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Thursday, January 26, 2006

Yeah ...

what he said.

22 comments:

A said...

Ok, I'll bite.

Very well worded and compassionate. We need more of that.

I am curious about one statement he made though.

"If we think that there may actually be a legitimate context for some homosexual relationships, we know that the biblical arguments are nuanced and multilayered, and the pastoral ramifications are staggeringly complex."

Not sure I'm there. In fact I'm not even sure what he is referring to.

Is this a hornets nest I'm stirring up?

Sandy Mc said...

OH man...you beat me to it! I was gonna post this article when it hit my inbox yesterday. Well, I think your blog is a better read than mine, so glad you posted.

I need to come back later and share some thoughts on the comment you highlighted.

Robb said...

I think the point that McLaren is making ... and I agree with him ... is that thoughtful biblical scholars disagree on this issue. And since it is such an emotionally charged one with powerful pastoral implications, it would be wise for us to use restraint when discussing it.

While I don't at this point see a legitimate context for some homosexual relationships, I do think that the biblical arguments are nuanced, multilayered and that the pastoral ramifications are staggerinly complex. Don't you?

Sandy Mc said...

OK, I'm back:)

First, guys, I want you to know we probably agree in principal on the context for homosexual relationships thing...and I am totally in agreement with Brian McL that probably stopping the "conversation" about them would be best.

One thing I am thinking he may have meant on the statement "legitimate context for some homosexual relationships" is the reality that there are a lot of hurting people out there.

I have discovered through friends in the last couple years that God can do a couple things through homosexual relationships (and remember I did not say sex, so I am not commenting about that aspect)

1) He can heal a hurt through such a relationship in a way that allows a person who has lost the ability to trust due to abuse or neglect to move forward (toward Jesus) and
2) God can use such a relationship to open a person's eyes to the *bad* things "of the world" and through that bring them to Himself.


Now please do not tell me that this is just not how it goes. I know very well that many do not break free of the lifestyle/ relationship. For these people sin remains a stronger pull in their lives than Jesus. I am of the opinion that the problem is a heart issue that trancends their homosexual relationship status.

God is bigger than homosexuality, He can glorify himself through anything!

(OK all you theologians...have at me! *ducking*)

Anonymous said...

"Frankly, many of us don't know what we should think about homosexuality."


Oh really?

courtney said...

my frustration with the "homosexual question" is not where a church may stand on it, but rather how much the church in general likes to focus on it while covering over many other sexual sins. One is no better or worse than another. I lived with Ron before we were married. I'm guilty of sexual sin. The number of pastors in our area alone who I know are having affairs is stunning to me but they continue to lead churches. The guy looking at porn after his wife goes to bed is the same kind of sinner. Guilty of one is guilty of all but we soooo love to point the finger at the next guy and say "at least I'm not gay." We have gay friends; I'm not embarrassed by them--I love them. Much in the same way that many people in my family loved me and didn't stop talking to me because I wouldn't acknowledge I was in the wrong.

A said...

So, is this thread violating the proposed "moratorium"?

I agree we need to be careful in public statements and positions.

I agree we need to be careful in how we label situations and people. Having learned firsthand what it feels like to bear the "divorced" label with many implications that couldn't be further from the reality of my situation, I have a whole new and different perspective on how we tend to pigeon hole people and circumstances and think we know what happened and what it is like to be "them" when we really have no clue.

I agree that homosexuality is no different than any other sin, specifically other sins that are sexual in nature, and I greatly appreciate Courtney's statements and boldness to state her position and personal perspective.

I agree that it is a complex issue and needs to be handled with compassion and grace on a case by case basis.

Sandy Mc said...

A,

I *suppose* this blog could be considered a public forum, but I think what it really is is more like a discussion between friends.

I think it's the public "stand" that people/churches take that he was speaking about.

I have a personal experience with how the whole thing flows...
I am gonna try to put a Photobucket URL in here for a picture: http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y79/momsandy6/3931695_120X90.jpg It's tiny, but that girl holding the sign is our Andrea. She attended the anti-gay protest that happened at FHS about a year ago to protest against the "religious" people condemning the on campus gay organization. She has choosen to walk away from the faith she came to as a pre teen EXACTLY because of some of these very issues and the way the "Church" handles them.

ness said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ness said...

Time was, when we pulled away from groups because they were friends with other groups. Now, I can't help wanting to distance myself from groups who are enemies of other groups. Particularly if they are mean spirited, ignorant (as in never met a homosexual and wouldn't want to), and worst of all, driven by fear of homosexuals and how they might "mess up" the idealistic 1950's AMERICA the BEAUTIFUL.

Big Liz and Little Liz lived next door to us on Staten Island. They were weed-smoking, liquor drinking, motorcycle chics. And when our house was burglarized, they stepped up to help. When someone was being hurt outside one night, the Lizzes came running and yelling! They were good neighbors to us, but I was pretty busy being terrified of them and I don't think I did as good a job of showing them the love of Jesus as I could have. I'd love to have the opportunity again because now I know that people are people and sin is sin.

A said...

Sorry Sandy, I was being sarcastic about the moratorium thing. I guess you can't hear the tone of my voice as I type!

Sandy Mc said...

np A...I "assumed" you were being sort of sarcastic, but just in case you weren't I posted my 2cents;)

Thanks for letting me share about our daughter w/o condemnation...
it's been a difficult road at times with her.

Ness...I wanna be a Liz, LOL!

Sandy Mc said...

ok...maybe I better define my last comment...

Liz= friend of people, defender of those in need, lives life "openly", "ok" with being different, stuff like that

ness said...

rotfl: NO you definitely don't want to be exactly like a Liz... : )

ness said...

And Sandy, don't feel badly about shouting out exhuberantly sometimes without realizing how it might sound.

Once in college during a heated game of foosball I reduced Robb and A to ROTFL when the rod of foosball players came out of it's hole and I shouted out to the whole game room, "I'm loose! I'm loose!"

People didn't know whether to congratulate Robb on having a cheap woman or to take me for counseling.

A said...

And some of us did both.

Anonymous said...

Off topic from your Yeah... post but I could not find anywhere else where to post this.

what's with the link for "St. Joseph the Homeseller"

Seems to me that offering a prayer someone other then Jesus/Father/Holy Spirit, is committing idolatry. While not accusing you of that but by having that link it seems to me your promoting such idolatry.

sorry to sound harsh but I find it offensive and sad, offensive in that a Protestent pastor is connected to praying to saints and sad for the same reason.

Wouldn't praying to the Father who spoke this world into existence be better then to a statue?

A said...

Dear Anonymous,

Since it appears that this thread has been officially hijacked to air offenses, I am offended by your comment for the following reasons:

1. You don't even have the cahones to identify yourself while making a character judgment about Robb. Offensive.

2. You don't even know Robb, or what he has recently endeavored to do for the God you speak of (at least we don't know if you do because you couldn't be troubled to identify yourself). Robb resigned a position at a church and moved his family half way across the country because God asked him to. He left a comfortable place to do something daring for God, to come to a new place where he knew relatively no one, had no job, no place to live, in order to follow the calling of God to serve His people in a new place. All this in the midst of a terrible house market where he left. God has provided remarkably by giving them free housing for these many months, but their house has yet to sell. Many prayers to YHWH have been offered up by Robb, his family, and his true friends all the while they have exhibited the faith to trust God's timing in this. If you had any idea how difficult all this has been for them, you'd cut them some slack. Offensive.

3. If you had bothered to check the archives of this blog (further indication of your ignorance of what Robb is really about) you would have found the original post where we were introduced to St. Joseph. It was all put into perspective by Robb as a "myth" and something he found quite amusing but was never formally endorsed. Given their difficulties with the realtor they originally employed, St. Joseph seemed like a pretty good alternative. If you had any clue, you'd know this was all tongue in cheek, with a bit of extra sarcasm thrown in. Offensive.

Sounds to me like the only thing here that is offensive and sad, is you, my friend.

Mr B said...

Dear A,
I came across this blog and noticed the person in question is a Pastor and while I was not trying to impune his character I did see a evangelical pastor having a link to a site that promotes prayer to a statue - What else am I supposed to think?

Do I have to read through all prior blogsin the off chance he may have written something or do I think because he links to that site he approves of such action. I took the latter approach. Perhaps you think I'm being short sited, but if I did this could not others?

Someone who's faith may be weak in that particular area could see it and fall in to sin,i.e., 1st. Cor 8:9 to 8:13 Does Pastor Ryerse want to be responsible for someone falling into idoltry by having that site linked?

I guess Mr. A, do you or your Pastor think I'm wrong and its ok to have little prayers to saints?

Finally I ask your forgivness. I failed to write the comment in love, my concern of seeing a pastor publicly post a link praying to a statue overrode my desire to gently and lovingly bring this to his attention.

I chose anonymous because I don't have a blog and seeing my name has little meaning but in the interest of being fair, I am showing my name as you have

A said...

Well Mr. B,

Thanks for at least putting a name with a post, and for the request for forgiveness. I would say that you need to ask Robb for forgiveness, not me. He was the one you slandered and questioned, I have just chosen to rise to his defense as he is too distraught over your question of his character and intentions to do so himself at the moment.

I also offer the following thoughts.

"while I was not trying to impune his character"

I beg to differ. You clearly state that you think he is condoning idolatry. You clearly state you are offended by his action. I believe this is unjustified without taking further steps to clarify Robb's position and/or reason for having this on his blog.

"What else am I supposed to think?

Do I have to read through all prior blogsin the off chance he may have written something or do I think because he links to that site he approves of such action. I took the latter approach. Perhaps you think I'm being short sited, but if I did this could not others?"

Why was your first thought one of condemnation and judgment instead of seeking first to understand why the link was there? Yes, I do expect you to look around a little to get the feel of a blog before attacking its author. At the very least, you could have simply left your initial post as a question to find out what the link was there for. I would never be so presumptuous as to assume to know what someone was thinking without inquiring. If I saw something I questioned or objected to, I would seek to understand why the person had said or done what they did, then evaluate it in its context. That is what was so upsetting about your post, without any effort to understand, you pointed fingers and voiced offense.

And have you ever heard of humor? Does everything in print have to be taken seriously? Again, if you had even perused the rest of the blog, I think you would have figured out quite quickly that there are often interjections of humor on this site in order to insert some levity into life.

"Someone who's faith may be weak in that particular area could see it and fall in to sin,i.e., 1st. Cor 8:9 to 8:13 Does Pastor Ryerse want to be responsible for someone falling into idoltry by having that site linked?"

You were offended because of your assumption, not because of the truth of the situation. Robb has done nothing that would make him biblically responsible for anyone falling into idolatry.

"I guess Mr. A, do you or your Pastor think I'm wrong and its ok to have little prayers to saints?"

No, as a matter of fact, we don't, which is readily apparent if anyone spent any time on the rest of this blog. By the way, he is not my pastor, we are co-laborers for Christ and have been for years. He is Paul to me and I am Barnabas to him. We have a strong, orthodox theology and it is quite laughable to call that into question over a link on this blog that has a context and was done largely as an example of the absurd.

I guess the bottom line is this, if you are really that concerned about the message here, then ask questions and seek understanding. There is plenty of open dialogue on this blog by people with vastly different perspectives. That is the point of this medium, to discuss and seek truth together. But it has to be done with fairness to one another in the process and avoid being quick to jump to conclusions that may be ill-founded. If you ultimately disagree with things, you don't have to visit again. But before you claim someone is promoting idolatry and state that you are offended in print, you should have a lot more of a basis for your claims. Nothing could be further from the truth where Robb is concerned. That is evidenced by how hard he took it when he saw your comment, and how much it affected he and his family. Our first impulse should be grace, love & peace not judgment.

I hope in coming to Robb's defense I have not been overly negative or harsh as I want to avoid saying the above things in a hurtful way. But your statements were strong, and in error, and I felt that they needed to be vigorously corrected.

Mr. B said...

Mr A,
A few comments and to be honest perhaps I won't visit here back. If I can beg upon your patience I wil explain why, but first some responses to your post.

"I have just chosen to rise to his defense as he is too distraught over your question of his character and intentions to do so himself at the moment."

I truly am sorry for hurt the pastor's feelings, but he also better beable to handle harsher critisim then an anonymous post about linking to a site the promotes prayer to statues. Really - if he's too hurt to handle that then he may find it difficult helping others in more serious life situations. I suspect hyperbole on your part however and Pastor Robb wasn't sulking around somewhere.

"I beg to differ. You clearly state that you think he is condoning idolatry. You clearly state you are offended by his action. I believe this is unjustified without taking further steps to clarify Robb's position and/or reason for having this on his blog.
"

Again I will state my apology and ask for fogiveness. I posted a request of my harshness before but you and/or Pastor seemed not want to address it.

"And have you ever heard of humor?"
Yes of course but seeing a link such as this with no other information, how am I supposed to think

"You were offended because of your assumption, not because of the truth of the situation. Robb has done nothing that would make him biblically responsible for anyone falling into idolatry."

I disagree as stated before, and I will not belabor the point of praying to someone other then the Holy Triune God.

"guess the bottom line is this, if you are really that concerned about the message here, then ask questions and seek understanding."

Your right and it goes back to my request for forgiveness.

I will take your advice in that I will not return because your quick to justify keeping a link that prays to a statue. What would be next an adult site for giggles - only for a laugh that is.

You wrote about my quickness to condemn, well you seem to have the same afflication and you too could have asked before condemning me and my position.

I don't think I buy into your version of Christianity. I'm not perfect by a long shot but paying to someone other then the Triune God seems wrong. That is what got Isreal into trouble and if you feel its ok to have that sort of stuff around that's your business. I was wrong in how I delivered the message and I should have asked but nonetheless it doesn't change how I feel about prayer.

Sandy Mc said...

{{{HUGS}}} to my friends