These conversations are not statements of our doctrine as expressed in the Book of Discipline, nor are they guidance provided by the Study Commission on Doctrine (SCOD), but they are intended to be open and respectful discussions on various present-day topics. Our intention is not to limit discussion but to elevate it by assuring that God’s love and respect is always expressed. For more information click ABOUT.
Browse posts tag by homosexual
THE QUESTION OF IDENTITY

THE QUESTION OF IDENTITY

April 6, 2017 By dwayman

 

In a recent article at one of our FM schools’ newspaper a student stated ““My identity has never been addressed…”  This student is described by the author of the article:  “When [student] first came to [the FM university] they’d still been in the closet. It wasn’t until around February 2017 that [student] began to identify as nonbinary, use they/them pronouns and, eventually, paint their nails and wear makeup as well.”  The article goes on to quote the assertion of a student that the  “[the school] ‘respects homosexuals’ but does not affirm ‘queer love’ on the same level that it affirms heterosexual love….”  “I don’t know how long we as a campus are going to be able to do this,” he said. “I think we’re going to have to choose.”

To use the same language as this student, this is a binary solution that requires a Christian to either be for or against a person who chooses to make their identity in their gender or sexual attraction.  This is not a true solution.  The culture has decided that loving someone in Christ is not acceptable.  The culture has decided that love must be conditional and that the person being loved determines on what condition Christians are and can love and respect them.   That perspective does not from Christ or from Scripture.  Christ calls us to love all.  No exception.  That is our Christian Identity.

This identity in Christ as being one of Holy Love,

LOVE IS AN ORIENTATION- Andrew Marin

LOVE IS AN ORIENTATION- Andrew Marin

March 26, 2017 By dwayman

Love is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community by Andrew Marin (InterVarsity, 2009) Waiting for permission to post digest.  What follows is an abbreviated outline. You may purchase the book here.

  1. Forward: I decided to fully immerse myself in the GLBT community. My ultimate goal was to become, as I put it back then, “the most involved gayest straight dude on the face of the earth.”
  2. Chapter 1 We Don’t Need Your God!
    1. They’re just kids: Research now reports that the average age of someone who first realizes  same-sex attraction is thirteen years old….
    2. The battlefield of coming out: Most adolescents experiencing same-sex attraction are too frightened to say anything to anybody for fear of what might happen,
  • What happens on the other side of realization? What happens in the long run to a person who prays the same prayer every night and wakes up every morning not having that prayer answered? … The majority of GLBT people whom I have met over my nine years of being immersed in their community – believers and nonbelievers, black and white, men and women- have told me the same things:  when they first realized their same sex thoughts and attractions they started to pray that God would take those unwanted feelings away.  Even atheists have told me that they were willing to put their unbelief in God aside in the hope that he would make them straight like everyone else…
    1. Preconceived Ideas: …There is an undercurrent of preexisting negative perceptions of Christianity’s traditional belief system
    2. What Can Christians do?: The Christian community is by and large well intentioned
  1. Chapter 2.
WASHED AND WAITING- Wesley Hill

WASHED AND WAITING- Wesley Hill

March 26, 2017 By dwayman

Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality by Wesley Hill (Zondervan, 2010). Hill has given permission for this digest.  Much has been omitted from this digest and it is recommended that his book be purchased.  You can purchase the book here.

  1. Introduction: This books is neither about how to live faithfully as a practicing homosexual person nor about how to live faithfully as a fully healed or former homosexual man or woman…This book is about what it means…how practically, a non-practicing but still-desiring homosexual Christian can “prove, live out, and celebrate” the grace of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit in homosexual terms.  This book is written mainly for those gay Christians who are already convinced that their discipleship to Jesus necessarily commits them to the demanding, costly obedience of choosing not to nurture their homosexual desires, whether through private fantasies or physical relationships with other gay or lesbian people….”There are probably nearly as many Christians with homosexual feelings who do not believe that homosexual sex is right for Christians as there are those who are advocating its acceptance.”…The Christian’s struggle with homosexuality is unique in many ways, but not completely so.  The dynamics of human sinfulness and divine mercy and grace are the same for all of us, regardless of the particular temptations or weaknesses we face.  In my experience the effort to live faithfully as a gay Christian has involved me in three main battles. 
HOMOSEXUALITY AND THE CHRISTIAN – Yarhouse

HOMOSEXUALITY AND THE CHRISTIAN – Yarhouse

March 26, 2017 By dwayman

Homosexuality and the Christian, Mark A Yarhouse, PsyD. (Bethany House, 2010)  Permission given by Dr. Yarhouse for this digest – the complete work is excellent and recommended since much has been omitted.  You can purchase it here.

  1. Chapter 1: What does God think about Homosexuality?
    1. Sources of authority: Scripture, Christian Tradition, Reason, Personal Experience.
      1. Scripture: Rather than looking at Bible verses related only to homosexuality, it is important to take a broader look at how God’s Word deals with sexuality as a whole.
        1. Creation: What we see in Genesis is that God created heterosexual marriage as the foundation of the family.  This is affirmed later in the New Testament by Jesus, Paul, and others.  God places the act of sex within the bounds of heterosexual marriage, and Christians should understand sex to be a good thing, something intended by God at creation…. Creation is particularly important because it reveals what life was like before the effects of the fall.
        2. The Fall: At the individual level “being fallen” is probably best understood as a splitting of the will…. Many people struggle with obeying God’s revealed will for sexuality and sexual behavior.   The fall has effected sexuality in many ways that have little to do with homosexuality, and there are a large number of examples of this throughout Scripture….
RESOURCE ON SAME-SEX ATTRATION

RESOURCE ON SAME-SEX ATTRATION

March 26, 2017 By dwayman

12/2016  Dr. Denny Wayman

In answer to the request of our Free Methodist family, the Study Commission on Doctrine (SCOD) presents this resource for pastors, parents and parishioners.  The list is certainly not exhaustive and we recognize there is a continuum of opinions and concerns among us as a family of God.  It is not our intention by offering these resources to make them prescriptive, but rather to provide the best recent work so that every pastor, parent and parishioner can be well informed and respond with God’s love rather than with fear or misinformation.  In 2014 Dr. Denny Wayman created a resource in a digested form that, under God’s leadership, provides the same counsel as the majority of authors: God’s love and the guidance of the Holy Spirit are key.  It is available at:  http://fmcusa.org/files/2014/03/Gods-Love-Expressed-Offering-Pastoral-Care-to-LGB-Persons-and-Families.pdf.

In this resource we have explored seven books that present a variety of perspectives and experiences from Christians.  All write from first-hand experience with some bringing their faith in Christ into their same-sex attraction while others bring their professional expertise either as psychologists, practitioners, or researchers.

We would recommend that these books be read in the following order, with the first four being foundational.  However, there may be special interest that would cause a person to go to a specific book first.  Because of this we have provided a comprehensive description of the content of each book.  We thank Dr. Yarhouse and Dr.

SEXUAL ISSUES: A Pastoral Resource

SEXUAL ISSUES: A Pastoral Resource

December 20, 2016 By douglas-britt

Dr. Denny Wayman

We live in a day when Christians are being confronted on a variety of fronts. Perhaps the issue most frequently challenged is our view of sexual purity. Based on the statement in Genesis which Jesus affirms in Matthew, we teach that “in the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” (Matthew 19:4-6) This statement posits the simple fact that our sexuality is a God-intended biological and relational unity that has deep spiritual significance.

Welcoming those who struggle with sexual issues is an important part of pastoral responsibility. In the discussion that follows, we offer answers founded on our understanding of biblical teaching, with the supportive resources of reason in the study of the sciences, the wisdom of our church tradition and the verification of our own experiences.[1] This is not intended to be the final word on these issues and we invite other input on this vital area of pastoral care.

In the vast arena of sexual concerns, this discussion looks at three general areas: sexual purity, sexual variance and sexual disorders.

Sexual Purity

The biblical commandment to “not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14) describes God’s counsel and spiritual requirement in relation to sexual purity.

GOD’S LOVE EXPRESSED AND EXPERIENCED: A Pastoral Response to Same-Sex Attraction

GOD’S LOVE EXPRESSED AND EXPERIENCED: A Pastoral Response to Same-Sex Attraction

December 20, 2016 By dwayman

By Dr. Denny Wayman

An application of Experience and Reason in Caring for Persons with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Orientations and their families Free Methodist Study Commission on Doctrine

The church’s care for persons who self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender1 is important to God. This paper attempts to provide Free Methodist pastors with guidance to faithfully fulfill our calling and express God’s love. As a part of the larger work presenting the Wesleyan Quadrilateral’s reliance on Scripture, Tradition, Reason and Experience, this paper focuses on the wisdom gained from our Experience and our Reasoned study of human sexuality.

An important premise of Wesleyan Theology is that we have faith in God that is not driven by fear, but rather by trusting in the power of God’s sanctifying work. This faith provides space in the individual’s life as well as in the church for God to do His work. According to the Pew Study of 2013, 51% of persons who self-identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual are actively involved in religion.2 The opportunity to care for such persons and trust in God rather than fear, judge or exclude such fellow seekers is our God-given opportunity. The deep longing of every person’s heart is to be accepted and loved. This longing is not only a longing for God’s love but for the love of family and church just as we are. When the church singles out particular groups of people from full inclusion in the community of faith,