The gay-lesbian debate remains entrenched with each side fortifying its walls. And as long as it stays at the ‘debate’ level we’ll only intensify the problem. Like the ubiquitous comment section on the Internet, it’s far too easy to hide and fire off distasteful words from a position of relative obscurity.
Jonathan Merritt says it this way:
The Christian Church in the West is now facing the most important debate of our time. It threatens to shred the church by the seams and leave it in a tattered heap. And more importantly, it intimately involves people with feelings and emotions and dreams that have been socially marginalized and deserve to be respected, loved, and heard.
Those on the left must stop labeling anyone who holds to a traditional Christian sexual ethic a “bigot” or “hater.” Those on the right must quit claiming that everyone on the left is a “heretic” or “doesn’t believe the Bible.” – Jonathan Merritt
Ask yourself three questions:
1. In the difficult challenge of balancing truth and love, which side do I usually err on? Do I tend to recheck, rethink and clarify my position from the Bible? Or do I try harder to love individuals, wondering if I compromise too much? When faced with uncomfortable situations, how do I attempt to reduce inner tension? The difficult balance can be stated this way:
When truth is delivered without love, it is perceived as anything but true. When love is used to avoid tension, it ignores the bottom line welfare of another person and is hardly loving.
Rightly gauging our tendencies helps us achieve greater balance and take better risks.
2. How deep is gender? Skin deep or soul deep? Does masculine or feminine change when the body is modified?
Rightly understanding our culture’s gender confusion can deepen our love for people.
3. How personal are my interactions on the subject? Do I work hard to stay at the impersonal level or am I stepping into the messiness of relationships with all that entails?
Rightly engaging our world means interacting with and caring for real people. People like us, with emotions and hurts, dreams and frustrations.
While the debate rages, we can quietly build relationships that maintain both truth and love. Like is often said around here: it’s not the absence of conflict but how conflict is handled that defines a good relationship. Notice this balance of truth and love in Paul’s prayer for the people at Philippi:
“…that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.” (Philippians 1:9-10)