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

Indeed, we need to celebrate with Darwin the things that are Darwin’s, for Darwin and all his kindred, whether they know it or not, are servants of God. When they do their work with integrity, they teach us what the Creator has done and is doing. What science teaches us about human sexuality is important to this argument. We may not know everything about human sexuality but there is a consensus on some things: There is such a thing as sexual orientation and it is formed in each of us long before we have any ability to make a decision about it. There are also some lessons from history, ancient and modern: The actions of the church and the wider society have been extremely harmful to homosexual persons. We have much to repent of. While your suggested approach is more humane, it still segregates homosexual people from heterosexual people in a way that is painful and degrading. There is something wrong with heterosexual people deciding about the life homosexual people live before God. I have a different idea. You say: “…many people who experience same-sex attraction are devout Christians who exhibit signs of God’s grace in their lives and have made significant contributions to the church and society. Most of us treasure them as friends or relatives.” Perhaps we should find a group of people who “experience same-sex attraction” and who are devout Christians and who have expertise in biblical studies and/or Christian ethics and see what they think about our church policy.

James Veatch, Retired Elder, New York Annual Conference
Bayside United Methodist Church

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