Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Soap Box 5 The Clever Movie Refernce: Homosexuality and The Church

A Christian opines on the politics around sexuality... Again.

For the longest time, the issue of sexuality was one of my greatest theological concerns. I've since lost interest. I interpret scripture one way, you interpret another way, he, she and they interpret it their way. We might all be wrong. In the end, God knows how he feels about sexuality and what we think means very little.

It's not a theological discussion I'm interested in anymore.

It doesn't matter.

Because what does matter, and what I am 100% certain of is that the church is wrong.

The church is just wrong.


And by the church I mean the Christian community globally in general and, especially, the leaders of that community.

The loudest voice in the church, right now, on this issue, is one with a political agenda. It's one that is strongly conservative, and one that wants to fight tooth and nail against same sex marriage in particular. Further, it's one that says homosexuality is wrong. Just plain old wrong. It's a sin. You shouldn't do it, you shouldn't be it. If you do and you are, then you are bad. Occasionally the word I hear is "abomination." And it's okay to use that word because it's in the Bible. This loud voice is one that sounds hateful and angry and it's full of condemnation and outrage.

But there's a problem with that.

It's missing something.

Did you see it?

Can you guess?

I'll tell you. This is the important part. This is why the church is wrong. Right now those loud voices are offering a big section of the Earth's population judgment and nothing else. That is NOT the church's job. It has never been the church's job to judge and it never will be the church's job to judge people. Judgment is not in our portfolio.

But Carl - you say, stepping in to hold a hypothetical conversation and explore the issue deeper - But Carl, if it is a sin, shouldn't something be said?

No. Usually the answer is yes, but this time it's no. You're wrong. You, Mr Church, hypothetical question asker, are wrong and you need to shut up about this one for a while and go sit in a corner and think about it. You can come back to the grown up's table when you are going to be responsible and offering something worthy to the discussion.

It's important to talk about sin. Sin is a big deal in Christianity. The church has a responsibility to discuss it and be aware of it. But the church has a much bigger responsibility and that is to lead people to God and encourage people to follow the examples set by Christ for all humanity. Because no sin is beyond God's power to forgive and no heart is outside God's power to change and nobody on this Earth now or ever is beyond God's love and compassion. The church's number one task in this world is to share that with people, and bring people to God.

And guess what?

You don't do that be being a judgmental arse!

If you, Mr Church, are certain beyond doubt that homosexuality is a sin then that's your business. I'm doing trying to argue that point one way or another. But before you open your mouth about it, you need to think, is what's about to come out of your trap going to bring people closer to God or push them away from God? If the answer is not the latter, then it's back to the corner for you. You can do better.

Okay, now, look, I know that you might not be like that. Maybe your little section of Christendom and your part of the community and your church leaders aren't like that. Am I annoyed by you? Well, maybe just a little. But it's not just you, it's me too. You see we're not loud enough. Maybe that angry, political, judgmental voice is coming from just a small few nutjobs or well meaning folks who lost their way. Maybe. Sure. I hope so. But what are you doing about it?

If you're not fighting against that voice, then you are complicit. You are complicit in driving people away from God and that makes you and I just as wrong.

Okay, I'm done with you, Mr Church. Go back to your corner. We'll chat later. There's a lot to discuss. Have a snack while you wait. I'm going to finish up talking to everybody else again.

This is the conclusion I've come to. This is my considered, insider opinion. It makes me kind of sad, too. That's why I've said something. This is me, personally, refusing to be complicit. I'll never be ashamed of my faith, but damn if I'm not sometimes embarrassed by my people.

You'll just have to forgive them.

A lot of them are old.

Old people. Am I right?*

By the way, since I want this blog to be informative and fun first and a place for me to opine at the masses second, I'm going to be making some changes to move these controversial soap boxing entries out of the main feed and into their own section. That way if you want to engage on the controversy, you can, if you just want updates and writing talk, they'll be the first thing you see. I'll still soap box as much as I feel inclined to, it'll just be slightly less visible for people who aren't interested.

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