Monday, June 3, 2013

Christianity at a Crossroads: Rights of Women and LGBT Persons, the Signs of the Times, and the Meaning of the Gospel

∙ Straight white males don't own God (though they've behaved for a long, long time as if they do).

∙ God is not a straight white male (though straight white males have long appeared to imagine and continue to imagine that God is a projection of themselves writ large in the skies).

What I'd like to say now, if I can gather my thoughts in a week in which I'm supposed to be on vacation (thanks to several munificent gifts that have made this trip possible):

∙ We who are Christian live at a moment of history in which fundamental decisions have to be made about the future of the Christian movement.

∙ Those decisions have to do with the very meaning of the gospel itself, at a fundamental level.

∙ It is becoming increasingly impossible for Christians and their communities of faith to avoid making either-or, for-or-against decisions about the full humanity (and full range of human rights) of women and of LGBT human beings, due to historic shifts in the culture at large.

∙ These shifts point to fundamental questions about the meaning of the gospel itself; they do not point to a need for a kind of technical reordering of moral priorities within Christian communities, though many communities have been handling the monumental historical shifts in precisely that way, refusing to recognize that it's the gospel itself that is at stake at this point in Christian history.

∙ This reordering, this seismic shift in which the Christian movement must make historic decisions about the meaning of the gospel itself, is every bit as momentous as what happened in the christological controversies of early Christianity and during the Reformation.

∙ The future of Christianity as a religious movement will depend on how it negotiates the historical challenge facing it today in the appeal of both women and LGBT human beings for a full range of human rights within societies around the world, and within communities of faith.

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