There are among us at this very moment LGBTQ individuals with an interior sense of call who many have testified are gifted with spiritual charisms for ordained ministry.(1) That there have been in the past, are currently, and will be in the future, powerful preachers, teachers, leaders, and caregivers who happen to be LGBTQ persons is amply witnessed.(2) Since ordained ministry in the Reformed tradition is strictly a division of function, and not of holiness, there can be no justification for denying their gifts for service.(3) With Peter we ask “surely no one can stand in the way of the Holy Spirit?”(4)
1. If this was not clearly the case, there would be no issue to debate. If LGBTQ persons were not gifted for service by the Holy Spirit, we could all easily walk away from this discussion. The problem arises when we acknowledge the fact that they are clearly the recipients of gifts for ministry, demonstrate these gifts alongside their sisters and brothers, and are yet denied ordination.
2. Again, this can easily be observed at any seminary which admits LGTBQ persons, and if one looks and thinks carefully, has already been demonstrated publicly many times by those who find a way to serve despite our mistaken polity. We genuinely hope no one believes it is reasonable to argue to the contrary.
3. See the previous arguments - holiness is a gift from God. Ordination to ministry of Word and Sacrament is a particular calling in the context of a priesthood of all believers, all of whom are called to ministry of some kind. This means that the best test for a particular call is: how well equipped is the person in question?
4. We believe this to be true. In the long run, we cannot stand in the way of the Holy Spirit, which is breaking into our mistaken polity even now. Though we can drag our feet and bray and squirm, the power of God will not be denied. God has called, is calling, and will continue to call our LGBTQ sisters and brothers. Period. All we can do is temporarily stand in the way.