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Here is my own summary of Gushee’s extended argument through his column series, as fairly as I can make it out: Gay people exist among us, and cannot change. Some Christians, including some gays, believe a Christian sexual ethic requires celibacy on their part.But celibacy is an “exceptional and rare calling” that most simply will not embrace.
Leviticus calls homosexual acts an abomination, but it describes many other acts that way too. And also for a death penalty for every other “abomination” in Old Testament law?
Maybe this prohibition was just a way of setting Israel apart from other nearby cultures, or maybe it was just a male-domination thing.
Because I am a Catholic, not an evangelical, and because I am a political theorist and constitutional scholar, not a theologian, I was only dimly aware of David Gushee before his Post essay.
But that essay “mainstreamed” an argument that should be of interest to all Christians, so I went to the series of sixteen online columns Gushee wrote for Baptist News Global over the last few months (the last installment herehas links to all the previous ones), now also published as a short book.
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The evangelical theologian David Gushee, who teaches at Mercer University, made a splash recently with a Washington Post op-ed summarizing the grounds for a change of his mind on Christian sexual ethics, particularly with a view to how the church should reach out to persons with same-sex attraction and those in same-sex relationships.
I said as well that Gushee’s ethics are uncharitable, and that conclusion is hard to resist after seeing his offer of a “Genesis 3” approach to the problem of sin.
We all have our own crosses to bear, of temptations, passions, and bad habit.
Gushee declares that he now “stands in solidarity with the LGBT community,” which for him means that Christians now “need to reconsider the entire body of biblical interpretation and tradition related to this issue.” In short, Gushee has now concluded that there is no scriptural foundation for treating homosexual acts as morally wrong.
Same-sex-attracted persons, therefore, should be welcomed in the church with “full acceptance” on terms that respect and honor their desires and deeds.