Shuck and Jive

Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Tract or Treat?

I remember one Halloween when we lived in Northern New York. We sent the kids out Trick or Treating. One of the neighbors didn't like Halloween for religious reasons. Instead of giving out candy they gave out religious tracts. I think it was this one.

Our friend from across the street was very upset and gave the neighbor a piece of her mind for it. I amused myself by suggesting that the neighbors who handed out the tracts were truly in the Halloween spirit. They scared the hell of out the children with their perverse religion.

I was reminded of this by a recent post from Jadedjabber. All of the tracts are disturbing but The Birds and the Bees is particularly insidious.

Bruce Reyes-Chow asked if we can agree to disagree about homosexuality. How do we agree to disagree about that?

Granted, the tract is white trash theology, the kind you find near my mountain. But, substantively, what is the difference between that and the following statements in the Authoritative Interpretation of the PC(USA)?

“…that homosexuality is not God’s wish for humanity. This we affirm, despite the fact that some of its forms may be deeply rooted in an individual’s personality structure.” [7]

“In many cases homosexuality is more a sign of the brokenness of God’s world than of willful rebellion. In other cases homosexual behavior is freely chosen or learned in environments where normal development is thwarted.” [8]

“Even where the homosexual orientation has not been consciously sought or chosen, it is neither a gift from God nor a state nor a condition like race; it is a result of our living in a fallen world.” [9]

“As we examine the whole framework of teaching bearing upon our sexuality from Genesis onward, we find that homosexuality is a contradiction of God’s wise and beautiful pattern for human sexual relationships revealed in Scripture and affirmed in God’s ongoing will for our life in the Spirit of Christ.” [10]

“Homosexual persons who will strive toward God’s revealed will in this area of their lives, and make use of all the resources of grace, can receive God’s power to transform their desires or arrest their active expression.” [11]

“…the New Testament declares that all homosexual practice is incompatible with Christian faith and life.” [12]

“On the basis of our understanding that the practice of homosexuality is sin, we are concerned that homosexual believers and the observing world should not be left in doubt about the church’s mind on this issue during any further period of study.” [13]

Not Justice, Not Progress
  • [7] (Minutes, UPCUSA, 1979, Part I, p. 262; Minutes, PCUS, 1979, Part I, p. 203, lines 108-110).
  • [8] (Minutes, UPCUSA, p. 262; Minutes, PCUS, p. 203, lines 111-114).
  • [9] (Minutes, UPCUSA, p. 262; Minutes, PUCS, p. 203, lines 114-116).
  • [10] (Minutes, UPCUSA, p. 262; Minutes, PCUS, p. 204, lines 174-178).
  • [11] (Minutes, UPCUSA, p. 263; Minutes, PCUS, p. 205, lines 197-200).
  • [12] (Minutes, UPCUSA, p. 263; Minutes, PCUS, p. 206, lines 239-240).
  • [13] (Minutes, UPCUSA, p. 264; Minutes, PCUS, p. 207, lines 324-328).