Saturday, August 22, 2009

Gay Clergy in the ELCA

This has been eight years in the making and I recall speaking with my pastor so many years ago about it. At the time he rightly pointed out that it wasn't more than something to think about and, if it did come down to the ELCA voting as they did yesterday to allow gay clergy in "lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships" we would then consider our options as a church.

Well, the time is here.

As a decidedly heterosexual male I'll admit I find the very thought of homosexual love-making as disgusting. Thing is, a gay male friend told me that's just how he has always felt when confronted with the idea of man/woman love-making. A gay woman told me similar things - even as a very sexually active teenager, with men, she new it was women she was drawn to. So, from a very limited poll of two I come up with support for the idea that gay is something some people are born with.

If gay is a choice, I ask when did you make yours? It was never something I had to consider.

The Old Testament speaks clearly against homosexuality but it uses the very same word, "abomination" for the eating of shellfish. It also gives the same punishment for adultery as it does for homosexual relations, stoning to death. I wager there are some that would like to return to those days. I'm not one of them.

Jesus never spoke of homosexuality but did simplify things greatly in Matthew 22:

37Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

In Luke 6 Jesus speaks to those of us that would judge others:

37"Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."

Rather than Leviticus, written by a man, I'll go with the red letters in my Bible. I'm a sinner like every one of you reading this. I'll not judge others beyond the societal indications of man's law and that which I sense as fairness played out well or less so.

Do I know this to be right in God's eyes? No. But it's what I'm going with.

I believe my little church will be vocal and divided on the issue, with people of my thinking being less vocal. It is very difficult, when brought up from birth being told that the Bible is perfect, to consider that there may be the touch of man on those pages. Impossible for some but not for me. I believe the Bible is "the cradle that holds Christ" and the best connection we have to God's desires for us but I'm also one much more to follow the Christ than I am Moses.

My personal theology leads me to believe that Christ was a huge change in God's relationship with His children. Whether planned from the beginning, and I know most of us believe God's plan was complete before it was acted upon, or whether God realized we couldn't live up to His plan and therefore made the new covenant that was Christ, doesn't matter. Christ was sent to forgive our sin if only we believe in Him.

I believe In Jesus, the Christ, as my savior before God come judgment day.

I love God but even there I know I fall short of what is possible.

I love my neighbors even when sometimes I don't like them very much.

I pray for peace in our church.

Difficult days ahead. May the peace of the Lord be with us all.


Blogger Christian Democrat said...

I've been sitting here doing some further research and something kept bugging me, the use of the word "decidedly" in the third paragraph. A poor use of the adjective in this context. So many connotations. None correct in this case other than to say it is with certainty that I am a guy that has always liked a woman's body and never had a thought about the bodies of men.

8/22/2009 7:44 AM  
Blogger Moses said...

I'm new to your blog. I just wanted to offer you a different perspective, that's all.

God bless!

8/23/2009 10:12 PM  
Blogger Christian Democrat said...

Thanks, M. -

It was a difficult weekend here on several fronts and I have decided to simply disagree in my own mind with people of your thinking. I'll no longer take the pen to the fight other than to continue writing my thinking as I do.

That said, I of course disagree with much of the thinking on the link as written by an aptly named Mr. Slick.

May the peace of the Lord be with us all!

8/24/2009 7:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, it's so nice to finda kindred spirit, one who believes as I do. I could not agree more with you on your stance. It's exactly as I feel. Well said, nice and concise, and to the point. Amen.

9/11/2009 7:30 AM  
Blogger mish said...

you know what? After being clergy myself, I find myself saying the same thing over and over to people.

"I'm not smart enough to know what God has bound in heaven because we bind it on earth. So therefore, I just love, no matter what. Because were going to be judged on love."

God read your bibles again.

And just for the record, you people, I'm happily married to a man, but had I not found him, I would easily found comfort with a women. Sorry, but you guys are really pretty to look at. *grinning*

9/12/2009 10:37 AM  
Blogger Christian Democrat said...

So - does that mean it was a choice for you, Mish, meaning to be a monogamous heterosexual rather than a lesbian? I know it's a personal question but you would be the first that I've asked to answer that question in the affirmative if it is the case.

And thanks for the conversation - you live your faith as few do. I'm humbled to know you.

9/14/2009 3:16 PM  

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