By Dr. Denny Wayman
An application of Experience and Reason in Caring for Persons with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Orientations and their families Free Methodist Study Commission on Doctrine
The church’s care for persons who self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender1 is important to God. This paper attempts to provide Free Methodist pastors with guidance to faithfully fulfill our calling and express God’s love. As a part of the larger work presenting the Wesleyan Quadrilateral’s reliance on Scripture, Tradition, Reason and Experience, this paper focuses on the wisdom gained from our Experience and our Reasoned study of human sexuality.
An important premise of Wesleyan Theology is that we have faith in God that is not driven by fear, but rather by trusting in the power of God’s sanctifying work. This faith provides space in the individual’s life as well as in the church for God to do His work. According to the Pew Study of 2013, 51% of persons who self-identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual are actively involved in religion.2 The opportunity to care for such persons and trust in God rather than fear, judge or exclude such fellow seekers is our God-given opportunity. The deep longing of every person’s heart is to be accepted and loved. This longing is not only a longing for God’s love but for the love of family and church just as we are. When the church singles out particular groups of people from full inclusion in the community of faith,