I met you when you were in [Asia] some years ago. If you get to read this and would like to respond it will be great but otherwise it’s ok. God bless you brother.
Thanks for sending me your comment. I appreciate your warmth and feel your sadness in needing to (as you say) break ranks with me. There is a lot I'd like to say - but I'll just offer three (actually four) brief comments.
First, as you probably know, I'm not a "we have to keep ranks" type of guy. One of the characteristics I most appreciate about "a generous orthodoxy" or "a new kind of Christianity" is the freedom to stay unified and stay in fellowship even when we disagree. In fact, if we only "keep ranks" with those with whom we agree, it pretty much guarantees we won't be challenged to think new thoughts and grow into new areas. So, it's important for you to know that if you hold a different view than I do, whatever the issue - I would not want to "break ranks" with you. In fact, I am continually enriched, instructed, and challenged by people who differ with me on this and other issues - and I hope the reverse could be true.
My view on human sexuality has indeed changed over a period of thirty years, and actually, the views of most conservative Christians have also been changing over that period. It wasn't too long ago that the only conservative position was, "It's a choice and an abomination." When that position became untenable due to increasing data, the conservative position evolved to "it's a changeable disposition, and we know how to change it." When fewer and fewer people who claimed to have been reoriented were able to sustain the reorientation, the position shifted to "it's a hard-to-change disposition, but it can be done with great difficulty." More recently, I hear conservatives say "the disposition may be unchangeable but the behavior is a choice, so people may choose to live a celibate life or a heterosexual life, even against their orientation." All that's to say that it would be unfair of me to break fellowship with people who are themselves on a journey, just because they aren't where I am at this point.
So I'm glad that difference doesn't need to mean division. Which brings me to a second comment ...
In many settings - some cultural, some multi-religious, some denominational, not taking a firm anti-homosexuality stance can cost you your reputation, your job, and even your life. Because you have been an outspoken supporter of my work in the past, I can see how my public stand would put you in a terrible position. If you don't publicly break ranks with me, people may practice "guilt by association," branding you a "friend of sinners," or worse - someone in ranks with a heretic.
Continue reading Brian’s post here