This is Rob, Susan’s husband, and something is heavy on my heart today.
Susan has been betrayed by those closest to her. She has written about how she has been judged, how her faith has been questioned. She has talked about people who tell us we are leading people into hell, and people who shun and reject us.
Why? All because of our love, support and advocacy for our daughter and other LGBTQ.
Of course, they don’t see it that way.
There are people in this group who we love dearly and miss very much. I know they are just running the program they have been taught and have heard on Sunday mornings for decades. I have forgiven them and stand ready to reconcile.
People ‘struggle’ with a lot of things – most of which could indeed be ‘condemned by scripture’ – if that is your goal and interpretation. But most of those people are still welcome in their family, in their church.
What is it about this particular issue that causes such glaring blindness, hubris, hypocrisy and anger?
I have seen the God Hates Gays signs but what about these… God Hates Cotton Blends, God Hates Women With No Hats, God Hates Shrimp, God Hates Cross Tattoos… I could go on and on.
For those of you who would not go to your gay child’s wedding because you don’t want to condone ‘sin’ — are you condoning divorce if you attend a wedding where one of them was married in the past; condoning pre-marital sex if they lived together before the wedding; condoning drunkenness if they serve wine at the wedding to someone who is already tipsy; condoning gluttony if they serve cake to an overweight person?
They came to Jesus with this same issue: lots of laws, which ones are important? And he told them!
For those of you who ask, “Are there no absolutes anymore?” that is essentially what the pharisees were asking – which laws do we still keep, which ones are important, which ones are absolutes?
Jesus answered them – and he answered for any of us who have the same question… Love God. Love others. All the law is wrapped up in these two.
Wait, what about everything else Jesus? What about the “disputable matters” (as Paul talks about in Romans 14), and things that were cultural, and things we just don’t understand or that we misinterpret?
He answered that too.
He said that we would have the Spirit of God to teach us and guide us in all things – each of us, personally and individually. That relationship to the Holy Spirit and the Spirit’s leading in our life was – and still is – the ultimate authority.
“But what about the Bible?? Isn’t it the ultimate authority?” Remember, Jesus repeatedly said, “You read this, but I tell you this…”
The Bible confirms the authority of the Spirit of God inside us in the New Testament when Paul says that if our conscience does not condemn us – i.e. the Holy Spirit – we are okay with God.
It is how Jesus lived his life, it is how he told us to live ours, and it is how he interacted with people.
Jesus set aside the law on several occasions in favor of people. Much of today’s Christianity ignores all of that and simply focuses on the law, on behavior.
I see the hurt in my wife because of the betrayal of others as they too have focused on people’s behavior. They are missing the heart and truth of Jesus. They have not loved as they have been loved.
It breaks my heart, but it is just a fraction of the devastating pain and suffering of gays who have been destroyed by how family and their church has treated them… Condemning them to hell, telling them they are an abomination, rejecting them, saying they are an embarrassment to the family, kicking them to the street — all leading to homelessness, tragic substance abuse and stunningly high suicide rates.
It breaks my heart but it also makes me angry and it makes me sick.
I believe God feels the same way.
Jesus was considered a radical and a heretic then, and the truth of his teachings are still considered that today.
Jesus is a threat to today’s religious, behavior-focused Christianity.
And I welcome every bit of it.
It’s time for a reformation!