Thursday, December 9, 2010

We are sanctified by the Holy Spirit and gifted for service

(1)The Holy Spirit is the source of all holiness.(2) Just as we are not saved by our own effort, we do not grow in grace by our own sweat either.(3) There are no actions of repentance, charity, or mercy that any individual could perform which would make them worthy of the Ministry of Word and Sacrament.(4) Our worthiness lies not in our personal righteousness but in the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, evidenced by the gifts of the Spirit.(5)

1. We are not sanctified by buying into heterosexism any more than we are sanctified by buying into regular ol' sexism.  Similarly, LGTBQ persons are no less gifted for service by the Holy Spirit than heterosexual persons.

2. Just like with justification, there is no holiness-meter, much as some pretend that they have one in their possession.  The fact is that homosexuality itself is not a sin - like any consensual sexuality, it can be expressed sinfully or not, just like heterosexuality.

3. That would of course not count as 'grace' at all, it would count as achievement.  This is something that in a Reformed context we take to be a given.

4. Again, to be clear, where worthiness for the call to Ministry of Word and Sacrament is concerned, LGBTQ sisters and brothers are indistinguishable from their heterosexual counterparts; in inward conviction, in outward verification of call, in demonstrated gifts for ministry, and in capacity for right or sinful behavior, indistinguishable - except insofar as our polity forces us to make an unjustified distinction.

5. That being said, it is abundantly clear that LGBTQ persons have been gifted by the Holy Spirit for ministry in similar ways to their heterosexual counterparts.  The only difference is in whether they are allowed by our mistaken polity to exercise those gifts for the edification of the church.

1 comment:

Doug Hagler said...

This always seems to be true, but the positive arguments always provoke far fewer comments than the counter-arguments. I guess that makes sense - these are step 1 in a conversation, not step 2.