this is no longer my blog

Wednesday, October 06, 2004



Tonight is THE last night of my church's Journey Together Faithfully study on homosexuality. WOO HOO!!! Words cannot express how thankful I am that I will not have to go to another one of these sessions. In theory, it is a good idea. People come together, both sides of the issue are presented, they are given opportunity to discuss the issue and look at it from an angle they may not have previously considered. Not so at my church.
Perhaps you have read some of my previous posts. Perhaps you have read the one titled something about Left Handed Mowers. Then you would have heard about the man known in this blog as Tom. (at least i think that's his name in the previous entry. If not, oh well, it's his name now.) Tom is one of the six people that regularly attend the study. Tom is also the only one that normally talks. He was absent one day, with his wife, and the other couple that normally comes actually talked and it was wonderful... Anyway, Tom is sure that this study is meant to "lead him down the garden path" to agree with homosexuality and forget about what God wants which is right there in the Bible. The study obviously agrees with the homosexual agenda which is to put the needs of the minority above that of the majority and to get rid of God altogether... Basically his thoughts, perhaps a little different wording - although you'd be surprised and horrified to realize how close to the actual wording those words actually were... Anyway... Tom dominates conversation, and refuses to consider the other side. Now Supervising-pastor (God love him) strives to remain neutral and objective during the sessions, but if someone leans to far in one direction he will strive to present the other side of the argument. Needless to say most of Supervising's time is spent presenting the side of the argument opposite of Tom. One time Supervising was in the process of doing this, and Tom says "Are you going to keep talking until I change my mind? It's not gonna happen." Obviously this whole study's purpose is to get Tom to change his mind and become a Godless heathen. And here I thought its purpose was to faithfully consider both sides of an issue that is prevalent in the church... Weird...
Now many of you might be thinking "But Mark, it is evident in many of your other entries where you stand on this whole issue. And here you are talking about Tom who has come into this study with his mind made up and he refuses to budge. How does that make you any different from him?" And if any of you asked me that I would respond with "Good question. Let me explain." And then I'd explain. And this is probably what I would say: Tom has his mind made up. He knows what he wants the church to believe and profess and proclaim, and anything to the contrary is not Scriptural and is basically Godless. He proof texts, takes verses out of context to support his argument, and doesn't take the historical context or recent advances in biology and psychology into account when he makes up his mind. Now I, on the other hand, have my mind made up. I know what I want the church to believe and profess and proclaim, and while I may not agree with anything to the contrary, I am open to listening and learning from it if it is presented in a civil and compassionate manner. I do not believe the other point of view to be anti-Scriptural or Godless, I believe some of the people who believe this way to be faithful and loving people who are interpreting Scripture as authentically and faithfully as they can. I try my hardest to read verses speaking against homosexuality in context within the larger writing, as well as in context of the entire Bible. I try to understand the historical context within which these verses were written, as well as recent advances in biology and psychology and how they might speak to attitudes and beliefs that people held when the Bible was written. I know that the way we read the Bible has changed when it comes to issues such as slavery and women, and am not foolish enough to think that it cannot happen again. God is a dynamic God, constantly creating and redeeming and to think that everything that was valid and appropriate in the early years of the last millenium are entirely valid and appropriate today is ludicrous. But as I said before, I am open to listening to the other side of the argument, I am willing to come to the table and engage in concerned, honest and faithful conversation. Sure, I might not agree with what the other side as to say, but that does not mean that they are wrong or Godless or that I cannot learn something from them...
Anyway, like I said, tonight is the last night. And what had potential to be a great opportunity to come together in open and honest discussion turned out to be a chore, but at least after tonight it will be over.
And then we have only until January when the task force comes out with the result of their meeting and studying and they issue their response or suggestion or whatever (I've had a brainfart and can't think of the right word at this moment). And then where does it go from there? It will be interesting to see.

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