Discussing Homosexuality

FirstPresidencyThe First Presidency

Church Leaders’ Commentaries

Resolutions regarding homosexuality and church policy are slated for discernment and deliberation at World Conference 2010.  Let’s commit to prayer, open listening, education and compassion together as our faith community approaches the matter.   

     I was recently with a group of young adults who were discussing the matter of same-sex marriage and the ordination of homosexuals.  What was most interesting to me was that they were not promoting their own opinions nor condemning someone else’s.  Instead, their concern was for the unity of the church as we engage in conversation about these controversial matters.

Here’s what’s happening.  The church’s current policy is that priesthood are not authorized to perform same-sex marriages, and that persons in homosexual relationships are not allowed to be ordained to the priesthood.   Some people in the church believe that this is an injustice.  Some people believe that the current policy is appropriate.  Others are unsure.   In some parts of the church, debate over these issues has been taking place for a long time.   Consequently, several mission centers have passed (or are considering) legislation that would ask the World Conference to address these difficult matters.

The issue is especially complicated in an international church like ours.  In some cultures where the church is established, having a discussion about homosexuality is widely acceptable.  In other places however, having conversations about homosexuality is extremely difficult and is often considered inappropriate.  Even within cultures where discussion about homosexuality is accepted, people of goodwill have strongly held divergent opinions.

With this in mind, the primary concern of the First Presidency, is that the issue be addressed in a manner that is fair to all persons who participate in the discussion.   An important principle in all of this is the need for us to talk together with civility and in the spirit of Christian love.   This can be hard sometimes, especially when we believe that another person’s point of view is not only opposite of our own, but opposite to what we believe is the will of God.

With this in mind, readers of this article (along with the rest of the church) are being asked to pray about this important matter, to read about these issues, and to exercise grace and kindness when sharing your perspective.   There is nothing wrong with a strongly voiced opinion, as long as that voice is couched in humility and love.  The world already knows how to fight and argue about things.  The question is, can we model for the world how to talk about divisive issues with charity and mutual respect

~ Pres. Dave Schaal, Steve Veazey, and Becky Savage

4 thoughts on “Discussing Homosexuality

  1. I have appreciated the First Presidency’s recent documents and remarks, especially “The world already knows how to fight and argue about things. The question is, can we model for the world how to talk about divisive issues with charity and mutual respect.”

    I personally believe that God is in anything and everything, including what people call “the world,” “the secular,” etc. I think the First Presidency is asking that we prayerfully consider and discuss openly and lovingly ALL issues, whatever they may be (even small church bickerings).

    Witholding my own biases on this particular issue, I think we should be more concerned with God’s will for each of God’s disciples, individually and as a group, not church “rules” and church membership. It is all about consciously aligning ourselves to God’s will and vision for God’s wonderfully, incredibly, beautifully complex creation, not our own preconceptions.

    We will never completely understand God. We simply can’t. But we can try, and we can love each other all the while, even when we disagree. Thank you for reminding us of this.

  2. Jessica Long says:

    Why on earth is this even a discussion? The Bible clearly outlines that homosexuality is a sin. Just as adultery, lying, stealing, etc., are all sins. Are those the next sins we will try to wedge into our church as acceptable? It’s not discrimination, it’s standing for the truth of God’s Word. Homosexuals absolutely should be invited into our churches, but it’s not under a pretense that that behavior is acceptable. Just as an unmarried couple living together should be invited to church, that does not mean we accept them living in sin. We encourage and uplift each other, but as Christians, our upmost priority is to adhere to the Word of God — not to try and manipulate as to what we wish it would say.
    If our church chooses to support homosexuality, myself and many of my family and friends, will leave the church. It will not be easy, but we can’t be a part of a church that succombs to the “outside world”.

  3. Bradley Barnhart says:

    The current policy is just/fair as the church should not condone homosexual behavior/relationships. Unfortunately, the church has also supported GALA & WCN in different ways, which ‘accepts’ such behavior.
    The church needs to make a strong decision one way or the other so people can decide what course they will take in regard to their continued affiliation with the Community of Christ. (This includes any future resolutions to be ‘out-of-order’)
    If these homosexual resolutions pass, I will likely remove my membership off the church rolls.

  4. Ciemantha Stubblefield says:

    I think another issue to be dealt with is performing same-sex marriages. We currently have four states, Massachussetts, Connecticut, Iowa, and Vermont where same sex marriage is legal. In January of 2010 it will be legal in New Hampshire as well. We currently have churches in three of those five states. Churches that are not allowed to perform marriages regardless of the fact that it is a legal action in the state they reside.
    When a day comes that the church can stop disciminatory acts against homosexual members is the day that I can take pride in the Community of Christ. Until then I have decided to not support financially or in any other means, a system that allows and breeds discrimination.

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