A Thoughtful, Reasonable, Pastoral Comment about Same Sex Sex

There have been some real gems among the hundreds and hundreds of comments left on this blog in the past couple weeks.  Among those that bear repeating is this one from Edward Green:

To begin to understand the Bible’s views (and they are various) on sexuality you need to get into the culture.

Sex was something that came with marriage. For women between the
ages of 14 and 18. For men probably a little later. Scripture supports
what we see in society and studies of sexual dysfunction show, that
human beings are designed to be sexually active from late teenage years
onwards.

When I read the Song of Solomon I find an erotic poem describing
many different diverse acts of love, most of which happen before the
couple are married. Once you key into the imagery there is not much
that is not covered. Love is awakened? Perhaps she fell pregnant. It is
almost implicit. And so they marry.

Pre-marital sex in Scripture means pre-adult sex. It also means the
risks of pregnancy outside of the core economic and family unit. The
Gospels are clear that Mary & Joseph did not marry for love after
all (although I am sure they grew to love each other) and they story
demonstrates the stigma of pre-marital sex. But Joseph’s response was
one of grace (to put her away not shame her), and grace doubled (to
marry Mary). And yes I do hold to the Creedal statements on the Virgin
Birth. But is is the appearance of the situation that should guide our
response.

So the ‘No Sex Before Marriage’ argument doesn’t wash. The ‘Sex is
part of the journey of two people towards life long covenant loving
commitment’ argument does. Contraception offers us more sexual freedom,
but not the freedom to be irresponsible, recreational or promiscuous.
Remember plenty of STI’s are passed on by skin contact, that is by
‘fooling around’. The ideal is one intimate sexual partner for life.

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Video Response: Natural Law, Gays, and the Church

Video Response: Those Pesky Six Verses about Homosexuality

What I've Learned about Gays and the Church…

…since last week.

An Honest Question about Gays in the Church

OK, I’m serious about this. I’m not even being snarky. Really.

If you are one who thinks that homosexual sex is sinful, can you please explain to me WHY a gay or lesbian person who is in a long-term, monogamous relationship would not be able to wholeheartedly follow Christ?

My only stipulation is this: You may not quote one of the six verses in scripture that mentions homosexuality.  Instead, you must use theological and/or philosophical arguments to attempt to convince me that when you have genital contact with someone of your own gender, it somehow inhibits your relationship with Christ.

Thank you in advance for your civility in answering this question.

Too Good to Pass Up

song chart memes
see more Funny Graphs

Before you post an angry comment, repeat this 10 times: Yes, I do have a sense of humor.

Is Gay the New Orthodox?

“It’s a clean sweep for the liberal agenda in the Episcopal Church,” said David Virtue, editor of VirtueOnline.org, a conservative Web site. “The orthodox are finished.”

So begins the NYTimes article on the annual cluster meeting known as the Episcopal Church General Convention.

(Too harsh, you say? Well, here’s how the Episcopal Church describes its own General Convention:

Resolutions proposed for discussion at
convention are referred to legislative committees, which consider,
amalgamate and perfect them before presenting them on the floor of
convention.  Legislative committees hold hearings on legislation at
which the following can speak: deputy, registered alternate or
registered visitor. These are held in convention hotels near the
Convention Center.

Honestly, I’ve been following the Twitter hashtag, but there’s so much insider lingo that even I, a pretty educated observer, cannot possibly understand what they’re tweeting about.)

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Me on Patheos on Gays

An interview with me on the issue of gays and the church just went live on the new interfaith website, Patheos.

Q: In a now famous post, you came to the conclusion that
GLBTQ folks can “live lives in accord with biblical Christianity” and
that their monogamy can and should be sanctioned by church and state.
Do you think this has given critics of the emerging church movement
another arrow in their sling?

A: Ha! “Famous” may be overstating it! Yes, surely this has caused
some conservative commentators to say, “See, I told you that the
emergent movement was just the newest form of liberalism.” But they
were going to say that anyway, no matter what we say. And it’s also no
surprise that they completely ignore it when I write something that
aligns with their own stances, like my recent affirmation of the
physical resurrection of Jesus. They go looking for what they want to
find, and, whaddya know, they find it!

They’ve also posted an essay I wrote for them on the same issue:

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Looking Back on Cornerstone – The Gays Have Their Day

Cornerstone.pngProbably the most anticipated element of Cornerstone that I was involved with was a panel discussion entitled, “Gay Rights or Wrongs,” which was a conversation about how the church should approach the issue of GLBT persons. (I wrote about other aspects of Cornerstone last week.)

This was an exceptional moment in the 26-year history of Cornerstone since they had never before had a pro-GLBT-inclusion advocate as a speaker. In fact, as I noted last week, even as recently as five years ago, the seminars mainly had to do with the merits of creationism, pro-life strategy sessions, and evidential apologetics. The fact that I was there, and that recent speakers have included the likes of Phyllis Tickle, Chris Heuertz, Richard Twiss, Brian McLaren, Jay Bakker, and Shane Claiborne will, to some, show the slippery slope slide of Cstone into rampant, anything-goes liberalism. But to those of us who are a bit more rational about such things, it is evidence of the overall shift (dare I say, emergence) of evangelicalism.

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Looking Back on Cornerstone: Overview

Cornerstone.pngFor the rest of the week, I’m going to look back on my experience of the legendary Cornerstone Festival. What many are going to want to hear are my thoughts on the panel on which I sat which dealt with the issues of GLBT persons in the church. That’s coming, for sure, but I’m going to sleep on it a couple more days. In the meantime, iMonk, who moderated that panel, has posted about it.

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