Over the weekend I spent some time reading about the recent decision of the Supreme Court of the United States regarding the legalization of same-sex marriage. I combed through the many responses that can be found on the web regarding this. There were those, both Christian and non, that praised this decision as an expression of God’s divine will. There were also those, both Christian and non, whose vitriol against same-sex couples was horrific and disturbing. In the midst of all of this, I have come to a conclusion.
I am tired.
I am tired of the constant bickering and the not so subtle charge that the authenticity of faith is somehow dependent upon what one believes about human sexuality. When the bedroom becomes the main symbol of the faith, as opposed to the cross, then I fear we have gone desperately off course regardless of where we stand on this issue.
I have an old friend who is a devout atheist. Despite our differences I believe we both enjoy the tete-a-tete that we sometimes engage in. But always, in every conversation, the trump card he plays is human sexuality, as if it is the litmus test of all righteousness, all love, all faith.
I am tired of the insinuation that conservative Christians cannot be righteous, loving, or peaceful, and that Liberal Christians cannot be dogmatic, hurtful, or judgemental. I am tired of hearing someone who opposes the marriage of same-sex couples referred to as ‘bigoted,’ ‘homophobic’, ‘unloving’, or ‘unchristian.’ I am tired of the claims that someone who supports same-sex marriage is, in some way, not a ‘real’ Christian.
Jesus is not a club with which we beat people into agreement with our point of view.
I am have known righteous, godly, loving individuals who have modelled Christian charity and grace more deeply and more profoundly than anyone I have ever met. Oh yea, they happened to be against same-sex marriages. I have also known righteous, godly, loving individuals, modelling Christian charity and grace deeply and profoundly, who happen to be homosexual. I am tired of having one person discounted and the other person praised.
I am tired of living in a time when the opposing side of the debate is continually referred to as ‘them’ or ‘those people’. I am tired of the complete lack of respect toward each other, wherein, despite the hailing of Christian values, there can be a complete denigration of the other person as a child of God simply because they view sexuality differently.
I am tired of the labels and the constant twisting of such labels – when ‘Evangelical’ means Angry, ‘Conservative’ means Fundamentalist, and ‘Liberal’ means Unintelligent.
I am tired of the scriptural mudslinging. “The Bible says ‘for this reason a man will leave his mother and be joined to his wife and the two will become one flesh!” The Bible says “Love one another and Do not Judge!” The explanation points make such statements more loving, right? We get it. Your side reads the Bible better than the other. Guess what? You’re both right.
I am tired of the church being hijacked by sexuality, where what someone does in the bedroom is seen as a bigger justice issue than the millions who don’t have bedrooms to speak of, or food to eat, or clean water to drink.
I am tired of the ranking of churches, where the main question that a seeker of a potential community of faith asks is ‘Are you affirming?’ or ‘Are you ‘inclusive?’ Is the blessing of God dependant upon the presence or absence of a rainbow flag? Why can’t churches on both sides of the spectrum be seen as warm, friendly, caring communities? Why can’t we support our neighbouring churches, our fellow pastors, and our brothers and sisters in Christ simply because they are those for whom Christ died.
I must confess that I hesitate to post this blog. Whenever you post something evenly remotely linked to the topic of sexuality, you open yourself up to the vitriolic and hateful words (from both sides of the spectrum) that I spoke of at the beginning. I hope and pray that will not be the response here. While I hesitate to post this, I will indeed post it because I want you to know that I am tired, and I hope that you are too.