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How Not to Talk About Homosexuality

A speaker at Whitworth College in Spokane, Washington provides a truly tragic example of how Christians must not talk about homosexuality. This is one of the most serious questions facing the Christian church — a challenge to biblical authority and the knowledge that God orders the structure of human sexuality.

Speaking to an audience of college students, Rev. Paul Rodkey, identified as a Presbyterian pastor and Whitworth alumnus, said that Christians must accept homosexuals unconditionally, and that the moral questions about homosexual relationships and behavior are reduced to the use or misuse of power within the relationship.

According to a news article published in The Whitworthian (student newspaper), Rodkey stated: “Jesus and John Lennon had it figured out, all you need is love.”

From the article: “My dream is a dream that God’s kingdom is a place of love, hope, dreams and peace,” Rodkey said. Throughout the lecture, Rodkey said that no individual is worthy of God’s grace and the only way to emulate that grace is through love as we are all flawed creations. “We have all fallen short of the glory of God,” Rodkey said. “There is no hierarchy to sin.”

More: “We have to figure out how to have a dialogue. It’s not ‘My Jesus can beat up your Jesus,’ ‘My God can beat up your God,’” Rodkey said. “If the church keeps fighting this, then who wins? This is killing the church.”

Don’t miss this: Rodkey said quoting scripture would not help support his argument simply because those passages have already been discussed at great length in the debate within the Presbyterian Church. Instead, he focused on the perspectives through which individuals interpret the Bible and apply it to themselves. “I believe that all human beings are slaves to their bias and prejudice,” Rodkey said. He said that specific scripture should be omitted from the discussion, which upset students looking to find some answers for themselves.

This is an amazing admission. Rev. Rodkey acknowledges that he can claim no scriptural support for this position, and he doesn’t even attempt to deal with the biblical passages that speak to homosexuality. Instead, he simply embraced hermeneutical nihilism. It may be true that all human beings are infected with their own interpretive bias, but that hardly allows for an argument to abandon the Bible altogether. No doubt, his argument would be severely undermined if those “specific” biblical texts were acknowledged.

Studies indicate that younger evangelicals are buying into the worldview that sexuality is off limits to moral judgment. “Who are we as Christian leaders to judge and decide what is right and wrong?,” asked one young woman student. “The only way to eternity is through Jesus Christ and to love others like he loved us.”

She is surely correct in asserting the absolute necessity of God’s grace and the exclusivity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are all sinners in need of redemption. But we know we are sinners precisely because the Bible clearly identifies what sin is. As the Apostle Paul stated, the knowledge of sin comes through the knowledge of the Law.

We can be fairly certain that this young student is not forfeiting the responsibility to make all moral judgments when she asks, “Who are we as Christian leaders to judge and decide what is right and wrong?.” We are probably safe in presuming that she intended to restrict her nonjudgmentalism to matters of sexuality and lifestyle — not to genocide, murder, or kidnapping. Her immature and theologically irresponsible question needs to be answered — and quickly. This young student is a warning of how much can be lost in just one generation.

There are signs of hope as well. From the article: Similarly, sophomore theology major Oliver Crocco agreed with the concept of love, yet said through that love, an individual should strive to set an example. “I believe you are to always love every person on this earth, and out of that love you can lovingly help guide them away from the sin we all struggle with,” Crocco said. Now that’s a Christian response. Too bad the speaker provided such a negative and unhelpful example.

AND FURTHERMORE: In this news article from the campus paper at Eastern Washington University, Rodkey is identified as “campus pastor for United Ministries.” In the article, Rodkey complains that the campus newspaper is too “Christian-centric” in its coverage. From the article: Rodkey feels that everyone is made in the image of God and that everyone has a holy presence in them. He said, “We were all created in God’s image. Why is it that we can’t pursue that image? What are we afraid of?”