We have attempted to begin with self-criticism, which for me meant a criticism of what I have called ‘traditionalism’. We focussed on four main problems with traditionalism:
(a) implicit parent-child models of authority,
(b) the de-relationalisation of biblical wisdom,
(c) the substitution of indoctrination for education, and
(d) the problem of disproportionate response.
Each of these problems manifested itself in several ways.
Thus, (a), Parent-child models of authority manifested itself in (i) premature labelling (manipulation per se), (ii) stigmatisation by naming (manipulation as persuasive definition), and (iii) subtle exclusion (disguised by the self-deceptive rhetoric of inclusion peddled by those who ‘climb’ into their own rhetorical worlds and believe them to be true of themselves).
(b) The de-relationalisation of biblical wisdom manifested itself (i) in abstract rhetoric unrelated to real relational life, and (ii) in rule-based religion unrelated to real relational life. Thus, (i), abstract rhetoric unrelated to relational life led to various ‘schisms’ within Christian discourse. There was a schism between preaching and counselling, a schism between ‘biblical doctrine’ and biblical relating, a schism between academic theology and biblical wisdom, and even a schism within counselling itself. (ii) In relation to rule-based religion, there were similar schisms. There was a schism between ‘non-relational righteousness’ and actual relational righteousness. And there was a schism between ‘non-relational rules and fear’ on the one hand and ‘relational rules and the Holy Spirit’ on the other. This meant that rule-based religion was evasive, abstract, self-assertive, and relationally naive.
(c) The substitution of indoctrination for education manifested itself (i) in the idolisation of tradition over growing in biblical understanding (leading to mindless repetition), (ii) in the glorification of educational backwardness (leading to lack of understanding), and (iii) in the trivialisation of the prophetic tradition (leading to delusional tactical mini-messages about stupendous divine interventions that bypassed normal maturing processes).
(d) The problem of disproportionate response manifested itself in (i) premature fictional judgements and false testimony that ignored the particular case, and (ii) in hatred and degradation as opposed to proportionate discipline that restored the dignity of loved ones.
Thus, self-designated homosexuals would be very likely to suffer greatly at the hands of ecclesial traditionalism. They would likely suffer: premature labelling, stigmatisation by naming, subtle unacknowledged exclusions, categorisation within various abstract rhetorics unrelated to their life-experience, condemnation relative to naive, self-assertive, and evasive non-relational rules, mindless repetition of traditionalist stances, lack of being understood, mini-messages about stupendous healing events, disregard for the particular case, hatred, and degradation.