The afternoon session included an interview with Wayne Blakely, whose story recently appeared on the Adventist Today website (linked through his name). I'm attempting not to include information here that is already given in the Adventist Today feature.
Blakely views the problems that the church has with homosexuals like Israel's time in the wilderness, and it has taken some time to get things sorted out. He believes the love of God to homosexuals will begin to manifest itself in the church because of this conference. His message to us is that homosexuals need to know that we don't consider their sin to be any different than our sin and that we're all in this together.
Blakely always knew that homosexuality was wrong and rejected Kinship as having a biased reading of scripture. In his most difficult times he remembered his father saying that he knew God had a special plan for Wayne when he adopted him. He was feeling alone, because many of his friends had passed on during his 37 years in the gay community. He did a search for gay Adventists and found GLADventist. He was impressed because the site was conservative and loving. He found that the author, Inge Anderson, had a view of the Adventist church in which homosexuals were welcome.
The key to Blakely's spiritual life is not just having devotions in the morning and evening devotions but being with Christ throughout the day. Every day he comes across men he finds attractive, but Christ gives him to power to deal with it. When he is tempted by same-sex attraction, he rededicates his life to God, and if the thoughts come back, he rededicates himself again.
Blackely believes God could change him to a heterosexual if God wanted to, but concludes that must not be God's plan, and asks if God changed him, who's to say he wouldn't start chasing women right away? He concludes that the opposite of homosexuality is not heterosexuality; it's holiness.
Asked what boundaries we need to draw if we are dealing with someone who is same sex attracted and is the same sex as us, Blackely replied that this is the most tenuous aspect of dealing with a homosexual who is going to be transparent with you. When his pastor began taking the precautions that he would use in counseling a woman, Wayne felt rejected. Later his pastor told him, "We're used to watching pedophiles, but we not sure how to watch you," and he felt even more rejected in being compared to a pedophile. Blackely said while it wasn't the most welcoming feeling, he appreciated that the church was trying. He views himself as an education to his church, and their uneducated state is an education to him. He also admits that his reaction to their reaction was probably not helpful on his part.
Disclaimer: I have summarized the views of the presenters to the best of my ability, however my summary should not be conflated with their actual views. For this reason, any attempt to debate the presenters views in the comments section will be deleted. Comments that seek clarification are welcome.
Blogging the Homosexuality Conference (other posts)