Monday, September 29, 2014

Sexuality and Pelagianism

Same-sex marriage, on this view, is utterly necessary for churches to affirm because it is a means for gay Christians to participate in Christ’s atoning self-gift. Or, as Eugene Rogers has put it, gay Christians’ renunciation (rather than consecration) of their desires “gives God nothing by which to redeem them, no hook in the flesh by which to capture them and pull them up.” What this means, as Douglas Farrow has pointed out, is that “Eros”—or the human pursuit and cultivation of it—“is the real mediator here, not Jesus Christ.”

But things aren’t always better in the traditionalist camp. Mirroring the rhetoric of some of their ideological opponents, conservatives, too, can fall into the moralizing, semi-Pelagian trap. We—I count myself among them—can speak of celibacy as a faithful path for gay Christians in such sunny, sanguine terms that one might think salvation comes by saying no to gay sex rather than by the mediation of Christ.
There's plenty of heresy to go around!

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