm a PO'd Christian. And I believe Christ himself would be a little PO'd at what is going on now. Money changers are nothing compared to he would encounter in the "temple" today. If he was angry then, He would be furious now! I don't picture a loving and tolerant Christ today, I picture a furious Christ.
“With the government set to debate gay marriage...”
If you agree that there can be a ‘debate’ about gay marriage, I think you are ceding the point that the state has the power to create something called ‘gay marriage’ if it wanted to. This is an indication that many have been conditioned to think that marriage comes from and is defined by the state.
The definition of marriage the state uses to recognize the institution is whatever judges, pols, or 51% of the voting public think it can be at any one time. That’s it, that’s all it will ever be in the modern era. It was always a danger that it woud depart from the actual definition, indeed some faiths will never accept remarriage after civil divorce, while the state has already done so for many, many years.
‘Now, since the family and human society at large spring from marriage, these men will on no account allow matrimony to be the subject of the jurisdiction of the Church. Nay, they endeavor to deprive it of all holiness, and so bring it within the contracted sphere of those rights which, having been instituted by man, are ruled and administered by the civil jurisprudence of the community. Wherefore it necessarily follows that they attribute all power over marriage to civil rulers, and allow none whatever to the Church; and, when the Church exercises any such power, they think that she acts either by favor of the civil authority or to its injury. Now is the time, they say, for the heads of the State to vindicate their rights unflinchingly, and to do their best to settle all that relates to marriage according as to them seems good.’
—Pope Leo XIII, 1880
I blame the Lutheran theologians and seminary professors of the 1960's and 1970's for planting the seed of "Gospel reductionismm", meaning that all Scripture is to be filtered through the lens of the Gospel.
That was fine until they and others began preaching "another gospel"--this "FULL INCLUSION" evil.
A true Evangelical will NOT except what is NOT in the BIBLE.
Assembly of God Evangelical CHRISTian!
Really? What about Matthew 19:4-5 (emphasis added)? And He answered and said to them, Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh? Does he call this "nothing"?
Also known as the “Emergent Church Movement” heresy.
To me it's clear that it's a wider problem affecting every single one of us.
I as a Catholic cannot just say it is a Lutheran/Anglican/whatever problem
Even Baptists shouldn't do that -- we are all affected
Each time the ECUSA wins against a traditional anglican parish, it's one more "hit" by the leftists against us all.
it’s not a heresy. It’s not aiming to reinterpret a standard doctrine. What this is doing is negating a central belief — pretty core if you think that this is asking us to celebrate sin.
The argument is that He doesn’t explicitly say “its not good” — I’ve been arguing with libs on Huffingtonpost and first they will say “Jesus didn’t condemn it”, and when you point out +Paul and the OT, they will say “that is man made tradition, Jesus came to promote just love, not the law”