… if there still is such a thing. In this fine blog post, “The Squeezing of the Middle in the UMC Sexuality Debate,” Chris Ritter puts his finger on a problem that I’ve noticed as well:
Once it is allowed that there might be a legitimate reading of the Christian scriptures that somehow permits homosexual practices in the life of the church, there is tremendous pressure exerted by our culture and its chaplains to accept only that reading. Never mind that the hermeneutical gymnastics needed for such an interpretation require multiple contorted leaps from the starting point of an established agenda (the very definition of eisegesis). Never mind the two thousand years of unanimous Christian thought about those texts. The exotic reading of the text must become the exclusive reading and all else abandoned in light of the new orthodoxy. I sometimes think that the most stressed person in our denomination right now must be Adam Hamilton. He has opened a door for a reading of scripture that allows for legitimacy of homosexual practice while not yet stating whether he would perform a same-sex wedding if allowed to do so. He will only feel the tightrope narrow under his feet. The victim of absolutism is moderation.