How is the “Reformation Project” Going?Posted: December 8, 2013
Regular readers of this blog will recall previous mention of the Reformation Project, and it’s goal of spreading the heresy that engaging in homosexual relations is not sinful.
Some of the 2013 inaugural conference was recorded on video and has gradually made its way online. You can watch various presentations from the conference, on youtube, such as this one, this one and this one.
Lets review how things are going for the organisation.
Well, a few months after the first Reformation Project training course, Charisma News published a critical analysis of the organisation. And on cue, several members of the Reformation Project responded in the comments section below the article. Their feedback was interesting, largely for the wrong reasons.
Kelly for example, responded;
“I am one of the 50 reformers. … in the months leading up to the conference we read over a thousand pages of scholarly theological articles written by both affirming and non affirming people. We also read 2 books…..one written by an affirming theologian and the other written by a celibate gay Christian. Instead of trying to manipulate uniformed people, we are educating them with truth.”
Yes, supposedly ‘educated’ people from the Reformation Project are coming to rescue conservative Christians from our ignorance. Phew! So what wisdom does Kelly have to share with us? She continues;
“One has only to do the work and learn for themselves to understand cultural context and original language to see the Bible was never speaking about loving, monogamous Christ honoring same sex relationships.”
Right. So when Leviticus says that a man should not lay with a man, and does so in the context of a whole list of unsuitable sexual partners, from siblings to animals, we can conclude that it was never referring to loving monogamous homosexuality? Surely the text of Leviticus would indicate that then? If Kelly is right, shouldnt the Leviticus 18:22 prohibition of a man sleeping with a man, finish with an exception clause, like “unless it’s a loving monogamous relationship”? And can Kelly’s interpretation be likewise applied to the surrounding verses? EG verse 7; “Do not have sexual relations with your mother, … unless it’s a loving monogamous relationship“? I don’t think so. So why is she inconsistent by claiming it can be applied to verse 22? And when it comes to the New Testament where Jesus portrays Christian romantic pairings as inherently heterosexual (Matthew 19) and where all references to homosexual sex are again repeatedly portrayed as negative, according to Kelly it was supposedly apparent to the reader of that era that those homosexual references do not refer to loving monogamous relationships? I dont think so Kelly. Somehow I think that when the Bible teaches that Christian relationships are inherently heterosexual and it repeatedly says that homosexual sex is sinful, it means homosexual sex is inherently sinful.
Kelly continues though;
“There are so many other verses in the Bible that Christians do not follow by reason of saying it is not culturally relevant to today’s world…. like woman remaining silent in church or stoning children to death for disobeying or making a women who is menstruating leave the home or letting the men of a town rape your wife or not eating shellfish….”
Well hang on, Kelly. Firstly you said that the Bible does not express opposition to loving monogamous homosexual relationships. But now you are kinda implying that it does, but that we should ignore those bits on the grounds that we supposedly ignore other bits. Right. So does the Bible express opposition to loving monogamous homosexual relationships, or not? Because you sound a little undecided. It sounds like you just want to support loving monogamous homosexual relationships, irrespective of what the Bible says, and that you are just looking for excuses to support your goal.
And what are you referring to as “letting the men of a town rape your wife”? I dont recall anything in the Bible about that? Sounds like a reference to Genesis 19 though, where it’s actually talking about daughters, not wives, Kelly. And you say we dont stone children, and that this is because it’s not culturally relevant? It wouldnt have anything to do with Jesus’ aversion to stoning (John 8:7) would it Kelly? Maybe Christians are just following Jesus on that one? And you say we have abandoned the rule about eating shellfish on the grounds that it’s not culturally relevant, Kelly? It wouldnt be because Jesus said there is no longer such a thing as a sinful type of food (Mark 7:15), would it Kelly? Maybe Christians are simply following Jesus on that one too, Kelly? Im not so confident that you are “educating with truth” Kelly.
Kelly continues further;
“…..and yet we are using these few passages that we think we know the meaning of to keep millions of people from being embraced into God’s family the way they were created.”
Well yes, regrettably there are many Christians who dont entirely grasp homosexuality and/or their own religion, and some are overly rejecting of homosexuals. But I think you overstate your case, Kelly. There are also many Christians who welcome same-sex attracted individuals “the way they were created”, so long as those individuals do not engage in the sin of gay sex.
Kelly finishes her post by writing;
“I’m always up for respectful dialogue if you are. Find my email on the TRP website.”
And it’s kind of her to offer. But if Biblically illiterate people email her directly, who is going to point out the flaws in what she writes?
Another member of the Reformation Project also commented on the article. Her name is Betsy. But Betsy didnt identify herself as a member. Instead she was ‘outed’. Her initial post included comments such as;
She portrayed herself as in touch and informed about the Reformation Project, yet objective. But she isnt objective. She’s listed on the Reformation Projectwebsite as one of the participants. When challenged about her misleading portrayal of herself, she admitted it, replying publicly;
“I wasn’t trying to be dishonest. I just knew that my comments would be immediately dismissed if I identified as part of TRP. …”
“If the activity of The Reformation Project is of human origin, IT WILL FAIL. …”
Brownson’s end-game: reread Scripture without the heteronormative lens; ask “is this desire/activity redeemable in some way?”
the right/wrong arguments that will never be resolved, at least not in my lifetime