Publicly – discreetly – answering a private email


Post away…I’d be honoured.I sympathize with the need to be careful pre-ordination. My brother, who was studying for his M.Div. at the time of “the issue” in the United Church of Canada I mentioned, felt that he had to keep many of his views quiet until graduation (academic freedom only goes so far in The Church it seems 🙂 )If prophesy is frowned upon in academia how will it ever filter down to the individual’s pew?

S-l-o-w-l-y…I guess.

Peace in Christ,

Kenn

————–

May I post this on my Blog as well? What a great writing! I think it is important to get this out! (no pun intended) It is funny… In seminary we had a day of silence for gay rights and most of the campus was quiet… The thing that always baffles me is how even the progressive churches seem progressively slow in picking up the cause of social justice and progression. I come from the Presbyterian Church whose motto is Reformed and always Reforming, yet when one challenges traditional church thought one can find threats of apostasy charges. I am constantly being warned by my mentors that I need to keep quiet on issues like homosexual equality and Religious ecumenism if I want to be ordained… They say once I do, then to become outspoken… Look how long it took the churches to move on women’s lib… Some still haven’t. Let alone, civil rights…

So, it is sad to me, when I see Jesus being extremely progressive and railing against the orthodox of his time, that there would be those who in His name try to push us into Orthodoxy….

In Christ
(name removed by Kenn)

————————–

Hey ___, (name removed by Kenn)

Great questions! Time was they might have gotten you kicked out of seminary!

I don’t find as much opposition or criticism nowadays but, then, I must admit to going out of my way to avoid looking for it.

Some Christians are outright hostile to my claiming the same love that they do, believing that what I consider to be my nature is something only a full disavowal can make right.

I, on the other hand, recognize that while my actions, in living out my sexuality, have “fallen short” of what I believe to be God’s ideal for me – a loving, committed, affirming relationship – I am still loved beyond measure by God.

It has been my experience, after 25 years of being “out” – first to myself and then to a widened circle – that the biggest impact is made one person at a time. In the early days I found acceptance because people knew me, and my heart, first. Later, as I came to know people – and disclose – in fairly short order I also found a lot of acceptance or, at least, polite tolerance. This may be because of the circles I traveled in – progressive, “liberal”, Christian circles.

I am under no allusions that I will change the minds of some folks who believe my life with HIV/AIDS is the sown-reaped equation personified.

However, while that sowing was going on in the early 1980s (for me), even the liberal denomination of my upbringing (from which I had temporarily excluded myself) was publicly airing dirty laundry as it prophetically debated the ordination of gays and lesbians in ordered ministry, while avoiding public discussion of how the Christian gay community might adapt traditional morals to our own applications – dating, less emphasis on sex before commitment, etc. (Is it any wonder my sentences are paragraphs?)

The ordination question was resolved (making the United Church of Canada the first large denomination to declare that sexual orientation, alone, ought not be an impediment to ordination) while public discussion of a moral ethos was pushed to the side at a time when HIV was running rampant in a stealth-like way.

Bottom line, and I hope I have at least partially answered your questions, is I think The Church needs to acquaint itself better with the emerging (post-1950!) science of determinants of sexual orientation and begin to repent of its ways – not mere confession but change!

That ought not be a guilt trip but, as I said, by sharing our stories one person at a time we – like others who have been wronged (even unintentionally) – can find healing and reconciliation through the Christian spirit of forgiveness.

Wow, I needed that! (Hope you don’t mind if I re-post this to my other blogs.)

love in Christ,

Kenn

—————– Original Message —————–
From: a fellow blogger
Date: Mar 27, 2006 1:20 PM

How much opposition or criticism do you find being a gay Christian? And again I find myself not having enough time to really write and explore this with you right now, but really wanting to. What do you feel people who are Christian who do not view homosexuality as a sin do to change people’s hearts and show that Christ really is accepting and loving of EVERYONE and that love in any form cannot be a sin?

In Christ,

______ (name removed by Kenn)

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