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Is there a way through the wall of hostility?
Snippets from the book…
Respect for Conscience
One of the many causes of the hostility over these sexuality issues, in my observation, is the lack of respect for each other, and specifically for those who do not accept same-sex marriage or who do not welcome those who are labeled as LGBTQ. The conscience of such people is often seen only in a negative light, and only known as non-affirming. There are many in the Christian church who do not affirm same-sex marriage as being good and who do not affirm the idea that human sexuality is a plurality of genders. Rather than reject such a conscience, I seek to respect the non-affirming conscience—specifically that conscience which welcomes, but does not affirm, our friends and family who do not fit into the binary ideas of “male and female”.
Respect for Morality
When we present our LGBTQ affirming ideas, are we communicating them like the Pharisees? If we communicate an anything-goes, throw-morality-out-the-window message, we should not be surprised by the strong reaction from those who hold non-affirming positions. Jesus has strong, God’s-design arguments in response to wild immorality. Sooner rather than later, we ought to realize that we need both the liberal and the conservative viewpoints about sin, gender, and marriage. Such a bond of views would be a brave new world, and I suggest we who are affirming do not need to fear such a world. Every hard teaching of Jesus is laced with mercy, forgiveness, and joy.
Respect for Marriage
The so-call gay debates also reveal the critical role marriage plays in the American church, both Protestant and Catholic. In fact, marriage theology is at the heart and soul of Christianity in America. We who affirm same-sex marriage should not be too surprised at all the ruckus stirred up by church-going American Christians. To affirm same-sex marriage is to challenge the very core of Christian ideals in America.
Respect for Holiness
I must admit that for a time, I had no idea how to incorporate holiness into my grace-alone theology. The following question haunted me for many nights: If we can see the breakdown of the “male and female” patriarchal system in our society…and if we agree that the gospel is the way through the wall of hostility between gay people and the church…how do we avoid the charge of condoning all forms of immorality, fornication, and sinful behavior? How do we maintain moral fortitude with gospel consistency and at the same time affirm same-sex marriage?
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