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In the self-assertion of the ego against God not only our relationship with God but also every human relationship is brought into disorder.

There is, in fact, no human covenant that is not wounded by our collective and individual rebellion against God's sovereign claim on our lives.

So every Christian covenant is a means of grace that draws us into the covenantal life of the Trinity.

God works through covenants to convert us to a life with God and with others.

My purpose is not to criticize the declaration's reasoning but to draw your attention to one paragraph as the starting point for our conversation: We believe that any understanding of sexuality, including heterosexuality, that makes it chiefly an arena for the satisfaction of personal desire is harmful to individuals and society.

These are words I want to explore as we attempt to understand the morality of same-sex relationships among members of our church. To begin with, I need to understand with you what we mean when we say that a "word" is addressed to the church, because there are many words to which you or I could appeal for authority.In the reciprocal relationship of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we learn that God's nature is not solitude, but communion.God's inherent nature is to be God is not a sealed fortress, to be attacked and seized by our engines of war (ascetic practices, meditative techniques, and the like) but a house full of open doors, through which we are invited to walk. Lang A few years ago the Ramsey Colloquium—a group of Christian and Jewish scholars—published a sharp critique of "the gay and lesbian cause" which they titled "The Homosexual Movement." 1 As they predicted, their declaration was denounced as "a display of homophobia." "Such dismissals have become unpersuasive and have ceased to intimidate," they wrote."Indeed, we do not think it a bad thing that people should experience a reflexive recoil from what is wrong." This "reflexive recoil" from homosexual behavior is not homophobia, they said, but the instinctive reflex of those who know that homosexuality violates God's natural law.

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