Monday, November 05, 2012

cycle of 21st century life

Paul Brandeis Raushenbush writes in LGBT Rights -- Getting on the Right Side of History:
A vivid religious example is the United Methodist Church, which recently reaffirmed the idea that homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. They did this while formally apologizing for the denomination's support of segregation and the oppression of native peoples in the past. Oh, the irony!

At the same time the Methodists throw one group under the bus, they extend a hand towards the groups that still have tire tracks on their backs. Of course, we know what comes next. In a few more decades, the Methodists will be having rituals of repentance for how they treated LGBT people.

Here's an idea. Why don't we just skip the "more oppression" part and move straight to the reconciliation and full communion? (source and full article)


  1. Did they say 'Homosexuality' or 'Homosexual behaviour'? Is there a difference? How did they define it: as an action or as an attraction? With what did you disagree with them?

    I think one of the hardest things some people in the church strive to figure out is how to show love and respect to people that are actively living in a way that is inconsistent with God's standards. What is the best way to do this?

    Certainly some pastors and others have gone the wrong way and condemned homosexuals. Some have kicked them out or vilified them. This is certainly wrong.

    But what would it mean if we suddenly said 'Oh, those parts of Bible that say stealing is wrong, they contradict those other parts of ensuring the poor have sufficient to live on. So we are going to bless pickpockets, and we are going to bless their tools and their services, and we are going to pray for their success in their chosen occupation.'

    That too, I think is not right.

    What then is the right way? Is there a way to accept and include all people, while holding up the Way of the Cross? This Way is something that we have all fallen short of. And yet, if we agree to be changed by God, then all are welcome to join in the journey.


  2. Hey Anonalex:

    Thanks for reading the blog and thinking about what it says and raising questions.

    I don't know the wording that the United Methodists used. In some ways it does make a difference -- in terms of focusing on the person or the behaviour. However, in other ways I'm not sure it makes such a difference. By saying that homosexual behaviour (still a broad term) is incompatible, it still makes gay and lesbian people an inferior group of people who do not have the options that straight people have -- well, other than celibacy, and we all know what a hit that is with heterosexual Christians.

    In terms of asking about stealing. If you or I suddenly decided that the Bible does not forbid stealing, then I agree this would not be right. But what if large numbers of people who desired to do what is right suddenly thought this? (Not sure why or how this would shift, but am asking the question).

    What we have happening with inclusion of lgbt people, is that larger numbers of people who love Jesus and love the Bible are understanding the particular verses and the broader context differently than they used to, and therefore have a different view on this. Kinda similar to the way many churches now allow women to teach and preach and be priests, when before the majority held onto Paul's verses about headship and women not teaching men, etc., and would not have allowed this.

    Well, those are my thoughts at the moment.