The Shoe


One thing I really enjoyed when I first got a digital SLR was looking at the world from a different viewpoint. Seeing as though I am talking about shoes I thought I’d include this image of mine.

If you hadn’t noticed, I finished looking at Bill Muehlenbergs book – mainly because I am a lazy scholar. Probably why I’m a sparkie and not a theologian. But also because the book was so depressing and written in a way that belittled me as a “revisionist” whose one aim was to twist scripture to justify my sinful lifestyle. I may come back to the book…..but I doubt it. For what it’s worth I gave it half a star…..because it had words in it, and it was a book.

Besides, I found something on the internet that has caught my eye. Remember how it came to light that President Mike Semmler used Bill Muehlenberg’s book as a resource on a paper about Pastoral care to homosexuals. Well anyway, a quick google search and I found it! I don’t think I am going to critique his work as such, maybe I will, but for now I might just talk about some of the things it made me think about.

Mike Semmler ILC conference 2012 :

“The temptation for Christians is to attempt to live in both realms with as little conflict as possible and in so doing compromise our calling to be “salt‟, “light‟and “yeast‟ as God’s people in society. The clash comes when the church, with Scripture as its norm, must call sinning and being sinful for what it is.”

I guess he is talking about me.

I sincerely hope that my words will provide salt for healing, light for discernment and yeast for growth. At this stage I am not saying I am right and Mike is wrong, but I do say that our current statements on homosexuality throw salt in the eyes and cause darkness and pain for many people.  If we are to judge something by its fruits alone I would not need to say another word. But as he said – we use Scripture as our norm.

Mike Semmler goes on to say:

“With God supplanted and the resultant lack of any absolute truth, what
attracts us becomes good and what we dislike becomes bad or evil. A society
without God begins to look to a norm for behaviour on an individual basis or
corporately to such matters as “human rights‟ or what may be broadly called
the “evolution of society‟. It is as if we claim superior knowledge to those who
have lived before us.”

Those damned humanists again! If it wasn’t for them our wives would be barefoot and pregnant, blacks would know their place and we would still have our slaves.

It must be said that society without God made better judgements than those who professed to have God. It is Christians that time and time again use the bible to fight against justice.

The bible was written in an ancient eastern society, the culture had a different way of thinking to us on many levels and we may not necesarilly and do not adhere to a lot of what was considered normal and moral in the bible. Because of this it is important to consider culture, history and context when looking at the Bible, without doing so results in crimes against social justice as in the examples above. Therefore the “absolute truth” that Mike talks about is not a rock solid pillar to be leaning against. It reminds me of a scene in a movie, watch this

I am in no way belittling the importance of scripture but so often, with certain traditional interpretations of scripture, we hold them up like the shoe or the sacred gourd in the Monty Python skit. I think they make us feel spiritually secure and  because of this we are not open to closer inspection. For example Mike Semmler says this:

“Yet we are gravely concerned at the current proposals for federal legislation to change the marriage act and radically redefine what constitutes marriage by equating same sex unions with the sexual union between and man and a woman.”

God created people for relationship – with Him, but also in this life we yearn for a special relationship, a person we can share life with. This is a God given desire/need. Not many are cut out for celibacy and lonliness is a terrible thing. Our world is different from that in the Garden of Eden, sin has affected all of creation, that’s all, including me as a heterosexual. God hasn’t denied me the blessing of marriage, even though I am affected by the fall, why do we insist that LGBT’s can’t fulfil this basic human need? Are we saying they are somehow worse than us? Are we like the Pharisee in the temple praying, “Thankyou Father that I am not one of those…….” Is this where we are meant to be salt and tell an intersex man that he is sinning and sinful? Is this where we tell a lesbian and a gay man that their desire to marry is undermining the value of real marriage and that they are a danger to our society? Is this what it means to be salt and light?

Remember the shoe!


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