Thursday, September 30, 2010

My Theology: Born this way

The question I wanted an answer for, that I sought to understand is; where does homosexuality come from? Is it a choice? Is it learned? Or is it something more basic like in the DNA that makes us?

First, I can say without any doubt in my mind and heart that homosexuality in NOT a choice. Think of it, who would choose to be someone that is discriminated against? That is thought of by many as “contrary to nature”? Who would choose not to have the right to marry the one he or she loves? In many sectors of society be looked down upon? Who? Plus if there were a choice one could choose not to, and change. There is scientific data which I am told shows same sex attraction is not learned or chosen. It is in one’s make up. It’s a chromosome gene.

Why? What is the purpose? That is a question for which I have no answer other than through the eyes of my faith to say… the Sovereignty of God. It’s a God thing.

Two places in the Old Testament come to mind when thinking of this. First, Jeremiah 1:5a which states “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. And before you were born I consecrated you” Not trying to be out of context, I must note this is referring to Jeremiah’s call to ministry. However, it also shows us how God the father knows us and he is active in our creation. In forming us; and knowing us.

Further, Psalm 139 in its entirety. The first portion talks about God’s knowledge of us, verse 1, “Lord you have searched me and known me” verse 2b, “You understand my thoughts from afar” The in verse 3 “You are intimately acquainted with all my ways” Wow! The passage goes on to describe how God knows us, there is no place on earth we can go to escape the gaze of God or his knowledge of us.

In verse 13 the Psalmist writes, “For you formed inmost parts; you wove me in my mother’s womb.” This is the most compelling point for me when the scripture states that the God of the universe formed my inmost parts, wove me. Couple that with the verse from Jeremiah, and I understand better. God formed, made, molded my inmost parts would include my DNA, the chromosome gene, my personality, my gifting and ability, and my sexuality. In his Sovereign knowledge of me God knew from the very beginning I would be gay. He placed the substance there in me that would make me who I am.

To say God the father would not do that or could not do that is to say God the father is not as is Sovereign as we say he is. I believe by faith that God created me gay, that I was born to be a Christian gay and consecrated from the womb to the work I do. Gay or straight, I believe the same is true for you too.

My Theology Lev 20:13

There are a number of issues to talk about when considering biblical theology from a Christian gay perspective. Among them is what to think about Leviticus 20:13? Is homosexuality learned or in one’s make up? Is being or acting gay a sin which is unforgivable? It was not until I began wrestling with my own theology, studying scripture and reading various theologians and listening to the Holy Spirit speak to my heart, instead simply accepting what I heard or was taught; did I begin to understand what our Lord was saying to me. What it meant to me, develop my own systematic theology.

Let me say a word about my method of study. In examining scripture I usually read the passage in several versions to see the differences in wording. Then often I would read several commentaries coming from differing views ie conservative to more liberal. I also used resources to understand culture and history.

This writing is my attempt to verbalize in a systematic way my theological belief relating to homosexuality. It will be presented in several different posts dealing with specific scripture and issues. This is not nor is it meant to be an academic presentation, but rather a statement of what I have come to accept and believe as a Christian who is gay. My personal growth points in coming out.

Leviticus 20:13. “If a man sleeps with a man as with a woman, they have committed an abomination. They must be put to death, their blood in on their own hands (HSB)

Often this verse is lifted out of the passage and used as if it stands alone. To do this ignores verses 1 through 21 of the passage plus the passages which precede and follow. That is never good exegesis. When considering Jewish law, history and context, several issues are raised. This was written in a time and culture when the nation of Israel was concerned about survival, purity, and idol worship. In the surrounding nations there was idol temple prostitution both heterosexual and homosexual often used and accepted as a form of worship to particular Idols. This was in direct violation of "you shall have no other God before me" commandment. Also if men had sex with men or women with women, there was no procreation for the nation. This verse is part of a passage of scripture that is speaking to the issues of procreation, aspects of Idol worship, ceremonial uncleanliness. Many of the rules set forth in this and other passages like it (such as not wearing wool, eating shell fish, or various meats) are no longer used or relevant to the life of God’s people.

To take this verse and used it without consideration of the rest of the passage, examining history, culture takes it out of context and often makes it a pretext. I don’t believe this single verse speaks to the issue facing the church and Christian homosexuals in the 21st century.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The New Thing

It has been a while since my last post! I need to be more consistent as I used to be.

Well, here it is. I know better than to say never. But I did. In past posts I said no to church employment, no to going in that direction. Well, our Lord has such a sense of humor, such a way of guiding, leading, teaching.

In May I joined the staff of a local Presbyterian church as the part time Coordinator of Christian Education for Adults. Funny uh? A Baptist minister serving a Presbyterian church! This church is a very open church, the pastor is liberal theologically and politically. Most of the church is theologically liberal or open. Yet, they have a high view of Scripture, a high Christiology, they think through what they believe and not just accept what they are told. I have been there 5 months now and I tell you i have been challenged, accepted, loved, taught. I have worked hard on programs, and projects. I am learning to rethink old ways of thinking. There is so much I could say about this new experience there is not room or time to write it. I thank God for this experience.