As far as Jesus and governing, I think we basically agree. As I said, Jesus did not come to govern, but to be the atonement for sin. As such, His earthly ministry was not about governing mankind in a temporal sense. I would say, though, that Jesus is extremely interested in governance, first because He is Himself a King, as you mentioned, and second because much of inspired Scripture concerns submitting to authority (governmental and otherwise) and the responsibility of leaders to those under them.
I agree that Jesus would not be impressed with democracy. God’s governance of Creation would be according to His perfect will, rather than the collective will of millions of people.
Jesus does endorse free actions, but my point about Libertarians was that the American conception of that party is one that endorses nearly all examples of free action, because humans are individual free agents. On the other hand, Jesus specifically outlines a moral way in which people should live. I think in that way He differs from American Libertarianism.
I understand your positions on gender transition and gay marriage. I think on the whole the American church’s response to these issues, and more importantly to the actual people, has been egregiously poor. Nevertheless, I still hold to the position I outlined in my response to Mike. Certainly it is wrong and sinful to demonize part of someone’s identity, if that part of their identity is something affirmed by God’s plan for people.
The analogy I always think of when talking about these issues is actually alcoholism. My mother’s father was an alcoholic. He drank hard liquor at an astonishing rate. Eventually, it cost him his marriage, his job and ultimately his life as well. Clearly, this was not a good thing.
I don’t know if you ever saw the show The West Wing, but one of the actors, John Spencer, was, and plays a character who is, a recovering alcoholic and drug addict. In a conversation on the show, Spencer, in describing himself to a coworker, simply says “I am an alcoholic.” It is important to note that this was not part of a conversation about alcohol.
For Spencer and for my grandfather, being an alcoholic was not just a struggle, it was part of their identity. It was integral to their conception of themselves, whether they were aware of it (Spencer) or not (my grandfather). Were my grandfather alive today, I would not affirm this part of him simply because it was part of him. I would reject it as harmful, to him and to my family.
In the case of both homosexuality and gender transition (as well as drunkenness), I think the scripture is clear as it concerns God’s plan and will. As such, I don’t think it wise to affirm someone’s identity if it is based largely around one of those things.
There is a way to treat people, even those we as Christians disagree with, and I would like to reiterate that I think the American church’s response to the LGBTQ* community has been horrible, a dramatic overreaction in a draconian direction, but I think to take a laissez-faire approach to this would be a dramatic overreaction in the opposite direction.
Thanks for writing back. I appreciate your response.