Detailed Descriptions of Presentations, and Class Readings
January 15: John R. Jones: Examining the Biblical Texts about Homosexuality – Towards the Unity of the Body of Christ The class has received an email attachment PDF of Jones’ article in Spectrum, but it can also be read in the following book as a Kindle download. In addition, there are 4 additional essays we recommend for this week, also found in Christianity and Homosexuality – Some Seventh-day Adventist Perspectives, ed. David Ferguson. Fritz Guy’s essay is a theological counterpart to Jones; essays by Roy Gane and Richard Rice are counterpoint to Jones and Guy, supporting traditional views. Finally, David Larson’s essay is an ethical summary which complements Jones’ article. As noted, the book is available inexpensively on Kindle, see below.
January 22: Kerby Oberg: Biologic/Genetic Basis of Reproductive Development.” Kerby will look at the physical aspects of gender identity. Kerby’s research has increasingly supported a better understanding of the physiological/genetic aspects of gender dysphasia, dysphoria, transgender and fluidity. This will help us to better understand all of God’s family.
January 29: Paul Mallery: The Psychology of LGBT+ Identity, and the Relation Between Religiosity and Heterosexism. Paul’s expertise was indispensable as the La Sierra University Church became a welcoming and affirming community towards LGBTQIA+ people. He will not only provide the insights of an expert but should also help us to better understand the proliferation of letters. Here are his suggested readings for this presentation. There are also attachments to the class email for this week, which may be obtained by contacting the zoom host.
February 5: Adventist LGBT+ Members' Stories. Two special guests will join us in person: Esther Loewen, recent associate pastor at the Redlands Adventist church, is a gender-transitioning person who served in the Adventist pastorate and is now studying toward a career in counselling. Liz Rogers was the assistant director of the Physical Therapy program at LLU some 30 years ago, then headed other PT programs in California and North Carolina, before retiring at Loma Linda with her partner of 39 years, MaryAnn. Click here for the reading assignment for this week.
February 12: Regarding LGBT+ Members, Where Does Adventism Go From Here? Pastoral perspectives. Pastor Chris Oberg, until recently senior pastor of the La Sierra University Church, led her congregation in an examination of this issue, resulting in a congregational policy of thoroughgoing gender inclusiveness. She will be joined by another colleague who has yet to be confirmed. Click HERE for the reading assignment for February 12
Readings, Recommended and Supplemental
Here are some additional resources, for those with the time and interest to pursue this further.
1. Homosexuality and Christianity, Some Seventh-day Adventist Perspectives, ed. David Ferguson. The Kindle version is only $3.98 We recommend the purchase right away, if you wish to read the recommended articles which complement, as well as articles which provide counterpoint to John Jones’ essay.
2. Next, a series of essays by theologian/ethicist Dr. David Gushee, “The LGBT Issue,” beginning July 8, 2014. They can be read as online articles at the American Baptist online news site, Baptist Global News, or as a published book, How I Changed My Mind. It was “can’t put it down” reading for some of us. The links to the chapters are at the end of this page.
This is the first article in his series “The LGBT Issue” Starting a conversation: The LGBT Issue, part 1 Baptist News Global The link for each new article appears at the bottom of the just-read article; also, all links are found in the appendix below.
The book form of this is found at Changing Our Mind: Definitive 3rd Edition of the Landmark Call for Inclusion of LGBTQ Christians with Response to Critics: Gushee, David P.: 9781942011842: Amazon.com: Books The Kindle version is only $9.99. This version contains additional material beyond the articles in the series, above.
3. Additional reading on the biblical passages and LGBTQIA+ can be found in the Spectrum article in 2012 by our longtime class member Dr. Ivan Blazen: Volume 40, Issue 3, Summer 2012 | Spectrum Magazine pp. 18-25. This is a very readable piece, with the clarity you have experienced if you have sat in on Ivan’s class presentations. It is complementary to John Jones’ essay.
4. Sociological Studies: A substantial number of studies are out which address many facets of the experience of LGBTQIA+ individuals. The information is valuable to understanding their journey and the church’s role, positive or negative.
We’re happy to report that the North American Division of the Seventh-day Adventist church has even committed resources to this subject. René Drumm, Sociologist, has participated in these studies. One example is found here:
The Impact of Family Support among LGBT+ Millenials in the Seventh-day Adventist Church (nacsw.org)
5. Media and Film Resources:
Sermon Video: Pastor Chris Oberg interviews her M.D. husband Kerby Oberg at the LSU Church in 2017. News Item in Spectrum with link to sermon. In Landmark Sermon, Chris Oberg Discusses Science of Sex and Gender (spectrummagazine.org)
Movie: Seventh-Gay Adventist – 2013 – Shown in many churches including Crosswalk Loma Linda in 2012. Well worth the 1’45” length. https://www.sgamovie.com/watch
Play: God’s Peculiar People (Marilynn Loveless, La Sierra University, performed 2017)
Documentary, The Lavender Scare. Finally, an example of the structural societal destruction of the lives of LBGT+ people is found in the PBS documentary The Lavender Scare, which documents how the U.S. government outlawed employment of LGBT+ people and destroyed the lives and careers of many thousands of people over 40 years. It airs again June 12, 2022 on PBS. The Lavender Scare (2017) - DVD PLANET STORE An excellent TIME 10 minute introduction is here. The book by David K. Johnson is here.
6. Additional articles in Spectrum and Adventist Today (links posted later, but all are searchabler)
7. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America’s “A Social Statement on Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust” (The current statement, voted in 2009) The ELCA example represents a commitment to Lutheran principles of grace, while acknowledging a diversity of positions.
The following comprise links to all the essays in David Gushee’s 2014 series, “The LGBT Issue”, also available in book form as Changing Our Mind
Starting a conversation: The LGBT Issue, part 1
What exactly is the issue? The LGBT issue, part 2
Change we can all support: The LGBT issue, part 3
Gay Christians exist: The LGBT issue, part 4
Six options for the churches: The LGBT issue, part 5
If this is where you get off the bus: The LGBT issue, part 6
Biblical inspiration, human interpretation: The LGBT issue, part 7
How traditionalists connect the biblical dots: The LGBT issue, part 8
The sins of Sodom (and Gibeah): The LGBT issue, part 9
Leviticus, abomination and Jesus: The LGBT issue, part 10
Two odd little words: the LGBT issue, part 11 (revised)
God made them male and female: The LGBT issue, part 12
Creation, sexual orientation, and Godﾒs will: The LGBT issue, part 13
Toward covenant: The LGBT issue, part 14
Transformative encounters and paradigm leaps: The LGBT issue, part 15
A dual-narrative tour: The LGBT issue, part 16
How I got here: The LGBT issue, part 17
What I have learned: The LGBT Issue, conclusion
Centennial Complex of Loma Linda University Sabbath Morning 10:30-12:30