The teachings of all the major world religions can be melted down to having one inherent common thread; The Golden Rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Christianity punches this home especially hard with examples like Matthew 25 where Jesus says, "Just as you do to the least of these you do to me". This suggests, in the words of Jesus no less, that the most hated be shown forgiveness and mercy, even love. How then, with this model at its core, does the Christian faith continue to accept, indeed often encourage, the tradition of homophobia, marginalization and oppression of Christ’s gay and lesbian brothers and sisters?
The Reformed tradition is tied to the acceptance of an antiquated anti-gay credo that seems to be the antithesis of Christ’s teachings and though some clergy, bible scholars and educated church folk concur that the sentiment expressed in Mathew 25 is the correct way to lead a Christian life, there is a reluctance, even refusal, to speak to congregations about all this pesky gay business.
Why challenge people? Do we really need to talk about unpleasantries and risk things getting uncomfortable and ugly? It is in this attitude that false Christianity keeps its momentum. The Christ story is all about personal challenge and expanding one’s comfort levels. Is it possible to stand in the shadow of the cross and claim superiority to anyone? It seems to me that the most difficult thing about a Christian way of life is the requirement to love others even when others continue to be unlovable.
The ministry of Jesus was uncomfortable two thousand years ago and it is uncomfortable today but that discomfort doesn’t give us a free pass on doing the right thing. I am told to love my brothers and sisters – I don’t get to choose who they are!
From the top of the ecclesiastical hierarchy to the evangelical mega-churches, from Joel Osteen to Rick Warren and all throughout the black church, with it’s rich tradition of fighting for social justice but where loathing someone based on sexual orientation is customary and where members of that community have, traditionally, had to choose between their gayness or their blackness, change is urgent.
The world is changing at great speed as evidenced by the rapid shift in local and regional legislature concerning same-sex marriage. In a world where so few demonstrate and celebrate fidelity shouldn’t the church be leading this movement?