I'm confused, (but not really)! In the last few days I have read comments by former Presbyterian Church USA moderator Bruce Reyes-Chow about how Presbyterian "progressives" need to be sensitive to those of us who disagree about homosexuality. He said in an interview with fellow progressive, Janet Edwards, that "We are all searching for God as our lives unfold. In the midst of our differences, we share a conviction that our relationship is built on God and our faith in Christ. I acknowledge that God is playing a role in the other person’s life.” I would love for this to be true, that progressives would acknowledge the presence and activity of God in the lives of those with whom they disagree.
This idea of respect for one another despite differing views on how God views the practice of homosexuality is also being expressed by another prominent progressive, Professor Mark Achtemeier. He is scheduled to do a debate on the issue, and supposedly Professor Achtemeier will be civil and respectful to those who hold to a biblical understanding (which is clearly not supportive of the acceptance of homosexual practice as God's intention for any person).
This is where I become confused (but not really). Has Bruce Reyes-Chow softened his hardline rejection of conservative and evangelical views, which he slammed a short while ago when he decried "those Biblical literalists who have poisoned our understanding of marriage, sexuality and love." (Of course. the term "literalists" is a perjorative way to describe anyone who believes the Scriptures are the Word of God written, since there really are no true literalists, especially in the Presbyterian Church USA). And there is the gauntlet angrily thrown down by Professor Achtemeier shortly after his eyes were "illuminated" by the liberal light of "inclusion" when he states this about those with whom he disagrees: "...I can no longer close my eyes to the spiritual and psychological damage that flow from this well-intended but tragically misguided teaching."
While I do not doubt the sincerity and veracity of Mr. Reyes-Chow and Prof. Achtemeier, I also do not believe that there is a growing sense among Presbyterian progressives that the evangelical beliefs regarding homosexuality are seriously to be respected and engaged. I am still convinced that they look down on those who disagree with them, and that they still believe their understanding is superior, justified, and most enlightened intellectually. I no longer hope or trust that there is any intention on their part to give any credence to any notion that there is anything in the slightest wrong, immoral, or unbiblical about homosexual expression.
So much for seeking common ground, or participating in any honest dialogue.