Saturday, May 09, 2009

Liberal or Loving?

This may be one of my most controversial posts. I have long tried to understand the life style of people of homosexual orientation. Frankly, ten years ago, I was very much of the point of view that homosexuality was sin.

Recently, some of us have been discussing this issue. We really are trying to discern whether this is an orientation that comes naturally or that comes through nurture. Many of the group who discussed this really believe this is built into the nature of some people. This is a difficult thing for those of us who have a rather conservative theology to swallow. Yet, anecdotally, I believe it to be true.

That leads me to my dilemma. I believe that the Bible teaches that marriage is a union between a man and a woman. I think it is quite clear. I don't think the hermeneutic has changed with the change of culture. I also don't believe that as some would assert that the early writers of scripture were biased toward homosexuals. Therefore, I cannot endorse gay marriage.

It is difficult for me to say this because, I want people to know intimate, loving relationships. It appears to me that scripture then indicates that the only way for people to have total intimacy, especially sexually, is through marriage. That means a man and a woman. It would appear that is what God ordained.

This also poses a second dilemma for many people. I know many celibate hetro-sexual and homosexual people who choose this life style for many reasons, not the least of which is to devote their total intimacy to God. These people also want to serve in ministry. There is rarely an eye batted when a hetro-sexual single wants to minister. There are usually large objections raised when a homosexually oriented person wants to serve.

I believe the key is celibacy here. It appears that we as evangelical Christians seem to single out homosexuality as a pet sin. We seem to wink at other sins. I had one associate say that there is such a backlash because "they" are so militant. As with any other group there is a minority of people who take a militant point of view. However, even if people are militant, it does not make it right for us to take a hateful stance. We should not lower standards either.

My view is simple. If people are celibate, even if openly homosexual, they should be able to serve. It should not bar them from service. I know several who do with distinction and grace.

For my view, I have been called "liberal." I see it as being loving. Actually, the person who called me liberal thought it was a good stance as well.

We all struggle. We all have dark places in our lives. Maybe we ought to love liberally.

Well, I think the reaction will vary here. As with all my posts, I ask

What do you think?


Blogger armybarmy said...

I think it'd be worthwhile getting a hold of a new book called Love Is An Orientation by Andrew Marin (who runs in chicago and is an amazing example of approaching the gospel to a people who are very broken and excluded with grace and love while remaining true to the word and the witness of God's spirit. Well worth a trip to see what he is up too... check him out and read the book - if you'd like an introduction let me know. he's a friend.
Jim Wallace suggests one way to keep seeking truth and living out justice in the world is to keep asking questions. I like your questions.

10:06 PM  
Blogger HilaryCW said...

Should folks be held to "Biblical Standards" if they don't believe in the Bible? Isn't there a difference between a state-certified marriage and a union in the Church? I could stand before my family and in a church and declare a union but if I haven't signed the state's papers I'm still not married. Where does this distinction fit into the argument of not supporting a homosexual union? Can there be a compromise in the eyes of the church? Is "compromise" too controversial a word? Would you put the references for the Bible speaking about union of man and woman...i know it's there i just don't remember where. Thanks Larry for keeping us thinking

8:09 PM  

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