Thursday, November 08, 2018

What would Jesus say to "Caitlyn" Jenner?

I'll comment on two related posts by Arminian theologian Randal Rauser:

This leads me to the second point: as I said, framing our social interaction with members of an outgroup in a neutral fashion allows for the question to be framed as a matter of hospitality. 

One basic problem is that Rauser is neutering moral categories. Reclassifying moral issues in antiseptic terms to make something immoral sound innocent. Suppose we applied his tactic to "members of the outgroup" like neo-Nazis or suicide bombers or serial killers? 

The reason is that we already widely recognize the general propriety of this kind of compulsion to hospitality. Consider, for example, a policy that requires people to use the preferred title for female members of the community. Now imagine a male employee who insisted on only using titles for his female colleagues which reference their marital status (i.e. Mrs., Miss) even when they explicitly request that he instead use the neutral Ms. That man likely wouldn’t last long in that community and for understandable reasons: the good ole boys need to conform or move on. Since people widely recognize the licitness of this kind of compulsion in principle, I simply do not share Anderson’s principled concern about being “made to care.”

Here he uses a similar tactic by reframing the issue at a very high level of abstraction. But it depends on the example. 1C Christians were considered inhospitable because they boycotted civic activities involving the imperial cult or idolatry. 

Finally, I don’t agree with Anderson’s claim that being compelled to use a gendered term that does not match the individual’s birth sex is equivalent to compelling another person to lie. Clearly, there is no deception here, only an accommodation (whether of hospitality or compulsion) to a request.

i) Compelled speech is not deceptive in the sense that there's no presumption a speaker believes what he says at gunpoint. However, compelled speech creates a culture of deception where truthfulness is punished. 

And a culture that's intolerant of reality is dangerous, because reality doesn't conform to make-believe. A culture that denies and defies reality is a bug on a collision course with a speeding windshield. 

ii) Rauser completely glosses over the harmfulness of the progressive agenda:

Rather, I see him calling us to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19), to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16), to feed the hungry, to give drink to the thirsty, to invite the stranger in, to give clothes to the naked, to nurse the sick, and to visit those in prison (Matthew 25:35-6).

It's striking how people like Rauser routinely misinterpret Mt 25:35-36. That's about caring for persecuted Christian. Rauser turns that on its head by empowering those who persecute Christians. 

The church’s outgroup today includes many: secularists, Muslims, atheists, and yes, members of the LGBTI community.

That may be the church's "outgroup" but they belong to the power elite. The ruling class either consists of such members or makes them social mascots. 

Are you repulsed by the thought of a homosexual or transgender friend?

i) Actually, there is something repulsive about a drag queen.

ii) It's less about Christians befriending LGBT types than whether LGBT types can stand to have real Christian friends. 

iii) Notice, moreover, that Rauser is very selective about hospitality. He only extends hospitality to representatives of chic causes and not, say, the plight of many working-class white males. 

This brings me to the second problem with loving the outgroup. I find that often Christians are worried that extending love and acceptance of a person entails love and acceptance of the choices that person makes in life. But of course, that isn’t true.

Rauser is duplicitous. It's highly unlikely that he thinks homosexual behavior is inherently wrong. This is a softening-up exercise to mainstream homosexuality in the church.

What would Jesus say to Caitlyn Jenner?


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