Part three of three parts; click here to read part two.
Are you suggesting that you're more likely to find grace in mainline communities?
Hestenes:People come looking for grace, and they come looking for a place that's not going to make them turn their brains off. I am grateful to be a part of a church that at least wrestles with the great social issues. I have learned more about the human condition, the needs and the brokenness of people in areas of sexuality, than I ever wanted to know. I am very grateful to be a part of a thoughtful Christian tradition that takes so seriously needs in the world. I do not want to be a part of a privatistic, disengaged church. There is something in our traditions that keeps us in conflict, and tension that is healthy and shouldn't be given up for uniformity and safety in doctrine.
An absolutistic mindset, on the other hand, doesn't allow that there's any chance you could be wrong.
Hestenes:It's not just that. Let's talk about homosexual orientation. It's really a new issue. The church earlier didn't wrestle with it in just this form. We have to have a place where Christians can wrestle with these new issues. We're now into the cloning issue. I happen to know I'm part of a church that will appoint a task force, and we'll go to work on it because we know there are ethical consequences for society.
Frey:What you're describing is an outgrowth of a very deep Trinitarianism in the mainline churches. If God is Triune, then any reality that fails to reflect that kind of unity in diversity is doomed to failure. In other words, unless we reflect all reality in our ecclesiastical structures and our social structures, we're on the wrong track. We don't have to parrot the simplistic bumper-sticker answers ...1