Browse category by SEXUALITY
CONSENT IS NOT ENOUGH

CONSENT IS NOT ENOUGH

March 25, 2022 By dwayman

In the decades since the sexual revolution which unmoored our sexual ethics from any resemblance of Biblical teaching, the results are now clear: Consent is not enough!  This observation made by Christine Emba in the Washington Post provides an insightful place from which to consider where we go from now.  Not appealing directly to the Biblical teaching, Emba nevertheless uses a definition of LOVE that requires the life-long commitment to the well-being of the other.

Emba states, in part:

“Even when it goes well, sex is complicated. It involves our bodies, minds and emotions, our connections to each other and our deepest selves. Despite the (many, and popular) arguments that it’s only a physical act, it is clear to almost anyone who has had it that sex has vast consequences, some of which can last long after an encounter ends. Over the past several decades, our society has come to believe that consent — as a legal standard and a moral requirement — could somehow make our most unruly activity more manageable. But it was never going to be that easy….”

“The problem with all this is that consent is a legal criterion, not an ethical one. It doesn’t tell us how we should treat each other as an interaction continues. It doesn’t provide a good road map should something go off the rails. And it suggests that individual actions — “ask for consent,” “speak your mind,” “be more forceful in saying yes or no” — are enough to preempt the misunderstandings and hurt that can come with physical intimacy.

LOVING FROM WHERE WE STAND

LOVING FROM WHERE WE STAND

October 11, 2021 By dwayman

When John wrote that the mark of being a Christian is by our love for all, (John 13:35) he established what is our clear Free Methodist understanding of the social concerns of our day.  This truth, also called the Theology of Love by Wesleyan authors such as Mildred Bangs Wynkoop, defines the dynamic power of love that is central to our Wesleyan heritage.

It is therefore appropriate that Supt. Bruce Cromwell was asked as a member of the Study Commission on Doctrine to write about the love we are committed to expressing to the LGBT community as we stand upon the teachings of Scripture.  His guidance has been published under the title Loving From Where We Stand and can be ordered here.

To understand his heart, this interview on FM Radio is a shared conversation with the Rev. Dr. Cromwell and Elijah Drake.  You can listen to the podcast here.

 

LOVING MUTUALITY AS GOD’S PLAN FOR CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE

LOVING MUTUALITY AS GOD’S PLAN FOR CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE

March 14, 2021 By dwayman

LOVING MUTUALITY AS GOD’S PLAN FOR CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE

The Study Commission on Doctrine Free Methodist Church-USA 2021

Free Methodists celebrate God’s original creation of humans in the divine image. Bearing the Divine Image, among the many particulars we might note, characterizes humanity as male and female, and does so especially when together they fulfill their vocation as co-stewards and governors of the creation (see Gen. 1: 26-31, and the note that “it is not good for the human to be alone,” in 2:18). Both accounts of Creation stress the mutual, collaborative nature of the original human vocation.

Subsequently, the humans disobey the Lord and bring upon themselves and their world multiple forms of disorder and distortion (Gen. 3). Rather than blessing, the world experiences curse; and instead of ruling together over the world, the man and woman suffer brokenness in their relationship. Now, she will desire the man, but the man will rule over her (Gen. 3:16). This hierarchical pattern characterizes human history from that point on and manifests the consequences of human sin. The impact of this altered or broken relationship for women has been bleak. Men take multiple wives. Women are objectified and valued for their ability to produce children and to provide sexual pleasure. As objects, girls are less desirable than boys, except as dowry for the household. As objects, girls are promised and given in marriage to expand the family’s social capital. And, as objects, girls and women are raped as a means of humiliating the enemy and taken as part of the spoils claimed by victors.

TRANSGENDERED IDENTITIES

TRANSGENDERED IDENTITIES

January 29, 2021 By dwayman

Preston Sprinkle, Embodied: Transgendered Identities, The Church and What the Bibles Has to Say, (Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2021)

David W. Kendall, Ph.D. Bishop Emeritus, Free Methodist Church-USA, provides this review of the book by Preston Sprinkle, Embodied: Transgendered Identities, The Church and What the Bibles Has to Say, (Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2021)

Bishop Emeritus Kendall writes:

“Dr. Preston Sprinkle is one of most competent and compassionate voices speaking to both church and world today, especially on issues of sexuality, gender, and their interfaces with the church and discipleship.  Embodied reflects why the church would be wise to listen to his voice.

In this book, Dr. Sprinkle addresses “the universe of fact and fiction, Science and Scripture, thoughtful responses and reflexive reactions that surround persons experiencing some form of gender dysphoria – a sense of incongruity between their biologically sexed body and their sense of gendered identity. As he does, he outlines the basics of the sciences—biological, neurological, psychological—and what conclusions can at present be confidently drawn, what questions remain outstanding, and where the data are mixed or ambiguous.

Dr. Sprinkle also outlines the cultural, social and political dynamics that surround the experiences of trans persons and that condition the varied responses they encounter from others. These dynamics provide important context for understanding the marked increase of people experiencing gender dysphoria and self-identifying as trans.

Dr. Sprinkle carefully considers relevant passages and themes of Scripture,

TRANSGENDER EXPLOSION IN YOUNG GIRLS NEVER SEEN BEFORE

TRANSGENDER EXPLOSION IN YOUNG GIRLS NEVER SEEN BEFORE

December 10, 2020 By dwayman

It is difficult to measure the impact of culture on identity, especially sexual identity.  This review by Neil Shevni covering Abigail Shier’s 2020 book, Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing our Daughters, explores the impact social media is having on very young women and sounding an alarm.  In her book advertisement on Amazon Shier writes:

“Until just a few years ago, gender dysphoria—severe discomfort in one’s biological sex—was vanishingly rare. It was typically found in less than .01 percent of the population, emerged in early childhood, and afflicted males almost exclusively.

But today whole groups of female friends in colleges, high schools, and even middle schools across the country are coming out as “transgender.” These are girls who had never experienced any discomfort in their biological sex until they heard a coming-out story from a speaker at a school assembly or discovered the internet community of trans “influencers.”

Unsuspecting parents are awakening to find their daughters in thrall to hip trans YouTube stars and “gender-affirming” educators and therapists who push life-changing interventions on young girls—including medically unnecessary double mastectomies and puberty blockers that can cause permanent infertility.”

 

IN THE REVIEW OF HER BOOK, NEIL SHEVNI SAYS IN PART: 

“Do we want to be loving? Or do we want to be perceived as loving? When our beliefs about what is right force us to push against the culture,

PORNOGRAPHY USE INCREASES LONELINESS

PORNOGRAPHY USE INCREASES LONELINESS

May 3, 2020 By dwayman

One of the pervasive dangers of the modern technological age is the ever-present device that can access pornography.  Though the science is clear that pornography use is addictively destructive, society as a whole and some entertainment outlets in particular ignore this.  In this study Dr. Mark H. Butler, et.al, presents clear evidence that the use of pornography is related to loneliness as loneliness is related to the use of pornography.  Two factors were found to mitigate against the use of pornography: marriage and religious attendance.

These researchers write in part:

“Technological advances of the last half-century have made media a dominant cultural and developmental presence. Media provides powerful behavioral and relational scripts. Sexual media is pervasive, diverse, and highly accessible, bringing sexual content into the cultural forefront of society….”

“Social scientists are in the vanguard in identifying theoretically and empirically the dynamic influences of sexual media scripts on the formation and functioning of human pair-bond relationships. Social scientists also are on the cutting edge of contemporary examination of whether behavioral habituation and compulsivity surrounding pornography viewing and sexual pursuits may fit the addiction template and represent a serious relational and hence public health concern….”

“Loneliness arises from deficiency in key, meaningful relationships, more particularly attachment relationships. Deficiency may be in terms of quality or quantity, or both (Peplau & Perlman, 1982). Joining Weiss (1973) and Mikulincer and Shaver (2007),

HOWARD  SNYDER’s HOMOSEXUALITY AND THE CHURCH

HOWARD SNYDER’s HOMOSEXUALITY AND THE CHURCH

June 30, 2019 By dwayman

In 2014 Howard Snyder wrote a “personal and pastoral” reflection on homosexuality.  It is presented here as another ingredient to our ongoing conversation.

 

Homosexuality and the Church:

Personal and Pastoral Reflections

 

Howard A. Snyder

 

[Foreword]

 

One of the foundational problems with the contemporary discussion on same sex marriage is that the church has lost the debate before the first exchange of ideas takes place. This is because the underlying presuppositions of the dialogue are never properly disclosed.  For example, the actual biblical teaching regarding marriage is utterly incomprehensible to the wider culture.   If you read Christian interactions about same sex marriage, it is clear that the church has largely abandoned the notion that there is a divine design to marriage.  In short, we have a priori accepted the culture’s view of marriage; namely, that it is a legal arrangement which allows two people to fulfill each other’s emotional and sexual needs and desires.  Personal choice and autonomous notions of personal fulfillment are just a few of the values which fit neatly within the larger utilitarian framework of the modern understanding of marriage.   Today, marriage has become commodified along with the rest of the culture, as even social relationships are often reduced to measurable economic and emotional exchange units.

In contrast, the Scriptures posit a covenantal view of marriage which is unitive,

A CALL TO DISCOURSE

A CALL TO DISCOURSE

March 29, 2019 By

As a global church it is important that we listen intently to Christians throughout the world.  Often each of us can be insulated by our own cultural experience that we unconsciously, and sometimes with full awareness, see those of other cultures as not being as informed or aware.  In this thoughtful call to discourse based on the recent international experience of the United Methodist Church, Dr. J. Derek McNeil provides guidance for all of us as a part of the global church.

He says, in part:

“In the wake of the UMC vote on Human Sexuality, I’ve become increasingly concerned that we are losing the capacity to see relationally and to hear each other beyond social categories. I have noticed a familiar tendency, in what started as an international vote concerning a global denomination is turned into a particularly American discussion—universalizing themes and inflections that are firmly located in our national political, religious, and social discourse. This shortchanges our understanding of the complexity of our human discourse and limits our ability to listen deeply.

To raise this point is not to intellectually diminish the real rejection and pain felt across the UMC denomination. The voices in this discourse matter, and I pray that we continue listening to the stories and honor the tears of those who have felt harmed and isolated by this vote, who have experienced the last few weeks as the deepening of an old wound. And may we also remember that there are voices—beyond and within our borders—who do not easily fall into the familiar categories and talking points of our national discourse.

UMC Keeps Tradition’s Sexual Ethics

UMC Keeps Tradition’s Sexual Ethics

February 27, 2019 By

When Wesley looked for truth he went first to Scripture and then to Tradition, Reason and Experience.  In the February 26, 2019 vote of the United Methodist Church concerning the ordination and marriage of avowed homosexual and lesbian people, the majority of delegates voted in agreement with the almost 2000 years of Church tradition as well as the Wesleyan biblical interpretation and tradition in what was called the Traditional Plan.

One of the reasons the denomination stayed connected to the “traditional” theology and practice, passing by a small majority, was the presence of the global church and its delegates.  In this speech by the Rev. Dr. Jerry P. Kulah, Dean of Gbarnga School of Theology, United Methodist University in Liberia, he states in clear unequivoacal and civil manner that the church in Africa will stay true to historic Methodism and “not a culturally liberal, church elite, in the U.S.”

Dr. Kulah says in part:

“Another road invites us to reaffirm Christian teachings rooted in Scripture and the church’s rich traditions.

It says, “All persons are individuals of sacred worth, created in the image of God,” that “All persons need the ministry of the Church,” and that “We affirm that God’s grace is available to all.”

It grounds our sexual ethics in Scripture when it says, the UM Church does “not condone the practice of homosexuality and considers [it] incompatible with Christian teaching.”

While “we commit ourselves to be in ministry for and with all persons,” we do not celebrate same-sex marriages or ordain for ministry people who self-avow as practicing homosexuals.

81 WORDS: HOW THE DESIGNATION OF HOMOSEXUALITY WAS REMOVED FROM THE DIAGNOSTIC STATISTICAL MANUAL

81 WORDS: HOW THE DESIGNATION OF HOMOSEXUALITY WAS REMOVED FROM THE DIAGNOSTIC STATISTICAL MANUAL

December 18, 2018 By

When you live through a seismic cultural change it often catches individuals and nations by surprise.  This occurred in 1973 when the American Psychiatric Association changed the defining of homosexuality from a disease to a dysphoria disorder which was then quietly removed in the succeeding years.  The circumstances surrounding the transition is a combination of activism and gay psychiatrists within the APA rising to the highest and most strategic positions.  In this American Life the granddaughter of the gay psychiatrist who was president-elect of the APA when the change was made explores the personal, political and cultural dynamics which brought about the change.  Although we like to think it was the science that led to the removal of the designation of homosexuality as a DSM disorder it was not.

The story begins with our author, Alix Spiegel, explaining first in 2002 and recently repeated on This American Life on December 16, 2018:

“Alix Spiegel

This is the story of a definition, three single sentences composed of 81 words. It’s the story of how this particular definition became another definition, nine sentences, composed of 237 words.

Now according to some parties, this change from 81 words to 237 words liberated an entire category of humanity. According to other parties, it undermined the basic family unit, compromised the scientific authority of psychiatry, and quote, “tampered with the basic code and concept of life.”

Now,