Skip to main content

Mere Orthodoxy exists to create media for Christian renewal. Support this mission today.

The Christian Post and Sojourners

September 7th, 2011 | 2 min read

By Matthew Lee Anderson

Apologies for returning to this theme yet again, but this is what happens when discussions occur and I have words to say.

At any rate, The Christian Post took a gander at Mere-O today and provided  a reasonably accurate overview of my position on the matter.  One quibble, though, with my friend Tim King's statement:

However, [Anderson] warns that Christians must express this belief with caution.

"When speaking against the homelessness of young people who are at risk because of their sexual orientation, Christians must do so on grounds that do not rest upon and reinforce the problematic presuppositions that sometimes stand beneath the advocacy work," Anderson cautioned.

Those problematic presuppositions would include any belief that the Bible, God, His son Jesus or the Christian Church sanction either homosexuality or gay marriage.

[Tim] King says he believes that Christians can stand up for the rights and protections of homosexual men, women and teens without compromising the Bible.

"I don't think there is any contradiction with the Bible to say people deserve equal protection under the law. I think that is very consistent with our understanding of each individual being created in the image of God."

This is framed as disagreeing with my position on the matter, and it's easy to see why.  I've no interest in filling the dance card around this issue, so let me simply point out that "equal protection under the law" is indeed what all Christians can and should defend.  Tim and I can stand on the same ground and proclaim that message.

Where we differ, though, is which rights gays and lesbian couples should have, and hence what "equal protection" actually means.  No reason to hash that out here, of course.  We've done it before and will doubtlessly try again.  But just to point out that the quote is in the context of young people who are homeless, a problem that both Tim and I would agree is wrong, and would (I suspect) agree for the same reasons.

I have other thoughts on this and might make other attempts at clarification at some point as well, if there's interest.  The distinctions I'm trying to draw are relatively fine, but that's largely because I think the issue is extraordinarily complex.  These are, after all, people and their lives that we are discussing and interacting with, not even "communities" or "demographics."

Matthew Lee Anderson

Matthew Lee Anderson is an Associate Professor of Ethics and Theology in Baylor University's Honors College. He has a D.Phil. in Christian Ethics from Oxford University, and is a Perpetual Member of Biola University's Torrey Honors College. In 2005, he founded Mere Orthodoxy.