Gift of Sexuality | Sojourners

Gift of Sexuality

We strongly disagree with the uninformed and patronizing treatment of homosexuality in Richard J. Foster's article "God's Gift of Sexuality" in the July [1985] issue of Sojourners.

He argues that the Bible condemns homosexuality and therefore we must. Yet, as traditionally interpreted, the whole tenor of the Bible sanctions slavery, and the overwhelming burden of the Bible is that women are inferior to and should be subordinate to men. Are we prepared to argue today that slavery and the oppression of women are biblically justified? No. The Spirit has been and is leading us into new truth (John 16:12-13) and teaching us that what we once thought unacceptable is now clearly acceptable to God (Acts 10).

There is, in fact, no biblical sex ethic. The Bible knows only a love ethic which is constantly being brought to bear on whatever sexual mores are dominant in a given country, culture, or period.

Foster describes being a homosexual as like being born with a clubfoot. This gross analogy not only demeans the experience of homosexual love but also breaks down of its own weight. Is a clubfooted person not to try to walk? Rather, a homosexual person might be viewed as a left-handed person in a right-handed culture.

Foster is preoccupied with the sexual activity of homosexual people, ignoring the reality of deep and abiding love between two gay persons. How are we to understand the gay and lesbian partnerships which have endured for years or decades with the kind of fidelity, tenderness, and mutuality we celebrate in heterosexual partnership?

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