Homosexuality and Christian Faith: Questions of Conscience for the Churches

Homosexuality and Christian Faith: Questions of Conscience for the Churches

Homosexuality and Christian Faith: Questions of Conscience for the Churches

Homosexuality and Christian Faith: Questions of Conscience for the Churches

Synopsis

"Ideal for individual or group use, this unique resource presents short pieces from some of the nation's most preeminent church leaders - women and men, Protestant and Catholic, mainline and evangelical - who address fundamental moral imperatives about homosexuality. Through personal testimony, factual clarification, and moral suasion, they invite the reader to open his or her heart to the Spirit, to Gospel values, and to full acceptance of gay and lesbian persons in the "family of God.""--BOOK JACKET. Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

Today the churches are undergoing fratricide over the issue of homosexuality, and the irony is that not just gays and lesbians, but the churches themselves, are likely to become the victims. The level of pure hatred, bitterness, closemindedness, and disrespect is staggering, going beyond any form of acrimony I have witnessed over any issue since the struggle against racial segregation.

This book aims to shine light into that darkness. Its authors have, in the past, led us through one difficult moral test after another: the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, resistance to nuclear power and nuclear war, the struggle against apartheid, the exploitation of developing countries, the oppression of women, opposition to the religious right. Time after time they have been out in front and alone, sometimes assailed as traitors, pinkos, communists, lawbreakers, harebrained idealists. And time after time their wisdom has been belatedly confirmed by the churches.

I believe they are right on this issue as well, and that we should listen to these guides. They have proven to be prophets before. They could be wrong this time, but I think it unlikely that all of them are wrong. All I ask of the reader is a fair reading. The writers are a mix of evangelicals, conservatives, and liberals, with a number who reject all such labeling in regard to themselves. I believe that they represent the church at its best, struggling for clarity on this tortured issue, and that what they say will be confirmed by the church of the future.

Several of the contributors speak personally about children, classmates, colleagues, and friends who are gay (Shriver, Shields, Egertson). Conscious of the human cost of same-sex orientation in our society, we then turn to face . . .

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