6.26.2010

Homosexuality & Christianity - Part 3

So far, I have written Part 1 and Part 2 of my posts, which have relayed my experiences with homosexuality and Christianity. Part 3 takes on a different light of sorts, but I think it is the most important part for me to share.


I just want to take time to thank everyone who has shared their encouragement, criticism, thoughts and convictions with me over the last month. I often write these pieces not knowing if I am just writing for myself (which is often a good thing in itself), but I enjoy hearing peoples' thoughts, even if they disagree with me.


I know people will be reading this and want me to give answers about theology and homosexuality; however, I don't have all of the answers on this topic. From the passages in Genesis, Leviticus, Romans, 1 Corinthians, etc., the various interpretations range from conservatives condemning homosexuality as a whole to liberals condemning forced homosexuality (e.g. rape). Conservatives would argue that there is no such thing as a dedicated, truly loving homosexual relationship; Liberals would argue that homosexuals have the same potential of a truly dedicated relationship with each other than a heterosexual relationship.


I am not gay, so I honestly cannot say I understand the lifestyle. I don't say that in a condescending "we grew up being taught homosexuality is wrong so I just don't understand" type of way, but I say that in a "it's not something that I know" type of way. I do know how I, from the outside, should act towards gay people (or anyone at that).


I maintain a belief in God and carry that faith with me wherever I go. We humans try to fit God into a box of rationalization and confinement when we necessarily cannot. I have never been in love, but from what I have seen it has similar attributes to faith in God. Love makes us do crazy things. It's irrational. It's untouchable. It's a deep feeling within ourselves that we cannot explain to others other than the rationalization of experiences. Faith in God carries the same qualities. I cannot see God. I believe I can see his traits. I cannot touch God. I believe I can feel his presence. Faith in God makes me do irrational things, but I cannot explain that outside of experiences.


I summarize it as this: we live in a finite sphere of knowledge. Although we are always expanding our sphere, it will always be finite. God lives as an infinite being. As the infinite and finite cross over, they cannot be the same. To fully connect a finite and infinite sphere is one important idea, a bond stronger than any scientific bond, a bridge more sturdy than any engineered bridge. The one facet that connects the finite sphere to the infinite sphere, even if its apparently irrational, is faith in God.


All that to say, I don't think we humans can answer everything about God, even using the Bible as a guide. How can we if God is infinite and we are finite? To admit that we (finite beings) cannot fully understand God (infinite being) releases us to share our faith in a non-arrogant, non-superior manner. I say that carefully, because I know many people think the Bible has answers for absolutely everything. The problem, in my opinion, is that we then take leaps of faith that might not be founded or logical. If we need 10 points to make an argument, and we have 8 in line, we will deduct that if we are 80% there, we have evidence for a 100% conviction, even if it's just apparent, not conclusive. I think the Bible is a complete guidebook on how we live, however. Even if it doesn’t have a Q&A on everything we deal with in modern society, the story and every aspect of it serves as a beacon for our lives. We have extremists like the one in Topeka, KS, because verses are fragmented. Let's relay the gospel and let God be the avenue for judgement, while we're the avenue for love on earth. We have no room to be judging, provoke wrath or anger


I have come to realize that homosexuality might be a moot point for so many people, because you have not had experiences of knowing someone who is gay; however, I write about homosexuality because it is part of my experience and it is something that not many people think about. From a higher view, homosexuality is my experience, but yours might be different. By experience, I mean a person that has rocked your world, gone against what you grew up believing, hurt you in some way or made you feel uncomfortable - your drug-addicted parent, your unwed pregnant sister, your atheist brother, your liberal Christian cousin. Whether or not they are in the right or wrong, how should we respond?


We humans are so quick to point out what we think is wrong with people. We often (and mostly) look at the good in ourselves and wrong in others. Whenever someone makes us feel uncomfortable or is different than us, we need to put ourselves in their shoes. How would I want someone to treat me, act towards me or love me if I were in their shoes. I understand that not everyone can relate to having a brother who is gay, but everyone can relate to being mocked, looked down upon or judged. So why do we do it to others? This may resonate with you now or this may resonate with you in 6 months, but if nothing else, I write these words for you to implore your life as to how you are treating those around you.


I admit that I am young and still learning. I don’t have answers for everything; however my words I write are my beliefs that I have searched and examined. In words I write, in words that the preacher preaches, in lessons your teachers have taught and in rhetoric your politician declares, one thing I think we should do more, something we should teach our kids to do more, and something I think is highly underrated is questioning everything and thinking through everything critically - more on that another time.

2 comments:

Blogger Jaclyn said...

I try to remember that we are made in Gods image. When I meet someone or am with family and friends, I try to think - I am speaking with Jesus; the people we love and the people we feel uncomfortable with, don't agree with or don't want to be around all reflect Jesus. Whatever sins are committed are done. It doesn't matter what they are. I know my Savior forgives me - I repent and try consciously to walk in His path. It is hard. Homosexuality has no bearing on following Jesus. Where in the Bible does it say some people cannot accept Christ? Where is there a list of people who will be rejected by the Holy Spirit? Are sins weighted differently? My role on earth is to spread the love of Christ and His word. Not to judge others - no matter the sin, lifestyle, or company they keep. God will take on that responsibility.
That is why I have faith. His enduring love for us requires us to accept Him and His resurrection. I'm not a judge or an enforcers of law. My job is to share the joy and lead Christ-like life. And that is a full time commitment!

10:39 AM  
OpenID bjknotts said...

You have matured a lot in your faith Sean. I don't know how I wound up here tonight, but I enjoyed reading through your thoughts on this relevant issue.

I agree with you. Love is what proves who is actually a follower of Jesus. (John 13:35) What must be said is that it does not matter how vehemently you advocate God's standards, if we dare do this without love, we do more to damage the work of the cross than we do in its favor. Everything that is outside of God's will is outside of His will because it damages what He loves and values. Often times, we justify why we have the right to do things outside of His will because of our feelings. Yet, 1 Corinthians 13 clearly implies that love is not done because of a feeling but often in spite of a feeling. For that reason, we must understand that God seeks for people to love themselves, others, and Him, and all the behavior that He rejects is always denied because of how he cares for us. Truly, our flesh often provokes us to satisfy God-given natural desires in ways outside of His will, and it's only outside of His will because it mars the very thing that He loved so much that He died for it: people. God loves mankind and for that reason He seeks for mankind to not hurt themselves in any way,be it physically, spiritually, or emotionally. It does us well to remember that the desires people have come from their flesh, but to let the flesh have such control over us that we would satisfy those desires outside of His will it not something that only homosexual practitioners are guilty of. To deny one's flesh because of how one cares for themselves is the struggle of all believers. That is why God gives us the Spirit to teach us to love ourselves, others, and Him - in spite of how the flesh beckons us to ignore its calling.


Enjoyed it.

2:31 AM  

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