April 18, 2011

On God and Sexuality

My education at North Park University taught me a thing or two about the Evangelical Covenant Church.  I am not claiming that I understand the denomination fully, but its position on homosexuality has been adequately documented in the 1996 Human Sexuality Resolution.  Because the ECC sees homosexuality as "sexual sin," members of the GLTB community have been shunned and silenced.

During my time at NPU, I wrote for the North Park Press and covered stories about the then newly-formed Gay-Straight Alliance on campus.  I guess I shouldn't have been shocked to learn that so many of my peers were so intolerant of this group and wanted to go so far as to deny them the right to congregate on campus.  I honestly think they believe it's possible to Pray the Gay Away, that God will save them from their "sexual sins."  From what I gather, this mentality is still very present on campus as well as in the Covenant community at large.

This is the kind of thinking that makes me angry with organized religion and why I haven't been a part of of a church for years.  It's just not in line with who I believe God to be.

This year, people in (or formally in) the Covenant community have started to take a stand by expressing the voices and opinions of the LGBT community and supporters on what I think is a fantastic blog called Coming Out Covenant. Below is an excerpt I want to share from Ralph Sturdy, a retired Covenant pastor, but really I suggest that you read his post in its entirety. In this excerpt, he has articulated my own thoughts better than I ever could:

      Do we not believe that every person is a child of God?  If one is born with a homosexual orientation, as part of their DNA, did God make a mistake? Or if a person is created with a particular orientation, does that make him/her a sinner simply because she/he has a different orientation?...

     I take the Bible very seriously. However, we tend to “pick and choose” which parts of the Bible we are going to give special emphasis. Let me illustrate. People used to think that illness was God’s punishment for the sins of the person or the person’s parents; now, we understand germ theory. We used to blame mental illness on demons; now, we understand about neurotransmitters and other biological chemicals that cause mental illness. There was a time when the Bible’s was used to support slavery. In South Africa, Apartheid, the practice of the virtual slavery of Africans, was given Biblical and theological support for many years by the Dutch Reformed Church of South Africa. No longer do most Christians, anywhere in the world, believe that illness is God’s punishment; mental illness is God’s wrath or that slavery is Biblically justifiable. We have moved beyond that. We understand that there are greater principals suggested in the whole message of the Bible that preclude embracing an accepted practice within first century culture. Perhaps now is a time for us to take a different path, in light of our understanding of homosexuality.


  1. But a big part of church is a community of believers, and you can bet your socks that there will only be a handful of people in that building who absolutely believe EVERY edict of that church. Climb the mountain in your own way!

  2. Valid point, Elaine. This, though, is only one example of church doctrine that frustrates me. I would rather find a church that was in line with my views than subject myself to messages that contradict them.

  3. This has nothing to do with your post but I didnt know you went to North Park?! My bf went there as well!

  4. Really?! When did he graduate?