Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Pastoral Concern

This is too important not to engage with. UK evangelical Steve Chalke has come out in favour of same-sex marriage. What I feel is so important about his stance is that he articulates the very real pastoral concerns that I know many pastors are struggling with. How do we love like Jesus loved?

All through the gospels I see Jesus challenging the established norms about inclusion. Even with the Syrophoenician woman in Mark 7 (a passage I struggle a lot with) the key was how Jesus' challenged how the disciples were growing increasingly exclusivist and as a result the miraculous power of God seemed to be decreasing (read the context, before and after and ask what changes). History has also born this out, when we focus on keeping tight reigns on the church we see God begin to move outside of our expectations and even our comfort. As my charismatic friends would say, you can't put God in a box.

Tony Campolo declares that this could well be a watershed moment. Campolo is not willing to go as far as Chalke, but he does represent the engagement with this issue that is going on throughout evangelicalism. Chalke is not going to be as easy for evangelicals to dismiss as Brian McLaren who also recently endorsed the blessing of same-sex marriages through participating in the wedding of his son.

These are interesting times.

(edited: redletterchristians.org is back up so I linked the reference to Campolo's response, also worth reading.)

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