Skip to content

The Church, The Bible, Same-Sex Relationships and Gender Identity: An online resource to facilitate open conversations – Oasis Foundation

March 2, 2017

oasisLinks take you to more detailed information or to video clips.

The conservative position is included into the mix so that people can make up their own minds. The view of the Campolos are contrasted.

A lot of space is devoted to Vicky Beeching. Sharon Ferguson appears too. And a leader of Vineyard.

A bisexual claims that bis. are most misunderstood.

There should be more on scripture but the link to an outside trice about this doesn’t work Romans 1 is dealt with..

Quotations:

‘At Oasis UK, we believe that theology isn’t just a subject to study; it’s a conversation to explore… we commit ourselves to the continuous task of honouring and grappling with the Bible in community and with God. ‘

We seek to explore our beliefs through conversation, debate and dialogue. I invite you to join that conversation’

In his letter to parents ‘What to do after your child says ‘I’m gay’, Paul identifies four common ways in which homosexuality is viewed by different parts of the Christian community.

  1. Homosexuality is a conscious and defiant rebellion against God, His laws and nature. This calls for a response of repentance leading to deliverance. But is that what homosexuality is? Such a response can be deeply hurtful and damaging to someone who has desperately prayed, fasted and sought God to change their sexual orientation. Such effort more often than not causes a terrible sense of failure, shame, self-oathing– and absolutely no change in their gender attraction.
  1. Homosexuality is an illness like alcoholism, where behavioural activity brings the bondage of addiction. This calls for a response requiring total abstinence – celibacy,avoidance of gay friends, books, and films, for example. But is that what homosexuality is? While the apostle Paul gives high regard to the state of singleness,for example, there is also accommodation for those who are not called to be single.There is a profound difference between choosing to abstain from sex because you have not yet found a lifelong partner and imposing celibacy on someone, preventing them from ever exploring the possibility of finding a companion in life.
  1. Homosexuality is brokenness, a tragedy of nature, something never intended byGod. Gay and lesbian people are victims of a broken world. This calls for aresponse of compassion and understanding, making adaptations in a similar way tomaking adaptations for someone who is a wheelchair user, such as providing accessible car parking bays. But is that what homosexuality is? Many gay andlesbian people will take offence at the concept of being called ‘broken’ (as wouldmany disabled people). ‘Brokenness’ carries with it a sense of inferiority, a ‘lessthan God’s best’, a sense of ‘being a victim’.
  1. Homosexuality is one of the varieties of nature , one of the delightful differences that appear to contradict the norm, such as being left-handed. This calls for a response of celebration.

Have you talked to gay and lesbian Christians to gain insight on this issue?

Too often the debate on same-sex relationships or gender identity has ended up with battle lines drawn, where we dig in, and throw verbal bombs and grenades at each other.  We take an entrenched position of ‘I’m right and you are wrong’. The only way to bridge this ‘them’ and ‘us’ gap, is to start having open, honest and  respectful conversations.

As a child Vicky soon became aware of the attitudes towards homosexuality surrounding her. She learnt of them in Sunday school. ‘It was in children’s picture books about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah –hailstones of fire raining down on these cities known for the “abomination” of homosexuality. It was viewed as a terrible evil, the cause of the floods. I don’t think that my parents brought it up – it was just a given.’

I met so many people who had faith to move mountains and who had prayed and struggled their whole lives to become straight, but their attractions had still never changed. Even the national leaders and “success stories” of these change ministries privately admitted to me that they hadn’t become straight. Yes, some of them had married a member of the opposite sex, but the “happily heterosexual” face they showed to the world was not the reality. I heard more tragic stories behind closed doors than I can possibly convey.

His every need required attention and help from his partner. Think catheters, urine bags, diapers, etc. I remember thinking how absolutely  vulnerable this young man would be, if not for his partner’s faithful care. We had a part of our service in those days called ‘prayers of the people,’ where people could speak out prayers spontaneously. It came shortly after the song, and after a few people prayed out loud, the musician’s brother spoke out. ‘I want to thank God for people who love you and stay by you no matter what.’

The loyalty and commitment of these two men struck me even more poignantly: the healthy one was staying with his dying partner not because he had to, not because he had legally vowed to, not because it was expected of him or he was obligated to do so, but because he wanted to, because of love. Nothing except love kept him in the relationship. God was revealed to me in that commitment. (The essence of the marriage vows was also revealed to me … for better for worse, in sickness and in health).  Fidelity, faithfulness, dependability, a refusal to leave or forsake … this quality of love, I think, is one of the highest and purest revelations of God.

It’s online here

Return to the home page

Advertisements

From → Sexuality

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: