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 homosexuality
CHASTITY AND HOMOSEXUALITY in CATHOLIC CATECHISM

CHASTITY AND HOMOSEXUALITY in CATHOLIC CATECHISM

May 10, 2017 By dwayman

In the Catechism of the Catholic church this is the teaching on Chastity and Same-Sex attracted people.  What do you find that you appreciate about this teaching and what questions does this raise for you:

 

Chastity and homosexuality

2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.”142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity.

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.

HOMOSEXUALITY ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE

HOMOSEXUALITY ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE

December 21, 2016 By dwayman

By David R. Bauer

Like all Christian bodies, the Free Methodist Church is presently confronted with the necessity of responding to strong cultural pressures to accept homosexual relationships, especially those described as “monogamous, covenantal partnerships.” The recent move to legalize “gay marriage” in many states (and nations) has provided the impetus to address this matter with urgency, intentionality, and careful deliberation.

The biblical understanding and evaluation of homosexuality stand at the center of the Church’s response. This centrality of the Bible in the current discussion stems from two considerations. First, the Christian Church in general and the Free Methodist Church in particular hold the Bible to be the ultimate authority in all matters pertaining to faith and conduct. Indeed, the refusal to accept homosexuality in the Christian tradition throughout history derives from the biblical witness. Second, the Bible’s consistent negative appraisal of homosexuality is the primary obstacle to the acceptance of homosexuality by the majority of contemporary Christians and Christian bodies.

A proper examination of the biblical position will be sensitive to both exegetical and hermeneutical issues. In an effort to acknowledge the historical and incarnational character of the Scriptures, an appropriate examination will carefully pursue the exegesis, or interpretation, of relevant passages in order to ascertain how the inspired authors intended that the original readers in their own historical contexts should understand these passages. But such an examination will recognize also that the Bible is more than an amalgam of passages. The Bible is canonical Scripture,

RESPONSE TO SEXUALITY AND SEXUAL ORIENTATION

RESPONSE TO SEXUALITY AND SEXUAL ORIENTATION

December 20, 2016 By dwayman

By Bishop Matthew Thomas

Anyone living in 21st century North America should be familiar with changing societal mores regarding human sexuality. Most pastors have frequent opportunities for ministry and face questions pertaining to Biblical teaching on sexual matters and how it applies to their ministry- preaching, teaching, baptism, discipleship, membership and marriage. What is the Free Methodist Church’s position, understanding of and ministry counsel related to these matters?

The Biblical and historic understanding of the church on sexuality and marriage have remained largely unchanged in most of Protestantism and other Orthodox movements of the church throughout the centuries. But, societal changes in terminology and sexual expression press the church to clarify its terms and shape the church’s response while maintaining integrity with Scripture and the church’s doctrine. Refining responses and engaging societally changing norms is important for all pastors. Freelancing in theology praxis resulting in simply succumbing to societal pressure for conformity or developing unhealthy and graceless responses are not options for pastoral response. The church’s primary task remains to serve Christ and remain faithful to Him and His Word.

Fidelity to a Biblical hermeneutic and Scriptural authority has been sacrificed on this one issue in many churches and denominations. Modifying Biblical interpretation in ways that forsake sound exegesis in this one area renders suspect exegetical integrity on all other matters. The list of churches and denominations that have modified their exegesis resulting in a diminished their view of Scriptural authority are numerous. This has become a hermeneutical watershed for many since the Scriptures are consistent and clear on most issues connecting gender relationships as it relates to sexuality.

HOMOSEXUALITY AND THE CHURCH HISTORIC

HOMOSEXUALITY AND THE CHURCH HISTORIC

December 20, 2016 By dwayman

By Dr. Bruce N. G. Cromwell

What Does the Tradition Component of the Quadrilateral Have to Say Regarding the LGBT Debate?

Free Methodist Study Commission on Doctrine, 2014

Even a cursory examination of Church history finds numerous statements from mothers and fathers of the faith regarding sexuality, including what contemporary discourse has identified as LGBT sexual orientation.1 When it comes to sexual activity beyond the bonds of marriage between one man and one woman, the Church speaks with one voice: such practice is not consistent with God’s will for human sexuality, procreation, and fulfillment in marriage.

Though the focus of such teaching has varied, from a perversion of roles (males playing the part of females), to the corruption of youth (pedophilia), to the inability to procreate (homosexual activity is not a complementary union, able to transmit life), to the abuse of power (including clergy who engage in sexual liberties), the Church has been univocal. All sexual conduct outside of God’s perfect plan is “ordered toward an instrinsic moral evil.”2

However, in recent years the Church has also been clear and consistent in a call to mercy and compassion. On October 1, 1986, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of the Roman Catholic Church published its second document on the subject. Signed by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger and approved by Pope John Paul II, it was called a “Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons.” Within it,