A Response to Michael Brown (Part 8)

Very recently, Pentecostal bible scholar Michael Brown published some “honest questions” for GLBT Christians in an article on Christian Post. His full remarks are here: Some Honest Questions for Professing ‘Gay Christians’. As most of my readers may be aware, my PhD work is in dialogue between Queer and Pentecostal theologians. This is the eighth post of a multi-part response to Dr Brown’s work. I will reproduce the online text in manageable chunks so that the posts are not too long.

Part Eight

1) Are you 100% sure that your interpretation of Scripture regarding homosexuality is correct?

… before you enter into a sexual relationship with someone, you had better be 100% sure that the union is holy in his sight and that marriage is a real marriage.

Again I ask: Are you 100% sure that God blesses committed, monogamous same-sex relationships? If you say that you are, I can only pray for you. If you admit that you are not, then please, step back and reconsider.[1]

[1] I think it’s only fair to ask you the same question in reverse. Perhaps you understand why I am so frustrated by Christians who seem to “stack the deck” against LGBT folks by the way they frame their questions. The day your latest book was released, I read on Charisma News that you are 100 percent certain that God condemns queer sex and relationships. So, in your heart, is this conversation over? Where to from here?  Frankly, it doesn’t seem fair that you seem to need us to be as dogmatic as you (perhaps “certain” is kinder), since if that happens, you “can only pray” for us. Your rhetoric here undermines, for me and for a great many other Christians, the apparent honesty with which you ask your questions–which, let me be painfully clear, is not the same thing as saying you are being dishonest.

Please take a step back and reconsider. In particular, reconsider how “fear” and “faith” function in your hermeneutic. Consider again whether or not you are prepared to hear the testimony of those who are not supposed to have the Holy Spirit, but do nevertheless, as attested by other faithful witnesses (like the Gentiles in Acts 10-15).

Dear readers: are you all still with me?

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