The Paradox of GLBT People and the Church

One thing that has buffaloed me from the start of this fiasco over TEC, Gene Robinson and the very strong existence of the GLBT in this and other historically Christian churches is this:  why would anyone want to join a church whose Scripture explicitly casts as sinful their defining way of life?  It’s true that liberal churches have a talent of explaining the Bible away, usually employing higher criticism.  But they still have to make that effort, generation after generation.  And in a society where secular people are well entrenched in its upper reaches, having a religion would seem to be a positive nuisance to those who themselves are well entrenched in its upper reaches.

Some of that answer can be found in David Hillard’s UnEnglish and Unmanly: Anglo-Catholicism and Homosexuality.  This is an interesting study that explains a lot of the early history of how we got to where things stand in the "Western" Anglican provinces.

One thing that everyone can take a lesson from is this: any church that puts a strong emphasis on an aesthetic or emotional appeal is especially vulnerable to the kinds of things described in Hilliard’s paper.  That should be sufficient warning to Pentecostal churches which, the deeper they get into society, the more they will be faced with challenges such as this.

3 thoughts on “The Paradox of GLBT People and the Church”

  1. Old news now, but an Episcopal priest wrote to Stand Firm this past Spring that there had been several homosexual people attending his church who left for Roman Catholic or (I think) Pentecostal churches when “the episcopal church” officially approved homosexuality in seating Gene Robinson as bishop in NH. When asked, the people said that they knew it was wrong, and would rather be in a church that had the courage to say so. I guess a fuzzy universalism just doesn’t give folks much impetus for going out on a Sunday. Like one fellow remarked, it just makes Starbucks look that much better!

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