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 transgender
SEXUALITY AND GENDER

SEXUALITY AND GENDER

July 19, 2017 By dwayman

In the fall of 2016 The New Atlantis published a study introduced by the editor as:

Editor’s Note: Questions related to sexuality and gender bear on some of the most intimate and personal aspects of human life. In recent years they have also vexed American politics. We offer this report — written by Dr. Lawrence S. Mayer, an epidemiologist trained in psychiatry, and Dr. Paul R. McHugh, arguably the most important American psychiatrist of the last half-century — in the hope of improving public understanding of these questions. Examining research from the biological, psychological, and social sciences, this report shows that some of the most frequently heard claims about sexuality and gender are not supported by scientific evidence. The report has a special focus on the higher rates of mental health problems among LGBT populations, and it questions the scientific basis of trends in the treatment of children who do not identify with their biological sex. More effort is called for to provide these people with the understanding, care, and support they need to lead healthy, flourishing lives.”

The credentials of these authors are not in question, and the science has not been refuted.  However, such publication as The New Atlantis, is described by editor Adam Keiper as being written from a “particularly American and conservative way of thinking about both the blessings and the burdens of modern science and technology.”

LGBT – ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY

LGBT – ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY

March 29, 2017 By dwayman

Annotated Bibliography of Select LGBT References

Rev. Bruce N. G. Cromwell, Ph.D.
SCOD 2013

Bell, Rob. Sex God: Exploring the Endless Connections between Sexuality and Spirituality. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2007.

Rob Bell is, well, Rob Bell. This is a very readable and compelling book that is more about relationships than sexuality per se. Roughly 200 pages (when you include the end-notes, Scripture citations, and the like) it’s a book that I’d certainly recommend but not one that necessarily speaks loudly into this particular conversation. Could it help someone improve their marriage? Absolutely. Could it help us in formulating a compassionate response to the LGBT question? Perhaps, but not directly.

And to be honest, the fact that it’s Rob might turn some people off. I like this work of his. I don’t remember anything in it that made me squirm or get queasy. But it might not be the best thing for some people to be handed a book but someone whose name is inflammatory in certain circles. Just a thought.

Brown, Peter. The Body and Society: Men, Women, and Sexual Renunciation in Early Christianity. New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 1988.

I first read this work while working on my doctorate in Patristics. Peter Brown is a genius when it comes to Christian antiquity, and I pretty much trust his analysis and scholarship at face value.

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,