Thinking Out Loud

March 29, 2012

Compassion Tempered With Concern

One of the Church’s biggest failures of the past decade has been our reaction, and over-reaction to the LGBT community, especially to those who — absent the treatment they see their peers receiving — hold on to a faith in the Messiah-ship of Jesus Christ.

On the one hand, there are the usual conservative voices who insist that any gay sympathies constitute an automatic ticket to hell. Frankly, I am curious to see who shows up to picket at their funerals.

On the other hand, there are among the more progressive progressives, certain Christian bloggers who in their compassion have thrown out a lot of the core of the Bible’s ideal for family, procreation and partnership.

And now, to add to our confusion, we discover that Psalm 139,  the scripture used as a major element in the argument against abortion, is used as a rallying cry for gay and lesbian Christians. Regardless of which translation is employed.

Anyway, I’ve already blogged my personal place of balance on this issue, but in thinking about it this week, I’ve realized that my particular choice of words has a bearing on another commonly heard phrase particularly among teenagers who either come out of the closet by choice or who are outed by their classmates.

The phrase is, “It gets better.”

For the bullied, the confused and the lonely, I certainly hope it does. Soon.

But I have to say this, and maybe this can be your response as well, “It gets better, but it doesn’t necessarily get best.”

In other words; I’m there for you.

I understand.

I’m not someone looking at this from the detachment of an outsider; I’ve read your blogs, I’ve looked in to your online discussions. I do get it.

But with all the love in my heart, I just think that ultimately, God has something else in mind which, because He made it, is perfect. 

So yes, it gets better, thought it doesn’t necessarily get best.

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4 Comments »

  1. Very sensitive issues, and a delicate approach is definitely needed. I’ve seen that in approaching these issues in a judgmental and condemning way, you only see people dig in with a hard defense, and nothing is accomplished; there’s only anger and mistrust. For those of us who are trying to talk with people, we first have to realize that we are all sinners and we’re in this together. There’s nothing we’ve done that puts us above other sinners-not a single thing! All the work was done by Jesus on the cross. We can have endless debates over scripture, and each side can construct their arguments in such eloquent ways but in the end, there’s nothing that words can accomplish. Only God can touch a person’s heart and lead them to enlightenment. Only he through his love and wisdom can show us the way.

    Comment by Joe — March 29, 2012 @ 10:23 am

  2. I just happened upon this site today and was reading through trying to figure out where you’re coming from and I have actually enjoyed many of the entries. But the ‘gay’ one … well, I have to say when we come to Christ we are NEW creations … not to be any longer living in our sins, celebrating our sins, exalting our sins, rejoicing our sins or identifying ourselves with our sins … we are to be in Christ and He in us, new creations, being changed to be more like Christ every day, hating our sin as much as He does. That being said, one cannot truly be a GAY CHRISTIAN or a LESBIAN CHRISTIAN or a TRANSGENDER CHRISTIAN any more than one can say they are an ATHIEST CHRISTIAN or a MUSLIM CHRISTIAN or an ALCOHOLIC CHRISTIAN. Light and darkness do not mix and are not compatable. The TRUTH sets us free, not the acceptance and encouragement of keeping in one’s sin, yet professing to be in Christ.

    Comment by belovedgal — April 11, 2012 @ 6:50 pm

    • Positionally, yes; I can agree with what you’re saying. But (a) most of us are a work in progress, so God isn’t finished working out his best in each of us, and (b) again, I have to say that the issue complicates when you meet people who are embracing a genuine faith in Jesus and are trying to live out the concept of His Lordship in their lives.

      I believe we fail however, when we make this a black-and-white, all-or-nothing situation; and that’s why I prefer the graduated nuances of good, better and best. It also gets closer to the Greek meaning of what ‘sin’ truly is, that it is a ‘missing the mark’ of God’s best.

      Even the very title of this blog article was carefully chosen because compassion has to be tempered with concern, judgment has to be tempered with grace.

      But what really concerns me here is your suggestion that positionally there’s no such thing as an alcoholic Christian. I believe this stems from one of two things, either (a) never having met someone who is endeavoring to live out their faith and at the same time are caught in a struggle, or (b) not really understanding the nature of addictive behavior.

      Trust me, there are people in church on Sunday who are Christians and are alcoholics and some of them of are in the choir, on the deacons board, and even in the pulpit. But I would never presume on their salvation.

      That just puts us back in the very judgment category that alienates people from Christianity; many leaving never to return again.

      We are new creations in Christ positionally the moment we cross the line of faith, but the haunts and scars of a former life can take weeks, months, years or decades to erase.

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — April 11, 2012 @ 7:10 pm

  3. [...] why I keep coming back to an entirely different setting for the debate that I believe would provide more understanding for people on both sides of the [...]

    Pingback by Gay and Christian: The Issue of the Week, Month, Year, Decade « Thinking Out Loud — May 29, 2012 @ 6:55 am


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