Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Homosexual Debate – Part III

Before continuing, you might want to read my earlier postings, The Homosexual Debate – Part I and Part II, to give you some background as to what I am trying to accomplish.

In Part II, I explained where the traditionalists are coming from when it comes to the role of homosexuals in the Church, and the issue in general. In this posting I’ll explain where the Christian non-traditionalists (my terminology) are coming from in their belief that homosexuals should have “full inclusion” in the Church and in society (including “same-sex marriage”). Again, views differ among proponents of gay rights within the Church, so I’ll be speaking in generalities. I hope, however, to give you some idea of the thinking behind the non-traditionalist viewpoint on the subject.

I said in my earlier posting that the key to understanding the traditionalist viewpoint is that they consider the practice of homosexuality to be a sin based on the various biblical prohibitions against it. The non-traditionalist view is the exact opposite; that the practice of homosexuality is not a sin, but is a natural, God-given alternative sexual expression. If you believe that it is not a sin, then the issue is one of fairness. The question then becomes, why should practicing homosexuals be excluded from “full participation” in the life of the church (i.e., marriage and ordination) just because of what must be considered cultural prejudices? The non-traditionalists equate “prejudice” against gays with prejudice against women and minorities.

What about all of those biblical prohibitions? The non-traditionalists explain that they are expressions of deep-seated cultural biases which found their way into Scripture, and they do not reflect God’s will on the subject. The reasoning is that if God created certain people as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered, why would God then consider such a lifestyle to be a sin? It doesn’t seem fair that God would make certain people with a certain sexual orientation, and then condemn that orientation as sinful. Regarding the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, non-traditionalists claim that it is more about hospitality than sexual sin.

Traditionalists consider this non-traditional interpretation of Scripture to be revisionist and misguided, reinterpreting the Bible to fit an agenda. On the other hand, Christian non-traditionalists say that the love of Jesus Christ supersedes any moral prohibitions in the Bible, so we should reflect Christ-like love to all by not excluding gays from full participation in the church.

As you can see, this is a difficult topic, and I have barely scratched the surface. I hope I have at least shed a little light on the debate and where each side is coming from. May God bless you in your search for answers to these difficult questions.

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