‘Welcome, not affirm’ concerns

May 12, 2014 by

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I’m deeply concerned about (“Welcoming, Not Affirming” by Harold Jantz, April 28) Jantz’s “welcoming but not affirming” stance toward our gay brothers and lesbian sisters seeking to follow Jesus in community. His claim that “there is plenty of evidence that very few, if any, are simply born that way” has, in fact, very little evidence. There is now virtually a scientific consensus that boys with same-sex orientation no more choose to like boys than other boys choose to like girls. It’s natural, just like opposite-sex attraction.

Second, shouldn’t our marriages be about discipleship and evangelism rather than populating the earth with our own progeny, as Jantz claims? My experience with same-sex couples within the church testifies their sexual orientation in no way limits them from living this out.

Third, in Scripture there is not a single voice on marriage and sexuality. However, the New Testament proclaims the ideal: singleness (1 Corinthians 7 and the celibate Christ of the Gospels). Paul reasoned that it was a lot easier to do the Lord’s work alone. It seems married folk have fallen short of this, “burning with passion” to the altar.

Fourth, there was no such thing as committed same-sex monogamous marriage in the ancient world, so we ought to be critical and careful about what the Greek words in the text actually mean.

“Welcoming but not affirming” falls far short of biblical hospitality and love of neighbor. It is impossible to “welcome” and not affirm when it comes to gays and lesbians (living in same-sex cov­enantal relationships) being licensed or ordained as pastors, let alone making the choice to follow Jesus and get baptized. A “no” answer to either of these possibilities would most certainly be unwelcome and unaffirming.

Tom Airey
Capistrano Beach, Calif.

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