Talking about homosexuality in the church

Homosexuality is one of the 1000 pound gorillas of today’s evangelical church. In other words there are a lot of people either struggling with gender preference themselves or someone they love is. And the churches silence on this issue has lead to a ton of people feeling like they cannot connect to God.

Into that understanding, Andrew Marin presented on Friday night. In a very loving, Christ-centered manner, Andrew challenged NYWC attendees to begin figuring out how to build bridges between kids who are either gay or thinking they may be gay and a loving, forgiving, and grace giving God.

As his part of the session ended I prayed that the Holy Spirit wouldn’t let this discussion die when Andrew left the stage. It’s my hope and prayer that this is just the beginning of the evangelical church taking this 1000 gorilla seriously. My favorite quote (paraphrase) of Andrew’s time, “If you think this issue doesn’t pertain to your church just know that there are gay people in your church. And if there truly aren’t any people in your church that are gay, and this issue hasn’t come to your ministry yet, you’ve got the opportunity to do something now so you don’t screw up.

Discussion question: Beyond an annual “talk on homosexuality” how can you help your ministry build bridges with the gay community in your town? How can you help facilitate a loving way to connect homosexuals to your ministry?

By Adam McLane

Kristen and Adam live in Ahwahnee, California.

42 comments

  1. I was at the Castro Street Fair in San Francisco. Like you can’t get much gayer than that. And at the fair some churches had stalls, I dunno which were legit or not, but one said Jesus loves Gay people! and some other stuff… the point is they where in there, in the thick of it. With the whole culture in full force in their face and the stalls were buzzing with people. That is some ministry, instead of standing back condemning, they were spreading the love of Jesus.
    That’s one to think about, if they can share the love in that situation, how hard can it be in a smaller community???

  2. Thanks for highlighting the issue. Church leadership only makes it worse by ignoring and skirting the “gay” issue. You can be sleeping around in extra-marital affairs all day long and most churches will “love the sinner, hate the sin,” but if you mention being gay then the mood quickly changes. This is something the church must get better at dealing with.

  3. my freshman year at grace, we had a speaker come to chapel who talked about homosexuality and the church and it was sooo amazing and convicting. I agree with everyone else saying this is a skirted around topic, but in today’s society NEEDS to be prioritized. I really wish we would have him come back to chapel…

  4. Perhaps you are asking the wrong group?
    When manufacturers wonder why their products are not selling, they don’t ask the salespeople who are ineffective at selling; they make consumer studies to see why the people aren’t buying.
    I would think the people you should ask are the homosexuals—not the ones who have been ineffective so far as to “how to connect to homosexuals.”
    And there is a strong possibility many churches can’t. They will not be able to build relationships with people the churches demand a change in their very being. (Implicit or explicit, the demand is there.) Unless the church is comfortable with a person being gay, and ALWAYS being gay, without demanding they become heterosexual or abstain from all sex, I think the bridge-building is doomed for failure.

  5. Very good point, “Drive-By Toga.” I think leaders in the church would benefit greatly from sitting down with the homosexuals that they have alienated themselves from. At the same time, I think that if we think about it, many of us would realize exactly what we do that alienates us from that group!

  6. Nate and “drive-by” I would be very interested in facilitating those conversations happening. Wanna do it here? Moreover, how can I help facilitate that discussion in local churches and communities?

  7. I directed a gay friend of mine to this question. Here are a few of his thoughts:

    “My mind kind of played with this and reversed it to: Today’s evangelical church is one of the 1000 pound gorillas of the gay community.

    “The ‘struggle’ is with the attitude that homosexuality is a 1000 pound gorilla. With the ignorance paraded as understanding that homosexuality is a ‘gender preference.’

    “Actually, I would guess this church is among the more sophisticated and would qualify that being a homosexual is not a ‘sin,’ just acting on it is. So the message the gay person hears is: ‘you are broken, if you act on your nature, you are sinning and are going to hell, welcome to our church.’

    “The church does not ‘love’ gay people, they don’t even recognize that there is such a thing as ‘gay people,’ only gender confused people. So a person with the self awareness to realize they are gay won’t be attending services any time soon. The only people who will be paying attention to this church are the ones who have been raised on the notion that there is something wrong with them, so they are predisposed to believe the junk.

    “Given their ignorance, this church would be doing gays a favor if they would maintain ‘silence on this issue.’ For those who choose to believe in God (gay Christians), it is the churches speaking, not ‘silence’ that ‘lead[s] to a ton of people feeling like they cannot connect to God.’

    I…er…know this is not what you want to necessarily hear, but I do think it important to understand what you are dealing with…

  8. tgt- thanks for commenting. I meant to but dropped the ball.

    I really love this comment. And I think there is a lot of truth in it. In fact, I am hoping to help the evangelical community address the 1000 gorilla. Well, one of them since evangelicalism has been based on fear instead of truth for so long.

    Two things I’d like to address.
    #1 As an evangelical, I am sorry that people in all manifestations of the gay community feel judged. I can’t speak for every church or any church for that matter. But if I could, I would apologize. What you are describing is not an accurate reflection of who we are or what we believe.

    #2 ‘you are broken, if you act on your nature, you are sinning and are going to hell, welcome to our church.’ This is simply not what any evangelical church believes. Unfortunately, our actions have lead many to believe that. But let’s correct it with biblical truth
    – “you are broken.” TRUE – we believe that every human is broken. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” That brokenness is something we are all born with, gay or straight. It comes from the fall of Adam and Eve in the garden when sin entered into humanity.

    – “if you act on your nature, you are sinning, you are going to hell.” This is fairly abrupt, but it really is what we believe. Though it does not apply to the gay community. Romans 6:23 says, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus.” So, we believe we are all sinners. But the gospel of Jesus Christ meets all of us where we are at. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

    Where the disconnect lies is that for some reason, some churches perpetrated a lie that practicing homosexuality is some kind of special sin. In actuality, we believe ANY sin separates us from God. In fact, since we are all born with a sin nature, we believe every single human being needs Jesus as much as anyone else. To paraphrase that verse, God demonstrated his love equally. While we are yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

    My hope is to be a part of re-educating the church. This isn’t just a 1000 pound gorilla with the gay community… it’s a major problem in that the church struggles to love anyone who isn’t “perfect like us.” Of course, that in and of itself is a joke and shows our desperate need to repent and to be more like Jesus.

  9. adam- just seeing if I could get “the ball” rolling. 🙂

    I’m not sure what you are or would be apologizing for? Unless you are stating that evangelicals really believe that being gay is equal to being straight?

    Does the scripture “… the marriage bed is holy and undefiled…” apply equally to married gays as it does to married straights? Or, is heterosexual marriage a holy union instituted of “God,” and gay marriage a perversion of that holy institute and a manifestation of the gay persons “brokenness?”

    If you believe heterosexuality and homosexuality are equal, gay people will not feel judged by you or the beliefs you espouse. If you believe that heterosexuality is from “God,” and homosexuality is a manifestation of brokenness, gay people will indeed be judged by you and the beliefs you espouse.

    Where the “disconnect lies” is that for some reason, some churches perpetrated a lie that homosexuality is something you ‘practice’ and is some kind of sin.

  10. Hello!

    Great conversations. The one thing that sticks out in my head while reading all of these provoking posts is when Drive By Toga said we are asking the wrong group. So true! That is why I live in Boystown, and I am totally and completely immersed in the gay community. By all accounts for those on the outside, everyone swears I’m gay and my marriage is a cover-up because my whole life is that enveloped by the gay community. 🙂

    But the main point is that as straight Christians, we can never, ever understand what it is like to be gay or know exatly what their filtration system is synthesizing. So go and ask. And that is exactly what I’ve done for the last decade. The one key is to go to the gay community as a humbled learner and say,

    “I have no idea what it’s like to be in your shoes, nor can I ever know. So please teach me and let me live with you in real time and listen and learn as much as I can from you.”

    There is absolutely no better place to start then that! I think that the whole sexuality issue is not as much about the sex, but more so about how we as Christians interact, and react, to the broader gay community within the metric that they have given us. If we are able to learn to do that – regardless if there is ever any “change” or not – we can know for certain that we’re headed in the right direction!

    Much love – Andrew

  11. Hi Andrew,

    I’m not sure how to feel about your post, I guess I’m a bit ambivalent.

    On the one hand I appreciate your heart and it’s intent in wanting to “learn.” I think anyone who wants to can understand what it’s like to be gay, but that it’s also true none of us can “know” what it’s like to be another person. There’s a difference between knowing and understanding.

    On the other hand, I think the crux of this “gorilla” (from either point of view) is the notion that gay ain’t good. If you are living among the gays as someone might choose to live among lepers (sorry, not a perfect analogy, but you get the point?), then the overriding message that comes through loud and clear is one of judgement and condemnation. The message may be beautifully wrapped in velvet, but the contents are still what they are.

    Then there is an in between. If you are living among gays because you don’t actually ‘know’ that being and living gay is sin, wrong, broken, etc., then I think you would indeed be headed in the right direction. It all depends on whether of not you have the traditional evangelical disposition towards the gay thing.

    On a side note, I can understand why “everyone swears [you’re] gay,” though you can count me off the list (because I don’t know), so I guess you can no longer accurately say “everyone.”

    As a gay person I understand that being gay is not just about sex. My experience is that sex is the smaller part of being gay. The gay relationship can not be reduced to just or mostly sex any more than the straight relationship can. So, theoretically, you could indeed be gay. You certainly have a lot of gay relationships, lol. That they are sans sex doesn’t prove or disprove anything either direction. Having said all that, mostly in jest, you are in the best position to know whether or not you are gay, and if you say you are not, I believe you.

  12. “I would be very interested in facilitating those conversations happening. Wanna do it here?”

    Well, to this gay person you don’t seem “very interested.”

  13. “Furor?”

    “How can I help continue the discussion?”

    Respond after someone responds to you. I responded directly to some things you said and your response was silence. How should I interpret no response? Did you feel the topic has been exhausted? Do my further comments to what you wrote evoke no addional thoughts or feelings? If not, I guess we’re done. If so, you can help further the discussion by sharing those responses.

  14. Sorry for the silence. I genuinely struggle with how often to comment back. I wonder if I comment too often does that make me seem stupid? Does it stop discussion? OK, I’ll lay aside my insecurity!

    Apologizing- I can’t really speak for all evangelicals, but I felt the need to apologize that some had misrepresented what we believe to you.

    Do we really believe that being straight is equal to being gay? In the sense that we believe that all are sinners, yes. I don’t think someone who is straight is somehow better than someone is who is gay. We’re all equal before the Lord. We all need forgiveness from Christ the same.

    I danced around this… is gay marriage equal to hetero marriage? The Bible simply doesn’t provide a way to say yes. There are no examples of homosexual marriage in the Bible so the argument from silence would be that they aren’t equal. But I’m not the judge. While marriage and sexuality are important to our personhood, neither qualify nor disqualify us for a life with Christ.

    “Where the “disconnect lies” is that for some reason, some churches perpetrated a lie that homosexuality is something you ‘practice’ and is some kind of sin.” I don’t really understand the question… can you clarify?

  15. Adam. thank you. I appreciate your willingness to discuss this with an honest to goodness gay person, lol.

    While you “cannot really speak for all evangelicals,” you can speak for yourself as an evangelical. My understanding is that you are “… a member of the body [church] individually…,” so in my book you qualify as much as anyone else claiming to be an evangelical Christian.

    As to the apology, I think it is misplaced. What you are saying is pretty much what I have heard from other evangelicals, so I’m pretty sure there really isn’t a misinterpretation going on here.

    I understand that you are taking the approach that “… all have sinned…” (gay or straight). But there is a further assertion I think you are still avoiding actually saying, and that is gay sex is sin, whether in marriage or not. And, if my understanding is correct, a real Christian doesn’t ‘practice’ sin. It seems to me that if you believe that gay sex is sin what Drive-by Toga said is true: “Unless the church is comfortable with a person being gay, and ALWAYS being gay, without demanding they become heterosexual or abstain from all sex, I think the bridge-building is doomed for failure.” If marriage is the heterosexuals provision for sex, and you believe there is no such provision for a gay person, what’s left for the gay person is to “burn.”

    ““Where the “disconnect lies” is that for some reason, some churches perpetrated a lie that homosexuality is something you ‘practice’ and is some kind of sin.” I don’t really understand the question… can you clarify?”

    You made the comment: “Where the disconnect lies is that for some reason, some churches perpetrated a lie that practicing homosexuality is some kind of special sin.”

    To me the “lie” being “perpetrated” is that being gay is something a gay person “practice[s]. A gay person doesn’t practice being gay any more than a straight person practices being straight- it’s simply the way we are. I further took the qualifier “special” out of your original sentence. As I read it, you were saying that to “practice” homosexuality is a sin, just not a “special sin.”

  16. OK, now it’s all making sense and we’re speaking the same language!

    Forget about the apology part. It was a vain attempt anyway.

    Do I believe that any sex outside of marriage is a sin? Yes I do. Gay, straight, or “other” I think that God ordained sex within marriage. Common sense kind of backs that theory up as monogamy is definitely the closest to “safe” sex there could ever be.

    Of course that presents a problem, doesn’t it? After all, in my last comment I said the only marriage the Bible talks about is heterosexual… and that kind of leaves gays in the dark. Let’s admit this is a difficult problem and one the church is wrestling with big time.

    Now, you said “And, if my understanding is correct, a real Christian doesn’t ‘practice’ sin.” This is not correct. Christians don’t believe that when they give their lives to Jesus that they somehow become perfect. In fact, it’s the opposite. The first step in coming to Christ is really the acknowledgment that you can’t stop sinning and you couldn’t ever pay the penalty for your sins.

    Every “good Christian” sins every day. Some intentionally, and some unintentionally or by ignorance. The thing is that simply because you sin doesn’t mean you are a worse person or sinner than you were the day before.

    The point of Christianity is that Jesus takes us where you are and accepts us for who you are today, tomorrow, and forever.

    Do I believe that in order to become a Christian you need to give up the lifestyle you love? Absolutely not! That would be a works based grace. Does becoming a Christian mean that you have to eventually give up the lifestyle you love? Not universally. God works in the hearts of every man/woman uniquely. For some, that may mean they eventually chose something else. But for many, it means that they continue on being who they always were! But I don’t believe, and no evangelical church I know of, believes that in order to become a Christian you have to act like the white, suburban evangelical sub-culture that we’ve created.

    If that were true, Christianity would die! Coming to Christ has nothing to do with being accepted by the cultural norms of the evangelical church. Like I said before, it’s something we as a whole are wrestling with. In my local church I’d like to think we are getting a little closer to getting it right… but then again maybe not?

  17. “Of course that presents a problem, doesn’t it?”

    Lol, yes it does. No matter how you get there, we are back to the original issue: living as a gay person is “sin.”

    Hypothetically ,if I walked into your church with my husband, to whom I am married and living monogamously with, what is the response? What is said when I volunteer to teach the 5th grade boys Sunday school class?

    If you remove the distinction “special” from what the evangelical church pretty much considers “sin,” you would have to equate the above as ‘living in sin.’ Kinda like coming to church drunk, or molesting little kids, because after all, “sin is sin.” I’m not saying you are saying this, it’s just a very slippery slope.

    “Now, you said “And, if my understanding is correct, a real Christian doesn’t ‘practice’ sin.” This is not correct. Christians don’t believe that when they give their lives to Jesus that they somehow become perfect. In fact, it’s the opposite. The first step in coming to Christ is really the acknowledgment that you can’t stop sinning and you couldn’t ever pay the penalty for your sins.”

    You are missing the point. I’m not talking about “sin” in a general sense, I am talking specific here. You know, “repentance.” I know Christians don’t believe they’re perfect. I’ve seen the bumper sticker: “Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven.” We aren’t talking about the “first step in coming to Christ.” We are talking about the evangelical church’s response to gays.

    Gay people do not consider being gay to be a “lifestyle.” This may be hard for you to grasp. You choose your hair style or car style, you don’t choose your sexuality. A gay person cannot “give up” being gay any more than you can “give up” being straight.

    The question isn’t whether or not we all “sin.” It is the evangelical notion that living naturally when you are gay is considered sin. In evangelical circles it’s not “sin” for you to have a wife and to live together romantically and have sex. According to evangelicals, gay people would be sinning if they did that and “practicing sin” is discouraged.

  18. I actually don’t think there is a lot of disagreement here. Would you and your husband be welcome at my church? I’m not in leadership there… but what I know of harbormidcity.org that the answer would be emphatically, YES! As far as I know, teaching and serving is more tied to whether or not you know Christ as your Savior than anything else. But, at the same time, I think Harbor is the exception in evangelicalism rather than the rule. We’re such an ecclectic place that you could probably come to church every week dressed like dracula and no one would ever mention it. We’d give you a hug and invite you to a community group just the same.

    Is it OK that I don’t know whether living as a gay person is a sin or not? I’m not the judge. I don’t think the Bible is 100% clear where that line is to be honest.

    All I know is that that God wants you to know Him and to connect with His people. If people don’t accept you and your husband right where you are… that’s their own sinfulness and not what God calls us to.

    I’m digging this discussion. I’m hoping others jump in.

  19. “Is it OK that I don’t know whether living as a gay person is a sin or not? I’m not the judge. I don’t think the Bible is 100% clear where that line is to be honest”

    See this is something that the evangelicals I have spoken with cannot/will not say (they “don’t know whether living as a gay person is a sin or not”). I don’t see any judgement about being gay in that attitude. I’d also agree that seems to be the “exception.” Thanks.

  20. Adam McLane,

    You do know the Presbyterian Church in America (which Harbor is a member) is clear in its Confession of Faith marriage can only be one-man/one-woman? And that homosexual relationships are neither recognized nor allowed?

    The church may welcome a homosexual couple; they may greet them with open arms and welcome smiles. Could the couple become members? Could they stay gay?

    How open are you to gay Christians? Here’s a test—you see two 18-year-olds who attend your church. They are “in love” as only 18-year-olds can be. Meaning they like to hold hands, look in each other’s eyes and, on occasion when no one’s looking—kiss.

    You discussed how you are against pre-marital sex regardless of gender preference. But ask yourself this: If our 18-year-olds are a boy and a girl, does it bother you? Do you raise an eyebrow? What if our 18-year-olds are two boys? Do you raise an eyebrow? Neither are engaging in pre-marital sex—yet it is the latter that causes consternation.

  21. dbt- I am aware of that. Like I said, I don’t represent them nor are we members… we go there and we really dig it. All the details of who they belong to and what that means are really just hypothetical. It’s impossible to answer every question as I only represent me. My primary concern with anyone I go to church with is, “do they know Jesus.” All the other things seem to flow from that.

    As for your scenario. I’ve had discussions in all of the above on that scenario. (Really, can you work with adolescents without bumping into those talks today?) Two boys, two girls, one of each, bi, etc…

    My pre-supposition is that 18 year olds aren’t ready to fall in love regardless of gender preference. Middle adolescents have a hard time thinking about anything else but what they want. And love is, ultimately, a “we” decision. So anyone who has had me as their youth pastor will know that I discourage all high school dating.

    Like Andrew mentioned several comments ago… I have no idea what its like to have those feelings. I have my own biases as a straight guy. So my typical response is as I mentioned above. I love em no matter what they chose. My job as a youth pastor is to help formulate an adult, lifelong, connection to Jesus. Primarily, I focus them on a single question… “who am I in Christ?”

    Man, seriously long and complicated discussion. I wish you were in San Diego so we could meet up for coffee or something.

  22. What about what Scripture says…I’m not trying to be unloving, judgemental, hypocritcal, stereotypical, fundamentalist, inerrant…or whatever word you want to throw at me…but what about what Scripture says? Is the Scripture clear. We should be making our choices and decisions (particularly as ministers of the Gospel) by the guiding of the Holy Spirit through His word. Society and Culture are important, but should not be the lens we determine how Christians deal with homosexuals. Our lens should be God’s Scripture.

  23. bsr- I think if you are honest in reading Scripture, it really isn’t that clear.

    And it’s precisely the attitude of “how Christians deal with homosexuals” that has led to where we are. Just like other areas. It saddens me that the church is largely an agent of racism, sexism, and bigotry and not a place of justice, mercy, and grace. And we wonder why we struggle to reach people?

  24. adam-I can understand the claim that Scripture remains unclear. Scripture is back and forth with homosexual behavior. However, I am worried that at the core of this debate is that we have forgotten that our choices should not be based on what soceity and culture dictates, but rather what the Holy Spirit dictates. I agree with you that the church has dropped the ball in areas of racism, sexism, bigotry, but that does not mean that I am any of those things. One of my best friends is a practicing homosexual. He has a male partner. I am a youth pastor a Southern Baptist Church whose Doctrinal statement on marriage is traditional male/female. I know alot of this debate has been triggered in California because of the Prop. 08 , and for churches to speak out against homosexual marriage is fine with me. Because I can say as a staff member of an SBC church, we don’t hate gays. We aren’t “anti-gay.” We wouldn’t kick anyone out of our church if they said they were gay. We wouldn’t try to “fix” them (as the homosexual agenda tends to think evangelicals are doing). We would not however let a homosexual “Join” our fellowship, not because we didn’t care or love them, but because of our doctrinal statement and discernment as a church to come to grips with the idea that homosexual behavior is sinful. If we had a man cheating on his wife, and we knew about it, he would not be able to “join” our fellowship because he is being sinful (because it is addressed in Scripture). Back to my friend…he understands where I come from. We talk and pray and seek the Lord together. In actuality, he is coming to grips through discernment that maybe what he is doing is against what God. Call me a fundamentalist…call me a sexist…call me a bigot…call me a racist…but to say my church hasn’t wrestled with this and come to grips with what we feel is right…You would be sadly mistaken.

    To me the problem with the church is that we won’t to let go of lofty idealistic ideas and disagreements and refuse to see what God’s word has to say and live out what the Holy Spirit is saying. We also tend to take these issues, let someone else speak on our behalf and determine what to belief without acknowledgment of God’s Scripture.

    Adam…I completely understand and respect where you are coming from. I am actually looking forward to this discussion at NYWC. I am stoked about it…but we should not be dictated by what a few say, but should listen to the still small voice of God.

  25. bsr- Just to clarify a couple of your points.

    #1. This discussion has nothing to do with Prop 8. It has everything to do with kicking off the discussion of churches who claim to love people but don’t practically.

    #2. I agree that we need to rely on the Holy Spirit and what the Scriptures say. That’s why I want to see churches embrace people and love them in Jesus.

    I look forward to the discussion moving forward on Friday in Pittsburgh and in a few weeks in Nashville!

  26. Adam McLane,

    See, here is where part of the problem is. You recommended your church. Fine. I went on its website to see what kind of church it is. As most churches do, it has a link to “What we believe.” Immediately under the first heading, in bold, I find the statement, “OUR BELIEFS ARE THE THEOLOGICAL TRUTHS UPON WHICH WE STAND.”

    Sounded quite insistent! Looking up the Presbyterian Church in America, and being familiar with the Westminster Confession—with little surprise I discover the church is against gay marriage.

    Going back to your original question, “How can you help your ministry build bridges with the gay community in your town?” I think it can’t with such a doctrinal statement displayed on the church’s website. If I was gay, I would look up your “What we Believe” and pass. Your church may not be practicing what it claims to believe—then the first pragmatic step I would recommend is: “Change your Website!”

  27. Interesting. Again, I’m not in leadership at the church… and their partnership with the PCA is something I know very little about.

    You bring up an interesting point worth talking about with the staff over there though.

  28. Adam,
    You wrote earlier:

    “I would be very interested in facilitating those conversations happening. Wanna do it here? Moreover, how can I help facilitate that discussion in local churches and communities?”

    Well, you got one gay guy and I can probably get you a few more. I think you would need to invite the “church leadership” if you want to facilitate conversation between us and them. I’m not a Christian, but I can know some gay Christians. One of my best friends is a practicing Christian lol (sorry, sigh).

    It would be interesting to see what happens. If you maintain ” that [you] don’t know whether living as a gay person is a sin or not” I will bet that you will indeed be the exception as I formerly stated. I will also speculate that you will get a lot of responses similar to those from bsr who might agree:

    “that Scripture remains unclear. Scripture is back and forth with homosexual behavior. ”

    but still manage to conclude that:

    “that homosexual behavior is sinful.”

    and last I heard, most evangelical churches still believe in repentance (i.e., “turning away from”) sin. Which is one of the reasons gay people get the silly idea that evangelicals want to “fix” them. And really, that’s just the tip of the ice berg. The evangelical church invented and maintians the “ex-gay” movement.

  29. tgt- This is a fascinating discussion for me. I’m getting stretched and it’s a very good thing.

    I am interested in facilitating this discussion in real life, too. Like you said, this discussion really is the tip of the ice berg. If you know how to move this forward into something real world… let me know. I’m based out of San Diego and I think it is hard work that needs to happen.

    I really think some of the issue is vernacular-based. And, as I’ve stated all along… a lot of this really does go back to churches not putting into practice what they believe.

    Anyway, I do want to be upfront that I’m going to be “silent” most of the weekend as my attention turns towards a trip to Pittsburgh for work. I should be back to normal in a week… of course I’ll be checking in and blogging a little. But I will be pretty focused in on the event until next Tuesday.

  30. Adam,

    By no means was I suggesting your conversation was based on Prop. 8. I just know that this very issue is stirring up conversations exactly like this one. I will be in Pittsburgh. I appreciate your understanding, and I am glad that you do acknowledge that Scripture and the Holy Spirit should guide us. I feel that Christians have not allowed Biblical Authority to dictate their choices and actions. I am not a “gay hater” nor am I completely closed minded. I believe we are God’s workmanship. I believe God has a unique and wonderful plan for us all. But I also believe God’s word calls us to holiness. I just don’t think homosexuality draws us closer to God…but neither does any other sexual immorality…murder…stealing…lying…etc. Sin is sin…and when we are sinful, we are not honoring God.

  31. bsr- I look forward to meeting you this weekend. I hope it’s an awesome weekend for you and that this discussion is just one of many things that challenge you.

    tgt- just to restate it, if you’re in the SD area I’d love to get together with whomever… exactly as you said. I could facilitate a discussion with you and some church leadership folks. 🙂

  32. tgt- we can try! I don’t know how effective it will be, but let’s start thinking about a way to have a wider discussion. I’d be willing to “stop the presses” on my normal stuff and have like a major discussion. Guest posts? Debates? Videos? Stuff like that?

  33. As I said, I think I can get some very interesting people to attend the party. Two are clergy, one a straight advocate, the other gay (and married to a woman, hehe, the plot thickens) and a few others who have a great deal to contribute on our end. Let me know.

  34. “Can’t wait to see what this turns in to…”

    Hope you haven’t been holding your breath Nathaniel. 🙂

    I hesitate to write that, or anything really, because it would have been nice to see follow through based on genuine interest versus activity as a reaction to the chiding of a lone stranger. I don’t want to get the dropped ball rolling again, it’s not even my ball, but I have taken the silence as a measure of just how genuine the parties who started this are. I have been checking back here to see the true “interest” of those involved and find the silence revealing.

    It does seem that action (or lack of the same) speaks louder than words.

  35. Nate and others…. agreed. I don’t know where to take this conversation next.

    The question I have, because I’m very interested in forwarding the discussion, is where do we go from here? How do we get everyone together to talk?

  36. Well, one question is, who is everyone? On the Christian side, Pastors come to mind, as well as youth pastors. In the gay community, I’m sure there are leaders that would want to join the discussion. How do we reach them?

    Next question is, how do you get them together? Online is great. I’d suggest more posts about the topic asking questions and digging deeper…

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