Where Does Your Church Stand on Homosexuality?
Do you know for sure? Have you asked your minister?
TREMENDOUS changes have been going on in the churches, including changes in their views on homosexuality. The Christian Century, December 15, 1971, notes:
“More and more ‘mainline’ denominations are now prepared to welcome homosexuals to membership and participation in their life, both in England and in the United States.”
So you see, the questions asked here are appropriate ones. Do you really know where your church stands on homosexuality?
The apparent success of churches established especially for homosexuals has had a lot to do with the ‘mainline’ churches changing their attitude toward homosexuality. The first homosexual church was organized in 1968, but now there are reportedly 43 homosexual congregations in 19 states and London, with an international membership of 15,000! Also, there is the homosexual synagogue Beth Chayim Chadashim in California, and Rabbi Erwin Herman says that its “chances are excellent” for membership in the Union of American Hebrew Congregations.
Of course, it is still true that if certain ‘mainline’ churches learn that their minister is a homosexual, they may remove him. But such action is counter to the trend. No longer, for example, is it the policy at Union Theological Seminary to dismiss known homosexuals studying for the ministry. In fact, in June 1972 the two-million-member United Church of Christ ordained an openly declared homosexual minister. In the voting, 27 clergymen favored the ordination, 13 opposed.
With the changes in view, some religious leaders are now openly declaring their homosexuality. One wrote in The Christian Century, September 27, 1972:
“I hold the highest degree one can earn in religion; I have taught at the university level for almost 20 years; and I am an ordained minister. . . . I prefer the company of men—in bed and out.”
Are you disgusted by this? If we love God and his inspired Word we will be, for the Bible says: “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.” Also, instead of treating homosexuals as Christians, the apostle Paul declared: “Do not be deceived; neither the immoral . . . nor homosexuals . . . will inherit the kingdom of God.” They could become Christians only after abandoning immoral ways.—Lev. 18:22; 1 Cor. 6:9, 10, Revised Standard Version.
Despite these plain Scriptural statements, many churches are welcoming practicing homosexuals. In fact, the Washington Daily News reported: “An increasing number of clergy (both homosexual and heterosexual) are officiating at ‘marriages’ of both male and female homosexuals.” As an example, the Boston Globe, April 8, 1973, observed:
“Two Boston men who met while studying for the United Methodist ministry were ‘married’ yesterday in the denomination’s Old West Church . . . The homosexual wedding ceremony . . . was performed by Rev. William E. Alperts, pastor.”
“However,” you may say, “my church would never approve such things.” But are you sure? Did you know that many leaders of the Episcopal, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Catholic, Methodist, Baptist and other religious bodies do approve of homosexuality?
EPISCOPAL Bishop J. Brooke Mosley, president of Union Theological Seminary in New York city, recently said:
I firmly believe that a homosexually oriented person can be a sound and faithful Christian; and what’s more, that he or she can be a dedicated Christian minister—and some of them already are.”
In 1970 the 182nd General Assembly of the UNITED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH published and recommended for study a report that states:
“The ethical reflections and personal attitudes of the Christian community should be such that homosexual persons will not be made to feel that their sexual preference is in irresolvable conflict with their membership in the Christian fellowship.”
Also in 1970, in its Fifth Biennial Convention, the LUTHERAN CHURCH IN AMERICA approved this statement on homosexuality:
“Persons who engage in homosexual behavior are sinners only as are all other persons—alienated from God and neighbor. . . . It is essential to see such persons as entitled to understanding and justice in church and community.”
ROMAN CATHOLIC priest Henry Fehren, writing in the September 1972 U.S. Catholic, which magazine was “published with ecclesiastical approval,” said:
“If God does not abhor, but rather loves, the homosexual with the nature he was created with we can do no less. And this means that we must accept the homosexual as he is. . . .
“Homosexual love can be as noble, beautiful and holy as heterosexual love.”
W. Paul Jones, professor at Saint Paul School of Theology METHODIST, Kansas City, Missouri, wrote in Pastor Psychology, December 1970:
“We conclude that . . . profound relation between two members of the same sex is not only morally permissible but is to be sought, encouraged, supported, and enabled with all the powers at our command. There is no substitute for such relation, and of it the homosexual must not be denied.”
And in Review and Expositor, Spring 1971, a journal published by the faculty of the SOUTHERN BAPTIST Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky, Professor John H. Boyle said:
“The roots of the sin lie not in the homosexual act itself. . . .
“If the Church is true to her calling she must declare boldly that homosexuals are persons, made in the image of God, for whom Christ died, and that by God’s grace they who were no people are God’s people, for once they had not received mercy but now they have received mercy.”
Yes, eminent religious leaders of the ‘mainline’ churches do approve of homosexuality. They have rejected the Bible. As Episcopal Bishop Brooke Mosley said: “Our understanding of Christian morality has advanced far beyond the Old Testament laws . . . and the St. Paul edicts.” If the leaders of the ‘mainline’ churches say such things, can you really be sure that your minister does not feel similarly? Why not ask him?