Biblical Faith and Homosexuality
- Walter sites the greatest commandments-to love God and your neighbor as yourself. He suggests that we are not given a choice by God-whether to love our neighbor. In light of this command, how do you show love to sexual minorities among your neighbors? Toward family members? Toward lesbian or gay people within your church?
- Peter effectively illustrates how a person can change his or her view regarding who God includes, to whom God offers grace. How has your view of God changed? Do you perceive of God more or less inclusively than you used to? Why?
- The apostle Paul writes in Galatians 5:6 that neither keeping the law nor dispensing of the law counts for anything, but only “faith working through love.” See Walter’s discussion (page 24, paragraphs 3-4). How does this inform and determine how you relate to sexual minorities? How does it affect the way your congregation relates to gays and lesbians?
- Discuss Walter’s process with or approach to biblical content.
What Did Jesus Do?
- Ted declares that Jesus loved particular people, not like the Grand Inquisitor who loved humanity in general. How do you and people in your congregation love particular people, moving you beyond the “We love everybody” generalization?
- Discuss Ted’s understanding of the “politics of compassion” and “politics of purity.” How might you or your congregation allow or nurture a “politics of purity” to keep you from living out the “politics of compassion”? How can you influence values within your congregation?
- Jesus’ openness reflected God’s mercy to all people. How do you and your congregation show God’s mercy to sexual minorities? Are they included in Table Fellowship, for example?
These questions are intended to stimulate your reflection on the topics discussed by the writers. We hope that families, small groups, and Sunday school classes will find them helpful. Addresses are included so that you may send questions and comments to the writers. However, we believe that the greatest benefit will come from discussion among small groups, including with people whose viewpoints complement and differ from yours.
Walter S Friesen, 2009 Clover Lane, Newton KS 67114
Ted Grimsrud, 1150 Lincolnshire Dr., Harrisonburg VA 22801