It's been around 48 hours since I attempted to post a comment on this article written by a Robin Meyers, pastor of a highly liberal and gay-friendly church in Oklahoma City, Mayflower Congregational. I got an email confirming it had been submitted for moderation, but it hasn't appeared yet. My guess is that it will not. Edit: Looks like they did publish it, finally. I submitted it 18 June in the morning and they posted it sometime between 23 and 24 June in the morning. Nothing like being prompt! Well, it's just more evidence that, for liberals, "free speech" usually means "speech that I like and that doesn't offend me or challenge my position." Contrast that with my own no-moderation-except-for-obvious-spam policy...
This latest outburst is on -what else?- how mean and nasty other churches are for not being completely gay-friendly like he and his are. What does he want from us? Not only that we not bar entry to our churches to homosexuals (which we, um, don't do anyway), but that we throw our arms and hearts open to the lifestyle, to the behavior, to the actions. He wants us to accept their homosexualITY. It's a common refrain, rather tiresome actually.
Now, my past experience from reading numerous articles from him is that he is little more than an unthinking, knee-jerk, virtually single-issue, liberal agitator, and this post does nothing to diminish my confidence that I've got him dead to rights. Worse still, however, is that he is also a professor of rhetoric (in the philosophy dept, no less!) at Oklahoma City University.
And what new info does he offer? Little. How many times does he misrepresent or simply misunderstand the other side? Numerous. How many times does he cause me to shake my head at OCU's amazing refusal to require that a professor of rhetoric write like one? Countless. Let's take a look.
Gays and lesbians are our sons and daughters. They are a constituent of God’s creation.
How is that relevant to the question of who we allow as members of a church?
David Duke and Phred Felps are also constituents of God's creation. Presumably, however, Mr. Meyers would not allow them membership into Mayflower CC.
Church membership is, biblically, a status for those that are regenerate and are baptised. We help each other, pray for each other, encourage each other, etc. But if someone exhibits a serious sin of which they refuse to repent, we ask them to repent, pray for them, offer all the help we can. If they will not repent, then in the words of the Lord Jesus, "let him be to you as a pagan or tax collector." Ie, we put that person out of church membership.
Of course, if that person refuses to repent of their sin and work towards being free of it, we don't very well offer that person membership, lest church membership mean nothing at all.
None of this means we don't love them. On the contrary, it is MUCH less loving to make them think by our acceptance and negligence that their spirit is right with God by admitting them into the Body of Christ. Rather, it is most loving to ask them to repent and work to be free of that. It is the best for them eternally and also in this life.
We are well-aware that a handful of passages in Leviticus and in the writings of Paul condemn homosexual behavior as unnatural (non-procreative) and idolatrous (replacing the proper object of worship with an improper one
So he is aware and admit that the Bible condemns homosexuality as sinful. OK, we're clear on that.
but we also take Bible study seriously enough to know that the Bible is not infallible.
This is a simple open admission that he doesn't care what the Bible says when it stands opposed to your preferences.
Why even bother with the façade? Why even call Mayflower a "church" and himself a "pastor"?
For anyone interested, this is what a conservative means when he says the Bible is infallible.
few would suggest a return to slavery
As if this is relevant. Numerous condemnations of homosexuality appear in the New Testament as well.
Mr. Meyers shows no sign he is aware of how to interact with the OT in this present time. And he's a "pastor".
women as the inferior property of men
Mr. Meyers would be hard-pressed to cite any passage out of Old or New Testament referring to women as property or as inferior to men.
disease as caused by demon possession requiring an exorcist
Are all diseases in the Bible labeled as demon possession? No. Some are, some aren't. Why not say that?
It is intellectually and spiritually dishonest to wrench a passage of Scripture from its context and pretend that God wrote it.
Mr. Meyers does not show how conservatives have done so, for one thing.
Forget the question of whether God wrote it for a moment. When you are attempting to critique an opposing side, it is the responsibility of the intellectually honest to honestly portray the other side's position in its context.
I don't know if I've ever seen Mr. Meyers do so.
he said that Jesus wrote the entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation — every word.
More precisely, the Holy Spirit. So, this pastor was mistaken, though I understand the spirit of his statement. He was careless either in his wording or his learning.
I was stunned, having never heard this claim made by anyone, Bible scholar or layperson alike.
Amazingly, Mr. Meyers openly admits he's never interacted with the other side. Nor has ever "heard this claim made by" the Apostle Paul himself.
Is he unfamiliar with 2 Timothy 3:16, which states (in Greek) (one wonders whether Mr. Meyers realises the NT was written in Greek) that all Scripture is theopneustos, or "breathed out" by God?
(Jesus) says not a single word about homosexuality.
1) Jesus repeatedly affirmed that the OT Law was good, holy, and righteous, and that He came not to destroy but to fulfill it.
2) Thus He reiterated the OT attitude towards homosexuality.
3) Jesus never said anythg about raping little children either. Or sex with vultures, water buffaloes, or plasma screen TVs.
4) What is Mr. Meyers' argument for why the words of Jesus:
-are more correct
-have been more correctly transmitted textually thru history
-carry more authority
than the rest of the Bible?
If one’s sexual orientation constitutes a greater threat to America than terrorists or cancer, as Kern asserts, then surely her Lord and savior would have something to say about it!
Did Mr. Meyers even read Kern's speech in its context?
And wasn't he just lecturing us on the importance thereof?
We have Job, aka Jesus, cursing the day he was born
Mr. Meyers again shows his blinding ignorance of the doctrine of Scripture.
Mr. Meyers, please, do yourself a favor. Read the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy. You might even throw in the Chicago Statement on Biblical Hermeneutics while you're at it. You *are* a prof of rhetoric, after all. Isn't one supposed to know at minimum the basics of the other side's position before engaging in forensics?
No one claims the Bible was dictated by the Holy Spirit mechanically. The Holy Spirit worked THRU the author. Job himself spoke in Job, and the Holy Spirit also spoke thru him.
Equal rights (including the right to marry)
No one is arguing gay people don't have the right to marry. They have the same rights I do - to marry someone of the opposite gender.
What is Mr. Meyers' argument for fundamentally changing the institution known as marriage? Based on what we've seen in this article, can we dare to hope it will even approach compelling?
imago dei — we are all made in the image and likeness of God.
And does Mr. Meyers take into account the doctrine of the Fall of Man as well?
On what basis does Mr. Meyers pick and choose doctrines out of the Bible according to his liking, reject others he doesn't like, and then pretend the Bible should have some sort of bearing on our beliefs?
All in all, Mr. Meyers is attempting to cash in on emotional rhetoric and empty bloviation. It fits his pattern well.