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

think the Bishop has done an excellent job reflecting what he calls the revisionist and traditional points of view; however, there are, in my opinion, three groups involved in this discussion and not just two: Those who have been labeled as homophobic, the homosexist and a third group that I think John Wesley would follow. Indeed he would lead this third group. Homophobic is a term established by those whom I call homosexist. There is very little loving behavior exemplified by their activities. Though they will not admit it, homosexist have had a political agenda from the outset. One of their agendas is easily obeserved and relates to how they were able to get part of the culture to think about those who opposed homosexual behavior as having a mental disorder or phobia. To some extent they may be correct. Many in this group come across as having great difficulty even thinking of those with "same sex attraction" as being human beings. Yet notice that the homosexist were cleary sucessful in changing the language to accuse others of being mentally impaired. So while the homosexist did not want to be labled as mentally impaired, they had no problem naming others as such. Additionally, the homosexist were also successful in getting homosexuality removed from the Psychiatric Manual of Mental disorders (DSM 3). One of those who was and is historically considerd a champion of gay rights, Dr. Robert Spitzer, led the way in this effort to change this psychiatric manual, and he did so because he thought, at the time, that homosexuality is genetically predetermined. He indeed succeeded in getting same sex attraction removed from its derogatory position in this book. Since that time, this same man has changed his treatment protocol. In one study, he interviewed 200 X gays of both genders and has published that reorientation therapy indeed works and he believes it is appropriate to offer this reparative therapy to those who would seek it. He really cares about people of same sex attraction. So he changed his position and is now helping some change their lives, if they wish. You are not likely to find Dr. Robert Spitzer's works in any APA writings, however, because the APA leadership strongly resists allowing him to publish his latest work; nevertheless, if you would like the history of this go to and look in their archives. Also read the latest works located at the top left hand corner of their web page. Examine the article that uses the Bishop's language "Same Sex Attraction." Additionally read The "Trojan couch." It will amaze you how the homosexist have gained their information and transformed a sin into a civil right. Who is NARTH? They are one of the most successful organizations of Medical Doctors, Psychiatrist, Psychologist and clergy who are helping same sex attracted men and women move toward heterosexuality. This is not just a matter of opinion. It is well documented fact. I mentioned there were three groups above: Homophobic and Homosexist. But who makes up the third group? This group is the group that hates the sin and loves the sinner. Why? Because we have ALL been wounded by sin. We know of its power to destroy a life and ensnare a soul. This is the group that has struggled alongside of those who have repented of the sin of homosexuality, and other sins as well, to regain their lives and be free. These are the Wesley type persons who believe "He (Jesus) breaks the power of cancelled sin. He sets the prisoner free. His blood can make the foulest clean. His blood availed for me." This group believes a person should indeed vow to repent to become a member. S/he should not reject taking that vow and still expect to be a full member. This group invites all people to be among the people of God and under the transformational power of the gospel, but decides that membership is sacred and that someone who openly flaunts sexual sin is disrespecting not only the church but the Christ who died for that very person who is determined to not repent. I have a number of questions I would like to ask: Why would we have rules about appropriate sexual behavior, and yet flaunt this one sexual behavior? Why would we prosecute a pedophile, but propose that the homosexual's behavior is a civil right? Why would we throw an adulterous pastor out of his or her pulpit but praise one who shouts "I am gay or lesbian?" (One who proclaims "I am homosexual) Why would we select this sin "to be inclusive?" Why would we say to a bigot "be gone" and say to the one flaunting this sexual sin "come on in?" To the bigot we would say, "We expect change and your behavior will not be tolerated." Yet to the gay say "Go ahead Gay's Ok." Why would we offer a transformational gospel to everyone, as we did at Annual Conference, but be NON-inclusive in offering this transformational power to the same sex attracted someone enslaved by a sexual passion? Why, when reparative/reorientation therapy has worked thousands of times in the lives of same sex attracted persons, do we continue to believe the psuedo-psychobabble that says it does not? Anyone who thinks that reorientation therapy does not work has NOT objectively looked at the data! Why would a church who once shouted "Scriptural holiness is our aim" change to a church that now proclaims, "There is no need to change because we are all sinners just the same?" I close by thanking the Bishop and all who are involved in making this forum possible. I have friends who have struggled through the battle with their same sex attractions. I love them very much. I have others in my life whom I love who are struggling with same issue. It is my strong desire to be a part of the group I have labled "The Wesley Group." If we truly want to be inclusive, let us be inclusive in bringing everyone into the life changing transformational gospel of Jesus Christ. In Christian Love,

Alfred McGowen
United Methodist Temple, Lakeland

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