Monday, January 2, 2012

On Love

The following opinions are solely my own. I don't speak for anyone else.

This post is inspired by facebook. And youtube.

And church.

And it is about gays and lesbians.

There is a lot of talk out there right now about gay & lesbian rights, especially in the church.

I have gay and lesbian friends.

I am a Christian.

I don’t see the problem here.

Christ taught us to love one another. And love is love.

There are, however, many conflicts within my religion about the acceptance of the LGBT community and specifically, gay marriage.

Personally, I feel there are many people who twist the Bible to say what they want it to say. They use the word of God to point fingers and say “you are wrong and I am right.” These manipulations of the Christian faith simply don’t work for me.

So in the same way that some Christians say that the Bible states that homosexuality is wrong (but turn a blind eye to the fact that it also says divorce, greed, jealousy and even eating shellfish are sins) - I have chosen to take the core messages of God’s word - to love your neighbor, to practice patience, to give of yourself, to honor Him, to spread goodness, to share the beauty in His words and the sacrifices that He made for mankind - and use these things as the basis for what we will teach our children. God is good. God loves us. We are all His children.

I’m not writing this post to point fingers at anyone (there’s been enough of that already). I certainly don’t write these words to invite criticism or to create a heated debate on interpretations of the Christian religion.

It simply comes down to this:

We are all sinners. And God loves us anyway.

So with that said, I hope my church will welcome gays with open arms. Our job is to love one another and tell each other about Christ. We are not here to judge others or decide what is right and wrong. All we need to do is love. Just love.

I know the disputes will be around for a long time. There is a disparity in the Methodist Church over gay clergy. The near future will bring the gay marriage issue. We welcome gay church members to our flock… but sensitive issues remain. Can two gays chaperone a youth trip in which adults and youth sleep in the same room? Separate rooms? How much affection is it “appropriate” for them to show at church? Shouldn’t they be treated exactly the same? I think so. But then it doesn’t make me uncomfortable to see lovers of the same sex. I think far too often people hide behind jokes or criticism or the Bible simply because they don’t want to admit their own discomfort. Being honest about being uncomfortable is okay, being sanctimonious is not.

I have always considered myself pretty conservative, but I also support gay marriage. I truly believe that any two people who love one another enough to commit their lives to each other should certainly be allowed the right to do so. Marriage is sacred. It will always be sacred and allowing two men or two women to experience that union - to profess a lifelong commitment to love, honor, cherish before God –that detracts nothing from the holiness of marriage. It doesn’t threaten the sanctity of my marriage in the least. I want my gay friends to have the happiness that I have, with all of the perks and rights that come along with it.

There are far too many people who don't treat marriage with the sanctity it deserves, but their sexuality has nothing to do with it.

To be completely honest, I have only recently come to peace with gay marriage in a church. I always believed they should be allowed legal marriages and commitments… but a Christian marriage in the church was hard for me to swallow. Perhaps it was my conservative side, and I don’t know exactly when it changed. But I now believe that any marriage commitment for a relationship built on faith and made before God is a reason to celebrate.

Love is always a reason to celebrate.

When Kherington and I pray we ask the Lord to guide our lives and help us to be good people. When she says “amen” at the end of her bedtime prayers, I hope that above all else, I am able to teach her and her little sister that God is love and love comes in many forms.


Darcy said...

Very well written, friend. I was a delegate for the SWTX Methodist Annual Conference, and I (very surprisingly) was the only one from Gruene (who are fairly contemporary/liberal for a Methodist Church) to stand up to vote to include Gay/Lesbian/Transv. in our church Discipline. The words spoken from people who were against it were so hurtful and full of anger; I was embarrassed for them. We prayed for the Holy Spirit to enter the meeting, and then people openly bashed those we are called to love. I was very disappointed.

Mal said...

<3. That is all.

Myers said...

LOVE! LOVE! LOVE!!! You couldn't have said it better. Who are we to judge that it Gods job.

Paige said...

Amen, friend!!!!!

Sarah said...

Well said! I agree with your viewpoint but couldn't have written it that well if I tried. Thanks for putting it into words! I hope too that if Patrick learns anything from me about God it is that He loves.

Kouper Shane said...

Well said my friend. You know all too well where I stand on this matter and the struggles I have faced with this subject in my former church. All we can do is stand up for what we believe and teach our children to do the same.

Katie of Cabbage Ranch said...

Thank you for writing what you feel, and sharing the continued evolution of your beliefs. I respect that you put it out there, and P.S. I totally agree.

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