As I was reading through the blogs I subscribe to using Bloglines, I came across this post on Scot McKnight’s Jesus Creed blog entitled The Letter. I encourage you to go there and read entire post and interact with the community there.
Here is the text of the letter reprinted from McKnight’s blog post:
We have a college student on our worship team who has been struggling with issues of homosexuality. He had voluntarily removed himself from the team last year due to this issue. He has since come to the conclusion that homosexual unions are acceptable to God, not sex outside a civil union, but within a union.
He currently has a boyfriend, although he is not sexually active. He believes he is “right with God” and wishes to rejoin the team, with the understanding that should he cross the line and become sexually active outside of a civil union, he will no longer be eligible to be on the team.
As the worship leader, the decision lies in my hands. I do not want to condone the theology that God is accepting of homosexual unions or acts. I would appreciate some advice as to how to handle this situation.
McKnight had guest blogger Andrew Marin respond to the letter in a separate post. McKnight stated that he will be addressing this type of issue later in April or early May on his blog after reading Marin’s book. Andrew Marin has a book coming out in May called Love is an Orientation that addresses how the church can build bridges and reach out to the gay community.
I wanted to throw it out here on Elemental Children’s Ministry. What would you do if someone like this wanted to work in children’s ministry? Like McKnight posted with this letter, issues like this will become more commonplace over the next 10 years whether we like it or not. We need to know how we are going to deal with these issues and people like this young man with love while at the same time not compromising our core beliefs.
Before I say anything more, let me just make it clear that I do not condone homosexuality. At the same time, though, how do we deal with people who are honestly struggling with stuff like this and come to different conclusions than we do. Are there any churches that have policies to deal with issues like this? If so, what are they and why do you have them? Would you let people dealing with similar issues be involved anywhere in children’s ministry? Where would those positions be and why?
I don’t have any answers to this one. I am interested in hearing from all of you. Please be civil in the discussions. I don’t believe that working with people in a homosexual lifestyle or struggling with a homosexual lifestyle is as cut and dry and we pretend it to be most of the time. Also, can we just say that child safety really isn’t an issue in THIS discussion; there are plenty of people (both men and women) who are gay and work with children in multiple capacities: teachers, child welfare, childcare centres, health care, etc. What I would like to hear is how you work with someone like this young man who is honestly searching for God and wants to be involved in ministry… and what that might look like in a children’s ministry setting.
I will post my own thoughts in the next couple of days, but I’d like to hear from you all.