Tony Jones is a name that has long been associated with the emerging church movement (I’m not sure what they call the movement now, or if it even continues to have a name, but it is still around). This movement (at least the Tony Jones/Brian McLaren side of it) represents an attempt to reinvent the Christian faith by accommodating it to postmodern ideas, sensibilities, and culture. Although its adherents seem to dislike the description, the movement formerly known as the emerging church is basically a form of repackaged liberalism.
The issue of homosexuality has, for several years, been a major point of controversy, confusion, and conversation for this movement. It looks like that conversation has pretty much run its course. It is now well-known that homosexuality has received a welcoming affirmation from this particular stream of the emerging church.
For Tony Jones, so he says, it’s time to move on to other things. I quote:
. . . many Christians are ready for our conversations about sexuality to expand beyond “what to do with the gays,” and instead have a more fully-orbed dialogue about sexuality and human identity. I also know that, for the first time in my life I’ve met Christians who are in “open” marriages or are practicing polyamory — and I’m committed that my theological/ethical response to them be both Christian and pragmatic/realistic.
Read the whole piece to get the context.
What we are witnessing is the rapid acceleration of a movement down the slippery slope of theological compromise and cultural accommodation to the point that there is little slope left. Tony Jones has almost hit the bottom, and, since he discarded his brake mechanism years ago, I don’t see how he is going to be able to stop.
He does pause to take a brief swipe at pedophilia in the article (kind of). Obviously, no rational person would ever tolerate that! But of course, rational people used to say the same things about “open” marriage and polyamory. The only thing idolaters need to bless any kind of perverse sexual arrangement is sufficient time to overcome the “ick” factor. We are well past that point with homosexuality. Now, the dominoes will continue to fall one-by-one.
The increasing paganization of Western culture will provide the church an opportunity to define itself in stark countercultural terms as a living witness to the supreme authority of our crucified and risen Lord. While Tony Jones continues his slide toward the pit of Hell, I am thankful for those sheep who know their Master’s voice and will follow him wherever he leads, no matter how puritanical or old-fashioned they may seem to everyone else.