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« Why, If We Share the Same Bible, Do Presbyterians Differ So Widely on the Issue of Gay Ordination? Section 3 | Home | Laity Lodge Photos »

But Won’t Presbyterians Ultimately Change Their Position on Gay Ordination, Just Like They Did on the Ordination of Women?

By Mark D. Roberts | Thursday, July 31, 2008

Part 12 of series: The End of the Presbyterian Church USA? Revisited
Permalink for this post / Permalink for this series

One of the most common arguments you’ll hear these days from proponents of gay ordination goes something like this:

Presbyterians used to oppose the ordination of women on the basis of the Bible. But in spite of biblical teaching to the contrary, we now ordain women. So it will be with the ordination of gays and lesbians. In time, we’ll realize that they should be ordained. It’s inevitable.

On the surface, this argument from analogy seems to be convincing. It’s true that Presbyterians once opposed the ordination of women, but now we ordain them. (To be precise, some Presbyterian denominations, such as the PCUSA or the EPC, allow the ordination of women, while others, such as the PCA or the OPC, do not.) And when we see how our culture is moving rapidly in the direction of normalizing homosexuality, it seems reasonable that many Presbyterians will follow suit. In fact, I am convinced that within relatively few years there will be either a Presbyterian denomination or a large grouping within an existing Presbyterian denomination that does, in fact, ordain gay and lesbian people.

But the analogy between the ordination of women and the ordination of active homosexuals is a flawed one. It is quite logical for someone to endorse the ordination of women while opposing the ordination of active homosexuals. For one thing, the “women’s issue” has to do with including or excluding people on the basis of their identity. Women were precluded from ordained ministry, not because of anything they had done or not done, but simply because of their gender. The “gay issue,” on the contrary, is primarily about behavior, not identity. In the Presbyterian Church USA, a person with a homosexual orientation is not prevented from being ordained if that person pledges to live a chaste life. It’s only a person’s intention to be involved in homosexual behavior that prohibits his or her ordination.

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, the analogy between women’s ordination and gay ordination is flawed because it implies that biblical teaching about women in ministry is more or less similar to biblical teaching about gay people in ministry. But this implication ignores the huge differences between biblical teaching on women and biblical teaching on homosexuals. Let me explain.

The biblical case against the ordination of women depends primarily on three New Testament texts: 1 Corinthians 11:2-16 (veiling of women); 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 (silence of women); 1 Timothy 2:11-15 (silence of women). Opponents of women’s ordination will often point to Ephesians 5:21-33 (submission of wives to husbands) and Genesis 2 (secondary creation of women) to buttress their position, as well as to Jesus’s choice of twelve males as his most intimate disciples. Now I happen to believe that all of these biblical passages, when rightly understood, actually support the ordination of women. But I will grant that, on the surface, 1 Corinthians 12, 1 Corinthians 14, and 1 Timothy 2 appear to oppose this practice. (Photo: A woman praying with a veil on her head. A third-century A.D. painting found in the Catacombs of Priscilla, in Rome. This photo can be found at the excellent website: EIKON – Image Database for Biblical Studies.)

Yet the passages I have just mentioned are not all the Bible has to say about women in positions of authority in God’s kingdom. In fact, there are many, many passages that either portray women in positions of authority or provide theological support for this perspective. Let me mention some of the main passages:

Genesis 1:26-28 - Man and woman created in God’s image; Man and woman given the command to fill the earth and subdue it.

Genesis 2:18 - Woman is created as a “helper” for the man. Ezer, the Hebrew word for “helper,” almost always refers to a stronger person, and, in the Old Testament, usually to God.

Judges 4-5 - Deborah was a prophetess and judge of Israel, with obvious and divinely endorsed authority over Israelite men.

Luke 8:1-3 - Jesus had many women among his entourage of disciples.

John 20 - The resurrected Jesus chose a woman to be the first “evangelist” who bore witness to his resurrection.

Acts 2:17-18 - In fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy, the Holy Spirit is poured out on men and women, and it is stated that women will prophesy.

Romans 16:1-2 - Phoebe is a minister (Gk. diakonos) and someone whose authority should be respected by the Roman church.

Romans 16:7 - Junia is named as a prominent apostle. (Most likely reading, in my opinion, among several options.)

1 Corinthians 7:4 - A wife has authority over her husband’s body, even as he has authority over hers.

1 Corinthians 11:5 - Women pray and prophesy in church.

Philippians 4:2-3 - Euodia and Syntyche are leaders in the Philippian church and Paul’s co-workers.

Titus 2:3 - Older women are “to teach what is good.”

Revelation 2:18-29 - The church in Thyatira accepts a woman as a prophet and a teacher. This acceptance is never criticized, only the content of her teaching.

Of course I could point to many other passages that, in my opinion, support the ministry of women, and therefore their ordination. And, of course, I realize that those who oppose the ordination of women have their own ways of interpreting the passages I have just mentioned. But even the staunchest opponents of women’s ordination would have to admit that some of these passages, at least on the surface, suggest that God can use women in positions of authority in his ministry, even in positions of authority over men.

When it comes to homosexuality, do we find a similar division of the house when it comes to biblical teaching? No, not at all. Here are some basic facts:

Every time the Bible speaks directly about homosexual activity, it regards it as sinful.

When the Bible speaks positively about human sexuality, it always does so only in the context of heterosexual relationships.

Two passages in the New Testament (Romans 1 and 1 Corinthians 6) appear to regard all homosexual behavior as sinful. Several leading biblical scholars show that this appearance is in fact what the biblical passages actually intended (Richard Hays, N.T. Wright, Robert Gagnon, etc.).

Nowhere in Scripture is a homosexual person portrayed positively as a leader in God’s kingdom.

So, whereas proponents of women’s ordination have many biblical passages to call as witnesses for their position, proponents of gay ordination have no specific biblical passages on their side. Thus you’ll find proponents building their case upon arguments from silence, such as: “Jesus never condemned homosexual behavior.” That’s true. But he also didn’t condemn rape or child molestation or fouling the environment or racism. So we’d better be wary of arguments from silence, especially when everything we know about Scripture and everything we know about Jesus’s culture points in the direction of his not approving of homosexual behavior.

The fact that the Bible offers nothing specific to help proponents of gay ordination explains, to a great extent, whey they have stopped trying to interpret the Scripture to their advantage. They just can’t get any traction for their argument. The only way to get the Bible to support homosexuality is to point to passages that commend love or justice, and then to argue that it is loving and just to approve of the ordination of active homosexuals. But this exposition of love and justice flies in the face of Scriptural teaching. It is neither loving nor just to approve of that which the Bible reveals to be sin.

Although I don’t claim to be a prophet or a soothsayer, I think it’s highly unlikely that Presbyterians who confess the full authority of Scripture will ever endorse the ordination of active gay and lesbian people, even though they endorse the ordination of women. From a social and cultural perspective, these two ordination issues might look similar. But from a biblical perspective, they are radically different.

Topics: PCUSA: End of? |

26 Responses to “But Won’t Presbyterians Ultimately Change Their Position on Gay Ordination, Just Like They Did on the Ordination of Women?”

  1. Dr. Platypus » Blog Archive » Ordaining Women and Homosexuals Says:
    July 31st, 2008 at 6:59 am

    […] brother Michael will no doubt disagree with half of this post by Mark D. Roberts, while my other brother Michael is just as likely to disagree with the other half. Platypus that I […]

  2. Bill Says:
    July 31st, 2008 at 10:50 am


    thank you very much for your scriptural teachings on these matters. I may be one of the only non-pastors reading this blog but I find the overviews of the topics to be very well done, while also being concise. Although, I am not a theologian, I am also very impressed with your tone and fairness when dealing with some controversial topics. Thanks so much.

  3. Evan Says:
    July 31st, 2008 at 11:45 am

    I am a layman, but I think that Dr. Roberts has gone out of his way to be fair and non-inflamatory in discussing this issue.

    The crux of the matter, as I see it, is that once you start calling straightforward Scripture into question, where does it end? I want to be brief, so I will not flesh this out chapter and verse, but if one takes the notion that Paul, as a fallible human, was mistaken about a commandment that you disagree with, how is it that he is not mistaken about other matters, such as the Resurrection? Appeals to “love” and “justice” that are divorced from the eternal God’s unchanging standards result in pure relativism. In fact, Jesus’ death on the cross was seen as so contrary to “love and justice” by some of my professors that they dismissed it as unworthy of God.

    I come back to “Don’t eat that fruit.” Is it loving that God would want us ignorant of the differences between Good and Evil? Is it justice that only He would know, and we would not? Surely not! In that case, the commandment is not valid, and we can eat the fruit all we want. It seems to me that all humanity figures out reasons why simple and direct commands by God can be ignored, and ALWAYS to our harm.

    Jesus said that you should not engage in adultery or fornication, ie, sexual relations outside of marriage, and He stated that marriage was between a man and a woman, “from the beginning.” And all humanity, gay and straight, finds excellent reasons that sex outside of marriage is perfectly acceptable, just as Adam and Eve figured out that God really had not intended for them to not eat that fruit. Human logic substituted for the Creator’s, and dreadful harm results.

    If we confess our sins, He is just and faithful to forgive. That presupposes that we are not lecturing God on why they actually are not sins.

  4. J. Falconer Says:
    July 31st, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    Rev. Mark Roberts & all, Thanks again for another excellent presentation Mark on very challenging issues. Hopefully, the Spirit will enlighten & guide to see the Spirits’ truth regarding all of this. We are living in very interesting, perplexing & sometimes perilous times. Keep up the awesome work & website. It’s encouraging many of us in the faith in these days. Thank YOU!

  5. Matt Ferguson Says:
    July 31st, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    You presented this is a very understandable manner that will benefit many. I am saving all these blogs in this series to make a handout for all our members as you have given a good overview of the history and issues at hand. If this isn’t okay with you, must let me know.
    I imagine you will get some critics pointing out that you are simplifying things but this is just a blog and not a book.

  6. Bill Goff Says:
    July 31st, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    Mark, you state that it’s highly unlikely that Presbyterians who confess the full authority of Scripture will ever endores the ordination of gay and lesbian people. If you mean all Presbyterians in general, you may be right - at least for now. If you mean any Presbyterians, you are clearly wrong. You know my position and I am sure that there are others including past Moderator Jack Rogers who confess the full aughority of Scripture and endorse the ordination of gay and lesbian people. We may be in the minority, but we are not unique.
    There is an interesting web site by Christians who apparently have a high view of the Bible who give encouragement to gay and lesbian people. It is hard to read this web site and believe that homosexuals reject the authority of the Bible. Take a look at

  7. Bill Goff Says:
    July 31st, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    Oops. I got the web site wrong. It is I’m not sure what the other web site is. Sorry.

  8. Dave Moody Says:
    July 31st, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    I echo the thanks. You’ve done/are doing an invaluable service for many of our session’s and concerned members. Like Matt, I am compiling these posts for session and interested members. Thank you.

    One thing though– does a biblical anthropology allow us to speak of homosexual/gay/lesbian/bi-etc… persons as a differentiated category of people?

    I wonder if it isn’t more clarifying, given the massive lack of clarity in society and our denomination - when speaking of what scripture tells us– to emphasize that all people are broken, and this brokenness (among other aspects of being human) includes our sexuality, and this sexual brokenness is manifested differently in different people. In some people the brokenness is reflected through heterosexual acts and in some through homosexual acts.

    But its all a function/symptom of a deep brokenness- looking for love/intimacy/sexual gratification in all the wrong places- that only ends up causing further estrangement from God and who God has made us to be- his representative reflections. Only as the deep brokenness is touched by the Lord Jesus, will the symptoms of that brokenness begin to become more ordered.

    Thank you, again.

  9. Bill Goff Says:
    July 31st, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    Mark, I know you are trying to be fair, but in characterizing the view of proponents of full inclusion of homosexual people into the life of the church (including ordination), I think you have put together a straw man. I think a more fair characterization would go like this:
    Presbyterians used to oppose ordination of women on the basis of their interpretation of the Bible. (We, Christians, used to believe in the divine right of kings and the institution of slavery too, but that’s another issue.)
    But after coming to terms with our sexist biases, we have taken a more careful look at Scripture, and have decided that the is appropriate and biblical to ordain women. So it will be with the ordination of gays and lesbians. We will come to terms with our homophobic biases, take a more careful look at Scripture, and determine that it is appropriate and biblical to ordain homosexual Christians demanding no more of them in terms of morality than we do of heterosexual Christians. This may not be inevitable, but it is God’s will.
    It may be, as you frequently assert, that proponents of the full inclusion of homosexual people into the life of the church have abandoned a belief in the authority of the Bible. However in the course of this dialog, I have increasingly discovered serious Christians with a high view of Scripture who are advocates for gays and lesbians being fully included in the life of the church. Earlier today I listed two web sites that support this view - and one of the web sites, it turns out, I listed by mistake!

  10. Ann J Says:
    July 31st, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    Bill Goff:

    “We will come to terms with our homophobic biases, take a more careful look at Scripture, and determine that it is appropriate and biblical to ordain homosexual Christians demanding no more of them in terms of morality than we do of heterosexual Christians. This may not be inevitable, but it is God’s will.”

    I find that a strange prediction. I understand that is your point of view, but how did you determine “it is God’s will.” Hmmmmmm.

  11. Randy Says:
    August 1st, 2008 at 12:04 am

    Nicely stated Dave.

  12. smithson Says:
    August 1st, 2008 at 9:22 am

    Good Point Ann! If you have followed any of Bill Goff’s comments over the weeks you will find that he has decided for himself what God’s will is - given his own selfish desires and what ‘fits’ his own lifestyle no doubt. I wonder what other tenets of ‘God’s will’ Bill has mainipulated to fit his own world view?? Scripture is clear - no need for further debate - the act of homosexuality is sin. Consequently, it is not God’s will today, and won’t be God’s will tomorrow!

  13. Bob Snelling Says:
    August 1st, 2008 at 10:39 am

    One point I have considered that is often overlooked in response to the “silence” argument. The apostle Paul claimed a unique vision of Christ where he met Christ face-to-face, clearly a more vivid encounter than the vast majority of other apostles, particularly those in the current era. So, logic leads me to put forth the argument that Paul has special authority to speak on behalf of the One he saw even though he was prohibited from sharing details of the heavenly encounter. If Jesus was clear in His support of the homosexual lifestyle I don’t believe Paul would have gotten it wrong.

  14. Bill Goff Says:
    August 1st, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    Dear Ann J and smithson, I am at fault for not putting quotation marks around the second paragraph of my 5:27 p.m. entry yesterday. Then it would have been clear to you that I was stating a characterization of proponents of full inclusion of homosexual people in the life of the church that I believe to be more accurate than the one offered by my friend Mark Roberts.
    smithson in particular: you say “Scripture is clear - no need for further debate - the act of homosexuality is sin”. Where do you find anything like this in Scripture? What do you regard as “the act of homosexuality?” Do you believe that being a homosexual or lesbian in itself is a sin?
    For all of you who believe that this is such a clear issue of right and wrong, I would like you to consider and comment on the fact that the Church has been wrong on many important issues in the past. Can you deny that the Church put Galileo under house arrest for his views on astronomy that went counter to Church doctrine?
    Can you deny that the Church supported the devine right of kings?
    Can you deny that the Church supported slavery or that the Presbyterian church in America split over this issue?
    Can you deny that many devout Lutherans supported Hitler?
    Can you deny that until very recently the vast majority of Bible-believing Christians did not believe that women should be fully included in the life of the Presbyterian Church and be allowed to be ordained?
    Can you deny that many people were caused to suffer because these past teachings that most Christians now believe to be in error?
    My point? History teaches us that in the past Christians have believed that Scripture was clear about important issues, but now believe very differently. What happened? Something (or maybe the Holy Spirit) caused Christians to re-examine their positions. Could that happen again in the future?
    Because I honor the Church, I try (not perhaps always successfully) to be respectful of the majority position on homosexuals so eloquently set forth by Dr. Roberts. That means that I attempt to deal with ideas and avoid cheap shots, mischaracterizations and personal attacks.
    I ask that those of you who are in the majority on this issue also be respectful of those of us in the minority. We may just be proven to be right. In the meantime I can only seek to follow what I believe to be God’s will. Would you want me to do anthing less?

  15. Evan Says:
    August 1st, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    #14 Bill Goff:

    I would respectfully note that there are any number of topics that may have Scriptural support in either direction, but sexual relations outside of marriage, and marriage being between a man and a woman, are not among them. And as Dr. Roberts has noted, there are no Scriptures that affirm homosexual activity; all Scriptural references condemn homosexual activity.

    There is no commandment in the Bible that says that we must believe the Sun revolves around the Earth. “The Church” could just as well have arrested Galileo for wearing red socks for all the Biblical basis for it. The point is more about arbitrary abuse of power, not some attempt to follow Biblical teachings, because there are none at stake in that matter.

    I cannot see where any of this ends. What explicit teachings of Jesus ARE still good, or all they ALL subject to evolution? If “the Church” was wrong about Galileo, why is it not wrong about murder? What is the standard?

    In my experience, once unambiguous Scripture is called into question, Jesus’ statement, “No one comes to the Father except by me” is logically suspect. If “the Church” was wrong about Galileo, the point seems to be that there could be error in anything, which I must respectfully hold in disagreement.

  16. Bill Goff Says:
    August 1st, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    Evan: Only in 1992 did the Roman Catholic Church acknowledge its error regarding Galileo. Perhaps the theologians of the RCC believed like you that if it was wrong about Galileo, there could be error in anything. But admitting error doesn’t lead to relativism; it leads to a better understanding of God’s Word and God’s will. Or do you believe that Luther and Calvin were relativists because they interpreted the Bible differently than the RCC in the 16th Century?
    You asked a good question: “What is the standard?” My answer is that the authoritative standard is the Word of God as we find in the Scriptures we call the Old and New Testaments. Confessions of the Church are secondary standards, often helpful, but not authoritative. Interpretations of the Bible by you or me or Mark Roberts are not authortative. (I was recently struck to see that one of the contributors to this blog believed that the book of Philemon supported slavery. I have studied this book very intensively and believe that this little letter led the abolishment of slavery in the Church and the world. I will be glad to debate with anyone regarding my interpretation of Philemon.)
    What the Church believes has a big impact on the way it behaves. How the Church behaves can bless people’s lives or harm them. Here is a little more information I found about Galileo (sorry I lost the source, but this is rather common information):
    “In the spring of 1633, Galileo Galilei, an Italian scientist, was delivered before the dreaded Roman Inquisition to be tried on charges of heresy. He was denounced, according to a formal statement, “for holding as true the false doctrine . . . that the sun is the center of the world, and immovable, and that the earth moves!” The statement went on to read that “the proposition that the sun is the center of the world and does not move from its place is absurd and… heretical, because it is expressly contrary to the Holy Scripture!” Galileo was found guilty and forced to renounce his views. Ill and broken in spirit, he was sentenced to a life of perpetual imprisonment and penance.”

  17. Gene Says:
    August 1st, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    I wonder how those in support of gay ordination would respond to the following scenarios:

    A sincere Christian man who is a well-qualified educator and who sees sodomy as a “gift from God” seeks a position as a Youth Director in a PCUSA church. He has read Jack Roger’s book on the subject of homosexuality and sees nothing wrong with his preferences or practices. He is not currently in a committed relationship but “looking” for the right young man. Should he be considered for the position of Youth Director?

    Pederasty is as old as mankind. Christians have just failed to recognize its benefits to young men. (After all, some Christians supported Hitler so they are probably wrong about pederasty, too.) Can a member of NAMBLA be an elder in the PCUSA? He believes God gave him his preference for young men.

    A bisexual man in a committed, loving relationship with another man and at the same time, in a committed, loving relationship with a woman, seeks ordination in the PCUSA. Remember, these relationships are “committed and loving” and none of these people have other partners. Should this man be ordained?

    You may think these examples are far-fetched, but isn’t LGBT ordination the topic at hand?

  18. George T Says:
    August 1st, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    I want to thank everyone for expanding on Mark’s blog series. I am a layman and so I cannot claim to be as knowledgeable as those with seminary training. But this I do know. In Acts 5:38-39, “Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.” If pro-GLBT people are right in their belief that their actions are in accordance to Bible and they are correct, then the con-GLBT will be fighting against God. If the con-GLBT are right, then the pro-BLGT will be fighting against God. I do believe that scripture does not support homosexual relationship. But, if PCUSA wants to go in the direction of endorsing that relationship by ordaining GLBTp astors, then let them. I am not going to try to convince them of their error. I will simply walk away and have nothing to do with them. I do not want to judge their actions as we are all sinners before God. Only God can judge us. But, as scriptures above said, if it is indeed from God, we will know soon enough. Meanwhile, there are a lot of unchurched people out there and we, Christians, are expanding energy on issues that are distracting us from the Great commission. My hope is that PCUSA can decide on this issue in the next GA and put this behind it one way or the other. I live in San Jose area and my pastor is always talking about the 93% of population as unchurched. Shouldn’t that be our focus?

  19. Bill Goff Says:
    August 1st, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    Hi Gene! I think this is all getting a little silly. But it’s almost the weekend so I am feeling silly enough to respond.
    I do like the term “gay ordination”. My own ordination in 1970 was certainly gay - and as far as I know, everybody participating was heterosexual.
    Yes, I think your examples are far-retched; so may be my responses.
    1) The sodomite potential youth director. Assuming the Youth Director position is an ordained position (which it often is not)the candidate’s views on sodomy would not exclude him from ordination as long as he did not act on them. This is the legal view of the opponents of ordination of homosexuals as I understand it. Perhaps we could direct him toward coaching the girls soccer team.
    2)Homosexual orientation is not the same as pederasty any more than heterosexual orientation is the same as fornication. I would no more approve of the ordination of this person as I would the ordination of a heterosexual child molester. (By the way, any opinions on why the overwhelming incidents of priests molesting children are homosexual?)
    3)Nope. No two-timing. Also no polygamists need to apply for ordination. Sorry Abraham and Solomon. We have our standards.
    Here is a less far fetched scenario: A 33-year-old member of a Presbyterian church in Southern California who has been a faithful, active, member of the congregation since his conversion to Christ at age 18 has recently declared that he is gay. He and his partner of five years got married in California last week taking advantage of the new law in the sunshine state. Should this Christian be excluded from becoming a ruling elder in his church? If so, why? If you would consider him, what questions would you want to ask him?

  20. Walt Everly Says:
    August 1st, 2008 at 6:58 pm

    I’m another lay reader, so this may be completely off the wall, but there are two points I never see raised in this debate that I wonder about: First, the fact (and I believe it’s a fact) that God created us male & female and called it good - thereby indicating that this was His will & purpose for sexuality, and second, that Jesus characterized his relationship with the church as the marriage between bride & groom - and I trust there’s no ambiguity there about whether the bride & groom are female & male. Any comment?

  21. Evan Says:
    August 1st, 2008 at 7:45 pm

    Bill Goff–

    My point remains that flogging on “the Church” for Galileo begs the question. The error was 1) the notion that it was a theological matter and that 2) brutal coercion is the response. To the first, there is NOTHING IN THE BIBLE requiring belief that the Sun revolves around the Earth. As to the second, Jesus taught in Matt 18 that disfellowship should follow when a brother will not listen, not torture, etc. In the current discussion, Jesus clearly says not to engage in sexual conduct outside of marriage, and that marriage is between a man and a woman. Homosexual conduct is forbidden right there, before we ever get to Romans 1 or I Cor 6. Secondly, one simply cannot equate denial of ordination to homosexuals with having the Inquisition work on you. These are not comparable in any fashion.

    If sexual relations are forbidden outside of marriage, and marriage is between a man and a woman, there is no way as I see it to think that even “monogamous” homosexual conduct somehow receives divine sanction. If “the standard” is the New Testament, how can one conclude that Jesus approves of extramarital sexual relations?

  22. Gene Says:
    August 1st, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    Hi, Bill G., you are right, brother—it is silly. It is silly that we are even having this conversation. Although I made up the far-fetched examples in my post, it was easy to find similar real life examples with a couple of Google searches.

    1. I did not define “sodomy.” But according to some interpretations, it is the sin of “inhospitality.” What were you thinking it meant? Whatever it means, if this person is qualified to lead youth in the church, why should he be limited to the girls soccer team? Wouldn’t that be discrimination? I thought the argument was for “full inclusion.” I know you were joking, but I’m not.

    2. True – homosexuality is not the same as pederasty. Pederasty is one manifestation of homosexuality. This problem is not confined to the R.C. Church as this New York Times article attests:
    “A prominent Presbyterian minister here who worked to make that denomination more hospitable to gays and lesbians has left the ministry after facing charges from the church’s governing body that he sexually abused adolescent boys. In explaining his decision, Jack S. Miller, who for 30 years led the Presbyterian Church of Mount Kisco — the denomination’s largest in the Hudson Valley region — said in a Nov. 9 letter to the congregation that he wanted to avoid the pain that would result from a church trial.”
    Yes, I know why “the overwhelming incidents of priests molesting children are homosexual.” These people either lied about their orientation or failed to keep their vows, or both. The R.C. Church is light years ahead of the mainline Protestant denominations as they continue to address the problem of homosexual priests, while we are having this silly conversation.

    3. If it is OK for 2 men to marry, or 2 women to marry, on what basis would you claim that it isn’t OK for any combination of 2 or more people to marry? Regarding the young man in your example – no, I don’t think he meets the requirements for ordination. And, finally, there is a bisexual pastor in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Her name is Susan Halcomb Craig and she is an out bisexual pastor serving a “More Light” congregation on the University of Southern California campus.

    I am just wondering, what ARE the standards of acceptable behavior for LGBT Christians?

    Is monogamy a standard? If so, and if a person is bisexual, how does monogamy apply?

    Are there ethics that apply to all Christians or are exceptions to be made only for LGBT Christians?

    Yes, we are all broken people and broken in all areas, including sexual brokenness. But we do not have to act on that brokenness and our children should not be required to be exposed to it, whether the source is homosexual brokenness or heterosexual brokenness.

  23. Ray Says:
    August 2nd, 2008 at 7:33 am

    Evan’s response to Bill Goff (#21) seems to raise the question of whether the debate we are having is even theological in nature. This is interesting to me because just yesterday I was talking to a friend who is a PSUSA minister, and we disagreed about the same thing - whether this is a theological issue, or “something else”. I would be very interested to hear other opions. Is this an issue of theological significance? If so, what specific doctrine - a particular sin, our beliefs about scripture, or what? Or are we talking about cultural norms? Social order? What?

  24. KC Says:
    August 3rd, 2008 at 12:38 am

    Hey Marky Mark,

    is there a way you can bundle this series into a pretty little word doc? If could be a nice thing to have to pass out to those in my church who don’t have internet access here in good ol’ littlerock. :)

  25. CD-Host Says:
    August 5th, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    I think the people on this blog who argue that two positions are dissimilar haven’t spent more time on conservative blogs. Head over to visionforum where you see pastors which argue that women shouldn’t speak in church at all; so for example if they have prayer request they write it and pass it to a male relative to read. Dabney’s exposition on slavery is very clear and very biblical.

    People see what they want to see in the bible. I don’t buy the prosperity gospel, that the poor’s being cursed by God is self evident. I don’t buy the older interpretations that held that the crippled are cursed by God. I don’t buy the idea women are cursed by God. I do not believe that homosexuals are cursed by God. But people can find strong scriptural support to disagree on any of those positions.

  26. name Says:
    August 31st, 2008 at 10:40 pm

    Good day!,


Thanks for your willingness to make a comment. Note: I do not moderate comments before they are posted, though they are automatically screened for profanities, spam, etc., and sometimes the screening program holds comments for moderation even though they're not offensive. I encourage open dialogue and serious disagreement, and am always willing to learn from my mistakes. I will not delete comments unless they are extraordinarily rude or irrelevant to the topic at hand. You do need to login in order to make a comment, because this cuts down on spam. You are free to use a nickname if you wish. Finally, I will eventually read all comments, but I don't have the time to respond to them on a consistent basis because I've got a few other demands on my time, like my "day job," my family, sleep, etc.

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