The following is a petition posted at the Spectrum Magazine website. More than 500 people have signed this petition including my wife and me. I invite you to read and to share your thoughts and comments. If you would like to sign this petition click here.
A Solemn Appeal…
To Our Brothers and Sisters in the Seventh-day Adventist Church
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We, the undersigned, address this letter to our fellow believers in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. We humbly share our vision of God’s purposes of redemption.
For too long we have listened to the cries of hurt and despair from those in our churches who are lesbian and gay. We can no longer remain silent, but are compelled to speak the words of present truth we believe God has given us. It is not our desire to be divisive or stir up controversy; we see our role as redemptive and calling each of us to a higher level of compassion and understanding.
We are a people of faith, concerned about each one who responds to the call of God’s Spirit and seeks to follow its promptings. We tremble before God as we see the rejection and exclusion of our Adventist lesbian sisters and gay brothers by many of our churches, recalling the painful experiences of other minority groups in our denominational history. This exclusion falls far short of the love and inclusion our Savior demonstrated to all.
We believe that God is calling our church in North America to a thorough study of all the issues related to homosexuality, including current scientific research; better and more redemptive ways of reading, in the light of the Gospel’s “good news,” those few biblical texts that refer to same-sex behavior; and a sincere effort to walk in the shoes of those of our neighbors and our fellow Christians who live with a homosexual orientation.
We affirm that those who disagree with us have experienced the love of God and seek to take their faith seriously. However we, too, take our faith seriously and have experienced God’s love. We believe that our church needs to engage in dialog with our lesbian sisters and gay brothers; too often the gay and lesbian community has been excluded from discussions relating to homosexual orientation. Furthermore, we believe that as God’s Spirit enlightens us, we will be led to welcome in our congregations every person seeking God, and rejoice in the gifts each person brings to His service, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity and racial or cultural origin.
We trust you, our Adventist family, to listen faithfully as we share our journey and our resulting convictions with you: