Exploring Same-Sex Sexual Expression in Romans 1
Today’s episode is a thought-provoking conversation on homosexuality with special guest Greg Coles. We explore the theological aspects and cultural beliefs that influence how marriage, singleness, and LGBTQ+ issues are discussed in the church. Greg shares his insights on the biblical understanding of singleness, challenging churches that prioritize marriage and exclude unmarried individuals from fully participating in the family of God. We delve into the contentious topic of same-sex sexual expression in the context of Romans 1, exploring different interpretations and arguments surrounding it. Join us as we navigate these complex discussions with grace and seek to bridge the gap between differing views within the church. Stay tuned for an enlightening and respectful dialogue on homosexuality, theology, and the radical love of Jesus.
THREE KEY TAKEAWAYS:
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- Reconsidering Singleness: There is a need for a more nuanced and biblical approach to understanding and valuing singleness. Often, churches that prioritize marriage and overlook the biblical understanding of singleness isolate the members of the Body that need a life of singleness.
- Different Interpretations on Same-Sex Sexual Expression: It is a challenge to reconcile our cultural context with open and respectful discussions on the topic of affirming and non-affirming interpretations of the Bible’s passages related to same-sex sexual expression and practice.
- The Church as Family: Churches can better support LGBTQ individuals both structurally and on an individual level by encouraging our congregants to view the church as a family and provide meaningful community for all members, regardless of their sexual orientation. The family of God should be equally open to all who profess Christ rather than prioritizing the individual family units.
#theFormedlife #PodcastEpisode #Homosexuality #GregColes #TheologicalAspects #CulturalBeliefs #Singleness #ChurchTeachings #Marriage #LGBTQinfaith
Greg Coles, is a tangle of identities: born in upstate New York, raised on the Indonesian island of Java, and now working as a freelance author and scholar in Idaho’s Treasure Valley. He holds a PhD in English from Penn State and has been in love with language since age 8, when he started learning his older brother’s SAT vocabulary words and reading Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Greg’s fiction and expository writing have been published by Penguin Random House and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. His academic research on rhetorics of marginality (how language works in society for disadvantaged groups) has appeared in College English and Rhetorica and in an edited collection from Cambridge University Press. His first book, Single, Gay, Christian: A Personal Journey of Faith and Sexual Identity, was a 2017 Foreword INDIES Award Finalist. His newest book is No Longer Strangers: Finding Belonging in a World of Alienation.
“The context in which we would turn toward the same sex as well as many contexts in which we would turn toward the opposite sex outside of God’s vision for that expression those would all be places where we take sex, this really good created thing, and we make it into something that is no longer about the pursuit of the creator and turns it into something that’s about ourselves.”
— Greg Coles
“I think a lot of our church structures still assume that people ought to be kind of funneled into marriage, that singleness is more like the purgatorial, you know, waiting zone where the losers hang out until they get their act together, which seems to miss something of the biblical understanding of singleness.”
— Greg Coles
“And yet despite having all that, my experience in conversation with many people is that they don’t actually really experience their churches as family or as a deeply meaningful community. That lots of churches are still mostly centered around the nuclear family unit, as if to say, like, church is the thing that we do where we all get together and you are equipped as a family unit to then go out and have your own family.”
— Greg Coles
[00:02:49] Humans worship creation instead of God.
[00:05:59] Two sides: affirming and non-affirming interpretations.
[00:08:34] Romans includes an intense passage on same-sex behavior.
[00:13:51] Argument: Women exchanging natural relations for unnatural ones.
[00:18:49] Passage discusses caution in interpreting text, and addresses same-sex sexual expression concerns.
[00:20:41] Broadens the argument on sexual behavior.
[00:24:26] Marriage symbolizes the fullness of God’s image.
[00:27:56] The importance of reflecting God’s vision.
[00:31:23] Churches can support LGBTQ individuals but may not be inclusive overall.
[00:36:27] Missed opportunity to discuss marriage and singleness.
[00:40:16] Importance of LGBTQ+ inclusion within church families.
[00:44:43] “How can I connect with my LGBTQ+ friend?”
[00:46:16] Jesus wrecks lives, but it’s worth it.
[00:49:02] The Center for Faith, Sexuality, and Gender offers various resources.