(editors note– My FB exploded when I stated that God would be more pleased if the Church took a day to buy food for the homeless, than to show up in mass at a fast food chain they loved and felt had been maligned by the non-Christian members of the American community. Some have posted on my wall. Some have posted threats to de-friend those of us who displease them. Some have continued to ask for a response to the questioning of my views on sexulity. Here is a response I sent to the most recent questioning. If you are offended I made this an open letter, let me know and I will take it off the site. Otherwise here are some thoughts)
1) The issue of homosexuality was not germane to the issue I was trying to describe. My views on sexuality have nothing to do with this most basic premise: that one should not go out of one’s way to cause an offense. Should you cause an offense that is another issue entirely. The main issue for me was one of simple decency to another set of people. If your actions are likely to cause the type of offense that would jeopardize a relationship, then I believe any other issues fall to the background. As I have stated for years I would rather remain in relationship, than just be right.
2) To that point I did not want to use FB to state my views on a topic like homosexuality. I have several LGBT friends whom I consider good friends who I love dearly (and who surprisingly love me back- who knew that members of the LGBT community and an unrepentant Evangelical could love each other) , and many of these are also FB friends. I did not want to jeopardize years of steady witness (which I consider what I say, but more importantly how I live) to my annoyance at something as dumb as a foolish spat. That does not mean I have not discussed the issue with several of them on a one-to-one basis where honesty and a solid relational history will provide the necessary space to lovingly present the scripture.
3) Here’s an elephant in the room of Church discussions about sex. Yes, I do get annoyed with married people who question my stance on sexuality. You who are, conceptually at least, getting you a little something biblically; taking it upon yourselves to talk down to those of us who are not so lucky (horrible pun intended). In some ways I feel that 37 years of sexual purity as a single man speak more to my views on sexuality. More than that I rarely if ever bitch about this to marrieds (though on rare occasions have commiserated with fellow single males), because this is the cross Christ has handed me, and I must bear it myself.
However I do understand that some Christian brothers and sisters got upset, and I feel bad about that fact. I did not mean to offend (I think, mostly, OK, so maybe I have some faults, don’t judge me). But truthfully I wish we as the redeemed might show more maturity than the hedonistic atheists who populate my workplace and our country. My statements came from my frustration as years of witnessing to my coworkers was offset, because the Christian community could not weather a little bit of criticism without blowing a gasket. Freedom of speech means we can say what we believe, and the rest of the nation can criticize us for it. That is our rights as Americans.
But as Christians we have given up our rights. We hold no rights of our own, but have instead died to ourselves and the world. We are called then to live as Christ who when the world rejected him picked up a cross marched to golgatha, and died for the very ones mocking him from the foot of the cross. When the Jews cried “crucify,” Jesus did not cry “boycott”, instead he cried, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” To bad the church refused to do the same two weeks ago.
Whenever I am talking with non-Christians, I always start with the proviso, I refuse to be offended by anything you say or do. I love you without condition. This stated once demonstrated by me is often reciprocated. It is a great bit of stagecraft as it always for both mutual honesty and mutual forebearance. It allows me to speak truth in love; which is supposedly what we are called by God in scripture to do. Perhaps I need to start prefacing my interactions with Christians in much the same way. Mea culpa, I thought that when two or more were gathered together that bit of boilerplate was understood. It should be, but ah, sin, you are a pesky devil fouling even the lightest of corners with yours shadows.