Tuesday, 17 March 2009

The Methodist Church of Southern Africa and homosexuality: A re-reading of Leviticus 18:22

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Author: Rev. Ndhiko Mtshiselwa
Date: 17 March 2009
Context: A contribution to the same-sex discussion by an ordained minister in the MCSA
Status: Discussion paper received by DEWCOM.

1 comment:

faane said...

Dr. Ndhiko Mtshiselwa

Thank you for your very informative and excellent biblical work on the debate on same-sex relationships.

However, I need to respond to your comments re: some of the work I have done in this regard, re your comment: if prejudices should be conformable to the ways in which responsibility should qualify Christian ethics in general it weakens the weight of experience in terms of Wesley's work.

On one level this may certainly be the case. As if not all experiences are weighing in equally and some are thus not important. However, if prejudices are that which makes all understanding possible, they must be seen as positive and important. Our prejudices as a result of our historical situatedness are thus all important in our ethical decision-making, in relation to a specific ethical at hand as well as in terms of our ethics of interpretation. These two can never be separated.

Ethically however, we can compare prejudices so as to ascertain which makes for responsible moral action and which not. Not all ethical work, not all interpretative acts can be responsible. So we thus need to develop criteria so as to ascertain which will lead to responsble moral acts and which will not. The criteria can be had from the ways in which responsibility should qualify Christain ethics in general. In other ways, in other contexts, we can use the Bible differently, but in our ethical work, in our relating the Bible to the ethical issues we are confronted with we must ascertain whether our fundamental starting points will lead to responsible moral action or not. And responsible moral action includes both principles and context for ethical decision-making. If prejudices is that which makes understanding possible in the first place we need to liberate it, celebrate it, but we also have to compare them or let them come face to face with other prejudices to ascertain whether it will lead us to responsible moral action. In this way, I would argue that they, instead of weakening experience, strenghtens it for it help us to 'sort out' our prejudices so that we may become more responsible in our moral action.

Once again thank you for your contribution and for the opportunity to respond to it. Really enjoyed reading your excellent work.

Faan Myburgh