The church and homosexuality [July 12, 2006 {0516}; An e-Review Florida UMNS Commentary by Bishop Timothy W. Whitaker]

e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service

always having had homosexual tendencies. I give this as one example of many people ... the question I pose is this: If homosexuality is a sin, according to the church's interpretation of the scripture, then why is it that those who are homosexual struggle constantly with those feelings and even go through the process of confessing their "sins" and are never "cleansed?" What saddened me with this gentleman is that he was confessing his true nature and was living a trapped life for his entire life. It was not until the end of his life, where he finally acknowledged openly and freely to everyone the true nature of his being that he finally found freedom in his faith, peace with God, and validation for who he was as one who was created in the image of God. It was a privilege to be a part of that process with him and watch how God truly works in persons to bring them to a place of truth and wholeness about themselves. There's a Native American Proverb that says to never judge a person until we've walked a mile in their moccasins. I believe that to be true of the controversy around homosexuality. The church has not "walked a mile in the other person's moccasins." Homosexual people are being oppressed spiritually when they cannot live openly and honestly. Homosexual people are being turned into the scapegoat of the culture ... being made to bear all the sins of society. Until we learn to listen to those homosexual people who are bold enough to speak about their sexual orientation, we will not "walk a mile in their moccasins" and will continue to take an arrogant stance of false piety rather than realizing we all live on the same planet, and we are called simply to love one another and love God.

Amy Jones
Northern Illinois Conference

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