A friend of mine, who is deeply involved in the current controversy about the place of gay Christians in the Church sometimes says, that despite the depth of his involvement, he doesn’t see the issue as central to his salvation. To paraphrase him:
When I arive at the gates of heaven, I don’t expect St. Peter to say, You are XXX and you were on the right side of the homosexuality controversy in the Episcopal Church circa 2003. Well donegood a faithful servant, you may enter the Kingdom of God.
His point, if I can put a few words in his mouth, is that arriving at one’s position on a controversial issue is, at least in part, an act of one’s intellect, and he doens’t believe that God is not a schoolmaster who demands a passing grade on a test of doctrinal propositions. This, to his mind, would indicate that God rewards success, in this case intellectual success, rather than through fidelity.
So I guess my question for today is, given that we all make mistakes in judgement, given that some people are blessed with greater intellect than others, given that many people are born without the mental capacity to accept or reject factual claims of any sort, and given that many human beings die before they can reasonably be expected to make a serious declaration of faith:
How important is getting it right?
I have asked this question in a way that suggests I think it isn’t important, and that actually isn’t the case. I think it is important for the Church to sruggle with all sorts of issues because right teaching needs to be preserved and perpetuated. But is my friend going ot be kept out of heaven if he is on the wrong side of the debate? Am I? Does someone forefeit slavation in they have doubts about a line in the Nicene or Apostles Creed–the virginity of Mary for instance, or the descent into hell?
One request: if we could manage to discuss the importance of getting it right, rather than reprise earlier conversations about gay Christians, I’d really apprecite it.