Shuck and Jive

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Theology and Same-Gender Relationships

I am reading William Stacy Johnson's,

A Time to Embrace: Same-Gender Relationships in Religion, Law and Politics.

To catch up, Prof. Johnson of Princeton Theological Seminary, was on the The Theological Task Force for the PC(USA). He gave a presentation to the task force about the different ways people do and can think about same-gender relationships.

I am doing a presentation during the adult forum at my congregation on Johnson's scheme this Sunday. You can read a summary of the various responses to same-gender attraction here (although, he has added one category, and renamed some others for the book).

This is where you will find resources from the Theological Task Force.

A more in-depth study of Prof. Johnson's report is in pdf Same-Gender Relationships in the Church: Seven Theological Viewpoints. A facilitator's guide goes with it. This would be an excellent resource for an adult class or a book study.

It is a helpful way for people to gain clarity on why they think the way they do and to respect how others come to different conclusions.

he following six possibilities from the Presbyterian Outlook article are a good place to begin. What is your theological view? Vote on the sidebar! And leave a comment here!

Repent of being gay
Return to hetero-
sexuality or abstain
“Definitive guidance”
Repent of gay behavior
Accept one’s fate and abstain
One sin among others
Repent of singling out gay sinfulness
Create a world in which differences do not matter
Pastoral care
Repent of misguidedness or cruelty implicit in demanding change
Committed relationship held preferable to promiscuity
Fact of life
to be celebrated
Repent of self-loathing
Celebrate orientation as God’s good gift
Fact of life
Repent of disorderedness, not orientation
Consecrate as a means of God’s grace


  1. You people that vote, can you leave a brief comment re why you reach the conclusion you do? My conclusion is that God doe not make mistakes besides which "Judge not lest you be judged." Why is it any concern of yours what other people do in their own life?

  2. I'm "Pastoral Care" in the latter two categories, but I see sexual orientation as a fact of life.

  3. I fluctuated between "Pastoral Care" and "Celebrationist."

    I think that any two people who love each other and are not hurting anyone (as in, not cheating, not being abusive or coercive, and not taking advantage of kids or mentally challenged "love interests") is a perfectly legitimate and wonderful thing. Every argument against homosexuality that I have heard is easily countered with reason.

  4. Mine was "Definitive Guidance" but with a dose of "Justice's" we are all sinners struggling with our own repentance.

  5. My personal position is that of the "Prohibitionist" because I believe that homosexuality lies outside of God's design for human sexuality. I recognize that his is a minority position among readers of this blog, that is why I voted as I did.

  6. How about none of the above? The church has always had the idea that sex is a beautiful gift of God. You have got to be kidding. It is a fact of life throughout all of the species, plant and animal, throughout all the cosmos. It keeps everything going. And yet we reduce it down to something special for humankind.

    Why homosexuality? I don’t know. That God slipped a cog into creation is as good as any other explanation. It is a fact of life. The choices - return to heterosexuality or abstain to consecrate as a means of God’s grace. Equally nauseous.

    There has to be a better way to discuss sex. As you can probably tell, I’m hostile to these kinds of conversations. I would much prefer discussing the roots of homophobia.