Last year, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA appointed a Special Committee to Study Issues of Civil Union and Christian Marriage. The committee was given two years to study how the theology and practice of marriage have developed in the Reformed tradition and the place of covenanted same-gender partnerships in the Christian community.

This adult education course tries to do something similar over an eight-week period for St. Andrew Presbyterian in Iowa City. Throughout this discussion, we hope to hear from class participants’ personal experiences and questions concerning sexuality and the Presbyterian faith.

For questions or comments, contact Jeff Charis-Carlson at

Monday, September 14, 2009

Discussion Questions for Weeks 2 and 3

Read through the biblical passages most often cited in discussions of homosexuality:

  • Creation (Genesis 1-2)
  • Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18-19)
  • Holiness Code (Leviticus 18 and 20)
  • Sin of Onan (Genesis 38:1-10)
  • Jesus on Divorce (Matthew 19:1-12)
  • Against Nature (Romans 1-2)
  • Excluded from the Kingdom (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

Be prepared to answer the following questions:

  • Before reading the passages above for this class, how familiar were you with them? How often have you heard them cited? And what did you notice different about them upon your reading this time that you might not have noticed before?
  • In general, what biblical passages do you have trouble applying to your own life for whatever reason?
  • In general, what biblical passages do you have trouble reading because they seem completely at odds with what you consider a modern understanding of science, philosophy, psychology and culture?
  • What is/are the purpose(s) of marriage? Where does “procreation” rank on that list?
  • How have you and your family members reacted to news that someone close to you has come out as gay or lesbian?
  • How much autonomy should a local congregation have when it comes to setting standards for ordinance and marriage? How comfortable would you belonging to a congregation or a denomination whose stances on these issues differed from your own?

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