This will be an impossible post. To say something about the increasingly complex subject of sexuality in a short blog is, perhaps, foolish. Here is my attempt:
Young Christians such as Mary in my prior post who have friends that identify as queer, or who are queer themselves, often leave the church with a sense of having been betrayed.
Most likely they’ve learned new ideas about identity, gender, and sexuality from the justice/inclusivist vocabulary of secular culture. Anything they’ve learned to the contrary from the Bible may have seemed harsh and arbitrary by comparison.
My plea to the church is to establish a biblical foundation for sexuality in the Trinity and, from there, the notion of man and woman created in the image of the Triune God.
This foundation leads naturally to the Jewish/Christian ideas of covenant marriage and the “one flesh” union of man and woman as prescribed in Genesis 2:24 (and quoted in the NT by both Jesus and Paul). Here is that text:
That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. (NIV)
Rooting sexuality in the Trinity may seem an odd notion to some. But theologically it’s a rich place to begin, much more so than setting up and enforcing a list of biblical “do’s and don’ts” that seem to suggest the church is squeamish, even fearful, about sex.
But will this help?
I’m not suggesting this teaching alone will stop young people from leaving the church, but it does represent the kind of integrative approach to theology that will anchor Christian youth more deeply in the Bible. The Bible, that is, as a source of wise counsel for all parts of life rather than, as sometimes thought, an antiquated rule book.
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For a technical treatment of Trinity and sexuality, see ch.7 of Stan Grenz, The Social God and the Relational Self: A Trinitarian Theology of the Imago Dei
For a helpful back-and-forth discussion between progressives and conservatives, see Two Views on Homosexuality, the Bible, and the Church by William Loader, Megan K. DeFranza, Wesley Hill, and Stephen R. Holmes.