LGBTQ+ Resources

Resources for LGBTQ+ People and Allies

This page includes three kinds of resources: an “All Means All” outline using the Wesleyan quadrilateral to show the validity of an affirming and inclusive theology, a list of resources that will take you farther in your study and advocacy, and a reminder of where you can find other materials here on Oboedire and YouTube

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“All Means All”
A Wesleyan Theology of LGBTQ+ Affirmation
Dr. Steve Harper

The Wesleyan Quadrilateral gives us the interpretive lens through which to see a theology of LGBTQ+ affirmation and inclusion that opens the way for their full access to the church’s sacraments, ceremonies, offices, and ministries. Rooted in the centrality of Scripture, the quadrilateral shines further light via tradition, reason, and experience. The following notes use the quadrilateral in a way that enables us to say, “all means all,” and to be allies with LGBTQ+ people and advocates in the realization of full inclusion in the church.

The notes reference the following resources, which you can use in adding substance and specificity to the outline….
Cheryl Anderson, ‘Ancient Laws and Contemporary Controversies’
Kathy Baldock, ‘Walking the Bridgeless Canyon’
John Boswell, ‘Christianity, Tolerance, and Homosexuality’
Megan K. DeFranza, ‘Sex Differences in Christian Theology’
David Gushee, ‘Changing Our Mind’
Steve Harper, ‘Holy Love’ (book and series on oboedire.com)
Rictor Norton, ‘Homosexuality in 18th Century England’ (Google search)
Michael Regele, ‘Science, Scripture, and Same-Sex Love
Walter Wink, ‘Homosexuality and Christian Faith’

Scripture

A. The Hermeneutical Lens (Harper, ch 2)
–Creator: nature
–nonbinary, loving, good
–Creation: likeness to God
–nonbinary (spectrum/”kinds”), loving, good
–Covenant: ethics (how ‘good’ is enacted)
–sacredness, fidelity, permanency, monogamy
–Christ
–honored nonbinary people (eubuchs, Mt 19:12, Isaiah 56:3-5)
–Church
–Acts 8:24-26, Acts 10-15, Galatians 3:28, Colossians 3:11
–Consummation
–Acts 3:21, 1 Cor 15:22, Ephesians 1:9-10, Colossians 1:2

B. The Passages (Harper, ch 3 and Baldock, chs 9-10 and Wink chs 4-5)
–Genesis 19:4-11
–not applicable (even conservatives agree with this)
–a passage about gang rape (sexual violence, dominance)
–Leviticus 18:22 and 20:23
–about idolatry: 18:1-3
(sexuality in Canaanite fertility religion)
–about promiscuity: “lie with”
(“sleeping around’)
–Romans 1:18-32
–about idolatry (31 manifestations of it)
–about promiscuity
++the same twofold context as in Leviticus
–it is about heterosexual sin (“exchanged”—temporarily
set aside their heterosexual orientation and acted as
if they were LGBTQ+. Paul is indicting the violation of
our orientation (what is “natural” for us and setting it
aside for what is “unnatural”).
–1 Cor 6:9 (both words)
1 Tim 1:10 (only the second word)
–malakoi: “uncontrollable,” sexual addiction
–arsenakoitai: “violence,” sexual abuse
–Summary
–there is sexual sin, and all people can commit it
–covenant violation (see 4 standards above)
–egoic (self-gratifying)
—there is sexual righteousness, and all people can live it
–covenant obedience (see 4 standards above)
–imago dei (God-glorifying)

Tradition
(Anderson, Baldock chs 1-4, Boswell, Wink chs 10-11, Norton)
–human sexuality is not in the Creeds (an important fact
when the word ‘orthodoxy’ is being used)
–much more diversity in the Christian tradition with
respect to sexuality than some would have
us believe
–the Church has condoned same-sex marriage and
conducted ceremonies to bless it

–Wesley would have had ample opportunities to denounce
LGBTQ+ people, and make Methodism non-
afirming, but he did not

Reason
(Baldock ch 8, DeFranza, Gushee, Regele)
–humanity is not binary
–human development (genetics & hormones) creates
amazing diversity during gestation and for years
after birth (this is why “birth presentation” is
not the singular factor in determining gender
and orientation)
–the Christian sexual ethic is covenant obedience

Experience
(Harper ch 4, Baldock chs 11-15)
–live the two great commandments and the fruit of the
Spirit
–establish relationships/friendships with LGBTQ+ people
–support and participate in LGBTQ+ groups and ministries
–be a lifelong learner with respect to human sexuality,
especially the physical and behavioral sciences that
are making new discoveries about humanity
–nonviolently resist non-affirming people and groups
who do harm (in words and deeds) to LGBTQ+ people
–be active in insuring your church is fully inclusive in
terms of affirmation and in access to all the church’s
sacraments, ceremonies, offices, and ministries

For more information…go to Dr. Harper’s Oboedire site, and on the home page, open the “LGBTQ+ Resources” icon. Also, look at these archived categories on the Oboedire home page sidebar: “For the Bride”…..”Holy Love”…..”LGBTQ+ Writing”

You can contact Dr. Harper at oboediresite@gmail.com

Update 5/27/22

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Additional Resources

The following list of resources makes the case for affirmation and full inclusion in all aspects of the society and Church. I am a United Methodist, so in section three, I have organized resources according to the categories found in the Wesleyan quadrilateral.

Places to Begin

Kathy Baldock, ‘Walking the Bridgeless Canyon’
Jim Dant, ‘This I Know: A Simple Biblical Defense for LGBTQ Christians
Steve Harper, ‘Holy Love: A Biblical Theology for Human Sexuality’
Justin Lee, ‘Torn’
Matthew Vines, ‘God and the Gay Christian’

Next-Step Reads

David Gushee, ‘Changing Our Minds,’ 3rd Edition
Karen Keen, ‘Scripture. Ethics, and the Possibility of Same-Sex Relationships’
Dan Via’s section in ‘Homosexuality and the Bible: Two Views’

Resources Linked to the Wesleyan Quadrilateral

Scripture
Mark Achtemeier, ‘The Bible’s Yes to Same-Sex Marriage’
Robert Brawley, ed., ‘Biblical Ethics and Homosexuality: Listening to Scripture
James Brownson, ‘God, Gender, and Sexuality’
Richard Freeman & Shawna Dolansky. ‘The Bible Now’
Luke Timothy Johnson, ‘The Living Gospel’ (chapter 8)
Jennifer Knust, ‘Unprotected Texts’
William Loader, ‘Sexuality and the New Testament’
Dale Martin, ‘Sex and the Single Savior: Gender and Sexuality in Biblical Interpretation’
Linda Patterson, ‘Hate Thy Neighbor: How the Bible is Misused to Condemn Homosexuality’
Walter Wink, ‘Homosexuality and the Bible’

Tradition
Cheryl Anderson, ‘Ancient Laws and Contemporary Controversies’
Roland Betancourt, Byzantine Intersectionality: Sexuality, Race, and Gender
In the Middle Ages
James Boswell, ‘Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality’
Leah DeVun, ‘ The Shape of Sex: Nonbinary Gender from Genesis to the Renaissance
K.J. Dover, ‘Greek Sexuality’
David Garrison, ‘Sexual Culture in Ancient Greece’
Judith Hallett, ‘Roman Sexualities’
Frank Mondimore, ‘A Natural History of Homosexuality’
Marilyn B. Skinner, ‘Sexuality in Greek and Roman Cultures,’ 2nd Edition
Craig Williams, ‘Roman Sexuality’

Reason (Theology)
Megan Shanon DeFranza, ‘Sex Differences in Christian Theology’
Jack David Rogers, ‘Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality’
Robert Song, ‘Covenant and Calling’
Walter Wink, ed., ‘Homosexuality and Christian Faith’

Reason (Science)
Jacques Balthazart, ‘The Biology of Homosexuality’
Iris Gottlieb, ‘Seeing Gender’
Jerold Greenberg, ‘’Exploring Dimensions of Human Sexuality’
Evelyn Killen, ‘Reflections on Gender and Science’
Justin Lehmiller, ‘The Psychology of Human Sexuality’
Simon.LeVay, ‘Gay, Straight, and the Reason Why,’ 2nd Edition
Michael Regele, ‘Science, Scripture, and Same-Sex Love’
Elizabeth Reis, ‘Bodies in Doubt’
Anne Sterling, ‘Myths of Gender’

Experience
Amber Contorna: ‘Unashamed: A Coming Out Guide for LGBTQ Christians
Susan Cottrell, ‘Radically Included’ and ‘Mom, I’m Gay’
Chris Glaser, ‘Coming Out as Sacrament’)
Steve Harper, ‘For the Sake of the Bride’
Michelle Johns, ‘God, a Lesbian, and tbe Space in Between’
James Martin, ‘Building a Bridge’
Tim Otto, ‘Oriented to Love’
E.T. Sundby, ‘Calling the Rainbow Nation Home’
Mel White, ‘Stranger at the Gate’

Video Resources

Rob Fuquay, ‘Faithful and Inclusive: The Bible, Sexuality. The United Methodist Church’ (available from Cokesbury)
Steve Harper, “Draw the Circle Wider: How I Changed My Mind,” 3/2/15 (Search on YouTube @ “Steve Harper Methodist” or “Reconciling Ministries Network)
Steve Harper, “All Means All: The Bible’s Affirmation of LGBTQ+ People,” FUMC Orlando, 2/20/2019 (Search “Steve Harper Methodist” or the FUMC Orlando YouTube Channel).

Blog Sites

Steve Harper, series entitled “For the Bride” and “Holy Love—posts follow and expand on the books by the same title. Another category, “Sexuality: A Further Look” is an occasional, ongoing category: http://www.oboedire.wordpress.com.

Ministries

Canyonwalker Connections (Kathy Baldock)–multi-faceted ministry
FreedHearts (Susan Cottrell)–ministry to parents of LGBTQ+ parents
Human Rights Campaign –a broad-based LGBTQ advocacy group
Reconciling Ministries Network (United Methodist)–their website has links to many other ministries-
Redwood Spiritual Care (Karen Keen)
The Reformation Project (Matthew Vines)

Other Topics

Marriage
Phillip Cramer & William Harbison, ‘The Fight for Marriage’
Chris Glaser, ‘As My Own Soul: The Blessing of Same-Gender Marriage’
Clare Hubert, ‘Towards a Theology of Same-Sex Marriage’
Karen Keen’s book, noted above
Scott McQueen, ‘Reasonable Doubt: A Case for LGBTQ Inclusion in the Institutions of Marriage and Church’

Transgender People

“Where True Love Is”–a multi-faceted ministry with a variety of resources for transgender people, their families, spouses and friends (wheretrueloveis,com).

Gabrielle Claiborne, ‘Embrace Your Truth&
Austen Hartke, ‘Transforming: The Bible and the Lives of Transgender Christians’Linda Tatro Herzer, ‘The Bible and the Transgender Experience,’ Susan Stryker, ‘Transgender History’

Resources for Parents of LGBTQ+ Children
Telaina Ericksen, ‘Unconditional—A Guide to Loving and upporting Your LGBTQ Child,’
Greg and Lynn McDonald, ‘Embracing the Journey: A Christian Parents’ Guide to Child’

PFLAG Resources (visit the PFLAG website)

Resources for Youth Ministry
(1) Two resources by Leigh Finke: ‘Queerfully and Wonderfully Made: A Guide for LGBTQ+ Christian Teens’ and ‘Welcoming and Affirming: A Guide to Supporting and Working with LGBTQ+ Christian Youth’

(2) ‘Resource Toolkit for LGBTQ+ Christian Teens’ produced by Reconciling MinistriesNetwork

(3) Beloved Arise Groups is a new program that aims to create a network of local faith-oriented groups that welcome all youth regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Go to the website for more infirmation.

Fortunate Families (facebook page and website) is a rich resource for exploring nonbinary humanity.

In addition to these resources, there is a need to familiarize ourselves with the vocabulary for understanding sexuality and conversing about it. Here are some good links to help you do that…

(1) PFLAG “National Glossary of Terms” https://pflag.org/glossary. Excellent resources for matters related to transgender people.

(2) American Psychological Association, “Key Terms and Concepts in Understanding Gender Diversity and Sexual Orientation Among Students” apa.org

This is an in-process list. Resources come out faster than I can keep up with them. If you know of others which should be included, contact me at oboediresite@gmail.com

Revised: January 2022

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And More…

In the blog section of Oboedire, you can find Steve’s archived posts related to his books ‘For the Sake of the Bride’ and ‘Holy Love’ in the “For the Bride” and “Holy Love” categories on the home page sidebar. Also, the occasional series “LGBTQ+ Writing” continues his advocacy mission.

Additionally, Steve has two YouTube videos that further explore this subject: “Draw the Circle Wider” and ”All Means All: The Bible’s Affirmation of LGBTQ+ People” (FUMC Orlando, 2/20/2019). You can find them by searching “Steve Harper Methodist.”