Every time we say God is a man, another woman in our church believes God must be a complete bastard.
Every time we say that women cannot lead or preach, another woman in our church is convinced she is evil and has a rebellious spirit rather than a gift and a calling from God.
Every time we stand up and condemn abortion and say it was murder, another woman in our church learns she will always have to hide her past to retain her dignity.
Every time we condemn homosexuality, another woman in our church learns she has to lie to us to protect her family.
Every time we insist God says women must always submit to their husbands, another woman in our church believes if she can just change herself enough, God will step in and stop the abuse. …
Dianna Anderson: “Why Is It So Hard to Be Truthful About Planned Parenthood?“
I have seen many self-identified pro-life Christians espousing blatant falsehoods about Planned Parenthood and abortion, and that is disheartening. Our positions should be strong enough that we need not stoop to falsehoods in order to prove our point. But, here in America, we seem to have a large blind spot when it comes to Planned Parenthood.
… The spreading of falsehoods is unbecoming of a Christian church.
… In a hotly contested issue such as abortion, where there are many personal opinions and stories on both sides, it is the Christian’s responsibility to care for their neighbor. And caring for one’s neighbor, at a very basic level, means not slandering them with lies and deceit. If we have to resort to lies and slander to make our case, we have already lost.
God did not instruct the church to force the rest of the world to have the appearance of the church.
But that is the inevitable objective of the anti-gay marriage movement.
… The quest to deny gay individuals the right to marry in the broader culture is an example of Christian conquest which is and always has been a perversion of discipleship. The church must illuminate a path for seekers to pursue the light of God, and provide a place of solace where the Lord’s call can find a response of the heart. Instead, we have often crowded the path with protesters and picket signs, and drowned out the sound of God’s knocking with our shouting. The mistake of the anti-gay marriage movement in the Christian church is that it is an attempt at indirect discipleship by way of restricting another’s freedom, and discipleship has never succeeded in that way. Discipleship convicts, comforts, and points the way, but it does so established on a foundation of dignity inherent in every person’s God-given right to respond without coercion.
The church ought to be immersed in the business of transforming lives through teaching, compassion and care, instead of treading in the shallow waters that have us trying to govern lives through legislative force. God extends to all of us freewill and patience and it’s time we truly extend both to the GLBT community. …
J.R. Daniel Kirk: “On Not Harmonizing“
It is your pastoral responsibility to help people recognize that the Bible we actually have, rather than the Bible of our imaginations, is the word of God.
If you don’t give your people a category for this kind of diverse Bible being the word of God, then you will create a false sense of connection between a supposedly uniform, univocal Bible and the Christian faith as such. So what happens when they go off to college and take a Bible class at State University? What happens when they get bored one Saturday and map out (or try, anyway) the last week of Jesus’ life in each of the four Gospels?
That’s when they discover that the Bible isn’t what you led them to believe. And if that imagined Bible is necessary for believing what God has to say about Jesus and the Christian faith in general, then the latter are apt to crumble as well.
Make no mistake, there are tremendous pastoral issues at stake in affirming correctly what the Bible is. But one of the worst mistakes we can make, especially in a day and age where media will tell people the truth if we don’t, is to affirm a vision of a single-voiced scripture that fails to correspond to the text we have actually been given.