Views & Voices

Reformation redux: 9 ways indulgences ‘then’ = the gay issue ‘today’


On my Facebook page I recently posted:

Christianity is in the midst of a second reformation. For some that’s really frightening. For others (like me) it’s like watching a butterfly emerge from its cocoon.”

To which reader Ashley C responded:

“Can you elaborate how Christianity is going through another Reformation?”

No problemo, Ashley. Thanks for asking.

The splitting of Christianity in two — what I (and I would certainly guess others) call Christian Reformation II — is being occasioned by the gay issue, which in many ways is to the Christian church today what the sale of indulgences were in the days of Luther.

Like the sale of indulgences then, the condemnation of gay people now…

  1. is morally wrong.
  2. is an institutionalized abuse of power.
  3. is founded upon gross misreadings and misapplications of Scripture.
  4. capitalizes on people’s fear.
  5. terribly victimizes untold numbers of everyday people.
  6. is representative of significant other complaints people have against the church.
  7. calls for the shucking off of religious authority and the reclamation of a personal, one-on-one relationship with God.
  8. is fueled by a new and widespread communication technology. *
  9. was always destined for the dust heap of history.

*The printing press then; the Internet now.

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