Today, World Vision announced it will employ and hire Christians who are gay and in legal same-sex marriages (read the article from Christianity Today here). Predictably, many expressed support for World Vision, and just as many expressed disappointment. As I read these responses I found myself asking some questions.
Questions like …
Why do so people who call themselves Christians speak in such unloving ways?
What if our goal was not being heard by everyone, but listening to everyone?
Have we forgotten how to carry on mature, polite, kind and constructive dialogue even in the midst of intense disagreement?
How is it that we cannot express our opinions without feeling the need to take a shot at those with whom we disagree?
How often do we harbor resentment toward others who have a different opinion in this conversation?
Why do we insist on defining ourselves by what we are against?
What is the broader world thinking when they see Christians treating their own brothers and sisters with such toxic disdain?
When others see the way Christians treat each other do they think, “I want to be one of them” or do they run in the other direction?
Why, for so many, does the conversation about same-sex marriage and the LGBT Community create a seemingly impassable divide?
When will we learn to move beyond binary, either/or categories?
Why do many who oppose same-sex marriage feel the need to accuse those who support it of not being true Christians?
Why are many who support same-sex marriages so intolerant of those who are intolerant of same-sex marriages?
When will the Church recognize the unnecessary hurt, pain and wounds it has caused the LGBT Community and finally apologize?
When will we recognize this conversation is not about an “issue” but about people – sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers?
How would our words, attitudes and actions change if we remembered every single word spoken in this conversation is really about men and women made in the image and likeness of the Almighty God?
How many of us, on both sides of the conversation, are willing to acknowledge our biases, assumptions and fears surrounding this conversation?
When will we all admit to using stereotypes and “painting with broad brushstrokes” when it comes to how we think of those with whom we disagree?
Have we forgotten that Jesus would have dinner at the home of a man who is married to a man or a woman who is married to a woman?
Have we forgotten that Jesus would have dinner at the home of a pastor who condemns same-sex marriage, and angrily speaks out against any who support it?
What would happen if those who oppose same-sex marriage and those who are in monogamous, same-sex marriages broke bread together?
If Jesus were to eat the bread and drink the wine today would it be only for a select few or would it be for everyone?
What would our conversation be like if addressed one another as equals, and did all we could to place one another above ourselves?
There are many more questions to be asked, but I’ll leave those alone for now. Of course, there are many responses too. Feel free to share your questions or responses. But before you say anything, I would only ask you first answer the first four questions I asked …
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