We should maintain that if an interpretation of any word in any religion leads to disharmony and does not positively further the welfare of the many, then such an interpretation is to be regarded as wrong; that is, against the will of God, or as the working of Satan or Mara.
Buddhadasa Bikkhu, a Thai Buddhist Monk
Saturday, June 21, 2014
The Price of Justice
The reaction from the right has been as predictable as it is swift (see here and here for examples). Inevitably, PC(USA) is going to lose still more congregations as those who oppose simple justice for the LGBT community hasten into their ghetto for an illusive safety from the swelling currents of our age. They or their heirs only postpone the inevitable as the whole issue will follow them into that ghetto where over time some will have a change of heart and begin again to challenge the ghetto's values and interpretations of scripture.
For liberal evangelicals the best and most faithful interpretation of scripture is always the one that affirms the principle that God acts, "with steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth" and "takes delight" in these things (Jeremiah 9:23-25). Three generations ago, the Spirit of God inflamed us with a desire for racial justice; two generations ago it was gender justice; and in this generation it is sexual justice. The rapidity with which the nation is embracing equality for the LGBT community is heartening and even suggests that there is a certain momentum that has been gained in the struggle for justice and equality for all. It would be naïve, of course, to think that this is the last battle that is going to have to be fought in the churches or in the nation, but it is good to see that justice does tend to prevail even if it has its price. The turmoil, the heated debates and anger, and the loss of more and more conservative evangelical churches and members are a part of that price.