Some Steps in Bridge Building

Someone has anonymously commented on my last post – and given that my response to them was getting longer and longer – I decided to just make it it’s own post.

This commenter asked: “How do we get to the point of seeing this issue as an area of disagreement rather than a salvation issue?”

This is a core question – and not one I have a perfect and complete answer for. But here are some thoughts:

If we are saved by grace alone through faith in Jesus Christ, then the issue of salvation is wrapped up in this truth. (Romans 5:1-3) Jesus Christ has already accomplished all that is needed for us to be restored to living relationship with God – for now and eternity. This reality is actualized as we are aware and receptive to this invitation of relationship. This reality cannot be earned or destroyed because of what we do. Our experience of this reality may be marred by what we do – but the reality of our redemption is secure in Christ. All of us find ourselves falling short of the glory of God deserving of eternal separation from God. But thanks be to God, we have been reconciled in Christ. The tragedy is that there are human beings who do not accept or acknowledge the reality of this reconciliation that is their’s in Christ.

Now – there will be Christians who disagree on this understanding of justification – and if so, it may be very difficult for them to bridge the gap in viewing those who disagree with them on homosexuality as just as caught up in the reconciling reality of Christ as they are. But for those who can and do embrace this understanding of justification, there is hope for viewing fellow Christians who disagree with us on any number of topics (homosexuality just being one) as positioned to receive the same free gift of grace and redemption through Christ.

(Note: For those of you who now think I’m a universalist, let me clarify that while I do not believe our actions can destroy the redemption that Christ has accomplished on our behalf – I do see that such redemption is effective through our receptivity of it. Therefore, if a human