Friday, April 18, 2008

Speaking About Being LGBT IN the Bounds of a Church Is An Act of Courage

Finally, as I was about to turn off the computer I found this interesting and sad article on, regarding a United Methodist gay activist who is speaking out within the circle of faith. As I do this within the Presbyterian Church (USA), I admire the work that Steven Webster writes about in this newspaper essay in the Dallas Morning News:

"I embrace our Wesleyan Christian vision of "making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world" and applaud the General Conference for seeking to build unity around four focus areas: 1) developing principled Christian leaders for the church and the world; 2) reaching new people in new places by starting new congregations and renewing existing ones; 3) engaging in ministry with the poor; and 4) stamping out killer diseases by improving health globally.

Yet we undercut these same goals when we continue to: 1) reject the gifts and graces of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons and their allies; 2) turn off a younger generation that views the Christian faith as "anti-homosexual;" 3) push LGBT youth into poverty and homelessness as families reject them because church and society stigmatizes LGBT persons; and 4) fail to address the role that ignorance and stigmatization of homosexuality (and other sexualities) play in the global AIDS epidemic."

When working for an institution that brought out a bumper sticker that said something to the effect that they were an "open mind, open heart, open door" community of faith, I realize, in light of the reality of how many LGBT people are denied a job, denied baptism, are denied opportunities to practice their God given gifts--as is true within other denominations and churches as well--that we have a great deal of work ahead of us.

The shortest verse in the New Testament is simply this, echoing what Jesus must feel when looking at the flock (us): "And Jesus wept."

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horseman said...
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horseman said...

You... borrowed my art without permission from:

I am born with a natural tendency toward violence. Some men are this way. We have to learn to control our temper and not be violent toward another. Violence toward another can be... sin. We cannot say, "hey, God made me violent; it is in my DNA". Actually, we can say that - because this is true. But we cannot use that position to justify our sin and accept that it is OK. We have to understand that the behavior is wrong and struggle against our violent tendencies. We make good police, military, etc. We were born for such jobs. But we must not sin in the way that we are... wired to sin. I am an officer that makes art as a hobby. I understand that I should not sin by committing violence on a person. I can explain why I am this way, but I cannot accept that violence is OK. Your situation is very similar. I understand your struggle. But you should not be dishonest about the will of God and the Bible to justify your sin. I say these things in love, as best I know how.

You can use my art here if you allow me my say.

Peace be with you.