tml> Is Homosexuality a Gift of God?
  [Contents] [About the Participants] [Opening Statement by Steven Kindle] [Opening Statement by John Rankin][Dialog] [Questions from the Audience] [Closing Statements]
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Is Homosexuality a Gift of God?
Closing Statements

Steven Kindle:
In the continuing story of God's striving with us human beings, the goal has always been for us to learn how to keep the two great commandments: To love God with all our being, and to love our neighbor as our self.

Sometimes even the Bible gets in the way of this.

Remember Peter and Cornelius? (Acts 10) Peter is about to be introduced to the gentile Cornelius, and be confronted with the question of the gentiles' worthiness to be children of God. (Sound familiar?) While hungry and in a trance, a sheet is lowered containing an assortment of unclean animals. He is commanded by God's heavenly messenger to kill and eat!

Peter is dumbfounded. And Peter said, "By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is profane or unclean." The voice said to him again, a second time, "What God has made clean, you must not call profane."

Here's a modern translation: And Peter said, "By no means, Lord, for my Bible tells me to not eat any of these unclean creatures, my Bible says that this is an abomination in the sight of God. And the heavenly voice said, "Peter, I don't care what your Bible says, kill and eat!"

Peter was just trying to be a good Jew. He was just trying to be faithful to the Law that he believed God had written in stone, to be obeyed forever.

By the time he got to Cornelius's house and ushered in the first pagan gentile convert he may have given consideration to something that Jesus said in a similar situation about the Sabbath day.

In the Sabbath understanding of how you keep that law, you do no work. Reaping in a field was work. So the disciples are eating on the Sabbath by going into the field and reaping. And their tradition was that this is a violation of the Sabbath. Because you could eat tomorrow and you'd be OK. So you don't have to work. And the penalty as you well know was death.

But Jesus said the Sabbath was made for humanity, for our well being. We weren't made to serve the Sabbath. I think what Jesus is telling us, and what the heavenly messenger told Peter, was that the point is that we can take things that are a violation of our humanity and disregard them, even if the Bible says we are to do it. Jesus gives us permission to uphold human beings, not the law.

John Rankin:
I get about 45 seconds on the taping here so I will be quick. I started by saying that the real issue is trust versus broken trust. I argue that man and woman is the context for full trust in faithful marriage. When I gave the testimony before the Connecticut State Legislature concerning what the lesbians at Harvard told me, there was a gasp across the entire room. A friend of mine told me afterwards it was all the lesbians with their pro-same-sex-marriage stickers, who gasped. They talk about a love that dares not speak its name, Oscar Wilde. I spoke a pain that dares not speak its name. That pain manifests itself in many areas. God made us male and female, he made us in order to be complementary, to give to and receive from each other based in the nature of God's image. To argue that homosexuality is a gift of God cannot be made biblically. All the arguments that Steven has made have been arguments from silence eisegeting into texts, such as the Roman centurion, things that are not even there. Whereas the Bible is very clear in the positive yes and amen of man and woman in marriage as the definition for healthy human sexuality. And Jesus affirms that completely as well. God bless.

I wish to thank both Steve and John for enlightening all of us this evening. God bless you both. Thank you so much. I also wish to thank the Religious Leadership Cultural Alliance, a division of Vermont Renewal, for sponsoring this event together with TEI. I also wish to thank the Universalist-Unitarian church here in Rutland for offering us their wonderful space. And I wish to thank each and every one of you for participating this evening. [audience applause]



  [Contents] [About the Participants] [Opening Statement by Steven Kindle] [Opening Statement by John Rankin][Dialog] [Questions from the Audience] [Closing Statements]
[Return to Mars Hill Forum]