Hundreds of readers have posted comments about Brian McLaren's article on forming a pastoral response to the "homosexual question." One such reader was Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle. As "one of the 50 most influential pastors in America" and an outspoken critic of the emergent movement, we thought others would like to read Driscoll's comments.
Well, it seems that Brian McLaren and the Emergent crowd are emerging into homo-evangelicals.
Before I begin my rant, let me first defend myself. First, the guy who was among the first to share the gospel with me was a gay guy who was a friend. Second, I planted a church in my 20s in one of America's least churched cities where the gay pride parade is much bigger than the march for Jesus. Third, my church is filled with people struggling with same sex attraction and gay couples do attend and we tell them about the transforming power of Jesus. Fourth, I am not a religious right wingnut. In fact, when James Dobson came to town to hold the anti-gay rally, we took a lot of heat for being among the biggest churches in the state, the largest evangelical church in our city, and not promoting the event in our church because we felt it would come off as unloving to the gay community. The men who hosted the event are all godly men and good friends and I've taken a few blows for not standing with them on this issue. Fifth, I am myself a devoted heterosexual male lesbian who has been in a monogamous marriage with my high school sweetheart since I was 21 and personally know the pain of being a marginalized sexual minority as a male lesbian.
And now the rant.
For me, the concern started when McLaren in the February 7, 2005 issue of Time Magazine said, "Asked at a conference last spring what he thought about gay marriage, Brian McLaren replied, ?You know what, the thing that breaks my heart is that there's no way I can answer it without hurting someone on either side.'" Sadly, by failing to answer, McLaren was unwilling to say what the Bible says and in so doing really hurt God's feelings and broke his heart.
Then, Brian's Tonto Doug Pagitt, an old acquaintance of mine, wrote the following in a book he and I both contributed to called Listening to the Beliefs of Emerging Churches edited by Robert Webber and due out this spring:
"The question of humanity is inexorably link to sexuality and gender. Issues of sexuality can be among the most complex and convoluted we need to deal with. It seems to me that the theology of our history does not deal sufficiently with these issues for our day. I do not mean this a critique, but as an acknowledgement that our times are different. I do not mean that we are a more or less sexual culture, but one that knows more about the genetic, social and cultural issues surrounding sexuality and gender than any previous culture. Christianity will be impotent to lead a conversation on sexuality and gender if we do not boldly integrate our current understandings of humanity with our theology. This will require us to not only draw new conclusions about sexuality but will force to consider new ways of being sexual."
And on January 23rd McLaren wrote an article for Leadership that is posted on this blog. In it he argues that because the religious right is mean to gays we should not make any decision on the gay issue for 5-10 years.
As the pastor of a church of nearly 5000 in one of America's least churched cities filled with young horny people this really bummed me out. Just this week a young man who claims to be a Christian and knows his Bible pretty well asked if he could have anal sex with lots of young men because he liked the orgasms. Had I known McLaren was issuing a Brokeback injunction I would have scheduled an appointment with him somewhere between 2011-2016.