WHAT JESUS WOULD SAY TO SAME-SEX COUPLES by Aaron Milavec
I am angry.
First and foremost, I am angry at the cowardice that kept me silent for over twenty-five years while I was being honored as one of the best and brightest professors at The Athenaeum of Ohio. I knew, from personal experiences, that the teaching of my church regarding homosexuality was a biblically distorted and cruel doctrine. But I also knew that no one who openly challenged this teaching could survive as a teacher and a pastor in my church.
This book brings together personal stories, heart-rending interviews, and five-years of collaborative research. My exposition of this very sensitive topic is divided into five chapters.
Ch1 Early Experiences and How my Mind Has Changed
I begin with my personal experience because, when everything is said and done, my personal encounters with lesbians and gays impacts how I register their place in society and in the churches. In this, there is no neutral starting point for me or for anyone else. No matter how many degrees one has earned or how many ordinations that one has experienced, no one can escape their personal experiential base. Anyone denying this is not sufficiently self-aware and cannot be trusted as a guide in addressing the issue of homosexuality.
Ch2 How the Bible and Cardinal Ratzinger Treat and Mistreat Homosexuals
I will now introduce Matthew Vines’ marvelous skill and disarming authenticity in probing the limits of using the Bible to discover God's hateful condemnation of homosexuality. Immediately thereafter I will unravel the dangerous flaws found in Cardinal Ratzinger’s arguments against same-sex marriages. This section will unmask the hidden fallacies found in the Roman Catholic and Evangelical Protestant claims to have found God’s point of view. It will also address whether my criticisms of Ratzinger’s Doctrine are rash and disrespectful.
Ch3 How John J. McNeill, Pope Francis, and the U.S. Supreme Court Safeguard our Future
Now I will use case studies to expose how authoritarian approaches serve to destroy communities and to defeat the very goals that their exponents hope to achieve. I will borrow healthy points of departure from John McNeill, Pope Francis, and the U.S. Supreme Court that enable Christian communities to reaffirm the wisdom of Jesus and to bind up the wounds of all our children. I even offer a healing balm for those who vigorously disagree with me.
Ch4 Nonviolent Resistance to the Christian Taliban
As I circulated my first three chapters, I heard from those who were disgusted with how certain bishops and pastors have resorted to using intimidation and threats in order to silence believers who support same-sex marriages. Those afflicted are, in most instances, justly angry and ready to take action against the menace of authoritarian fundamentalists within their church. It is for the afflicted, and most especially for the afflicted youths, that I have created this chapter on "nonviolent resistance."
Ch5 How Jesus Silenced the Fundamentalists
Our struggle against fundamentalism needs all the help we can get from Jesus. When the Gospels are explored, it is clear that homosexuality and same-sex marriages do not show up. However, what one does discover is how Jesus vigorously confronted Jewish fundamentalists in his day; hence, we, as disciples of the Lord, have much to learn from Jesus’ nonviolent resistance.
My book provides 80 pages of appendices that present church documents, human interest stories, investigative reporting, and proven methods to diminish the instinctual repulsion felt by straights encountering gays.
Finally, I invite you to visit http://Jesus4Lesbians.com--my active blog and discussion board center designed to offer a safe place for you to find wisdom, encouragement, and grace among those who are, like yourself, seeking the ways of the Lord.
Peace, Justice, and Joy,
Aaron Milavec, your brother