Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Thank You Brian McClaren!

There has been a lot of hub-bub about the Emerging Church of late. We are having a some conversation at PTS next week with Dr. John Franke. Some days it seems elitist and embittered and I do not want to be connected with the angry Christian superstar syndrome that sometimes looms there. Other days after good face to face conversation or reading someone's blog I feel as though I have drank deep from life giving water and been with Jesus. Brian McClaren is one person who always makes me feel the later. He is gentle, humble, Biblical, pastoral, passionate, prophetic and wise. He has done it again in a post from Leadership Journal on homo sexuality that you must read.


nathan roy darity said...

i read this piece several days ago. my sister called me, told me that she felt as though she "spent the day with brian" because she became very addicted the volley of comments that opened up in the blog attached to brian's article. so i read his article, and i thought that it was indeed "pastoral." blessings to him. but perhaps being pastoral is brian's role and not my role... not the role of some others. like brian, i am interested that we resist the wind of right and left... but i hope we stay relevant. i hope we don't ignore the wind. and my role may be to assert... to say with enthusiam that i extend my welcome to anyone gay or straight, ackowledge them as my brother or sister, and celebrate their sexuality.

brian said...

My concern with McLaren's opinion is that he seems unwilling to call out sin. This must be done in a loving way (as Jesus did), and with the understanding that sin is sin is sin, and we all stand before God as sinners. Has the Church failed at this when dealing with homosexuality? Absolutely. It has raised the sin above all others, when Biblically it almost always mentioned in a list of other sins, most of which many of us would not consider as egregious as homsexuality. But the solution isn't to ignore the sin of homosexuality in the name of love. Accepting Christ mean accepting your state as a sinner, and seeking His help and forgiveness.

John said...

I think McLaren is raising the question whether homosexuality IS a sin. Is it the way some people are created? Can that be a sin? I don't know. Scripture is pretty clear, but that doesn't solve the relational problem for those struggling. Hence the need for a pastoral solution that Brian M. calls for. And hence the need for a lot more thought from that pastoral perspective.

brian said...

Scripture is pretty clear, but that doesn't solve the relational problem for those struggling.

True, but can't we say that about most sins? What advice does Scripture give the alcoholic, the drug addict, or the sex addict? Well, that's actually pretty easy--give your life over to Christ and confess your sins. I fear that in his pursuit of "marketing" Christianity to pomo culture, McLaren doesn't want to let it out that faith is pretty darn hard and demanding. Christ is waiting to take away our sin, and He will always be ready to forgive us, but only if humbly approach him with a contrite heart.

Like I said, I think the Church has failed at reaching out to homosexuals, for a variety of reasons. We do need pastoral solution, but if that solution isn't Biblical, what good is it?