Friday, February 10, 2012

Just to Clarify

I recently posted an article on Facebook:

along with my added comment "for your prayerful consideration".

I rarely put anything like this type of article on my page, it's just not really my thing. And the point of me posting it was not to place myself in a conclusive stance on a very impassioned topic. Some of the responses have led to amazing conversations, and other responses have been quite different from that. So I wanted to offer some clarification about where I am coming from.

I have some very deep convictions about a few things, and am trying to learn and grow in them. I value grace-filled dialogue in the community of Christ-followers I am blessed to know well. 

Elderly people and the Homosexual community- these are two groups of people that I get a kind of pain in my heart toward. I don't know why completely. But I wanted to pay attention to it and what God may be speaking to me about here.

I just want to encourage with this:
1)  The conversation about the fairness, equality, and worth of homosexuals is being had. NO MATTER WHAT YOUR POSITION IS ON THIS: IF you feel that you even need to part of these conversations, and IF you are a follower of Christ Jesus, I implore you to make careful and prayerful consideration of what God's word does day, and what His aim may be in this during our present age. What is HE doing? What is and has always been his goal? Is what we are communicating congruent with that?   Being "right" is not a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Earning a label of "Liberal Christian" or hanging on to old conservative rhetoric that you haven't prayerfully studied for yourself, are both rooted in ego. 

This is my conviction, and one I am praying about.

So again, I am not "choosing a side" so to speak. What is important to me is that we are being GRACIOUS with each other to have these conversations and invite Jesus into those times. 

2) Why are issues of morality also linked with being issues of American legislation? We have agreed, as a country, to commit to equal rights for ALL who live here. Is this something that we need to bring our judgement in to? Not whether or not I agree with someone's sexual orientation, but whether or not I agree that everyone is valuable and under this country's law, deserves the same rights as me.

3) The "church" has a LONG history of highlighting a particular sin or group of people, using scriptures to back up their loud stance and oppression, and then in the end, having been shamefully wrong: attitudes toward women, toward integration, toward divorcee's, toward women who got pregnant out of wedlock. The over-all fruits of these efforts were shame, oppression, disgrace, and inequality. And a lot of us can look back and see how that is not what Christ did at all to the "sinners" in the Biblical accounts of his interactions.

4) I am not questioning the power and reality of the Word of God. And I am not wishing to get in to a debate on interpretation. But within the exact same passages of scripture used to highlight this particular sin, are other very clear instructions we have dismissed as culturally irrelevant. This doesn't seem quite right to me. 
I believe in holy living as God instructs;  "holy" means separate, set apart for Him. 
I do not believe that God's message from Genesis to Revelation is a list of "do's" and "don't"s. Again, just something I haven't landed any kind of definitive conclusion on.

I really try to listen to people, especially when I don't agree with them initially. Especially people I am blessed to have in my life who have proved trust-worthy and loving. I ask for the same grace in our dialogue, if you want to talk with me about any of this. If not, no biggie:)

God is so amazing, holy, and real. And how great is love toward us, mere flawed humans.

With humility and love,

Mary Ann

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