Friday, October 2, 2009

The big debate...


Would this image ever really exist? Thankfully it does. But not often enough. There are a few things that traditionally don't go well together - oil and water, fingernails and a chalkboard, homosexuality and religion, to name a few. I've brought it up a few times in this blog, it's a part of a lot of conversations and every interview I've done in this organization, and yes, it's a hard one. But as a society, in the Christian community, we have made it a much harder discussion than it needs to be.

My parents sent me a sermon by Kevin Armstrong (KA), of North United Methodist Church in Indianapolis. He was our pastor when I was just a little one. This subject is too often danced around in sermons in the church, but he spoke to it directly and he put into words, the jumbled mess of opinions and beliefs in my head. Some points that spoke to me: (or you can just skip to the bottom and click on the link to listen)

  • In the book UnChristian by David Kinnaman, - What a new generation really thinks about Christianity and why it matters - a Barna Institute survey of 16-29 year-old young adults presented 20 words or phrases and asked people to choose the ones they associated with "Christianity" The results: #3 hypocritical, #2 judgmental, #1 (with >90% of the votes) anti-homosexuality.
  • People defending an anti-homosexual viewpoint so often reference Leviticus wherein the Bible states "If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be upon them." Leviticus 20:13 YET, the same people who quote this verse are probably doing so while enjoying their shrimp cocktail appetizer - shellfish anyone? Rewind to Lev. 11.
  • "Why do we focus on one crime and dismiss the others? ... What does it mean to pick and choose scripture that punishes people who God would love?" KA
  • "When you read the Bible simplistically, you do it an injustice." KA
  • "The law [God's law] was meant to be guiding, not binding." The Apostle Paul
  • Kevin's Challenge to his congregation: If you believe that God's reference to loving ALL means people from ALL races, nations, and sexual orientation, are you willing to say it publicly, explicitly, plainly - and not just have people guess? Are you willing to say it BEFORE a homosexual enters your congregation, hoping to be accepted? Silence is disregard. Wear your acceptance on your sleeve with your words AND your actions.

You can listen to the sermon HERE (beginning with a scripture reading - you can even skip about 1/4" in and catch the beginning of the actual sermon). It's only about 15 minutes long - I cleaned my room while listening. Find some laundry to fold and press play.


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