Ministry: Okay To Be Gay?

In Candid Christianity: The Blog, Christian RealTalk by Antwuan Malone

Should someone who is openly gay be allowed to be ordained as a minister?

An article (here) from Huffington Post has reported the Presbyterian Church doesn’t have a problem with a minister who is openly gay.

And so the homosexual wheel of confusion continues to roll.

Many are calling what the Presbys have done a victory. Many non-gay people, I mean. The cloud of immodest toleration that is slowly permeating so many areas of Christianity (like postmodernism, and even this Love Wins craze) grows more and more dark by the minute.

If I’m being 100% candid here, I must say I’m a little sick of the whole gay thing.

Coincidentally, late last night, before I read the Huffington Post article, I sat watching this week’s episode of Glee and gave a heavy eye-roll at yet another gay centric episode. I’ll tell you what? If I didn’t fully understand the frustration of being “beaten over the head,” as the saying goes, by an ideology, i do now. Glee is killing me with this gay thing.

But this isn’t about Glee. I merely mentioned the episode because it may be the reason I approach this topic with more aggression than normal. So bear with me.

In order to answer whether an openly gay individual can be ordained as a minister, I’d have to get a few things clear first. To do this, let’s change the question up a bit.

Should someone who is an admitted murderer be allowed to be ordained as a minister?

For many, the knee-jerk reaction would be, “Absolutely not!” But for me, I’d want to know what “admitted” means in this question. Does it mean this person admits to having murdered before, and plans not to murder again? Or does it mean this person is intends to keep murdering?

The answer to that question, for me, makes all the difference.

Choices

Assuming we all agree that homosexuality is a sin, “openly gay” needs to undergo a similar examination. Does “openly gay” mean the person recognizes their bodily urge and attraction to the same sex? Or does it mean they plan to actively participate in satisfying those urges with no intent on quitting?

Admittedly, homosexuality is a very gray-area kind of sin. In that, on the surface we could easily suggest sexual orientation has nothing to do with someone’s faith and relational position with God. Many suggest that now. In fact, the article quotes Michael Adee, the executive director of More Light Presbyterians, as saying, “We’ve restored the longstanding Presbyterian understanding of ordination: that the most important qualifications are related to faith, not marital status or sexuality.”

But doesn’t the “qualifications related to faith” include pursuing a life directed by and in obedience to God’s word and the Holy Spirit living within all true Christians? Isn’t same-sex participation (not the urge) a two-headed prohibition, both of pre-marital sex and sexual same-sex perversion?

And if so, isn’t the willful, deliberate choice to live a life of disobedience a matter worth noting in a conversation concerning “qualifications related to faith?”

I have no doubt that God can use anyone to do anything. In fact, God’s not waiting for our ordination processes to qualify us to spread his Word. He doesn’t need our stamp of approval. So for me, ordained ministers, while not perfect, should be teachers of God’s Word and failing models of God’s goodness. Failing, because they model a life of striving for total obedience to God that doesn’t succeed. In other words, none of us expect clergy to be perfect. But we do expect they are trying to be.

“If you love me, you’ll [try your darndest to] keep my commandments,” says Jesus (with my own added bracketed comments, of course).

So if I had to provide an abbreviated answer to the question, I’d say in a most abbreviated way, that I see no issue with ordaining clergy who fight the urge of homosexuality, but find ordaining clergy who actively participate in homosexuality without “putting up a fight” both selfish and disrespectful to the amazing grace extended to us through The Cross.

How do you feel about gays being ordained as clergy:  Absolutely not, Maybe, or No problem?

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Antwuan Malone is a Ministry Director at ELEVATE Young Adult Ministry (elevateministry.net) where empowers young adults toward Christian leadership. He is passionate about seeing young adults take their place in church history by drawing near enough to God to hear his call on their life, and courageously living in obedience to that call.