Tony Jones Blesses Gay Marriage & Ordination
The former Emergent coordinator blogs about his views on faith and sexuality.

Tony Jones, the former national coordinator of Emergent Village and the author of The New Christians, has articulated his beliefs about homosexuality on his blog. Jones, along with other Emergent leaders, has been questioned for years about his views on the debated cultural and doctrinal issue. Until now, Jones had always responded by saying he hadn't made up his mind on the question. "Homosexuality," he would say, "is one issue that I don't want to get wrong."

Well, it seems Jones has now made up his mind. The blog post, which can be read here, explains his journey with the issue from childhood. But Jones discloses that:

...all the time I could feel myself drifting toward acceptance that gay persons are fully human persons and should be afforded all of the cultural and ecclesial benefits that I am.


I now believe that GLBTQ can live lives in accord with biblical Christianity (at least as much as any of us can!) and that their monogamy can and should be sanctioned and blessed by church and state.

(BTW, for those unfamiliar with the acronym GLBTQ it stands for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer or Questioning...depends on who you ask according to Wikipedia. And for those who are unfamiliar with the acronym BTW...are you kidding me?)

Clearly, Jones' statement is very carefully worded to convey his intent and nothing more. But for his critics and those suspicious of Emergent Village, this discloser will only add fuel to their fire. It should be noted that Jones no longer speaks on behalf of EV, and his remarks shouldn't be projected upon others within the Emergent conversation.

November 26, 2008

Displaying 1–10 of 51 comments

Brian Andrews

December 23, 2008  12:33pm

Troublesome and disturbing, but unfortunately not surprising.

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Rev. David Andrew

December 04, 2008  5:16pm

It is interesting to note that while Tony Jones uses the term "benefits" to describe what the culture and the church may confer upon persons of all persuasion the underlying assumption of nearly all posts is that discipline itself whether ecclesial or civil is not a benefit. I am not sure what Tony has in mind when he employs the term (he may well agree that a benefit cannot include a sanction) and yet any parent knows that correction is as intrinsic to parenting as permission. True "benefits" not only our satisfy desires they redirect disordered desires. It used to be called sanctification.

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December 04, 2008  11:16am

Can anyone post a link to his blog where he states this? I can't seem to find it.

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Url Scaramanga

December 04, 2008  8:54am

***Editor's Note*** For those concerned about what the "Q" stands for in GLBTQ, my editorial research has concluded that it sometimes stands for "Queer" and at other times "Questioning." This has also been confirmed by Wikipedia (and we all know Wikipedia is never wrong). I have amended the post to reflect both meanings.

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Rev. Tim Brondyke

December 04, 2008  7:35am

This discussion is enlightening and disturbing. The emergent subjectivity in the aproach toward truth has created an inability to state anything clearly. Words in the "past" have had clear understood meanings. In discussions or cross-cultural exchanges where words were not clearly understood the need was to clarify meaning for the purpose of the discussion. The discussion process has broken down to discounting the meaning of words, changing the meaning to whatever we feel like, and ignoring words meanings altogether in order to become "relevant" with a society in confusion. The process of thought, study, truth and discussion has apparently lost to the forces of self expression and personal belief. Feel free in that case to take my post in any way you like. There are no apparent limits to the confusion and reinterpreting of what words mean. I am obviously (to me at least) limited to my love and faith in the Word of God and in the truth revealed from heaven in clear and meaningful words that are meant to 'change' us not be changed by us.

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December 03, 2008  9:22pm

BTW, GLBTQ, may take the narrow, thorny, rugged, uphill, long and winding, less traveled road, that can make all the difference – Celibacy. The lonely journey is fueled by the fusion of the calling of the Promised Land outweighing the calling of the famished gland. Julia Duin, whose conversation with the editor led to a column in the March 26, 1986 Christianity Today titled "Celebrating Celibacy" wrote in her book "Purity Makes the Heart Grow Stronger: Sexuality and the Single Christian": "Our commitment to a chaste, single existence is a risk, a gamble that as Christians we can be content there. ‘Voluntary chastity,' writes Groeschel, ‘is not a vocation for the faint-hearted.' He points out that persons who mock chastity – and there are plenty – will in the next breath express admiration for Mother Teresa, not realizing that the nature of her work obligates her to be chaste. Mother Teresa has managed to draw a large number of single, chaste women into her order, the Missionary Sisters of Charity, to spend their lives on the poor and unwanted. Describing these women in a recent documentary on her life, Mother Teresa said, ‘The person who Christ has chosen for himself: she knows. Maybe she doesn't know how to express it, but she knows.'" Some of us may look at some of the GLBTQ like the "Beast," crippled and hunched back. But the "Beauty" of God's love looks at them through the pure eyes and sweet mouth of a child intimating to his crippled hunched back friend, "Do you know what is on your back? It is the box that holds your wings, and someday God is going to break it open, and you will fly away to be an angel." Awaiting them at the finish line is a crown called "Royal Priesthood".

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Chris (Jesdisciple)

December 03, 2008  8:16pm

Preachersmith, there are actually two questions involved here: that of gay marriage, and that of gay ordination. I'm discussing the latter, which involves judgment of the prospective minister's character. Scripture is very clear that Christians practicing sin should be forbidden from participating in the Church. As for gay marriage, I do not condone it in the least. However, I'm beginning to believe that government has no right to forbid it. I do think an individual Justice of the Peace or cleric should have the right to decline to perform a ceremony based on morality. And of course such a ceremony would be a valid reason to forbid the couple from participating in the Church.

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Rev.Dr.Gary W. Downing

December 03, 2008  4:00pm

1ST - I knew Tony as a teenager and have been pleasantly and happily surprised at his growing influence. 2nd - I appreciate his struggle with the issues of defining right and wrong belief and behavior. 3rd - I'm confused at what will become the basis for Tony's saying "No" to anything for any belief or behavior. And that also leaves his "Yes" as apparently highly personal, experiential and subjective. Can I trust either? With no outside foundation for authority, it seems to become just one person's word against, or for, another with no lasting, common point of reference. And that leaves me with an empty feeling of meaninglessness. :(

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December 03, 2008  11:50am

There is really no debate needed on this subject. It is as clear as the sin of murder. It is an attempt of satan to destroy Gods creation, using his most powerful weapon, "lust." God said be fruitful and multiply. Leviticus 20:13 makes it crystal clear. Man lying with man is called an abomination and the sentence was death. It is a deviation of Divine Order and Purpose. Repentence and deliverance is needed.

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December 03, 2008  10:12am

I am thankful for Tony Jones's essay on this subject. I much prefer his honesty to his previous disingenuousness, which was echoed by McLaren, Campolo, et. al. My guess is that this is a revealing of what has always been a core belief rather than an announcement of a new position. It is inevitable that the Emergents, or any other "movement," will have to draw distinctions, whether those lines in the sand are represented by Jones or not. This will enable Christians who observe from a distance to discern whether would-be leaders are embracing truth or error.

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