Wednesday, May 9, 2007

The Homosexual Debate – Part I

In my introductory posting, I said that I would give you background in areas where I could contribute information not readily found in the mainstream media. As a pastor, I have made it a point to understand all sides of the issue concerning what roles practicing homosexuals should play in the Church.

This debate has been making headlines for quite some time, and this emotional issue has divided denominations and individual congregations. The consecration of Gene Robinson (who is a practicing homosexual in a long-term relationship with a man) as an Episcopal bishop has caused serious splits within the worldwide Anglican Communion, for example. The issue of gay “marriage” and whether gays should be ordained are also being debated within various denominations of the Church.

My goal is to inform you of where each side in this debate is coming from. I will be discussing this topic from the religious point of view, that is, how believers on each side of the debate justify their views from a Scriptural, moral, or ethical point of view. I will not be discussing the many other aspects of this complex issue, nor will I express my own opinions. My purpose is to give you background as to the thinking behind each side’s position. You can then make your own decision as to where you stand.

Of course I will be speaking in generalities, because there is a continuum from the extreme on one end of the spectrum to the extreme on the other end. I will use the terms “traditionalist” and “non-traditionalist” to describe the opposing viewpoints (for lack of better terms). Again, I’m not trying to affirm or justify any particular perspective, but just inform you of each side’s thinking as to how they arrived at their respective positions on the subject.

There has been so much name-calling and misunderstanding that I would like to provide at least some clarification. You may not agree with one side or the other, but I believe it is important to have a grasp of how each side is thinking. I’ll start with the “traditionalist” viewpoint in a future posting, and then in a later posting after that I’ll elaborate on the “non-traditionalist” viewpoint.

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