The Evangelical Unicorn: A Third Way on Gay Marriage

I reviewed two books by evangelicals on gay marriage for The Christian Century — God and the Gay Christian by Matthew Vines and A Letter to my Congregation by Ken Wilson — and the review is now available online. Here’s the core of what differentiates their books:

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Why There’s No “Third Way” on Gay Marriage

Rachel & Ratchet and Courtney & Tony are legally married on 11/11/13. Photo by Caroline Yang

Every week now, there’s news about gay marriage. Today it’s that Oregon is allowing same sex marriages. Last week it was the Religious Broadcasters Association forcing Multnomah Publishers to resign from the trade group.

It strikes close to home for many of us as well. I regularly hear from readers who wither A) are gay and can’t get married in their state, or B) have recently gotten married and are overjoyed. In my own personal case, last month I lost out on a potential six-figure grant from a church foundation exclusively because of my affirmation of marriage equality — someone connected to the foundation didn’t like my stance.

I’ve got a few friends to graciously and tenaciously hang on to the idea that a third way can be found on this issue, a middle ground between affirming gay marriage and condemning it. And I agree with them, to a point. I know many churches that are studying the issue — the church council is reading books and discussing it; the pastor is offering Wednesday night classes, etc. Those are practices of a middle ground, but that middle ground is necessarily temporary.

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Kirk Cameron Says Forget Gay Marriage, Let’s Go After the Fornicators!

 

Kirk says the threat to marriage isn’t outside the church, it’s inside the church:

When people get too focused on redefining marriage, you’re distracted from the bigger problem – fornicators and adulterers… If the people sitting in the pews are fornicators and adulterers, the church will destroy marriages much more quickly than those outside the church. When God’s people mock marriage, God doesn’t take that lightly…I think the greatest threat to marriage is not other people’s definition of marriage. The church isn’t taking God’s definition of marriage seriously. It’s not other people sabotaging marriage that’s the problem.

Read the rest.

Let’s Talk about What Happened Yesterday at World Vision [UPDATED]

I’m not going to recount the facts. Others have done that. I’m going to tell you what I know from unnamed sources inside the World Vision headquarters and I’m going to opinionate about what this means for the state of Christianity in America, especially in regards to GLBT issues.

According to my sources, many staffers at WV headquarters in Seattle are very upset. This is a change that had been talked about and planned by the executive team for several years and was being rolled out department-by-department. It was a minor human resources change establishing non-discriminatory hiring policies in accordance with Washington State law (marriage equality became law in Washington on February 13, 2012 and was approved by voter referendum on November 6, 2012).

Someone on the WV staff leaked this change to Christianity Today magazine, CT informed WV that they were going to run a story with or without WV cooperation, and WV president gave CT an exclusive interview to explain the change.

My thought: Granting an exclusive to CT may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but it was like throwing red meat to hungry lions. A better PR strategy would have been to go to the mainstream media — probably the New York Times — rather than trying to explain this policy change to evangelical insiders. The fact is, the vast majority of people who have a sponsor child on their refrigerator door are not reading CT, nor are they particularly concerned about whether gays work at WV headquarters in Seattle.

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