RE: Why is the church always lagging?

From: Alexanian, Moorad <>
Date: Thu May 13 2004 - 11:25:39 EDT

Regarding the exchange:


Moorad: "Remember each and every one of us has at least one sin to
account for. We are all sinners! We cannot discriminate because Christ
died for all."

John: “We can certainly agree on that, my friend. But while true, it is really
not relevant to the discussion.”


I thought what I wrote was quite clear. If a Christian is discriminating against someone on the basis of race, sexual behavior, etc., then what the Christian is essentially saying is “Christ died for me but not for you.” In the estimation of the one discriminating the other individual is of lesser value. The greatest value possessed by any individual is that Christ also died for him/her. But Christ died for all! In the eyes of God, we are equally valued.



        -----Original Message-----
        From: on behalf of John W Burgeson
        Sent: Thu 5/13/2004 10:07 AM
        Subject: Re: Why is the church always lagging?

        Thanks for comments on this.
        Grouping replies to several:
        Ted wrote, in part: "It's a strong theme in American historical
        literature that, without
        Christian faith and the churches--both black and white--MLKJrs message
        civil rights, which was delivered in sermons that secular historians call
        speeches, would simply not have succeeded.... My father (e.g.), a very
        conservative Presbyterian, was
        involved in civil rights marches in Atlantic City in the 1960s."
        The subject of my post did, of course, overstate the issue
        (deliberately). College Church in Wheaton,
        which we were attending at the time, was, and still is AFAIK a fairly
        conservative congregation, yet one which
        had a strong social outlook as well. We were influenced to adopt multi
        racially by the witness of
        the Hooten family, then also in the church, and by conversations with
        such noteworthys as
        Ken Taylor, author of the Living Bible, which greatly influenced our
        lives at that time.
        As I read the history of those times, it does appear that the "liberal"
        church was supportive of King's message and the conservative -
        evangelical church was the one that lagged. There were exceptions.
        But specifically the Bible Church, 3000 strong, just up the street, and
        the Orthodox Presbyterian church, only a block away, both of which we
        attended on occasion, had nothing to do with our project. I remember that
        other churches (no doubt not all) were contacted for the project.
        Ted continued: "As for voting rights, etc, it might depend very much on
        which church(es)
        you are speaking about. My great-grandparents, for example, were
        Salvationists. They ordained women long before most other churches and
        fought for human rights for many people--including those women whose
        were destroyed by their husbands' alcoholism, hence their very strong
        prohibitionist support."
        I think the same might be said of some Quaker bodies; we were members of
        them at one time.
        But of course most fundamental/conservative bodies today still will not
        ordain women, based on their literal reading of part of Paul's words.
        Literal reading is so easy to do... .
        Ted continued: "As for "gay marriage," I would agree that as a civil
        rights issue it *can
        be framed* to resemble other civil rights issues. But so can the right
        an unborn child to be born. Twenty years ago a colleague at Vanderbilt,
        editor of a leading journal in American history and very liberal himself,
        told me that he found deep similarities between the rhetoric used to
        antislavery in the mid-19th century and that used to support "the right
        life" in the 1980s. He was personally quite disturbed by that rhetoric,
        which went against his own position on the issue. But it was there, he
        honest enough to admit."
        Rhetoric is also so easy to do; grappling with the deep issues is hard
        and painful. I am personally uncomfortable with the rhetoric on both
        sides. On "gay marriage," I have not (yet) taken a position; I can see
        arguments on both sides. I think my daughter and her partner may fly off
        to Mass (the state) next month; they have announced their engagement (is
        that word OK?) and we love and support them both. But I assure you all
        that when she came out some 15 years ago it was not an easy time. The
        issue suddenly went from academic to personal.
        Ted again: "So, let me ask this columnist whether a similarity in framing
        an issue on
        the basis of civil rights is sufficient to justify overturning Roe v
        as well as to justify overturning traditional marriage. I'd very much
        to know the answer to that one."
        I think you and I could predict his answer if you frame the question that
        way. <G>
        Moorad wrote: "The Church is lagging because it lagged Christ first. Note
        that Scripture condemns homosexuality as sin, there is no lagging here."
        Moorad -- the scripture nowhere condemns homosexuality. Nowhere. Nada.
        Zip. Null. Zero.
        By reading scripture literally, a case can be made that scripture does
        condemn all homosexual activity. But even a literal reading does not
        necessarily come up with that interpretation.
        Moorad: "Remember each and every one of us has at least one sin to
        account for. We are all sinners! We cannot discriminate because Christ
        died for all."
        We can certainly agree on that, my friend. But while true, it is really
        not relevant to the discussion.
        George made a good point, when he posted: " OTOH, many of the clergy did
        take the lead in the establishment of
        Prohibition - which turned out to be not such a hot idea."
        Very true. That comment led me into this thought. It seems it is always
        the conservative church that wishes to place coercive laws on the books
        to force people either into actions the church approves of or force
        people to refrain from actions the church does not approve of. Mostly the
        second kind; blue laws, prohibition, interracial marriage, etc. Sometimes
        the first kind; making the teaching of "creation science" mandatory, etc.
        That attitude has a lot to do with why I are no longer members of a
        "conservative/evangelical" church, but part of a church (PCUSA) which,
        with its many faults, does not ask its members to turn off their brains
        on Sunday morning and accepts diversities of opinion on a wide range of
        (a story to tell)
        Ubi Caritas
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Received on Thu May 13 11:25:43 2004

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