Conservative Evangelicals and Homosexuality - Mutual Misunderstanding (Part 1)

As the debate continues within the Church of England on the right response to homosexuality, same-sex relationships and same-sex marriage, the thing evangelicals and perhaps especially conservative evangelicals, are increasingly known for is their hard line, traditional stance on the issue. I guess that leaves most people outside the church and from other positions in the church thinking: Why would you possibly want to hold that sort of position today?

It seems to me from the reports of the shared conversations that the great weakness of the discussions is that there isn't the chance to actually present a position coherently and clearly. Actually, I think that's been a problem for years. We understand other peoples' positions on the basis of soundbites and secondhand (usually rather biased reports). Alongside that, I've had a few opportunities to explain a aspects of a conservative evangelical position to more senior clergy and have been surprised and interested to see that this seems new to them, although perhaps they are humouring me for the sake of dialogue.

I'm sure conservative evangelicals are not alone in feeling that their positions are misunderstood (actually the reports from the shared conversations indicate that). The best way to respond is to try and spend the time to clearly present why we take the position we do. Actually, there are, of course, various books out there that do just that and please believe me when I say that I try to read as much as time allows across the spectrum of views on this and other issues.

Perhaps, however, it is useful to put together a short series of blogs, that both briefly explains the why behind the conservative evangelical position and provides some direction for finding delving further.

I think the following outline will probably work.
  1. God's Authority
  2. The Bible's Authority
  3. The Bible's Message on Holiness
  4. The Bible's Message on Homosexuality
  5. The Church's Approach

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