United Evangelical Church is proud to be an Open and Affirming congregation. We do not believe that the bible says that being Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, or Queer is a sin. The identity and expression of each human is not by choice, but an innate part of God's creation.
The word homosexual is a modern term of the 19th century. There are still people among us that claim that verses in Leviticus, Romans and 1 Corinthians are clearly against homosexuality. Here is where we see a major problem with that belief system. Leviticus was written around the time of 1300 BCE or 500 BCE, varying based on which theologian you are asking. Romans was written in the 1st century (CE 1 to CE 100). 1 Corinthians is estimated to be written between 53-54 CE. The term "homosexuality" was created in the 19th century and did not exist in the original language of the Bible. If you encounter a Bible with the word "homosexual" in it, it has been a modern term placed into scripture that does not reflect the authenticity of the original text. This is corruption. In addition to using a modern word in an ancient text, there are new findings that prove there has been inaccurate implementation of the word "homosexual" into scripture to begin with. The Reformation Project discovered an exchange of letters from the 1950's, between a young seminary student named David and a man named Dr. Weigle, who was the head of the Revised Standard Version translation board. These letters remained buried in the Yale Archives until Kathy Baldock and her colleague Ed Oxford of The Reformation Project, found them in 2018. Remarkably, Kathy was able to connect with David, who is now over 80 years old and a retired pastor in Canada. In these letters, Rev. David challenges biblical verses that appear to be inaccurately translated in a way that demonize the word "homosexual" and misrepresent the LGBTQ community. An admission is made by Dr. Weigle of the translation board amidst the exchange of letters that state that in the original publication of their text, they made an inaccurate translation along the way from Greek to German to English. The Reformation Project is a bible-based Christian organization whose mission is focused on LGBTQ inclusion in the church. The Reformation Project now has in possession, the historical document that acknowledges translation error by the RSV team from the 1950's. What was truly indicated by the original translation refers to sexual perverts; specifically rapists, pedophiles, and abusers. We must not listen to what we hear attempting to oppress, but for the voice of reason that brings revelation and light into dark places. Video Resource from The Reformation Project is below that explains how this has come about and covers the story.
An Evening with Rev. David who holds historical documentation admitting translation error by the translation board of the Revised Standard Version biblical text. The publication was issued with misuse of the word homosexual due to error in translation. Learn how this came about. "A Beautiful and touching story of revelation, Rev. David's life in ministry with his partner and his challenge to the head of the translation team that has brought relief and understanding to the LGBTQ community."
Sodom and Gomorrah is one of the leading stories in scripture that have caused people to believe that homosexuality is a sin. Studying these scriptures in context gives us a deeper understanding of what was really going on here.
Angels come to visit Lot and a group of local men end up coming to Lot's house, threatening to rape his visitors, who were also men. Lot asks the men not to do this horrible thing and offers up his daughters instead. Due to Lot's declaration of horror of the men desiring to rape the angels and then offering up his daughters, it has been speculated at superficial evaluation of these texts, that this is why LGBTQ lifestyles are against God's will.
This is not an accurate conclusion. The prophet Ezekiel spoke that the sins of Sodom were arrogance, greed and a lack of concern for the poor and needy. Nothing of loving, consensual, adult, same-sex notions of homosexuality, like we see today are mentioned. What we are seeing here in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah is a desire for men to rape men, which was a form of dominance during these times. Genesis 19:31-32 also tells us that Lot's daughters believed there would be no man for them and no children. This wasn't an instance of same-sex love, this was a desire to gang rape visitors and an incredibly poor decision of a father to offer up his daughters who worried of having no man and no children, to experience rape in place of these divine angels. Sadly, women were seen as property without much choice of their own historically. One could only imagine that Lot's daughters would have been pitied without a male suitor and children in these times; seen as of less value due to their gender and possibly much less than that of these two male angels that have come to their father's home. The sins of Sodom and Gomorrah was just as the prophet Ezekiel spoke: arrogance, greed and a lack of concern for the poor and needy. All of which is clear in biblical text. This was never about posing an LGBTQ issue in scripture.
Why has the world understood things the way they have up until this point in time? Kathy Baldock unrolls an 18-foot timeline and helps us make sense of political, religious, and social milestones from the Old Testament through 2016. Workshop recorded at the Reformation Project Los Angeles Conference. Kathy is the Executive Director of Canyonwalker Connections, focusing on education, encouragement and engagement between the Christian church and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Christians.
When we study scripture, we must approach it in context and with discernment. It is important that we ask the right questions and challenge the areas that do not seem to align with the loving God that we know. We must consider that divine truths have been written by the hands of people, who will make mistakes. In times before our own, humans knew less than they know today, in a world less evolved; leaving the only translation of the Word of God to be based on what their experiences were and the social norms and culture of their time. Some things make absolutely no sense to us in the modern world that we live in today. Others, we take with us until the ends of time. We offer love and grace for any lack of understanding and welcome the old ways of understanding into new loving life.
The Human Rights Campaign envisions a world where every member of the LGBTQ family has the freedom to live their truth without fear, and with equality under the law. We empower our 3 million members and supporters to mobilize against attacks on the most marginalized people in our community.