I can just see it. Ten, maybe twenty, years from now, an avalanche of new books will come out. Or, maybe it will just be an edited volume, conveniently declaring how leaders in the evangelical world, how leaders in the Reformed world, have “changed their minds” on homosexuality. Think of all the past issues, all the prior slippery slopes, all of the “here I stand” moments that have come and gone. Women in church leadership? Minds changed. Evolution? Minds changed. Racism, segregation, civil rights? Minds changed. And thank God for it! But it always comes at a price. It always comes too late. All of the political banter, shoring up a constituency, positioning ourselves to be “successful”, to stand up for religious freedom, whatever the reason—we’re late to the game. Writing books and articles twenty years after other people have already moved on certainly isn’t courageous. Think about the people whose lives have been destroyed, careers derailed, all because they wanted to thoughtfully engage an issue when everyone else is having the conversation. And yet, out of fear or self righteousness, they are sent packing, they are labeled troublemakers, or “liberals”, or “heretics”. Only to discover that years down the road the very same people who apparently knew better have changed their mind? They get to write a book about it?, they’re heralded as open minded, thoughtful, and courageous? Sigh… What about the body count? What about all the carnage? Must be the price one has to pay to play ball in the kingdom of God.
Here’s an idea: What if we allowed people to engage in thoughtful conversation? What if we made room for differences on this issue right now? What if we acknowledged that there are good Christian people who are working hard to think through these issues biblically, theologically, and pastorally right now? What if we stopped playing the culture war game, what if we refused to be reactive and fearful, and agreed to disagree on this issue? What if we allowed for people to thoughtfully explore and discuss without fear of reprimand or being labeled? Crazy, I know.
What’s troubling is to see all the social media posts and articles on football and kneeling, or all the churches publicly taking a stand on issues like racism and immigration, but on the issue of homosexuality? Crickets. It seems loving my neighbor in one area (race and immigration) should lead us to figure out what it means to love all of our neighbors.
Please don’t think you know what I believe about sexuality just because you read a silly blog post. The issue is too complex to reduce it to 400 words. Besides, I’m still wrestling, still thinking, still listening to my LGBTQ brothers and sisters. But that’s supposed to be the point. Hopefully we can learn to be charitable to each other now on these issues, instead of waiting twenty years to write about it in a book.