Here is my last part of the LGBTQIA conversation presentation. Even as I share these articles, my PowerPoints are changing, correcting and transforming. I plan to continue learning and refining my thoughts.
Thousands of former members have noticed the oppression at UBF stemming from spiritual abuse. Hundreds have documented their stories publicly on the internet. A few have spoken up about the threats received when you disobey your Korean shepherd. I share with you now yet another layer of oppression at UBF. If you are not cisgender and heterosexual, you have another layer of burden to deal with. The clear UBF teaching on homosexuality is that such people are not merely immoral, but are like swine flu, spreading throughout the world. Gender and sexual minorities are spoken against at UBF as the harbingers of the end of the world and destroyers of society. I seek to have the conversation however. Here is part 3, which I have completely changed after learning about Alan Turing.
(The picture may be the response of some on “both sides” to “the other side.”)
What I will no longer say. Probably until a few years ago, I would have stated boldly and unequivocally, “According to the Bible, homosexuality is a sin.” But I won’t say this any more. It is not because I’m afraid of being “blasted” or “labeled,” which is actually kind of fun. But it is for these reasons:
First, I’d much rather say, “God loves homosexuals, and I love you too.”
Second, it’s because I have a much stronger, better, positive and affirmative message of the good news of God’s grace to declare unashamedly and primarily (Ac 20:24). Continue reading →
I plan to continue sharing each summary. Feel free to jump in at any time. I hope to share my reactions to questions posed to me from time to time by people of the non-affirming conscience. Whenever I say “God is love”, the response is often, “But God is holy.” The non-affirming conscience rightly concerns about the holiness of God. Are we disobeying God? What is God up to? Is there any possibility that God could be doing a new thing among gender and sexual minorities?
The defining question of the church in our generation, like it or not, has become this: What is your view on homosexuality? So instead of pretending this question is resolved or superficial or even clear-cut, I and others have been working to “have the conversation”. Today I want to begin sharing the outline of my four-part presentation that I developed as a result of attending the Reformation Project Leadership cohort in Washington D.C., led by Matthew Vines. This conversation is difficult to have in many churches because the topic of homosexuality lies at a somewhat odd and often dismissed intersection of sexuality and the gospel. Here is part 1 of my presentation, the introduction.
Now that I’ve processed a large portion of my recovery from ubf, I am free to rebuild and rework my theology. Two years ago, in October 2012, I was inspired by the bible story of Esther to come out as a Christian gay rights pacifist. Since then I’ve been consumed by addressing the elephant in the room in all Christian circles: gay people. I began a meticulous search through Scripture to find out what made Christians so anti-gay or at best merely tolerant of the LGBTQA people. That study has now lead me to write my fourth book, a book that has no mention of ubf or my recovery; a book with the working subtitle: “Why Christianity Needs Gay People”.
In 1992, Pope John Paul II apologized to Galileo. 359 years earlier, Galileo and those who listened to his teachings were condemned by the church. The church said the bible clearly taught that the sun revolves around the earth. The invention of the telescope, however, and Galileo’s findings, demonstrated the opposite: the earth revolves around the sun. The centuries old teaching by the church was wrong. I think someday the church will also apologize to Matthew Vines, who steps into the epicenter of the LGBT-Christian debate with his new book, God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships.
Continue reading →
This discussion needs to be had. I have corresponded with homosexuals, atheists and those who are marginalized in numerous ways– people in the UBF community. Do you know “they” are among you? Today I share the first of what will be several book reviews on topics pertaining to the margins of society. My first book review is of “Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality” by Wesley Hill.
You always notice someone in church, or in class, or at work, but you will never tell anyone. How do we Christians overcome the ever present temptation to lust and to fantasize? Even if we strictly avoid inappropriate sexual contact, how do we overcome the wild imaginations of our minds, and the allurement of sexually explicit pornographic images freely accessible on the internet? Do we just “Say No” to free sex, porno, nudity, strip clubs, etc, as we say No to drugs? Do we say, “Be like Joseph who overcame Potiphar’s wife who demanded sex from him day after day”?
I will start with Richard B. Hays’ take on the LGBT issue. He is a United Methodist, New Testament scholar and currently the Dean of Duke Divinity School. He wrote a masterpiece, “The Moral Vision of the New Testament” in 1996, and I really believe that it is a Must-Read for any church leader. I highly recommend it.