Homosexuality: Are We Cloaking Bigotry with Scripture?


(Spectrumbot) #1

Over the last decade or so, especially following the Supreme Court decision allowing marriage equality to gays and lesbians in the United States, how we relate to sexual orientation has become a key defining issue of our era. The umbrella group currently dubbed LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning) is a large non-heterosexual community dedicated to the free expression of their brand of sexuality. And as more people increasingly reconsider their sexuality in even more imaginative ways – Intersex, Asexual, Non-binary and Pansexual – the moorings of conventional sexual norms are weakening.

Because the church does not exist in a vacuum, our leaders have rightly been paying attention to the shifting social attitudes about the LGBTQ lifestyle. As the courts break down barriers that have long forbidden gays and lesbians from legally marrying, church thought leaders, unsettled by the trend and yet cognizant of the increasingly welcoming social disposition towards LGBTQ, have sought gentler ways to hold the line. They are careful to seem supportive of the community without giving up on long established church teaching that God still frowns on all non-heterosexual sex expressions.

Consider this example from a 2014 Biblical Research Institute statement release on transgenderism – and affirmed by the General Conference Executive Committee in April 2017. The report states in part: “in Scripture, our gender identity is, to a significant extent, determined by our birth sex with God being the author of gender identity.” People who have sex-change surgery are “motivated by a sophisticated desire for homosexual activity.” Appropriate umbrage generated, the statement warns: “Should individuals seek to use sex-change surgery as a way of circumventing biblical principles addressing human sexuality and the proper way to satisfy such desires, they would be acting against God’s revealed will.” These “desires” must be so compelling as to make the “afflicted” ignore the extraordinary attendant health and financial exposure. Then again, one wonders “what the proper ways to satisfy such desires” entails.

Before we look at scripture let’s briefly peer into nature and observe existing sexual practices. In my research for this article, I was surprised by my findings. Most confounding was the sheer pervasiveness of homosexuality around us, suggesting that variant human sexual practices are not unique. Non-heterosexual behavior has long been observed in nature. And it’s not only among our closest primates: baboons and chimpanzees, that homosexuality has been documented. Some giraffes, penguins, ducks and other birds exhibit it too. Even gut worms have been observed having non-heterosexual behavior. Indeed, over 500 animal species have been confirmed to practice some form of same-sex relationships. It is not very likely that all these other life forms are purposefully choosing homosexuality because of some moral depravity.

In the human realm what is puzzling about non-heterosexual sexuality, especially gays and lesbianism, is its ubiquity in society. Sociologists tell us there is roughly 5% same-sex presence within people groups. What’s important, no matter the figures, is that this representation cuts across all social classes: lawyers, physicians, accountants, teachers – in the same proportions as: mechanics, laborers, farmers and groundskeepers. It is no different from the general population – rich, poor, young, old, handsome, plain.

These individuals, especially the highly educated, know the societal stigma associated with being gay. It is inconceivable that these many different classes of people all “choose” this orientation despite the cost. The insistence that sheer curiosity drives 5% of the population to homosexuality defies credulity. In the US, the 5% equals about 15 million adults, more people than are in 46 individual states or the combined population of 14 of the least populated states in the US. That’s just too many people who would voluntarily “choose” a different sexual orientation in the face of relentless “righteous” persecution.

The religious/conservative right has not acted with Christian charity towards the LGBTQ community. Its leaders have generally viewed homosexuality as a wedge issue and exploited it more for politics than morality. They point to a few scriptural passages and sometimes uncritically use them to malign homosexuals. I say uncritically because these same leaders usually have second thoughts when people close to them come out or are identified as homosexuals.

This was the situation with Dick Cheney, the former Vice-President and ardent anti-homosexual. He started moderating his views when his youngest daughter announced she was lesbian. So did Senator Portman, whose hard-line position on marriage equality was legendary. He too changed his views when he learned his college-bound son was gay. This was his explanation of how his son’s “new” sexuality affected his thinking: “It allowed me to think of this issue from a new perspective, and that's of a Dad who loves his son a lot and wants him to have the same opportunities that his brother and sister would have.” That’s what generally happens when homosexuals are real people and not caricatured for political gamesmanship. There is a Ghanaian saying which speaks to this: “If a sharp object is thrust into one’s enemy, it feels like it’s thrust in wood.” If homosexuals are discussed in the abstract, conservative religious leaders, ours included, use biblical passages to defend discrimination. But not when others close to them are involved.

Now to the Bible. There are seven key passages that have traditionally been used to oppose homosexuality and all non-heterosexual expressions – Genesis 19:1-4, 24-26; Judges 19:1-30; Leviticus 18:22 & 20:13; Romans 1:18-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; 1 Timothy 8-11. The Genesis and Judges accounts are parallel and deal with the same issue, in much the same way that Leviticus 20:13 is an expansion of 18:22. The Corinthian and Timothy references are similar in that they catalogue a common list which includes homosexuality. Romans is slightly more stand-alone.

Therefore, the Bible documents only four short passages with references to “homosexuality.” Every one of these passages could be interpreted in less sinister ways if their original contexts are examined. For example, a careful reading of the parallel stories in Genesis and Judges reveals that the communal infraction at issue is inhospitality and not homosexuality. For one thing all the men in the two communities couldn’t have been homosexuals. If they were then what was the point of attempting to appease them with women? These men broke the community hospitality code in the most egregious way: by using homosexual rape to brutalize and shame their victims. This is like what unscrupulous soldiers throughout history have done to their vanquished foes – humiliation by sexual degradation.

Several times in the Old (Isaiah 1:10-17 & 3:9; Jeremiah 23:14; and Zephaniah 2:8-11) and New (Matthew 10: 5-15) Testaments, references are made to Sodom and Gomorrah, but nowhere is homosexuality mentioned as the reason for their poor image. Instead, they sinned because they did not “seek justice,” “defend the oppressed,” “care for “the fatherless” and “the widow,” or speak against “adultery” and “pride.” In Matthew 10, Jesus mentions Sodom in reference to the sin of inhospitality, warning that those who do not welcome his disciples would meet a similar fate. No mention of homosexuality.

Another biblical picture. The three synoptic gospels tell the story of a boy variously described as “epileptic,” “lunatic,” and having “seizures.” (Mathew 17:14-18; Mark 9:14-29; Luke 9:38-42) His symptoms: screaming, foaming at the mouth, rigidity, speechlessness, and self-harm, are consistent with what is diagnosed today as epilepsy – an electrical malfunction in the brain causing repeated seizures. One unfortunate aspect of the story is that, despite the well-defined symptoms, all three gospels, as well as Jesus, called it a “demon.” So when Jesus healed the boy, he did so by casting out an “evil entity,” diablos, instead of curing a disease. The distinction is important. When we are quick to attribute phenomena we don’t understand to the devil or evil powers, we temporarily absolve ourselves of our knowledge deficit. But in so doing we create a problem for posterity.

The words “epilepsy” and “lunatic” share a common Greek etymology. Back in Jesus’ time when not much was known about the many different neurological ailments, anything that bordered on the insane was linked to the devil. But because of this association, many who suffer from epilepsy, dementia, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s, traumatic brain injury, are lumped into one camp and shut out from society. The “enlightened” West might have overcome this history of “cleansing” society of the mentally ill by housing them in perpetuity in some cavernous dungeons, but many in developing countries still live with this scourge. We may not always call what we don’t understand devil possession, but we might as well.

As I write this my mind keeps drifting to her. Her parents gave her the aspirational name “Ewuraba,” meaning “Lady.” And even in early elementary school, she tried to carry herself to the promise of her name. But it was hard. Because Ewuraba had a congenital hip displacement that made her walk with an exaggerated limp. That is not what got her in trouble with our second-grade teacher, Miss Martha, though. Miss Martha had a penchant to cure all ills and might have given Ewuraba a pass for her improper gait because Miss Martha didn’t know how to fix limps. What got Ewuraba in trouble was being left-handed. To Miss Martha, left-handedness was a blight in nature. Which she could fix. In class she set about doing just that, with Ewuraba as perfect specimen.

So every other class day or so Ewuraba was required to lift her offending left fingers and dutifully receive ten “merciful” strikes with the narrow edge of Miss Martha’s metal 12-inch ruler. The rule was that Ewuraba had to keep her blood engorged fingers together during the strikes. If the repeated whacking the fingers caused her to involuntarily spread or lower them before Miss Martha’s tenth stroke, the process was started all over. Ewuraba never succeeded at her first attempt. The result was that her left fingers were almost always swollen, and her left fingernail beds showed perpetual streaks of dry blood.

Young as we were, we knew instinctively that this was wrong. But we had no power to change anything, so we vicariously shared in her suffering, involuntarily wincing and groaning with each strike. All the while covering one eye as we could not bear witness to her ordeal with full consciousness. The goal of this sanctimonious cruelty was to “cure” Ewuraba’s left-handedness. She had to behave “normal,” meaning writing with her right hand as “everyone” did. Neither Miss Martha nor the existing power structure of the time saw anything wrong with what was done to Ewuraba. It is often the case that when one is convinced that the goal is right, any method employed in achieving it also seems right.

Dominant groups often have unease with minorities who they frequently demonize to cover their anxiety. This is how slaves were dehumanized for centuries in the Christian West. The American South has traditionally been the most “Christian” in the Western World. Yet Southerners would rather go to war to keep humans in bondage and preserve their coveted (perverted?) “heritage” than free the oppressed. And predictably, the Bible was used to justify this. So I’m not particularly impressed when the Bible is used to deny others – especially minorities – their rights.

Looked at in the right context, the real story is our continued opposition to the LBGTQ cry for recognition. In this, we are reminded of God’s caution to Israel concerning its treatment of the “other”: “Remember you were once slaves in Egypt.” In this, we are reminded of God’s caution to Israel concerning its treatment of the “other”: “Remember you were once slaves in Egypt.” Whether as demonstrated by the Israeli government's un-empathic response to Palestinian refugees, or the unsupportive attitude of most of my African and African-American religious leaders towards gays and lesbians, or our church leaders’ positions on this and gender equality in ministry, we see that previously persecuted minorities, on gaining their freedom, “otherize” minorities within their ranks and treat them poorly. When we fail to remember our erstwhile status as minorities, we risk being intolerant of today’s subgroups who aspire to be rid of their shackles. And it’s worse when we sacrilegiously use the Bible to rationalize our bigotry.

Matthew Quartey is a transplanted Ghanaian who now lives in and calls the Adventist ghetto of Berrien Springs, Michigan, home. Previous Spectrum columns by Matthew Quartey can be found at: http://spectrummagazine.org/author/matthew-quartey.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/9622

(Thomas J Zwemer) #3

It is not necessarily bigotry for an institution to set its threshold for membership. Nor it is necessarily bigotry for an individual to choose his or hers behavioral standards. It is bigotry to deny living room for those of different sexual appetites. So civil law is correct. Individual and institutional thresholds are not necessarily bigotry.


(Cherilyn Clough) #4

After reading this article, I looked up the meaning of bigotry from several sources and the meanings were varied.

From the Cambridge Dictionary:
strong, unreasonable ideas, especially about race or religion

From Merriam-Webster:
a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices

especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (such as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance

Google said:
intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself

It seems all of these can be applied to how the Seventh-Day Adventist church treats LGBTQ people. If any people are demonized for something they cannot help, it breaks God’s heart.

As someone who firmly stands for Women’s Ordination, I have often heard people say to the LGBTQ crowd, 'Wait until we get equality for women, then you will have your turn." They say this because of the so-called slippery slope coined by the anti-WO crowd, but it’s a false analogy because in God’s kingdom, there is no hierarchy. No one is better in God’s eyes due to their gender or orientation. God doesn’t worship the hierarchy of the patriarchy. He loves the least of these and that includes all of us. Perhaps the quickest way to equality for women is equality for all as we see in the character of Jesus.

The BRI article is insanely twisted. I have spoken to a few trans people who are often very compassionate human beings–much more compassionate than they themselves have been treated. It’s a very extreme measure to go through hormone treatments and surgery to change one’s body and sexuality. If such an individual wanted to be gay, they could just be gay without an operation, so no, I can’t imagine those who go through such measures would do so to find a way to have gay sex. Those who are transgender do so because they feel the cost of surgery and treatments is less than living in the body they have, and we who do not understand their pain, should never judge them, nor evil surmise about their motives. Isn’t it enough to realize this is a human being in pain who feels they must change to live? I would never discourage such a person through my feeble understanding of their struggles and I would not want their blood on my hands.

Back to the church and bigotry. The recent compliance committees under Wilson have included one for homosexuality. Compliance is a strange word for Christ followers. If we remember how Jesus loves all and that the Spirit of the Lord is freedom, why do we feel a need to police what the Godhead have allowed in freedom?

The underlying issues about Christian bigotry against the LGBTQ community is that the white Christian patriarchy likes to maintain the hierarchy of the patriarchy and control who is allowed in God’s kingdom and who is invited to the table. Consider how Sandra Roberts, is a duly-elected, president of a conference, but the GC ignores her to the point of not listing her in the Adventist yearbook, that is bigotry in my opinion. And of course, it would be the same if she were a lesbian. As a cis-gender, hetero female, the patriarchy and its need to control women has not been lost on me. That control continues on to almost anyone who is not white and male.

I marvel that we exclude anyone based on gender since the angels in heaven are not defined by gender. Perhaps there are angels among us and we can’t see them. The devil has done everything to divide people of color from white, to divide women from men, and all who don’t fit in the patriarchal mold have been excluded into outsiders, but Jesus has started a new movement.

The words of Jesus keep ringing in my ears, “The first shall be last and the last shall be first.” I see how in Jesus’s kingdom the children, the women, the People of Color, the LGBTQ and those who are cast out and excluded by the church will be at the head of the line. So beware patriarchy, Jesus has come to destroy the devil’s work.


(Peter) #5

Incredible, Dr. Zwemer. Threshold for membership? Did Jesus speak of a threshold - remember he was repeatedly criticized for keeping company with “sinners”. Read again Matthew 22:10: "So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests. That seems like a different threshold than you describe.

Sexual appetites? I find that concept amazing? Sexual appetite may possibly be used in reference to libido. It has nothing to do with sexual orientation! I’m acquainted with gay Adventist men (some prominent in the Adventist church) who are 85+. Men that age don’t typically have much of a sexual appetite. But they’re still gay. And since most of these men have hidden their sexual orientation at great personal cost, they have been able to remain Adventists.

Were you to take your medical training at Loma Linda or any other mainstream medical school now you would find that homosexuality is no longer professionally understood as a disease, a choice, or something subject to change.

And, as Cherilyn points out - being transgender has nothing at all to do with a desire to be homosexual!! Nothing! To teach something so incorrect as that is to display pitiful ignorance.

It is indeed bigotry to ignore what has been learned about LGBT people, to falsely claim that the Bible condemns them (many Adventist scholars now believe otherwise). Even the North American Division published a booklet recently that is better informed.

Many Adventist LGBT people, though, are choosing to do what you have done - leave the Adventist church. However, there are a growing number of churches - including La Sierra University Church - that make it plain that LGBT people are welcome and will be included.


(Thomas J Zwemer) #6

So when does denomination equate with Christ? The invitation that Jesus made Come unto Me all ye that are heavy laden is inclusive, sexual orientation is not mentioned. One’s relationship to God is not based on institutional affiliation. My barber was gay, but he did my hair just fine until he became a fatal victim of HIV. I left Adventism because of its unbiblical views. Yet I believe they can set any standards they desire.


(ROBIN VANDERMOLEN) #7

Matthew Quartey,

Once again, as in all your commentaries published by SPECTRUM,
you have delineated a delicate subject with clarity and compassion.

Your commentary comes at an opportune time,
since our US Congress has a bill before it that would,
on a Federal level, ensure equality for the marginalized minority
——our five per cent LGBT community .

Why is this bill necessary?
Because in multiple US states,
gays / lesbians can be fired from employment,
denied rental housing and generally discriminated against,
merely because they were born homosexual.

And yes, every major Western association of Psychologists
/. Psychiatrists and medical groups, has affirmed that homosexuality
is an innate attribute, not a deliberately chosen “life style “.

As Democratic candidate for US president, Pete Buttigieg,
gay Mayor of South Bend, Indiana
( uncomfortably close to Andrews)
in addressing homophobic US VP Pence stated:
“YOUR QUARREL SIR, IS WITH MY CREATOR “

President Trump and the Republican Party have strongly opposed
this latest attempt to create Federal equality for gays.

Our own GC president has exhibited his bigotry by creating
the largest of his “compliance committees “ as being consumed
with a “witch hunt “ against our LGBT members.

Our SDA gays should rightly tell TW:
“Your quarrel Sir, is with my creator “
Satan has ZERO creative powers so the planet’s
five per cent gay population was clearly created by God.
Or does TW, finally, begrudgingly embrace Evolution ?

Decades ago, Doctor Renée Drumm, wrote her doctoral dissertation
at Andrews University detailing the despicable discriminations, denigrations,
and demeaning denouncements that our Adventist families,
campuses and congregations delivered to their LGBT offspring.

Shaming and shunning continue to be the SDA solution to same sex attractions.

A gay child in an accepting atheist / secular family, is better off
than in a rejecting Adventist household.

That is why the suicide / attempted suicide rate for teenagers
in those rejecting households is EIGHT TIMES that of adolescents
in accepting families!

So much for “loving” “Christlike “ families and congregations.

That is why I advocate for all SDA LGBT young people
to seek out local public high schools, community colleges,
and universities with in state tuition.

Thereby they will preserve their dignity and self respect
( impossible, currently on an Adventist campus )
and also spare themselves crippling student debt.
( three of our NAD SDA colleges rank in the top fifty
in the nation for graduating students with the most debt )

Presidential candidate Mayor Pete, is a devout
Episcopalian and married his same sex partner
in an Episcopalian sanctuary.

A contrast to our Adventist gays who face the sentence
of LIFE LONG LONELINESS , with the church’s requirement
for celibacy.

I advocate for all SDA gays / lesbians to seek out a denomination
that will not exact this pernicious, punitive penalty.

While sex is an important part of marriage,
it is far outweighed by the companionship, devotion,
support, affection, loyalty that married partners affirm each other with.
This ineffable, affirming element of marriage is egregiously denied
our LGBT offspring.

No wonder that the majority “ vote with their feet”
at the earliest opportunity…

The minimal remainder, who choose to still occupy our pews,
have to face TW’s condemning compliance committee!


(David) #8

My reply to the gay Mayor of South Bend, Indiana would be “YOUR QUARREL SIR, IS WITH PAUL”. (Romans 1)


(ROBIN VANDERMOLEN) #9

My reply to the gay Mayor of South Bend, Indiana would be “YOUR QUARREL SIR, IS WITH PAUL”. (Romans 1)
[/quote]

As I have stated previously, Paul has created more MISERY on this planet than Hitler and Stalin combined!

At least those despots only impacted their own generations.

Two millennia of abused, beaten wives, can confront Paul in heaven ( if he ever gets there .)
demanding why Paul advocated for husbands to subdue their wives, often with physical punishment,.
with his egregious edict WIVES SUBMIT YOURSELVES TO YOUR HUSBANDS.
This gave “biblical “ cover to countless wife beaters. Spousal abuse is still endemic in Adventism!

Simarlarly, multiple millions of slaves, over two thousand years, will demand why Paul so emphatically endorsed slavery with his egregious command : SLAVES OBEY YOUR MASTERS.
This endorsement gave cover to multiple slave owners and slave traders, who opined, that since
Paul was in favor of slavery, it was God ordained. Actually Paul said this as a sop to his wealthy slave owning Sanhedrin friends who had unruly slaves.

Gays, through multiple centuries have endured persecution due to Paul"s hateful, hurtful homophobic homilies. Many Biblical commentators , have surmised that never married Paul, was himself a self loathing homosexual. As is the case with many “ closeted “ homosexuals they deliberately exhibit homophobia to cover their secret desires. Many Republican politicians, authors of anti gay legislation, were later exposed as themselves gay!

Finally our own denomination, is in a potential schism, due to the WO issue, merely because of Paul’s miserable misogynistic meanness, resulting in his anti- women denigrations…

Defenders of Paul, try to state that he merely reflected the medieval mores of his Asia Minor culture.
Yes, Paul was addressing the Christians of his era in Asia Minor, with his epistles.
Maybe, the Christians in those decades following the Crucifixion numbered less than 500,000.souls.
At best, not more than one million.

So sad, that a cultural commentary delivered to a tiny sliver of humanity, should so adversely
affect multiple millions of subsequent mankind!

This guy said a lot of hateful, hurtful things creating misery for millions!

David are you one of those beleaguered believers in the now scientifically discredited
doctrine that gays / lesbians deliberately choose to be gay? That God did not create them ?


(Steve Mga) #10

I believe what Tom stated in his second posting is this – The SDA church can set
any conditions for membership that it wants to.
But persons like Tom have decided that another church group has a much better
message for him, anyway, and that is what he chose after all the decades of being
Seventh day Adventist. And he obtains the Gospel Message of Jesus there.
He is saying, If one cannot get the Gospel Message, or it is NOT ALLOWED for one
to get the Gospel Message in an SDA pew because one does NOT MEET THE
ATTENDANCE STANDARDS SET, then attend where the Gospel Message is free
to receive in a welcoming environment.


(ROBIN VANDERMOLEN) #11

Steve,

You state “ A WELCOMING ENVIRONMENT “

Yes, many Christian denominations and congregations are
exhibiting warm loving inclusivity to their LGBT offspring.
Some even willing to perform same sex weddings in their sanctuaries

—-realizing that gays should not be subjected to life long loneliness,
and that a monogamous marriage is preferable to
promiscuous sexual coupling .

Happily , even Adventist congregations ( though still pitifully few )
are deliberately, meaningfully exploring avenues to make gays
more welcome in their pews.


(Steve Mga) #12

robin –
Yes, there have been SDA pastors here and there over the past 10 years [that
I am aware] who will baptize GL’s. One L that I know converted her partner to
SDA, but her local church congregation and pastor refused to baptize her. I
witnessed her baptism in the Atlantic Ocean one September with a nice crowd
of witnesses. They had to become members in a different Conference church,
but could attend the home church knowing they were SDAs.
There are an increasing number of SDA pastors and congregations who are
quietly accepting GLs and Transgender persons. They just do not advertise as
such as this is a HOT TOPIC in many Conferences. Some congregations are
large enough to not be bothered and will announce that they are All Welcoming
to ALL of God’s Children – Baptized and not Baptized.


(efcee) #13

It’s quite easy for the average Adventist church member to welcome LGBTQ persons into the pews of the church. But “where the rubber meets the road”, in the discussion of gay inclusion in the church, is in the pastoral ministry. When the Adventist church includes openly lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer pastors, then and only then will they be considered inclusive and non-bigoted.


(ROBIN VANDERMOLEN) #14

EFCEE,

I count many personal dear friends, who are prior Adventist pastors.

Decades ago, these homosexual men were encouraged that heterosexual
marriage would “cure “ their gayness. ( that gayness can be “cured “ is still
promoted by COMING OUT MINISTRIES - a group of allegedly “ex gay “ men
paraded around the planet, at tithe payer expense, advocating this discredited
doctrine ).

Years later, these closeted gay pastors
suffered humiliation when their homosexuality
was revealed and they were summarily “defrocked “ by the denomination,
and their wives divorcing them.

Many denominations are now allowing monogamous
clergy in same sex marriages, to be pastors and administrators
in their churches, realizing that ALL are committed to proclaiming the Gospel.

Why exclude the five per cent who were unlucky enough ,
through zero choice of their own, to be born LGBT ?


(Jeremy S.) #15

First. This makes my head hurt. Are they seriously suggesting transgendered people are really just gay but can’t what? Let themselves be gay so they have surgury to make sex with members of the same original gender straight sex? Did they even bother in this “research” to actually, I don’t know, talk to a transgendered person? I know trans people of all stripes. Male to female, female to male. Who are attracted to either gender. Women who have transitioned to men and date men. Men who transition to women and date women. As well as the opposites. So regardless of what one believes about trans people. The above statement is absurd and incorrect.

Second we need to get over the idea that LGBT+ people choose to be LGBT+. This is simply not true. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that there are a veriety of both psychological and biological factors at play.

Lastly I’m sorry I know you mean well but this is directed at the author. This sentence.

“And as more people increasingly reconsider their sexuality in even more imaginative ways – Intersex, Asexual, Non-binary and Pansexual – the moorings of conventional sexual norms are weakening.”

Is just wrong on many levels. First intersex is not a sexuality, it is a physical condition. No one really reconsiders their sexuality, people who come out later in life tend to have known all along that they were same sex attracted. They just could’t bring themselves to subject themselves to the ridicule and or social pressures associated with living openly. They could also have repressed their true feelings until they couldn’t. But they didn’t reconsider their core sexuality. Asexual is a lack of sexual attraction, non-binary is about gender identity not nessacarily sexuality. Sexuality and gender expression are often unrelated in LGBT+ thought. Just some additional information from someone whose been having this conversation a long time.

I’am very glad however to finally have someone point out the story of Sodom is not about condemning homosexuality. I mean for goodness sakes read the story. How anyone could read that and think. “Yep thats a condemnation of being gays.” is beyond me.

To those giving this author a hard time, as a man who left the church in his mid to late teens because I couldn’t reconcile what the christians around me said about gay people and my being gay. I have to say its refreshing to see people starting to understand how wrong it is to beat LGBT+ people in the face with condemnation, as if the visable sins were somehow worse then the sin of being judgemental bigots. Scripture is clear IMO about what God intended sexuality to be. However why is it that straight christians think they are the only ones deserving of grace? How do you keep sinners out of a church where they are supposed ot meet Jesus their savior until they have changed to your liking, when Jesus says you cannot change yourselves? Only HE can change the heart. I am back in Jesus arms not because some judgemental christian came along and told what a wretched sinner I was. But because Jesus came to remind me how loved I am. Something to think about.


(Elmer Cupino) #16

If the question is not properly formulated because of a misunderstanding, the answer can never be properly addressed or even be correct. Gender identity is defined as the internal sense of who one is, being man, woman, or something else. It is how you define yourself in your head as to what gender you identify with. In contrast sexual identity is assigned at birth.

The BRI had it wrong and that is the reason why the issue remains unresolved. It would only be prudent if the BRI consults with medical specialists when dealing with medical issues. The problem is moderate ignorance is necessary to maintain massive denial to hold on to prejudices cloaked under the guise of religion.

The question that begs to be answered is “When you hear and see a female, yet persist on believing it is a male, or vice versa, who has lost reality, the object or the beholder? If the traffic light were green, yet the driver sees it as red, who has lost reality?


#17

This is wisdom, common sense, and the mark of leadership. Why would the management of our church organization operate on uninformed, outdated, or otherwise false suppositions?

Don’t we believe that God deserves our very best, informed, and educated leadership decisions?

When we operate from prejudice, slippery slope suppositions, are we really representing the Godliness of God who created all in His Holy image?


(George Tichy) #18

I wonder how many - IF ANY - Mental Health and Physicians and Medical Researchers were part of the BRI group that made those statements. Apparently none, uh??? If so, they should just apologize and go back to what is their specialty (whatever it is…).


(Tom Loop) #19

Tom Zwemer is in his mid 90’s. He is a wise old sage. He grew up in a different age, so cut him some slack will you for not walking in lockstep with more modern discoveries on homosexuals. I think he is very tolerant for a man his age, and I’m not going to fault him for not buying the whole enchilada on gay rights.


(Tom Loop) #20

Oh George, did you really expect these neaderthalls to include professionals like you who know what they are talking about on this subject? BRI are a bunch of ostrichs who would rather worship the ground their head is buried in. I"ll have more to add discussion on this blog later. I tuned in late here tonight and I need to go to bed.


(ROBIN VANDERMOLEN) #21

The effrontery / audacity / temerity —I love the Yiddish word CHUTZPAH —- of the BRI to pontificate on a complex psychiatric, social, hormonal and medical matter, when the BRI members had zero medical expertise, is indefensible and unconscionable.

They should be embarrassed by their presumptive foolishness.

If the denomination needed a statement on transgenderism, they should have consulted the LOMA LINDA MEDICAL,SCHOOL Department of Psychiatry or the Department of Adolescent Medicine.

But I am.never surprised by the incompetence of the current GC administration.