Monday, August 20, 2007

Sex Wars

My friend (I hope she doesn't mind me describing her that way) Kelly Fryer is the one that came up with the term for the subject of this post. She has written a few responses to what has happened at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly. Much of what I've seen written (I'm speaking in general) seem to be about votes taken on the debates about sexuality, or as she described it the "sex wars." I just love that turn of phrase.

Anyway, I appreciated her approach to how we might work through all of this stuff within the ELCA. If I'm understanding Kelly correctly, the bottom line is we need to take an outward, missional approach to these matters. We need to worry more about what those people who don't have a relationship with Jesus than about those people who already have a relationship. I say, "Right on!"

In fact, her list reminded me of a Bible study I attended in Alaska once. Okay, it was actually more of a lecture, but he did talk about the Bible a lot. The speaker was a professor from the Lutheran Seminary in Berkeley, CA. He was talking about Paul's instruction that women not teach in the church. If you look at the context in which Paul was writing, it would have been offensive to people to have women in the pulpit and they would not have heard the gospel. Just as it would be offensive to so many people now to keep women out of the pulpit so we encourage them to step up and proclaim God's word lest people would stop hearing the Gospel.

Would it not be logical to look at GBLT in the pulpit in a similar way? Might there be places where it would be offensive to be in the pulpit? Then don't have them preach. Might there also be places where it would be offensive to keep them out of the pulpit? Then by all means preach away. What if we worked for the rights (something all of us should be able to understand) of those in the GBLT communities? What if we fought on on their behalf to the point where they were accepted as equals every where in this country?

I know this might be kind of a radical point of view for some... but wasn't Jesus kind of a radical person? Do we believe that Jesus died for everyone or just a select few (that just so happens to include ourselves)?

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