I was in a pretty good mood--a straightforward good mood--and then I came home to find my brother's fiancee watching Larry King Live. The debate topic (never something innocuous) was about homosexuality in the church.
Words won't express for me how much I dislike the whole topic. I've never seen a debate change anyone's mind on it, and tension builds and builds for me (as does anger) until I'm left in a mental steam.
In the manner of "We Believe", here's the pith of my thoughts and wrestlings with the topic -
- I do believe homosexuality, consensual or otherwise, is a sin. I won't get into scriptural references, because that line always gets muddy. I just believe that it's a sin. Right now my thoughts have me pondering the whole human body design angle... I find it hard to believe that God would create someone for a purpose of a particular relationship if (by acting in that relationship and within the body's design) no further generation was possible.
- I believe people can have a genetic propensity toward homosexuality, but not a genetic trait of homosexuality. My family has a propensity toward addictive behavior that makes drinking alcohol a really dangerous idea--we don't stop when common sense says we should.
- I have a good friend who is gay, was in a long-term relationship for a number of years with another man, and who is not a Christian. We've been able to talk honestly about some of our issues, and still be friends. I value his friendship and don't at all consider ignoring him because he's homosexual.
- I wrestle with what Jesus' response would have been - not to les/bi/gay people who didn't claim to be believers, but to those who did. I feel angry--sometimes even feelings of rage--at the comments of, "I feel sorry for you, that you can't believe in a God who loves everyone."
I feel angry because this displays a childish lack of understanding about God. I don't consider him an angry, white-bearded old man trying to hurl lightning bolts at us from heaven. I also don't think he's the sort of being who will ever pat me gently on the shoulder and say, "There, there."
There are accounts of people dying, on the spot, for treating God's holiness with less respect than it deserved. Cherubim - not roly-poly cherubs with dimples and golden curls, cherubim with multiple wings and four faces - are in charge of protecting God's glory and holiness. I don't have the smallest percentage of a clue how ably God ensures and protects his glory. If I'm able to say anything at all when I'm finally in his presence, I'll be amazed.
I believe in a God who loves everyone, but I do not believe that love to be a blanket of fuzzy blankets that hands out bon-bons and barricades us from pain or consequences. He loves me fiercely, and he gave me the free will to choose to surrender to him or not.
That list in 1 Cor. 6 that the NIV translates to contain "homosexual offenders" among those who won't see heaven? I'm elsewhere in that list - slanderers, idolaters. The crux point for me comes down to this: in my sins, do I acknowledge them as sins and try to surrender them to God as often as needed - or do I insist they're part of who I am and how God made me?
See? I told you I dislike this topic. I end up all fractious and irritated.