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Same-Sex Marriage | Pausing the Conversation

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Last week, I wrote a post with some opening thoughts about same-sex marriage. Darrell and I (and some others) were planning a series of posts to discuss the very complex facets of this issue. To start the conversation, I laid out a few statements describing my and our church’s position on the topic and inviting others to engage the conversation in the coming weeks. We got quite a response – thank you for all your comments!

However, we find ourselves needing to pause this conversation.

Over the last year and a half, the elders of Ada Bible Church have been studying this issue as a part of the broader topic of human sexuality, which also includes pre-marital sex, co-habitation, adultery, sexual abuse, etc. We are dedicated to providing our congregation with guidance and resources to help us all pursue Christlikeness and develop healthy, God-honoring relationships and marriages.

Toward that end, the elders commissioned a team to research and write a position paper expressing a Christian view of human sexuality from a biblical perspective. Our elder team voted last week to accept the views expressed in the paper, and following that vote, I was notified that I could use this paper as a guide and reference. I created my post in a way that reflected the views expressed in the paper, and upon posting, I was told it was consistent with the elders’ view of the subject. However, I was later notified that the elders wanted to expand the position paper to include a fuller exposition of the relevant biblical passages on the subject.

So I have been asked by our senior leadership to remove the post and hold the conversation until the elders are able to draft that fuller statement.

I look forward to picking up the conversation at a later time, whether online or face-to-face. In the meantime, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me at tnelson@adabible.org.

As you engage this conversation with others, keep the following passage of Scripture in mind:

“The Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 2.24-25).

In our society, this debate has been anything but kind and gentle, and Christian leaders have often been bad examples. However, as followers of Christ, no matter what side of this issue you’re on, let’s model a new way of relating well as we navigate through difficult issues from a biblical perspective.

In other words, let’s model the way of Jesus (Philippians 2.1-8).

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jen K #

    I would challenge our elders to consider the interpretation of scripture presented in the link below. Not only is this interpretation more consistent with the nature of Christ and his redeeming love for the least of these but it is the most thoughtful exposition on the issue of homosexuality using both ancient language and cultural context…the way every other sermon is prepared and presented at ABC. We can’t afford to get this one wrong…too many lives are at stake.

    http://matthewvines.tumblr.com/

    May 30, 2012
  2. JS #

    Please continue this conversation…the position offered by Jen K via Matthew Vines is far too often the “argument” FOR homosexuality. The leaps Matthew takes in this presentation are the same leaps we can all take to justify our behavioral desires in any area of life. The Church (at large) is doing a poor job of talking about this issue…which is really about sexual purity. The face of this discussion is becoming increasingly more difficult as we see the world “embracing” the gay community and we “point a finger” at them. Jesus has called us all to the table…it is a table of purity and repentance…for all sin.

    June 12, 2012

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