|Why Attitudes Are Changing on Homosexuality--Part 2||| Print ||
WHY ATTITUDES ARE CHANGING—Part 2
(Why and How Is Homosexuality Being Pushed On the Church?)
[This article is excerpted from the author’s book Must We Be Silent?]
Samuel Koranteng-Pipim, Ph.D.
Director, Public Campus Ministries, Michigan Conference
In part 1, we offered six reasons why are some within our ranks embracing the born a gay gospel as a morally legitimate part of the Christian lifestyle? This present article continues the discussion.
7. Kinship's Pro-Gay Theology.
Another major reason for Adventism's changing attitude toward homosexuality is the influence of the work by the pro-homosexual organization known as Kinship. Billing itself as "a support group for gay and lesbian Seventh-day Adventists," Kinship has been quite successful in converting some Adventists to its belief that "God can bless a committed homosexual relationship." As a result, an increasing number of homosexuals are coming out of the closet and demanding that their homosexuality be accepted as either natural, or a "gift from God.”
This may explain why in the 1993 Adventist Women's Institute's book referred to earlier, an "Adventist-connected" theologian, Bible instructor/academy teacher-turned-minister, writes that her lesbianism is "an unusual calling" from the Lord and why her lesbian partner also felt that the lesbian relationship was "God's gift for her conversion." 
A year earlier the November 4, 1992 issue of the Andrews University student newspaper (Student Movement) created a sensation on campus when it published a letter from an Andrews University homosexual couple pleading for acceptance.  In the center page article of that issue, some anonymous staff members and students discussed their homosexual and lesbian relationships. Among them was "Ann," a 28-year old lesbian who was seeking the transfer of her church membership to the Pioneer Memorial Church at Andrews University. Speaking about her committed homosexual relationship in which God plays an important role, Ann summed up the basic belief of Kinship: "I am a lesbian because God knows that that's the best thing for me. My homosexuality has actually brought me a lot closer to God than if I was a heterosexual." 
It is this kind of view that was actively promoted at the 2000 Toronto GC session by “Someone To Talk To,” an organization claiming to be for "Adventist Families and Friends of Gays and Lesbians” and which has apparently been recognized by the North American Division Family Ministries Department. Even some Adventist Gay/Lesbian “ministries” (such as the one at the San Francisco Central SDA Church) and “outreach” groups like God’s Rainbow and GLOW, while distancing themselves from Kinship, nonetheless argue that homosexuality is not sin, but rather morally neutral.
As a result of the campaigns by these organizations, groups, and individuals, many Adventists are no longer very sure of the nature and morality of homosexuality.
8. 1980 Declaration by Some Scholars.
Within the Seventh-day Adventist church, the most significant event that signaled the changing attitudes towards homosexuality occurred when, in August 1980, the church commissioned six well-known representatives to attend a camp meeting (or "kamp meeting") organized by the pro-homosexual group Kinship. 
Although the church representatives consisted of six influential Bible scholars and pastors, to the surprise of many, the biblical and theological scholars at the Kinship camp meeting concluded that the teaching of Scripture on the subject of homosexuality is not sufficiently clear to settle the question of the morality of homosexual acts or relationships in our world. 
The three scholars, all of whom were then teaching at the church's leading theological seminary at Andrews University, declared: "A simplistic English reading of the few scriptural references to homosexual acts would not suffice to determine the Lord's will for homosexual persons today." 
Given the ensuing civil war between liberals and conservatives over the legitimacy of contemporary higher criticism in biblical interpretation, the declaration by the church's authorized scholars at the Kinship camp meeting has been understood by some as another indication of the flourishing of liberal methodology in the church. 
In any case, declarations such as the one above, and the official opposition to such a position by the church in the volume Seventh-day Adventists Believe . . . (1988)  and in the GC's Biblical Research Institute's book Homosexuality in History and Scriptures (1988),  have made the issue of homosexuality a hot potato item within Adventist scholarship.
9. Troubling Views in Church Publications.
Despite the clamor for the church’s acceptance of homosexuality, and despite the fact that the church's Bible scholars have been quietly debating the issue, very few Adventists were aware of the campaign for homosexuality in the Seventh-day Adventist church. But in recent times the homosexual issue has come out of its ideological and academic closets into the mainstream Adventist view. This has taken the form of carefully written yet troubling articles in such church publications as Ministry, Adventist Review, Insight, Women of Spirit, Adventist View, and the Collegiate Quarterly. These articles, sometimes by anonymous authors, have called for new "awareness and understanding on the subject of homosexuality." A careful reading of some of these works reveals a subtle shift from the church's categorical rejection of homosexuality to its qualified acceptance. 
As I will show in the next chapter, there are three contending positions on homosexuality that are competing in Christian churches today: (a) the non-acceptance view, which maintains that homosexuality is not compatible with biblical Christianity; this is the long-standing SDA position (b) the qualified acceptance view, which argues that homosexuality can be compatible with Christianity; this is the new view being promoted in the articles being put out in church publications; (c) the full acceptance view, which asserts that homosexuality is fully compatible with the Christian faith; this is the position held by pro-gay organizations like Kinship.
The vexing questions raised by the troubling articles appearing in our church publications can best be illustrated by calling attention to the December 5, 1992, issue of Insight, a publication for Seventh-day Adventist teenagers. This particular issue of Insight is devoted entirely to the subject of homosexuality. While the then editor of the magazine maintains that "there is no scriptural support for practicing homosexuality," he nevertheless endorses the pro-gay theology when he asserts that: "There's a difference between being a homosexual and practicing homosexuality"; "Nobody chooses to be homosexual"; "Changing one's homosexual orientation is difficult and rare"; "Homosexuals can be genuine, model Christians"; and "Being a homosexual is not a sin." 
Perceptive readers will recognize that the above position was rejected by the 1990 and 1995 Church Manuals when the church officially condemned "homosexual practices and lesbian practices" as examples of "the obvious perversions of God's original plan," and made these practices a basis for church discipline.  It is significant that the 1990 and 1995 Church Manuals made the practice of homosexuality a basis for church discipline. For, since the 1985 GC session, pro-gay advocates have subtly sought to modify the language in the Church Manual towards a qualified acceptance view of homosexuality (see the note below for an insightful account of how this happened). 
10. Obliteration of Gender Role Distinctions.
One overlooked reason for Adventism's changing attitude towards homosexuality is the impact of feminist theology on sexual role distinctions. This fact is evident in the liberal (radical feminist) and conservative (egalitarian or equalitarian) reasoning for ordaining women as elders or pastors. Though employing different sets of arguments, both liberal and conservative proponents of women's ordination are united in their denial of male headship and gender role differentiation at creation. They reject the biblical teaching of sexual role distinctions before the fall of Adam and Eve because of their belief that such a teaching suggests the absence of "full equality" and the existence of superiority/inferiority among the first pair. 
We should not miss the connection between the above arguments and those used to promote homosexuality. Just as feminists seek “full equality" by getting rid of gender or sex roles in marriage and the church, gay theology also seeks to bring about "full equality" between homosexuals and heterosexuals by obliterating sexual identity. Thus, when radical proponents impose their gender-inclusive reconstructions upon the Bible and suggest that Adam was "an androgynous being" (i.e. bisexual), it is only a few steps from seeing homosexuality as a creation ordinance.
Similarly, when conservative proponents of women's ordination claim that at creation Adam and Eve were "fully equal," enjoying "total egalitarianism in marriage," and when they argue that prior to the fall there was no role differentiation between male and female, whether they are aware of it or not, they also are building a theological nest for advocates of homosexual theology to lay and hatch their gay eggs. 
To speak of "full equality" without seriously coming to terms with the nature and extent of this equality and without stating unambiguously that to act as "equal and joint partners" does not mean to act identically, allows advocates of gay theology to build upon the shaky foundation constructed by liberal and conservative advocates of women's ordination. At a time of increasing homosexual demands for marital rights, the failure by proponents of women's ordination to say unambiguously that men are not equal with women personally or even physically as candidates to be spouses of men has opened a welcome door for those who seek to nullify the biblical case for divinely instituted role differences and a monogamous heterosexual relationship. This fact has not been lost by proponents of gay theology within Adventism. 
For example, speaking at the annual meeting of Seventh-day Adventist college and university Bible teachers in San Francisco, California, in 1992, the "liaison" from the pro-homosexual group Kinship, correctly remarked that the push for women's ordination, when successful, will eventually open the door for the church to embrace homosexuality, since both causes are waging a similar battle of "discrimination" and share the same basic approach to biblical interpretation.
One Adventist homosexual, a member of the “Adventist Gay/Lesbian” Ministry at San Francisco Central SDA Church, makes an insightful observation regarding the similarities of the pro-gay and pro-women’s ordination arguments. He expresses his amusement that proponents of women’s ordination “use a set of arguments to validate women being ordained, almost exactly the same as us gays used to approve of ‘monogamous gay relationships.’ Junia and Phoebe rank right in there with David and Jonathan, and Ruth and Naomi. In this [Internet Web site] thread, I have even seen the Bible translated by first setting aside references to gender because of some women being just as capable of certain tasks as a man is. Well, let me tell you something honey, except for childbirth I have been just as capable as any woman in all of the tasks normally performed by the woman–so I guess I can also set aside all the biblical statements I don’t like? To my knowledge, ‘Ordination Credentials’ are a man-made set of requirements to fill a biblical role, but they are in no way capable of changing the gender to which the role applies.” 
Despite the objections by some Adventist proponents of women’s ordination, the experience of other Christian denominations confirms the above observations that openness towards homosexuality inescapably follows once we jettison the Bible's teaching on sexual role differentiation for an "egalitarian" model.
This is why some delegates at the 2000 Toronto GC session objected to the insertion of a theologically fuzzy feminist language in the “divorce and remarriage” document presented to them at the session. The reason is simple: Whether proponents were aware of it or not, by taking away role distinctions at creation, the divorce and remarriage document which was presented to delegates at the Toronto GC session set a theological foundation not just for women's ordination but also for homosexuality. 
Summary. The above ten reasons--(1) campaign by pro-homosexual groups, (2) departure from biblical revelation to empirical research, (3) the impact of the behavioristic philosophy on recent research findings, (4) new sexual paradigms, (5) the climate of “enlightened” ethical sensitivity, (6) the AIDS crisis, (7) the impact of Kinship's pro-gay theology, (8) the 1980 declaration by some scholars, (9) troubling views in church publications, and (10) the obliteration of gender role distinctions--may help explain why attitudes are changing within the Adventist church on the issue of homosexuality.
As a result of these reasons (and perhaps others), there is uncertainty in the minds of many church members over the nature and morality of homosexuality. Some pro-gay advocates within our ranks are slowly moving the church towards a full- or qualified-acceptance view of homosexuality. Before evaluating the arguments being used to domesticate homosexuality in the Adventist church, it may first be necessary to summarize the three major positions pleading for audience in the Christian church. [Chapter 3 of the author’s Must We Be Silent offers the summary. It is reproduced on this DrPipim.org website in the article “Three Conflicting Views on Homosexuality.”]
Maybe that's where we differ. We don't believe God really can forgive. But I don't blame u. It's difficult to do that if we ourselves know how we "repent". And of course we say," no ways, stay away, "basically projecting our own issue. I don't mean you. Just humanity in general.
Pipim is forgiven if he has asked. But a thief who is forgiven is still a thief, just a saved thief.
Let's agree to differ on the depth of God's forgiveness and caring for the "fallen".
An alcoholic is still an alcoholic even after being liberated by God? A thief is still a thief even if Christ has forgiven and given him victory?
SHANNON? what kind of god do you serve? A very deficient god who is not able to do anything?
I can do all things, except overcome since, through Christ who strengthens me?
We are still sinners even after God forgives, that is the essence of the Gospel. If we were not sinners we would not need Christ's gift of salvation.
are you saying that we are saved in sin?
No, we are saved in Christ, not sin.
So you agree that we are saved from sin right?
I'm sure you are trying to trick me somehow, John 3:16 is sufficient for me, that is what I believe.
You mean 'trick you' to accept or admit Truth?
Really? Your concept of truth does not include John 3:16?
What does this phrase mean to you?
"that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."
What do you understand by 'believe'?