bridges :: what i want.

10 Dec

the following post is part of our ongoing bridges discussion series here at the WayWard follower in the thread of ‘al mohler, mullets and gay marriage.’ and ‘a response from Daniel’.  the purpose of our bridges series is to generate discussion amongst guest authors and our collective readers — to serve as a forum of elevated dialogue and constructive conversation between groups that may have different  perspectives on issues important to the church.

there is a lot for me to respond to in daniel’s post…

i could easily excuse my tardy response on the crazy events in my life over the past several weeks.  i’m tired.  my job schedule is insane regularly and has recently become even more so.  i’ve had seemingly countless and ongoing scheduled court appearances that have thrown a bit of a monkey wrench into my schedule, my plans and my life. meanwhile, i’ve been simultaneously enjoying the beginning stages of an unexpected and wonderful relationship and have been intentionally investing time there.  i’m busy.

the list could go on — but the fact of the matter is this ::

i don’t know how to respond.

along with the stated intention of the bridges series and what i’ve previously written on the subject, my heart’s desire is to generate responses similar to that of my friend, lorraine darlow :

‘What a joy to read a discussion that is informed, challenging, humble and glorifying to our Lord.  Regardless of how we might understand certain aspects of Scripture differently, the culture of honor we create in our discussion is a blessing to one another and testimony to our heart’s purpose to love and honor as we follow Him.  It’s a joy to read.’

that’s what i want.

i want to get people to think.  i want to challenge the status quo — specifically, i want to challenge the way that self-professing, bible-believing, jesus-following evangelical christians (both our churches and the individuals that are a part of them) interact with and respond to the gay community.  i want us to rethink our positions, language and reactions in light of the words and actions of the jesus christ we claim to follow.

i want us to realize that the way we understand ‘being gay’ and speak about homosexuality in a hetero-normative culture not only undermines the identity of the LGBT community, but it also potentially polarizes and often ostracizes, rendering us useless as ambassadors of reconciliation on behalf of christ.

i want to challenge the idea that attending a gay wedding or having a married gay couple to my home for dinner is a blanket endorsement of whatever sin they may have in their lives, any more than them having me over for dinner at their home is an endorsement of the sin i may have in mine.

i want us to elevate the conversation between the gay and evangelical community beyond the definition of marriage and into a helpful dialogue for how we both move towards finding and following jesus.

that’s what i want.

i don’t want to insist that we must either attend or perform gay weddings.  i don’t want to suggest we compromise or water down the message of jesus.  i don’t want to be a pharisee.  i don’t want to turn a blind eye to the sin in my own life, nor encourage sin in the lives of others.  i don’t want to imply that i have this all figured out.  i don’t.

i have several gay friends.  some are closer to me than others.  some are celibate, some are not.  some are christians, some are not.  some are married, some are not.  some read my blog, some do not.  some are a part of my church, some are not.  and as i toss out these ideas for us to discuss, as i challenge the way of thinking and the posturing that the church has traditionally held concerning LGBT issues, please remember ::

i don’t know how to respond.

what i do know is this ::

how we have traditionally responded isn’t working in drawing either “us” or “them” closer to God.

and that’s got to change.

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