I LISTENED TO A SERMON YESTERDAY ABOUT SEX.
That was odd.
The pastors even warned off the kids, grade 6 and under, inviting parents to send them to the children’s program, which is probably where kids should be anyway if they hope to get anything age-appropriate out of the day.
We’ve been in a sermon series called “Wrestling with the Bible.” The pastor, Adam Hamilton, had surveyed the congregation before the series, to get sermon ideas. He said the top vote-getter was homosexuality…specifically, what we’re to make of the Bible’s stern take on the matter.
“If a man practices homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman, both men have committed a detestable act. They must both be put to death, for they are guilty of a capital offense” (Leviticus 20:13, NLT).
Even Paul, in the New Testament, seems to take his cue from Jewish laws like this. He said “men who have sexual relations with other men. . . will not inherit God’s kingdom” (1 Corinthians 6:10 NCV).
Rev. Adam Hamilton, pastor of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, the Kansas City area, said he wondered if the Jewish law reflected more of ancient thinking and culture that it reflects the attitude of an unchanging God.
One of his many questions for us: Would God really want us to go out and kill our gay brothers, sisters, nieces, and nephews?
Jesus went on the record sparing a woman caught in the act of adultery, though it was another capital offense, according to Jewish law.
“If a man commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, both the man and the woman who have committed adultery must be put to death” (Leviticus 20:10 NLT).
“Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you…Neither do I. Go and sin no more” (John 8:11).
The pastor said he didn’t believe that rethinking the Bible’s teaching about homosexuality is a matter that undermines Scripture. Instead, he said it’s a matter of how to understand and interpret Scripture.
He said his church, my church, welcomes gay worshipers as it does any other worshipers. But the denomination stops short of ordaining gay ministers. He said if American pastors voted on whether or not to do that, the Methodist Church would be pretty well split in two. A 50/50 vote.
In the week leading up to this sermon, the infamous Fred Phelps stopped by with his infamous signs: God Hates Fags. Mr. Phelps, a disbarred lawyer, pastors mainly members of his gene pool at Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas.
So. Who got it right? Adam Hamilton? Fred Phelps? Or none of the above?
I’ll post a link to Rev. Hamilton’s sermon once it goes up on the church’s website.