Rev. Gene Robinson, now retired, was the first openly gay bishop of the Episcopal Church. He is a popular religious figure and regular columnist for the Daily Beast. This blog post is a response to his most recent article.
“the LGBT movement has been picking the “low fruit” of religious people”
An interesting and accurate way of putting it. When ones biases supersede God’s Word one is easily picked off.
“these religious people, who had been taught by their religion to condemn LGBT people, came to know someone gay, and realized that all the bad things said about them simply were not true.”
My religion teaches me to condemn all sin, not to condone it. It also teaches me sinners can be redeemed and forgiven if they will repent of what God calls sin and trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior.
While getting to know gay people does help one realize not all the bad things said about them are true, this does not mean there are no bad things in God’s sight. These “bad things” in God’s sight require repentance, not affirmation.
“And so they came to believe that their religion—and the Bible on which it is based—is simply wrong on this issue, outdated, and locked in the past. They felt uncomfortable with those few passages of scripture that seemed to condemn same sex behavior, and dismissed them as a product of their times, and inappropriately applied to what we know today about sexual orientation.”
A candid view into the mind of a liberal Christian – easily dismissive. Perhaps liberal Christians need to engage in more “rigorous study of the scripture” as he encourages conservative Christians to do later in his article.
“Merely calling these religious conservatives “bigots” seems to me not to be very loving, because it fails to acknowledge and honor the beliefs these people hold dear.”
You’d think those who think merely disagreeing with them is hateful would understand that ridiculing name calling is not loving but Rev. Robinson is the first one I’ve heard that realizes this.
“And the serious work of meeting these conservative evangelicals on their own terms, with the accompanying difficult task of explaining those offending passages of scripture, has not been done. Until now.”
“The Reformation Project seems to have two goals: to engage conservative Christians in rigorous study of the scripture that has been used to condemn homosexuality and its expression, and to equip those whose minds have been changed with the tools to engage other conservative religious people in this endeavor. It is not easy work, but it calls the bluff of those who would say “we have to take scripture seriously.”
Things are not as they “seem.” I contacted the guys from the first Reformation conference to dialogue and after seeing my response to Danny Cortez’s sermon (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-exfiGfSCug), much of which he based on James Brownson’s and Matthew Vines ideas, none where willing to “call my bluff” and talk on my terms. Only if I met them on their terms were some of them willing to dialogue.
“For evangelicals, the way forward is not around scripture, but directly through it. The Reformation Project offers the way.”
This is a problem as Matthew Vines and his Reformation Project try to work around the Scripture and conservatives are dealing directly with it, which does not lead to a affirming LGBT position.
Put simply: to fulfill His purposes. From a biblical point of view, Jesus suffered for a purpose and Christians will too.
1 Peter 2:21 “…Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.”
Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”