Travelling, groomsmaning, catching up with folks in Moscow, etc., have all gotten in the way of blogging in the past week. But lots of great ideas have still been flying around, especially about (what else?) homosexuality and catholicity. (I'm beginning to feel like that's all I talk about...yikes!) A friend of mine arranged a kind of reunion of old friends to chat theology, and I proposed this question for discussion: How are we to reconcile the demand for catholicity, church unity, patience amist disagreement with the widespread practice and condonement of homosexuality in the Church today? To prompt discussion, I submitted nine theses (of which one proved to be redundant, and so is omitted here):
1. Homosexual activity is a serious sin.
2. Homosexual sensibility and desire is not in itself sinful, though it is disordered.
3. Homosexual activity, like most other sins, can be practiced in well-intentioned ignorance.
4. Homosexuality can be wrongly, but well-intentionedly defended by Christians.
5. We do not contract the “infection” of a homosexual’s sin by fellowshipping with that person, or with an individual or a church who supports them.
6. We do not contract the “infection” of a homosexual’s sin by worshipping at a church supporting them, or even at which they are ministering.
7. The proper way to address homosexuality in the church is patient but firm church discipline, which may require excommunication of those practicing it or, possibly, those condoning it.
8. If the authorized leadership does not practice the discipline that they are obliged to practice, other believers do not receive the right to take disciplinary action into their own hands and unilaterally secede/declare other churches to be non-churches. They are required to rebuke in love, and pray and work for unity of mind and, if necessary, God’s judgment.
The discussion that ensued was excellent and edifying, and most present seemed willing to go most of the way in agreeing with these points. I did, however, receive an email afterward from one participant, registering some strong objections. I will probably post parts of my response to that email over the next couple days.