I just finished Phyllis Tickle’s The Great Emergence: How Christianity Is Changing and Why last week and read the quote below the day after I returned from the ELCA Churchwide Assembly. Given the nature of what happened that previous week, it stuck out. It’s an interesting historical analysis.
To approach any of the arguments and questions surrounding homosexuality in the closing years of the twentieth century and the opening ones of the twenty-first is to approach a battle to the death. When it is all resolved–and it most surely will be–the Reformation’s understanding of Scripture as it had been taught by Protestantism for almost five centuries will be dead. That is not to say that Scripture as the base of authority is dead. Rather it is to say that what the Protestant tradition has taught about the nature of that authority will be either dead or in mortal need of reconfiguration. And that kind of summation is agonizing for the surrounding culture in general. In particular, it is agonizing for the individual lives that have been built upon it. Such and ending is being staved off with every means available and resisted with every bit of energy that can be mustered. Of all the fights, the gay one must be–has to be–the bitterest, because once it is lost, there are no more fights to be had. It is finished. Where now is the authority? (101)