Sunday, February 21, 2010

Questions and Answers

I've been reading some and thinking a lot about the subject of believers and the gay community. This is an interesting read and thought process.

I've run into some things that are thought provoking.

Let me first write about something else, related but not exactly on topic. I was raised in a very racial prejudiced setting, not only the area of the country but also social and family belief systems. It was very hard for me to even realize I was racially prejudiced, but when I did it was also extremely hard to change my thinking and my actions. Everything had been permeated by my adopted default belief system. But I'm here to say I have been successful and have obliterated, with joy and excitement, any and all racial prejudice.

One of the important experiences that cut the final link was a friendly conversation in a group where one of my very good friends of a different race was present and a joke was told. None of us "whites" thought anything about it, but our friend let us know how it made her feel. Not so good. Lesson learned: You don't joke about prejudices, especially ones that you've been freed from. Hmmm...

I find myself now cringing at "gay" jokes. I'm on my way!

But I have questions, so I've been reading. I came across some good thoughts on this subject. My questions are, do I still think the gay life style is sin? Can you be gay and be a Christian? Plus similar questions that are always asked, not only by people in the traditional Christian church but also by gay people to test someone they're talking to. My thinking is wondering if I really need to find answers to these questions before I can show love to all.

The writer I was reading brought out the fact that Jesus was faced with "test" questions many times during His three-year ministry on earth. He called them closed-ended questions with closed-ended answers. Jesus was asked about twenty-five of this type of question and fifteen of them were by His enemies to trap Him. It seems He only answered one of them, and He switched it from the legalistic setting to an eternal setting. Interesting.

This reminded me of questions I used to get when I was trying to share the gospel. Questions like "Where did Cain get his wife?" "Do you believe in the big bang theory?" "Do you really believe in creation?" and on and on. Anything to get off the personal subject of the here and now.

So, my conclusion? I'm not sure about my answers to the questions about the gay community just like I'm not sure where Cain got his wife. But I do know that the gospel is a life-giving, life-changing message.

My real question is can I show love to people in the gay community and be open, honest, loving, accepting, and transparent with them? That's a hard question for me having been raised in a fundamental, traditional, religious Baptist church. (Whew! That's a mouthful. :)

Grace living and grace loving is the New Testament message from God to me and I want that to be from me to others. What a challenge! What an exciting adventure to experience. To me this is not watering down the true message. It's living the true message in order to be able to share the true gospel.


Anonymous said...

Such a very good post!! I've been thinking about this post and while watching some old Gospel music (the Gaithers) on Sunday night, Bill did an interview with Gloria about some words that she had written and put the words to an old song, I think, called "Be Still, My Soul". Anyway, after I heard this song and thought about your post, it seems that the song described where I want to be in my walk.

"I then shall live as one who's been forgiven.
I'll walk with joy to know my debts are paid.
I know my name is clear before my Father.
I am His child and I am not afraid.
So greatly pardoned, I'll forgive my brother.
The law of love, I gladly will obey.

I then shall live as one who's learned compassion.
I've been so loved, that I'll risk loving, too.
I know how fear builds walls instead of bridges.
I'll dare to see another's point of view.
And when relationships demand commitment.
Then I'll be there to care and follow through.

Your kingdom come, around, and through, and in me.
Your power and glory, let them shine through me.
Your hallowed Name, O may I bear with honor.
And may Your living kingdom come in me.
The Bread of Life, O may I share with honor.
And may You feed a hungry world through me.

Sorry for the length, but I loved this.
Marjory Brown

Mary Burleson said...

Margie, What a good poem/song. It really says something special, doesn't it? Thanks for sharing. And thanks for saying this is a good post. I have a pretty steep learning curve on this subject, but I'm tackling it. It's very hard to overcome biases and prejudices but so worth it. MB

Bobby Brown said...

Of course I could quickly answer all your questions. Or at least I could quickly give you my opinion. I can also say that I am learning to love openly gay people that I know and except them where they are without prejudice. I can with great confidence say the latter is much more important than being correct on or even considering the former. For me to share a gay joke no way! But then I must also love the ones who does remembering I did the same thing.

rachelfraim said...

Thanks, Mary B, for being willing to write on this subject. Much to think about (as we have talked before). I, too, want to "live" the True Message which in many cases shares the True Gospel - sometimes without saying a word!

Anonymous said...

My Church struggled with how to minister in love and in truth to those of ours who are gay. Our bishops wrote a letter saying this to them: 'you are forever our children'.
The truth is shared as to the Church's teachings, yes. But 'our children' remain ours, not to be sent 'away' to suffer without their Christian Family, the Church. They are loved, prayed for, and ministered to, in the Name of the Lord.

Thank you, Mary. Your words of understanding are a blessing to all Christians who seek to care for gay people with Christ's love and compassion. :)