Homosexuality – The Litmus Test

Posted by on Thursday, Jan 15, 2015 in Blog | 3 comments

It seems every generation of faith has a litmus test – You know, that “thing” that determines whether a person is orthodox or heretic, safe or dangerous. What do you think today’s litmus test is? Women’s roles? Abortion? Or perhaps homosexuality? Recently I’ve been talking with others about the battle ensuing within our faith communities on homosexuality. We hear the battle lines drawn, don’t we? “More Truth!” “More Love!” Both sides have become leery of publically sharing their views. (Orthodox or heretic? Safe or dangerous?) Christianity has always had it’s battles; Arianism vs. Athanasius, the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Reformation, Catholic vs. Protestants, etc. Must I go on? The battle lines on homosexuality in America may not look as dark as the Inquisition but deep wounds still abound. People are ostracized, there’s name-calling, fear, fractured relationships, suffering … I think, as a female preacher, I’m particularly sensitive to how we disagree with one another. On some small scale I have experienced fractured relationships over divisive issues such as the role of women in the Church. It grieves me. I think it grieves many of you too. We’ve got to find ways to have this dialogue without deeply harming each other. I believe being embodied, incarnate; present in the flesh plays a huge role in accomplishing that. Over and over again I hear stories of people who greatly opposed homosexuality – until their child “came out.” Suddenly there relationship with this loved one forces them to back to re-evaluate their theology – their love- their praxis. Incarnationality keeps us from staying distant and objectifying others, especially those with whom we disagree. Frost, in his book Incarnate correctly states, “Objectification creates distance, separating us from the person and their ideas. It allows us to discuss them and use extensions of the metaphoric world to scrutinize them objectively. It also always us to distance ourselves from culpable actions or unfair caricatures. Such objectification depersonalizes them and almost always leads to discounting, downplaying, victimization and bullying. “(Frost, Incarnate 21.) This past week we hosted a salon on homosexuality. I was nervous because I knew there would be homosexual Christians and church leaders in the room. Christians with opposing views – wounded Christians – can’t you hear the whispers “more truth” “more love.” Instead of a war being wage what ensued was a beautiful evening of truth, dignity and compassion. I sat back and watched people leaned in. They desired to listen and learn – to speak their pain but not so much so that it shut down the conversation. Here’s what one woman emailed about her experience. What was so eye and ear opening for me was that most people at this study...

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Teach People to Think

Posted by on Monday, May 20, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

I haven’t proven it yet but I believe all people groups act upon a belief system. In other words, their behavior, whether they know it or not, is tied to something they believe. We do what we believe. Nothing brought this home more than when I read Half the Skye. The book listed several organizations who were doing practical work to stop gender injustice. I’m grateful for those doing such work. It’s much needed. However, I remember thinking “we’ve also got to go after their belief system.” Their beliefs allow them to sex traffic women. And if we don’t go after the belief system things won’t permanently change. We need to deconstruct and reconstruct what we believe, according to Jesus, in order for these kinds of terrors to stop. Howard Hendricks, in his book Teaching to Change Lives says, “Teach people to think. If you want to change a person permanently, make sure her thinking changes, and not merely behavior. If you change only her behavior, she won’t understand why she’s made the change. It’s only superficial, and usually short-lived.” (Hendricks, 43) That’s why we have Salons. Salons are gatherings where women (and sometimes men) discuss spiritual issues. Our salon documents are full of information (history, culture and Scriptures) so women can think intently about the issue and hopefully live more boldly for Christ. This Thursday we are hosting a Salon on submission. Come join the...

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Reactions from Gender Justice Salon

Posted by on Friday, Mar 22, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Last night The Marcella Project hosted the gender justice film festival. Sixty plus men and women viewed the award winning documentaries Ru & The Pink Room. Both films deal with gender justice issues facing girls around the globe. Ru exposed us to the effect clean water for girls in South Sudan while The Pink Room painfully showed young girls being rescued from trafficking in Cambodia. Even though I’ve seen both films several times they still invoke shock and indignation. I believe we need to see, discuss and act on these issues because they offend our Creator and violate what it means to be appropriately human. Two images stuck. The little girl riding her bike around the courtyard of the rescue house. Trafficked at 4. As she rode her I bike I had visions of my daughter, Madison, learning to ride her red bike on our safe suburban street. And the men who fought to get girls out of the brothels. Furious. Warriors. Real men. I watched these men and thought, “My boys would do the same if they were there.” Men- we need you in this. We need each other. That’s how hope will come. When the blessed alliance joins hands and fights for God’s justice. What are you’re reactions? How are you processing these two Gender Justice films presented last night? Thoughts? What are some action steps we can take? For those organizations represented last night. Give us some ways to get involved. What are some actions we can...

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Will It Ruin Heterosexual Marriage?

Posted by on Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

A friend passed this link along about Wendell Berry, a farmer from Kentucky, who spoke on gay marriage at Georgetown College. He’s an interesting guy & it’s an interesting read. Regardless of where you may stand on gay marriage he’s got a point when he said, “Heterosexual marriage does not need defending, … It only needs to be practiced, which is pretty hard to do just now.” http://www.abpnews.com/culture/social-issues/item/8130-wendell-berry-expounds-on-gay-marriage#.UPYtLaVORE This is just one of the many opinions out there on the issue of homosexuality. If you would like to enter the conversation come join our salon discussion at Cross Timbers Winery in Grapevine January 24th at 7...

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My Observations From Our Homosexuality Salon

Posted by on Friday, Nov 16, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

Last night over thirty women representing nine different churches gathered at our salon to discuss homosexuality. I’ve never studied so hard to prepare for a discussion as I did for this one. Every generation has one, at least one, issue that divides, breaks and wounds Christians and the Church. John Wycliffe, who fought for the bible to be translated into common language, was burned at the stake for ideals, people died and the Church split over Martin Luther’s thinking of sola Scripture and priesthood of believers. In the early 20th century we had the fights over evolution then in the 1960’s-70’s over the role of women in mainline denominations. When I attended seminary in the 1990’s there was the divisive issue of speaking in tongues. Todays hot issue is homosexuality. And if history has anything to teach us we know it’s going to be ugly- people are going to get hurt. That’s why I studied so hard…prayed so hard. I wanted Jesus to help us learn to have conversations about these kinds of issues without killing each other in the process. I think he’s for that. So we gathered. In a winery. And we talked. No blood was shed. Jesus was beaming! Most of those the women who attended seemed to have come because it was a personal issue. They had a friend, relative, a neighbor who was a homosexual. One women shared that she had come out of the homosexual lifestyle. You know it took courage for her to say that to this group. One thing I’ve noticed over the years is our tone changes about what we believe when it’s personal. We aren’t as dogmatic, declarative when it’s embodied, meaning we know someone or that someone is us! We looked at how anti and pro gay theologians defend their positions from the Scriptures. We talked about which arguments were weaker and which were stronger. We found some anti gay arguments weak, perhaps not even viable, while many of us considered the Genesis 2 to be a strong argument against homosexuality. We talked about how the pro gay writings enlightened us to the differences between ancient near eastern homosexuality verses homosexuality today. Some women stated in light of their research and experience they couldn’t declare homosexuality was a sin. Others definitely said it was. When asked if a Christian homosexual could serve in their church, many blurted out, “Why yes.” They didn’t have many restrictions. A few said, “No” because sin can’t be ignored. Which lead us to what about those who serve who habitually sin but it’s a sin that can’t be seen?  These women are good thinkers. I was surprised at these women, they wanted change....

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