There are some days, as a Christian, where I can only take a very *very* deep breath and pray for the patience of Job when it comes to some of my fellow Christians, and most usually it is on those well pressed, hot button issues of women bishops and equal marriage.
It is not, of course, that I don’t understand their argument (although when conversation with them is ventured I am frequently left with the impression that I should, in fact, consider myself completely dumb when it comes to scripture).
I am not going to pick through the well-worn scriptural argument here – at least not in this post. I will say briefly that I know the passages concerned but I do not believe that, when taken with the whole context of God’s Grace and Christ’s life, death and re-birth, that it is either accurate or even ‘scriptural’ to suggest that the staunch ‘gay is sin’ is anywhere close to the representations of God’s love and view on the matter. And it is not as though all conservative Christians remain opposed to things like equal marriage for the LGBT community. Steve Chalke has – (and rather bravely). Earlier this year he came out in favour of gay marriage. You can read the article on the Oasis UK website here: http://www.oasisuk.org/inclusionresources/Articles/MOIabridged – it’s the abridged version, but the longer version is also available there.
I try to patient when some conservative Christians proclaim their position so loudly that all anyone else can hear is hate, because we are all struggling after God – because nobody is perfect and because we all screw up. *But* none of that can allow me to look the other way when people are being hurt, because we are not called by Christ to hurt people but to love them; and it saddens me deeply when people are condemned by other Christians, using the God I believe loves us all.
I struggle with that. I want to shout and scream in righteous indignation to get them to understand the hurt being done… but ideologues are entrenched for a reason. And I wonder if my time is not better spent giving my energy and my love to the people who welcome it, rather than those who patronise me and put me down.
So to all those lovely twitter folk I follow who do not share my beliefs, but have gone out of their way to include me and love me anyway – I want to thank you. I am sorry that not all those who share my faith cannot see the hurt and anger they sow. Forgive us – for sometimes we know not what we do.
*I have updated this post to include a link to Steve Chalke’s article, which may not yet have much popular support amongst conservative Evangelicals, but which I pray paves the way for a more prayerful, thoughtful and loving approach. 09.03.2013