How Am I Any Different?

I was reading a post on OnFaith, a faith website that posts interesting articles sometimes. I don’t always agree with all of them, but I must say it is interesting to see how different people interpret Scripture. Again, I don’t always agree with them. How rare it is in our day – and it’s a new thing in my life – to be OK with posting and reading things that you don’t agree with.

Anyways, the post I was reading was titled “10 Things I Wish Everyone Knew About Jesus” by Father James Martin SJ, a Jesuit priest. I thought a lot of what he wrote was really cool, and things I wish people would understand and believer about my Savior: He had close friends, He reached out to those on the margins, He rose from the dead. But one really caught my eye and I instantly got judgmental and self-righteous.

“Jesus didn’t say anything about gays and lesbians.”

My honest first thoughts: oh, this is another one of those “Christians” that thinks homosexuality is OK just because Jesus didn’t talk about it. Martin also writes, “Admittedly, St. Paul speaks about that topic, but many contemporary scholars believe that Paul was probably speaking not about homosexuality per se (the word itself is of relatively recent vintage) but about the evils of male prostitution.” Oh, of course, the language translation thing.

I don’t know if Martin believes homosexuality is OK or a sin. One might imply from his statement that he might think it’s not a sin, but I don’t want to rush to a judgment on that because I simply don’t know.

The evangelical community likes to harp on self-proclaimed Christians who say homosexuality is not a sin and even practice it. We like to write blog posts and hold conferences and post Facebook statuses. We like to point out their sin and say they’re not Christians.

(I say “we” because I have done and continue to do, unfortunately and sadly, the same thing.)

But even though I’m a heterosexual who thinks homosexuality is a sin, does that really make me any different than those people we like to hate? Let’s be honest: does it? Are we really that much better that we can criticize “Christian homosexuals” and not point at ourselves and admit our own flaws first? Do we actually have the moral high ground in that situation?

Someone’s Christianity is not based on whether or not they think homosexuality is a sin.

The biggest problem I have in the homosexuality issue, honestly, is how the Church handles it. If I was dealing with those kind of feelings and tendencies, I wouldn’t want to go to most churches that lean evangelical.

Perhaps those people haven’t realized or fully accepted that their homosexual tendencies is a sin. That’s our biggest complaint, right?

Perhaps we haven’t fully accepted that our lying is a sin. Perhaps we haven’t fully accepted that our heterosexual lust is a sin. Perhaps we haven’t fully accepted that our worrying about how that person feels about us is a sin. Perhaps we haven’t fully accepted that our dislike of a certain political candidate that might turn into hatred or anger is a sin.

How are we, excuse me, how am I really any different? Shouldn’t I love them as I desire to be loved through my sin? Heck yes.

Do I want people to gloss over my sin? No. I don’t think I should gloss over their sin either. But I should love them and not treat them like they’re alien creatures.

If I were to meet myself, and myself would spill out all my darkest secrets to me, the sins in my head and my heart, I’d probably think I was a insert-word-of-choice-for-bad-person-here. And I’d be right. But would I treat me like I sometimes treat, even how I think about, the guy who says he’s gay? Don’t think so. I might make an exception.

Let it not be so.

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