Monday, January 28, 2013

Crisis and Process Part TWO

Ours is but one of 6,790,000 google listed sites (Jan 27, 2013) with a focus on the GLBT issue, and between 75 googlers per day will find their way to us in addition to 50+ other visitors. Some 4,000 persons in total will be provided insights, some perhaps for the first time, into the most contentious issue facing the church today.

Our blog will again be focusing on this controversial and divisive issue through the posting of some 20+ primarily SA relevant articles. We’re doing so for several reasons.

·      First of all it’s to keep this most important issue front and center of the church’s focus; teaching and debate. 

·      Secondly, it’s to allow our newest 200 FSAOF members, those who joined our fellowship in the last 24 months, the opportunity to gain a more immediate insight in FSAOF members’ views, without having to backtrack and sift through the almost 1,500 earlier blog postings.

·      Important too is to introduce our ‘crisis and process’ format. It’s one that we used unwittingly in our earlier attempt at introducing and studying this divisive issue. We witnessed transitions on many levels of understanding, respect and attitudes, even if no changes in positions were shared. Comments to our blog and the many I have received personally would suggest that few visitors will readily, if ever, change their strong held moral views on the GLBT issue. However, if a sufficient number of people express their positions relative to ‘inclusivity’, an ethical provision, perhaps the structure of our church can adapt to the fullest and freest life possible. Our paramount intent is to explore where there might be breakthroughs of inclusivity.

Without vigilant examination of what we are doing, it is easy to evince more interested in our causes or dogmas than in persons.    Elton Trueblood

Is Trueblood’s admonishment sufficiently provocative enough for us to believe that TSA (we) ought to change our position on the GLBT inclusivity issue?

No contemporary Christian can claim a merely inherited faith and live without conflicts in the present age. Nor does it become a requirement to choose between traditional and the contemporary. It is the acknowledgment that in our spiritual lives boundaries of conduct and expectations may differ.
We respect and admire any and all who through convincing intellectual search justify a new insight and approach on traditional SA positions, as we do those who through the same type search hold fast to traditional ethical values. Acknowledging and respecting differences in theological question and positions are a significant leap for all towards closing the gaps of indifference and prejudice.

Ethics are culturally and society driven.

Is the church's historical and traditional ethical position (teetering on many fronts) driven by its own theological research and time-tested Truth, or by acquiescing to the societal and political influence and demands of the world? Is the church being ambushed through political expediency and are we being simply being swept up in its wake? It’s imperative that we seek our own direction and that any changes be made freely and not be forced on us and the church generally.

Ought we to allow politically charged voices outside our sacred walls to redefine the Church’s  (Army’s) traditional ethical Bible grounded value positions?  A brief glimpse into the government’s role in the USA, Canada, the UK, Sweden, etc reveals just how rampant, spirited and powerful their takeover bids have become.

John H.W. Stott said at a seminar I attended in Nyack, N.Y.; "The greatest indictment that can be levied against the Christian and the church is that; you are no different than the world." The gap between the people of God and the way those in the world live continues to grow wider.
General Eva Burrows said to me on one of her visits to Moscow; "TSA has only one tradition. We have no traditions"! Our (SA) capacity and ability to change, adapt and adopt are among our noblest traditions.  Salvationists have always been able to discern when God wants to do a new thing in our midst.  But this reminder; exploring the GLBT issue, may not necessarily lead to any immediate or major mindset turn-around. Maybe God’s new thing is simply a wake up call to be a genuine Church; a place of healing, reconciliation and inclusivity. What is needed now is a readiness in which committed Salvationists and SA supporters take the lead. 

What is needed is a large number of us in sufficient agreement in order that we can make a statement truly representative of the consensus of our Christian judgment.

Sven Ljungholm
Birkenhead Corps UKIT

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I very much support this perspective. It offers a truly gracious way for all sides to come together; no prejudice or harsh demand. A simple, let us sit together in Jesus' name.

Am I surprised that reason and direction came from outside THQ? Not really - But I'll be shocked if they're humble enough to enter into dialogue.

Greater London