It’s not *my* change of mind I’m talking about here, although I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately. Don’t worry, I’ve got the fire extinguishers handy in case anything starts burning. 🙂
My friend J posted this on Facebook today, and I just felt the need to share it. It’s “old”, but it’s an interesting viewpoint on an issue that has been breaking my heart.
I for one am glad to see someone change their stance on Christianity and homosexuality. It breaks my heart how hateful I’ve heard some of my ‘co-religionists’ being. Actually, I should probably say, ‘former co-religionists’, because I no longer belong to a church or denomination that would condemn someone for something they can’t control. To be honest, I’m kind of embarrassed to ‘claim’ some of the people this pastor says he used to be and that he mentioned being in his church. I’m including myself here too, since I used to be one of them. There are even some people I used to know who I simply *can’t* claim. Here is a quote from the article that says a lot of what I feel:
The truth is, I was put out that this was an issue. Feeding the hungry, preaching the gospel, comforting the afflicted, standing up to racial intolerance — these were the struggles I signed up for, not determining the morality of what adults did in their bedrooms.
I don’t really understand why it’s an issue either. Aren’t there a lot more important things we should be thinking about as Christians trying to figure out how to best live our lives in service to Christ? I’m not saying that sexual sins shouldn’t be thought of because a lot of them should-things like adultery that can destroy marriages, pedophilia, etc. I just don’t see why this *particular* issue-the issue of which gender a person sleeps with-is really all that important, or even interesting. I’m not saying that all people who hold to the “traditional” view that homosexuality is a sin are somehow knuckle-dragging bigots; if I did that, I’d have to include some people very dear to me. It just bothers me that so much more attention is paid to this issue at the expense of others.
I also want to mention that the person who posted this link on Facebook isn’t really a Christian, but certainly behaves like one. I say that in terms of how he’s treated me and other people in terms of ‘loving your neighbor as yourselves’. I know quite a few people who clearly show the love of Jesus, but call it something else. I’ve also seen people who commit these ‘grievous’ sexual sins you hear people ranting about acting more like a Christian than any of the ranters ever could. On the other hand, I’ve known quite a few people who claim that they love Jesus and are Christians, but you’d never know it from how they behave. It’s like the quote from Brennan Manning, a priest and author:
The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, then walk out the door, and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.
I grew up in a part of the US that tends to be very conservatively Christian. When I say ‘conservative’, I’m not really talking about adhering to the ‘fundamentals’ of the Christian faith-things like the inherent sinfulness of humanity, the virgin birth, Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, high regard for Scripture, Jesus’ imminent return, etc. You’ll find these things in pretty much *any* church, although some of the most liberal ones might ‘fudge’ a bit on the details. I’m talking about basically equating Christianity with a political platform that calls people to go back to the ‘good old days’, where women stayed home and were submissive and everyone supported the Republican party. Maybe they don’t say it like that and I *am* slightly exaggerating, but that is kind of what it boils down to now. Here’s a description of the attitudes I’m talking about:
I’m not saying there aren’t good people in these branches. There certainly are, and I’ve known many of them. But what I *don’t* understand is why some people seem to be more concerned about what someone does in their bedroom or whether or not someone supports Israel politically or whatnot than if the hungry are being fed, the naked are being clothed, and how we take care of “the least of these”*. I suck at doing this, mostly because I’m so wrapped up in myself that I forget about helping others. I also have an issue with swearing, but that’s another post. Honestly, I think we will all be ‘the least of these’ at some point in our lives. Even if we aren’t, we would still do well to treat others the way we want to be treated. That was the main thing my parents taught me that I’ve brought with me into adulthood, and it’s something pretty much every belief system believes in some form. How sad it is that we often forget about this, myself included.
I know I’ve probably made some people uncomfortable with my preaching but what can I say-when you’re inspired, you’re inspired.
*I can’t claim any of this, it came straight from the horse’s mouth:
Matthew 25:34-40 (RSV)
34 Then the King will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink? 38 And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee? 39 And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.’