Denny Burk, Professor of Biblical Studies at Boyce College, contends “for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.” In this piece, he takes on “Progressive Christians” and deals with their propensity to erase 2,000-years of Church history in an effort to see that the Church becomes more inclusive, more relevant, more open-minded. In other words, PC’s are “re-imagining” Christianity to look less like historic orthodox Christianity and more like the world. Burk writes:
Last night, Jonathan Merritt penned an article for Religion News Service excoriating Christians who have distanced themselves from Jen Hatmaker. He writes:
Hatmaker’s original sin is that she broke ranks with the evangelical powers-that-be on same-sex relationships. In an interview with me last October, Hatmaker stated that if she found out one of her children were gay, she would love that child just the same. If an LGBT friend of Hatmaker’s got married, she said she would attend the wedding. And Hatmaker said she believed LGBT relationships could be holy.
In the interview, Hatmaker did not deny a line in the Apostles Creed. She did not promote a historical heresy. She merely claimed that after a careful study of the scriptures, she had arrived at a different understanding of same-sex relationships. But this was enough to outrage some conservative Christians. Lifeway Christian Stores even banned her books from their shelves.
Merritt says that Hatmaker has not only been “blacklisted” but that her detractors have engaged in “the nastiest character assassination.” In sum, Merritt believes Hatmaker’s endorsement of same-sex relationships should be treated as within the bounds of Christian orthodoxy and that evangelical churches and ministries are mistreating her by excluding her because of her views on sexuality.
There are more problems in Merritt’s article than I can address in a single essay, but it is worth pointing out some of the more significant mischaracterizations. The entire 2,000-year history of the Christian church has spoken univocally about homosexuality. Faithful Christians have always believed what the scriptures teach about this. Homosexuality is sexual immorality and is therefore sinful (Rom. 1:26-27; 1 Cor. 6:9-11; 1 Tim. 1:10). We understand that this is an unpopular point of view today, but it is nevertheless what the church has always believed and confessed.
There are many voices within the North American evangelical movement that are turning away from what the church has always believed and confessed. Hatmaker is now among them. They are trying to tell people that sexual immorality is compatible with following Jesus. And they are asking the rest of the church to accept their point of view as within the orthodox stream. Continue reading