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A Pastoral Response to the Homosexuality in the Church

The following was written as part of my theological studies and in response to the pain and suffering I have seen in my journey with the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender) community. All the stories told are taken from current literature, however I hope to continue and expand my research in 2011, with new examples and real life stories, taken from people that I have met.

If you or somebody you know would like to tell your story, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Rev. Matt Glover,
Lilydale Baptist Church

Introduction

Every book I have read about homosexuality and Christianity starts off with a statement about how the debate is tearing the church apart. After debating the issue for years, we are no closer to a resolution and it seems that homosexuality is becoming more divisive in the world wide church. Positions have polarized with the church community and the LGBT community in a face-off over who claims the correct Biblical interpretation and theology. But even within the church, denominations and congregations are being divided to the point of schism, and the unity of the Body of Christ is in disarray.

In the middle of the conflict are men and women, young people and old, who are genuinely wrestling with big questions about their sexuality and spirituality. Young people struggling with their sexual identity are scared to raise their questions in the church environment for fear of isolation and ridicule. These same young people summon up enough courage to “come out” to their parents, who in turn wonder what they have done wrong, hiding their struggles and questions from wider family and community. Slowly gay and lesbian people drift from the church, and the cycle of loneliness continues.

Our churches have argued the issue on biblical, theological and moral grounds for years, and agreement seems elusive. But as the battles rage, real people are being forgotten, left bruised and hurting, and wondering where they fit. While not tackling the more specific issues of the debate like gay marriage and the ordination of practicing homosexuals, it is the purpose of this paper to bring another approach to the issue that is based on our equality before God, the work of the Spirit in our lives, and the unity that the Spirit produces in our church communities.

This alternative approach requires journeying with the real people stuck in the middle of the debate, listening to their questions and seeking answers together. It is a pastoral response that has its grounding in scripture and in my experience of ministry over the last twenty years.

To continue reading this article, please download the full PDF version of this paper by clicking here. This is a free download.

One Response to “A Pastoral Response to the Homosexuality in the Church”

  1. Lesley Annesley

    Oct 15th, 2011 :

    My simple response to the divided church clergy on this matter is, “Return to Jesus Christ’s model of Love.”
    To my knowledge, Jesus Christ was a being of love and light who saw no division in fellow men and women. He loved all inclusive of their colour ,race, creed or gender. Where there is division and exclusion, there can be no true acceptance or love of those fellow humans who are different. True divinity and the teachings of Jesus Christ, if followed in our man-made churches today more fully, particularly with this example of LGBT exclusion in certain churches , would help them to regain purpose but more wholesomesly, would give equality to the deserving LGBT community.
    My son is gay and is the most gentle, loving, compassionate, warm and kind person you could meet.
    Jesus would have embraced him unconditionally!
    I ask of the Church Clergies,” Seek deeper into the nature of love”. Love is divine.Love has no boundaries or divisions. It is equally for all.

    In the name of love

    Lesley Annesley.

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