The other day my husband, Ken, and I splashed and swam in a pool, then ate burgers and drank iced tea at a barbecue hosted by our friends Ann Marie and Patricia. We are pleased and proud of the honorary titles “Uncle Ken” and “Auntie Rachel,” bestowed on us by this couple and the children they are raising. I’m also thankful for permission to tell their story, which has taught me much about what the apostle Paul calls “a spirit of adoption.”
The church council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has recommended that its churchwide assembly in August approve interim sharing of the Eucharist between the ELCA and the United Methodist Church. The ELCA bishops earlier endorsed the step, which follows years of Lutheran–United Methodist dialogues.
A Swedish preacher sentenced to a month in prison for referring to homosexuals as a “cancerous tumor” in society has been acquitted by an appeals court. The court in Jonkoping, in southern Sweden, ruled that a sermon by Ake Green, 63, was not an attack on gays and lesbians because it was a personal interpretation of the Bible.
The United Church of Christ, a budget-struggling mainline denomination often confused with a similarly named church, felt that only a bold regional and national TV ad campaign costing $1.7 million might rescue it from public anonymity.
In the face of public backlash throughout North America, Louis-iana-based televangelist JimmySwaggart said he regrets telling his congregation at a televised worship service that if a gay man ever looks at him romantically, “I’m going to kill him and tell God he died.” In an interview September 21, Swaggart said, “It was a tongue-in-cheek statement best left unsaid.
While “gay Christian” is an oxymoron to some conservative Protestants, it is an equally bewildering term to many radicals in the gay liberation movement. To “come out” as a Christian in the gay community can be as trying as it is to come out as a homosexual in the church.
Robert Gagnon’s treatment of my own work in his book The Bible and Homosexual Practice is anything but irenic. “Wink’s analysis has all the theological sophistication of a math test or football game: sixteen sexual policies in the Bible we no longer heed versus just four that we do.