Monday, July 12, 2010

Conservative Gathering


We attended the Conservative Friends Gathering in Barnesville, Ohio several weekends ago and had a great time meeting other like-minded folks including some from England and Finland. I've never been in the Stillwater Meeting House before, but we had the privilege of worshipping there both in the morning and evening. It was a well spent weekend connecting with other families and forging ties of unity within the Conservative movement. One of the issues that is becoming a hot topic in the Ohio Yearly Meeting is the subject of gay marriage. There is enough dissent on the issue that, unfortunately, we're going to have to discuss it. The fact that this even needs to be a subject of debate saddens me and signals something wrong within the present day Quakers because, doesn't everybody know that homosexuality is a sin? Well, no, unfortunately they don't. My belief, and mind you this is my belief is that there are two reasons why they don't.
The first reason is that there is a tendency within Quakerism, as in most other mainline churches, to become more like the world. Christianity seems to be somewhat embarrassing and it's cool to "Christianize" popular culture in the effort to be more acceptable. If one studies the Bible as well as the history of the Religious Society of Friends you'll see over and over and over and over and over that we are to be separate from the greater culture because the danger is that if we aren't separate we will be unduly influenced by them. The whole history of the children of Israel is a perfect example of a people that really wanted to be acceptable to their pagan neighbors and intermarry with them and worship their gods. That didn't work out so well for them if you recall. The New Testament reiterates the call to be separate and touch not the unclean thing. So I ask you, what can we firmly declare to be unclean today? To be able to say a thing is unclean you need to be versed in the Scriptures and the historical position of the church and be willing to listen. The light doesn't lead contrary to itself. It matters not what the world says is or isn't acceptable, social mores don't dictate Truth! If for 6000 years homosexuality was acknowledged as a sin, why would we think that somehow in 2010 it's not?
The second reason comes from the reluctance of Friends to infringe on the leadings of others. I think that's a good thing, I don't want to have my clothes regimented for me by someone else. Or my car or my food. It's a central Friend's tenet that God desires and is able to lead his children himself. We need to follow his light to be obedient. Now, however, I fear we're swinging into the opposite ditch of "I can't judge anybody or say anything about anything they're doing". This is equally wrong and ties in to the above paragraph of the light doesn't lead contrary to itself. Early Friends had no issues about calling sin sin. George Fox called the immoral behavior of some filthy, that seems pretty clear to me. Homosexuality is a sin, it is filthy and has no place within the body of Christ. A friend of ours recently said, "I do things that are sin and I know they're sin but I don't twist people's arms to change the definition of sin so that I can feel better about what I'm doing." That pretty well sums it up, doesn't it?

6 comments :

  1. Thank you for your insight. I agree with you, but hadn't put those two reasons together .

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  2. I agree with everything you say. I see the same patterns in my own church but to an even greater degree. Even beyond early Friends calling sin, sin... CHRIST called sin, sin. Please keep spreading this message. Faith is being lost to political correctness.

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  3. Ma, I've been mulling this subject over in my mind for a while now. WHY do we think that we are somehow different and can be in the Church and the World? Or love God and money? The list goes on. We are such foolish people.

    Jenny, yes, excellent point. Christ said it first and He also said "go and sin no more" he didn't say any of these, "oh, it's not really sin, I won't judge you, or have at it."

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  4. I can write an entire blog in answer to (and in total agreement of) your posting. One day we will have to have a nice chat because I just can't type that fast!
    Thank you so much - this is an excellent posting, and the last quote is my new favorite quote!

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  5. Thee is so right. One argument some try to claim is that slavery was not considered wrong in Scripture or by some Friends at one time.The only similarity of these two issues is that both groups of people are enslaved. There are times and people that no amoung of arguing or discusion can bring unity. Understanding/convincement must come from/through greater Wisdom. There are a whole group of converted gays who radiate great joy at the freedom Jesus have given them. We too must preach that freedom.

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  6. Dear Mrs. G,

    I am catching up with your blog after my summer of absence. Of course, I am relishing in it! I really like the picture in this post.

    I love this statement that you made. "...If for 6000 years homosexuality was acknowledged as a sin, why would we think that somehow in 2010 it's not?" I just read that to my husband, who wholeheartedly agreed.

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