Jan 5, 2013

I keep reading people lamenting that the church, or a particular church, is obsessed by sex. In my — fairly extensive — knowledge, this is simply not true. The media appears obsessed by what the church thinks about sex, and reports only that. When one looks at the full agenda or report of any meeting of any church body not specifically tasked with discussing the issue, however, questions of human sexuality make up a fairly small part of any representative body’s interest.

To give one concrete example, I have chaired for some years a body tasked with revising a significant ecclesial statement on human sexuality; that process is now complete, and throughout it, I think it is true to say that we did not have one single meeting where this was the most lengthy, or most significant, item on the agenda. It was always subordinated to questions of justice, of cultural transformation, of religious liberty, of evangelism, of poverty, of racial reconciliation — once to a question about interfaith issues. All of this matters more to the church that I know than sexuality. Yet reading/listening to our media would never lead someone to that conclusion.

I say this not to claim the church has got it right — I have friends who would argue seriously that sexuality should be at the top of the agenda, and I respect their reasons for arguing this — but because even many Christians seem convinced that the story told in the media must be accurate. It simply is not, and this needs to be said repeatedly, loudly, and clearly.

Steve Holmes (in a Facebook comment which I’ve received permission to post here)
My name is Wesley Hill. I am an assistant professor of New Testament at Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, Pennsylvania.

This is my commonplace book and sometime-journal.

I blog at SpiritualFriendship.org.

My book is here: Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality.

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