A Church of Nazarene pastor faces dismissal from his position over an essay he published expressing support for gay marriage, despite the fact that the denomination has a conventional view on marriage and sexuality.
Rev. Selden Dee Kelley III, a California pastor affiliated with the Church of the Nazarene was deemed in violation of the denomination’s stance following his February essay titled “A Hope for Change” which was part of a publication titled Why the Church of the Nazarene Should Be Fully LGBTQ+ Affirming.
The Nazarene Manual 2017-2021, under the section titled “Human Sexuality and Marriage,” holds “that it is God’s intention for our sexuality to be lived out in the covenantal union between one woman and one man.”
“While a person’s homosexual or bi-sexual attraction may have complex and differing origins, and the implication of this call to sexual purity is costly, we believe the grace of God is sufficient for such a calling,” the manual reads.
“We recognize the shared responsibility of the body of Christ to be a welcoming, forgiving, and loving community where hospitality, encouragement, transformation, and accountability are available to all.”
The section also denounces adultery, polygamy, sex between unmarried couples, pornography, and sexual violence, arguing that “[s]exual sin and brokenness is not only personal but pervades the systems and structures of the world.”
Kelley however disclosed that he intends to appeal a ruling that found him in contempt of the denomination’s standard for pastors. He said according to Christian Post he has 30 days to file an appeal with the Regional Appeals Board.
“Yes, I will appeal. I have not filed yet,” Kelley said. “I am waiting on an official copy of the transcript of the hearing before I file the paperwork.”
“The church has a beautiful diversity of viewpoints, and they exhibit the important trait of maintaining unity in the midst of diverse viewpoints. They have been incredibly kind, supportive, and encouraging to me throughout this process,” he added.