Church and the Gay community

February 25, 2009 at 7:44 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 19 Comments

I am a little nervous to even start this blog. I am a HUGE people pleaser and never want people to disagree or think bad about me. I want to be known for my love for people. I spent a lot of time during highschool and college judging people. I think this might be the ugliest part of my past and a demon that I will fight to my dying breath. I hate it about myself and I hate it about the church. I truly feel like I have come A LONG WAY in this area of my life. The more that I see Jesus and the man that he was the more it disappears. I see a man who loved first. I see a man who, yes stood for issues but threw no stones but became the one who the stones were thrown at. I see a man who spent time with the people that no one else would. I see a man who lived a legacy of love. Love for his father and love for the people he created. His life is intoxicating. I want to breathe it in and make my life look just like His.

Somewhere we as the church have lost this intoxication. I saw it when I watched the Oscars Sunday night.

First of all my heart hurt so badly when I heard Dustin Lance Black’s speech. I felt so badly that when he was speaking to the “gay and lesbian kids out there that have been told that they are less than by their churches, by the government or by their families” that we as the church have had a part in. I know that he referenced a Mormon church but I think a lot of America points at Christians when they talk about being hurt by the church. I hate that he had to stand on a stage and encourage kids and pick them up off the floor because they have been hurt. Where is the church in that? Why are we not telling these kids of their worth in God’s eyes? I hate that we are known for our condemnation instead of love. We can disagree with love. We can still be known for love even when we have differences.

Speaking to the church here: We can love the person (AND I MEAN LOVE THE PERSON NOT this mamby pamby excuse or saying that we say “love the person hate the sin”) That statement by the way makes me want to throw up. I mean love like you do for everyone else and by the way ourselves. Love like you do for gluttany, laziness, gossip, slander, bitterness the list goes on and on – because we all have those things in our lives and yet we find a way to love each other. Love without excuse. If we loved based on excuses NO ONE would be worthy of love.

Love: according to dictionary.com (parts of the definition)

a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.
a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.

affectionate concern for the well-being of others: the love of one’s neighbor.

the benevolent affection of God for His creatures, or the reverent affection due from them to God.

I- being a person who follows God can’t encourage the gay community toward marriage. It is NOT because I don’t want people to be happy. Its NOT because I think that God doesn’t want the gay community to be happy. It honestly hurts me for people to not be happy. I am learning though that this life is not meant to be lived for our happiness. There are honestly many things that I have had to give up over the last few years that would make me a lot “happier” or my life a little easier as a person. That is the gospel. There are beautiful, love filled reasons why I think that God intended for marriage to be between a man and a woman. Its because of the beauty that God created in a marriage. Marriage ultimately was designed to reflect the relationship between God himself and us. He created marriage. I dont’ think that marriage was only created for us to live in happiness. Honestly marriage is a pretty scary role when you listen to the most recent talks from our pastor at the Stone. If you haven’t heard the beautiful reasons why God created marriage please go here and listen to them. The webiste is http://media.austinstone.org/ and scroll down to you see: “Marriage, Sex, Singleness and Divorce: The Purpose of Marriage”

Our pastor is short, to the point and has an incredible way of not communicating like the 65 year old pastor who is out of touch with society. Sorry- didnt mean for that to be mean. He is just good at connecting.

Just because I can’t encourage it does NOT mean that I don’t love and hurt about this issue. Just because I can’t encourage it does NOT mean that all I have is condemnation in my heart for those that fight for those things. That is the essence of this post. I would be lying if I didnt say that I wanted all of us to live in this beautiful Utopia where we all love each other, never disagree and there is no poverty in this world- YES I would love to be there. Where do I sign up for that? I do think that is what God created in Heaven.

I guess my dilemma is: Should a person who doesn’t want anything to do with God or has not heard of the reasons why God intends marriage to only be between a man and a woman be forced to live in conjunction with these beliefs?

Do you think that the 2 issues of gay marriage and abortion are ultimately the reasons that most of America won’t walk into a church or is against christianity?

If so- we are doing something wrong. Our response is not love. Its condemnation.

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  1. This is a powerful post and I agree whole heartedly with you. I too struggle with being judgmental. I am extremely critical. And I hate that. I want to love EXTRAVAGANTLY. I truly do. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Wow – wonderful post! I agree. Sometimes Christians forget what we were like BEFORE we were Christians. We forget what it feels like to be lost, and to walk into a church feeling as though people are staring and judging you. Terrible feeling.

  3. Maris – great great thoughts.

  4. Maris-
    There a saying about the law that goes- Your right to punch someone stops at the other persons nose. I think it applies here. This has always been my dilemma, although I believe God created marriage solely for Man and Woman, i’ve always felt my belief in that stops at preventing it. If God made marriage what are we worried about? My marriage is defined by God and God alone.
    Ultimately we are called to love and love deeply.

  5. Maris this is so well put. I have drafted a number of posts about my thoughts on this and haven’t had the courage to post. It’s also an issue thst confuses me, because I feel so much empathy that is not always in alignment with what I know marriage is suppoed to be. What I do know, is that many Christians have demonized homosexuality as the worst kind of sin. But the truth is, many/most of us are ensnared in sin that we continue to act out on. For me, it’s jealousy and gossip. Which means I am no better than any unrepentant sinner, and in just as need of God’s grace! I hope that the church can become a place that homosexuals feel welcomed, because they are needing and deserving God’s grace just like all of us! Thanks for the courage to write this.

  6. Before I write anything, I’ll just tell you how I got here… someone linked me to your adoption blog, and then when you switched to your own personal blogs, I started coming here. Just in case you were confused at the completely random girl commenting on your posts šŸ™‚

    What everything comes down to is that we are called to always speak the TRUTH, and always speak it in LOVE. But even when we speak it in love, it’s going to offend people. Especially when you lovingly point out a sin that is such a big part of, or even defines their life, like homosexuality. Even as Christians, we have to choose whether to live for ourselves in our sins or whether to abandon them and be obedient to God. Black’s speech was heartwrenching for so many reasons. He is obviously hurting, but has also completely rejected God. I don’t know if the truth has been spoken in love to him or not, but he has clearly rejected it. I have never seemed to get very far trying to explain to non-Christians (especially ones with bad church experiences) why God does things the way he does (for His glory and our good), because none of it really makes sense until we come to grips with our innate sinfulness and need for a savior. (Otherwise, why would anyone think that they need God?) I think the best plan is to love everyone through our actions and words, which always includes speaking truth in love to them, and pray that God would soften their hard hearts. Anything less, and we are just patting their backs as they walk towards the edge of the cliff!

  7. Marie- thanks for coming to the blog. I am not sure that I would go so far as to say that Black has completely rejected God. We don’t know him. We heard a 2 min summary of his struggle in life but we have no indication that he has completely rejected God. In fact he talked a lot about God in his speech. He is choosing a life that is not obediant to what God says but I also do that everyday of my own life. Every time I sin I reject God but I still have a heart for Him. I think that we could associate MANY sins here. I agree with Kristen that we as christians have demonized homosexuality as the worst sin. What about gossip, slander, obesity, laziness? I think we have to be very careful before we make those blanket statements over people and they have no way to even try to explain where they are coming from. Even if he has rejected God are we supposed to stick that label on him, have less compassion and just say that “we will pray for him?” I agree that we are to speak the truth in love- I thought that is what I was doing. I understand that it offends people and we are to speak the truth, there is no denying that- but if we show compassion, hurt with them and love I think it is less offensive than the “I am right you are wrong mentality.”

  8. Maris – Thank you for this post. Your heart for the Lord shines through! I, like you, struggle with this issue (and similar ones) almost daily. I have an immediate family member who is homosexual. This person is active in this lifestyle and has a wonderful “life partner.” Do they know how I feel? Yes. Is there a need to beat a dead horse over and over again and “speak the truth in love” to them over and over and over and over? (You get my point.) The answer is —> I DON’T KNOW! LOL I believe that my living in Christ and being an example to them is more effective than repeatedly telling them why I disagree with their lifestyle. As you have said, they are not sinning any more maliciously than someone who knows that gossip is wrong but continues to talk about people. Nor the “Christian” who secretly looks at porn. Nor the pastor who is addicted to prescription medication and continues to take it. So I continue to just love the heck out of them as I think Christ would.

    Here’s my thoughts on the marriage issue – and I know many will not agree – but… Here’s the thing. Marriage is a religious institution IF you are religious. If you marry in a church, before God, with a pastor that to me is different than marriage as a civil institution. Not sure if that makes sense…

  9. Hi Maris,
    Not sure if you will remember me, I am a friend of Tamara here in Murfreesboro. Our small group is going to be discussing this topic Sunday and I was wanting your permission to read your post to them, you did such a good job laying your thoughts out. I would like to share it with them, to kind of get the conversation started. Baby August is beautiful and it looks like you all are adjusting to parent life! Thanks

  10. Lydia- Yes I remember you! I think if it would add to your discussion then that would be great! I even cleaned a little of it up for you! šŸ™‚

  11. Rock on Girl! Such amazing writings. I love everything you say. I love to read your blog. Its like going to church. AMEN! I have been having some of the same discussions lately. I agree that Homosexuality is a sin but so is so much that you and I “Christians” commit everyday. I believe in Gods eyes they are all the same. You have certainly grown up to be a wonderful godly woman.

  12. Just passing by.Btw, you website have great content!

    ______________________________
    Don’t pay for your electricity any longer…
    Instead, the power company will pay YOU!

  13. Thanks for your thoughts on this…so compelling….so convicting.

    To reply to your latter question I wouldn’t think those 2 reasons were the reasons that most of America won’t walk into church…..rather……our failure to be the Church(sent people who Love God and People) is….

    Oh for the grace to be the Church, a Church that loves, unconditionally….wow I wish this was easier.

    Thanks for your insight, I will definately be back to read more, thanks!

  14. You are also condemning the church by your assumptions. Just because he feels hurt by the church does not mean that he has not been loved by the church and refused that love and interpretted it as condemnation/hate. I know many non Christians who have been loved more than you could think immaginable who have chosen to misinterpret that love and hate those who have lavished love on them. Jesus says people are going to hate him and as a result we will be hated to. That is just the facts. His life although addicting to some brought about His death (yes, planned by God) but through their hatred even though he loved so well and fully. I think it is great to think through our thoughts on how we personally interact with and love people and follow Christ’s example. But as a part of the church, I don’t think we can condemn the whole….who is Christ’s bride either. Jesus’ love was always combined with the Truth or it would not have been Jesus’ love…perfect love.

  15. Thanks for your comments! I don’t feel that I am condemning the church as a whole. I am not even condemning part of the church. I think I am just frustrated with part of the church and believe that parts of America are frustrated with the church also. I totally agree that we will be hated. There are people in China and all over the world dying everyday because we will be hated. I think my point is being misinterpreted. I am only fighting for love COMBINED with truth. I am just saying that I think we have struggled to love. Not all of us.
    Nate- I agree. That really is the point of this blog- I just want people to talk about it all so we can be better at what we do.

  16. I’m sorry if I misinterpreted your point. I guess I have been burned recently by Christians heaping condemnation on the church at large (a movement that seems to be a huge trend even within a large population of emerging churches) and bringing Jesus love into the focus without the true definition of that love. I think it is great if these conversations cause people to love Jesus and people better.

  17. Hi. I happened to see this post in passing the other day. Today, I saw this link on another blog. It is written by a homosexual, Christian man. I just thought it was interesting, and probably one of the best articles I’ve ever read on the topic.

    http://www.ransomfellowship.org/articledetail.asp?AID=506&B=Wesley%20Hill&TID=7

  18. Maris-
    I know it’s been a while since you commented back on here, so it’s probably old news, but I just wanted to make a few quick comments on your response. First of all, I wasn’t attacking your post at all, I thought that it was very good šŸ™‚ Also, of course we are all sinners, but the difference between someone like you or I, who are sinful, but regenerate (hate our sin) and Black is that while we constantly sin, we are *falling* into it. Black’s words made it obvious that he has chosen to live in a lifestyle of sin (*diving* in, as opposed to falling). It doesn’t matter what the sin is, the important part is the choice that we make to follow God or not/heart attitude. Does that make sense? That’s what I was trying to say before. If we are diving rather than falling, there is little evidence that we are truly saved or seeking after God at all. Of course God is the only one who knows… the only reason we should care about other people’s hearts is to lead them to the Savior!!! šŸ™‚

  19. I just found your blog through your adoption site and am so impressed with your thoughtfulness on this topic. I too found it very difficult to support my church and vote against same-sex marriages in my state and your view seems right in line with mine. I have many friends from many different walks of life and I have a deep love and respect for each and every individual. But I also have to act with faith that what my religious leaders preach is true, and there is a bigger picture out there somewhere and maybe someday we will be able to see it all.

    In the meantime we should all treat everyone as Christ did without all the judging and finger pointing. Great post! I’m so glad you had the courage to tackle this sensitive topic.


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