A Call To Moderate and Tolerant Christians

Learned, scholarly, contemplative, and qualified Christian theologians have differing interpretations, even today, of various parts of the Bible. However, the overriding and foundation message that came from Jesus is more readily held in congruence. To imagine that the Bible, some text written a considerable time after Jesus, is inerrant and inspired, while not considering that God has continued to inspire men as to his will, is to diminish and second guess God.

And it would seem hypocritical to so attack homosexuality, using one’s interpretation of rigid reading, while at the same time not rigidly adhere to ALL of scripture (many examples are available, may I only give Sabbath laws as one). I suggest Matthew 7:1-3 be considered.

“Biblical scholarship can also be "critical" of the New Testament texts themselves in ways that the "historical-critical" model did not allow. It can be challenged morally, religiously, and theologically for its adequacy, consistency, and cogency. Do the texts of the New Testament, when taken at face value, support a structure of society in which women are oppressed? Such texts can best be criticized, not by constructing an imaginary, alternative history of early Christianity in which women enjoyed equality, but on the basis of theological convictions that God's Spirit has brought to maturity within the church. Does the New Testament's inherited monotheism bring with it a virus of intolerance toward diversity that has infected Christian attitudes and behavior? These texts can best be criticized, not by inventing a history of Christianity that was non-Jewish, but by invoking other moral and religious principles within the text to counter the virus of intolerance.”

Personal interpretation of scripture, in conflict with other theologians, may influence people in their civic sphere, to further marginalization and discrimination of gays and lesbians by our government. And I do not see it as helpful in our democracy to have matters of civil rights decided on this basis.

One must ask how Christian is it for political opportunists to use an amendment proposal against a minority, but not aggressively address the divorces that rip apart half of our families and cause untold damage to their children? I submit they do it because they can and for political gain, and not for rational or honorable reasons.


James Young said…
Of course, what you're demanding is not "tolerance," but "acceptance." You are entitled to the former. The latter, you are not.
Bill Garnett said…
No, James, I cannot demand of government that which is withheld now from me by law.

Nor can I demand tolerance, for that is for each individual to decide on his or her own.

What I am doing is asking those who read this posting to consider their position on this matter.

From your postings on your blog I see where you stand. That is free speech and I would demand that the government not withhold that from you.
MaxPower said…
So what is the call to moderate and tolerant christians? I consider myself a theological conservative, a political libertarian, and a tolerant guy all around. So maybe I'm who you are looking for.

I mean I am against divorce? I think the bible is pretty clear that god is against it as well. If you are divorced does that undo your christianity/salvation? No, of course not and neither does being gay. Now do those things make you unfit for christian leadership? Perhaps -- but that is a larger and more complex question.

Did I answer the call or not?
Bill Garnett said…

Thanks, I'm simply asking that Virginia voters consider voting against the amendment. And that they think about the growing influence of the relgioius right on state politics.

If you oppose the amendment, there are organizations that can use your time or contribution.

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