A CAREFUL VIEW OF SCRIPTURE with Regard to LGBT Questions
Hello. My name is Dave Earp. I am an ordained minister in the Church of the Nazarene who is looking for a better way to respond to the lgbt community than some of what I have seen so far. This way should include mutual respect, compassion, and reconciliation. I was (am) following a call into ministry when God laid this on my heart. My ministry is pastoral, and missional, NOT adversarial.
I am a Christian, married with three children. My theology is Wesleyan/Arminian. Wesleyans are not Bible literalists but instead employ scripture, tradition, reason, and experience also known as the Wesleyan Quadrilateral. For those who are curious about my denomination’s Articles of Faith you can click here. If you are curious about how God called me into this ministry and my personal views on this click here. For some history on the Church of the Nazarene click here. The various links under the about me tab provide contact information and other information that you may find helpful. I did a survey at a Pridefest event several years ago. That survey and its results can be found here. I also have a website for folks who are coming out and for their straight loved ones. It's called Coming Out for Christians.
So .... What is the purpose of this website?
Its purpose is a bit different than most websites. First of all I should share that when I dialogue with folks across different beliefs it often does not look like a debate or argument. With few exceptions I don't try to jockey for the best representation of my position while ignoring its potential weaknesses. Instead I/we often look at the merits of the discussion from both sides asking: What are the good and bad points of each view? What would be a better way to express a certain view? What is the bible really saying here? What other interpretation methods are relevant?
This is also done with the security of knowing that God knows our hearts ... that He will not condemn us for honestly seeking His will ... and that his Holy Spirit is the change agent ... not us. So rather than carry that extra burden of my words being the sole source of someone else's conviction or truth ... I simply share what I know ... taking seriously the words of Jesus who said " My yolk is easy and my burden is light." So I don't bear the burden of changing people's hearts and minds. God does. This is not always perfectly done ... but it is what I strive for. And of course ... sometimes .. . its my heart and mind that are changed.
So in these pages, along with helpful guidance on talking with the lgbt community and gaining more understanding, I am going to earnestly explore different viewpoints. I believe it is the task of the church to engage culture and empathetically explore the questions of our culture. So I am going to do my best to do that ... using whatever knowledge I have ... so that ... if nothing else ... others can gain a better understanding of what is going on and what the personal and theological issues are. I am not the church ... the decisions to be made here with this knowledge are church decisions. But in order to make those decisions we need to know what the issues and questions are. I hope these pages will guide you in that. I am probably going to take you places you never thought you would go. But I truly believe that is what Jesus requires of us for that is what He practiced. It is my hope and prayer that you will find these pages helpful to you in your personal journey of understanding. And I pray the Holy Spirit would grant you wisdom and guidance along the way.
Denominational Disclaimer The thoughts, ideologies, interpretations, and beliefs expressed on this website are my own.
I believe that what I have written on this website is within the boundaries of the theology and beliefs of my denomination. However, homosexuality is a very complex topic with varied viewpoints. Since this is the case, it should be understood that the views expressed by myself and other Christians on this website and in our blog and / or forums (if we have them) may not necessarily reflect the official position of my / their respective denominations. Additionally, when / if I reference various web resources it should not be assumed to be an endorsement of the entirety of that resource.