An American Adventist Perspective
Recent surveys of Americans reveals that a majority of those interviewed will openly admit being acquainted with a homosexual person to a pollster.2,3 This is a remarkable admission when many Americans still believe that homosexuality is immoral.4 In recent decades, homosexual awareness has translated into "gay (and lesbian) liberation" within American society. Given the publicity of gay/lesbian issues, pronouncements have varied regarding the social significance of homosexuality – from predictions of abject catastrophe to euphoric egalitarianism. Even within somewhat insular Adventist communities, gay/lesbian awareness is being addressed. Indeed, a recent Adventist Review article reports that homosexuality is one of the fifteen most frequently discussed issues on Adventist electronic (e-mail) forums.5 Furthermore, an Adventist commission on sexuality has formed to discuss, among many diverse topics, homosexuality.6
The challenge that homosexuality presents to Adventism is not unlike that of American society in general. It remains crucial to move beyond ignorance to more sophisticated understandings. Most Christian spiritual communities have not been leaders in this area--but could be. However, that dialogue exists on this issue within Adventist community is positive and encouraging.
Homosexuality is a part of Adventism. The landmark Alfred Kinsey sexuality reports of fifty years ago suggested that about ten percent of the United States population is homosexual (either predominantly or exclusively).7,8 While these numbers have been disputed, the Kinsey report remains valid because it was produced with relative impartiality during an era that was not as polarized as today's psycho-political climate. In the United States, if five to ten percent of Adventists are homosexual, this would suggest 50,000 to 100,000 Adventist church members are gay/lesbian.9 This is not an insignificant number of souls. Every soul is precious to the Savior.
Homosexual orientation and Adventism are not necessarily mutually exclusive. To reach such a conclusion requires a clarification of terms, a thoughtful review of biblical scripture, and a discerning survey of available scientific information regarding homosexuality. The biblical, scientific, and semantic must be considered simultaneously by Adventists if homosexuality is to be more reasonably understood. Should enough Christian charity exist to allow review of dogma, should enough Christian civility exist to engage in dialogue, and should enough Christian inclusivity exist to consider an embrace, reconciling institutional church policies to gay/lesbian Adventist constituents may be possible and plausible.
2. Caroline Pho and Marcia Staimer. "Homosexual Acquaintances" (source: ICR Survey Research Group), in USA Today, 26 September 1996, 1.
|Última actualización en Viernes, 14 de Septiembre de 2012 20:48|