Yesterday I read a recommended post by a blogger I’ve come to appreciate, Rachel Held Evans. Her post “How to win a culture war and lose a generation.” I really like what she’s getting at. The Church should not worry about PR campaigns in its pursuit of benevolence and holy living; but the fact that so many people now see Christian churches as hateful organizations should call us to a serious reassessment of how Christian groups address homosexuality. What I mean is, we’ve got to stop just saying ‘it’s wrong…end of story!’ Such a knee-jerk reaction doesn’t seem honest or loving, it seems fear-based or hate-driven. We need to think through all of the issues. I’m glad that some are doing that now, but it’s not enough.
It reminds me of a friend who was involved at a church leadership conference where many pastors and theologians discussed matters critical to the church. Near the end of the discussion, the topic of homosexuality arose, but that wasn’t an issue anyone was willing to discuss at length. Even some of the theologians there were flippant about it–it’s just wrong…that’s it! But many others breathed a heavy, burdened sigh.
Think of it this way, the church contains many folks who struggle with alcoholism. There are so many in church who really, really stink at loving others. How many habitual liars took communion this Sunday? I’ve known of some folks who have actually started physical altercations in sanctuaries. Divorce runs rampant. Right. Folks like that need to be in church. They need the gospel. But homosexuality is seen as the chief of all sins. A divine deal breaker, no matter what. They are by no means welcome in many churches and many insist that they will certainly go to hell, regardless their opinion about or faith in Christ. This is not a fair assessment, nor does it convey any shred of love or concern to the gay community.
We need a re-evaluation. I want to thank Evans for reminding us of that.