6 thoughts on “Orlando, Obergefell, Christ, and the Church

  1. Thank you for this article Wesley. This is the best article I’ve read on the horrible shooting in Orlando. It is real and sensible and it does justice to the situation. Thanks again.

  2. You guys remember when Meryl Streep reacted to Patricia Arquette’s comments about equal pay in her Oscar speech? That was me when I read this article.

    Such a shame though, that some of the lines that resonated with me most were the very ones that seemed to raise the ire of several of the commenters over there. But as evan773 said, it’s rather to be expected.

  3. Just read your article Wes; I, sometimes (maybe, more realistically, often) wonder whether or not our definition/expectation of marriage needs to be ‘re-claimed’ and re-defined to that of being the primary means and method of the raising of children, with the concomitant joining of the souls and bodies of the wife and husband (both, likewise, deep and complex subjects on and of themselves). Maybe our ‘problem’ with same-sex marriage is that we are, initially, beginning with the wrong definition/expectation of marriage itself (per the names ‘wife’, ‘husband’). Is it possible that “Friendship’ should be the definition of ‘Marriage’ and not the other way around?

    Wondering and wandering thoughts 😦

    • I’d suggest that the best exegesis of “one flesh” with respect to marriage leads to something lying fairly close to kinship. It’s certainly closer to our notions of friendship than to the romantic-Freudian way that our culture (and many Christians) tend to interpret that phrase.

  4. In thinking a bit more about this piece, I’m led to conclude that the viability of the SF project depends on its ability to connect people in some tangible way that’s more local than the internet. While I’ve appreciated the writings here, I don’t see that there’s been any real change in the broader evangelical world to make that subculture any more hospitable to LGBTQ people. In fact, as the Culture Wars seem to be winding down and evangelicals recognize that the broader culture will never come to share their “family values,” a tribal mindset has taken over. I feel like it’s probably harder today for an openly LGBTQ person to fit into an evangelical church than it was five years ago. Now that white, straight Christians are in a minority, they seem to be huddling together and, in most cases, pledging allegiance to Donald Trump.

    The SF project seems always to have had a vision toward integrating LGBTQ people into the family-centric local church. But how are we to respond when that vision becomes all but impractical. I stopped attending church about a year ago because it was just too depressing for me. I tried about 5-6 different different evangelical churches–ones that were more likely to have a nuanced view on LGBTQ issues. But over time, I just couldn’t get past the degree to which notions of compulsory heterosexuality lie at the heart of modern evangelical theology. In that sense, LGBTQ people are a threat, whether they are celibate or not. If evangelical churches won’t have us–and, in most cases, they won’t–where are we to go?

    I think that ultimately explains why most people just move over to the Side A category. Side B seems to be trying to fit into a broader “Christian tribe,” where sexual orientation matters less than the fact that we’re Christians. I have no theoretical objection to that. I just don’t see it as remotely practical. That’s because straight whites, who make up a majority of evangelicals, have no interest in such a tribe: They’d rather be part of a tribe where compulsory heterosexuality sits at the center. Guys like Denny Burk, Owen Strachan, and Russell Moore don’t care whether that makes any sense biblically; that’s just what they want.

    I’m a practicing Side B evangelical, but the Side A view doesn’t really bother me that much. I suspect that’s because I believe that it’s no longer possible for LGBTQ people to find any home within about 99% of evangelical churches. I’d much rather just hang out with other LGBTQ Christians, regardless of the Side A-B divide. In my view, the divide isn’t over one’s particular views of gay sex. Rather, the divide is over one is still trying to beg for a place at the table of the compulsory heterosexuality. I’m not. I’m largely content to let “white evangelicalism” rot on its own sexist, racist, heterosexist trash heap. Besides, as more and more white evangelicals line up behind Trump, I think one can easily see how morally bankrupt this movement has always been. The legacies of Carl Henry and George Wallace have now merged into one, making it clear that the two legacies were never all that different. In that sense, I think it’s time for Side B to rethink it’s strategy. I’m still of the view that same-sex coupling is often less wise than it appears. Even so, I feel far more brotherhood with my fellow LGBTQ Christians on Side A than I do with the armies of white evangelicals raising their right hands in allegiance to Trump.

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