In all that I read, I came across this post, by Jonathan Marlowe bringing up the "Theological Irony" of some of the debates that we have been having on things. The one thing that I will give Jonathan a great deal of praise for is that he has taken everything at face value when it comes to the Church Discipline. No matter what the discussion, homosexuality to pacificism, he sticks with his arguments in support of the Church Discipline (although I still don't understand the whole pacifisim thing, church driven or not, but I digress).
Along the lines of Jonathan, I really do not understand the huge debate about homosexuality in the Methodist Church either. With each posting comes the usual comments, but when I really look at each comment and the posting, they are more politically motivated than anything else.
Homosexuality is a tough subject, I admit that, but why is it any tougher than talking about adultery or fornication? Simple reason: society at this time has been less accepting of homosexuality than they are of adultery and fornication. You cannot watch TV today without a show about infidelity or teenagers having sex. While the main stream media has taken homosexuality as a less complex issue and continues to bring it to the forefront in our lives, many Christians still disagree with it as a whole. The Christian Church is so appaled at homosexuality as a whole, they have trouble addressing the needs of the homosexual community and push them away.
I am tired of this worn out debate. I want to say my peace and move on to more pressing matters in life (like what the heck are I getting my wife for Valentine's Day). Here is a list of possibly not so insightful insights into this issue without dragging political correctness, folkways and mores, church doctrine, and societal acceptance into this. Let's just address it from the point of view of the Bible.
First off, to warn you, I believe in the inerrancy of the Bible. I believe in the greater "meta-narrative" (as described by Mark Driscoll here). I believe God meant what He said and said what He meant in the overall writing of the bible. I do not take the Bible literally, i.e., 1 day in creation was 24 of our hours, but I understand that no matter how "silly" some things in the Bible may seem to you, God inspired those words to be written for a reason. With that, here it goes.
1.) Homosexuality is wrong - Here is where the problem starts. If I, as a Christian, am going to say that homosexuality is wrong and I dispise it, then I should be jumping on the anti-adultery bandwagon, the no sex before marriage bandwagon, the anti-pornography bandwagon, the do not divorce your wife for anything but infidelity bandwagon. Homosexuality falls under that umbrella defined in Leviticus 18 under the Laws of Morality. It is a sexual immoral act, just as all the others that I mentioned above.
Some of you are already arguing as to following the laws of the Old Testament...Well here are a few reasons:
Acts 15 - Council at Jerusalem - The apostles and the elders are debating what laws the Jews and the Gentiles should follow when they become Christian. Since most of you reading this are now Jewish, I will skip to the Gentile part of this.
It was at this time in the early church that the distinction that we are no longer bond by the law, but we were all saved by Christ's death, resurrection, and grace is defined. Peter understood that ALL MEN, Gentile or Jew, have been saved in the same manner and have been touched by the Holy Spirit. With this understanding, he asked in Acts 15:10:
"Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?" (NKJV)
Peter questions why the Apostles and Elders were telling the Gentiles they must fall under the Old Law when even the Jewish forefathers failed at compliance, thus the need for Christ Jesus. A compromise is made when Paul, Barnabas, Judas named Barnabas, and Silas send this letter to the council:
"They wrote this, letter by them:
The apostles, the elders, and the brethren,
To the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia:
Since we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, "You must be circumcised and keep the law" -to whom we gave no such commandment - it seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who will also report the same things by word of mouth. For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well.
Farewell. " Acts 15:23-29 (NKJV)