Yes, you keep hearing it over and over again – it is like listening to a broken record! The same gender coupling movement is growing and strong support has been seen coming from most every realm of our society. Some church leaders have switched “sides” in recent months, confessing their errors, and now give endorsement to the same gender coupling way of life! The United Methodist Church has witnessed this fascinating phenomenon taking place. If you aren’t aware of this, then take a look at Episcopal Endorsement of Same Gender Coupling! (Use reverse feature on your web browser to return here.)
So then – suppose the same gender coupling crowd and its supporters finally get what they’re after – namely, full acceptance with sanctioned “union” ceremonies and ultimately civil and church approved “marriages” with all the attending benefits and privileges! And of course this means full participation in church and community life with universal acknowledgement that this is a totally normal thing as would be the case with heterosexual married couples and their families!
If the church does reach this point (and for the UMC it could happen a General Conference or two down the road) then there are other sexual “orientations” we must deal with that are a part of our culture as well.
Suppose a church gets a young pastor who is single but who is of a “groupie” orientation in his sexual preferences. That is, he likes to engage in sexual antics with as many as a half dozen young women all at the same time! Wait a minute now – how can you object? He says he was born that way and besides, he is “committed” to this particular lifestyle, as are the young women who also voice their loving “commitment” to this which is but one of a wide diversity of lifestyles being practiced in today’s world! And don’t go bringing the Bible into this – that has already been ruled as inadmissible and not applicable by the same gender coupling group. Alright then, on the basis of the logic used to justify same gender coupling lifestyles by “committed” he’s and she’s, it appears that we’ll have to accept Rev. Sexual Diversity and his stable of playmates as legitimate in the life and ministry of the church as well!
And how about the pastor whose lifestyle is practicing adultery? Used to be that these were kicked out and their credentials had to be surrendered, but we’re in a different ball game now. Nope you can’t object because this pastor also claims “commitment” as does the three adulteresses with whom he is involved! As above, you can’t bring the Bible into this – for if you do, then you are being more than hypocritical for saying that adultery is condemned, but sex acts involving 2 men together or 2 women together are not condemned. You see, the key here is using certain terminology – the Rev. who is involved with three other married women claims his relationships are all “committed” and on the other end, the females say the very same thing – it’s all about commitment. Seems they learned this lesson from the same gender couplers! So who can object to their coming into the life and ministry of the church?
Here you are in a church that is growing and new families are moving into the community and becoming very active in your church. And then one day you make a discovery that is a bit unsettling -- one of the new families in the church is deeply involved in the practice of incest! There are 2 teen-aged daughters and 1 teen-aged son, and you learned about this due to a remark dropped by the son -- he said something about how his family really "loved" each other and it was more than just a "spiritual" love. So you visit the family and apologetically ask about what the son had told you, along with some of the graphic details. Without a bit of embarrassment the parents admit that they practice incest in their family on a regular basis, and again provide details as to who has sexual relations with whom, etc. Their explanation and justification for it? Why they were "born" that way and are "oriented" to enjoying sexual experiences with each other -- they make it truly a "family affair" and are "committed" to this lifestyle!
What do you do? How do you protest this? What will the pastor do? What will the official board (or whatever they call the governing agency of the church) do? Yes, many would say that this is morally wrong and cannot be tolerated, would they not? And you express agreement -- indeed, this is completely against all that is sacred and holy! Just on what basis do you say that? You reply that the Bible forbids it. Come on now -- you can't use that line of argument anymore -- if the Bible cannot be used to declare sodomy and lesbianism a moral wrong, then it can't be used against incest either. And those practicing incest can use the same logic to justify their way of life as is used by the sodomites and lesbians. So then, we have to accept those who practice incest if we accept those who practice sodomy and lesbianism. After all, the family claimed they "loved" one another and were "committed" to one another -- isn't that what it's all about, according to the same-sex coupling crowd?
Then there's the guy who moves into the community, becomes active in the church, and eventually transfers his membership to your congregation. After a year or so he is asked to serve in a leadership position in the church and all are happy that he accepts. He is a role model when it comes to all that an active church member should be, until the day the pastor visits and spots some very x-rated photos of naked children mixed among some magazines on a coffee table -- seems our role model church member is not only a careless house keeper, but has this thing about getting children alone and taking certain pictures of them as well as attempting to engage in sexual acts with them!
Ok, here we go again as in incidents mentioned above. But can we really condemn the man? When confronted about this, his response is the same as the others -- he was "born" that way -- that is, his "sexual orientation" is such that he likes children, to see them naked, and to engage in sexual acts with them. And you know that we hear more and more about not discriminating against people due to their "sexual orientation" and that the church should be all inclusive and without prejudice when it comes to people who have a different "sexual orientation" from our own heterosexual kind!
So, in order to be fair and "consistent" we will just have to accept the guy who likes naked kids -- that is, if we accept the same-gender coupling people and their way of life without question or objection! Again -- a solemn reminder -- don't bring the Bible into this -- it has no relevance on the "sexual orientation" issue, according to those who declare that sexual activity involving men with men and women with women is just as legitimate as sexual relations between a husband and a wife!
But the best is yet to be! A female pastor of a certain church enjoys sexual experiences with animals and also claims, as do many others, that she was born “oriented” that way. Hey! Don’t go dragging those statements out of the book of Leviticus into this – haven’t you heard by now? The same gender coupling bunch says you can’t do that because it has absolutely nothing to do with “committed” he’s and she’s who want to be a part of the life and ministry of the church, while continuing to practice their unique brand of living! And there are pastors and church leaders who support them on that. And so, as with the others, Ms. Rev. says she is “committed” in a loving relationship due to her special type of “orientation!” Who are we to be judgmental and deny her the privilege to be included in the life and ministry of the church?
In fact, the UMC statement in the Book of Discipline which declares homosexual persons to be persons of “sacred worth” should be expanded to say that “bestiality persons” are persons of “sacred worth” also! And we dare not discriminate in the case of those persons who enjoy sexual experiences with animals because of their “sexual orientation.” They too need to feel that they are welcomed, included, and encouraged to be an active participant in the life and ministry of the church.
Are you getting the picture by now? Do you see a unique type of the opening of the proverbial “can of worms” happening here?
Here’s what it comes down to – God gave to the members of the human race a very special, beautiful, and powerful gift called human sexuality. Used within the boundaries which He has established, it has proved to indeed be all of that. But like dynamite – use it legally and within the boundaries of common sense and it has positive benefits. But abuse it and ignore the rules of common sense and it will destroy you!
Depraved human nature has always demonstrated that it is capable of taking something beautiful given by God and twisting, distorting, and perverting it for use which God never intended with disaster the inevitable result in one form or another! Human sexuality is a graphic example of this demonstration.
Well now – if we accept one perversion of God’s sacred gift of human sexuality, as we have been pressured to do for some time now, then ought we not accept all the others as we encounter them in order to be consistent in our treatment of sexual issues? And don’t forget, that may include Ms. Rev and her Doberman Pinscher!
Personally, I choose to play this one out according to God’s rules in spite of the flak that comes in the form of labels such as “homophobe” and other such flattering expressions. Further, I am encouraged in taking this position because of rock solid assurance that God will write the final chapter as human history draws to a conclusion, at which time every member of the human race will know that God indeed meant every word He said when He laid out the boundaries for expressing and experiencing human sexuality!
by Clayton D. Harriger
Elder in Full Connection
W. PA Annual Conference
The United Methodist Church
and presently pastor of
Gipsy Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
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