It is no surprise that, as the Church slides over the cliff, there will be bumps and bruises. People will see the abandonment of Scriptural moorings as the answer to the lack of relevance in this Post-Christian society that we live in.
This can be seen in the theological variances springing from dissatisfaction and the decline in the Church. This is even more noticeable within denominations that do not see the Bible as sufficient.
One “pastor” has gone as far as to think she can think through the issue of fornication with the Apostle Paul.
Christian Post reports:
The Rev. Bromleigh McCleneghan, the married mother of three and associate pastor for ministry with families at Union Church of Hinsdale in Illinois, who argues that single Christians can have sex as long as it’s “mutually pleasurable and affirming,” says she doesn’t interpret the Bible as God’s infallible Word.
Now, besides the fact that this is a very vague and subjective qualification, there is the problem of authority. If we understand what McCleneghan means in her book, then this relative moral standard could be used to justify anything.
If sex is for the appropriate practice and experience of vulnerability, then repeated behaviors that mask that purpose are unethical. I’ve always wondered what to do with the Apostle Paul’s condemnation of “fornication” in that letter to the church at Corinth (6:18 in particular). In the Greek, it’s “porneia.” In the new Common English Bible, it’s “sexual immorality.” Fornication is traditionally seen as extramarital sex. But that seems both overly broad and overly narrow. Porneia includes just about every naughty thing you can think of, including sex with relatives and animals, but also some that seem categorically “not like the others” to our modern ears (i.e., sex with someone who has been divorced). “Sexual immorality” is similarly all-inclusive, and unhelpfully vague. What makes something immoral?
Now, the problem that she has run into is a result of her hermeneutics. She has come to the text either rejecting what Scripture says about sex in the Old Testament or is utterly ignorant of what it says. I will assume that it is the first and not the second.
Porneia is not “unhelpful,” as it covers all that God had banned from His people from as sin. So, Paul was not throwing out some vague restrictions that the Corinthians had to work through. And he surely was not asking us to think through it with him. He was saying, since you have the Scriptures (The Old Testament), read them to see what I mean.
Unfortunately, McCleneghan did not take the time to do that before she wrote a book encouraging people to do the very opposite of what Christ commands.
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