Saturday, February 11, 2006

Coming Up On Godscrum: Interview with Eric from Two World Collision

Things have been all quiet on the Godscrum front since Episode 13's interview with In the Name of Jesus' Sandy Johns, but I have an interview lined up with Eric from Two World Collision and I'll air it next week.

Eric's blog Two World Collision is a thoughtful, first-person perspective on integrating being gay and Christian. I've found his site to be very helpful to me in my work to better understand this issue and to develop more compassion for gays, particularly gay Christians.

If you have any questions for Eric, please feel free to post them. Challenges are fine, Eric's a big boy and can take it.

One of the things I've learned from using Eric's website as a resource is that there is an ongoing debate within the gay community on the question of "Can I be gay and a Christian?" that roughly falls into three camps Side A: Yes you can, but in a committed relationship; Side B: Yes you can, but be celibate; and Side X: No you can't, be transformed. I encourage you to read up on it; it was enlightening to me to find that there is this kind of diversity of thought in the gay Christian community, but now I wonder why that should ever have surprised me. That probably just reflects the willful ignorance I inherited on the subject from my evangelical milieu.

A personal note: my wife cautions me regularly to take care lest my efforts to increase compassion and understanding within the Christian community for the gays in our midst be misunderstood. So let me be clear: I present information and perspective on the gay Christian community for the purpose of increasing compassion and understanding withing the Christian community for the gays in our midst because I believe that this is what Jesus would have us do. There is a blanket of mercy in the church for certain varieties of sin, including marrying divorced women, a sin that Jesus specifically warned against and for which I am guilty. Jesus never once said anything about homosexuality, but he did preach a very hard line on marriage. And yet we in the church treat the divorced and the remarried with an abundance of mercy without diluting or explaining away Scripture. We do it because people are people, fallen and doing the best they think they can. We all answer ultimately to the One who created us, and that One has commanded us to love each other as ourselves, to practice mercy and compassion, and to forgive, forgive, and forgive seventy times seven. Why not extend the same mercy to our gay brothers and sisters?

This is the question I keep posing: Why not?


At 9:22 PM, Blogger Herobill said...

Okay, Z-man... this is me 'engaging' again!

How does divorce parallel at all?

Divorce takes two people, but even IF it's all your fault and even IF it IS a sin then it is still a one-time sin. But if gay-sex is a sin, then a lifestyle of it isn't like divorce, because it isn't a one-time thing. Leaving that point as it stands, do you agree?

(And, btw, I don't think Jesus said that ALL divorcee's who remarry are automatically sinning to do so. I think he might have been talking about deliberate "drop & swap" types of affairs. So when I say "divorce", I mean irregardless of the remarriage issue. Can we isolate just "divorce" for a minute?)

My point is I think there's a difference between forgiveness for a particular sin that's in the past and tolerance of an ongoing sinful lifestyle. (A grace-filled approach toward the 'ongoing-sinner' him or herself is another thing.)

I think gay-sex is like other types of "sexually immoral" activities. When Jesus showed grace to the woman caught in adultery, he also said, "don't do that again". (That's only one example, but...)

So, altogether, do you see my point?

And what's your response... (?) :)

At 9:25 PM, Blogger Herobill said...

To clarify: I don't mean to draw any conclusions at the moment (I said "IF" for each "sin") other than there's a difference between "ongoing" and "one-time".

Can you give me that much? :)

At 9:45 PM, Blogger Zeke said...

Bill, consider this: if marrying a divorced woman is adultery, how does one repent of it?

The reason I introduced divorce & remarriage in the first place is because Jesus specifically forbade it... and yet here we are, making accomodations for it. Applying mercy to those who do it. In most cases, not even mentioning it as an issue. My church doesn't permit divorced men on the Board, and yet I who married a divorced woman was elected three times.

Bill, we are all in an ongoing sinful lifestyle. We all need Jesus. And yet we focus so much energy and attention on this one issue while neglecting so many others... and why?

I will probably never give you the explanation you're looking for because how much a sin that homosexuality is compared to other sins is not a major issue for me. Spreading mercy and compassion is a higher priority for me than making sure gays know, speak and walk the evangelical line on homosexuality. I've just decided to shut my ass up for a while about it and make a place for them at the table. In other words, I'm giving my -doxy a rest to excercise my -praxis.

At 9:22 PM, Blogger Herobill said...

Okay, Zeke. I'm listening and paying attention to hear what you're saying. That's fine.

Before I go, can I gently point out that you didn't answer my question, but addressed the one point I was trying to seperate from my question?

Btw, you're the only one I know who's devoting time and energy to this "issue"... I'm just trying to take your admonishment to "engage"! :)

Which I'm sure you appreciate! :)

But I'll disengage...


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