A response to Scot McKnight's blog on civility (http://blog.beliefnet.com/jesuscreed/2009/04/a-letter-my-response.html#preview):
He wrote, "I cannot understand why strong-convicted Christians, on either side of this debate by the way, refuse to act with civility. Perhaps it is because they are so passionate about this issue, so convinced it is a matter of ultimate justice or ultimate fidelity, that they think they must become strident and fight this issue to the ground until it gives up the ghost."
Rhetoric is a form of warfare (cf. Eugene Peterson's rendering of Matt. 5:23 in The Message). Our modernist educational system has taught us that it is morally acceptable to kill one another's ideas, demean one another verbally, and chop up one another's understanding; but, it is morally reprehensible and somehow baser to inflict physical harm. This is a form of gnosticism; it is a pretense that a battle fought merely in words has no consequences in heart, body, and spirit. Christians who engage in this type of warfare undermine their profession that the Holy Spirit is the only One who can change hearts, and are seeking to win wars with carnal weapons (however intellectually wrapped they may be).
#1. If we're claiming reconciliation to God and one another in Christ Jesus, OTOH, and verbally bashing people w/ the other hand, we've become law-breakers of the very law we claim to uphold.
#2. Likewise, IMHO, a gay person seeking to follow Christ who can't perceive that their sexual action physically embodies *lack* of reconciliation, and evidences ongoing alienation from the created /other/ in humanity, has elevated their body's inclination above God's creation. Whatever inclinations we have are products of our totality of laws, processing and experiences.
We're legalistic and legislative beings *because* we're embodied - mind, emotions, body, spirit bundled together inseparably. Everything, everything, everything we do, speak, think, taste and see, is affected by our subjective and individualized laws.
The human "law" according to #1 is that we can win spiritually by verbal, fleshly warfare. The human "law" according to #2 is that we're not called to conform to Christ, die to ourselves (in every area), and embody reconciliation in all our behavior toward one another, male and female, rich and poor, American, African, Asian, or European.
The only way out, we profess, is that of death and resurrection. Let's act, in all ways, on that profession, so that we may know _bodily_ what we claim intellectually.