I never cease to be amazed at the lengths liberal theologians will go to reconcile the Bible’s clear condemnation of homosexuality with their desire to remain wholly non-judgmental on sexual behavior. When the Episcopal church announced that their denomination was on a post-scriptural “trajectory” towards…uh, well, something vaguely related to Christianity, I thought that was a new low.
But today brings this profound theological revelation from Phillip Baker, professor of mission and evangelism at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, SC:
“The Scripture never defines us by our sexuality, and that’s what we’re doing [by condemning homosexuality]. We are defined in relation to our creative redeemer, sanctifier. It is God who gives me my identity, not my behavior.”
Set aside the arguments about whether Paul really meant to condemn homosexual behavior, etc., etc. I am jaw-droppingly astonished by a Christian claiming that my character is not connected to my behavior. In a word, “wow.”
I’m a graduate of Oral Roberts University, but I don’t claim to be a theologian. And yet it seems to me that disconnecting my moral identity from my moral decisions is the ultimate rejection of every fundamental premise of Christianity. Does Professor Baker really believe that Jesus’ message is “It doesn’t matter if you feed the poor as long as God can tell you’re the kind of person who WOULD feed the poor?”
Am I missing something here? Wouldn’t it be far more theologically consistent to acknowledge that there are some behaviors that people really want to engage in but are forbidden in the Bible?
Like I said, I’m no theologian, but if you are what God thinks you are, rather than who you choose through your actions to be, why would anyone ever make the choice do be good?