Wednesday, January 26, 2011

More Light Vs. Adventist

So the Spring Semester has begun. If all goes according to plan, I will be walking across a makeshift stage May 15th and recieveing my diploma. I cannot wait for that day! This semester I am taking 16 credits through Atlantic Union College and because my advisor messed up my schedule previous semesters, I will be taking 12 credits online through another school.
The credits I am taking through AUC are some interesting classes. I have Intro to Tennis to fulfill my Life Activity credit, Computers to fulfill that requirement, Spanish (which I am doing independent study), Introduction to American Film and then rounding it off with my last two classes for my major: Revelation and New Testament Epistles. I have shared with some of the Presbys I know the required reading for my Revelation course and they have come up with other books I ought to read to dispell some of the things I will learn in class this semester. My New Testament Epistles class is rather interesting. I need to pick a topic off of a list that the professor provided and by the end of the semester I will have written an 8 page research paper on the topic, as well as multiple article reviews and preached a sermon on the topic.

I have decided that I have kept my radical liberal Presbyterian views quiet for too long. I have not shared what I truly believe and what I truly think in my time here at AUC, and that is about to change. It is my last semester in conservative Adventist land, to to cause a stir. I am not intentionally causing trouble, but once I saw topic number 13 on the list I knew it would be inevitable. Topic 13 is about homosexuality and sexual deviance as portrayed in the New Testament Epistles. He was expecting the homophobic anti-gay sentiment...he is not going to receive that. I raised my man and asked if we could alter a topic on the list. When I explained that I am interested in researching the pro-gay, we're all Christians, it's all love standpoint he agreed. However, looking around the classroom, I was waiting for my classmates to start stoning me.

The first place I plan to go for my research material will be the More Light Presbyterians. I have spent lots of time on their site before and everything is worded perfectly. I need a minimum of eight sources so I will need to find other resources of the same caliber. This could possibly be the one assignment I spend the most amount of time on in my college career. The paper, I believe, will be a lot easier than the sermon I will have to deliver in class. Preaching in front of my classmates makes me immensely nervous due to theological disagreements that I have had with them. For our viewpoints to be so diametrically opposed on this mater only elevates my anxiety.

I have kept my beliefs and opinions of homosexuality and a number of other issues to myself for far too long. I realize this semester I will cause a stir and people will look at me differently, but when this topic is presented to me in such a negative light, I cannot help but choose it and correct it.


  1. I congratulate you for having the courage to speak in a situation of opposition. I hope you and your classmates both listen, learn and grow through this experience.

    I would like to offer my humble assistance in helping you source your paper. I am a Presbyterian minister who has done a considerable amount of thinking, writing, and speaking on this subject (more than is probably wise for me to do). I am not an expert Biblical scholar, but I have read nearly everything of significance on the subject.

    To begin with I offer the paper which I wrote with my colleague Doug Hagler (another presby minister) in favor of LGBTQ ordination. It is quite thorough, but succinct. I have not found another summary document of its type out there. We went into a detailed point by point analysis here. I had previously written on why homosexuality is not a sin from the perspective of moral theology and we have interacted fruitfully with conservative presbyterians on this subject as well.

    You will find many people commend Jack Roger's book which is a good summary approach to scripture. As is this essay by Walter Wink. Sex and the Single Savior by Dale Martin is another superb book.

    I don't want to crowd your comment here with links you'll find on the MLP or Covnet sites, Soulforce, Box Turtle Bulletin or elsewhere. Resources abound. One author I think is undervalued though is James Alison. His short book "On Being Liked" is the best theology on the subject I've ever read.

    Please don't hesitate to contact me if I can be any further help.

  2. Go to amazon, look up Mark D. Jordan, pick your favorite tile and read away - you'll be grateful.