What do you do when your denomination officially takes one position on the ordination of noncelibate homosexuals and quietly practices another?
If you’re Stanton Jones, your approach is loving confrontation. CT has seen correspondence between Dr. Jones and an Episcopal church official, and we’ve heard reports of his testimony at that denomination’s general convention. Jones communicates directly, lovingly, firmly, and non-threateningly.
However, while Jones doesn’t threaten, his professional qualifications can be intimidating. A licensed clinical psychologist and chair of Wheaton College’s psychology department, he is the author with Richard Butman of the most used Christian textbook on the evaluation of psychotherapy (Modern Psychotherapies, IVP, 1991).
Nonthreatening could seem like the wrong word to another church bureaucrat who had Jones call his bluff. That’s what happened in private following a public meeting in which that church official flatly denied that ordination of noncelibate homosexuals was going on in his diocese. The man admitted covering up the truth.
The best therapists seem to communicate with utter honesty and palpable concern. That is how Jones has approached his differences with his church. And in this issue, he talks to CT’s readers with that same honesty and concern about some of the troubling issues surrounding homosexuality.
Christians are under a lot of pressure from their culture and even from forces inside their churches to revise their beliefs about homosexuality. At a time when some traditionalists grab for our attention with their fevered denunciations, we can only say we like Stan’s tone of voice and his commitment to truth a lot better. Look for “The Loving Opposition,” beginning on p. 18.
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