No Middle Ground

Writing in a column for Religious News last year, David Gushee – the Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics at Mercer University and the Director of the Center for Faith and Public Life – said that the middle ground in the conflict between the biblical view of human sexuality and LGBT issues is rapidly disappearing.  “Neutrality is not an option,” he writes. “Neither is polite half-acceptance. Nor is avoiding the subject. Hide as you might, the issue will come and find you,” Gushee warns.

It certainly found him.  In 2003 when he co-published a book titled Kingdom Ethics, with our former ethics professor, the late Glen Stassen, he argued that “homosexual conduct is one form of sexual expression that falls outside the will of God.” He was pretty clear on where he stood.

Then in 2014 he started a series of columns in Religious News about the issues of Gay rights and Gay marriage in which he revealed how he changed his mind.  This led to a book titled Changing Our Mind where he and other writers call for the church to join them in this 180 turn around.

In his article from last year he wrote that he wants to give conservatives time to reconsider our position. He calls on us to turn around “voluntarily.” This leaves hanging the question, “Or else?”

The “or else” Gushee describes as a volcano erupting nearby. If we don’t move, we will get caught in the hot lava. There is only one way to avoid it: abandon 2,000 years of Christian theology and teachings.

Gushee says the middle ground is disappearing.  Actually, there has never been a middle ground in this debate. As Gushee clearly articulates, you are “either for full and unequivocal social and legal equality for LGBT people, or you are against it.”

Gushee is correct in this one thing. These are positions that cannot stand together.  One will cancel out the other, and neither side will compromise. He writes, “Culture warriors who criticize me believe they are defending the True Faith from compromising liberals like me. I believe I am defending the Religion of Jesus from intolerant ideologues like them. We will never, ever agree.”

Well David, once we did agree, standing on the clear teachings of scripture. Who moved?


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