Posts Tagged ‘homosexuality’

By Matt Horan

So, in a previous blog I just finished saying that the United Methodist Church needs to stay together.  In fairness, I probably owe a little more in terms of how we might do it.  In a season filled with people offering grandiose yet vague solutions, may I not be counted among them.

We would be wise to learn from the principles that have given some success to the Emergent Church and non-denominational church movements over the last 15 years or so, without losing the Wesleyan distinctives that have sustained us since the days of the “Holy Club.” (more…)

By Matt Horan

The Service of Licensing, Commissioning, and Ordination at the 2011 Florida Annual Conference.

Today I read a thoughtful and reasoned exploration of the future of the United Methodist Church written by Professor Jack Jackson from Clermont School of Theology.  I’ve been a fan of Jack’s from afar for several years, and have great faith in his heart’s desire for Methodism to be a vital movement that draws people to Christ, and builds the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven.

The article is well done, but I think there is a more excellent way.
(more…)

Compatibility

Posted: May 22, 2012 by Matt Horan in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

By Matt Horan

While I was in seminary, my candidacy mentor received an email in which one of his church members revealed that he was gay.  He didn’t tell me who it was, but asked me how I would respond.  Sometimes he would give me test cases like this—giving me occasional samplings of pastoral life.

I wrote a compassionate response, full of empathy, but also full of Scripture that made the case that the Biblical view of human sexuality was one man and one woman.  My mentor thanked me for my work, and said that he’d take it into consideration.  He planned to meet the young man in person rather than have the conversation over email.  (As I think about this test case six years later, it occurs to me that I never did hear his actual response to the church member.  I’ll have to ask…)

My view on this has not changed.  The writers of Scripture had no ambiguity about their views—they thought that homosexuality was wrong.  I’ve heard people try to wriggle out of the verses in a variety of ways.  I’ve read that that David and Jonathan were gay lovers.  I’ve read the same thing about Ruth and Naomi.  I’ve read that the main sin in Sodom was not that the men wanted to have sex with the angels who had come to Lot’s house, but that they didn’t show them hospitality.  I’ve read that the word “homosexuality” is too broadly used in English translations, and that it really refers to sexual slavery or rape.

I’ve never met David or Jonathan or Ruth or Naomi, and I wasn’t there on Lot’s front porch when his neighbors clamored for his guests.  I never met Paul, and thus didn’t get to ever ask him about what he really meant when he said that men gave up natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another.  All we have is the text, and while I don’t fault faithful disciples of Jesus Christ for trying to find a new reading for the verses we don’t like, it just can’t be done on this issue.  To say that the writers of Scripture sanctioned anything but heterosexual relationships is simply not a leap that can be made without some of those Flubber shoes from The Absent-Minded ProfessorI can find nothing else but this: the Bible says homosexuality is wrong.

That is why Biblical interpretation is not the reason I have changed my mind about how I’d handle that test case now.  What the Bible says isn’t really in question.  Instead I have reexamined how we use the phrase, “The Bible says.” (more…)

By Matt Horan

This week on the Sojourners website, Jim Wallis wrote about a movement of over 100 former politicians from both sides of the aisle who have come forward with a statement urging reform in the way our current politicians go about their work.  I’m not always very eager to jump on the Jim Wallis bandwagon, as I feel like he’s too easily dragged into the mud himself, especially in his recent feud with Glenn Beck.

However, this is welcome news.  Sojourners is urging the adoption of a “Civility Covenant,” and it is long overdue.

We act as if facts matter.  We act as if gaining supporters to my position is based on convincing people of what is true and what is false.  Once they see that the facts support my side, they’ll be won over.  But facts don’t matter.  Truth doesn’t matter.  What motivates us is not our facts, but our commitments. (more…)