Must Read Monday: #ChurchToo, Biotech Christian Ethics and the LGBTQ Christians ConferenceJuly 30, 2018
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has approved the release of a 900-page grand jury report of Catholic clergy sexual abuse. Some 300 predator priests are named in the report. Meanwhile, the Bishop of Washington, D.C. has resigned under sexual misconduct allegations. But the issues are not confined to Catholicism. The Southern Baptists are having their own #MeToo #ChurchToo moment.
Let us be clear: God hates abuse. God created sex as a good gift and the perversion of that gift – and the use of power and violence related to that gift – are an abomination.
Today on Connecting Faith we’re talking with Becca Stevens about how Love Heals and the ministry of Thistle Farms with women who have been sexually abused and trafficked.
I confessed to a group I’m in that I have a difficult time knowing how to respond when Christians ask for prayers related to fertility treatments including IVF. I find myself intensely conflicted. I cannot in good conscience tell them that I’m praying with them as they’ve asked although I can pray for them. I am convinced that we, as Christians, have not thought nor prayed nearly enough about the ethics related to creating millions of human lives that will then be destroyed or held in suspension for who knows how long. If we are genuinely prolife from conception to natural death then what is the consistent application of that ethic to IVF? And how does this conversation relate to the conversation about hundreds of thousands of children in the U.S. and millions around the world who need adoptive families?
Evangelical Christians are now openly having the conversations that mainline denominations have been engaged with for a generation. Can you be same-sex attracted and Christian? I would point to women and men like Rosario Butterfield, Christian Yuan and Sam Allberry for faithful witness on this topic. I would direct people to ministries like the Restored Hope Network and I would encourage Christians to listen more than we speak at the outset of these discussions. In a pornophied sexualized culture, it should not surprise us that people have feelings, experiences and desires which depart from God’s normative design. You and I do not have to have all the answers – we are called to be faithful to the revealed truth of God’s character and redemptive love.
Look at the language in this article. Words have meaning and when words are applied in different contexts meanings change. Anthropomorphism is the practice of extending human qualities to animals. Think Narnia. But what does it mean when we humanize animals in this way? What does it say about our understanding of what it means to be distinctively human? How is the conversation brought into conversations about the biological realities of procreation, the stewardship of human beings for the animal kingdom and need for every creature to have a mom and a dad? We might here have a conversation about the attention here on family planning, healthy spacing of pregnancies, prenatal and maternal health and the extension of those conversations to our global human neighbors.
Plan to listen to Connecting Faith this Friday when we’ll talk about Birthing Hope.
These stories never get any easier to read. They make no sense. How can we reconcile ourselves to our reality where a seemingly happy, deeply beloved, internationally recognized, talented, beautiful, rich young woman with her entire life ahead of her chooses to end that life? What are we missing? How are we failing our kids?
I grieve today with and for the Souter family – and with and for every family of every person who reaches the place where the burden of this life seems too great to bear.
If you or someone you love is thinking about suicide, there is hope and there is help.
1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the HopeLine
For more: The Ethics of Life and Death