I’m going to try to address this without getting too emotional, but I will preface by saying that I couldn’t sleep last night because of this issue. One of my friends on Facebook had posted to her wall, and a debate (if you could call it that) ensued courtesy of one of her Christian friends.Â The man on facebook was saying that legalizing gay marriage is like legalizing child molestation.Â He was using inflammatory language and I was so sad to read what he wrote.Â This kind of stuff breaks my heart. I was laying in bed, thinking of everything that I was going to say, when I realized that I had way too much to fit into the little comment box on Facebook, so yeah…
If you’re friends with me on Facebook, then you probably saw that I recently linked to this discussion on Evangelical Politics.Â It is Chuck Colson, Greg Boyd, and Shane Claiborne speaking at the National Pastors Convention in San Diego in 2008.Â Joe and I watched it and stayed up WAY too late talking about it.Â We were both struck by how bizarre it was that Chuck Colson appeared to be in a completely different church than the rest of us.Â Honestly.Â It blew my mind.Â It was like he saw absolutely.nothing.wrong.Â Seriously!Â He said that he had never met people who were disrespectful of homosexuals in the church.Â Chuck?Â Are you with me?Â What church are you attending?
Shane and Greg both referred to the Unchurched survey, which helped Evangelicals to see that the #1 adjective that the unchurched use to describe Evangelicals was “homophobic”.Â #1!Â Way to go!Â Lets think about this for just one second.Â Jesus was known for drawing in people who were outcast from their society due to their sex lives.Â Is no one else bothered by the fact that the church is NOT like Jesus in this area?Â The church actively repulses the homosexual community.Â While 1/3 of heterosexuals fall into the “unchurched” category, 49% of homosexuals do.Â I know its shocking, but apparently the “God hates fags!” signs are pushing people away.
Not surprisingly, 72% of the people in the survey also said that the church is full of hypocrites.Â You think?Â Considering that I remember reading a few years ago that 90% of pastors admit to struggling with pornography.Â Guess what…. the numbers inside the church weren’t any better.Â It turns out that the church is filled with people who struggle with sexual sin, and yet we are pushing away others by our actions.Â Even in the video, Chuck Colson said that you only have to look at a naked man and a naked woman next to each other to see what is “normal”, and that obviously being gay is just not normal.Â That’s not helpful talk.Â We know that our church is struggling with lust, based on our own numbers, and that’s not any better.Â He said that gays would be welcome in the church if they stopped sinning like the rest of us have to.Â Uh, seriously?Â Do you think you attend a sinless church?Â The numbers don’t point that way.
I wanted to include a quote that Shane Claiborne said was from Billy Graham, and when I just googled it, a site came up for gay Christians.Â How ironic.Â Anyways, the quote from Billy Graham says
Itâ€™s the Holy Spiritâ€™s job to convict, itâ€™s Godâ€™s job to judge, and itâ€™s my job to love.
That sums it up.Â It is our job to love.Â It is our job to be love to the hurting people of the world.Â It is not our job to convict or judge, ESPECIALLY those outside of the church.
As Paul says in 1 Timothy 1:15
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinnersâ€”of whom I am the worst.
I really feel that this whole issue underscores a general problem that we have in our church.Â A problem with being open, being honest, and being loving.Â I feel that we all see Christians acting this way, and it makes it much more difficult for those inside and outside of the church to be transparent, because such hateful language is used.Â We do not create a safe, loving environment.Â Sure, it happens in some churches (Joe is in a fantastic mens group that really embodies so much of what the church should be), but this is not the message that we are getting out to the masses.Â It is so sad.
I wish that Christians would stop trying to legislate morality, because (1) It doesn’t work, (2) It pushes people from the church, (3) We all suck too, so we just look like a bunch of hypocrites, and (4) Most importantly, we don’t expect ANYONE to change apart from a relationship with Christ.Â It is nothing but legalism and bondage to expect people to act differently without a relationship with Christ.Â We are so concerned that gays may raise kids in a family that doesn’t meet the tradtional (2 parent – 1 male/1 female) ideal, and yet the divorce rate in the church is PASSING the divorce rate amongst the unchurched.Â We have so far to go, and I think we’d do so much better to love and support everyone (while removing the log from our own eyes), rather than trying to micromanage others lives while we screw up our own.
<sigh>Â I don’t think that was very unemotional, lol.Â I need to go edit!
Edited to add: My pastor gave a great sermon a few weeks ago where he talked about how we need to accept that our church should be filled with all sorts of different people – different races, different socioeconomic backgrounds, Democrats and Republicans, straights, gays, transgenders, bisexuals… everything! That is God’s plan for our church, and we will be missing out if we try to limit who is welcome in church. Here is a link: Message Archives I’m pretty sure that it is the one on the top – the first of the “Get on the Bus” series. On a side note, today’s sermon was on the myth of redemptive violence. 😀
Edited to add another thing: Isn’t it funny that Jesus didn’t try to legislate this stuff? He certainly could’ve if he wanted to, but instead one of his TEMPTATIONS from the devil was for political power. Hmmm.