Thoughts on scripture and homosexuality
Betsy Headrick McCrae
Glennon Heights Mennonite Church, Lakewood, CO
To start, here’s what I believe about being homosexual: People do not choose to be homosexual, it is just who they are. Most grow up knowing they are different and that this difference is not good in the eyes of those around them. Many are bullied or taunted. Often they feel like they must hide their true selves which can lead to double lives. They assume they will never be able to have a normal loving relationship or children. They are rejected by the church and therefore by God. They do not choose these things.
However, they, like all of us, are chosen; we have all been created by God. In Genesis 1 we learn that human beings are created in God’s image, and that that is good. In Genesis 2 the story is a bit different. First God creates the earth. Then God creates a human being. God sees that the human being is lonely so God creates animals, but that’s still not enough. Finally God creates a second human being. Adam, the first human being says, “This at last is bone of my bones, flesh of my flesh.” In other words, here is someone just like me. Though of course it is very good and necessary for propagation for us to be male and female together, I believe that the point of God creating a second human being was for us to have human companionship, for us to have someone like ourselves to love. We are created for intimate, loving relationships, which mirror God’s relationship with us. Most often these relationships are between a man and a woman. However, I have come to believe that what is important in God’s eyes is that we are able to be part of an intimate, loving, committed relationship, one human being with another, which includes such a relationship between two people of the same sex. This is God’s purpose and it is good.
All human beings are created in God’s image and all are created good (even those whose bodies do not function well). Some folks are innately homosexual. All human beings are worthy of a loving, intimate relationship with another human being if that is possible. That is God’s will for us. And it is God’s will for us that we not misuse or abuse our sexuality. Therefore, I feel, as a worshiping community we need to encourage gay and lesbian folks, along with those who are straight, to be responsible with their sexuality, to find a life partner, if that is possible, and to build a loving reciprocal relationship with that person. We need to bless these relationships in the church as a way of honoring God and building up the community. It is a way to show care for all people made in the very diverse image of God.
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From Vern Remple:
1) The refrain from Genesis 1 “it was good”. I believe God has created the earth and all that it is in it for beauty and goodness, peace and love. This means that violence and hate are not necessary, but are rather distortions of what is most true about us from the beginning. Messengers from God in the Bible tend to bring a related affirmation: “Fear not”. What we have in the Spirit of God is goodness and is not rooted in fear. So we do not need to give in to shaping our lives around fear, regardless of what we are talking about together. Rather, we seek to have minds and hearts that can perceive the “it was good” of creation all around.