Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Restoring a Bridge

Yesterday i read a wonderful article about the church, christianity, and the way that they interact with the GLBT (gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and trans-sexual) community. The article was written by Andrew Marin, a straight married man that was at one point signed on to play division 1 baseball at a big school. What, not really the type of person that you'd expect to be writing an article about gay or lesbian people? Well, he didn't expect it either. 

Marin begins the article by describing the way that he was brought up: conservative christian family, very heterosexual, Bible believing, and completely ignorant of the GLBT lifestyle. Marin goes on to describe his view of GLBT people what he saw on TV... "I believed I knew gays and lesbians very well because I saw them on TV, I saw the cross-dressing pictures of them at the Pride Parades and I heard "the" rumors." This line of thinking falls dangerously close to my own view and paradigm of gays and lesbians. I'm sure that it also is hitting pretty close to home for most everyone that reads this.

How many people do I actually know and have a strong relationship that is in the GLBT community? I know it feels like this is a little bit removed from most of the circles that we hang out in, but it really isn't. So the question then now is, how can I as a christian bring Christ's redeeming love, not the negative baggage associated with the church, to the GLBT community? 

Its really quite simple really. Its so simple that its often hard to identify. We are called to love people. Those people being gay, straight, black, white, old, young, cool, or hip, it really doesn't matter. How much different would your interactions with the GLBT community look if you approached it with a visage of love as opposed to one of condemnation? 

GLBT's have been beaten over the head by christians that being gay is wrong and they are going to Hell if they don't change. I don't disagree that being gay is wrong. The Bible explicitly states that it is a sin, but imagine how you'd feel if someone approached you and told you that judging people is a sin and you are going to hell. Personally, I would avoid the person! Focusing on whats wrong is not the way to show people the love of Christ. We should look at the GLBT community with eyes that see people, not a sexual orientation. I know that there are many other pitfalls throughout the issue of GLBT's and the church, but we could change the whole tone of conversation between an ever growing subculture in our lives and the church that we are a part of by simply being unconditionally loving.

After the sex scandal of President Bill Clinton, Billy Graham was seen at a press conference that Clinton was speaking at. A surprised press person asked Rev. Graham why he was there at the press conference with the knowledge of that Clinton had recently done. The press person expected Graham to condemn the president's actions, but Billy Graham had a different agenda. Rev. Graham simply stated to the press, "its the Holy Spirits job to convict, Gods job to judge, and my job to love."

Lets just love. 

If this interests you, check out this website.

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