Orientation and ministry
Vocation and Sexuality
A reflection by a member of Young Inclusive Church
Although in many churches today a call to the priesthood and a homosexual orientation are not compatible, they both have similar attributes. The very nature of sexuality and vocation, when striped to the bare bones are the same, it is not something you choose and you cannot run from it.
A vocation to the priesthood, as said by those who feel a calling, does not go away until you have done something about it. You cannot run from God. Speaking as someone who feels called to the priesthood, it is an innate burning desire to follow the will of God and to use the gifts, given by God to you, for His will. No matter how far you run or what you do to hide, like Jonah, you cannot get away. This is a very similar story for sexuality. You cannot change your sexuality, if you are gay, straight, bisexual, transgender, or anything in between there is not much you can do about it. (Read the full piece here)
I found this piece on the Inclusive Church website really resonated with me. Whatever your view on homosexuality it doesn’t make sense to me that it can be a block put in place on the path to ministry. Those that I have talked to who have felt the call to ministry have all said the same thing – it doesn’t go away; no matter how hard you try to ignore it, do other things or even run in the other direction the call remains until you do something about it. And so if a homosexual person feels this call and God wishes to use them in this way, what right do we, as humans, have to stop this? It isn’t something that will just go away because the person is homosexual. It actually stuns me that it is so often the issue that comes up when you get into discussions about homosexuality “yeah but would you accept a homosexual pastor/vicar etc”. Or perhaps it is thought that a homosexual person isn’t actually able to receive such a calling – they are just confused as it is a privilege reserved for straight people?
Even if it is accepted and believed that homosexuality is wrong – God uses broken people; let’s face it he has very little choice. The Bible is a book of God using broken people; murderers, adulterers, deniers, prostitutes, liars, people who continually miss the message… and these people are described in ways such as “a man after God’s own heart”. The Christian story is one of God using broken people for good. If God places the call of ministry on someone then who are we to deny that? We shouldn’t be burdening people like James Morgan to “make a choice between vocation and sexuality; do you lie about your sexuality to become ordained or do you lie about your vocation so you can be who you are?”.