The Third Way. Perhaps you’ve heard about it or seen the posts flying. The Third Way re. LGBTQ means to love without taking a position of “right or wrong” on being LGBTQ (or “acting” on it), but instead to suspend judgment and simply embrace.*
Perhaps you saw this exquisitely thoughtful video by Pastor Danny Cortez, about Danny’s change-of-view on the LGBTQ issue.
Perhaps you saw Danny’s son Drew Cortez’s heart-rending video.
Perhaps you saw Albert Mohler’s critique stating there is no Third Way for a Christian–you are either for or against, with no middle ground. Perhaps you saw Wayward Follower’s or John Shore’s or Zach Hoag’s rebuttal.
If you study Christ, whose name his followers bear, if you seek to love as radically as He loves, the Third Way is the only authentic response.
Countless times in countless ways, Jesus pretty much instructs us to take the Third Way — to love our neighbor, not to judge God’s servant, to deal with the gargantuan log in our eye instead of searching out a speck in someone else’s.
What is this if not the Third Way?
The verse that man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart is the poster-phrase for the Third Way. Who can possibly put themselves in the position of judging who’s “for us” or “against us”? …not to mention, why are we so addicted to that judgment?
Jesus gives us actual examples.
- Healing on the Sabbath: in direct conflict with the letter of the Fourth Commandment. Jesus healed the man, purposely, on the Sabbath. Religious leaders don’t like a Third Way; they like things black-and-white, cut and dried. But Jesus would not allow that.
- Failing to condemn someone the religious leaders thought should be condemned: called “a sinful woman” (whatever that might mean there), this woman scandalously anointed Jesus’ feet with oil. Simon the religious leader could not even believe that Jesus not only failed to condemn her, much less let her scandalously rub his feet. Instead, Jesus had some words for Simon. In essence, Jesus showed us a Third Way by lauding this “sinful woman” the religious teacher thought SURELY deserved condemnation.
- Even the woman caught, redhanded, in adultery. Even her, when the law REQUIRED her to be condemned, Jesus did not condemn… much less did he let anyone else condemn her. Whatever you believe he said to her afterward (which I may take issue with), JESUS said it (…which is still not the same as stoning her). Legalists jump in with Jesus’ followup remark and overlook that he did not allow anyone else to say anything. He required everyone else to take the Third Way.
Jesus gives us no precedent whatsoever to condemn. No precedent whatsoever to judge.
The MOST precedent we get — after complete acceptance — is, in fact, the Third Way.
We love. God does whatever else needs to be done.
Come on, people (…Mohler…) IT’S NOT THAT HARD.
*(I want to be clear that I do NOT mean the position that “being/acting on LGBTQ is a sin, but we love and embrace you anyway,” as was posited in a film on a new Catholic Church; though better than excommunication, it is still determining sin for others, which contradicts Christ’s message to us.)