Local Church Sports Ministry and Gender Issues
The blogs in this series are excerpts from Dr. Linville’s yet to be released book. They explore the realities occurring in local church Sports Outreach Ministries in relationship to an evolving culture and shifting trends within sport, The Church and society in general. This blogs serves as an introduction to the six Biblical Texts that specifically relate to homosexual activity and same gender marriage. The end goal of this Biblical exegesis is to aide local church Sports & Recreation Ministers comprehend, and proactively structure, their outreaches with theological clarity and relational love and sensitivity.
Six Biblical Texts
A common opinion is the Bible says very little about homo-sexuality. This is true, so far as it must be recognized that a handful of passages represent a very small percentage of the total Bible. By comparison, however, there is not even one verse that deals directly with the topic of child abuse, and very few that address incest or bestiality! Yet to date, the vast majority of all those debating homosexual activity and same gender marriage would agree each of these (and many other ethical dilemmas) would be condemned by both Biblical ethics and secular ethics, regardless of how many or how few times they are referenced in the Bible. So, to argue that ethics in regards to homosexuality cannot be determined from a small but significant number of scriptural passages lacks validity.
The fact remains, there are but a few Biblical passages with very specific language and proscriptions that have shaped and formed the basis of the historic Christian views concerning all homosexual issues. It is interesting to note that in the last few decades, supporters of homosexual activity and same gender marriage have recognized these same half dozen verses must be reinterpreted in order to support the defense of their position. All Christians who enter this dialogue with a high view of the Bible agree the following passages are pivotal to arriving at a conclusive answer to the homosexual dilemma. They include: a) the Creation narratives of Genesis 1&2; Genesis 19; Leviticus 18 & 20; Romans 1; 1 Corinthians 6; and 1 Timothy 1. For now, this blog series will center on homosexuality, not on other gender issues. The blogs will in due course however, deal with topics such as transgenderism, bisexuality and other related issues as they relate to local church sports outreach ministry.
Identifying the Issues
Regardless of how strongly some of my brothers and sisters feel that God has condemned homosexual activity, the fact of the matter is, the Bible is not a book about homosexuality. Conversely, regardless of how strongly other brothers and sisters feel who believe homosexuality is blessed by God, they have to admit the Bible does both implicitly and explicitly deal with the issue of homosexuality. So the real question needing to be resolved is: what does God say about homosexuality in the Bible. To be more specific, the answer to the question really comes down to one of two options: a) is homosexual involvement sinful activity that needs to be repented of and no longer participated in; or b) can homosexual activity and relationships be blessed of God and supported by His Church. There doesn’t seem to be a tertiary quid (third option). Here’s the kicker. One of these mutually exclusive perspectives is wrong! To say they both can be right breaks every law of logic.
Next week’s blog will begin to explore the Creation Narratives in regards to homosexual activity.
This blog is an excerpt from Dr. Linville's yet to be released book. All rights reserved. For any reproduction right, including copying, computer reproduction, etc. contact:
Dr. Greg Linville at CSRM International C/O The World Outreach Center 5350 Broadmoor Circle N. w. Canton, Ohio – USA 44709 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Other blogs and articles on Local Church Sports, sports theology and ethics written by Dr. Greg Linville are archived at: www.csrm.org
A Plea For Grace
This set of blogs discusses the most socially charged issue of the current day. The author is attempting to seek truth, provide both questions and answers to further the discussion, engage in civil discourse and most importantly provide a haven for love and grace. I encourage all readers to: “know your mind, but not have your mind made up.” As Martin Luther stated, I believe we should be open to being persuaded by Holy Scripture and evident reason (logic). I start by asking for grace when I don’t use the right term to describe something or someone, and I plead for forgiveness when I offend someone due to my own fallen nature which may lead to unintentional insensitivity, ignorance and language. My intent is not to hurt or injure anyone, but rather, it is to seek Christ’s will for all of us who are attempting to follow Jesus as we travel this path together.
Recommended Books & References consulted for this series of Blogs – A select list…
Dr. Greg Linville was one of the founding members of CSRM and has served as the Executive Director since 2000. He served for 15 years as a local church sports and recreation minister and coached over 30 years at the junior high, high school and collegiate levels as well as 30 years in rec. leagues. Dr. Linville has consulted with churches from Australia, Africa, Asia, Australia, Caribbean, Europe, New Zealand and North America. He was awarded the world's first honorary Doctorate in Sports Ministry and holds an earned Doctorate as well. He is the author of Christmanship: The Theology of Competition & Sport. Dr. Greg has been married for over 35 years, is the father of two married children and the grandfather of a growing number of grandchildren.