I have been fully affirming of LGBTQ+ folx and supportive of equal marriage for a few years now. This was the culmination of many years of research and reflection and, most importantly, relationship with LGBTQ+ people. Although my story of becoming affirming is not the most important story to be heard in this, my story might be helpful to others. Here it is.
Note that my views do not necessarily reflect those of my current or previous employers.
This was the subtitle of a study conference our denomination had 3.5 years ago, hosted at our church: “The Bible and Same-Sex Relationships.” I was one of the plenary speakers at the conference. Although I would word a few things differently now—I’ve learned much since then, and my own perspective has settled—I feel two of my presentations have some enduring value and so I thought I’d share the videos here.
The first is about how we approach the Bible generally: how we read it as Christians, as Anabaptist Christians in particular, and especially when talking about complicated and controversial topics. While there’s much more that could be said about biblical interpretation than I say here, it’s still a good summary of my thinking on this.
The second is a set of concluding reflections on points of agreement between what we called the “traditional” and the “affirming” views. If there is a practically workable “middle way” or even “third way” for churches on this—even simply a basis for fellowship among individuals or churches who disagree—it will be built around the kinds of things I highlight here. (Note: I’m well aware of the delicious irony of me speaking about Jesus being “clear” on the call to love, in light of my reflections on “the Bible is clear on X” in the previous video!)