“We’re not gay! Not that there’s anything wrong with that … I mean that’s fine if that’s who you are … I mean I have many gay friends.” – Jerry Seinfeld, Seinfeld
The Presbyterian Church has decided to allow openly gay men and women in same-sex relationships to be ordained. I’m honestly not sure where to begin … or whether to begin. (First, a point of order to the Presbyterians reading. There are two “lines” of Presbyterians, Presbyterian Church “America” and “U.S.A” – this is the later, more liberal group.)
First, umm no. You guys still own Bibles, I presume; perhaps you could pick them up once in a while (it really is a good read). Don’t dismiss this or that verse as “not relevant to today” (we can certainly talk about “old” and “new” covenants, but both old and new testaments are unambiguous on this issue). Remember the wise words of Saint Augustine: “If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself.” (As for Biblical references, see Gen 19, Lev 18:22, Lev 20:12, Rom 1:26-27, 1 Cor 6:9-10, 1 Tim 1:9-10, Jude 1:7 … for starters.)
Secondly, and this is even more confusing (imagine!), they allow homosexuals in same-sex relationships. We can debate the “same-sex marriage” issue, though there is no real reason. The Bible is similarly clear (Gen 2:24, 1 cor 7:2-16, Eph 5:23-33). But this isn’t even about gay marriage, it’s “same-sex relationships.” Now the fornication issue is back on the table. Before you say “hey, you don’t know they’re fornicating” – the resolution actually says that they no longer require unmarried ministers to be celibate.
(One further, they don’t allow same-sex marriage. So, these guys and girls can’t get “married,” but can live in fornication while being ordained? This doesn’t even make any sense.)
Having hit on the simple, clear theological conundrums, the debate usually turns to one of simple equality and fairness. To this we note that this isn’t a debate over government policy, it is squarely in the field of religion; Christianity at that. I think I have made my position quite clear that I don’t think the federal or state government should at all be involved in rules and regulations regarding personal sexual behavior. Nor should there be legislated benefits to the married over the single (or vice-versa).
(Side question: how long will it be before the government demands that denominations must tolerate, approve of, and ordain homosexuals?)
Further, I don’t think Christians should take a general “anti-gay” attitude in relation to life. Jesus did not shun sinners, though he never condoned their sin.
Who knows where the arguments turn next, one could imagine genetics is a reasonable stop – “we were born this way.” I’ll admit, I’m not a geneticist, nor am I typically a reactionary. I will say that the notion of “born gay” doesn’t necessarily run foul of the Christian narrative. (Yes, we very much hold to sexual sins being a choice, but we can surely consider propensities for sin.)
Are there people born with a propensity for homosexuality? Are there people born with a propensity for alcoholism, or drug abuse, or violence? Do we dismiss these ills as just part of nature? More to the point, does the Bible dismiss these ills as part of nature? No.
The standard Christian theological view is that all people are born with a “sin nature” – we quite naturally “do wrong” even though we know, somewhere inside, what is right (and even desire to do what is right). Why should it matter if one is more prone to one sin or another?
And didn’t the Lord come to set us free?