Marin on the Uncomfortableness of Real Mission
Andrew Marin is writing some brilliant posts at the moment on his blog and here’s his latest on how he responds to those who accuse him of undermining the Gospel.
I do not hide the fact that, theologically, I believe in a traditional interpretation of Scripture. The difference that ultimately leads to others being â€˜concerned that I am undermining a traditional conservative stance on this topicâ€™ is because I live out my conservative beliefs differently. I live them out incarnationally with my wife in the gay community, though I am straight and have always been such.
As I explained, I intentionally moved into the gay neighbourhood to learn from and listen to the same GLBT people that I wanted nothing to do with, that I didnâ€™t agree with socially or theologically and that I repeatedly hurt and thought not worthy of my Christ.
It is very difficult for me to respond to such accusations from my own brothers and sisters in Christ. Not because I canâ€™t put together an air-tight missiology that completely aligns with a conservative paradigm but rather because I am confused why my actions threaten so many people, why they feel the need to resort to knee-jerk reactions that question my belief system, a belief system no different than theirs. Maybe itâ€™s because I use Jesusâ€™ example and I wonâ€™t answer â€˜yesâ€™ or â€˜noâ€™ to â€˜yes or no?â€™ questions? Maybe itâ€™s because I use Jesusâ€™ example that I didnâ€™t come to preach and live among already saved Christians but rather came to those who are well acculturated with a great life and donâ€™t feel the need to know Him? Maybe itâ€™s because I use Jesusâ€™ example of not being the first one to cast a stone as I concentrate more intently on the plank in my own eye before the speck in my brotherâ€™s? Maybe itâ€™s because I use Jesusâ€™ example of a humble servant, one that relentlessly serves those on the outside while asking nothing in return? Maybe itâ€™s because I use the biblical model of knowing my Kingdom Job Description: itâ€™s the Holy Spiritâ€™s job to convict, Godâ€™s job to judge and my job to love? Or maybe itâ€™s because I use all of these examples with gays and lesbians and that just flat out frightens a lot of people who are already threatened by a God that longs to see a simple and pure faith lived out on earth as it is in heaven.
I have to admit that, in their fear, they hurt me. I have great pain when brothers and sisters call me names because of their own fear. I have great pain when the publication Anglican Mainstream prints that I am more dangerous to Christianity than the openly gay bishop Gene Robinson. I am still yet to figure out what is dangerous about me. Is it my conservative belief in Scripture or is it that I model my life after Jesus? At the end of the day, if how I am living my faith is dangerous then, Lord willing, might there be more dangerous believers around the corner to keep relentlessly working toward a biblical reconciliation between two warring factions no matter who or what, from either community, tries to tear us from God and from each other.
Perhaps that’s a challenge to others. Andrew is perfectly orthodox in is his understanding of what Scripture says is and isn’t acceptable sexual practice for Christians. Given this, can someone who thinks Marin is “dangerous” explain how showing love to sinners but never compromising on what the Bible says when asked is undermining the truth?