BY REV GAVIN WARD

SEX! I bet you didn’t expect to read that in a column from an ordained minister.
Ministers aren’t supposed to talk about that, are they? Well, I think we should.
Sex is part of who we are as humans, and the vast range of sexual expressions, orientations and activities to me shows that God is indeed diverse in creation.
So, now you know I don’t think sex is wrong, let me talk about the Bible. Doesn’t it tell us same-sex attraction and sexual expression are wrong and sinful and evil? Haven’t Christians and the Church been using it for years to discriminate?
Yes, they have. The Bible has had a big influence on attitudes towards sex. Even the word -˜sodomy’ has its origin in the biblical text.
There are other texts that have been used over the years. You may have heard some of these thou shalt nots. These texts do talk about sex. But ask yourself this -” was there a proper understanding of homosexuality 2000 (or even 100) years ago? Could the writers have comprehended the love and respectful consensual sex that two men or two women could have?
I believe they saw homosexual sex as being abnormal because there was no concept of anything but heterosexuality being normal, and any same-sex acts were seen as abusive and linked to having power and control over others.
Unfortunately there are many today who still haven’t moved past this.
What about sex then? Many ask me what the rules are for LGBT people. I don’t have a list of rules, but I do have two requirements, and these are both related to respect.
With all sexual encounters you must first respect yourself, your needs, beliefs and capabilities and what your limits are.
Second, you must always respect others and their limits and needs and what they do and do not want. And these apply to straight people too.
Sex is not something that is wrong in the eyes of God. How we go about it, though, has the potential to be.
But never let anyone tell you that respect-oriented consensual non-abusive sex is evil or wrong.

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