As I was posting my last entry on ‘trust issues’, I came across a comment that had somehow gotten lost in the wasteland of unmoderated comments. “Jack” was very articulate in raising concerns that seem to be shared by other gay readers, so I wanted to try to address some of the issues he raises:
Jack: Quite honestly, I truly question your motives. I think you truly want to reach out to gays and lesbians, and at some level, I believe that part. However, I always leave this blog and ones to similar to this wondering what outcome are you truly looking for. I see a lot of words revolving around reconciliation, understanding, bridging the gap and so on. But I am left wondering less about the process you are using and wondering MORE about what kind of outcome you are searching for? Is it your hope that you will befriend Gays and Lesbians in hopes that we will decide to become celibate and live chaste lives?
Wendy: These are the outcomes I pray for: 1. I hope that the conservative Christian community will be a safer place for gay people to be honest and open about their day-to-day realities and journey of faith. Some gay people might want to see a day when no one holds a conservative sexual ethic – but I think the reality is that there will always be people of faith who interpret Scripture in a manner that precludes same-sex sexual behaviour. The questions for me are, “How do those who do hold a conservative sexual ethic relate to gay people? How can motivations of fear, control, dominance, coercion, and hatred be confronted as being completely incompatible with the person and ministry of Jesus Christ? How can conservative Christians be helped to feel more comfortable and prepared to be in friendships with gay people – even though there may be points of disagreement that need to be navigated?” So my hope is that Christians who continue to hold a conservative sexual ethic will do so on the basis of their own convictions birthed from prayer, study of Scripture, and a realistic connection and understanding of the realities of gay people – NOT from fear-based stereotypes of gay people, judgmental control, arrogance, or a sense of drivenness to “make the gay go away”. My hope is that conservative Christians will engage people with respect, will speak up for issues of justice, and will navigate points of disagreement with humility and grace.
2. I hope, through the context of relationship with Christ-followers, that gay and lesbian people who are not believers would encounter the presence of Christ. I am unapologetically passionate about people coming to know and live in the reality of God’s love for them in Jesus Christ. At the same time, if a gay person comes to Christ, they will, when the time i