22 votes for a pastor -- for progress

  • Article by: AMEY SCHNABEL
  • Updated: July 9, 2012 - 6:14 PM

I am proud to say that the church in my hometown cast votes in favor of equality and acceptance.

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zippo12Jul. 9, 12 7:57 PM

Congratulations to the twenty-two, for progress is a wonderful thing. I still hadn't accepted myself as a gay man when I worked as a pastor in a small town evangelical church in MN. I lived a 100% celibate life, and I enjoyed being a pastor. I came out about one year after leaving the church. My whole life was in my evangelical church background and so were all my friends and acquaintances. Not one person stood by me. Not one friend continued to be my friend. Although my immediate family didn't kick me to the curb, I was no longer allowed to say mealtime prayers in my parent's home, and my parents set about to fix me (e.g., ex-gay books, interventions, etc.). My other relatives no longer sent cards, and never again was I invited to family events. That was 1996. Progress is a wonderful thing.

PassOut76Jul. 9, 12 9:37 PM

Well I know the pastor will find an ELCA church that completely accepts him. This is not true for an urban ELCA member like me who through a reasonable read of the Bible finds no basis for blessing same-sex unions. The ELCA congregation I used to attend was clear that my views were unwelcome. I am sure that there would not have been even 2 votes for my pastoral call in the urban ELCA church where I was a member for 30 years. It cuts both ways which is very sad.

sarahanneJul. 9, 1211:27 PM

Who knows the next minister they get might present more serious issues then what the gay minister would. There are 613 sins in the Bible good luck in finding one who does not commit any of them.

matthew1344Jul. 10, 12 6:07 AM

"Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexualiy . . . will inherit the kingdom of God." 1 Cor 6:9. No one says that it is easy to control your sex drive whether you are gay or straight. But the Lord provides strength and mercy and victory as we pursue righteousness and purity. Our eternities depend on how we have lived of our lives.

nasethJul. 10, 12 6:29 AM

matthew1344 - Yup, Corinthians. As in, Paul's, not Jesus', letter to the Corinthians. In other words, not Jesus' words, but the words of a zealot who switched sides. Paul had much to say that was good, but beware of culturally planted assumptions about the nature of man.

longmemoryJul. 10, 12 6:44 AM

It's not one of the ten commandments. Jesus never mentioned it. Paul has more face time in the Bible than Jesus even though he has no divine credentials because he says what people want to hear. Christianity would be a completely different religion if the new testament was limited to the four gospels.

RandiReitanJul. 10, 12 8:00 AM

As someone who grew up in northwestern Minnesota, this commentary brought back memories. I am grateful for the 22 and I am sad this church did not extend the call to the man who would have been a most loving and wonderful pastor.

zippo12Jul. 10, 12 8:47 AM

As culture changes, the Church changes, too. There can be little debate that the literal Biblical support for slavery is far stronger than the case against it. Yet, today, we interpret the Bible to be strongly against slavery. Why? The change came not from proof texting verses but a huge societal attitude change about slavery spurred on by the Abolitionists who saw a bigger God than did the slave owners. The same has happened about divorce and remarriage. The same is in progress about women's rights and gay rights. The fact that the Church changes with culture has been the reality of the Church since day one. Yes, there is a lag time, but the Church still exists only because it changes to match the cultures it exists within. One day the vast majority of Christians and their churches will wholeheartedly embrace full gay inclusion in all churches. If not, the Christianity will be another religion on the scrap heap of history (hello Zeus).

zippo12Jul. 10, 12 9:13 AM

matthew1344, nice try but you are misquoting the Bible. The word "homosexual" wasn't in existence at the time of the New Testament's writing (the term was coined in the 1870s), so if your King James Bible says "homosexuals" then that term was added after the first printing of King James translation in 1611. Also, the King James is considered by scholars to be the worst translation on the market today, for it is often based on inferior ancient copies of the New Testament than are other modern translations today. Here is the New Revised Standard Version of I Corinthians 6:9-10: "Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes [malakoi], sodomites [aresenokoitai], thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers--none of these will inherit the kingdom of God." As for Arsenokoitai, Yale Theologian Dale Martin says that nobody knows what that word means, for Paul coined it and it appears nowhere other than two sin lists of Paul. And Martin says that translating Malakoi as "male prostitutes" is at best a guess. Regardless, neither word can be used to mean a modern day gay person, for Paul had no concept of such. Yet, we do today know today about the other words on the list that do not seem to concern you nearly so much. Are you divorced and remarried? Are you greedy? Have you ever stolen anything?

franknjackJul. 10, 12 9:25 AM

Anyone who thinks being gay is choice should readzippo12's comments. Why would anyone choose to be ostracized, even by his/her own family?


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