The Adventist Church and Its LGBT Members — Part 4

Editor’s Note: In this four-part series for Spectrum, Adventist sociologist Ronald Lawson explores the historical and current relationship between the Adventist Church and its LGBT members. This article originally appeared in the Spectrum print journal (volume 48, issue 4), and will be reprinted online in full over the coming days. Read Part 1 here Part 2 here, and Part 3 here.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at
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“The biblical scholars concluded, as a result of their study in advance of the Kampmeeting, that the Bible was silent about persons with a homosexual orientation and that the little it said there was directed to heterosexuals involved in pagan fertility rites or having same-sex fun on the side. They were deeply moved by the personal stories they heard. They argued that homosexuals, like heterosexuals, were called to faithfulness within a committed relationship and to chastity outside of such a relationship.” The Adventist Church and Its LGBT Members - Part 1.

this is quite a surprising statement…in 2015, the seminary voted on and released a position paper on homosexual practice and pastoral care that was entirely hostile to any notion of legitimate homosexual practice:

in the 2nd section on p.3 of this paper, entitled “Homosexual Practice versus Homosexual Orientation”, the seminary distinguishes between orientation and practice, but implies strongly that a gay orientation is a subset of the sinful fallen human nature that everyone has inherited from fallen adam and eve…if in 1980 the seminary was saying that gay relationships for persons with a gay orientation are legitimate, it was saying something very different in 2015…

I have written a couple of articles on Spectrum in support of the LGBT community, although I am not an LGBT person myself. I have had several very hostile encounters with fellow Adventists because of the positions I wrote about. I have worn their, sometimes, scathing remarks with a badge of honor.

Adventists have a long way to go with respect to judging others. Our exclusivity, by denial of this community worshiping with us in just as vial as that of the Jews toward the Gentiles in Jesus life hear on earth.

I know of a family in my own church who’s adult members have physically and emotionally abuse one of their own children because the child had attempted to “come out” to them. This scourge of sexual bigotry is responsible for many lives being taken at the individuals own hand. If anyone of us is responsible for evoking that response in an individual, I can’t imagine how that isn’t a form of murder.

God loves these people just as much as he loves you and me. If a simple acknowledgment of a thief on the cross next to Jesus was enough for Jesus to offer him eternal life, I can’t imagine why you would think that Jesus would not have the same compassion for a person who was, absolutely, born with a different orientation than you and I.

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