One Punk Under God, Episode 2: Affirming Homosexuality

Did anyone else see this latest episode?

I’m still trying to collect my thoughts.  I was excited to see Jay sit down with transgendered people who were telling him about their experiences in church and how they’ve been marginalized.  I ached as Jay related that one of the transgendered women there told him her story about wanting to meet with her pastor, only to find him and others “suddenly too busy.”  I was furious at Jay’s misguided approval of homosexuality as natural and not a sin.  I was glad to see him question which beliefs were biblical and which were church tradition, even though I do believe he came to the wrong conclusion.  I was glad to see some of the people in Jay’s ministry question this decision and some of them unafraid to question his stance.

But in the light of it, the episode mentions fear.  I stopped and pondered my own experiences and how I, as someone who has come a certain distance in his own journey out of that lifestyle may, at times, become a stumbling block to those seeking Jesus.  That word is FEAR.

It is no coincidence that the episode starts with I John 4:16:

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.  God is love.  Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.

My first thought was, “Well, yeah, but love is not always the warm fuzzy puppy sorta emotion people are looking for.  Sometimes love is tough and, for our own betterment, tells us hard things in order to keep us from further harm.  Sometimes, to be the men and women we were truly created to be, we need to be pushed out of our comfort zone hard enough to begin to change.”

Then this:  I Peter 2:1-3:

Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.  Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.

And THEN I thought, “Do I love them enough to give them the spiritual milk first before I bring them the meat?  Am I loving enough to accept them where they are, as characters in God’s great story, imperfect, flawed and unrealized with the knowledge that God may have a better ending for them at the end of the story?  Am I man enough to merely open the door to those the church sometimes sees as unlovely and unwelcome, to invite them to sit next to me, and to love them as Jesus would?”  I know that I could.  But can I live in that reality on a daily basis and not be so involved in my own transformation that I demand others adhere to the unique route that God gave me?

Yes, love is often difficult.  Love is not an emotion, it is a verb.  An action word.  It is what we do and how we behave.  Love is not merely the fluffy emotion, but a true desire to seek the betterment of the one that is loved.  That is agape; to see another’s betterment before your own.  But sometimes in our churches, I think we’re so engaged in shoving down platefuls of spiritual meat, that we negate the fact that sinners wanting to be with Jesus might just as well do with a glass of spiritual milk first.  Some will need gallons.  That means kindness.  It means not being afraid.  It means acceptance of gay men and women as characters in a story not yet complete.  A story God tells.  A story in which we are supporting players, not storytellers of our own right.  It means telling them the good things about God’s love for them, about his eager desire to be with his children and his everlasting grace beyond which none of us could make it in this world from hour to hour.

While I still think Jay is misguided on the theology of homosexuality, I am encouraged by his acknowlegement that it’s a radical idea.  I am also encouraged in his ability to give out the spiritual milk along with enough love and acceptance to draw those who have become marginalized to sit down with Jesus and have a beer.

As angry as I am about Jay’s theological stand on the spiritual meat of this issue, though, I am confident enough that there may be signs of change.  Previews for next week’s episode show that his stand is going to cost his ministry financially.  (The episode warns as much when it reveals in a title card that Jay’s church relies on a conservative foundation for financial support.)  I also take some courage in that during Jay’s sermon to a gay-affirming church, he says, “Your security should be in what God thinks of you, not in what other people think of you” and a stronger, wiser message to gay people I don’t think he could give.

That’s just off the top of my head and heart.  What did you think?

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~ by WriterRand on December 21, 2006.

One Response to “One Punk Under God, Episode 2: Affirming Homosexuality”

  1. Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

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