Most dithering Christians who, like Messer, advocate a Safe Sin approach to moral hardship employ what Allan Bloom called "conspicuous compassion" toward the wretched in order to gain permission for choices that morality excludes. In brief, they would shift God's forgiveness of a sin committed in the past (a theological necessity) into God's indulgence toward a sin to be committed in the future (a theological absurdity), having us believe that God would prefer that we sin rather than have us suffer in doing His will. Thus whereas orthodox Christians are edified by Jesus' forgiveness of the woman caught in adultery -- "Go, and sin no more" -- the Safe Sin theologians ask us to picture Jesus handing St. Peter a 1st century condom -- a tied-off piece of sheep-gut, perhaps -- with a wink and a word of caution: "You've had an overly adventurous fortnight, old boy. If you roger the frau when you get back, just do the responsible thing …"
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