A series of essays in the Episcopal Church
By Jim Hutcherson
Aside from a few jazz rifts and modern atonal "music," most all the articles posted about the "homosexual question" are the same melody in different keys, and they are pleasant and uplifting melodies. There are even clichés that presume to say the same thing. The times, they are a changing.
It is nearly an impossibility for an educated, aware, thinking, or caring person to perceive homosexuality as a personal choice that one makes. If that were true, all the "straight" people would really be walking around lusting after their own gender but hiding it: having "chosen" to hook up heterosexually.
It is, also, nearly an impossibility for any person to deny that several of the biblical writers condemn homosexuality, or in Paul's case, identify it as a punishment one receives for denying or defying god. Now, how do we as caring and even faithful human beings accept these two impossibilities and maintain the concept of a just and caring deity?
The Episcopal Church has long understood that God is revealed through personal experience, that there is a balance in biblical teaching and thought, and that history is a map of where we have been--not a freeway to the future. If truth were told, most all the Christian churches in the world know the answer to this terribly simple question of what to do about homosexuals. The fundamentalists, conservatives, evangelicals, liberals, moderns only have to answer the abused and misused question: What would Jesus do?
Whether one sees the Christ as a symbol, or metaphor, living or dead, real or a creation beyond His own purposes, would He really have said to the woman brought to Him by her accusers that He totally understood her predicament, but it would be better not to deal with this issue right now. Did He deny the marriage wine just because His plan did not include an early start? Did He fail to heal those in need on the Sabbath because it might be interpreted badly by the church? Did he refuse to sit down with sinners because he would be associating with the wrong kind and it would hurt the faith of the weak? Sometimes convenience, compromise, peacekeeping, diplomacy, and appeasement are not what Jesus would do. The fence upon which we have been sitting is beginning to rot and fall apart under us. We may never have to get off it; but if we do not choose a side very soon it may disintegrate around us and leave us surrounded by the shambles of both the fence and our brothers and sisters who have been outcast long enough.
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