I just came across a blog announcing that a group known as the Covenant Renewal Fellowship at Princeton Theological Seminary plans to hand out t-shirts reading “gay? fine by me” on the campus today. As the leader of the effort stated, “We’re hoping that these t-shirts, along with other activities put together by Covenant Network Fellowship and BGLASS (Bisexuals, Gays, Lesbians And Straight-Supporters), would let students know that we are trying to create a safe environment for LGBT students here at PTS.”
In a previous posting he had written: The t-shirts were made by Fine By Me, Inc., a non-profit group in NYC whose mission is to promote public opposition to homophobia and to give LGBT people and their allies a human face. I think this t-shirt campaign is a great way to help people on this campus know and see visibly, who is supportive and a safe person to come and speak with. Way to go Covenant…
The problems with this are legion, of course. Can you imagine a t-shirt that would read, “gay? fine by Paul?” Of course, the postmodern academy is now filled with arguments offered to dismiss the Bible’s clear condemnation of homosexual behaviors as out of date (Paul didn’t know anything about sexual ‘orientation’) or repressive (the biblical text is shaped by a hostility toward ‘sexual minorities’) and so on.
As a matter of fact, another blogger (a Ph.D. student in theology at Vanderbilt) responded to the original post by arguing that the Old Testament texts on homosexuality must be ‘disambiguated’ — a process he admitted would be difficult.
He asked further: Finally: do the Scriptures even have the ideological resources to interface [with] modern notions of “sexuality”? Hasn’t Foucault shown that the very concept is a modern invention? Isn’t Scripture’s preoccupation [with] acts of sexuality? If so, the only means of addressing the topic of homosexuality is [with] a positive theology of sexuality. And I don’t think a cogent case can be made for such as a theology of heterosexuality.
So, Scripture, he doubts, even has “the ideological resources to interface [with] modern notions of sexuality.” In closing, he mused: Sorry for the rebarbative style. Thinking on my feet here and wanted to get it out while I had a few minutes. Well, it’s not every day you see an apology for a rebarbative style of argument.
Alas, we have much work to do. At the same time, sending the signal that a Christian is “a safe person to come and speak with” would be an undeniably good thing — so long as that Christian is prepared to tell the truth about homosexuality, one sinner to another.
R. Albert Mohler Jr.
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