A Quicky Explained

Some of you bloggers may be able to relate – the moment I pressed publish on my last post I felt a pang of regret. I re-read it and at first,  it sort of sounded as though I was “pastor bashing”. If this is how it sounded, that wasn’t my intention. A short history lesson:

There were two issues in the church which I consciously wanted to avoid at all costs – the issue of womens ordination and the issue of homosexuality and the church. I knew full well that if I delved too deeply into these issues, I would have my opinions challenged. I didn’t want that, it encroached on my securities. For me it was a safety issue: change your mind on these and goodness knows where you might end up….you know, the slippery slope thing. To cut a long story short, I came face to face with these issues and came up with a few surprises. Consequently I have been doing a lot of thinking about the law and grace, about how we read and regard scripture – lots of things. Just lately I have been half heartedly blogging – I say half heartedly because I have been doing little to advertise my blog – writing and publishing but I am a little bit shy, so to speak. One thing I have been wanting is to open up discussion – or atleast to make people think. Occasionally I get frustrated at the lack of interest from my own church – hence my last post.

All is not lost, I have had one pastor reply to my blog, and although I don’t agree with him I am thankful that he bothered to say something. (The whole conversation can be found here) I may have gotten a little defensive because he told me I wrote poorly and should stick to photography, but I did ask him to tell me what wrong associations I made. Here is what he said:

1) You name the enemy as the law – correct. But you do so in order that you can justify something that is not endorsed by Scripture.

2) You pick isolated statements out of the Athanasian Creed and identify them as law – correct. But you do not take the whole of the creed, or its context into consideration.

3) You make the statement: “this is what you must believe, otherwise you will go to hell” – the first part is correct, the conclusion does not follow in such isolation. You therefore present a confusion by failing to discuss this in the context of salvation.

4) You state: ” If all we have to do is believe something why did Jesus have to die? ” Completely wrong association, because again, the first part is correct in its rightful context, but the question does not follow. Rather than one being exclusive of the other, they are intertwined.

5) You say in the next sentence: “Or if all we have to do is repent why didn’t God just wave a bigger stick.” Haven’t got a clue what you mean by this? And who said: All you have to do is repent? Same confusion as in 4) above.

6) The confusion continues in the sentences that follow.

7) You state near the end of that paragraph: “Thousands of people march in protest against gay families????” Probably true, but then: “against gay families”? Don’t think so! Maybe rather against their actions in constantly throwing their views into the faces of the others and expecting them to give legitimacy to such actions. In any event, I do not endorse that kind of protest action – doesn’t work.

8) In the next paragraph, you say: “We have got our neat little bubble of “word and sacrament”and “law and gospel” and we say that this is how God operates, so we try and contain God under our laws.” The first part of your sentence is a snide reflection on clearly accepted teachings that cannot be debunked (ie, Word and Sacrament, law and Gospel) and then in the end, you say we “try and contain God under our laws” – an utter confusion, because Word and Sacrament is not “contain(ing) God under our laws”, and nor is the Gospel.

9) Your next paragraph starts: “Love isn’t a decision, love can’t be explained with theology, when God looks at you he doesn’t see Jesus (contrary to what the song says) he sees you!” This is really sad! You start with clauses that maybe fine (although I would suggest that God’s love for us is a decision on his part), but you then follow it with an amazing assertion! There is a clear and wonderfully reassuring teaching emanating out of the song words, yet you dismiss them out of hand. Yes, of course, you are correct in that “he sees you”, and “he loves you”, but why do have to debunk the other? That is just confusion! Oh, and in case you don’t understand the song words, they so wonderfully imply that in looking at us and seeing Jesus, we have the greatest assurance that sin is no longer “seen” by God, but that instead he sees the righteousness of Jesus and therefore we can stand in his presence. Is that what you want to debunk?

I think I have made the point – and I haven’t even referred to the previous posts of your Harry Potter associations where many suffer a similar problem.

It so often happens, that, when people get onto a pet issue, they will clutch at anything in an attempt to support that issue and in the finish they make all kinds of association which destroy fundamental truths.

I have a short attention span so I don’t want to make an encyclopedia out of this post – I am thinking I will break my reply into atleast two maybe three posts. But I do think I have enough attention to tackle no.1.

1) You name the enemy as the law – correct. But you do so in order that you can justify something that is not endorsed by Scripture.

I am glad you agreed with me on the law thing, atleast I only have to reply to the second statement. Now you tell me that I am seeking to justify something not endorsed by scripture? Dear Pastor, a significant number of people are born with ambiguous gender – in case you don’t understand what I mean – they are born neither fully male nor fully female. Just so you understand me – some people may be born with a penis and have ovaries, some may have both a penis and a vagina. I am not a doctor and am not fully researched in this field so I apologize to the Intersex people who may be reading –  if I have described you in a way that offends. These people make up the “I” in LGBTI. Are you saying these people are not endorsed by scripture? Similarly with the LGBT people – are you saying they are not endorsed by scripture? You are telling me that because I want to accept and love them as fully human, offer them grace and love in exactly the same way I would to all people, that I am in some way wrong? And you have the gall to say it in a public forum! It is not I that have to prove myself or to justify anything – The church has a long history of discrimination against LGBTI people, it is the church that calls them distorted and perverted – it is the church that needs to step up to the plate and justify what they teach.

As I pray in the temple I thank God that I was born heterosexual and not one of those gay sinners. I now understand why Jesus called the religious people of his time vipers and snakes.

I’ll deal with number two in my next post.

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Comments
10 Responses to “A Quicky Explained”
  1. lcamyopinion says:

    Funny how quickies tend to be not so quick after all (Smiley Face). I just have to smile at the pastors comment that you have said something *not endorsed by scripture*. Give me a second and Ill try to think of some other things not endorsed by scripture. Ummm….

    Worn tap washers have a tendency to leak…

    Ummmm…..

    Shampoo stings you eyes….

    Ummm…. give me a day or two and I mihht be able to come up with some others…..

  2. Wally Schiller says:

    Sorry, Tapio. You claim about me (because I am the pastor you are talking about – you might as well be honest about it!):
    “You are telling me that because I want to accept and love them as fully human, offer them grace and love in exactly the same way I would to all people, that I am in some way wrong?”

    This is NOT something I said! Nothing like it – and you know that! And yet YOU have the gall to use something I have NOT said as a judgment against me with your next statement: “And you have the gall to say it in a public forum!” That is simply evil! Shame on you! I would in fact absolutely encourage you to “accept and love them as fully human, offer them grace and love in exactly the same way I would to all people”. I’ll repeat it: I absolutely ENDORSE you in that action! You are not in any way wrong in doing so.

    Not sure how you can get this so wrong! So, back to you!

    • Tapman says:

      I referred to you as Pastor because my argument is not with you, If it is an argument. No I didn’t get it wrong – you said I used the association to support something not endorsed by scripture – what exactly is not endorsed by scripture then? Do you agree with me then that gay and intersex and transgender people should enjoy God’s blessings on their relationships like we do. Do you agree with me that being gay and having a partner is not sinful? If you don’t agree with me you are saying exactly what I suggested.

      It is what you said – YOU said it – I felt it such an abhorrent statement I referred to you as Pastor to protect your identity – not because I am dishonest. Why do you think so many gay teenagers suicide? Why do you think many of our LCA members are hiding…it is because of what the CHURCH is saying and teaching. If you want to identify with what they say and teach it is your call.

      • Wally Schiller says:

        What do you mean? Argument is not with me? Well, I am the one making the point about your interpretation, so it seems pretty obvious that the argument is with me. In any event, as I have made clear, I am not going to hide behind anonymity when it comes to faithfulness to God and his Word.

        So you ask: What is not endorsed by Scripture? Same sex relationships, of course. Show me one reference where it is endorsed.

        Further, let me make this clear:
        You state in your answer above:
        “Do you agree with me then that gay and intersex and transgender people should enjoy God’s blessings on their relationships like we do. Do you agree with me that being gay and having a partner is not sinful? If you don’t agree with me you are saying exactly what I suggested.”
        No! That is simply not logic! I neither agree with you on those first two questions and – more to the point: nor does the Word of God – nor am I saying what you suggested, and I repeat: I am NOT telling you that you are wrong because you “want to accept and love them as fully human, offer them grace and love in exactly the same way I would to all people” – it is the right thing to do.

        The statement:
        “to accept and love them as fully human, offer them grace and love in exactly the same way I would to all people”
        is not the same as suggesting:
        “that gay and intersex and transgender people should enjoy God’s blessings on their relationships like we do”.
        The first is supported by the Word of God, by the Church and by me.
        The second is not supported by the Word of God, nor by the Church, nor by me.

        So, after all that, I am not sure that I know what you THINK I said, because you seem to think I say things that I do not say.

      • Tapman says:

        Wally, thank you for your reply. My heterosexuality is a part of me. If I have sex with another man I am not a homosexual – To say that same sex relationships is not endorsed by scripture is the same as saying the person is not endorsed by scripture – human sexuality is not defined by what type of sex you have. Perhaps you read my rather weak and unprofessional exegesis of the famous Romans passage. I pointed out that to read it as attacking homosexuality is taking what is written out of context. Which child upset God so much that he gave them over to a depraved mind? Have a read of this post again, answer my question and we talk. Here is a link for you – click here

      • Wally Schiller says:

        You can argue that aspect which ever way you like (and I don’t agree with those, like you, who seek to skirt around the issue and try to explain it away) but the fact remains: it does not endorse your position.
        Your question? It is the wrong question. It is like push-polling – you frame the question in a way that ensures you get the answer you want. You can only deal with this issue if you face the issue of original sin and its consequences. Your question seeks support on an emotional human basis. If I followed that process, I would have to ask the same question in relation to a Downs Syndrome person.

      • Tapman says:

        Thank you for your reply…..although I feel you didn’t answer my question.

      • Wally Schiller says:

        Correct – because it is the wrong question.

      • AB says:

        What part of a loving, monogamous, homosexual relationship is not endorsed by Scripture? The whole bible teaches us about love?

      • Wally Schiller says:

        Which part is? The Bible certainly teaches about love – but not the rest.

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