Some good folks I know are leaving the more conservative Presbyterian churches for communities more accepting of the LGBT way of life. I get that. People want to be with folks who are more accommodating to their particular understanding of God’s will in this matter. It is a most difficult issue for the Christian churches that are known by ‘what they are against’ than ‘what they are for’.
I am of the more conservative ilk myself and dislike very much that there are winners and losers in these matters. I think the only ‘losers’ in the time of Jesus were the people who were self-righteous, proud, and law/rule oriented.
So here’s what I want to suggest-A SLIPPERY SLOPE OF GRACE. Most people when they use that term are thinking of the negative connotations. They might suggest that a person who accepts unorthodox behaviors is going down the slippery slope of liberalism and even licentiousness. But that’s not how I take it to mean. The slippery slope of grace suggests a slide into the most loving way of Jesus. Think about it. Jesus left his status as God, took on the form of a servant and even to the point of dying on a cross. (See Phil. 2) That’s the slippery slope of grace to which I refer. It means that once we understand the love of Christ and start thinking in terms of Christ’s sacrifice for our sins, well there is just no end to how far we can go in loving the people around us. Look. Once Martin Luther encountered grace, for all his faults, he started a revolution that shook the conservative status quo world of religion.
So, and here’s the subject that has changed in my life, I want to say yes to any monogamous relationship and that includes people who are heterosexual or homosexual.
We live in a ‘fallen’ world into which Jesus came to redeem us, all of us. The condition of our condition is such that all of us have wandered away from God in our thinking and living in many ways. Bitterness, anger, envy, hatred and greed are just a few ways that we see our departure from God’s love.
But here’s the thing- lest I stretch this blog too thin. We as believers in God and Christ want to be obedient to our consciences as best we understand God word and will and the ‘thing’ is that we may be WRONG. Yes, that’s right. We might have misinterpreted the Scriptures in these matters. Some theologians and pastors and lay-folk have admitted to such. And for conservative churches to give up that ‘territory’ is Bible Inerrancy Suicide. That’s unfortunate. It’s humbling. And it makes folks insecure that what they have known all along might be a wrong understanding.
That’s what love is about in my ‘trying to be humble’ estimation.
Now I know we need to be true to our consciences as guided by the word of God and that’s a good thing even though we might just not have the corner on truth that we think we have.
But if I have to choose between an understanding of truth and love I will choose love. At least as I am writing that’s that I believe to be the correct choice. I mean this when it comes to the way we live with one another and extend grace to one another. Perhaps that’s why the Bible says that ‘love covers a multitude of sins’, ours as well as other peoples’. (See 1Peter 4:8) And in this matter of LGBT I want to choose love. My wife says that “Love IS truth”. There are folks of different sexual persuasion than me who believe with all their hearts that they are within God’s will. They have my ‘amen’.
When I stand one day, by grace, before my Lord in glory I want to be judged (in this matter) not by how correct my doctrine was but rather how accurate my understanding of the love of Christ is. I remember that for all of us Jesus didn’t wait ‘til we had it all together. He died for us while every one of us was in the act of sinning against him. And if he did that for me then can I love anyone any less. And as Martin Luther was alleged to say, ‘Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me.’ Though I do not pretend in any way to ascend to the status of Father Martin.
One final thought. The law, which was truth, came through Moses, and became a badge of honor for the Jews in the Covenant. But now that Christ has come, grace outmaneuvers the law to reconcile ALL of us to God.
Now some folks are going to cite several scriptures and I know them all and have used them in my own arguments. But there are many scriptures we can USE to our own interest without looking deeper into context, milieu and such. And I might be wrong in my own understandings but I choose love. See that’s what Jesus chose when he came to us. And it’s why many religious folks wouldn’t accept him as the Messiah. Jesus is the only truth that matters to me and his life represents the fullness of God’s love.