I am a theology student who is in the process of gaining membership in a mainline church in America. The particular congregation I attend is of the conservative end in regards to sexuality. I have been told that if I want to be ordained and recommended through this church, I must state publicly my disapproval of homosexuality in ordinands and such. This has sent me on a search to understand and find out where I stand.
I am writing to ask one question. Please do not take this in the wrong spirit but understand that I am searching. Does not Christ demand that we stay away from sin? If homosexuality is of the same genre of activity as adultery and we are supposed to abstain from adultery, then are we not to abstain from homosexuality? I am not leading in my previous question but rather seeking to understand. If you have any advice or response that would be constructive, please respond.
What a challenge you are faced with. I think what complicates my answer to you is there is nothing in your letter that indicates if you are gay or not. I am sure you saying, what difference does that make? Well it does from the aspect of me telling you to be true to who you are regardless of the institution and their rules.
Remember it was wrong to work on the Sabbath and when Jesus was confronted about it he basically said what was better lose one’s life or save it?
If you are gay, and this church is asking you to do this, then they are asking you to lie about yourself. They are asking you to live a life of deceit, hypocrisy and be an affront to the way God created you. If you are straight, then this congregation is asking you to make judgments that you have no right to make by any stretch of the imagination.
Brett, I am not sure how you drew the conclusion that homosexuality is like adultery or even close to the same thing, however, committed relationships of GLBT are no different in their love and understanding then that of a straight couple. When two people come together out of love regardless of the gender of the folks involved it is still love. Maybe you are asking the wrong question of yourself here. Maybe the question should be; How can love between two people be wrong? Where has God ever said that love shared in ways that are uplifting, committed, and honorable is wrong? Did not David in his lament of Jonathan say his “love for Jonathan surpassed that of a woman”? Or better yet why not look at Matthew 25:31-40 and ask yourself if a same gender couple who follows this direction from Christ throughout their relationship, when they come to the end of their days God will say to them you have done everything I asked except you fell in love with the wrong person, therefore, go to hell!” I hardly think this will be the response of God. It is very hard for me to imagine that loving caring and nurturing relationships are outside of God’s grace. The sin you ask about has everything to do with selfishness and self-centeredness, hardly about a couple who are sharing their lives with each other.
My friend, God is a loving and caring God. Know, this day, that God will never reject love that is born of God from the beginning.
Editor-in-Chief of Whosoever and Founding and Senior Pastor of Gentle Spirit Christian Church of Atlanta, Rev. Paul M. Turner (he/him) grew up in suburban Chicago and was ordained by the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches in 1989. He and his husband Bill have lived in metro Atlanta since 1994, have been in a committed partnership since the early 1980s and have been legally married since 2015.