Thursday, September 13, 2007

I know I got a little hot under the collar on Tuesday night, when I wrote the long blog on the Word Alone Network. I am just sick of their claiming that title, when the ‘word alone’ that seems most important to them is sex. Another comparison between the Word Alone and ELCA websites: “Sudan” - Word Alone: 0, ELCA: 186. About genocide, the ELCA has 97 substantive references, compared to one mention of genocide on the Word Alone website in an article about – you guessed it – homosexuality; in fact, the article only mentions genocide to equate homosexual practices to other sins, like... “incest, rape, bestiality, genocide.” It reminds me of the difference between The Christian Century and Christianity Today magazines during the ‘50s and ‘60s, when the Century was printing articles by and about Martin Luther King, Jr. and about the civil rights movement, and Christianity Today was silent – for which an editor of Christianity Today has since apologized. Silence in the face of evil is an endorsement of the evil.

My hope, though, is not to get embroiled in fruitless partisan arguments. Generally, what you see in these church discussions on sexuality is various people of good will and intelligence, who genuinely believe in the authority of scripture (word alone), seeing and honestly interpreting scripture differently, out of our different perspectives. Is it any wonder that conservative people read the Bible and interpret it in line with their conservatism? Is it any wonder that liberals do the same, and interpret the Bible liberally? Is it any wonder that the reverse doesn't happen? I am not advocating relativism, but a recognition of reality. The discussion is still worthwhile, because we are not confined to the boxes of our perspectives. We can learn from one another, from Scripture, and the world.


  1. Anonymous10:41 PM

    It is interesting to note your pastoral-political reasoning to the interpretation of Holy Scripture. I would just like to point out that the ELCA website is a website of a national church body, whereas, the WordAlne website is a grassroots movement within the ELCA, and is it not reasonable to assume that while substantive issues such as Darfur, are important; that is not the aim of WordAlone-after all the ELCA does do some things very well i.e. social justice.
    Just have to remember to compare apples and apples!

  2. I know, it was a bit unfair - in this comparison, you'd expect to see significantly higher numbers on the ELCA's side. Word Alone has been around for a decade or more, and serves as a gadfly to the ELCA - which is a good thing! Yes, let us focus on Christ, yes, let us focus on the word of God. But then, they seem to do the very thing they accuse the ELCA of practicing - relying on 'human experience, wisdom and tradition' to the neglect of scripture. You would think that a grass-roots theological movement focused on scripture would more faithfully reflect on major themes of scripture (like justice, righteousness, peace), and not just on their favorite 7 passages about homosexuality.