On April 14 we published Dr. Ford’s letter to the editors which he wrote in response to Rod Dreher’s “‘Fundamentalism’ and ‘Dialogue.’” On April 15 Dr. Ford sent a sequel, in which he specifically addresses Mr. Dreher’s refusal to enter into dialogue about the possible place of same-sex love in Christian life. We have decided to publish the April 15 letter below as a mini-article.
Upon further reflection about why I believe that traditionalists should not be skittish about free and open dialogue about controversial issues such as sexual morality, I would emphasize that Truth and virtue will always win out when given a fair hearing, because of their inherent power to move the human heart, mind, and soul to what’s right, good, and true.
For those struggling with thoughts and feelings of inappropriate heterosexual or same-sex physical attraction, the offer of victory in Christ over such thoughts and feelings will surely win out when Christ is honestly and openly sought for help to overcome such thoughts and feelings.
Who would not prefer to be completely free from the twinges and/or pangs of guilt that are inevitably involved whenever people—especially Christians—yield to temptations of any kind of sexual activity outside marriage? Who would not want to be filled with the glorious grace, deep joy, and profound peace that come when such temptations are resisted? And who would not want to experience the tremendous relief of knowing that there’s no longer any risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease, or of having other physiological and/or emotional damage, occurring through inappropriate sexual behaviors?
“For the one whom the Son sets free will be free indeed” (John 8:36).
David C. Ford is professor of church history at St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. He holds a BA in History from Colgate University, an MDiv from Oral Roberts University, and a PhD in Church History and Historical Theology from Drew University. His published works are listed on his faculty profile.
Orthodoxy in Dialogue seeks to promote the free exchange of ideas by offering a wide range of perspectives on an unlimited variety of topics. Our decision to publish implies neither our agreement nor disagreement with an author, in whole or in part.
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