Confession Or Raw Politics?–Liberal Nebraska UM's Latest Transgression Only Illustrates Their Ignorance
From: Richard G. Jenkins email@example.com
I would, IMHO, dispute Mr. Schmidt's comment "I know of nothing our Lord ever said one way or another about homosexuality . . . ." In Matthew 19, our Lord addressed all human sexuality, stating what our Creator's purpose is for the two genders, and giving abstinence for the sake of the kingdom of heaven as the alternative.
If we have been shown the better way, why do we quibble about whether Jesus expressly prohibited a particular behavior of human flesh. If it is of the flesh and this world (i.e., doing what is "natural" to us), it is not of the His Kingdom and will not be part of our life in that Kingdom.
From: Jim Gibson
Normally, I would not ask for an opportunity to respond to another person's comments, pro or con, about an article I have written. However, since Mr. Schmidt seems a little confused over what I have said in regard to the Nebraska "Confessing Statement," I will make an exception.
It would seem that it is Mr. Schmidt who "doesn't seem to know much about the Confessing movement of Natzi [sic] Germany." The German Confessing Church, through such courageous spokespersons as Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Martin Niemoller, was the primary Christian voice of resistance against the Nazi government and its attempts to compromise the Church in Germany. The "Barmen Declaration," which is invoked out of context by the signatories of the Nebraska statement, followed the classical pattern of Christian confessional statements, delineating and defending those basic doctrines which were, at that time in history, being undermined by "the false doctrine" espoused by those seeking to reshape the Church in the image of Nazi Germany. It was, at one and the same time, a confession of classical Christian faith and a repudiation of attempts to use the Church as an instrument of the Nazi political agenda to radically alter the German culture.
Mr. Schmidt also doesn't seem to understand the purpose of the present-day Confessing Movement's "Confessional Statement," which, like the Barmen Declaration, follows the classical confessional pattern. My point that homosexuality is "mentioned only in passing" and as an example of "contemporary challenges to the authority of Christ's Lordship" was not to draw any necessary connection between homosexuality and the Lordship of Christ, but to illustrate the priorities of the Confessing Movement. What one thinks of homosexuality is of only secondary concern to what one thinks of Jesus Christ.
The Nebraska statement neither confesses the historic Christian faith nor repudiates contemporary challenges to it. On the contrary, it repudiates the historic faith and uses the Church as an instrument for the advancement of a political agenda whose aim is to radically alter the American culture. The statement's sole purpose is to influence the outcome of a political process. How, then, can it be seen as anything but political?
As for Mr. Schmidt's assumption of anger on my part, I would suggest he check his own emotional thermometer. As I read this seemingly endless parade of statements of "conscience" and "confession" by persons such as himself, I should only "feel" amused. However, my deepest "feeling" is one of sadness, as their words betray their own lost state and confusion.
From: Jay Schmidt firstname.lastname@example.org
James Gibson is very able with the English language. It is a well written commentary. It is ofcourse written with great feeling which I assume is anger. But he doesn't seem to know much about the Confessing movement of Natzi Germany unless he means to condemn them too for their confession. He writes, "Mentioned only in passing were such 'hot button' issues as homosexuality, and only as examples of contemporary challenges to the authority of Christ's Lordship" It reads as if homosexuality is some how connected with the Lordship of Christ. I know of nothing our Lord ever said one way or another about homosexuality making this a far out accusation. Church doctrine and Biblical authority have much to do with justice which is our concern. I suggest you check how often "justice" is the subject of Biblical concern (If nothing else at least look it up in a Concordance). We contend that our concern is very much in the Spirit of Christ. To see this as "political" is to totally misread what is going on in Nebraska.
Grace and peace, Jay Schmidt
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