Monday, December 28, 2009

Louie Crew on the Idolatry of Unity, the Law & the Prophets and the Anglican Covenant

Words of Wisdom from a Wise One!

Jesus said that when you face rival claims of Scripture, test each part against the first and second commandments. All law and all prophecy hang on those two.

For example, those proposing an Anglican Covenant purport to promote unity, but do so at the expense of homosexual persons and their friends. Scripture can seem on their side: Scripture tells us to value unity. But not above all else. First you must love your neighbor as you love yourself.

Yoo-hoo. Hi there! Yes, us, your Queer neighbors, and with you joint heirs of Jesus Christ.

Scripture tempted Jesus to hurl himself from a cliff to reveal his power, because Scripture promised that he would be rescued by angels. Given his own struggle -- unable to be taken seriously by any but Samaritans, tax-collectors, and drunkards -- he found that prospect very tempting.

"That would show them who I am!," Jesus thought, but then he rejected that use of Scripture as satanic, and trumped it with another, "It is written, do not put the Lord to the test." That is, he followed the first commandment: he loved God with all his mind.

Sola scriptura? Yes, if you test all scripture against the first and second commandments. That requires reason, tradition, and experience.

But love does not come by Scripture, reason, tradition, or experience. To be able to love, you must be born again.. You must get a life -- a life of the spirit.

11 comments:

Bookguybaltmd said...

LC, as usual, is dead on. Thanks for posting. What a great summary of the christian position on this (and any other) dispute.

susankay said...

Always wonderful. I'll use this.

RonF said...

First you must love your neighbor as you love yourself.

Mr. Crew is quite correct that we need to act towards our brothers and sisters in love. But that doesn't mean that we are required to accept and even celebrate anything that they do.

When we see our neighbor in sin and error, what are we commanded to do? Ignore it? Or, alternatively, punish them with the kinds of courses of action laid out in the OT? No, neither one. To do the former is to let them damn themselves, and to do the latter is to damn ourselves ("Let he who is without sin cast the first stone").

I have often read this argument, that since God has told us we much love one another, we must accept those who engage in homosexual behavior and ignore the commandments against it. But unconditional acceptance of any kind of behavior from someone is not love. It is neglect.

I have children. Do I love them? Of course. Did I then accept any kind of behavior they chose? Of course not. To do so would have been an abandonment of my duty towards them. At times I instructed them, at times I corrected them, at times I punished them; but all out of love, not hate. And that's key, because acting out of love rather than hate ensures that we don't do something that damages either them or us.

If homosexual behavior was not sinful and people's reactions towards it were based purely out of prejudice and hate then you would be entirely correct in citing Jesus' words as you have. But such is not the case. Such behavior is sinful. Now, it's quite true that a great many people do react towards it based on hate. But then, there are plenty of parents who have punished their children out of anger (for example). While that is sinful, it does not mean that their child didn't do something wrong. And so while the fact that there are people who act towards gays and lesbians out of anger and hate is evil, it doesn't justify the gays and lesbians.

Love is not mindless acceptance. It can sometimes call us to do some quite difficult things.

RonF said...

What a great summary of the christian position on this (and any other) dispute.

Here's Jesus' words on how to resolve a dispute, from Matthew 18:16-18

And if thy brother sin against thee, go, show him his fault between thee and him alone: if he hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he hear thee not, take with thee one or two more, that at the mouth of two witnesses or three every word may be established. And if he refuse to hear them, tell it unto the church: and if he refuse to hear the church also, let him be unto thee as the Gentile and the publican.

Note that this does not mean that every dispute ends up in a group hug, nor that all parties always remain as part of the Christian community.

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

"Love is not mindless acceptance. It can sometimes call us to do some quite difficult things."

PRECISELY! Like question the use of selective biblical literalism to support the mindless acceptance of heterosexism that manifests itself in the oppression and marginalization of LGBT people!

(By George, I think you've got it -- except for the part where you seem to think you get to decide what's sinful. Maybe the next "difficult thing" is to leave that one to God and get on with living your own life in alignment with God's love, grace, compassion and justice!)

uffda51 said...

Ronf, I’m just curious, does your condescending, hectoring style of communication work well for you in your daily life? And, if one of your children came to you to reveal that they were gay, would you still choose to remain willfully ignorant about human sexuality?

LGMarshall said...

Crew says about Jesus--'He found that prospect very tempting...' [when satan proposed jumping off the cliff to be rescued by angels]

'That would show them who I am!' -- Crew intimates what Jesus was 'thinking'.

Jesus only did what his Father told him to do. He was never going to veer from that. Jesus had plenty of chances to show that He was God. He didn't need to jump off a cliff. Even Satan knew who Jesus was, and tried to use his Word against him, but that cannot be done. Satan can only lie. Jesus can only utter Truth.

'Love your neighbor as yourself' is the command for Believers alone. To become a Child of God, you must first come to Repentence, then Faith through Grace.

Everyone knows who Jesus is -- every belief system mishandles him in their own way...Jesus was a good man. Jesus was a prophet. Jesus was a Teacher... Even the hypocrite Jewish leaders knew who he was -- but called him Blasphemer. The question is... Accept or Reject?

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

'Love your neighbor as yourself' is the command for Believers alone.

Really? Where exactly do you get that?

And I'm thinking Jesus spent a whole lot more time talking about "following" than he did about "accepting or rejecting."

Remember "inasmuch as you've done it unto the least of these?"

Sounds to me like that's an action based -- not belief based criterion.

Happy New Year!

John G. Spragge said...

It seems to me that if we believe Gay men and Lesbians belong to a group shaped by their natures, meaning a fundamental attribute like skin colour or height, then we must accept that the summary of the law applies: that no matter how clear the injunctions against homosexual lovemaking may appear to us, the law cannot demand that we behave in a hateful or uncompassionate manner (Luke 10:29-37).

If, on the other hand, we look upon same-sex love as pure choice, then arguments such as those proposed by RonF might make at least some sense.

But it seems to me that the overwhelming weight of the medical, social, and historical evidence suggests that we no more choose our sexual orientation than we choose the (natural) colour of our hair. Note that I use hair colour deliberately: even though our hair colour changes over time, as our sexual orientation sometimes does, we still do not choose it.

In any case, the Gospels make it clear that in cases of doubt, even when faced with an enemy in need, Jesus calls us to show compassion.

RonF said...

And I'm thinking Jesus spent a whole lot more time talking about "following" than he did about "accepting or rejecting."

Remember "inasmuch as you've done it unto the least of these?"

Sounds to me like that's an action based -- not belief based criterion.


Hear, hear. While rejecting someone's behavior is entirely in accordance with Christianity, rejecting that person themselves is not. No matter what someone has done, we need to reach out to them and encourage them to turn away from their sins and seek God.

This is one reason why I oppose the death penalty. While someone lives, they have the chance to repent and ask God for forgiveness. We should not close out that opportunity unnaturally.

I've come to an understanding regarding acting on one's beliefs. Jesus' last charge to the apostles was to go and make new disciples. The book in the Bible that describes how they went about that is called "Acts of the Apostles", not "Speeches of the Apostles". There ought to be a sermon in there somewhere.

uffda, I'm curious. On what basis do you hold that I'm wilfully ignorant about human sexuality? If you think you're better informed than I, perhaps you'd care to cite some references for me?

Susan - no, I don't think that I get to decide what's sinful. I think God's already done that, and both told us via the Bible and demonstrated to us via the life and words of Jesus what the two are. But it seems to me that a great many people have decided that their own feelings and desires override God's word and Jesus' life and that on that basis they get to decide that something's NOT sinful. I figure that what's not sinful is also God's decision, not mine.

RonF said...

Scripture tempted Jesus to hurl himself from a cliff to reveal his power, because Scripture promised that he would be rescued by angels. Given his own struggle -- unable to be taken seriously by any but Samaritans, tax-collectors, and drunkards -- he found that prospect very tempting. "That would show them who I am!," Jesus thought,

Where exactly did Louie Crew get this from? On what basis does he project this thought sequence and set of feelings onto Jesus? He states it as fact, but how does he justify this as anything but his own fantasy? Is there anything in Scripture that indicates or reveals that this is what was going through Jesus' mind?

Not to mention: "Scripture tempted Jesus ..."? I seem to recall that Satan attempted to tempt Jesus, not Scripture (or Jesus' reading of it, which would at least make sense).

I must confess I know very little about Mr. Crew. Is this kind of process normal for him?