After this post, I am going to let this die. Recently I was involved in a bit of a tis on the issue of reading a particular ‘theologian’. After some more reflection, at the behest of another blogger (who will go unnamed), I think that my approach to this issue was rushed and ill-advised. The problem I had was the morality of reading theological, ethical works penned by a homosexual theologian. My knee-jerk response was to say that I would have problems with sitting under such a teacher. But of course, it is possible to approach all kinds of authors, thinkers, theologians with an ‘critical’ method that does not confuse the person with the message; necessarily. In fact this is even what I originally said, in this regard, over at this other site; I said that his writings could have an ex opere operato sense to them, so that, indeed, his thoughts could have “fruitful merit” to them, apart from the “morality” of the messenger, sense they may well point away from the man, and point to Christ!
My hope is that is what happens when I write! I sit here, a sinner, sometimes I write with a repentant heart, and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I am very aware of certain glaring sins in my life, and sometimes I am not. My point, we are all “saved sinners” (if indeed we are saved), and the only thing that elevates our words from the muck whence they come, is the Holy Spirit’s creative comandeering work of making the crooked straight; straight as an arrow, pointing to Christ. I think a good example of this can be found in Paul’s epistle to the Philippians:
It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16. The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of his I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, . . .
The point, that the “message” is objective, so that the motives of the messenger, or even the “purity,” cannot tamper with the reality being spoken of.
For me then, in regards to simply “reading” a homosexual theologian, I think I could well do this; and possibly learn something about the WORD, that I may have not known before. And at the same time, I think I could do this in a way that is not endorsing of this teacher’s sin per se; nor to place him as a teacher in the church. I think such a theologian could retain a position as “teacher” in the church, but I think scripturally he would need to submit to a time of “discipline” and restoration before resuming such an office (but this is fodder for another post).
***By the way, I’m not really angry, I just thought this made for a pithy title in a self-satarizing kind of way***