Those Knee-jerk Reactions
While listening to a podcast this morning, I was taken aback when I heard one of the otherwise incredibly intelligent speakers mention that he believes that homosexuality is wrong- something that shouldn't have surprised me (the podcast was by people who belong to one of the New Anglican denominations in the USA) but still took me off-guard.
I returned to the Church (as in Christianity) in 2007 or so. My experience was largely one of discovering what we might term historical Christianity- a kind of Christianity that was familiar one on hand but entirely new to me on another- and mystical Christianity, a kind of current within Christianity that I hadn't fully experienced.
One of the curious aspects of this more historical version of Christianity is that there are highly intelligent, well-intentioned people who think deeply and intensely about various theological issues. This was all new to me, of course.
That being said, there's always room to build castles in the air and become so incredibly stuck in one's own head that one misses the reality in which we live. I know I've done it.
The knee-jerk reaction I had is one of interest to me because our Church absolutely accepts people for who they are, where they are- we are interested in the state and condition of your soul.
The thing is, I think it's almost impossible for someone to look at an actual, real-life, living same-sex married couple and call it "sinful." Because it isn't sinful.
I don't feel a particularly strong emotion about the comment I heard today, but I did notice how quickly I was jarred, and I reflected on that. (I can hear the comments now: "You weren't affected by the statement, but you wrote an entire blog about it? Sounds like you're in denial!")
It's more a matter of being offered to reflect upon. What such commentary amounts to is an assault on the holiness of my marriage, the sacredness of the love I share with my husband, and a (likely) complete misunderstanding of the Scriptures that even mention homosexuality combined with the far, far higher priorities of loving God and loving one's neighbor.
Of course, the argument that pops up here is where things get really twisted: some people will begin arguing that dehumanizing and demeaning otherwise is a form of God's love, and then the entire conversation basically falls apart. There's not a whole lot of room to have discussions when people advertise for a God of Love and then equate that Love with Harm in the Name of Holiness. Doing this is common but disgusting, and at that point, other than for the sake of being some kind of authoritarian tradition, the question is why would one be part of the Faith anyway?
No doubt, we have to be aware of ourselves having reactions and not allowing them to spin out of control. Becoming aware of those reactions is the first step.
This was a longer than normal post, so I'll wrap up here.
11/25/2021 11:36:29 am
Great reflection Steve ! Yes , it is schizofrenic to say God is Love and then spread hate . It is more than that , it is disgusting as you very well said . Fortunately we live in more enlightened times and the future of Christianity will be mystic or it will not exist , as the theologian Karl Rahner said , Best wishes, Sergio
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