Trusting Jesus with our Falleness
A fantastic post on Stand Firm highlighting one response to the accusation that the conservative side is just full of homophobes. Read the below and then go to the full post.
Welcome to Stand Firm. I’m guessing that your moniker indicates you’ve made the transition from the Roman Church to the Episcopal Church. If so, we’re in the same denomination. Thank you for your rather challenging–and, dare I say it, quite provocative–initial comment. Anything that provides an occasion for greater clarity is to be welcomed, I suppose. Let’s see if I can help.
I am a celibate gay male who adheres to the teachings of Holy Scripture and the Church on human sexuality (and on everything else that’s relevant, I hope!) and I’ve been reading and posting here for about six months. In my estimation, the opposition of the Stand Firm bloggers, and most of its posters, to what can be properly called homophobia is quite genuine. The current reaction to views that have apparently been wrongly attributed to Bishop Orama really is further evidence of that, if such were needed.
However, if you are convinced that any expression of disagreement with the notion that a sexually active gay lifestyle is compatible with Christian teaching is inherently hateful, then no amount of evidence to the contrary may persuade you otherwise. Nevertheless, I would ask you to keep an open mind and try to engage those you are suspicious of in meaningful dialogue. You may be in for a few delightful surprises.
Of course, some might suggest that I, too, am part of the “hate” problem. Since I believe that my own sexuality is disordered (regardless of how it got that way) and that the temptations I face in that area are to be overcome rather than indulged in, I am sometimes accused of hating myself. To that, my first inclination is to say that I only wish that I “hated” myself a great deal more. If so, I might be a better Christian. But the healthy spirit of self abnegation that the gospel enjoins on all Christians is not at all a pathological state of self loathing that prevents us from understanding who we truly are, before and after we come to Christ, nor does it cause us to “hate” ourselves in quite the same way that some of my critics intend. At least, I don’t think so.
So what will you find here at Stand Firm, and what can you expect where matters pertaining to homosexuality are concerned? Mostly, conservative Anglicans who are doing their very best to respond appropriately to issues that may not have been much a part of their experience in the past. Some have had a broad interaction with gay people, and some have not. Some understand the real problems associated with homosexuality these days, some better than others, and some not so much. Some appear to have a genuine burden of the heart for witness and ministry to homosexual persons, and some may not quite be comfortable with going that far yet. Some have quirks and pet theories that I think are extra-Biblical but . . . they may think the same of some of my ideas.
Mr. Griffith points out that posters can sometimes be “insensitive.” Yes, they can be. (I think it would be nice if we could limit the use of the term “sodomite” to those who lived in Sodom–but maybe that’s just me!) You don’t have to be afraid to call them on it when they are. But if you’re willing to make the effort, you’ll also discover that the overwhelming majority of them actually do love and care about you, as befits a Christian. Why not love them back? It’s kind of exciting and immensely pleasurable, actually! Also, they–we–will pray for you, RCtoEC, a lot. And that’s a good thing!
I’m here because, as an Episcopalian, I need to know how this Anglican Communion realignment “thing” is all going to shake out. I have a stake in it too. I want to have a voice, and I want to be included. I’m also here because I want to give witness to what I believe, and in all of the Anglican Blog World, this is one of the very best places to do it.
Don’t be afraid, RCtoEC. Come and see.