Friday, 2 April 2010

Christians and Homosexuality

It's sad to see the Christian Church so torn by the homosexual issue.  There's recently been an interesting exchange between a liberal and conservative Christian at the 'eChurch' website; which I follow, and to which I contribute.  I was particularly taken by the following extract from a post by the liberal, in response to my question as to why homosexuality was singled out with such venom:

"...Your question as to why homosexuality tends to be ’singled out’ makes me stop and think. I’m a Mennonite and not an Anglican but from a distance what is happening in the Anglican Communion grieves me. Effectively Anglicanism is in schism over the issue. I certainly don’t envy Rowan Williams’ position. A sentence including ‘rock’ and ‘hard place’ springs to mind. I suspect homosexuality raises such ire because it appears to strike at the heart of social and religious stability. It’s natural for heterosexuals to react with revulsion to an orientation that runs against our grain. Further, at a time when culture is in a state of flux and the Christian Churches are wrestling with their own marginality in a Post-Christendom setting the acceptance of homosexuality seems to be a sign of just how much has changed. I believe one reason why the churches are having such a hard time with the issue is that we have spent so much time focusing on ‘family values’ that we have forgotten to value singleness. As a divorced and currently single man I feel this acutely. In the end I see sexuality as a test of the Christian Church’s hospitality, generosity and vision. I believe that centuries from now, if Christ hasn’t returned by then, the ‘homosexuality issue’ will be regarded as something like the abolition of slavery. Nearly everyone will say, ‘how did people not see that’. Right now it’s deeply uncomfortable for people like me, who refuse either to let go of Christian authenticity or a passionate commitment to social and sexual justice. Deeply hurtful comments in this thread questioning my Christian commitment and eternal salvation are an illustration. Of course it’s even worse for Gay Christians who are often treated as if the remainder of the Christian Church would like to have them ’surgically removed’. ..."

1 comment:

  1. You would think that, of all faiths, Christianity would be sympathetic and welcoming to gay people. I see Christianity as the one faith that champions the oppressed, the minority, the outcast. And yet too many Christians say the most loathsome things about gay people - especially gay men.

    I have a theory that it's among those straight, white authoritarian men who bang on about the Bible (and most benefit from its teachings) that most of the contempt for homosexuality stems. For these guys, sex doesn't occur unless there's a penis involved. But there must only ever be one penis. They are clearly revolted by gay men's acts whereas lesbians are of far less interest. The emotion only shows when discussing sodomy. Ho hum...

    It's an amazing and humbling thing that there are still gay people who persist with their faith given the rejection and abuse they suffer.

    In the recent past Christians have used the Bible to justify slavery and the oppression of women. Just as these were seen as errors, so I hope the modern church will learn to welcome gay Christians and be glad to help them celebrate commitment. I am all in favour of gay marriage: love is the law.