If you haven’t read David Gushee’s article “Christians, Conflict, and Change,” you should. In said article Gushee urges conservative Christians to change their views regarding homosexuality “voluntarily,” implying that if we don’t, we will be in hot water with the thought police. A number of thoughtful conservatives have written responses. However, the one that caught my attention was written by theologian Robert Gagnon. Gagnon made headlines with his massive tome The Bible and Homosexuality: Texts and Hermeneutics. Although I haven’t read it yet, reviewers suggest that this is the go-to advanced study on the topic. Here’s his reaction to Gushee’s post:
Could a more theologically vacuous attack piece be written by a theologian? Where’s the theology? David Gushee, who switched positions on homosexual practice and “transgenderism” and who is timid about subjecting his views about Jesus, Paul, and Scripture to a rigorous public debate, now tries to scare all the rest of us, not with an argument about God’s judgment but rather with an argument about society’s judgment of us if we don’t comply. We are all bigots, the moral equivalent of racists, who don’t agree with Gushee’s theological “conversion” away from Jesus’ sexual ethics.
Somebody famous once said: Don’t fear humans who can only kill the body; fear God who can send both body and soul to hell.
According to Gushee: “As with the fight against racial discrimination in the 1960s and 1970s, sexual-orientation and gender-identity discrimination is rapidly being rejected by society…. If Hillary Clinton is elected president, making for 12 to 16 straight years of Democratic control of the White House, it is quite possible that by Supreme Court ruling and federal regulation any kind of discrimination against gay people will have the same legal rights and social acceptance as any kind of racial discrimination. Which is, none.”
True enough about the election of Hillary Clinton. Yet Gushee approves of this and indeed relishes making the connection himself in order to shut the rest of us up.
I’ve been warning for years about how the “GLBT” movement is the biggest threat to our civil and religious liberties; but (unlike Gushee) not for the purpose of encouraging people to abandon Jesus’ foundational view of sexual ethics; rather, partly to warn Christians to exercise their freedoms in this country vigorously, while they still have them, to make this the paramount concern in voting against those who would deny them and their children important religious and civil liberties; and partly to tell Christians to prepare themselves for persecution so that they will not fall away when difficulties arise. Christianity for much of its history has faced persecution from the state for holding fast to its God-given convictions. We’re now going back to the future.
Can someone, anyone, get David Gushee to stand up with me in a public forum so that we can get to the bottom of what Jesus and the apostolic witness to him thought and then assess whether the so-called “new knowledge” arguments are really all that new, or accurate (the hermeneutics of it all)? Because these are the matters that alone matter: Truth in Love. Not the threats of the state or the various structures of this-worldly power.
File Gushee’s piece under the heading of bullying.
I sincerely hope this debate takes place.