In closing, I would like to make three final observations. First, I keep being told that there are ”˜good arguments’ for the Church to change its teaching on this issue. If there are, then where are they? Jeffrey John is a leading figure in this debate, so how come he offers us here such a poorly researched, implausible and incoherent case? Why is the case being made by SEC, a sister church in the Communion, so thin?
Secondly, what is Jeffrey John doing from the pulpit? He consistently makes the claim that texts ”˜must mean this’ when they probably don’t, that Paul ”˜certainly would have thought this’ when the majority think he wouldn’t, and that ”˜this is what Jesus does’ when the gospels writers suggest the opposite. It is one thing to make a case, even a contentious one; it is quite another to disguise from your listeners that there is another possibility. It is a bit like saying ”˜I am not interpreting the Bible; I am simply telling you what it says.’ It is a naked power play, and is wrong whoever does it. Some would call this dishonest; others might label it deceptive. It doesn’t seem to me to be a legitimate way to feed sheep….
I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.
Update: Robert Gagnon has written on the passage in question there.