Should the church deal with homosexuality

Church and Sexuality

Sexuality and the Church

«It has a glow in it that no one can extinguish, as much as some people have tried. […] Yesterday we bought new nail polish and wore tutus. Here it is, world. See my son for the wonderful person he is. Show him love. Show him respect. Help us to make the world so that it deserves it. "

These are the words of a mother who went online some time ago and which Holger Pyka took up in a sermon that was included in the book "Sexuality and Church" (see below): "When boys are 'different': Josef and Billy Elliot" . Gabriele Meister wrote this book because she was concerned about sexual discrimination in society and especially in communities - even where she did not expect it. How far has the church come, what can congregations be “expected” of when it comes to tolerance? Knowledge of other sexual identities, confrontation with one's own fears, the book should help to overcome speechlessness and give advice. But what is lacking in the Christian communities, what is it actually about?

Dealing with fundamental questions

In recent years - partly triggered by the uncovering of cases of abuse in the church - the discussion about celibacy, hostility to lust, dealing with homosexuality, gender roles and sexuality in general has picked up speed. Forums, conferences, discussion groups have taken place, newspaper articles, brochures and sermons have been published. That is good and important and it shows how much still has to be done, how much the Christian churches have to grapple with their understanding of love and sexuality. So it's not just about questions about the “rainbow society”, about tolerance and equality, just as little about abuse and sexual assault in the church context. How much Augustine, how much original sin teaching has been preserved in the minds and institutions? Doesn't the church lag behind social developments instead of helping to shape them? The last EKD paper on sexuality dates back to 1971; the work of a commission on social ethics that was convened was stopped in 2014.

What do church and theology have to say about sexuality?

It would not only be important to position oneself on this topic, it would also be an opportunity to strengthen and recall the important social position of the church as an institution. Many clergymen have made the experience that even people who do not belong to any religious community want to know what the theological opinion is on questions relating to sexuality. In this way, the Christian churches could also assume an anchor function in this area. Offer and accept discussions, stay open, dampen fears, take the topic seriously and give it adequate space as something important, but not the most important thing in life.

Worship and prayer practice on homosexual, bi, trans * and intersexuality

How can theologians deal with their own insecurities, how can they meet the challenges of a diverse society in everyday life and in professional practice, how can they themselves contribute to ensuring that as many as possible feel welcomed under the roof of the church? The theologian Gabriele Meister has provided suggestions and practical tips in her recently published book “Sexuality and Church”, and has compiled sermon and liturgy suggestions. Information and handouts designed to help break down prejudices. What happens when parents turn to their pastor because their child is 'different', because they are bullied or attacked? What about the church blessing for same-sex couples? How are the pastors who are homosexual or trans * themselves? How do churches deal with this? The book shows something encouraging, people who have managed to become aware of their sexual identity and who can live it openly. But it also shows how much congregation members and people in church offices still have to suffer if they do not correspond to what is perceived as tolerable.

If the church does not lag behind the zeitgeist, but wants to help determine and shape moral values, then it should be courageous, engage in discussions and, above all, insist on appreciation and respect for all people.