Is it possible for the 2016 General Conference next Spring to consider two completely unconsidered initiatives that are based on the reality that “Sex" does not equal “Love.”
One side talks about “love" as being inclusive of all sexual behavior. The other side seeks to uphold the biblical mandate that some sexual behaviors are “incompatible with the Christian lifestyle” yet paints it with such a broad brush that leaves many hurting in it’s wake.
Unless we make the above distinction of “sex" not being equated with “love" we shall always be talking past one another. (I’ve noticed that Eros love - physical love, and even Storge love - family, protective, are not mentioned in the New Testament, only Phileo love - Friendship and Agapé love - Godly love.)
2016 General Conf. Recognition of Covenanted Families
…Blessing the formation of families comprised of spiritual people who deeply love each other, but without intimate sexual activity.
In other words, is a “21st Century Monastic 'Small Group' Family Possible?”
Can we study ways to affirm “Covenant Families” of same sex families who choose to live in a close, caring, Christ-centered and nurturing relationship that refrain from certain sexual behavior?
Were not the classic Monastic orders basically same sex families?
Can we recognize the deep need we all have for family without being overwhelmed by our completely sexualized culture?
In other words, is this a way to recognize the “same sex love” that faithful people are feeling and choosing for each other without compromising a clear standard of behavior and our Book of Discipline?
Initiate a Gen. Conf. comprehensive Theology of Recreational Sex in the 21st Century over the next four years.
What are the biblical, theological, traditional and experiential threads that could be woven together to provide wise and faithful guidance concerning sexual behavior in our turbulent and over-sexualized society?
What do we as a church have to say about
- Adultery, the Divorce Rate and Multiple Remarriages,
- Internet Pornography and Soft Porn in TV/Movies/Entertainment
- Non-married living/sexual arrangements,
- Sexual abuse of children and adults,
- Sex Trafficking and casual sex among strangers,
- Teen and younger sex,
- (and other related topics)
...that can bring healing and wholeness in Jesus Christ to those caught up in these tragedies?
Perhaps these two initiatives can steer us away from the rocky shoals of division and estrangement of the "peculiar people" of the UMC who love so.