Often I see critics of the emerging conversation take quotes out of context and then building straw men arguments against them.
I admit there are some issues in the emerging conversation... yet that is true in all "movements" or denominations. I feel sometimes that the critics actually hurt people like me who can speak to those in my camp and show them were error may lie. (I also still do not see the conversation as a movement as it loses its prophetic power to speak to this generation)
One area is the area of homosexuality. I agree with Brian McLaren that we need to step back and look at human sexuality as a whole and respond to thinks like divorce, fornication as well as homosexuality. The issue I have is that some are too "accepting" of the lifestyle and not seeing that it is not about accepting lifestyles but about accepting people and teaching them a proper identity as a new creation.
Yet, instead, I see the backlash of the gay bashing crowd... the back lash being "gay is ok"... and that is not even a question to me biblically. Gay is no more ok than if I cheated on my wife... grace covers it, but is not a license to sin, but to do what is good. Is cheating on my wife good? No! So also any sin, gossip, slander, homosexuality or fornication and one and on... are all harmful to us and others and is not expressing the love of God.
Now that does not negate that if we sin... or that we may struggle with sin... that we do not have a Mediator... yet the challenge is not to accept our sin and live in it.... but to overcome it and leave it.
This is not some over night success process... and I think God teaches us through the struggles.
If I cheated on my wife and she gave me the grace of not leaving me, we would have to learn together how to trust and love each other once again... or even for the first time. That would be hard... and not something God would just heal overnight in most cases...
Sexuality needs to be addressed in light of our new identity as New Creations and being Children of God... once that is in place, we no longer cling to "I am gay" or " I am a drunk" or " I am a doctor" or “I am a fireman" or “I am a schizophrenic” and so on... We may struggle with these things... (Pride with a job even) but we no longer identify as that being us.
We who are now in Christ are New Creations. Though we still have this corrupted suit of flesh, God now has given us to power and all the tools to live by the Spirit. This means we should listen to the Holy Spirit as he leads us in all truth and have our minds renewed. By having our minds renewed we learn that sin, though forgivable, is not just wrong, but stupid. By learning to live a confessional life, we learn to agree with God when we do stupid things. He does not condemn us and will lift us up and help us to be the living sacrifices he has called us to.
Living or “abiding” in Christ, is about learning to understand what God wants us to know about being fully human. To focus on just our sexuality or job or whatever and allowing it to be our identity we are not believing the Truth of who we are “in Christ”.
I think that anyone who sees sin as God does will realize that if someone is gay, or overweight or any other “sin” they are not allowing the Holy Spirit to teach them.
We all have a big “Fail” sign on our foreheads. Only Jesus has “accepted” on his… and when we are “in Christ” we too are accepted by the Father.
Again, this is not easy to learn for some… there is a struggle yet grace gives us a huge learning curve toward success. God loves us, and by that we learn to love ourselves and others as God does.