There are bad guys and boogeymen and monsters under beds. There are criminals looking for victims, and those who rush to do evil. There are haters. There are souls hell-bent on destruction.
And then there are really nice people with whom I don't agree about some very important issues.
Timid me, the one who wants peace and quiet and everyone-just-get-along, gets called out. Silence is seen as assent. Not speaking truth is tantamount with believing the lie, and I feel compelled to make a statement here because this is our space, the table where I welcome the handful of you that come.
This table may be the dividing line for me. This may cause me to lose that imaginary contest for likes we engage in, the hope of friendship enduring and the fellowship of long tables beautifully arrayed.
Whether you think people are born homosexual or choose it for themselves, homosexual acts are a sin.
This may be the dividing line because so many nice and friendly and intelligent people see it otherwise.
Also, so many mean and repugnant people are loud about this truth - as if being right was all the permission a person needed to be rude.
Homosexual acts are a sin, just as lying and adultery and bowing down before the gods of our own making is sin.
The problem with calling this a sin is that real people are attached, real people who's lives have to be wrecked in order for them to acknowledge that truth.
I see nice people, friendly people who do good things. I see people who may be first responders in life's crises and I know that bludgeoning them with truth will leave bloody, pulpy messes. I realize that, and the nice-me wants to smile and find common ground because I'm shaky.
Jesus is love I want to remind myself.
Jesus is gentle and lowly.
Jesus rebuked the religious people for their exclusivity and abundance of rules.
I expect the world to take their own version of what's true. I expect those who don't claim Christ to pick and choose from the smorgasbord and have their ala carte truths.
But my brothers and sisters, co-heirs with Christ, adopted by grace, redeemed from the snare - where is the solid ground for us? If there are some things in the word of God that we are not to take as truth - how do we decide?
Do we throw out the part about by grace you are saved?
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her?
I am a simple person and I trust that God has left His word to the ordinary as well as the extraordinary. If it's not inspired and infallible, what's the point? What has been the point all these thousands of years?
Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth.
I did not come to bring peace but a sword. ~ Matthew 10:34
I'm running full-bore and free through the church foyer when the glass door confronts me, hard and unyielding. I'm embarrassed and surprised, but at the same instant I remember that I knew it was there. I've always known, and it hurts, nonetheless.
It might feel to me like the dividing line is between love and judgement, and I always want to side with love. I want to be your friend and have you be mine and love you for all the things that make you unique.
But that's not the line. The line is truth - has God indeed said...?
I want it to be always beautiful but sometimes truth smacks us hard, like clean and clear glass.
It's also logical - that as male and female we are both in His image yet created for specifics, and when Paul says in Romans 1 that they left the natural use for what is against nature, it speaks of shame and penalty.
I want love and rejoicing and sometimes truth is at odds with the table I want to set for all. How do I love everyone? How do I live a welcoming life? How do I stand for truth and sit at a table with those opposed to the truth?
That's how I feel about it, but you may argue with Scripture and authority and culture and the times we live in. I want to welcome everyone, but Truth must be seated with Love. The two will simultaneously occupy the fellowship hall and I'll figure out seating arrangements as we go, I guess.
But please, if you don't feel welcomed here, let it be the dividing line of a truth you don't buy and not for a lack of love.
"Let the righteous strike me;
It shall be a kindness.
And let him rebuke me;
It shall be as excellent oil;
Let my head not refuse it."
Because I feel strongly that questions are good and that the truth can handle them, I'm sharing some links for further consideration on both sides of the issue. There are thousands more. I'm no expert and my goal in this post is not to teach, just simply to be open with you and state my position.
This issue will separate Christians, my friends, and that thought kills me. Let's not be so dogmatic that we forget the real people being wounded on both sides, nor so soft that we compromise the integrity of God's word.
- Sodomite (1 Cor. 6:9; 1 Tim. 1:10)
- notalllikethat.org - The Bible does not condemn homosexuality
- momastery.com - I support your right
- jenhatmaker.com - Where I Stand
- desiringgod.org - Why homosexuality is not like other sins
- micahjmurray.com - What the Christian right gets wrong about sin
- Christianity Today - 'But Jesus Didn't Say...'