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Where do we turn? Some thoughts about what God has to say about homosexuality

  |   Same-Sex Marriage   |   5 Comments

man over lake of clouds

 

Choosing to discover what God wants us to believe about same-sex marriage can throw our belief system into an area of uncertainty that can leave us asking more questions than we had imagined. If we come from a faith tradition that’s steadfast in its certainty in labelling same-sex marriage a sin, going down a path that might ask us to push back against that tradition can be unnerving to say the least.

 

If we already lack confidence in our church it might be an easier journey, but if we love our church, if we have confidence in our leaders, and if we love the way it tries to live out Jesus’ message of peace and love, choosing to seek truth might seem like an act of defiance against those we love and respect. There’s also the fear of what we do with that truth if it goes against our church’s current beliefs. Do we have to become exiles?

 

I don’t want to pretend that there’s an easy answer to calm anyone’s anxiety about some of the realities that might come with seeking truth. Nor do I want anyone to believe that seeking truth is easy. There’s no assurance of reaching a place of absolute certainty. Life and faith are filled with mysteries. Sometimes, we just have to take the leap.

 

In my first post about same-sex marriage I talked about why my affirmation of same-sex marriage led me to submit my pastor credentials, and in the next post I talked about the biases we bring to our interpretation of the Bible. In this post I want to provide some resources for those who are willing to wrestle with this issue. I understand that there are some who aren’t ready to go down this road, or have no desire to because they still live in the certainty of their beliefs. These resources are for those who are willing to begin the journey and have an open mind to hearing what God might have to share with them.

 

Scripture is God’s word to us. Jesus is the word made flesh. He is alive and still speaking. I pray we are all still willing to listen.

 

This journey should be entered with the full understanding that it happens in community, in prayer, and as part of the larger dialogue taking place to understand God’s revelations to us. Just as we cannot prove the existence of God with absolute certainty to all, there is no resource we can point to that can convince everyone that same-sex marriage should or shouldn’t be affirmed by the church. Ultimately, we have a choice to make, and it does involve faith in God.

 

This short blog isn’t intended to provide you with a complete argument for why same-sex marriage should be affirmed. You’ll have to do a lot more work. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of articles available online, and hundreds of books. I’ve spent years reading about this topic, praying about it, and talking with other Christians on both sides of the issue. I recommend you do something similar. It may not take years, but it will likely take more than just one or two easy reads.

 

I want to point you to two resources I’ve posted online. The first is a short paper written by Pieter Niemeyer, a pastor, reviewing the Bible passages about homosexuality. The second is a list of books that address homosexuality in the Bible. They are books that affirm it. I recommend starting with Torn and God and the Gay Christian because they’re written by men who share their experience.

 

Let us not forget to extend grace to all as we continue to wrestle with this theology. May you sense God’s presence on the journey.

5 Comments
  • My support of same-sex marriage and why I’m no longer a pastor | mennoQmunity | Dec 16, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    […] Recently I voluntarily submitted my pastor credentials because I affirm same-sex marriage. I have spent years studying this matter on my own and in community. I have prayed about it privately and with others who were also seeking God’s guidance. I made this decision as part of my desire to lead my life based on biblical principles and the living Jesus Christ I follow. I won’t go into the reasons why I affirm same-sex marriage in this post. I go into greater detail in two other posts I’ve written: Changing the Lens and Where do We Turn? […]

  • Joanne Charbonneau | Dec 13, 2015 at 7:06 am

    Steve, thank you so much for opening the dialogue for many, and for doing it in such a way that doesn’t push or judge. Thanks for the suggested books too, because it really creates an opportunity to base our decision on more than just past beliefs. I wish more people were willing to open their hearts to such open-minded thinking and realize that it takes research and soul searching to make decisions that affect so many.

    • sauthier | Dec 13, 2015 at 7:54 am

      Thanks for your comments Joanne. I hope the books will help people on this journey of discovery. There’s no doubt that it’s hard for many to even consider going on this journey. But as I mention in the post, God’s still speaking to us.

  • Joel Martin | Dec 12, 2015 at 8:38 am

    The two books that were most challenging and important to me in engaging with this topic were Andrew Marin’s “Love Is An Orientation” and Jack Rogers’ “Jesus, The Bible and Homosexuality”. The latter was the head of the Presbyterian Church (USA) for a period of time.

    • sauthier | Dec 12, 2015 at 10:51 am

      Thanks Joel for letting me know about these two books. I haven’t read them yet. I’ll put them on my reading list.