Jurgen Moltmann on gay marriage and heresy

Audio clip from the Emergent Village Theological Conversation in 2009, Tony Jones asks Moltmann about the gay debates in the church. 

T.J. Paul seemed to think a lot about sex. Augustine certainly thought a lot about sex. And in the American church in a lot of the denominations represented around here, sexuality is a schismatic topic currently, and its the reason some of us have withdrawn from those denominational fights because of the schismatic nature of these debates. It might’ve been Filioque 1000 years ago, but now its the questions of who can be ordained and who can be in a sacramental marriage, and who can be in a legal marriage, and those kinds of questions.

J.M. Let me first say, this is no problem in Germany. We never have a struggle about sex and homosexuality in the churches and between the churches.

T.J. Why?

J.M. Because the church is about the Gospel and not about sex.  And we believe in the justification of human beings by faith alone, and not by faith and heterosexuality or whatever. You can’t add to it. This is for us, in the Protestant tradition in Germany, heresy. And homosexual or heterosexual, whatsoever believes by faith alone is saved and is certainly able to be ordained in a Christian community. I will not say that a lesbian or a homosexual partnership is equal to a marriage, because a marriage is intended to father children, while these partnerships are not intentionally directed to adopt children. But I have no problems in blessing such a partnership. Why should I not bless a partnership between human beings? And homosexuality is neither a sin nor a crime. To be short-sighted, as I am, is neither a sin nor a crime. So I don’t see the schism or the heat of the debate on it. I know how much this is destroying churches in this country, but I don’t know why this is more important than the question of war and peace, for example.

Jurgen Moltman is a German Reformed theologian who is Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology at the University of Tübingen.