Okay the Christianity and Homosexuality thing has come to a head in several quarters in the USA right now. This week the PCUSA (Presbyterian Church USA) decided to change its constitution to allow openly gay people in partnered relationships to be ordained as clergy (see here). The ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) decided something similar last year (see here). In response to a gay advocacy group at Wheaton College called, One Wheaton, President Phil Ryken made a public response that is well worth reading.
I’m lecturing on the Bible and Homosexuality next Tuesday night to some students and as I prepare I think of several three experiences that have deeply shaped my views on sexuality:
1. I’ve seen homophobia at its worst. Back when I was in the Army I once had to physically restrain a drunk platoon sergeant from attacking a gay couple walking down the street.
2. I’ve been frustrated with trends in churches where people want to either (a) take the values of Opray Winfrey and Ellen Degeneres and baptize them in a light dressing of Christianity; or (b) some church folks seem to think that God hates homosexual sins more than heterosexual sins.
3. I remember once leading an ecumenical Bible study with nominal Anglicans, liberal Catholics, a fiery Lutheran, and a Pentecostal girl. After a volatile and almost violent debate about homosexuality the Pentecostal girl said, “Well, I used to be a Lesbian and Jesus saved me from that lifestyle”. That pretty much shut up the conversation there and then! What do you say to that?
I’m not going to pontificate on the subject now, suffice to say that I recommend the wise words of my friend the uber-talented John Dickson and his article at ABC News entitled: Time for some Nuance Between the Gay and God-fearing – do read it!